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Fumbler's Crocks- Boring Oil Change


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Just now, Ghosty said:

It might but I think it's only earlier ones that do. If the port's there it's behind the driver's headlight. There are two blocks, it's the black one iirc.

Ah then it probably isn't. There's an ECU cage and coolant tank in that area.

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Sounds like it’s a later 850 then. If it’s like the 440, blink code cars don’t have a EML. Sorry for the useless advice!
More probably useless advice: my old V40 Volvo would surge due to an air leak post MAF i.e. what was measured and what it ingested were different which leaned it out and maybe the Lambda sensor got involved to try and balance mixture. 
Bonus probably useless advice: Not sure on what engine you’re dealing with, but another Volvo I had used a MAP sensor and temp sensor to infer airflow rather than having a MAF and the MAP sensor didnt work leaving me eternally in a warmup engine map. 

Good luck with the 850. It can take ages to sort shit like this out, but it’s hella satisfying when you learn something and it’s all fixed and works!

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17 hours ago, rob88h said:

Sounds like it’s a later 850 then. If it’s like the 440, blink code cars don’t have a EML. Sorry for the useless advice!
More probably useless advice: my old V40 Volvo would surge due to an air leak post MAF i.e. what was measured and what it ingested were different which leaned it out and maybe the Lambda sensor got involved to try and balance mixture. 
Bonus probably useless advice: Not sure on what engine you’re dealing with, but another Volvo I had used a MAP sensor and temp sensor to infer airflow rather than having a MAF and the MAP sensor didnt work leaving me eternally in a warmup engine map. 

Good luck with the 850. It can take ages to sort shit like this out, but it’s hella satisfying when you learn something and it’s all fixed and works!

The connection from the MAF to the throttlebody uses a fabric bellows connection which looks likely to tear once old. I'll have a look at it.

I the meantime, I'm struggling to understand this part of the MoT pass sheet:


I presume he means the end pivot links?
1998 Volvo V70 - DIY: replacing rear suspension end links - YouTube

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- MAF Diving

I swapped the MAF sensor with the spare in my bag of bits. The car wouldn't run well at all and frequently died. The dreaded lambda EML has also graced me with its presence! I unplugged the sensor and it ran slightly better, but still wasn't very happy.

I've put the original MAF sensor back in and the car's running just like it always has- stumbling, holding RPM after revving the engine, bogging down then revving on its own etc.

Obviously I've disatisfied the ECU enough for it to light up the EML. Now how do I clear it? Is it something like disconnecting the battery for 20 minutes or somesuch?

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@rob88hYou , sir, were right all along! I was just looking in the wrong place. It turns out it does have the blinky LED- it's just mounted to the front of the ECU box, next to the screenwash fill.



Gave out code 121 on pin A2, which is the MAF faulty code. Cleared it and the EML is off. While test running the engine to see if all was well, I took some video.

This is what happens whatever the engine temperature. It randomly hangs at certain speeds before going back to tickover. Off camera it all of a sudden started wavering between 2500RPM and 1500RPM without me touching anything. Odd.


This is what the tachometer shows on tickover. The mic won't probably pick it up but you can hear the idle RPM slightly rise and fall along with the needle rising and falling. It's never once steady.

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Hobbled the car into the drive. The temperature here is still only going just above freezing. Hopefully that'll change tomorrow with the rain.



Before I got too cold I had a look at the intake hose, IAC and throttle plate.


Squeaky clean. No problems here...


Or here damn it.


I found one crease which I straightened out and a really small tear near the airbox side.

I then tried running the car without any MAF input again. Fell flat on its face. Hmmm, that can't be right!


So with the MAF sensor reconnected and the engine run, I read the computer's mind again. I found:

  • A2 (fuel/emissions) 111. Good, nothing there. EML cleared.
  • A3 (ABS) 313. Reading around suggests either a computer fault or wheel sensor fault. As the ABS light turns on and then off again when I start the car, I'm not bothered.
  • A6 (ignition) 131. No crank speed sensor signal. Light research on the forums indicates this can cause rough idling, bogging down, stalling upon startup etc. Ah-ha!

Now to find one that's affordable...

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Air Box Modz

I removed the air filter box to see how hard it is to get at the crank speed sensor. It's not very hard at all, which is nice. While it was out, I also did a modification to the preheater circuit on the intake. There's a waxstat on the bottom of the air box which moves a damper to either suck in hot air from around the exhaust or suck cold air in from just above the radiator. When the stats fail, they fail with the preheat side fully open and the cold air side fully closed- Bad for economy because the engine is sucking air through a smaller hose and bad for the MAF sensor because it's always receiving hot air. A solution to fix this is to remove the waxtat and spring an then secure the damper so the preheated intake is always blocked off-

I used a couple of self-tappers. Helpfully* the foil hose for the preheated intake fell apart in my hands so that wasn't re-installed.

I also relocated the cam cover breather hose, I put in, to the intake hose before the air filter box. With it installed where it was, I was crushing the air filter.

I'll put a larger I/D hose in its place eventually, at least the glove test shows there's little to no pressure anymore.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Sensor Shiz
On 19/12/2022 at 20:53, bear-in-the-air said:

Excellent news! On a path to victory.

Victree indeed.

eBay's finest impulse sensor was delivered to my door this morning along with some thermostat bolts.

Bonus Internet points if anyone can guess what the box is being propped up against. Access was easy-


Helped by removing the exhaust preheater duct a few days prior. With the old sensor whizzed out I then whanged the new one in and connected it up.


The old sensor wasn't an original one either. Seems aftermarket parts on these cars don't last too long.

With the codes cleared on the ECU, it was time to test it

OK, that's a bit better. RPM still a bit wobbly though.


Computer's happy too. I then dug around @rml2345's bag of bits in the back and found another MAF sensor. This one looked promising because it had a Bosch logo (!!!!!) on it.


I think I may need to buy a replacement air box cover, though. The screws aren't holding as good as they used to. Considering that, along with there being 3 MAF sensors in the car, I think this has been an issue for a while. Anyway, test time.

Boo-YAH I'd call that good.


In between doing all of this, I also had a look at the tensioner pulley I put on during the summer. Because it's not plastic, like the original one, I've found out it's not as wide and it wasn't positioning itself well when in contact with the belt-

Tell you what this camera on the Pixel 6A is rather good. Way better than my old 4A. Anyway, it looks like it's just about covering all the belt, but I wasn't all that convinced, especially as the PAS pump pulley is slightly bent.


I got the tensioner out. It's just two bolts, but good God it's a greaseball. My plan of action was find a washer to use as a spacer-

You can see the pulley has already wiped away the layer of grease from it. It seemed to do the trick, so I bolted the pulley back on to the tensioner and then commensed a half-hour long struggle getting the bastard back in. I forgot how much of a pig it is to reinstall. I'm sure the HBOL says I need to dislodge the ECU box first etc. and I can see why, because the clips and lid dig into your hands while bolting it in. It may be just two bolts but getting it out is far better than putting it back in, especially when everything's an oily, greasy mess.

My hands were Filthy As Fuck afterwards, so FAF that I didn't take further piccies. Soz. Sufficed to say the tensioner is nice and centred on the belt now.

A test drive was performed. The car certainly feels happier, no more of this pesky RPM hanging when letting off the accelerator, no stalling on restart, no boggolizing when crawling in traffic. There definitely* wasn't a 0-60 pull involved (scientific purposes only!). For shits and giggles I did another glove test, now that the oil was nice and hot. I wish I hadn't because the glove inflated rather quickly😅. I have further plans and ideas I'll try.

Anyway, happy car happy me.


In other news, I also had a go polishing up my keyring

I had to stop a few minutes after taking this picture because I found out it's nickel plated brass. Nice and shiny though! I even conditioned the REAL LEATHER parts too. It's looking rather good! My dad has a few of these which he got alongside his docs for the V70. Originally they'd have had the dealer's info on the back, but it's rubbed off on mine. Very faintly I could make out the logo for HR Owen, the London Volvo dealership that sold the car way back in 2000.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Thermostat Shiz

Today's adventure takes us underneath the Swede Beast and to the radiator drain

That looks a little chewed up. Actually before this I had to remove the undertray because the plug wouldn't unscrew. Subframe looks nice though, I wish the rest looked that nice! I have a sneaking suspicion this is a new rad as Volvo ones have a bleed nipple with a 13mm hex head on them.


Got it in the end though. The coolant's even the right colour. Result!

If you're wondering why I'm draining the coolant it's because I'm attacking this thing

...Just pretend there's a stripped Torx bolt head there for me, will you? Also pretend there aren't hoses attached to it... I dun goofed and left that for after the housing was loose.


I followed the advice of Saint Robert DIY and used a 6 and 8mm HSS drill to drill the bolt heads off. It was a bit fiddly but with the drill turning slow and using a lot of patience I got there with minimal damage to the housing.


The radiator hose was rather scary looking. I don't have a hose pick so I used a small Allen key to break the candyfloss bond between the hose and housing neck. It came off pretty easily which was a pleasant surprise. After I manoeuvred the housing out of the way I was greeted by a firmly stuck in Volvo thermostat. I decided to give everything a little clean before taking it out of its hole.


This was the remains of the original bolts. Twiddling the bolt out of the farthest hole was nasty. I wanted to cut a slot in the top to accept a flat head screwdriver, but there was no room for my Dremel.


I then gave the thermostat housing a bath in the "parts washer" so I could get rid of all the swarf and corrosion on the neck. It's now the cleanest item in the engine bay.


Plop. Bleed pin positioned at the front like the old one. This 'stat is rated for 92 degrees as opposed to 90. The car doesn't seem to mind.


And here is the housing all clean and bolted back in. I found some 316 stainless steel bolts which looked like they'd do the trick. I spun them in with copious amounts of copper grease so hopefully they don't seize in place again.

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I've done several more PCV investigations and it looks like most of the stuff I've tried was never going to work from the get-go: I never got my oil hot enough! I've been on several journeys now and with the oil at proper operating temperature and the glove merrily inflates away (and then blows off like a balloon) with the PCV installed as Volvo intends, and still inflates (albeit slower) with the modifications I've made. I imagine the engine's a bit worn at 163000 miles and the extra blow-by produced because of that is complicating things further. It's likely overwhealming the system considering it's been replaced within the last two years.

So it looks like I'll be doing this at some point:

This mod suggests I replace the OEM hose from the oil separator to the breather inlet at the intake with a 15mm hose to compensate for the increased gas. Further suggestions also include replacing the hose from the cam cover to the oil trap with more 15mm hose. Bending it might be a struggle, though.

The whole reason for doing this was because, going by how oily the sump and sides of the block were, it's likely there's oil being blown out of a seal or three.

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- PCV Woes- Excess Pressure

Couldn't resist doing yet more testing.

20 hours ago, Fumbler said:

[The glove] still inflates (albeit slower) with the modifications I've made.

Looking back I don't think there was any actual difference. It was probably wishful thinking.

While clearing up after yesterday's investigations I decided to have a look at the flame trap. This was more of an impulse thing so no photos were taken. This is what it looks like-

PCV post-replacement issues

It's the orange disc in this PCV elbow. The elbow then sockets itself in the intake elbow, just before the throttle plate. A common mod is to remove the flame trap and throw it away- apparently this trick is sanctioned by Volvo themselves, after all, the flame trap was removed on later versions of the engine. After removing the elbow, I opted to remove it and throw it away as well. Rather predictably, I suppose, the elbow was also full of gunge so I gave that a thorough cleaning as well. While it was drying I went back out and blew through all the PCV hoses and found nothing to be plugged up. I also gave them a little drink of Seafoam just in case they were as gungy as the elbow was.

With it re-installed I then put the system back to how it was from the factory and went on a little drive. Christmas Eve traffic this year was remarkably light and the journey was actually rather nice for a change! I re-did the glove test and found no change. I mean, why would I, as the car's idling and the throttle butterfly is more or less closed? I then disconnected the vacuum hose in the red box from the vacuum tree on the throttle. The intention of this hose is to keep the gases flowing out of the engine at tickover by using manifold vacuum, so there's no build-up of pressure in the block, while the car is sitting.


Obligatory video:

This proves a thing or two. First thing is that the system is working as intended: there's fumes filling the elbow and exiting the hose, meaning all the passages from the cam cover and the block are open, as well as the oil separator itself. Second thing is that there's flow in the system when you open the throttle, because as soon as you let off and the engine coasts down, there's a stream of fumey smoke from the pipe. Third thing is that it shows the car's failing the glove test due to increased blow-by and possibly increased oil evaporation from old oil. Contrary to traditional systems, there's no PCV valve in the system. It's a bit like my old BX and uses fixed orifice metering, IIRC, and the small vac connection isn't able anymore to extract all the fumes at idle. So, I suppose the solution is to keep the car from idling? 😁 I'll mull over it for a while. Initial thoughts are to add another vacuum port on the flame trap and pipe that to the vacuum tree. It's a closed system to it shouldn't be of issue... I think. Another idea is adding another port on the cam cover and piping that to the vacuum tree. I've got to figure out how to block it off when the throttle is open however.

I think I've flogged this dead horse into oblivion by this point. Merry Christmas everyone, hope you all get loads of prezzies.

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Great work and diagnostics going on here.

I don't know how similar this is to later white blocks, but on my 1999 T5 the majority of the PCV/flame trap piping was really knackered. The thin plastic goes brittle from being tied to a hot engine for 20 years.

I replaced all of mine with fuel hose, and a couple of elbows where the bends would have caused kinks. 

Again not sure how similar this is, but I had to remove the inlet manifold to see how bad it was.

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1 hour ago, juular said:

Great work and diagnostics going on here.

I don't know how similar this is to later white blocks, but on my 1999 T5 the majority of the PCV/flame trap piping was really knackered. The thin plastic goes brittle from being tied to a hot engine for 20 years.

I replaced all of mine with fuel hose, and a couple of elbows where the bends would have caused kinks. 

Again not sure how similar this is, but I had to remove the inlet manifold to see how bad it was.

Thanks man. The system on my car will be exactly the same as yours but it lacks the horrible rigid vacuum lines. As it's all nearly new I don't really want to pull apart the injector rail and intake, so I think what I might do is run another catch can system in parallel, running from the cam cover. Might be a fun little project!

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Honk Honk

I've been bodging in some new horns, because I discovered the car alarm does indeed work and I pinched its horn a few months ago. It turns out that getting a pair of front horns for an 850 is rather hard... well, if you don't want to be chopping plugs and stuff off, that is. So instead I decided to look at some newer models and found a pair from a 2003 S80 that looked like they'd work. "Good enough!" I thought, so I gave them a lick of paint-

Drilled out the broken horn still on the car (I threw the other one away months ago)-

Mmmm... crispy. I then attempted to plug the new horns in. Ah shit, they won't go.

The bloody locator pin on this car's plugs is off-centre, whereas the plugs on the new horns are central! I don't know why, but the alarm loom has both types of plug.

So, after a bit of a think, I filed the pin on the horns off and fitted them.


Some bending and twisting later and they're in. It also looks like I need to jetwash the car. They make a pleasant noise too.



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  • 2 months later...

I changed the oil in the Fiesta. Nothing too exciting really, except I discovered the sump plug needed the windy gun to get off (it uses a rubber O ring instead of a crush washer). I also caused  a mini Piper Alpha on the driveway because the distance between the oil filter and the sump plug is juuuuust a bit more than the length of my catch can. I dumped in Napa's finest 10W40 semi synthetic oil in combination with a filter of theirs and took the car our for another drive.

Date and mileage added for the next guy (me and my forgetful arse). The oil skidmark down the sump and block was from the old filter. I mopped it up before driving the car and nothing's come back, fortunately.

I also had a peek at the air filter for the car, one of these "sealed for life" piles of junk they did back in the day:

I didn't picture the insides -doh!- but the filter is definitely not original and is pretty well shoehorned in. Plus, there's a gap on one end so I can't see it filtering very well. Also, one of the screws was missing and another's stripped the threads in the plastic. I'd really like to replace the entire air box with something designed for servicing - did Ford make one for a 1.4 Duratec/Zetec that'd fit?

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  • Fumbler changed the title to Fumbler's Crocks- Boring Oil Change

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