Blown Head on 1997 850 T5 wagon

Discussion in 'Volvo 850' started by Gman, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Gman

    Gman Guest


    I blew up my head (whoops). Started with a radiator leak, and I drove
    it one too many miles.

    I know the head is a pain to replace, but do I have any other choice?

    How would I sell a non-running car? Everything worked great until I
    killed the head.

    Any suggestions about what to do with this car? I bought it for $2800
    and got my money's worth, but I don't want to just junk it.

    Has anyone done a head replacement that could clue me in?

    Any input would be great.

    Gman, Apr 23, 2007
  2. Gman

    mjc13 Guest

    Unless you've done this kind of job before, your best bet is to get
    multiple quotes from independent mechanics - and a good Volvo dealer, if
    one of those rare beasties can be found near you. Also price used and
    rebuilt heads. With luck, you can get a good used head installed for
    under $1k. Figure almost twice that for a rebuilt head.
    mjc13, Apr 23, 2007
  3. Gman

    blurp Guest

    I found a used head for about $500 for my NA 850 (and several others
    in the $1000 range) and installation was another $500. Hidden costs
    include a dozen new headbolts (they're expanding so the ones you have
    are no longer good) and a whole whack of gaskets and seals.

    If you go to the dealer the gaskets are sold individually (death by a
    thousand cuts?) totalling $hundreds but FCP Groton sells a complete
    kit for about $65 and the bolts are one fifth of the dealer price.
    Might as well get a timing belt while you're there and a new water
    pump gasket (a local water pump can usually be found cheaper than
    shipping it from FCP because they're heavy). There are a few specific
    tools (and pitfalls) which could turn a tough job into a nightmare so
    I'd recommend handing it over to a pro (unless you are one).

    Ultimately I think you need to weigh what you think you can get for it
    once the work is done before embarking. Or commit to continued
    ownership since the new head (if done properly) will leave you with a
    car with many years left on it but with stigma that will affect

    I'm happy with my rebuild overall and hope to keep driving my 850 for
    a long time.

    blurp, Apr 25, 2007
  4. Gman

    blurp Guest

    I should also add that once the head is off they may find they can
    machine it and you may be spared the expense of buying a replacement.

    This is the thin silver lining.

    good luck
    blurp, Apr 25, 2007
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