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Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

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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erikv11
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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by erikv11 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:36 am

Reinz is not OEM on the valve stem seals, there are threads about figuring it out by the color of the rubber portion, but I don't recall the outcome because it was still mostly speculation. I'd just buy the Volvo ones they are cheap insurance. Several threads about using the cheap ones and then they start leaking. I'd also go Volvo on the spark plug tube seals. Corteco is factory on the cam seals, the ones in the Reinz set are also likely junk but you can of course replace cam seals very easily. Rear ones anyway. Plus you don't want to be stuck holding a head gasket I'd never use (Reinz). Only blue box on the head gasket, just not worth messing around. Ask Robert he's finally come around to that opinion.

Used engine is tougher and tougher, in the midwest the few you can find often have minimal history.
'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, 285k
'06 S60 R, 165k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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callahanoffroad
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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by callahanoffroad » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:44 pm

erikv11 wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 8:36 am
Reinz is not OEM on the valve stem seals, there are threads about figuring it out by the color of the rubber portion, but I don't recall the outcome because it was still mostly speculation. I'd just buy the Volvo ones they are cheap insurance. Several threads about using the cheap ones and then they start leaking. I'd also go Volvo on the spark plug tube seals. Corteco is factory on the cam seals, the ones in the Reinz set are also likely junk but you can of course replace cam seals very easily. Rear ones anyway. Plus you don't want to be stuck holding a head gasket I'd never use (Reinz). Only blue box on the head gasket, just not worth messing around. Ask Robert he's finally come around to that opinion.

Used engine is tougher and tougher, in the midwest the few you can find often have minimal history.
Thanks for the input bro-beans. One of these days we'll have to have a Missouri-Iowa MVS meet-up. Maybe we can go to Otumawa and visit Radar O'Reilly! :D

I'm putting together a cost spreadsheet for my wife with all of this great feedback.

Abscate, thanks for the permatex recommendation! I'll order that instead!


Here's my parts and tools list with pricing:

Valve stem seals parts list

Valve stem seals (20) $7.03/each (FCP Euro)
Valve Stem Seal Kit = 272424 $76.24

Permatex (1) 51813 $8.80

Rear Cam Seal: 9443310 (2) $4.03/each $8.06

Front Cam Seal: 6842272 (2) $5.25/each $10.50

Spark Plug Tube Seals 31401351 (5) 4.13/each $20.65

Extra Valve Spring Retainer 3531105 - $1.95 Each (4) $7.80

Liquimoly Grease LM2003 - $4.59

Total Parts Cost $136.64

Tools
Camshaft Locking Tool $49.99
Valve Keeper Remover: $52.90
Total Tools Cost: $102.89

Total Cost: $239.53

Chime in if I'm missing anything :D
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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erikv11
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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by erikv11 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:48 pm

Here you go, working NA engine, 150k with a car wrapped around it. Get up to Minneapolis and drive it home! I know you are likely going stem seals but I'd seriously consider this one if I was looking for an engine. https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/ ... 47516.html

Parts list looks good to me. That's steep on the spark plug tube seals, but I'd still go Volvo like in your list.

You'll need to spend a few bucks on carb cleaner, maybe a good gasket cleaner to get the surfaces clean before you put on the anaerobic sealer. That takes a while to DIY, I've always had the luxury of machine shop cleaning them up. FYI the permatex gasket reomver is worthless here, you want something like paint remover you are removing basically varnish. Watch the finish on the car!

Looking forward to your report on in-car valve stem seals! I've never done it.
'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, 285k
'06 S60 R, 165k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by bmdubya1198 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:57 pm

I think you're heading in the right direction by doing the valve stem seals. No need to swap the engine unless there's a problem with your current one. I haven't done this job yet, but it doesn't look too bad.

Cleaning the cam cover and head isn't a good time... takes a while since you need to be so thorough. Definitely have some brake/carb cleaner and lots of rags and scrapers. I prefer to use plastic razor blades (if you don't have any, check out the tool section at Walmart by the blades/knives, only place I've found them locally) to avoid marring up the aluminum. A standard razor blade works a little better if you have a steady hand, but be very careful not to nick the surface.

That is expensive on the spark plug tube seals though... I paid under $1 a piece for Reinz from FCP. It's probably better to go with Volvo seals there, though.
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 195k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 112k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 166k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1991 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 173k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k

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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by wizechatmgr » Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:26 pm

I'm sure I'll get flamed on this one... But in the past if I was dealing with sludge I'd use oven cleaner... It's nasty but it can and will get anything off the surface. Need to rinse it off afterwards, but it will cut through almost anything.
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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by JimBee » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:18 pm

While you're waiting to pull together all the details, you might try an internal cleanup with Seafoam. I've used this on my 850's—not the intake injection trick but do a clean oil change with full synthetic 10-30/40 and half can of Seafoam in the oil and leave it in there. The other half goes in a full tank of gas. It's a powerful solvent that over time might clean off some buildup from your valve stem and other seals that has hardened, and give the cylinder walls a good scrubbing.

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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by erikv11 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:43 pm

Good tips from bmdubya on cleaning. Razor blade is the only way to get it clean, I'm interested in the plastic ones I've not seen those. Very tedious to get it cleaned up right, a good chemical remover first goes a long way.
wizechatmgr wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:26 pm
I'm sure I'll get flamed on this one... But in the past if I was dealing with sludge I'd use oven cleaner... It's nasty but it can and will get anything off the surface. Need to rinse it off afterwards, but it will cut through almost anything.
OK so full disclosure I'm with Dirk on this, oven cleaner or straight up paint remover, no flaming from me. I have never found a gasket remover that does anything with the anaerobic sealer. Carb cleaner certainly doesn't touch it. Acetone will probably work but thats' ... paint remover. Be really careful when applying you don't want overspray.
'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, 285k
'06 S60 R, 165k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by abscate » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:40 am

Can you water blast this with a good pressure washer? I have a dead cylinder head I could practice on this Spring.

Paint stripper is usually nethylene chloride, pretty metal inert

Oven cleaner is strong base...nasty in Aluminum if left in contact but spray, soak , and rinse should be fine

All of these things should be done outside and with eye protection, gloves, and old clothes or the Untuckit shirt
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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by bmdubya1198 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:45 am

These are the plastic blades I'm talking about, they're really helpful for removing gaskets, stickers, etc. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough- ... /649985146

The problem with oven cleaner is that it has sodium hydroxide in it, which doesn't play nicely with aluminum. Not a big deal if you don't let it sit on there for too long, but eventually it can damage the aluminum and release hydrogen.
That's why I don't use Purple Power in my parts washer. I like Oil Eater... one of the safest degreasers you can buy. It works well and smells good too!

That said, I haven't tried oven cleaner yet, but I'd like to. From what I've heard, it's by far the best for cleaning heavy grease on engines.
2000 V70R Venetian Red/Charcoal M56 Swapped 195k
2000 S70 GLT Mystic Silver/Taupe 253k
2003 S60 2.4T Silver/Black 112k
2007 XC90 V8 AWD Sport Titanium Grey/Black 166k
1993 944 Base Beige/Beige 221k
1991 944 Turbo Dark Green/Beige 173k
1992 245 Base White/Beige 249k
Sold-
1998 V70 GLT Black/Beige 199k
1998 S90- Silver/Gray 207k
1995 850 GLT Tropic Green... crushed
2001 S60 2.4T Black/Black 230k
1988 744 Turbo M46 Beige Metallic/Beige 188k

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Re: Leaking Valve Stem Seals, Need Help Making A Decision. '95 Base Manual

Post by mecheng » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:25 pm

callahanoffroad wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:19 am
Thanks for the input everyone!

Any tips on sourcing a low mileage engine? I tried using car-parts.com but so many of those parts listings don't have mileage numbers listed online. I know Greg850r has a NA motor just hanging out. I'll have to call him and get the story.

Right now I'm leaning towards replacing the valve stem seals without removing the head. I would also do all the other upper engine seals at the same time using the Victor Reinz kit #02-33440-02 (~$75) and of course I would also need that fancy anerobic sealant (~$25).

I've done very little research on the valve stem seals but it looks like Reinz is the OEM for the seals? FCP Euro has it listed as Reinz as well. VOLVO branded seals are $7/pop ($140 total) the Reinz seals are $0.34/each ($6.80 total). I've also been reading that the Volvo seals are better? Or maybe it's a superstition. I don't know. But that hasn't been the case in other parts. Aisin water pump has Volvo grinded off. Lemforded control arms are identical. Etc etc.

Thoughts on that?

Thanks again everyone.
I've never heard about Victor Reinz being OEM on any European car, they are mainly an aftermarket supplier with mixed results, my friend insists on OEM Volvo valve stems from his experience; look how long they lasted you.
1998 Volvo S70 T5 - SE - 240km - Sold July 2018
1997 Volvo 850 GLT - 190km
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