FAQs about B20 Engines

  • Front engine oil seal.
  • How can I increase the hp on my B230F?
  • B20 fiber gear.
  • How can I inspect bad lifters on a B20F?
  • No acceleration caused by dwell angle.
  • How can I check valve adjustment?
  • B20 valves in a B18/B20 head?
  • Any wisdom on redoing a B18 head?
  • Information about cams.
  • Cam wear question.
  • How do I check the gap on a B20b?
  • Rebuild B18 engine.
  • B-20 motor refurbishment.

  • Front engine oil seal.

    Date: Fri, 17 Jan 92 7:50:25 PST
    From: Ron Tewksbury <ront@twg.com>
    To: volvo-net@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: front engine oil seal


    I had a similar problem with a '68 122 wagon. It didn't leave any puddles on the pavement, but it went through a quart in 200 miles or less. After a careful examination of the engine room, I noticed that the front suspension and crossmember, as well as the whole front of the engine, were coated with oil. LOTS of oil! Problem was a leaking front engine seal.In the '60's and early '70's, Volvo used felt seals for both front and rear crank seals. They changed to neoprine(sp?) seals in '73 or '74 , I think. Anyhow, the early seals didn't last very long, expecially if you didn't drive the car regularly. The oil in the seal would "dry", and that would cause the seal to fail. The neoprine seals are great.You can even retro fit them to earlier cars, the seal housings just need to be machined a little. But unless they are fitted with the proper clearance all around the crank, they will leak like anything.

    So, I would look there, first.I can't think of anything else that would cause that kind of oil consumption without causeing puddles on pavement or burning through the exhaust.

    One thing more, you said it had 175K on the car, and you did a valve job? That often causes more oil consuption through the piston rings. (I have personal experience with that, also) And in my cars' case, (1800ES) the only time I ever say blue out the exhaust is when I first started it and when I was going down a long hill, and usingthe engine as a brake. That engine used a quart every 400 miles - more on the highway, and as I said - except in the hills, there was no sign of it burning any oil. I solved that problem by installing new rings and bearings. Uses a quart every 2K miles now.

    Good luck

    ron tewksbury

    Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1992 13:44:52 PST
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Oil Seals and rebuilding
    To: 73407.2610@compuserve.com
    Cc: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    >I've heard of the conversion for using neoprene front/rear seals. I have plans >to rebuild a B20 engine. Should this be part of the rebuild. Is it worth the >extra trouble?

    Yes, it is very simple and very much worth it. A couple of other things should be done while rebuilding the engine. The list below start with the simple stuff and goes to the radical stuff for really hot motors. A B20 can be built to easily put out 160 bhp. 200 is possible with normal asparation. "How fast can you afford?"

    1. rebuild (or replace) the oil pump with the IPD HD oil pump kit. It will keep the oil pressure higher. I have been advised to use two sets of seals on the oil pump to block interface when using an HD oil pump because the single seals tend to blow out. (this is from Dan Theil) Any confirmation?

    2. on the oil pump drive shaft, the bottom ears tend to break off. IPD sells a reinforcement for this. (it is basically a sleave.)

    3. If you like to corner hard, baffle the oil pan. This can be done by putting a plate with cut outs for the oil pump and dipstick and some drain holes over the lowest part of the oil pan. This greatly reduces the left hand turn-no oil pressure syndrome of the B18 and B20s. (The oil pickup is on the left side of the oil pan.)

    4. Check the main cam gear. The fiber gears tend to wear out and break with time. It may be worth replacing while you are in there. Steel parts are available, but they are a bit louder. Again, IPD is a good source for these.

    5. Replace the head bolts. Nothing beats the fun I had when I head bolt broke while I was torquing it to the initial setting.

    6. Replace the manifold studs. (ibid.)

    7. Check the rocker arms for excessive wear. They can be easily re-lapped.

    8. Check the cam (replace with hot IPD Cam :-) If you replace cam, replace lifters and tappets. (Roller lifters would be nice. Anybody checked on match to standard USA auto lifters?)

    9. Replace head with B20E (FI) head to get bigger valves. Use 3/4" freeze plugs to plug up injector holes on carburated cars.

    11. Install double valve springs. This will keeps the valves from floating at 7000+ rpm.

    12. Install newer oil seals in head.

    13. Consider replacing with stellite values for unleaded fuel (sit down before checking on cost). Also look at Volvo R-Sport racing valves.

    14. Port and polish head.

    15. Plane head (.080 for Super Unlead fuel, 0.120 can be done on avgas) Significant milling requires shorter lifters (see IPD).

    16. Overbore to 2.1 or 2.2 liters. (see IPD or Volvo for 2.1, Volvo R-Sport or a couple of other places for 2.2)

    17. Increase stroke. (has been done by B. Alspach, Reading, PA)

    18. Match cylinders for volume.

    19. Balance motor.

    20. Machine fly wheel.

    21. Install racing clutch. (Start working on leg machine in gym so you can release clutch.)

    22. Replace/Upgrade ignition system.

    23. Replace/Upgrade fuel delivery system.

    24. Go to dual down pipe exhaust on HD use vehicles, or headers on street vehicles. (With dual down pipe manifold, Volvo recommends 6" of seperate pipe before joining into atleast 2" exhaust.)

    25. Install free flow exhaust.

    26. Install a turbocharger (IPD used to sell kits for this).

    -- John

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    How can I increase the hp on my B230F?

    Date: Tue, 21 Jan 1992 05:33:56 PST
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: B20 hp (was: Re: Oil Seals)
    To: dmunroe@gollum.wr.tek.com
    Cc: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    >Some time ago I talked to
    >the IPD tech rep and asked if there was any way to increase the hp on
    >my B230F.

    Actually, there are some tricks you can play. The simple stuff is increasing the advance on the timing. This will give you a bit better power. The electronic ignition (assuming you _don't_have motronic) only retards the spark, so you can advance it up to the point where the ignition automatically retards. Religate yourself to using high octane gas.

    On almost any stock engine, including the B230, there is room for head work. Porting and polishing will give you better flow at high rpms and thus more power. The draw back is that you loose low end because the air/fuel mixture does not mix as well.

    The European delivery cars come with different cams and FI chips. These are slightly hotter and garunteed (sp?) to make the car fail smog checks.

    They put the 16 valve heads on something.

    Any head can be milled and plained down to increase compression.

    The is a derivative of the B21/B23 used sold under the name Penta. It is actually a B25, and, as the name implies has a 2.5 liter displacement. I know B23 can be punched out to 2.5 liter, and I would not be surprised if the same is true of a B230 (can you say B250?).

    Another stunt worth looking into is adjustable cam gears. This allows tweaking of the cam timing to get better power band placement.

    -- John

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    B20 fiber gear.

    Date: Tue, 9 Feb 93 10:32:59 EST
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: haywood@kxosrv.enet.dec.com, decox@vdoe386.vak12ed.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: B20 fiber gear

    On Feb 9, 5:36am, haywood@kxosrv.enet.dec.com wrote:

    } >> As it turned out the timing had advanced significantly. The
    } >> mechanic adjusted the timing and placed a few drops of oil on
    } >> the distributor shaft. A few days later it was again adjusted
    } >> because of recurring spark-knock but nowhere near as bad as
    } >> previously.
    } . (timing gets off again ... )
    } I am not an expert in any way, but I remember reading (I think in the
    } Smokey column in Popular Science) about someone with this problem, that is,
    } timing getting way out of adjustment frequently. The problem was a worn
    } or loose timing belt. The belt was jumping a tooth and changing the timing.

    Except that a 1975 240 has a B20F motor (overhead valve - w/ pushrods). No timing belt to slip. HOWEVER, the B20's have a fibreous timing GEAR that is known to disintegrate at high mileage - this leads to wild variations in ignition and valve timing, and seriously bizzare operation. I drove a 68 140 to our local brick recylcler "Bjorn Again Motors" - it turned out to have a bad timing gear - with exactly the same situation - wouldn'y run beyond 1500 rpm one second, wouldn't run under 3000rpm the next.


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    How can I inspect bad lifters on a B20F?

    Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1993 11:10:04 PST
    From: werner.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: B20F lifters/push rods
    To: wiegman@orion

    >>How would I inspect the bad lifters?
    >well, there is a nice picture of a Volvo tool which picks them out
    >of the block once the head is removed. How to check them??

    I have heard of the tool, but never used one. I have found that it is often impossible to pull the lifters (followers, not pushrods) out because they have formed a trapazoidal shape. My best luck has been to push them into the oil pan and then retrieve them. The retrieval is easiest if you pull the pan, but can be done with a magnetic wand by pulling them through one of the holes around the lifter holes.

    BTW: It is good practise to machine the holes for the cam followers when you replace them with new ones. You should have free movement vertically and no side to side slop.

    As for checking, I would go for visual inspection. The hardened surface on the bottom should not show wear. If there is substantial wear, replace the follower, and most likely the cam. (It is very hard for one to wear and not the other.) Other failures are unlikely unless you have a full race motor seeing 7000+ rpm regularly.

    IPD sells cam, lifter, and pushrod sets.


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    No acceleration caused by dwell angle.

    From: "David E. Cox" <decox@vdoe386.vak12ed.edu>
    Subject: poor dwell -'75 B20F.
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Date: Tue, 16 Feb 93 21:17:35 EST

    First, Try your auto insurance company for an amendment (rider) to provide you with FREE towing. I believe I pay $2 per year (State Farm) for this right. (Well, I guess it is not free but almost.) I used it yesterday because of the NO ACCELERATION problem that I posted last week.

    Concerning the NO ACCELERATION problem, my mechanic said that although the timing gear and distributor were worn and had play in them, the problem was the dwell angle -- 14 degrees. Normally, 44 to 53 is acceptable. He replaced the ignition box (used - $50) and it now reads 54 degrees. (I assume that one cannot adjust the dwell, only repalce the ign. box with a new or used one.)

    Thanks to all who responded!

    David Cox
    75 245 (B20F) with 151,577 miles

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    How can I check valve adjustment?

    Date: 17 Feb 1993 09:55:19 -0500 (EST)
    From: V093P9MD@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu
    Subject: Re: Valve adjustment
    To: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    You probable won't require any adjustment until the engine gets to around 90,000 miles, but it's very easy to check. Pull off the valve cover, and move the crank chaft (if you have a manual, put it in 4th and rock the car back and forth) so that the valves on one of the 4 set's are clear (the angle of the cam shaft "pushers" are 45 degrees, pointing up away from the engine, both that the same angle). Check the clearance with one of those flat blades (I don't know what they are called in english, but the dutch translation would be "feelers"). If the valves are within tolerance go on to the next set, and repeat. It is very simple and doesn't take to long. Replace the valve cover and tighten the bolts to 9 LBS of torque (I think that's right, but I'll have to double check the manuals to be certain).


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    B20 valves in a B18/B20 head?

    Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1993 11:50:05 PST
    From: werner.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: B20 valves in a B18 / B20 Head?
    To: TPAYNE@oregon.uoregon.edu
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    >I am getting mixed messages from the Volvo mechanics and dealers in this area about the possibility of upgrading a B18 head with B20 exhaust valves.

    The fit/not fit question depends on what model years and fuel system you are talking about. So, they are probably all right.

    The big question is why upgrade the valves on a B18 head? The B20 head will fit with no modification. The best course is to find a B20E head. That FI head. It has the large valves and stellite seats. You can probably get a good head with out rocker arms for about $100. Next, have some valve work done before you put the head on. A good course of action is a 5 angle valve job. This helps with flow and with seating.

    If you have some extra bucks left over, look into porting and polishing the head. This is allows better airflow and is good for as much as 20 bhp. Also, consider going to double valve springs, this makes sure you do not have valve float problems. Planing the head will raise compression some and get even more power (at the expense of running only hightest).

    My '65 122S has a B20 head on its B18. The head is from a FI car. It has been ported, polished, and planed (.080). It also has cut down valve guides (less stuff in the way of the air), a 5 angle valve job, and double valve springs. The result is that the motor, which used to loose power above 5700 rpm, now pulls strong up to 6500 rpm. 0-60 times dropped by 2.5 seconds, even though I have gone to larger (heavier) tires all the way around (205/60 15 on 15x7" rims). BTW, this is with stock SU carbs and the stock B grind cam shaft. I did put a Strala free flow exhaust on it.


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    Any wisdom on redoing a B18 head?

    Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1991 12:14:04 PDT
    From: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: B18 Head Mods (was Re: 122s questions...) (longish)
    To: 0004731849@mcimail.com
    Cc: John_E_Werner.Wbst311@xerox.com, volvo-net@me.rochester.edu

    >- Any wisdom on re-doing a B18 head (i.e., brass valve guides, unleaded

    It depends what you are after. There is a lot of performance in the B18 engine that can be gained from just freeing up the breathing. The biggest step in this is head work. This is what I did:

    I decided to change the head on my '65 122 S after one of the manifold studs broke off (long story involving several carburator swaps). Having done a fair amount of simple engine work on my collection of old Volvos before, I was able to go through my father's garage and find the B20E (Fuel Injected) head that I took off my '70 145S. (Close observers of Volvos will immediately note that 1970 Volvos had neither fuel injection nor fuel injected heads). The main reason in deciding to go with a fuel injection head is the size of the valves. Of all of the stock heads that Volvo used on the B18 and B20 motors, the Fuel Injection head (E Head) has the biggest valves in it. Bigger Valves mean better flow rates, which means more fuel and air in, and less work to get exhaust out, which means more power.

    Next, I had some head work done on it. The first thing I had was replaced the valves and had a five angle valve job done on it (that's why it came off the 140 in the first place). Typical valve jobs consist of three angles. Five angle cuts are usually reserved for race or high performance heads. With five angles, the sealing of the valves is better. This is fairly cheap compared to most of the rest of head work, but it is worth it. (Note: This is illegal in all SCCA Stock competition classes, but I don't know what advantage it really gives you over your competition.)

    Next, I had the head ported, and polished. The intake openings in the head were widened to match the openings in the manifold gasket. I really should have had both the manifolds ported at the same time so that the whole thing matched. Material was also removed to make the openings to the valves as big as possible without hitting the cooling channels. Porting helps get more air into the engine and exhaust out of it. Polishing usually goes with porting. If you look at a typical street car head, you will notice that the passages are not smooth. This is to help mixture and to improve low end power. By smoothing out the passages (polishing) low end power goes down, but the air can travel smoother and faster. The result is more high end power with a slight decrease in low end power (a lot depends on manifolds and cams and pistons and chamber design).

    The next thing I did was to have shortened (or cut down) valve guides put in. The valve guides run through the intake and exhaust passage ways. By using shorter ones that do not go as far into the passage ways, air can get by them easier. There are some people who will even start reducing the size of the valve stems to improve performance, but this can have some very detrimental effects like bent valves.

    On top of the head, I used IPD's double valve spring set. As I remember, Volvo once sold something similar to this also. The springs require the cutting of slightly bigger spring seats and the using of special retainers. IPD will rent the tool for cutting the valve springs at a very good rate. The Double Valve Spring kit comes from IPD with the proper retainers.

    I also had .080 milled off the head, thus raising the compression slightly. This was offset by using a heavy duty valve gasket from a B20. Note: The B20 head gasket is needed becausee cylinder head is from a B20, not a B18.

    Using a fuel injection head will also require that the fuel injection holes are filled. To do this, get some freeze plugs from your local auto store and put them in the holes. As I remember, these are 5/8" holes, but check tehhm before you buy. Installation is as simple as placing the plug in the hole and tapping the center of it with hammer until it fills the hole. (The plugs start out concave (or convex, depends which side you look from) and flatten out to seal. My mechanic suggests putting a piece of metal over them secured by the fuel injection mounting screw holes to keep them from coming out, but I have not done this.

    What I had done to the head will typically run about $600 in machine shop time. It is not cheap, but as the sign in Mad Max said "Speed is just a question of money. How fast can you afford?"

    So, with what I had done, what does it really do? For one, it make a whole lot more power. I also have a free flow exhaust on the '65 122S and twin SUs. With teh last head on the car (more on this latter, but it was mostly stock), the car would pull up to about 5300 RPM and the valves would start to float at 5800. With the new head on it, the bottom end has stayed almost the same, but the car now pulls from 3000 all the way to 6000 rpm. There is no valve float and more left pull left, but I don't really want to press the bottom end of the motor until I have looked at it. Road and Track originally tested the Volvo 122S with a B18 motor at 0-60 in 14.5 seconds. the manual says 14.0, but a test with a passenger and a sever weight disadvantage from the driver go a real 0-60 time of 12.0 seconds. (This test was done using the performance mode of my Alpha-Pro Rally Odometer. It measured 0-30, 0-60, and 1/4 mile time and speed.)

    Other things that can be done that I did not go for: Volvo made and still has some stock of large valves to fit in the B20 head. They have a different taper to the valve itself to help increase flow. The problem is that they are very expensive and require changing the valve seats.

    Also, if you decide to run really high compression ratios, you may want to consider having the corners in the head filled. If you look at the area where the valves are, you will notice that it is basically milled out and there is a corner left in there. This is a perfect place for a hot spot to form and predetination to start. These corners can be removed either by filling or cutting. The secret is smoothness. Again, this is not cheap.

    As for milling the head, there are some race Volvos with .120 or more inches milled off the heads. This requires special (shorter) push rods. It also means filling up either at the race track, or with the jets.

    You will notice I did not say anything about changing valve seats. There are a lot of different opinions on this, including everything from it is not needed; to "Its a problem, but you'll probably be rebuilding the rest of the engine first."; to "Do it." Personally, I am not to worried. I am more likely to throw rod or just decide to make more changes to the head before any damage occurs. Still, I do put lead additive in both my '70 and '65 from time to time. (BTW: Lead also helps increase the octane rating of fuel.)

    BTW: Anyone interested in a mildely ported head for a B18? It came off my 122S. (The mechanic who used to work for my grand-aunt, the original owner of the car, also raced Volvos at one time. He once put a 142 into a wall at 140+ mph in a race. His name is Bob Alspach. I stumbled across him about two years ago when I was in Reading PA for my Grand Uncles Funeral (Edward Werner - now guess my middle name) when I lost the clutch return spring on my 145. Someone suggested that they knew a guy outside of town who worked on lots of Volvos.)

    -- John

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    Information about cams.

    Date: Mon, 5 Apr 93 12:57:21 -0400
    From: bw738@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Wetherell)
    To: w2iy@hoqax.att.com, wiegman@orion
    Subject: Re: cams

    let's see here.. first the k-cam

    the k cam i speak of is the volvo ralley sport k cam. it is the cam used in stage 3 or 4 engines.

    it has approximately the same lift as the ipd streed perf but the lobe center is different to get better torque. i will get the exact ## later today and pass them along..i do have a source (i think) for this cam. a friend of mine has this cam in a b20 w/ su's in a 123gt and really likes it.. i have a hard time w/comparisons because his car has a 4.56 rear end which makes torque less of an issue.. it is a very drivable cam, idles nicely, lots of power..

    i really like the street torque cam from ipd. if i had the ideal cam for me, it would have a better top end, but all in all it is quite good. i have 4.27 gears in the back so it sould compare fine w/ the 1800/140's w/ manual gear boxes. the low end is really strong.. gets good milage on the highway (28-32 @ ~75mph) around town is ??? because i have aluminium pistons which need tiem to heat up and this results in a lot of idling to warm things up.. also my driving habits around town are not condusive to good ags milage..

    hope that clears things up a bit,


    Date: Mon, 5 Apr 93 17:39:39 -0400
    From: bw738@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Wetherell)
    To: wiegman@orion, w2iy@hoqax.att.com
    Subject: cams

    ok, here's the grind..

    lift durr
    ipd st torq .425 256
    ipd st perf .425 268
    ipd rally .460 287
    ipd K .420 247
    r-sport K .420 277

    comments (from r-sport catalog)

    OE in GT tuning kit. similar to B20 efi cam. significant low speed torque ideal for spirited streed driving and heavy loads.

    intake opens at 27 deg BTDC & closes at 70 deg BTDC

    exhaust open at 70 BTDC & closes at 27 BTDC

    i can get the r-sport K for ballpark $50.

    ask around and see if anyone else knows anything about this cam. i am curious for other comments!!


    BTW, if you want one, let me know, it will take a couple days to get it in.

    Date: Wed, 7 Apr 93 14:17:21 -0400
    From: bw738@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Ed Wetherell)
    To: wiegman@orion
    Subject: Re: k grind

    i think the volvo # is 552422-8 although that might not be correct, or it might have superseeded to something else, or may show up as not available..

    magnofluxing is a standard (more or less) way of checking for micro cracks in things such as heads and blocks.. i would expect that most machine shops (that are worth dealign w/) should know about it and can do it or at least have a source for doint it..

    mike said that the called ipd and their k is definitely the smog cam, not the r-sport cam.

    seattle is cool. i have applied for a job at seattle city light, the position closed in feb but they are still woking on it and havnt' filled the posiotn.. who knows..


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    Cam wear question.

    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 93 22:24:32 EDT
    From: Tim Takahashi <tim@me.rochester.edu>
    To: edward@etch-eshop.berkeley.edu (Jay Edward Sparks), swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: cam wear question

    On Apr 27, 4:56pm, Jay Edward Sparks wrote:

    } I was just informed that cam wear is a concern in some models.
    } My friend claims that the lobes have a hard material on the surface,
    } once that wears through the cams go flat in a hurry.
    } Does anyone know more? like which models and what to do
    } if yours is among those?

    I know of two models with "cam" problems.

    One group of cam problems is associated with B18/B20 family pushrod motors

    used from 62-75 on a wide variety of problems. The factory suggests that you

    adjust the valves every 6000 miles, many B18/20's are always noisy up top.

    There seems to be a serious problem with the iron camshafts sold for high

    performance use by IPD. I can think of three or four circumstances where

    well maintained motors ate cam lobes in very short order.

    The second model with famous cam problems is the french B27/28 family motors fitted to 260 and 760 series cars (76-90). In this case, it is really the rockers which wear abnormally quickly in an undermaintained motor. When the rockers have worn substantially, they begin to chew up the cams. This motor is very complex, very few mechanics will rebuild one.

    The cam problem on the B18/20 is a materials problem - inadequately hardened camshafts.

    The cam/rocker problem on a B27/28 is a lubrication problem -the oil passages to the rockers get plugged. The cams and rockers are a very high grade steel, and are induction hardened.


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    How do I check the gap on a B20b?

    Date: Tue, 11 May 1993 05:59:52 PDT
    From: werner.wbst311@xerox.com
    Subject: Re: Valves on a '70 B20b?
    To: useins@mcl.mcl.ucsb.edu
    Cc: swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu

    The gap will be when the valve is up, this is the closed position. The trick is that you have to rotate the engine alot to get things to work. The Haynes manual has a nice description on how to do it with only rotating the engine once. (I believe it works out that if valve A is fully open (down) you should adjust valve B, and A+B=9).

    When I adjust the valves, I usually back off the screw until there is too much clearance. Then, I tighten up until I hit the lesser of the gaps (0.020 in this case). Then, I pull out the guage and make sure that the larger, 0.22 will not fit in.

    As for adjustment, I preffer a slightly tighter spec 0.015 to 0.017. It quites the valves a bit and in theory should get a little more performance.


    Date: Tue, 11 May 93 11:32:47 -0400
    From: bw738@cleveland.freenet.edu (Ed Wetherell)
    To: useins@mcl.mcl.ucsb.edu, swedishbricks@me.rochester.edu
    Subject: Re: Valves on a '70 B20b?

    The method i use is as follows. using the crank pully timing marks, set the engine to top dead center (TDC) or 0 deg on the pully. now, look at the valves and determine if cylinder 4 or cylinder 1 is at TDC. at TDC, both valves are closed. 4 valves will be adjusted w/ #1 at TDC and 4 w/ #4 at TDC. with #1 at TDC, btw #1 is at the front of the engine, adjust 1,2,3,5 and w/ #4 at TDC adjust 4,6,7,8. all valves are counted from the front of the engine.

    it may be necessary to push against the rocker arm on the pushrod side to displace a film of oil that collects in the top fo the pushrod. this oil will make the rocker appear that it is pushing on the valve when it really isnt. the method john mentioned of maxing the clearance then setting it properly is definately the best way to go when setting up a new head..also on a new installation, it is possible for the rockers to be so far out of adjustment that ALL valves are open. or at least none of them close completely. in this case, determining which clyinder is at top dead is a little more difficult. loosen all the adjustments, observe the pushrods as you rotate the engine slightly. you are concerned w/ #1,2 and 7,8 v valves. you shoudl see the 2 pushrods on one cylinder are at the same level, and as you rotate the engine, one of the pushrods will lift. its a little hard to describe in words.. after you know which cylinder is at top dead, follow the adjustment steps described initially. remember that it takes 2 crank revolutions for all the pistons to go through their 4 strokes.. only 2 cylinders fire per engine revolution.

    clutch adjustment:

    if it is too close to the floor or won't disengage, adjust the cable more to the front of the car:

          ||      || clutch arm
    =====n||n==---||o  n=nut == threaded cable --exposed cable
          ||      ||

    if the peddle is too far to the top or wont engage, to reverse of the above adjustment is needed..

    hope this clarifies things a bit..

    good luck


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    Rebuild B18 engine.

    From: cblmarti@ihlpo.att.com
    Date: Mon, 2 Aug 93 16:52 CDT
    To: att!wiegman@orion
    Subject: RE: B18 engine rebuild


    Talked with Duane at Foreign AutoTech.

    He advised against the B-20F head on the car without rebuilding the block.

    He recommended the following:

    Boring block to B-20 specs - .125 overbore with 1-2 thous tolerances

    Piston Parts $159.00 pistons, wrist pins, rings, etc.
    Camshaft C or D grind with lifters $99.95
    Camshaft Bearings $19.95
    Connecting Rod Bearings $19.95
    Main Bearings $48.95
    Fiber Timing Gear $39.95
    Oil Pump $59.90
    Gaskets $56.95
    Total machine shop work $120

    Emmett's B-20F head $150

    One of the local machine shops/engine rebuilders quotes me a week turnaround with $76 for .125" overbore and $33 to hone the cylinders.

    This is much more than I expected for a rebuild...

    Sounds like I should have passed on this car like I was going to do at first...She's going to take more money to put in good running order than I intended...

    By the time I rebush the suspension $100, exhaust $120, rebuild $700, brakes $125 ($60 pads and shoes $65 labor), floor repair $250, manual $65, etc. I am spending beyond $2400 for the car and parts and it is not repainted.

    Sounds like I would have been better off saving more money and buying a $2500 car from the Lambrechts. I am bummed out.

    I guess it is time to pray for a miracle.

    I don't have the kind of money you might have to spend on the cars. My paycheck doesn't stretch far enough to have the $100+ a month extra the 122S seems to require to restore it. Sounds like the engine rebuild will not be done until next year.

    Amy's already ticked-off that I have been spending time replacing fluids on the car and suspension check-out, etc. plus time to make up at work for hours missed on license, title, registration...etc.

    I guess I will be in the dog house for some time...

    P.S. sorry to end on a bad note

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    B-20 motor refurbishment.

    Date: Mon, 16 Aug 93 09:26:33 EDT
    From: wiegman (Herman L. N. Wiegman)
    To: wiegman@orion.crd.Ge.Com, FINNEY@husc3.harvard.edu, ront@twg.com,
    PRAX@slacvm.slac.stanford.edu, bcw@mtqub.att.com,
    JWRPPH@ritvax.isc.rit.edu, boz@cricf.cray.com, w2iy@hoqax.att.com,
    DWORKIN@draco.rutgers.edu, 72451.3572@compuserve.com,
    jjoy@akamai.sps.mot.com, bw738@cwns9.ins.cwru.edu,
    samuelson_tom@ae.ge.com, jnauj@well.sf.ca.us
    Subject: B-20 motor refurbishment

    Hello B-18 ~ B-20 motorheads, [limited distribution]

    Well, I finally did it. I got around to "refurbishing" my B-20F(E) in my '73 ES. My co-worker's husband gave me a hand in order to pay me back for several hours of wrenching at his place last summer.

    First things first, thank you Ed (Wetherell) for the use of the special tools, they made the job more trouble free than what I am used to.

    Second, thanks to those who pointed me in the correct direction before the whole job started. :)

    Third, I thank the guy at the U-haul shop for renting me his personal engine hoist.

    My Problem:

    Low "dry" compression in #1, and #4. Wet compression ok. No #2exh valve lift (common for FI B-20's).


    I needed to refresh my piston rings and cam/lifters. I also wanted to replace the oil pump rubber seals, connecting rod bearing shells and several gaskets. I planned to reuse the cam bearing shells, and main bearing shells.


    To get at the cam, and to change the lifters, one only has to remove the head, radiator and grill. Some of my lifters were difficult to extract, so I tapped them out from the top. They landed in the oil pan and I retreaved them later.

    To get at the lower piston connecting bolts/nuts, the motor has to be lifted up more than 4 inches (to remove the oil pan). On 122's, more or less room is required, but it has to be close...the 122 and 1800 have essentially the same motor/front cross memeber.

    I found that lifting the motor until the tranny (manual) touched the firewall/tunnel, was just enough room. I took the next step as well.. I supported the transmision with a floor jack, and unbolted the motor. The engine had to be slid forward 3" to clear the transmision shaft/clutch interface. The engine hoist then extracted the motor from the engine bay with no fuss. My water pump, main pulley and alternator were not attached to the motor. I believe Ed Wetherell said that the water pump would scrape the front radiator or support member.

    So, with the motor out of the car, the pistons were removed, and the rings were replaced. I found that the rings were all in excellent condition BUT #1 and #4 HAD ALL THREE RINGS IN THE SAME ORIENTATION. In other words the ring gaps all lined up which gave me compression blow-by. Oh well, I decided to replace all the rings anyway.

    The cylinders were "honed" with one of those drill/file tools. They look like they will grind the walls to a pulp, but actually worked well. I think they sell very fine grit stones if you are going to use "Moly" rings. I used OEM iron rings, so the rougher grit was OK.

    The motor was cleaned with WD40 and 40psi air. The parts were installed with liberal amounts of oil, and the hoist lifted the motor back into the engine bay.

    (Note: before installing the oil pan, I recommend that the rebuilder check the alignment of the distributor gear. This interface is easily overlooked. I have Ed's oil pump priming shaft, so I will be able to rotate the oil pump input, so the distributor gear can be aligned with the cam gear/main crank. )

    Installation was a dream... it was actually the reverse of extraction. The motor slid on the tranny, and bolted to it, then the two were lowered back onto the egine mount brakets. (The brackets were unbolted from the block because it was a vertical interface. The angle of the motor mount bolts would probably not work out well when lowering the motor vertically onto them.)

    Final step:

    Go to basement, select bottle of homebrew desired, and drink it while licking wounds.

    I will be reinstalling the head and aux components later, and then I will prime the motor with the oil pump shaft tool ( & reversable drill).

    keep 'em rolling,


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