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Previous problem description


Problem areas


What was done & Details



Problem description

The car was always running hot. What I initially thought was due to leaky valve seals, because of the fact that whenever I had parked the car for about ten minutes or so and then starting hot, there was always this puff of white smoke out the tailpipe. Idling was always difficult to control and the gauge would always be in the region of 1/2 to 1/3 of the scale. Thermostat was in place and the cooling fan was OK, clutch fan drawing in reasonable amount of air and stiff enough to do the job. The Last straw was drawn when I had to drive the car 400km to my new house. The water pump seal gave way after the temp hit > 2/3. Don't know if this was the result of the failing water pump or whether the overheating itself caused the pump to fail. In any case, half-way through the journey I managed to coax the car to an uncle's house and could hear water boiling inside the engine, gauge red-lined. Thank God the top gasket was still intact and thank God for alloy cast iron instead of alluminium for the head material. LONG LIVE VOLVO B18/B20!!!....To Be continued



This was not an easy chore to diagnose. Despite the fact that the B18/B20 engines are pretty straightforward and rugged designs, several problems can merge to create a really complex issue. Not being able to pin-point the root cause I decided on a rather ambitious undertaking. I decided to go through the cooling system and carburettors/manifold setup and check them one by one with meticulous attention to detail which in my case paid off.