My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh!
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    1. #1

      My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh!

      Hello,
      I FINALLY brought my '69 144s with 57K (original) miles to my mech to get it running figuring it was going to be a tune up, valve adjust or carb tuning at most.
      However... After getting the points and condenser set up with spark, my mechanic couldn't get it started, he pulled the valve cover and checked the valves to see if they needed adjusting, which he did, to no avail.
      He did a compression test which showed that the two middle cylinders were no good. That I would need a valve job.
      So I don't know where this leaves me. It seems a daunting task not to mention costly. My mechanic told me he would call up the machine shop he uses to get a quote. (eek!)

      What are possible scenarios as to what would cause this to happen?
      At 57K miles... This doesn't sound right. Can it be right?

      I did a search in the archived files and came across some advice in the 240 section. Titled: 'Tuning up my wagon...WOW!' towards the end of the string a couple members stated the unless the engine was really abused, there would really be NO reason for a Valve Job...
      Would this apply to a Weber carbureted B20?

      The guy I bought this car from said it was running perfectly and went to the parts store to do get the necessary tune-up supplies, etc. After a conversation with the clerk at the store who musta wanted a bigger sale,
      he proceeded to do a valvae adjustment and carb tuning at the same time with no prior experience doing either!!!
      He said it ran fine for awhile then started acting up.
      I guess I bought his headache.
      He was moving. Sweet, sweet price.
      It is a mint ride all around. Southern ride, no rust, low miles. All original with extra parts in original packaging. Grille guard and A/C.

      If, in fact this is the case... While I'm doing that, are there any upgrades, go fast goodies I can add to enhance the ride?

      ANY and ALL advice welcomed.

      Von Chops!


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    3. #2
      Senior Member
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      Re: My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh! (VONCHOPSTEIN)

      My guess is worn cylinder walls and/or rings along with bad valves and/or valve seats. Could be most of the 57k miles were run at too rich or too lean or maybe both at varying intervals.

      Rather than hit-and-miss repair consider pulling the engine and doing a full tear-down.

      From that position then decide if you want to rebuild to spec or put together a hottie B20.

      BTW, your car was originally fuel injected (or Stromberg carbs) and should not have needed a switch to a carb with such low miles.

      Lastly, be very sure that you are not getting a line of BS from anyone associated with this car. And, did you buy this car knowing it would not run?

      George Dill


    4. #3

      Re: My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh! (gdill2)

      Hi George,

      Ugh. what have I gotten myself into...

      Oh, after all the years buying project cars and hearing all the lines of BS, you'd think I would have kept away from this one. But the allure of owning this ride was too strong to resist. I took it for an hour long test drive and it was running kinda sluggish and I shoulda known betta, but I didn't.

      I thought that the fuel injection didn't come into play until '71 or '72.
      I thought that it would have been the Stromberg and it was converted to the 'less problematic' Weber.

      So you're suggesting a full tear and rebuild... A little too steep for my liking at this time. However while I have it apart... Right? An ounce or two of prevention, perhaps?

      Another thing:
      I brought this car to my longtime mechanic. I've been going to these guys for 20 years and they've never done me wrong. The three brothers who own and operate this place have over 30 vintage - specialty cars between them so they know their way around pretty much anything.
      There is a vintage Volvo mechanic closer to my home who I have no knowledge about. I spoke with him a couple times and got a good vibe but don't know him.
      Should I have brought the 144 to the Volvo specialist? Would he have found anything different?
      Or is a diagnosis of no compression dead on no matter who does it?

      Choppy


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    6. #4
      Moderator Phil Singher's Avatar
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      Re: My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh! (VONCHOPSTEIN)

      Your '69 originally had either dual Stromberg carbs, or possibly dual SU HIF carbs. The 140 series did not have fuel injection until the '71 model year, and it was an option at that time.

      Properly performed, a compression test is good at telling you there is a problem, but it doesn't tell you what's causing the problem -- it can't distinguish between a cracked valve and a holed piston, for instance. Much better is a leak down test. See if your mechanic can run one on your engine.


    7. #5
      Senior Member
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      Re: My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh! (VONCHOPSTEIN)

      Stay with the proven techs.

      Take a look at the PCV valve and oil filler cap guts. If these are clean then the compression loss is most likely not around the piston rings.

      If the compression loss is only bad valves and/or seats then that fix is very simple - new valves and valve seat inserts. If the damage is just minimal then spinning the valves may be sufficient.

      Let us assume the valve springs are OK.

      A head gasket set for the B20 is cheap just be sure the head gasket is ok for your application.

      Machine work on the head will depend on what is needed but don't do new seats until the new valves are on hand.

      Be prepared to go with new parts like water pump, thermo, hoses, etc. as this is not the time to re-use old parts.

      If you put the Weber carb back on then be sure it is properly jetted and set up or you will either burn valves (lean) or soak rings (rich).

      http://www.ipdusa.com/product....rd=17


      My go would be a set of perfect SU HS6.

      George Dill



    8. #6
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      Re: My Doc sys I need a Valve Job... Ugh! (VONCHOPSTEIN)

      There is one more thing to check, a bad cam shaft. This was a problem around that time. The cam would wear lobes due to poor heattreating. Check if the valve movement is the same on all 8!
      Then check the compression again and squirt some oil in the low cylinders and see if the compression comes up. If it doesn't it's probably a valve problem but could be a leaky head gasket.

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