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Old 06-15-2012, 02:41 AM   #1
TheVulvinator
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Default '93 b230f ran too low on oil....questions

My brother has a 1993 240 auto w/ b230f and unknowlingly ran the car with too low of oil, and the car shut off on him while he was driving. He said there were a couple loud clunking noices right before it happened. When i arrived to help, there were no fluids leaking and all other part were intact and fine. I had him start the car for me, and the car started and stayed running for about few seconds, but there were serious loud knocking noises going on. After it shut off, i checked the dipstick and there was no oil on it. I am no expert but pretty volvo savvy, and I believe he ran the car way too low on oil.

My main question is, what most likely happened internally? I know that piston rings can fail, or rods and cam stuff can break, but I want to know what usually happens in a b230 motor. I am just trying to decide how I can best help him fix the car and get it running. I am assuming he would need a new engine. I know i can go to the junkyard for a motor, but its an obvious gamble since the cars are there because they don't "run". I can and most likely will post up a wanted ad for a new motor, but I dont know if it is only the bottom end that's messed up, or if i need both top and bottom end. I can do the labor myself to save him the trouble from paying someone, that the only reason I would consider him having a new(used) motor put in. Or hey, maybe by some chance of luck it is something where he would not need a motor, and i would just have to replace a few parts(yea right).

Any help and insight is appreciated because I have never ran an engine too low on oil to know exactely what the internals effects are. Just want to come up with the best and smartest option. Thanks!

Edit: i just thought maybe i should "drain" the oil tomrrow to see if anything comes out.
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Last edited by TheVulvinator; 06-15-2012 at 02:44 AM.. Reason: thought
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:06 AM   #2
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Did you try adding oil? You could have spun the bearings, but maybe still not. I did this to my dad's 745 10 years ago. Added oil and it ran just fine up until my dad got rid of the car about a month ago.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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Yea, after he tried starting it for me, i went to the store and bought some oil. I added about 2.5 quarts, waited a few minutes for it to work its way down. Started to car back up and it was doing the same thing.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:51 AM   #4
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Yea, after he tried starting it for me, i went to the store and bought some oil. I added about 2.5 quarts, waited a few minutes for it to work its way down. Started to car back up and it was doing the same thing.
Buttered toast.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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Just as a last ditch effort you could try adding some thicker oil (15w40 or something) and maybe some lucas. It probably won't quiet it down, as it sounds pretty beat. Worth a shot though.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:57 AM   #6
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you can screw up any engine with no oil including a Volvo B230. No excuses for that! No tricks are going to work when bearing are toast.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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Your best move at this point is a junkyard motor.

$350 - $450, an engine hoist, and a long weekend day.
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:42 AM   #8
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Kick Brother in the ribs for being an idiot. This is one of two ways to kill that engine. The other being to run it sans coolant for too many hours.

It happened.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Make Brother pay for being an idiot. This is one of two ways to kill that engine. The other being to run it sans coolant for too many hours.

It happened.
Fixed.
$200/a day for your time.

and a JY engine from Chula Vista.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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yea, he was kickin himself so I'll save him anymore pain. I am definitily making him pay tho, any other job I'll do for almost free, but not this on, ha.

Are there any good indiciators or things I can look for in a Junkyard engine to hope that the thing works? Can i use any b230 motor out of the 86-93 240's, or should it be the same year of 1993? And do I need any other components with the engine, like the ECU or anything? I know all other engine bay parts can be re-used, but don't want to miss anything essential.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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Any B230F from 1985-95 will work. If you use a 740-940 B230F you will have to swap out the aux shaft for one from a 240. I would try to find a 1990-93 240 B230F in order to keep it simple and have the larger connecting rods.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #12
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yea, he was kickin himself so I'll save him anymore pain. I am definitily making him pay tho, any other job I'll do for almost free, but not this on, ha.

Are there any good indiciators or things I can look for in a Junkyard engine to hope that the thing works? Can i use any b230 motor out of the 86-93 240's, or should it be the same year of 1993? And do I need any other components with the engine, like the ECU or anything? I know all other engine bay parts can be re-used, but don't want to miss anything essential.
The little Volvo reman tag on the side of the block with the compression numbers.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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my engine hoist is over at WagonFetish (steves) house in San Marcos. Pay me and we can replace the block.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:27 PM   #14
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R.I.P. '93 Squirter.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:09 PM   #15
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just fill it full of gear oil and sell the car. lol.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:26 PM   #16
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Yea, after he tried starting it for me, i went to the store and bought some oil. I added about 2.5 quarts, waited a few minutes for it to work its way down. Started to car back up and it was doing the same thing.
something doesn't add up here, could you post a video of the noise it makes? i'm not saying it's out of the realm of possibility that you need a motor but i'm skeptical.

what if it was just low on oil and the a/c compressor or water pump is actually what's locking up and stalled the motor? i refuse to just jump on the you-need-a-motor boat (no pun intended) without some proof.

why? because swapping a motor is extra work if it's something unrelated or that could be fixed in the car.

i see it ALL too often. had a customer just the other day with an 850, came to the dealer wanting a second opinion before she paid an independent shop to replace her head gasket. when 850s aren't driven often it's common for condensation to collect in the dipstick tube and even on the bottom of the oil cap. it makes the bottom of the oil cap and the dipstick look milky, similar to coolant mixing with oil. the inexperienced mechanic automatically writes it off as a bad head gasket without even looking into the issue. the woman said before she spends $1500, she wants a second opinion, good choice.

i asked if she drove it often and she said no, i explained how the cracked breather box hose on her car was allowing moisture to collect and show residue on the dipstick and oil cap. it's not a big deal, just need to change the oil and replace the hose to reduce moisture. there's no coolant loss and the engine is barely broken in.

a second opinion from someone who knows what they are talking about saved this lady a lot of money and prevented some hack mechanic from tearing apart her 56,000 engine.

just an example of why i am always skeptical until i look at something myself.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:45 PM   #17
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^^ I got a great little 142 because of something like this. It went into the wrecking yard due to a bad knock. I happened to be there the next day dropping off a C15 Chevrolet truck frame the yard was buying from me for $100. I asked for the keys to check the 142 out. Started it up and it was knocking like crazy. I thought it probably did waste 2-3 rod bearings from the sounds of it. I took a closer look and realized the fan clutch was loose as a goose and the fan blades were hitting the shroud. The sound it made was just like severe rod knocks from running out of oil. I went back in and asked if the owner would trade the 142 for the truck frame. He said, "Sure". Score. I was there with my truck and trailer because the frame was on the trailer. 15 minutes later the 142 was on my trailer. 2 hours later the 142 was on the road. Now, I wish I had kept that car. It was in really good, rust free condition.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:42 PM   #18
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I would expect a sister to run a car low on oil, but not a brother. I hope you have educated him about what happens when a person thinks they can just get in a car and drive.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:05 PM   #19
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http://youtu.be/BiPTup0g550 .......This was a video i took with my phone the next day. As you can see and hear, when he tried to start it, it didnt even kick over, and then when he tried again it didnt start at all. I am not sure if it was because the motor or something seized, or if the battery didnt have anough power.

Like I said before, the night it happened it was starting up and running for about 5 seconds with serious knocking noises in the motor, then it would shut off on its own. It didnt sound like it was another component of the enginge making the noises, it was definitly in the motor. As 500dollar744ti stated, I do not want to jump to conclusion that the motor is bad, I just need to dedicate time to investigating it more. Any options of things to check on his car so I can rule stuff out? Like, if we were have it towed to a mechanic to have them check it out and investogate the problem, where would they start and what all would they do to figure it out?

I am going to try to take another video of it so you all can hear the noises better....hopefully the battery just didnt have enough juice to start it and the motor didnt seize up.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #20
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How about pull the oil drain plug, catch the oil in a clean pan, see what comes out. Metal pieces, grindings, you gotta problem. Just a thought. jim h
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:17 PM   #21
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How about pull the oil drain plug, catch the oil in a clean pan, see what comes out. Metal pieces, grindings, you gotta problem. Just a thought. jim h
+1 Best idea. But from your video, I'd bet that engine is a dead player
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:02 AM   #22
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So i drained the oil today and there was shaved little pieces of metal and a few chunks of a circular hard rubber or hard plastic pieces that also came out with the oil. There was about 3 to 3.5 quarts of oil that drained out, but I had added 2.5 quarts when he had dirst broke down. So there must have been only about a quart of oil in his car when it died. Here is a link to pictures:

http://photobucket.com/1993volvo

I also tried to start the car again because I wanted to get another video of the noise. I hook up the jumper cables to my car since I thought maybe the battery didnt have enough juice to kick the engine over, but once hooked up, it still wouldnt turn over.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:06 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TheVulvinator View Post
So i drained the oil today and there was shaved little pieces of metal and a few chunks of a circular hard rubber or hard plastic pieces that also came out with the oil. There was about 3 to 3.5 quarts of oil that drained out, but I had added 2.5 quarts when he had dirst broke down. So there must have been only about a quart of oil in his car when it died. Here is a link to pictures:

http://photobucket.com/1993volvo

I also tried to start the car again because I wanted to get another video of the noise. I hook up the jumper cables to my car since I thought maybe the battery didnt have enough juice to kick the engine over, but once hooked up, it still wouldnt turn over.
totally normal I see that every time I change my oil...
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:44 AM   #24
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flagellum equus mortuus

of course, you could ALWAYS prevail upon a semi tractor driver to give you
a 24Volt jump....*THAT* outta do the trick....
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:03 AM   #25
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Congratulations.
In @ 40 years of messing with Volvos. You're the 1st one I've seen kill a n/a redblock due to no oil.

Time to swap in a known good redblock now.
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