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2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad Topic is solved

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
SlowLane
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Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by SlowLane » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:35 pm

MoVolvos wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
Let us know, am curious what is causing the leak.
Will do. I hope to dive back into it this coming long weekend. Before I do I will be dumping some UV dye into the oil and running the engine for a bit in hopes that will highlight the problem area.

I'm now wondering if it might not just be the oil. I have been using Mobil 1 5W30 in this car for years without issues, but at the last oil change I decided to try Pentosin. also 5W30. The leaking started shortly after that oil change.
Current Volvos:
2002 2.9 S80 - Wife's car, the "Silver Flash"
1996 855 Turbo - Formerly daughter's ride. My toy now.

Former Volvos:
1997 855 GLT - Totalled by daughter. Now she appreciates Volvos. :wink:
1984 244 DL B23F - warped head after radiator blew
1982 245 GL B21A - My first Volvo. Sold with 400,000 km on it.

Other:
1981 VW Westfalia

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MoVolvos
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MoVolvos

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:17 pm

SlowLane wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:35 pm
MoVolvos wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:49 pm
Let us know, am curious what is causing the leak.
I'm now wondering if it might not just be the oil. I have been using Mobil 1 5W30 in this car for years without issues, but at the last oil change I decided to try Pentosin. also 5W30. The leaking started shortly after that oil change.
Many people have had very bad experience with Synthetic to Dino and Dino to Synthetic. Googled and found one person had problem with the Mobil 1 5W30 in particular. Had trouble years ago with Mobil 1 causing 3 head gasket leaks. This is way before the internet.

Recently tried the Mobil 1 0W-40 from Costco and the 03 Odyssey howled and groan when passing WOT. No problems with Rotella T6 5W-40 and currently running Kirkland's 0W-30 (just changed) and can't hear the engine.

$5 cheaper in warehouse
https://www.costco.com/kirkland-signatu ... 27865.html
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

SlowLane
Posts: 50
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Year and Model: 1996 855 Turbo
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SlowLane

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by SlowLane » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:48 pm

Pentosin and Mobil 1 are both full synthetics, so I wouldn't have expected any issues. Having said that, there's far too much apocrypha out there surrounding motor oil to form any sound judgment.
Regardless, I've committed to diving back into the front seals one last time in a more comprehensive fashion. Both cam seals, new VVT hub (just 'cause I spent the bucks for one) new crank seal, new piston oil squirter valve thingy and gasket, new timing belt. If it still leaks after all that I'll probably be reluctantly looking for another car. Which would be a pity, as this one has served us well for 13 years and still runs fine aside from this dratted leak.
Current Volvos:
2002 2.9 S80 - Wife's car, the "Silver Flash"
1996 855 Turbo - Formerly daughter's ride. My toy now.

Former Volvos:
1997 855 GLT - Totalled by daughter. Now she appreciates Volvos. :wink:
1984 244 DL B23F - warped head after radiator blew
1982 245 GL B21A - My first Volvo. Sold with 400,000 km on it.

Other:
1981 VW Westfalia

SlowLane
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:16 am
Year and Model: 1996 855 Turbo
Location: Livermore, CA
Has thanked: 0
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SlowLane

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad - Solved  Topic is solved

Post by SlowLane » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:31 pm

Okay, long story short, it seems that it was one or both of the front camshaft seals, despite initial evidence to the contrary.

Or possibly the VVT hub (though unlikely), which I also replaced. Wife reports that the car feels "peppier" now, so perhaps that was money well spent after all.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Current Volvos:
2002 2.9 S80 - Wife's car, the "Silver Flash"
1996 855 Turbo - Formerly daughter's ride. My toy now.

Former Volvos:
1997 855 GLT - Totalled by daughter. Now she appreciates Volvos. :wink:
1984 244 DL B23F - warped head after radiator blew
1982 245 GL B21A - My first Volvo. Sold with 400,000 km on it.

Other:
1981 VW Westfalia

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MoVolvos
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MoVolvos

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad - Solved

Post by MoVolvos » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:46 am

SlowLane wrote:
Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:31 pm
Okay, long story short, it seems that it was one or both of the front camshaft seals, despite initial evidence to the contrary.

Or possibly the VVT hub (though unlikely), which I also replaced. Wife reports that the car feels "peppier" now, so perhaps that was money well spent after all.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Glad to see you didn't have to sell it.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

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SuperHerman
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SuperHerman

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by SuperHerman » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:23 pm

Out of curiosity, did you use Volvo OEM cam shaft seals or after market? Did you find any reason for them to be leaking?

SlowLane
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SlowLane

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by SlowLane » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:11 pm

Genuine Volvo seals only, thanks. It's not a job I relish revisiting because I went cheap on seals.

Before I dove into the job, I put an ounce of UV dye in the oil and drove it 4 or 5 miles around the block. As I was disassembling things I occasionally used the UV light and yellow glasses to see if I could definitively identify where the leak was coming from. Nothing jumped out at me. The lower part of the timing cover had some glowing oil, and the timing belt had a bit of a ghostly shine to it. At the top end the only sign that there might be a leak was some puddles of oil in the cast-in channels where an exhaust VVT solenoid would go if there was one. Those puddles were glowing, so they had clearly been filled up in just the short trip around the block.

Of course, as soon as the cam sprockets were removed, oil dribbled down the front of the crankcase from the camshafts, so it was difficult to say whether any dribbles had been there before removing the sprockets.

I gotta say that replacing the VVT hub wasn't as difficult as all that. I just made sure that I made enough marks on the stationary bits of the engine so that I could duplicate the "swing" of the old hub with the new hub.

And sometimes a job is so much fun that you just gotta do it twice. I did this job over the President's day long weekend. Starting on Saturday I had it all buttoned up and ready to go about noon on Sunday. Fired it up and ..wait, what's that rubbing sound?

Turns out that the new rear timing cover that I had "cleverly" installed had flanges and bits that were supposed to fit behind the water pump, but I wasn't able to finagle it behind, so I just bolted it in kinda bent. Well, this caused the cover to rub against the back side of the exhaust cam sprocket, making a worrying noise accompanied by the smell of ABS being shaved away by the sprocket. Spent the rest of Sunday trying to carve pieces off of the back timing cover with a piece of hacksaw blade in situ, being reluctant to take all the stuff off the front of the engine again.

To no avail. So pretty much all of Monday was spent re-doing all the work from Saturday and Sunday, save actually replacing the seals. Although the "correct" solution would have been to remove the water pump so that the cover would fit nicely behind it, I didn't have a spare water pump gasket and just didn't want to go that far, so I hacked at the timing cover to provide enough clearance for the pump. Got the thing running again late Monday afternoon and then obsessively checked for oil leaks after each time the wife took the car out. Gradually came to accept that maybe I had actually fixed the sucker.

So this weekend I just replaced the power steering reservoir with a better one I sourced from the wreckers and replaced the murky brown ATF with the recommended Pentosin CHF202 power steering fluid (making a holy mess while trying to purge the old fluid out). Then I discover that the battery had gone flat. Asked the wife, and she says "yes, it's been starting sluggishly lately". I said "that battery is practically new. I installed it just before you drove the car to Canada. When was that again?" After checking some old emails, she came back and said "2013". :o Oh. Right. So new battery it is, then. $250 later for a Bosch group 48 AGM battery which I hope will last for the remainder of the life of the car (though I've had such bad experiences with Bosch products of late that I'm a bit leery of this one).

Aaannd I just noticed that the shocks all seem to be shot. Koni FSDs that I installed only, wait, 11 years ago. Hmmmm.
Last edited by SlowLane on Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current Volvos:
2002 2.9 S80 - Wife's car, the "Silver Flash"
1996 855 Turbo - Formerly daughter's ride. My toy now.

Former Volvos:
1997 855 GLT - Totalled by daughter. Now she appreciates Volvos. :wink:
1984 244 DL B23F - warped head after radiator blew
1982 245 GL B21A - My first Volvo. Sold with 400,000 km on it.

Other:
1981 VW Westfalia

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MoVolvos
Posts: 2514
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm
Year and Model: 03S80T6~08C30T5
Location: NC
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United States of America
MoVolvos

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by MoVolvos » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:21 pm

Lived in Livermore for 5 years I think. 1999 to 2005. Somewhere during that time the Main Library was moved or remodeled, something to that effect.

Use to own a 1980 Westfalia Manual. Can never tip it over but sure felt like it was going to. I remember at Pepboys a customer was fuming because we told him those required tires with heavy duty side walls and we could not sell him the regular ones though the size was available.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

SlowLane
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:16 am
Year and Model: 1996 855 Turbo
Location: Livermore, CA
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SlowLane

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by SlowLane » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:35 pm

MoVolvos wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:21 pm
Lived in Livermore for 5 years I think. 1999 to 2005. Somewhere during that time the Main Library was moved or remodeled, something to that effect.
Small world, eh? I must have just missed you. Moved here in 2006. The Livermore library is one of the hidden gems of this city. Very nice indeed.
Use to own a 1980 Westfalia Manual. Can never tip it over but sure felt like it was going to. I remember at Pepboys a customer was fuming because we told him those required tires with heavy duty side walls and we could not sell him the regular ones though the size was available.
I've had my Westy since 1999. Shod with the correct load range tires it's a surprisingly sure-footed for such a tall vehicle. Fun too. Owned other air-cooled VWs before that (like, who didn't, back in the day?). I generally hang out on the Itinerant Air-cooled or TheSamba sites (which is where I came up with my moniker). Friend abscate popped up on those sites a couple of years ago and has earned himself a reputation for timely, pithy, spot-on comments.
Current Volvos:
2002 2.9 S80 - Wife's car, the "Silver Flash"
1996 855 Turbo - Formerly daughter's ride. My toy now.

Former Volvos:
1997 855 GLT - Totalled by daughter. Now she appreciates Volvos. :wink:
1984 244 DL B23F - warped head after radiator blew
1982 245 GL B21A - My first Volvo. Sold with 400,000 km on it.

Other:
1981 VW Westfalia

User avatar
MoVolvos
Posts: 2514
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:47 pm
Year and Model: 03S80T6~08C30T5
Location: NC
Has thanked: 36 times
Been thanked: 76 times
United States of America
MoVolvos

Re: 2002 2.9 S80 oil leak driving me mad

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:04 am

SlowLane wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:35 pm
MoVolvos wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:21 pm
Lived in Livermore for 5 years I think. 1999 to 2005. Somewhere during that time the Main Library was moved or remodeled, something to that effect.
Small world, eh? I must have just missed you. Moved here in 2006. The Livermore library is one of the hidden gems of this city. Very nice indeed.
Use to own a 1980 Westfalia Manual. Can never tip it over but sure felt like it was going to. I remember at Pepboys a customer was fuming because we told him those required tires with heavy duty side walls and we could not sell him the regular ones though the size was available.
I've had my Westy since 1999. Shod with the correct load range tires it's a surprisingly sure-footed for such a tall vehicle. Fun too. Owned other air-cooled VWs before that (like, who didn't, back in the day?). I generally hang out on the Itinerant Air-cooled or TheSamba sites (which is where I came up with my moniker). Friend abscate popped up on those sites a couple of years ago and has earned himself a reputation for timely, pithy, spot-on comments.
Growing up the family had a few although we did not buy them chronologically per manufacturing dates.

72 Beetle Red - Rear tire blew out while returning from Disney.
75 412 - Silver Bullet. VW :roll: use the pressure in the spare tire under the front hood to spray windshield washer fluid. I rolled it in high school before my driver's license arrive. 94 (that's what they calculated) in a 55 on Treat Blvd. Walnut Creek. Only place you can roll a car on that stretch. Pancaked the 412 and the worse for us 4 guys was a concussion. Thank God as the officer asked if I was trying kill my friends. Lost a summer of driving.

80 Westfalia
80 Diesel Truck
80 Diesel Rabbit 4 Door
81 Diesel Truck
83 GTI - Red with Gold BBS
19 Atlas

The In n Out was a favorite besides Cattleman's for once in while family gatherings. The lunch specials weren't bad at 99 Ranch off of Santa Rita in Pleasanton. Go try out 3 Brothers in Danville if they still have the 3 dish for under $25 special (HINT: You have to ask for that menu). Comes with Rice. What an area for good eating.
Blessings,

BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
2008 C30 T5
2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

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