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  #1  
Old 09-12-2023, 04:57 PM
igor9212 igor9212 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2023
Location: Rochester NY
Vehicle: 1984 Volvo 760 TD
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Default Should I save this 1984 Volvo 760 which has been sitting since 1997?

I bought a 1984 volvo 760 gle for $650 (Upstate NY)
Last registration on windshield 1997. I am not too mechanically inclined. Sure I can change brakes, oil, basic things, and even that Iím cursing the whole way through.
From previous owner, car spent since 1998 in his garage, out of the elements. Now he has too many projects to keep this one. Frame looks good. Car needs timing done, rear wheels rusted on.
I have never restored a car so Iím sure there are 10 other things that need to be done for sitting so long.

My question is for it sitting so long, and the scarcity of this vehicle, are parts hard to get? Is it even worth it?

Someone said if the timing way way off the valves could be bent and the engine is a goner and to not waste my time with something that has been dead for so long we tried turning the engine. Surprisingly the starter was turning, but engine wasnít turning. Iím no expert. I just donít want to dump money into this is I wonít be able to enjoy driving it. Realistically how much would I need to dump in parts to restore a car thatís been sitting 25 years?
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2023, 05:42 AM
Goteborg Vapenfabrik Goteborg Vapenfabrik is offline
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Location: Oglethorpe's Colony
Vehicle: 1985 740 Wagon
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Stored inside since 1998 for $650 is a excellent deal for someone who has experience with these engines, unfortunately seldom do sales like this one turn up near experienced owners. If the starter is turning, but the crankshaft pulley on the front of the engine is not turning, there is a problem with the starter solenoid or gear teeth are missing from the flexplate or flywheel. This would be a far better problem to have than attempting to start an engine with a timing belt that is at least 25 years old, broken timing belts on these engines bend valves.
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Old 09-13-2023, 11:55 AM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Depends on your desire and aspirations.

This may not be a good fit for you ("I am not too mechanically inclined.") as it requires at the least more than a minimum of technical mechanical know-how and facility. Do you have a good place to work on it? Tool set? Time?

"Sure I can change brakes, oil, basic things, and even that Iím cursing the whole way through." That threw a red flag for me. There will be frustrations and stumbles. Why put yourself through the agony from the get-go?

Some parts are in fact getting hard to source (head gasket, thermostatic waxstat, etc.)

You could do an easy test to see if the engine might be intact inside. Put a 27mm socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt and with a long ratchet or breaker bar rotate it a few rotations, feeling for valve-piston interferences.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2023, 11:55 AM
BogfordGarage BogfordGarage is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Devon, UK
Vehicle: 1990 Volvo 940 TD & 1989 Volvo 760 TD
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As Ngoma quite rightfully pointed out it really does depend on your aspirations.
I got a deal similar to this last year here in the UK, a garage stored car since the late 90's 760 Turbo Diesel. Although I had a bit of welding to do on the sills it was a great little project that I got up and running in no time. these really are fantastic cars and I'd hate to see another go to the scrapper if you don't want to put the time into get her going again.
Ngoma is also right in the fact that these cars require a fair bit of mechanical skill, understanding of the components and the special tools required. Once you get used to that I find them a joy to work with.
On the flip side if you don't feel your up to the challenge there is a large number of American members on this forum, so selling it on here to someone who would want to take it on might be a good idea.

Hope this helps
Tristan
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  #5  
Old 09-15-2023, 05:30 AM
Goteborg Vapenfabrik Goteborg Vapenfabrik is offline
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I have a 2004 Honda Shadow with very low total mileage, maintenance is very straightforward, set up for long trips, would be willing to trade for your car, Iím in Georgia, near the main thoroughfares from the Northeast to Florida. Please send me a private message if you are interested. Thanks.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2023, 05:06 PM
igor9212 igor9212 is offline
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Vehicle: 1984 Volvo 760 TD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goteborg Vapenfabrik View Post
If the starter is turning, but the crankshaft pulley on the front of the engine is not turning, there is a problem with the starter solenoid or gear teeth are missing from the flexplate or flywheel.
The starter is engaging and the cooler fan is trying to turn a little with each attempt.
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2023, 05:10 PM
igor9212 igor9212 is offline
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Vehicle: 1984 Volvo 760 TD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngoma View Post
You could do an easy test to see if the engine might be intact inside. Put a 27mm socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt and with a long ratchet or breaker bar rotate it a few rotations, feeling for valve-piston interferences.
My buddy thinks potentially the cylinders are rusted. This is what he wrote this to me..
"Look up what the people are recommending to use as compound to try to unfreeze the rusted cylinder. I believe I heard some mixture of kerosene and something else is a good method. You basically poor it into cylinder through glow plug hole and let it sit a little and try to move the crankshaft back and forth a little to make sure the liquid makes it way deeper into the piston rings. If you are lucky you will unstuck it and will be able to turn the engine freely. But probably the best way to approach the situation is to get the glow plugs out and check the front belt timing marks. If the marks are ok then great. I would get a cheap borescope to look inside the cylinders and you will understand better what is going on there. You can rent it from autozone or advance I think even. But my guess is rust. "

What do you think about this statement?

I guess I'm excited about the journey, but dont mind paying someone else to do the repair work. Kind of admire from afar, and be able to enjoy it once its running.


The previous owner ( who had it sit in the shop) states he changed headgasket, fixed the timing, but it was running too rough, because he didnt have the correct tool to get the timing set up.

Last edited by igor9212; 09-19-2023 at 05:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2023, 10:11 PM
v8volvo v8volvo is offline
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Vehicle: '86 745, '83 764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor9212 View Post
I guess I'm excited about the journey, but dont mind paying someone else to do the repair work. Kind of admire from afar, and be able to enjoy it once its running.


The previous owner ( who had it sit in the shop) states he changed headgasket, fixed the timing, but it was running too rough, because he didnt have the correct tool to get the timing set up.
That story of not having the tools/know-how to do the final timing steps is a classic "end of the road" for a diesel Volvo.

Odds are good that person also didn't have the tool to correctly torque the big bolt at the front of the crankshaft, which is the other common end of the road when that bolt loosens up and the engine comes out of time and destroys virtually every moving part inside it.

Both outcomes of course very easily avoidable simply by doing the work correctly. Nothing about the correct process is difficult at all, and as Bogford above noted it can be highly satisfying for someone who understands what they are doing and has the right equipment. BUT many folks believe they know better or will attempt time-tested shortcuts that worked out well on other engines, and try to get away without following procedure. That always leads to tragedy and disaster.

All of this is a cautionary tale regarding your idea about finding a shop to do the work. That could be a good path IF you could find the kind of shop capable of it. It would have to either have an employee who knows these rare (and nowadays even rarer) engines very well, or is smart, humble, patient, curious/interested, not pressed for time to complete the job, and willing to learn from non-professionals such as those on this forum and/or carefully study the manual so as to climb the considerable learning curve. Preferably this person would be someone who has deep knowledge of VW diesel engines such as TDI. It WILL NOT help much if they know big diesels well (such as diesel trucks) so a typical "diesel shop" is probably to be avoided. Techniques that work well on say, for example, a Ford Powerstroke pickup are not good for working on this Audi-based diesel in the Volvo. Different principles and philosophies.

And of course that shop or person would also have to have ALL of the correct special engine tools or be able to acquire/borrow them.

If any of the above were not the case, all that would happen taking it to a shop is you'd spend a load of money ... perhaps rebuild the engine if it's indeed seizing on the pistons ... and ultimately end up exactly in the same place as the last fellow who reached a point where he could go no further and failed to reach successful completion due to the timing process.

None of this is meant to discourage you from saving the car -- quite the opposite. It's just a warning that "saving" it will first require careful effort to ensure the car lands in the correct kind of hands, either someone who can do the work properly for you, or a different owner who can take it on themselves. The car looks great and absolutely it should be revived one way or another. But an ill informed attempt to save it will result in failure and waste of your time and money.

Are you familiar with Tom Bryant in Maine? He is one of only a handful of folks in the country who you could hire to successfully do this for you ... and he's not far from you!

Or, if it seems like more of an undertaking than can be done with the resources that are available to you ...... the best thing would be to find it a caring home with an enthusiast who can work on it for fun and has the knowledge to do it. Starting with Goteborg who inquired in a post above.
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  #9  
Old 09-19-2023, 10:25 PM
v8volvo v8volvo is offline
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As for the engine that does not want to turn -- your buddy's advice is probably not going to get you very far. Yes some kind of lubricant might help free the pistons if they are in fact seized in rusted cylinder bores......... but if that is the case, getting it freed up to turn is not going to change much about the overall situation the engine is in, as the bores will be pitted by rust, rings damaged, and it will need a full teardown and overhaul to run. Further damage could occur to those parts from an attempt to get them moving around. So you don't gain a lot from the (significant) work of disassembling the fuel or glow system and could have something to lose. In either event it almost surely would not lead to a healthy running engine without major additional work, assuming your supposition about rusted cylinders is true.

And in the unlikely case that the engine did start after that treatment (remember you have 25 year old fuel in the fuel system too), that might be a bad outcome given the ancient timing belt. And furthermore still, you have information telling you that the timing was off when it last ran, so it's not gonna run any better now!

Did you try ngoma's suggestion of rotating the engine by hand with a ratchet? That is a safer way to try it than using the starter and will give you more of a "feel" for what is going on. Using the key and starter is not a good idea given all the unknowns you are dealing with -- could cause new problems. The best way to get this engine running will be by using great care and some patience. Quick and dirty methods could end up digging a deeper hole in terms of eventual reconditioning.

Sorry if our advice here doesn't sound as easy as some other advice you might have heard -- but we want to help give options that will have a real chance of success both for you and the car, which some other approaches would not.

Whatever path you go down, we welcome you to the group! Glad you found us here.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2023, 10:01 AM
ngoma ngoma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor9212 View Post
My buddy thinks potentially the cylinders are rusted. This is what he wrote this to me..
"Look up what the people are recommending to use as compound to try to unfreeze the rusted cylinder. I believe I heard some mixture of kerosene and something else is a good method. You basically poor it into cylinder through glow plug hole and let it sit a little and try to move the crankshaft back and forth a little to make sure the liquid makes it way deeper into the piston rings. If you are lucky you will unstuck it and will be able to turn the engine freely. But probably the best way to approach the situation is to get the glow plugs out and check the front belt timing marks. If the marks are ok then great. I would get a cheap borescope to look inside the cylinders and you will understand better what is going on there. You can rent it from autozone or advance I think even. But my guess is rust. "

What do you think about this statement?
What do I think about this statement? Your buddy might be a good mechanic but his statement shows he does not know much about the important particulars of this engine: "...the best way to approach the situation is to get the glow plugs out and check the front belt timing marks. If the marks are ok then great."
Except-- there are no front belt timing marks.

That is why I patiently took the time to recommend a simple first step you could perform to help identify what might be going on with the engine internals. Do you have a reason why you do not want to do that?

Here it is again: You could do an easy test to see if the engine might be intact inside. Put a 27mm socket on the crankshaft pulley bolt and with a long ratchet or breaker bar rotate it a few rotations, feeling for valve-piston interferences.

Do that and report back the results.
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