1989 740 16 valve timing belt broke... :(

Discussion in 'Volvo 740' started by rfenergy, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest


    I am very depressed. My timing belt broke (B234F 16V) today, while I
    was going to get a
    spring compressor to change my front struts.

    I was driving very slow, less than 10 MPH, and my car stops running.
    I tried to start the car and it sounded funny. So my friend came to
    help and said, what about the timing belt? I removed the belt cover
    and there it was, totally broken.

    The belt was done at 100,000 miles in 1998 ( I have documentation and
    sticker was on the Belt cover ), the belt was a Volvo part ( it said
    Volvo on the broken belt ), the car has only 146,850 miles on it.

    I am thinking that this is early failure of this part. I was going to
    get it done in the next few weeks, but wanted to get new struts and
    shocks in first.

    Is it possible that Volvo is liable for this failure?

    Is it possible that the Valves are not damaged, because of the slow
    speed at which the belt failed?

    What is the worst case ( cost, damage )???

    I really like this car and it is in very good shape.

    I am very depressed, I have not had the car 4 months yet.

    Thank You,

    Robert W.
    rfenergy, Jul 13, 2003
  2. rfenergy

    AJS Guest

    I think you will find belts are listed as distance OR time. From memory but
    pretty sure I am correct.

    AJS, Jul 13, 2003
  3. rfenergy

    Brick_0 Guest

    Probably not. Most shops warranty service and parts for 90 days.

    I would replace the idler pulley(s) and the belt. A bad pulley could allow
    the belt to slip off. At least check the pulleys and tensioner carefully for
    any wear.

    Brick_0, Jul 13, 2003
  4. rfenergy

    Bev A. Kupf Guest

    I was wrong. The B230 engines are not interference, but the B234F is
    an interference design. You will have had piston and valve collision,
    and the resulting damage. This will likely be an expensive repair.

    Bev A. Kupf, Jul 13, 2003
  5. rfenergy

    Peter Milnes Guest

    Sorry Bev, but the 16-valvers ARE interference fit engines (applies to B204 and
    B234 engines). "rfenergy" both cambelt and balance shaft belt need to be
    replaced at same time. The replacement interval is every 50,000 miles. If the
    one that broke is older than that mileage, then that will be partly why it
    broke. Check water pump bearings and both camshafts for freedom of rotation. A
    camshaft that has seized it's bearings is enough shock load to break the belt.
    The balance shaft side must be OK if the belt for that didn't break.

    Cheers, Peter.

    : On 13 Jul 2003 06:22:00 -0700,
    : rfenergy () wrote:
    : > I am very depressed. My timing belt broke (B234F 16V) today, while I
    : > was going to get a
    : > spring compressor to change my front struts.
    : >
    : > I was driving very slow, less than 10 MPH, and my car stops running.
    : > I tried to start the car and it sounded funny. So my friend came to
    : > help and said, what about the timing belt? I removed the belt cover
    : > and there it was, totally broken.
    : Ouch. However, you might be in luck. My recollection is that the
    : B230 and derivatives like the B234 are not interference engines. So
    : there should be no engine damage, although you tried to start the
    : engine with the belt broken.
    : Install a new belt -- you should be good to go.
    : If the old belt was installed at a Volvo authorized service center (such
    : as a dealer), you should contact them -- they may help you out if the
    : belt.
    : Good luck,
    : Bev
    : --
    : Bev A. Kupf
    : Bev's House of Pancakes
    Peter Milnes, Jul 14, 2003
  6. rfenergy

    Bev A. Kupf Guest

    One place that you can find the information is at:
    (you will have to register). I just looked up the service schedule
    for a B234F engine, and timing belt changes are recommended every
    50,000 miles. It doesn't say 50,000 miles of three years -- just
    50,000 miles. Several other things on the service schedule are
    listed as "miles or time" ....

    Anyway, according to that site, Volvo warranties parts for just
    12 months, so I think you're out of luck trying to get your Volvo
    service center to pay for the repairs.
    Almost certainly. But if you didn't try too hard to start it, the
    damage may be minimal.
    Shop around -- I'm sure you can find cheaper engines. There's a couple
    B230Fs on eBay with the starting bid at $97. Also check at Erie VoVo
    (http://www.erievovo.com) -- you'll find a good deal on a working engine
    recovered from a wreck. Erie VoVo check the parts the sell for function.
    I think you should. Don't get nervous -- although it is hard not to.
    There are cheaper alternatives to a rebuilt engine for $2000+

    Bev A. Kupf, Jul 14, 2003
  7. rfenergy

    Steve J. Guest

    Look on Ebay Motors, I have seen the b230f for a lot less that that!
    Plus wrecking yards have 740 Volvos which had the b230f. You might not
    be as bad off as it seems right now.
    Steve J., Jul 14, 2003
  8. rfenergy

    Mike F Guest

    As Volvowrench says, you at least have bent valves. I've seen several
    of these with broken timing belts, and never seen one that needed
    anything other than valves. It should be a simple matter of pulling the
    head, replacing bent valves (and anything else worn like guides as
    necessary) and putting it back together with new seals. Generally these
    belts don't fail early, so make sure all tensioners and guide pulleys
    are OK, and you should also change the balance shaft belt while you're
    in there.
    Mike F, Jul 14, 2003
  9. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest

    Mike F. wrote...
    Thank you everyone again.

    I have the removed the intake and exhaust manifolds and valve cover,
    but I am having trouble getting to the head bolts it semmes that the
    cam shafts must be removed using some method I am not 100% about.

    Can anyone tell me how to remove the head without screwing it up???

    I have done motorcycle heads, but this one seems to be attached in a
    fashion that I am unfamiliar with.

    Thank You,

    Robert W.
    rfenergy, Jul 15, 2003
  10. rfenergy

    Alex Zepeda Guest

    I'd suggest you find someone familiar with the 16V Volvos, and then find
    some of the Volvo manuals... and only then proceed to take the engine

    Someone who knows the 960s or the FWD Volvos may very well be able to lend
    some of that goopy stuff you'll need to seal it all back together as well
    as some helpful advice.

    It's not nearly as simple as the 8V red block.

    At the very least, take a look over at the 700/900 FAQ on the Brickboard.
    They've got some 16V information.

    P.S. The next time you do a timing belt on the 16V engine, make sure to
    replace the oil pump bolt(s). Failure of this will result in the
    destruction of the timing belt.

    - alex

    '85 244 Turbo
    '84 245 Turbo
    Alex Zepeda, Jul 15, 2003
  11. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest

    Thank You Alex,
    But,I just need to know how to take the head off.
    So I can look at the piston tops to make sure they are not trashed.
    I will then take the head to my Volvo only repair shop to
    re-build/replace valves guides etc. as suggested by volvowrench. The
    mechanic at the shop will then put all the parts back together and put
    in a new timing belt.

    I read about replacing the oil pump bolt(s) on the brickboard, but I
    am sort of reluctant to believe this info ( I don't think that you
    need to remove oil pump bolts to put a timing belt in, if you don't
    remove those bolts, how can they wearout? or break?), I talked my
    Volvo repair shop (swedish engeering in MI) and they have never heard
    of this, they said they would be happy to replace it if I wanted them
    Brickboard has been a good place to learn alot, but I have not seen an
    FAQ on 16V head removal. I can't find anything about 16V head removal

    If anyone knows how to take the head off of the B234F 16 Valve, please
    let me know.

    Thank You,

    Robert W.
    rfenergy, Jul 16, 2003
  12. rfenergy

    Mike F Guest

    After you remove the camshafts (and maybe a few other bolts) you can
    remove the top half of the head. Then you can see the head bolts, and
    remove the rest of the head. There is no gasket between the halves of
    the head, sealing is done by liquid sealer. If you don't want oil leaks
    after this job is finished, make sure reassembly is done by someone
    familiar with this procedure.
    Mike F, Jul 16, 2003
  13. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest

    Thank You Mike F. and Bev.

    I removed the head without fu$kin anything up.
    I have 4 bent valves on the exhaust side of cylinders 2 and 4.

    The pistons are not cracked nor do they have any holes in the top of

    I guess I lucked out a bit.

    I put each part in it's own little pouch (made from 2 sheets of heavy
    printer paper and staples) and documented exactly the place where it
    came from on each pouch.

    I am sending the car with the head and all parts in the trunk, to
    swedish engineering in Ann Arbor,MI. They were kind enough to agree to
    put humpty dumpty back together again for me, even though most shops
    would never finish a job someone else started.

    I was thinking that while the head is going to get repaired why not
    just do all the valves, valveguides, and seals while it's apart. Does
    anyone think this is a wise idea? My brother in-law told me to do
    this, he is a diesel mechanic.
    They also agreed to have the head done through the parts dept., so I
    can save some money on the valves, etc.

    Thank you everyone one who has helped me.

    I hope that after it is all put back together, that it will run as
    good or if not better than before.

    I will post a follow up to the repair and let everyone know how the
    repair went and how the car is running. I have read many posts, where
    there is never a follow up, it really bugs me.


    Robert W.

    p.s. if anyone likes rock/pop music check out my mp3 site, there are a
    few free songs up. www.mp3.com/rfenergy
    rfenergy, Jul 17, 2003
  14. rfenergy

    Mike F Guest

    While the head is off, it's a good idea check all valve guides (there no
    need to replace any that aren't worn), and lap in the valves if
    necessary. Also it's a good idea to renew all rubber parts (valve
    seals, cam seals).
    Mike F, Jul 18, 2003
  15. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest

    Thank you Brian, Do you have the ECU? Is the ECU is perfect order?

    If so I may need one...

    This is for everyone who helped me...A follow up...

    I got my car back on 8/14/03, Is cost $2,400.00. This was to replace
    the 4 bent exhaust valves, valve seals, a new water pump, timing belt,
    balance shaft belt,labor,thermostat,etc.

    I am not happy with how the car is running now...It idles very rough,
    it chugs, you can feel it when you idling and in park, and also in
    drive or reverse or neutral.

    The car had a subtle surge about 50 rpm, but smooth, before the valve
    damage and repair, now it just plain sucks.

    I bought a new AMM (after doing the plug and unplug test), thinking
    that this may help, no difference or change.

    Also, the shop did not do a compression test after putting the top end
    I was kind of pissed that they did not do this, it seems to be such a
    basic to do after a re-build.

    The car has a new O2 sensor,TPS,CTS,IAC (IAC hoses),air filter,RPM
    sensor,clean throttle body, new oil trap and flame trap, new plugs,
    cap, rotor, wires.

    What could be wrong??? ECU? Ignition module?

    I am very dissapointed and pissed off with the shop I brought my car
    to. How could they let it roll out of there running like shit? The
    mechanic did note on the receipt that the car has a rough idle. He
    said, he told the service manager, and no one got back to him about
    whether something should be done about. Seems pretty lame to me. WTF?

    I spent $2,400.00 and I want to drive a car that runs like shit. Yeah
    that's why I let them put the head back on. I am thinking that I
    should have done the job myself.

    Thank You,

    Robert W.
    rfenergy, Aug 25, 2003
  16. rfenergy

    G Klein Guest

    I understand what you are saying but I would call the
    shop up & speak to the service manger & explain that
    for the large amount of money you spent the way the car
    was given to you is unacceptable & ask to have the car
    repaired correctly for the kind of money you were
    charged you should have gotten an exchange cylinder
    head from either Volvo or a good engine rebuilder
    personally when I get a car that has thrown the timing
    belt 16V engines or any of the new engines we always
    install a exchange less labor & less problems let us
    know what happens with your phone call
    G Klein, Aug 26, 2003
  17. rfenergy

    William Liao Guest

    I remember my mechanic once told me that it's actually cheaper to replace
    the whole cylinder head than to repair the broken valves on an interference
    engine when the timing belt snaps... this was for an 850, I'm guessing that
    the B234F engine shouldn't be much different...
    '90 Volvo 744 GLT (B230F) - daily driver
    '73 Volvo 164E - awaiting repair & restoration
    William Liao, Aug 26, 2003
  18. rfenergy

    rfenergy Guest

    Thank You Glenn.

    So, I should have got a reconditioned head?
    Do you think that the re-build of my 16V head is causing the idle
    I think that they said something about a reman head, if the head in my
    car was too damaged to bother with re-building. They told me it would
    be cheaper to re-build my head vs a re-man head so I told them to do
    it. Maybe I made a mistake?Or they made a mistake.
    Do you think I paid too much money?
    I sent them the car with the head off, they sent it to a machine shop
    and then reassembled the top end.
    I brought it back to them, dropped it off last night. I hope to hear
    something tommorow or the next day.

    Thank You for your consideration.


    Robert W.
    rfenergy, Aug 27, 2003
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