1995 440 Tried to start - loud bang - now nothing ??

Discussion in 'Volvo 440' started by ivandurneen, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. ivandurneen

    ivandurneen Guest


    First post on here.

    Went to start the 440 this morning, it tried to start as normal then
    after about a second there was a loud bang. Now it won't do

    I know *nothing* really about cars. I have someone coming out later to
    look at it but just wanted any ideas of what could have happened/how
    serious this is.

    I'm praying its something simple but as always expecting the
    worst : )

    ivandurneen, Feb 11, 2009
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  2. ivandurneen

    James Sweet Guest

    Doesn't even turn over, or turns over and doesn't fire? If it still
    turns over, maybe moisture got in the distributor cap? If it doesn't,
    the engine may be hydrolocked or something. What motor is in a 440?
    James Sweet, Feb 11, 2009
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  3. ivandurneen

    ivandurneen Guest


    Doesn't even turn over : (
    ivandurneen, Feb 11, 2009
  4. ivandurneen

    ransley Guest

    And what is battery voltage are cables recently cleaned, try a jump
    ransley, Feb 12, 2009
  5. ivandurneen

    ivandurneen Guest

    Thanks for replies.

    Kind of embarassing. The guy came out to look at it and what do you
    know it started up fine ! He checked everything over and couldn't find
    anything obvious wrong. Has been very very wet here the last few days
    - I'm guessing it was something to do with that.

    Least it didn't cost me anything.
    ivandurneen, Feb 12, 2009
  6. ivandurneen

    clay Guest

    That's good news.

    fwiw, the loud bang is fuel igniting in the air box.
    Don't touch with the gas pedal while trying to start it.
    Fuel injected motors (when they're working right) do all the fuel stuff
    Pump the gas, risk blowing off a intake hose or the air box.

    (Tip I learned here, years ago) Instead of cranking and cranking
    continuously, let it turn over a couple times, stop, then try again.
    The fuel system needs pressure in order for all the systems to work.
    Older fuel injection systems, the pressure bleeds down when the car
    sits. Try to start it with no pressure and the ignition doesn't get the
    signal to spark.
    Turn it over a couple times to get the pressure up. Now all the sensors
    are happy. You get spark next time you turn it over and it fires right up.
    clay, Feb 12, 2009
  7. ivandurneen

    James Sweet Guest

    I've had a loud bang caused by moisture in the distributor causing
    unburned fuel vapor to build up in the exhaust system. I've seen it
    split a muffler open. I had a spark plug wire fall off on my 240T once
    at nearly full throttle, the backfires sounded like gunshots and the
    thrust bent the tailpipe.
    James Sweet, Feb 12, 2009
  8. ivandurneen

    clay Guest

    Thats right.
    A backfire in the air box is more of a whump than a gunshot.

    Click off the ignition for a second while traveling through a tunnel.
    The bang is impressive.

    Never had much trouble with the plug wire fell off thing. They go on
    with a click and a twist... But, if you forget to twist it the boot can
    push it off.

    Back when I raced boats, only times we had anything like that was when
    the electrode squirted out of the plug (16.5:1 will do that) and once
    the engine builders helper left the rubber grommet out of the plug
    socket on a plug and pushed the boot down over it.

    Burned more than a few wires flopping around on the headers though.

    Or the mag isn't tight enough, the motor gets real retarded and melts
    the headers (and any body parts nearby) from all the raw fuel dumping in
    them and burning.

    I miss racing...
    clay, Feb 12, 2009
  9. ivandurneen

    Tony Guest

    I had a 340 1.7 (similar engine but carbarettor). When it was oldish
    (100K miles /10 years) it started to have real trouble running alot of
    the time, stalling when pulling out of junctions (classic sign of weak
    spark). Problem was due to oil in the distributor, and the disti/cam
    seal had worn a lip/dent on the cam. Solution was to move the cam seal
    up a bit and install flush with the surface rather than all the way in
    (maunal actually said flush too). However this didn't seem to work
    indefinately and with other leakings and carb problems I scrapped it

    My 940 has a similar problem with oil in the disti, but much less severe
    (there are 2 seals), it is responsible for a slight hesitation and some
    MPG loss. I have been trying to change the seal in it for some time,
    but need a special tool.

    I have hence condemned all engines with head end distis as unreliable
    (although the 940 soldiers on, the 340 wouldn't run).

    I'm fairly sure this 440 will have the same bits at the 340.
    Tony, Feb 13, 2009
  10. ivandurneen

    James Sweet Guest

    There's a LOT of 700/900 cars running around with the head mounted
    distributor. Mine works fine and doesn't leak there, despite being 22
    years old with nearly 300K on it. I did have to replace the o-ring at
    one point.
    James Sweet, Feb 13, 2009
  11. ivandurneen

    Tony Guest

    Yes, here too, I know they survive for some reason. My sisters family
    had 2 940s, the first one had a very dry distributor cap, the 2nd one I
    havn't checked but it doesn't seem to hesitate.

    I have seen in a magazine a 940 disti cap totally distroyed by
    oil/misfire (I think).

    The problem is obviously much less prevalent in the 940s, and perhaps
    440s could have been upgraded. But at the end of the day the problem is
    not eliminated in 940s completely and is fundamentally a bad design.
    However it would not stop me recommending a 940, it would stop me
    recommending a 340 1.7 or a 440.
    Tony, Feb 23, 2009
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