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TOPIC: B18D Rebuild

B18D Rebuild 1 year 2 months ago #763

  • mrains
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I purchased a 1966 122S that was a local Charlotte NC car with two owners but only the first was the driver. Second owner bought to rebuild but never got past replacing camshaft and some minor carb rebuild and then gave up. The last 10 years it has been sitting under cover. Needless to say I've been going over things a bit at a time. Reworked all brakes and rear end seals. I'm on the engine now. Pulled it yesterday as compression was very poor and mixed. Lots of leaks and I am replacing all seals throughout the car so engine had to come out anyway for ease of engine seals and M40 front and back.

I've had the SU-6's rebuilt and rebushed (SU Carbs in Kansas). Believe the rebuild to be top notch.

On the B18, I believe I have the D model. My Chas number is 175200. I believe this means it's a lower compression of the two (B and D).

My initial inspection of the engine shows a new cam and gears (fiber). But I don't yet know the status of valves/seats. I pulled #2 piston (one of lower cylinder pressures ~90 psig) ....not much ridge at top of cylinder......and didn't see any major problems on wall or rings....but I haven't checked any dimensions, etc. The top rod bearing appeared 'wiped'; that is the bearing surface appeared dull but a good portion was shiny bronze. Don't know much about bearings that different metals/areas doesn't look right. The crankshaft journal was smooth, no scratches. That's as far as I've gotten.

I've found a well recommended mechanic and talked with him. He hasn't done any B18's or 20's but has worked on other, newer Volvo engines. Didn't seem too concerned about handling this engine.
I plan to take it over and let him assess needs.

Here's my questions...sorry for the saga. I do have the Volvo "Technical Bulletin" they put out for increasing performance on these B18's. Shave head (amount depending on engine model), polishing and replacing cam with 'C' type.
1) Should I be able to determine what the new cam is in the engine? (e.g., is it marked?) Prior owner that replaced lost all receipts but was sure it was not stock/higher performance.
2) Regardless, what cam out there (IPD, etc.) would be equivalent to what Volvo specified as their "C"?
3) If I do the prescribed improvements, will I still have a nice running street car? An extra 20 HP or so would be nice but I also want a smooth idling/running car; not some lumpy, vibrating mess.
4) What else will I have to do to complete this modification? Different jets in the SU-6's?

Any experience, words of wisdom appreciated. Block going to shop in a few days, but only to initially mic and clean. Thanks!
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Re: B18D Rebuild 1 year 2 months ago #764

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Welcome to the Forum, Mike.

We would enjoy some pics of your ‘66 Amazon – you got?

Below is a link with a brazzilion more links about the Volvo 122. As you cruise through the sites note that each has yet even more links to unbelievable information about Volvo’s main ride from 1956 to 1970 including engine numbers, cam designations, etc.

Concerning your B18 – once the condition of all major components has been determined share your intended direction – new rings, valve job, cam/crank bearings OR bore 30-over, new pistons, new cam, new bearings, etc. OR drop in a B20 with M41/OD.

If you plan to keep this car long term (rust?) consider going First Class with the repairs/upgrades.

Thanks.

George Dill


tinyurl.com/l2dw8t7
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Re: B18D Rebuild 1 year 2 months ago #765

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Thank you George. I was hoping to receive a response from you as I have seen your posts throughout other forums and recognize your expertise with these cars.

The more I get into this 66 Amazon the more I love the car. I'm an engineer by profession and probably a B+ mechanic but I just can't get interested in anything new today. The styling is classic, the size is just right and of course it's a Volvo.

So I intend to do a first rate restoration and make it my driving car; primarily round town but not to exclude trips of <250 miles. The car has no rust; main reason I jumped on buying it. The interior needs full redo and she needs a new paint job. Most of the mechanical I intend to do myself.

My engine person was recommended by our Volvo repair person who has his own shop and only works on Volvos. We have a 240 and V70 so we see him from time to time. He's a great mechanic and very trustworthy (seems to go hand-in-hand with Volvo folks) and recommended this machinist.

I have toyed with idea of putting a B20 in and would love to consider an M41 w/OD (but wouldn't know where to procure one plus new drive shaft, etc.). If the B18D I have turns out with block problems (which I don't expect), I could be 'convinced' to move in B20 direction. On the otherhand, I could be quite content with a modifed B18 along the lines of what went in the 123 and B18B (~110 HP?)

I'm starting to suspect that the cam that was installed in my engine may not have been timed properly. I did run the engine with the rebuilt SU's but it ran terrible and I had to have major choke all the time. Burned oil was evident in exhaust; lots of backfiring and exhaust detonation (maybe from rich mixtur). My compression readings were 125 on #1 adn 4 and about 90 on #2 and 3. After I pulled #2 piston, didn't see any evidence of major ring problems, cylinder scoring, etc; so I'm thinking it's in the valves (which were supposedly worked when cam was replaced....done with engine in car). ...either the valves themselves or timing on the cam.

Anyway, the block needs major cleaning, the oil pump screen was partially clogged; and of course I was going to replace the main seals anyhow as my goal is a tight, no leak car for a good while.

If I'm right on the engine, I guess I would have the cylinders honed? Is that the procedure for these engines. Probably install new rings, go over the bearings and then focus on the head and cam.
I'm assuming there is a measurement that can show whether the had has or has not been prior shaved?
And then if the cam type cannot be determined, I'm not opposed to buying new one; but would need to find out what matches up with Volvo Tech Bulletin and their "C" cam.

So much for now. I'll try and post some pictures, but she ain't much to look at right now. If you have any other ideas at this juncture and based on above, your thoughts are certainly welcome.

Thanks for all the links; major help.
Mike Rains
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Re: B18D Rebuild 1 year 2 months ago #766

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No rust - a home run!

Below are essential 122 links for your reading pleasure. Info on head shave thickness, cam designations, etc.

Whenever you download a pdf of interest always save a copy on your system.

Most B18 cams have a mark on one end - not so for some B20 cams and aftermarket.

Share your list of desired parts so we can find the best deal for the optimum item.

My take is to use the B18 block and head (if healthy), bore 30-over with new pistons, bearings, cam lifters, valves/seats, etc.

Expensive? Yup, but down the road you won't be breaking into the engine for repair.

If instead you choose to hone the cylinders, install new rings, spin the valves, gauge and re-use the bearings/cam then enjoy the drive you'll save at least $2,000.

Let us roll!

George Dill

vclassics.com/contents.htm

vclassics.com/archive/index.html

sw-em.com/

sw-em.com/techarticles.htm

tinyurl.com/p428v64
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Re: B18D Rebuild - Ethanol Gas?? 1 year 2 months ago #767

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George,

Engine is in the shop for checkout. Unless problems, I think I'll stick with the B18. I think your recommendation to overbore with new pistons makes sense. Interesting that B18 piston/ring set is well over twice the price of the B20's. I guess more B20's out there to drive down part costs.

I do have one other question/concern that popped into my head. Regarding ethanol gas. We have E85 here in the Carolinas. I use 87 octane for my other cars but can get 89 or 93.

What is the experience out there on running 10-15% ethanol gas in Amazons? What octane level is needed/desired. Particulalrly as these questions relate to higher versus lower compression engines?

Thanks again.

Mike Rains
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Re: B18D Rebuild - Ethanol Gas?? 1 year 2 months ago #768

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mrains wrote:
George,

Engine is in the shop for checkout. Unless problems, I think I'll stick with the B18. I think your recommendation to overbore with new pistons makes sense. Interesting that B18 piston/ring set is well over twice the price of the B20's. I guess more B20's out there to drive down part costs.

I do have one other question/concern that popped into my head. Regarding ethanol gas. We have E85 here in the Carolinas. I use 87 octane for my other cars but can get 89 or 93.

What is the experience out there on running 10-15% ethanol gas in Amazons? What octane level is needed/desired. Particulalrly as these questions relate to higher versus lower compression engines?

Thanks again.

Mike Rains

The stock B18D in good tune will run just fine as a daily-driver on 87 plus corn.

If mods bring the CR up and and a hot cam is used the car would enjoy 89 without wasting money.

93 is for hotrodders, severe use, and sustained high-speed operation.

Fuel and oil additives are not needed.

If the car's B18 block and head prove to be solid and the pistons are ok consider a good hone job on the cylinders and new rings. A basic valve job is good insurance.

The 30-over B18 pistons are not as popular now as most folks just go with a B20. Ergo the 30-over B18 piston set is $$$$.

If not already, you will discover that a B18D in fine tune along with the 4-speed stick will trundle along quite satisfactorily. Using the engine's mid-range torque and a quick down-shift you can pass those RVs loaded with Leaf Peepers from Arizona this Fall.

George Dill
Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by gdill3.
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