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Old 08-08-2017, 10:38 PM   #1
FezMonki
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Default 960 16v

So I'm in the market for a 960 2.0 16v turbo from 92-93, and found a couple from 800$ to 2200$ (100k miles mint condition).
An ex Volvo mechanic keeps telling me these engines are absolute trash, but I always forget to ask for details. Something about the head.
Is this a serious concern or did he just see three bad ones and decided to badmouth all of them?
Aside from doing the timing belt instantly (I have ptsd from bent valves on 16v engines on Alfa's) is there anything else that requires immediate attention to keep the thing from running happily, or at least avoid total destruction?
I read somewhere something about oil pumps being crappy, but can't recall where.

I have a redblock M90 to swap in it, and the driveshaft off a whiteblock M90 960, might this driveshaft fit without modification? I'll get the third welded, I have the M90 crossmember with support, and can someone confirm what kind of clutch kit I need, and if I'm keeping the M46 flywheel?
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:04 AM   #2
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I went through enough B204FT engines to come to think they really do wear down much faster than what we Volvoists would consider normal. I guess that answers it - it's not a bad engine per se, but it's not anywere as hard-core indestructable as your run of the mill B230F, even FT.

Apart from that, there is what you mentioned. The second you get the car, you want to do the timing belt. Then you want to get rid of the auxilliary - balance shaft - belt.


While you're in there, you want to order new, "improved design" oil pump pulley - P/N 9135112. It's about 90€ and was still available last time I bought one, couple of years ago. You want to do this. If you are in doubt, I'll post some pictures of broken ones to change your mind. Also get a 12.9 grade bolt of the correct size from a hardware store to hold it down, DO NOT reuse original bolt.


I'm not sure will whiteblock M90 driveshaft fit, but it just might. As for clutch, you can use M46 flywheel, M46 B204FT pressure plate - which is quite a bit beefier that B230F/FT pressure plate and 850 n/a clutch disc, as it's correct spline for M90 and 228mm, while T-5 one is 240mm. I guess you could machine M46 flywheel for it to fit, but I'd rather take the 850 n/a clutch to a clutch shop, as 850 discs have thinner "bite area" around the circumference. That's what I did on my M90 to B204GT swap.

Oh, and don't throw that M46 away, for some reason original B204FT ones can take A LOT more than normal M46's.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:14 AM   #3
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The oil pump bolt has been known to snap. The fix is a grade 10 bolt and proper belt tension.

And they commonly leak from the balance shafts and valve cover.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:19 AM   #4
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the 940lpt (the OEM model that came with the M90) front half of the driveshaft fits straight into the rear half of a 780 B204FT/GT driveshaft. No mods at all. (except maybe a rebalance)
Maybe the same works on a 960 with B204FT/GT ?

Last edited by Janspeed; 08-09-2017 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:05 PM   #5
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All 700/900 series driveshafts, front and rear, fit into each other, respectively. That's not an issue. It might be longer or shorter than needed, that's all.

ZVOLV, all B204FT/GT engines have automatic tensioners, none of that early B234F manual stuff. 12.9 beats "grade 10". All engines leak at Valve cover, it's just that 16v gasket is a bit more complicated to set up, and more expensive than 8v stuff, so chanches are it was not replaced. That's all. I've had new OE valve cover gasket set on my B204GT for years, no leak there. Same thing is with head halves - new o-rings and Volvo OE or "Херметик" sealant and Bob's your aunt.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:16 PM   #6
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Thanks guys

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All 700/900 series driveshafts, front and rear, fit into each other, respectively. That's not an issue. It might be longer or shorter than needed, that's all.

ZVOLV, all B204FT/GT engines have automatic tensioners, none of that early B234F manual stuff. 12.9 beats "grade 10". All engines leak at Valve cover, it's just that 16v gasket is a bit more complicated to set up, and more expensive than 8v stuff, so chanches are it was not replaced. That's all. I've had new OE valve cover gasket set on my B204GT for years, no leak there. Same thing is with head halves - new o-rings and Volvo OE or "Херметик" sealant and Bob's your aunt.
And thank you especially for all the valuable info. I just realized I forgot to get back at you about this block, sorry about that. They had already tossed it away and I forgot to let you know fml.

These things pop up now and then, I'm pretty sure I'll manage to find spare blocks for the both of us in a years span or less. It averages at 200 Euro to the JY, and then we will figure out shipping em to you (if you want more than one, if I find them).

Is it the cylinders that wear down and it loses compression? Could we bore and sleeve them perhaps? Regarding the balancing ****ers on the sides, I remember removing them and trying to figure out a way to seal them off permanently when I was trying to fit that engine to the 142. Doable?

In a perfect world I'd like to get myself a spare block as well and try and resolve these congenital issues as well as a complete do over, and drop it into the car one day. The 940 b200ft's are nice, but factory 190hp (in a country where even changing your antenna is illegal) is just too seducing for me.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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I've got 3 B204FT spares at tho moment, so I'm not in a rush either...especially as I'm thinking along the lines of turbocharging a B234F for a change. Got a couple od those as well.

Last time I checked, 2nd oversize pistons were still available at Volvo - and only there, for a mere 940€ per set. Lol. Then add the cost of block overbore to that... So I went with my set of immaculate condition original pistons - unlike blocks, they seldom have any wear marks, even at 300.000+ km's and custom block sleeves, which a neighbourhood shop specializing in that kind of work did for me for around 400€. And yes, blocks wear out big time.

Balancefuqers are easy to get rid of. You unbolt them, tap 16mm freeze plugs in oil return holes, tap intake side oil feed hole for M12 19mm hex bolt, exhaust side for M6 grub ("worm") inbus screw and you're done. Loctite those bolts, of course. I think I posted pictures of when I did it in some thread, I can dig them up again if you'd like, and there are some pics of the process in Turbosteen's "760 16v turbo" thread as well. I wouldn't attempt it with the engine still in the car, though.

On a side note... Italia, Europe's tuning motherland, and even antenna change is now ilegal? I don't want to live on this planet any more...
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
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I've got 3 B204FT spares at tho moment, so I'm not in a rush either...especially as I'm thinking along the lines of turbocharging a B234F for a change. Got a couple od those as well.

Last time I checked, 2nd oversize pistons were still available at Volvo - and only there, for a mere 940€ per set. Lol. Then add the cost of block overbore to that... So I went with my set of immaculate condition original pistons - unlike blocks, they seldom have any wear marks, even at 300.000+ km's and custom block sleeves, which a neighbourhood shop specializing in that kind of work did for me for around 400€. And yes, blocks wear out big time.

Balancefuqers are easy to get rid of. You unbolt them, tap 16mm freeze plugs in oil return holes, tap intake side oil feed hole for M12 19mm hex bolt, exhaust side for M6 grub ("worm") inbus screw and you're done. Loctite those bolts, of course. I think I posted pictures of when I did it in some thread, I can dig them up again if you'd like, and there are some pics of the process in Turbosteen's "760 16v turbo" thread as well. I wouldn't attempt it with the engine still in the car, though.

On a side note... Italia, Europe's tuning motherland, and even antenna change is now ilegal? I don't want to live on this planet any more...
Oh no, here nothing has ever been legal. People do it, but if you get into an accident you are in a **** storm.
You can chage the antenna, that was an exaggeration, but: you can't change rim size, can't change engine in theory (even with an identical one), can't change gearbox, injector type, cam, nothing. Can't bolt in seats that aren't oem, no racing steering wheels if the oem had an airbag, not even braided break lines if they don't have an ITALIAN homologation paper (which none do for volvos, only tuv which isnt work anything here). No trailer hitch that wasn't made specifically for the car (so no fabrication whatsover), that still needs a special government inspection for 1000 euro. Can't map the ecu.

Now, what they will notice or won't is of course another matter, but on paper, absolutely nothing if not repainting and the antenna is legal.

About the 960, I'll probably bother you when I get it, as I don't want to bother you now and then I end up buying something else lol. I've been eyeing 3.0 aspirated 960's in Germany, to keep plated and insured there since my girlfriend lives there anyway, but they are all ****ing auto's, and rusty (Italian cars are absolutely rust free for obvious reasons).
I'm not sure why but the 2.0 16v inspires me more than the 3.0 whiteblock, for no real reason.

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Old 08-09-2017, 06:17 PM   #9
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But sleeving a spare engine engine and keeping original pistons with probably new rings might be a longer term fix? I will probably have to put an absolute **** ton of km's on the thing.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:46 AM   #10
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T16's are inspiring engines, really. They inspire you to pull your hair all the time and curse the day you heard the "V"-word, but once you get into them, you really can't live without that. 3.0's are great, smooth cruisers, V6's are da shizz, but when you get hooked on T16's, that's it.

Sleeves are probably best bet, metallurgy there is at least as good as original block or better, and they're bored to each piston individually to ensure good fit.
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Old 09-14-2017, 08:59 AM   #11
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Can´t really agree on the theory on B204 engines being weaker or having more wear than the B230 engines. The last ones are ofcourse known for their failsafe build and overall logic structure whereas the first one has a far more complicated build especially for it´s time.

I have driven my ´91 960 B204FT for ca 150.000km (previous history unknown, imported from Italy to Estonia in 2006) and my driving style is usually very demanding on all the components involved in producing and transferring power :-)
I use this car as a daily driver and also for my business trips sometimes reaching up to 2000km per week. The take-over-acceleration is quite satisfying and it is a truly comfortable ride. Other than the new exhaust, B234 camshafts and the M90 gearbox everything is stock Had also a couple on one-mile-runs with it and the best result so far is 214km/h.

There was an unfortunate incident regarding the oilpump bolt as mentioned above during the first years and this was purely due to the lack of experience with these engines and also the infos available online wasn´t anything compared to today. The oilpump itself has no problems.
Later there has been one really big maintenance job (all the gaskets, filters, belts, etc) that developed to an everlasting faulttracing due to the unprofessional mechanic that would re-mount the oilpan wiht old gasket for oil suction pipe and didn´t even clean it. This caused the oilpump to suck in air and failing to produce sufficient pressure for the tappets resulting in heavy ticking. It took a while before the faulty suction pipe o-ring was detected.


Personally I see no reason to avoid this engine and I love it´s characteristics (especially the capabilty of producing drag till the limiter) but you have to be smart. First thing is timing-belt replacement with an 10 or 12 grade bolt on the oil pump (i´ve been using 10 grade for years now). Had no problems with the balance shafts, only observe the belt tension cause it can start whining when too tight.
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:12 AM   #12
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The balance shaft tensioners and pulleys were expensive and hard to find for me years ago, but I'm sure they could be sourced. Many times I would pull the covers just to find an oil soaked balance shaft belt stuffed in the corner of the cover.

For a hobbyist that does their own work it's a great engine. It just needs a little bit more repairs and maintenance than the B230.

I would be stoked to have a 960 with a 16vt. I had a 940 with a B234F+T:

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Old 09-14-2017, 10:22 AM   #13
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Yeah I can say from personal experience that the 16v b204ft is a blast to drive. Mine has 122k and it feels every bit more powerful and smooth.
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Old 09-14-2017, 11:36 AM   #14
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My opinion is the 16v does best at higher speeds, such as freeway driving, versus the B230F/FT. It likes high revs!
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:40 AM   #15
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My opinion is the 16v does best at higher speeds, such as freeway driving, versus the B230F/FT. It likes high revs!
I can pretty much share this opinion and for this very reason I usually take the B204FT when going on country roads and I choose the B230FT in my 945 for urban driving. The low rev response and the live rear axle make it perfect for surprising true sportsmen with their 3-liter oilburners. The 531 head and an MBC come in handy ofcourse :-)
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:33 PM   #16
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I beat a mustang GT in front of his whole crew with my 16vt at speed.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #17
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OP, you could swap in a B200F and either flycut the pistons or buy 204GT pistons if you can even find them. Use a yoshifab timing belt kit and billet gear for your timing belt solution.
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Old 09-15-2017, 01:53 PM   #18
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I beat a mustang GT in front of his whole crew with my 16vt at speed.
This... is the reason we are all here
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:17 PM   #19
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If any of you know where to get a proper ecu for an n/a 204e , let me know. Its the 559 variant
Im building up a b204e engine , and have another one on the way , so would need one.
Could do stand alone , but would rather have LH on this as a daily driver.
Have plenty of ecu's , so if anyone knows how/where to get a chip with he 559 files , let me know....
Edit : Sorry for being OT , but I guess most of the European guys afe active in this thread....
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:28 PM   #20
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If any of you know where to get a proper ecu for an n/a 204e , let me know. Its the 559 variant
Im building up a b204e engine , and have another one on the way , so would need one.
Could do stand alone , but would rather have LH on this as a daily driver.
Have plenty of ecu's , so if anyone knows how/where to get a chip with he 559 files , let me know....
Edit : Sorry for being OT , but I guess most of the European guys afe active in this thread....
Just get a 200E bottom end. No balance shafts or sketchy belt routing to deal with.
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:47 PM   #21
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Please , thats not what I asked about. Im a big boy , I just want help with LH for a non turbo b204
I have several b234 ,b200 and b204 turbo engines all ready , ok ....
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:28 AM   #22
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I might have EZK off of a B204E engine in one of my parts cars, I think LH ecu was sold years ago. Do you want me to take a look, or you're all set with EZK's?

I have B234F LH boxes, on the other hand, and I'm pretty sure they would work in a B204E, LH2.4...

@ddig: My experience with several engines is that B204FT bores with, let's say 350.000km are much more worn than equal mileage B230F and B230FT bores. They are generally less egg-shaped (pistom slap thing), but that could be due to bore size. B204FT crank seems stouter than 8v counterpart and 16v's don't seem to blow headgaskets as often.

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Old 09-16-2017, 07:59 AM   #23
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Nordmachine , please have a look
I havent even begun to check what ezk they used. The 234 ezk would almost certainly work with the 204 , only the bore is different , but you never know
The 204 e have smaller injectors , 007 amm , and the 559 ecu
I already have the amm from something else
I really dont know how the 204 will run with the 234 ecu , 016 amm. We have a couple of extra MS systems around , but tbis is my dd , so would rather use LH , at least at first
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:26 AM   #24
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What was the car running originally? LH2.2 with distributor sensor or LH2.4 with flywheel sensor?

All my 16v cars were LH2.4, with 016 AMM for 204E and 234F engines and 012 AMM for 204FT/GT engines...
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:20 AM   #25
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The current engine is built up as n/a was a 204ft. Its going into a 940 that running a b234 atm. Ive just seen on some lists that the 204e used the 007 amm and the 559 box. Im mainly goofing around , but main target is to save a bit of fuel. Anyone think the smaller injectors ( have a complete 204e on the way ) wiill behave with the 016 amm and the ecu from the b234 ?
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