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Old 02-21-2021, 02:27 PM   #1
Board Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Back in NC again...
Default Compression results 210/55/86/115 guess head gasket job didn't work

Sorry to post another thread about this, but these test results of 210/55/86/115 seem odd. They definitely point to user error on the head reinstall.

I know that I struggled with the POS Harbor Freight torque wrench to set the second torque spec (45 ft.lbs. before you turn bolts 90 degrees) - I was difficult hear/feel the "click". Plus I reused the head bolts. It was the second time bolts were used as the head has never been off the block.

Frustrating, as the whole damn rabbit hole episode was due to a snapped head stud at cylinder 2 (I think) as the inner fender bulges inward right there, limiting access for drilling.

I took the head to a machine shop where the guy was able to remove the remnant of the stud and install a new one. He also cleaned the head in his parts cleaner and removed the residual head gasket from the surface (not sure how). He didn't machine the head.

The PO was very diligent with the car, and I have a pretty thorough maintenance and repair history. Has 140K, and nothing seemed weird when I had head off the block. Valves looked okay, a bit of carbon on the pistons, no ridges in the cylinders. Engine ran great.

Now I'm paranoid about the head. Why in earth would I get 210 on cylinder 1? I get the low compression on the two middle cylinders.

Does anyone know of a good machine/head repair shop in Charlotte, NC? I am going to have to bite the bullet and tear it down again, but I want someone who knows Volvos to assess the head and valvetrain for problems. And, I'll use new head bolts and buy a better torque wrench!

Thankfully with WFH I don't have to rely on this car to get around.
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