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Old 08-09-2020, 10:58 PM   #1
IansPlatinum
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Default Any issues with using a copper washer inside crankcase?

Hard to find the answer but I'm pretty sure it's safe, wanted to double check before I put everything back together

I'm using a cut down copper washer as an O ring retainer on the oil pump tube:

Any reason not to proceed?

Looks like some crank bearings contain copper as an alloy, but I can't think of anything inside any crankcase made of pure copper.

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Old 08-10-2020, 03:41 AM   #2
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The question isn't:
Does copper dissolve in oil and float around the engine destroying everything in its path?

The question is:
Why do you need another "retainer" besides the flange built into the pipe?
Is it not tight enough?
Does the pipe fall out of the block or pump?
Are you using the wrong square-cut seals and trying to compensate?


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Old 08-10-2020, 04:41 AM   #3
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I mean...other than it likely leaking worse with just a copper washer resting against the bubble on the pipe.

Suppose you could braise something to the pipe if you really wanted to that filled out the space a bit more/was ‘flat’ to support the sharp edged seal.

Without losing your mind making the fancier “oil pump max effect” pipe, the bigger questions often are; does the pipe fit/stay retained and is the seal life-span Acceptable?

it’s mostly an ~20+year thing, dropping the pan with the engine in the car isn’t pleasant, but I have it down to 4-5 hours/leave the coolant/hoses and all that in it.
Won’t the rest of the engine & oil pump probably be all worn out by then?

Although 88+ maybe better seals, idk don’t have to change them that often on those.

Failing that, short of some kind of banjo or flare and eliminating hooptie rubber seals all together, not sure what the easy or best fix is there.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
The question isn't:
Does copper dissolve in oil and float around the engine destroying everything in its path?

The question is:
Why do you need another "retainer" besides the flange built into the pipe?
Is it not tight enough?
Does the pipe fall out of the block or pump?
Are you using the wrong square-cut seals and trying to compensate?


I know copper doesn't dissolve, but wasn't sure if it was prone to degradation from certain engine oil detergents

The pipe flange is round and smaller diameter than the block & seal

People have reported the seals being squeezed past the flange & block hole

I am using the square cut genuine volvo orange seals, same as what came out of the car
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:39 AM   #5
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Since making this post, I found an aluminum washer (aw70/71 drain plug washer) that fits the bill. 17mm OD, just needs to be bored out to 13mm ID.

The copper one I made varied from 16.8-17.3mm OD but still fit on in the block hole.

Pipe flange is 16.3mm OD

O ring on pipe OD is 17.7mm, probably compresses to 17.5mm







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Old 08-10-2020, 11:45 AM   #6
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:47 PM   #7
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There's an entry on VOC about building up JB Weld around the flange, but if it were me I would lose sleep over the possibility of a chunk breaking off and ending up somewhere it shouldn't be.

The only problem I've seen with copper on ferrous metals is accelerated galvanic corrosion. That probably wouldn't be a problem in an oil soaked environment, but you're a bit better off with aluminum. At least on paper, your solution sounds really good.
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Old 08-10-2020, 03:49 PM   #8
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Wouldn't it make sense to use a similar steel to the tube and silver-solder it to seal it, if anything?

Understand the desire to add the washer/reasoning.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
I know copper doesn't dissolve, but wasn't sure if it was prone to degradation from certain engine oil detergents

The pipe flange is round and smaller diameter than the block & seal

People have reported the seals being squeezed past the flange & block hole

I am using the square cut genuine volvo orange seals, same as what came out of the car
That literally never happens if the tube is installed correctly. I have never had that pipe leak when it is properly installed on the 100+ turbo cars I've owned. You can not install the turbo with the return line attached and expect it to seal properly. That's how the 0-ring gets cut, or, ends up pushing past the step in the pipe. Just install the pipe after the turbo is installed and use a mechanics mirror to see that you have the o-ring properly seated before connecting the pipe to the turbo. You will see a thing ring of red between the step on the tube and the block tube bore. Don't use any sealant. Use oil to lubricate the o-ring as it slides into the bore. Start with the o-ring near the end of the tube. This is no different than installing a redblock water pump.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:13 PM   #10
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^Agreed.
It's more installer error & lifespan is ~20+ years correctly installed.

It's not fun to do that job/pull the x-member down with the glowing oil lamp at idle (see cleanflametrap.com) & inspect the crank/rod bearings even if it didn't knock, but can be done quickly after the first 100 or so.

I've never had to re-do that job 100s later, although I have had a pipe that didn't fit as well as another & swapped it out with another one I had .

I always laughed seeing the brickboard thing with the JB weld.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:20 PM   #11
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Ummm...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IansPlatinum View Post
an O ring retainer on the oil pump tube
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
... turbo ... return line ... install the pipe after the turbo ... before connecting the pipe to the turbo.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kjets On a Plane View Post
^Agreed.
It's more installer error & lifespan is ~20+ years correctly installed.

It's not fun to do that job/pull the x-member down with the glowing oil lamp at idle (see cleanflametrap.com) & inspect the crank/rod bearings even if it didn't knock, but can be done quickly after the first 100 or so.

I've never had to re-do that job 100s later, although I have had a pipe that didn't fit as well as another & swapped it out with another one I had .

I always laughed seeing the brickboard thing with the JB weld.
The only installs I have seen leak were the cars I bought that the PO thought he had a better idea. A couple of them were previously TB owned. One was silicon RTV'd to the block bore. It leaked like a sieve.
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:44 PM   #13
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'previously TB owned'
with rare exception
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Old 08-10-2020, 04:55 PM   #14
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If we're switching to discussing the turbo oil return line, I have some words about that. It's not the block side seal that's the problem. That always goes perfectly. It's lining up the gasket and bolts at the turbo side. I hate that part so much.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:26 PM   #15
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If we're switching to discussing the turbo oil return line, I have some words about that. It's not the block side seal that's the problem. That always goes perfectly. It's lining up the gasket and bolts at the turbo side. I hate that part so much.
Lithium gluey grease is your friend, cleaning both flanges carefully.
No more wicking oil, easy to take apart in the future.
You can buy the sticky lithium greases for big $ at Wurth, if you have an account.
That said, I'm cheap and just use white lithium and stick it to the pipe carefully/keep it in place/use a magnetic flashlight shining upward at the bottom of the turbo.
Always a laugh going for a test drive and forgetting you left the magnet light stuck to the bottom of the car...at least you did the repair/treated the car/customer properly.

Always though if the customer hands you your flashlight back with a dead battery a few days later.
Not that I'd know anything about that...only takes once...

They don't make that gasket with metal in it with tabs that fold downward to keep it on the flange on the pipe located perfectly...because Volvo half-ass ****box that requires regular attention/fiddly adjustment .
It's euro-trash, not mid-90s awesome quality control/easily serviced japanese, what can I say?
Just be glad it isn't brit-ish (emphasis on the ish).
Though early 1800 are british POS.
& Volvos are sort of 1/3 spiritually/conceived/execution British.
1/3 american/simple copy, but scaled down to swedish roads/salt longevity, fuel econ, safety/efficient use of space standards, 1/3 germanic (they do have a mass production plan/Bosch/VDO FI/other parts, 1/3 british improvisation/clumsy govt war-leftover domestic production direct subsidy.
Interesting blend/mutt.

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Old 08-10-2020, 05:39 PM   #16
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Good idea with the lithium grease. Other than annoyances like that tube, I'm not so sure about 90s Japanese cars being easier. Just think about replacing a Nissan KA cylinder head compared to a redblock head. At least we don't have to pull ALL of the covers.
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Old 08-10-2020, 05:44 PM   #17
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That literally never happens if the tube is installed correctly.
Not really sure what the statistics are on it. But I've read multiple accounts of it and seen pictures.

And my logic on trying to fix it is:
1. low risk & low cost implementation

2. bad oil tube design imo, see point 3

3. later engine designs from volvo have a fastener on this tube. on the redblock, the oil pump bore is solely responsible for keeping the tube to block junction positively engaged.

4. Volvo has a history of changing suppliers or changing formulations on replacement parts. For a part that has not been standard issue on a car in 25 years, the only evidence that I have that this new oil tube seal is exactly the same as the original is the color. That's not very reassuring evidence. Half of volvo's rubber replacement parts lineup is trash, reportedly. But visually identical. Sure, we probably would have heard something if these new seals are trash, but I also don't want to be the first guy to find out. What if it happens in 100k miles? 50k? 30k? I don't think the average bricker is putting a ton of annual miles on their car.

5. the rounded shoulder pickup tube collar encourages circular deformation on the lower seal surface, as evidenced by the old ones I took out. Probably not a big deal, but this is a critical pipe and critical seal.



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Old 08-10-2020, 05:45 PM   #18
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^Nissans are usually the exception, I hate them passionately.

Timing chain on V6 or KA altima, or trans on the hardbody pickup with the welded-in x-member.

Basic model Hondas and Toyotas are pretty painless, usually, but there are always exceptions.

Volvos are more british/using wrenches/open ended cave man tools.
Japanese there'll be a socket pass-thru so the robots on the assy line can assemble it quickly with perfect torque & future service can be done with something that isn't a cave man tool.

At least it isn't British...open ended wrenches 1-flat at a time or whit-worth sizes!
Cave man idiocy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~

That tube is definitely a cost-saving-compromise:
It's real cheap/easy to make with that little crinkle/bubble in it in one quick shot on a machine that pumps them out.
I get it, the pipe could be a better design, but I can tell you, in practice, I've changed tons of those things and seen the same car over a decade and didn't get any call-backs.

I will say the rubber failed sooner on the early-mid-80s cars it seems like if anything, and they also had the short gear oil pumps and those early B230s were thrown together garbage with some early tolerance/cost savings/quality control issues it seems.
So much for military subsidy Bofors (makers of the gun/heavy infantry goods) forged cranks/tight tolerances being passed onto us automobile owning peasants 1983 B23 & earlier!

Doubt they had warranty claims/class action suits from that tube on the SOHC volvos (tho Federal mandate/lemon laws were less strict those years).

Doubt they failed within 10 years of even the lengthiest extended warranties offered by the company or implied/enforceable in court by the feds/customers/buyers. Internal TSBs/'campaigns' to brush over the issue it's hard to say, but the cars were all ~15-20+ years old when that was often an issue.

Gray area for court of public opinion/reputation, but IDK, if you've got a 20 year old/200k+ car and the oil light glows at idle or loses oil pressure at a bad moment and throws a rod, at some point it's sort of hard to blame the parent company in good faith, at least compared to other car manufacturers...if it were a giant nuclear reactor leak, maybe we'd think differently, regardless of any laws.

Also depends on your own expectations;
if the car didn't hurt you too bad/strand you at extremely inopportune times/or constantly break when it had a reputation for reliability, you're less likely to be disappointed. Lots of variables there.

Although, 86-87 were the two highest production years of 240 and 83-87 was kinda middle of the 240 run and the mass of examples you saw everywhere in those years that shops commonly repair them, so you're likely to do more transfer tube seals just because there were more cars of about that age likely to need them of those years as much as anything/hard to scientifically isolate.

Tough one too, as that pipe probably should have *some* compliance on those stupid seals/isolate vibration so as not to crack that thin cast aluminum housing on the oil pump there going from the rigid iron vibrating 4-cylinder to the pump.
Also, look at the pivot line/giant lever arm that is the oil pump mounted with 2-weenie little bolts on the small (hollow!) foot of the cast aluminum oil pump with minimal ribbing/dubious casting & material quality too.
Remind you of those weenie aluminum accessory brackets/bushings on the OUTSIDE of the motor?

IDK if adding a flange to the pipe close to the diameter of the inlets/outlets of the pump/block is wise/prudent (decreasing vibration isolation/some compliance in the pipe to move in multiple directions with variable intensity/amplitude/velocity/cycling frequency and still seal), hate to say it.

I've pondered how to improve that weak spot there, and no solution looks totally easy/good without custom 1-off stuff/great expense.
It's definitely plenty unpleasant to change those 20+ years out, though.
But if you install it correctly, you shouldn't get a call back and it should be good for ~20 years/200K at a time, there are worse things?
There are places that sell high quality / temp seals.
So far so good still with those at volvo/they look the same as my last revision NOS set (hi-temp certain durometer no-doubt) in a bag from ~15 years ago pre-ford/geely/240s/redblocks weren't far out of production (up to 1998 in euro 940s, up to 2000/pre ford in boats).
Typical volvo it's probably some weird/difficult to find proprietary metric size/profile.

Much like you perhaps, I stare at that thing, the monsters of OCD/fear of failure grow in my head, and want it to stay put forever/perfectly engineering constrained in no uncertain terms with no metal fatigue/fracture in the heating-cooling cycles/variable vibration, no wriggling/possible catastrophic domino-effect failure easily possible, but looking at the surrounding block/oil pump design, it doesn't look cheap/easy; everything looks somewhat compromised, but it lasts the warranty/works in 'concert' more or less as they designed/built it, in their block-headed ham-fisted volvo redblock way.

Would you rather fix a cracked/scattered oil pump or a couple bucks of o-rings and hopefully your oil pressure gauge just reads a little low, but crank/bearings are fine and you catch it in time?



IDK if I'd tout whiteblocks & oil supply
Horrible oil pan where the oil sloshes side-side.
Sludges up easy if you don't change the oil/use cheap oil/blocks the pickup.
Pan is a cold spot on an alloy motor that should have nice even temps/no cold spots somehow .
Pickup pipe o-ring isn't fully retained/sucks inward (I glue them with an oil resistant non-hardening minimal amount retaining compoind) if the oil is too heavy/winter or pickup is obstructed at all...or just phase of the moon.
Lifters tick/fail, rod bearings get wiped, oxygen in the oil supply/diminished oil supply. No bueno.
Pretty common.

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Old 08-10-2020, 05:57 PM   #19
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\
IDK if I'd tout whiteblocks & oil supply
sure, but focusing purely on the pickup tube, it provides a better tube retention method.

maybe it's not a strong reason, but it seems to me that a swedish engineer said "this could be better" and implemented a better execution of the oil tube on the whiteblock

The o-rings still crack after 200k on the whiteblock, but I think that's more likely due to hotter oil b/c turbo
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:05 PM   #20
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Not really sure what the statistics are on it. But I've read multiple accounts of it and seen pictures.

And my logic on trying to fix it is:
1. low risk & low cost implementation

2. bad oil tube design imo, see point 3

3. later engine designs from volvo have a fastener on this tube. on the redblock, the oil pump bore is solely responsible for keeping the tube to block junction positively engaged.

4. Volvo has a history of changing suppliers or changing formulations on replacement parts. For a part that has not been standard issue on a car in 25 years, the only evidence that I have that this new oil tube seal is exactly the same as the original is the color. That's not very reassuring evidence. Half of volvo's rubber replacement parts lineup is trash, reportedly. But visually identical. Sure, we probably would have heard something if these new seals are trash, but I also don't want to be the first guy to find out. What if it happens in 100k miles? 50k? 30k? I don't think the average bricker is putting a ton of annual miles on their car.

5. the rounded shoulder pickup tube collar encourages circular deformation on the lower seal surface, as evidenced by the old ones I took out. Probably not a big deal, but this is a critical pipe and critical seal.


It makes me wonder if thatís an original installation in that picture or if somebodyís been in there and installed that O-ring incorrectly. Iíve never seen that problem with oil pick up tube either. Iíve had more of these cars than you can count. Not one of them had a low oil pressure problem that was related to that seal. Maybe, Iíve just been incredibly lucky.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:19 PM   #21
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It makes me wonder if that’s an original installation in that picture or if somebody’s been in there and installed that O-ring incorrectly. I’ve never seen that problem with oil pick up tube either. I’ve had more of these cars than you can count. Not one of them had a low oil pressure problem that was related to that seal. Maybe, I’ve just been incredibly lucky.
How would someone install it incorrectly? Even then, the mode of failure seems to indicate a weakness in the design.

An enlarging pump bore due to creep as a resultant of oil pressure forces accelerated by heat could allow the pickup tube to slowly move downwards from the block. Since the block bore seems to have a slight taper to it, there becomes a point that the oil pressure can manipulate the seal past the collar.

Also, Volvo could change the formulation or supplier on that seal any day. I believe you that the seals were non-issues in the past, but we'd never know it (until installation) when the parts become problematic because volvo dicked around trying to save a few dollars on some parts for ancient forgotten cars.

Just look at the 240 front spring seats now.

There's always a comfort level one has to assign with statistics.

They recall vehicles nowadays for issues that are merely possible to happen, and maybe have not even happened in any recorded fashion.

The gap between oil tube collar and block bore is big enough that it worries me, and I'm a worrier.

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Old 08-10-2020, 06:34 PM   #22
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Lol. I keep asking that question all the time. Almost every car that I buy that someone else has worked on. As long as you don’t over compress the O-ring you’re putting in front of that washer, I don’t see how what you’re doing is going to cause you a problem.
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Old 08-10-2020, 06:41 PM   #23
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Lol. I keep asking that question all the time. Almost every car that I buy that someone else has worked on. As long as you don’t over compress the O-ring you’re putting in front of that washer, I don’t see how what you’re doing is going to cause you a problem.
+1.
These cars are all real old, often owned by picky PITA skin-flint cheap-skates with low quality/nonexistant OE & repop parts that the average even honest/good faith mechanic wants nothing to do with .

25-30+ years is a lot of time for there to be deviations from factory built and factory trained white glove tech maintained/owned/cared for and jimbo-elroy to kludge/hack on the cars.
Or just neglect/the cars aren't worth a lot/resale on them isn't as strong as it used to be in the amazon/early 140 days.
Lot can happen in that time.
Just because someone posts a picture of a pinched/blown out o-ring absent any context doesn't mean it's common or not installer error or they're qualified to know why it happened/investigated/conducted a relevant & repeatable test?

Unless you're going to entirely re-make/engineer/build the oil pump along with the pipe that mounts more securely as well, I don't see an easy fix for that stupid thing.
Sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees.

The people that like these cars drive them.
It's not a porsche 1972-1973 911S/2.7RS / 930 / similar in some rich (or strongly enthusiastic) guys garage maintained well, driven & worth a fortune with high quality parts available.

(Ger?)-manic worrier you are?
Condolences...

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Old 08-10-2020, 07:00 PM   #24
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Just because someone posts a picture of a pinched/blown out o-ring absent any context doesn't mean it's common or not installer error or they're qualified to know why it happened/investigated/conducted a repeatable test?
...ok, but even your own comments from 2017 indicate you agree these pipes are designed like crap:

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One problem I've noticed is that all pipes fit a little different...tooling drift?
Can't be worse than being held in place by two rubber o-rings with a skinny pipe.
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It was always a head scratcher for me why if they went to all the trouble to neatly chamfer and bore those holes in pump/block they couldn't be bothered to stick some kind of metal-metal brake line style connection on that stupid transfer pipe instead of those miserable hooptie o-rings.
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This is one little niggling problem area of a basically good simple SOHC red engine that always bothered me; 1 small kinked pipe floating around on two flimsy square edged o-rings
All I'm doing is widening the collar 0.7mm and increasing the effective length of the tube by 1mm to account for any creep in the (aluminum!) pump tube bore. Because that's the only thing holding this thing on. I'm kinda in a rush so don't really have time to wait for a max effort oil tube to arrive in the mail. Maybe I'll get one to keep on the shelf for a number of years.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:04 PM   #25
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Agreed, I've wondered the same thing in 2017 and years before aloud, like I said, I think the guys and volvo wanted the pipe to have some compliance and also made the pipe as an engineering compromise for cost/complexity.

Sure, you can add your flanged thing, but then you're constraining the dampening/ability for the pipe to move as the dubious quality cast aluminum pump vibrates/expands/contracts at a different rate from the iron block/putting additional pressure on the mounting foot of the pump.

Make sense?

B20 pumps shatter as it is without the reinforcing ring where the driveshaft goes thru/escapes.
At least the B20 pump is a little shorter/fatter/on a shorter lever arm & gears are nearer the bottom of the sump before they had to tilt the motor to fit it in the bay nicely & sump keeps the oil next to the pump/doesn't slosh at all in those really from the factory (& certainly not on original 60s-70s era 165 or 185 tires )
Another SOHC revision/adaptation evolutionary engineering compromise.
They revised the sump & pump 1979+ with the bulge in the side of the later sump.
& revised the pump again ~1989, which have mostly been fine, and seals a little around that time as well.
Although redblock quality control in the last couple years in some ways seems less good/old tooling (still pretty durable)?

Just don't think there's an easy way to solve the problem, but very much share your concern relying on two odd-profile weenie little seals to do the / such a critical job.

The taper is likely to allow the pipe to swing around/move and for ease of manufacturing & install.

I wish I had a better answer than "so far it works for 20ish years."
But I also can get that spec updated/decent quality seal as my 15 year old updated volvo seals in a bag locally easily enough with a $10 minimum order...so far...maybe not for long.
Though there have to be other durable heat/oil critical applications in the world for such a size/durometer of seal somewhere...we hope...

What's the rush?
What's the plan?
Why'd the car come apart in the first place?

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