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Old 02-19-2021, 10:44 PM   #1
petebee
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Default Car running "weird" after head gasket replacement

I recently had to remove the head on my perfectly running sedan (92 244 M47/ 140K miles) due to snapped exhaust stud that I could not extract with the head installed. Everything seemed to go back together well, torqued head at 15 ft. lbs, then 45 ft. lbs, then 90 degrees.

I've noticed that at lower RPM, the car shudders when I start out in first gear unless I give extra throttle/slip the clutch. At higher RPMs the car just feels flat - above 3k.

This morning I noticed a lot of white exhaust vapor upon startup, and was still evident after engine had warmed to middle of the temp gauge after stopping to get gas (had driven 3 miles or so before I arrived at gas station).

I also wasn't very happy with the amount of tension that the tensioner applied to the timing belt after releasing it. It still seems a bit loose.

I plan to run a compression test tomorrow to see if I botched the head gasket install. If pressures are decent and consistent, I think I will re-check the timing belt to see if it has slipped.

Does this seem like a reasonable course of action? If the compression is low on any cylinder(s), should I just bite the bullet and pull the head and order a new HG? If so, this would be the third time head bolts would be torqued - is that okay or should I order new ones?

What sucks is this all happened to fix a simple exhaust leak at the head/manifold. Icing on the cake is I can't get the manifold/downpipe connection to seal 100% with the new Volvo downpipe gasket (silver metal, which showed evidence of a leak) or with the original copper downpipe gasket. It still drones from that connection when you get on it...sigh.
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:53 PM   #2
ZVOLV
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I would reset your cam timing and ignition timing.

Smoke could just be residual.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:13 AM   #3
petebee
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Cam timing makes sense, but ignition timing on an LH3.1 car? Thought moving distributor only applied to K-Jet cars. I tend to agree on the tailpipe smoke, but might as well check compression since it's not that hard.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petebee View Post
Cam timing makes sense, but ignition timing on an LH3.1 car? Thought moving distributor only applied to K-Jet cars. I tend to agree on the tailpipe smoke, but might as well check compression since it's not that hard.
You can still be off a tooth on the auxiliary shaft sprocket.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:07 PM   #5
petebee
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After thinking about it, that does make sense about auxiliary shaft - if that's off then yep ignition timing bad. Brain wired to twisting distributors from wrenching on my Spitfire LOL.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petebee View Post
Cam timing makes sense, but ignition timing on an LH3.1 car? Thought moving distributor only applied to K-Jet cars. I tend to agree on the tailpipe smoke, but might as well check compression since it's not that hard.
Timing can be adjusted on LH2.2 cars.
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:34 PM   #7
petebee
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Okay so it was timing, and the primary culprit was the crappy aftermarket rear timing cover. In my haste to get the head removed back when I was dealing with the broken exhaust stud, I just broke the original rear timing cover. Instead of buying the Volvo OEM rear cover from iPD, I purchased the entire aftermarket kit (rear, lower and upper covers). What a joke, as just trying to get those things to fit/align took as much time as the original tbelt swap.

Anyhow, I pulled everything back apart, and it was apparent that the belt was indeed one tooth off at the crank. So I realigned everything and reinstalled the lower cover and crank pulley. I decided to start the car for a quick test, and it actually threw the timing belt.

What was happening was the rear cover was preventing the tensioner from seating properly/flush. So I removed the offending protruding plastic with a utility knife, and the tensioner would now sit flush. Reinstalled everything and we are good to go.

I can't believe how poorly the car was running with timing off, it can actually accelerate now! I re-used the original outer covers, and was able to fit them okay to the crappy rear cover. Moral of the story, don't buy **** plastic parts that don't come close to aligning with the engine mounting points/bolt holes.
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