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Smoking dipstick, could it be bad rings?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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callahanoffroad
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Smoking dipstick, could it be bad rings?

Post by callahanoffroad »

Because I've put so much money into Herman over the last two months I felt like I should double check the compression numbers and make sure that Herman's engine was as healthy as all his other systems...

A quick refresher, Herman is a 1994/5 Volvo 850, non-turbo, with a manual transmission.

Pulled these compression numbers tonight with a hot engine:

Dry Run
  • Cylinder 1: 180 psi
  • Cylinder 2: 185 psi
  • Cylinder 3: 195 psi
  • Cylinder 4: 175 psi
  • Cylinder 5: 183 psi
After these numbers I did a wet compression test by adding about 1 tbsp engine oil into the spark plug tubes... PS Don't do that all at once... Just one at a time. It is quite messy.
I could only pull one number and that was Cylinder #1 which had a compression of 210 psi.

What what does the brain trust think? (That's you by the way.)

I'm thinking I need new rings, or a new to me low mileage engine.

I've been looking for new rings but I can't find them for the NA engine. Looks like they may not make them anymore? :lol:

This also explains the severely smoking dipstick and head.
Last edited by callahanoffroad on Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Author, Chef, and Shade Tree Mechanic

1995 Volvo 850, Non-Turbo, VVIS, LH FI, Green, 215,000 miles. B5254FS engine. Herman. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84393

1996 Volvo 850, died at 280,000

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ZionXIX
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by ZionXIX »

Those are excellent compression numbers. If you're worried about a smoking dipstick, I would look at the pcv again. Maybe drop the oil pan and do a thorough cleaning, inspection and replacement of any clogged parts. But that's just me, it's on my list anyway.
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abscate
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by abscate »

Im running very low compression measured in my T5 - I think under 150 psi

here, even worse than I remembered
Cold compression test was low to spec, but spec is warm

I showed 125-135 psi across all cylinders, spec is..



NOTE: Measure compression with the engine hot and at wide open throttle

Normal value B5234T and B5254T: 1.1-1.3 MPa (156-185 psi)
Maximum deviation between cylinders: 0.2 MPa (28.4 psi)
NOTE: This applies when the engine is warm and the throttle fully open and the engine being turned by the starter motor at 4.2-5.0 rps (250-300 rpm).
I use about 1 liter of oil per 2500 miles, and have good pep and fuel mileage.

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callahanoffroad
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by callahanoffroad »

1993-1997 850 Non-Turbo: 185-213psi is spec according to FCP Euro's blog:

https://blog.fcpeuro.com/how-to-do-a-co ... nder-volvo
Author, Chef, and Shade Tree Mechanic

1995 Volvo 850, Non-Turbo, VVIS, LH FI, Green, 215,000 miles. B5254FS engine. Herman. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84393

1996 Volvo 850, died at 280,000

Founder of: CookingForChemo.Org

Read my Silly Comic Book at: therealpizzabros.com/
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greg850r
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by greg850r »

I have 160 or so in all mine and they run great and don't use oil. Your problem lies elsewhere.
05 Cross Country wagon
99 C70 Convertible
96 850R wagon
96 850T wagon
96 850 GLT 5spd N/A sedan
97 850R 5spd sedan
66 GTO 421SD 4spd
67 GTO 455 T400
02 Powerstroke 4x4
85 Yota 4x4
24' 454 Challenger
07 Softail Custom
02 Sportster Custom
Parts cars not included
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erikv11
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by erikv11 »

Those numbers look good for a 200k NA engine. Nice tight grouping too, healthy bottom end.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
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Re: Smoking Dipstick, oh its just bad rings!

Post by Clemens »

As others said: Great numbers, very little difference, don´t worry!
Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V
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callahanoffroad
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Re: Smoking dipstick, could it be bad rings?

Post by callahanoffroad »

Thanks for the input everyone.

Looks like I'm back to the pcv system... Again...

I really have half a mind to just replace all the tubing with pcv filters. Unfortunately it makes the car stink like you wouldn't believe.

Maybe I could rig a small air pump to suck the fumes out...
Author, Chef, and Shade Tree Mechanic

1995 Volvo 850, Non-Turbo, VVIS, LH FI, Green, 215,000 miles. B5254FS engine. Herman. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=84393

1996 Volvo 850, died at 280,000

Founder of: CookingForChemo.Org

Read my Silly Comic Book at: therealpizzabros.com/
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Clemens
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Re: Smoking dipstick, could it be bad rings?

Post by Clemens »

Be sure to make the large diameter hose mod (you replace the palstic line with a regular oil proof rubber fuel line (I know rubber isn´t oil proof, but you get the idea) and run it to the ptc valve. After doing that, I finally got good vacuum. I´d go so far not even to touch anything else but replace just that hose if you had done the PCV recently.

(The theory is that with worn rings at 200.000 miles the blowby is too much to get sucked out of that plastic tube efficiently)
Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V
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Re: Smoking dipstick, could it be bad rings?

Post by greg850r »

Did you clean out the passage in the bottom of the block when you had the PCV box off? They usually clog up inside the block where the bottom of the breather box mates to the front of the motor. I use copper A/C refrigerant line to replace the big hose. I just take the new elbows and the insulating cover off that hard plastic one they give you with the kit and throw it away.
05 Cross Country wagon
99 C70 Convertible
96 850R wagon
96 850T wagon
96 850 GLT 5spd N/A sedan
97 850R 5spd sedan
66 GTO 421SD 4spd
67 GTO 455 T400
02 Powerstroke 4x4
85 Yota 4x4
24' 454 Challenger
07 Softail Custom
02 Sportster Custom
Parts cars not included
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