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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:49 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
No pictures today, but the engine is mostly hooked up, the VW parts are in, the return fuel line from the warmup regulator has been built (the old one included a return from the frequency valve that needed to be eliminated), and it's all ready to go in that sense. Wired up, plumbed up, and ready to fire. I've still not decided if I'm going to eliminate the deceleration valve or if the cold acceleration enrichment system will still work, I suppose I can try them out first and see if I get any trouble. I vote simplicity, but

I set the car on its hubs, on jack stands, and leveled it out to give it a crude alignment. Boy oh boy, is that driver side a PITA to deal with! Good thing I removed, cleaned, and anti-seized all the bolts in the upper control arms before I dropped the engine in place. If I had to fight them as well as the tight spaces, it really would have ticked me off.

Next up: exhaust.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:50 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
All the old junk cut off, and the donor pieces on the floor. The little oval muffler came out of the parts car:
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Cutoffs from my old garage furnace. I have 6 of these aluminized 2" mandrel bent 16 gauge tubes. The surface rust and other goo wire brush right off:
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The only part of the old exhaust I'm keeping:
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Downpipe and flex section. The downpipe has a brace up to the diff cover (hidden):
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That old muffler cleaned up okay:
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Rear section, BBQ painted black.
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Sounds pretty beastly, but I've got some issues to sort out with the fuel injection. #4 injector isn't squirting very well at idle, and when I switch fuel lines at the fuel distributor between #3 & #4, the problem moves to #3. Under load it runs okay. I've got a guy on a local VW forum donating another fuel distributor for me to try.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:50 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
This past week and a bit has been a flurry of activity.

The replacement fuel distributor was glued up solid with varnish, and wasn't coming loose. I pulled the regulator valve out of it and the o-rings crumbled, so I figured what did I have to lose and pulled it apart. It actually looked pretty good inside, once I got the varnish loose and GOT inside, but of course it didn't seal up again. I read up on quite a few tips & tricks & procedures to get it sealed up and I have full confidence in being able to do so, but before I spent any more time I blew my first VW distributor out again and tried it. The more I run the engine, the better it runs, so I think there's a bit of varnish in that one that's getting washed away by fresh gasoline.

The clutch is back in and hooked up, and the bleeding process went painlessly. I forgot to take photos of the setup, it's pretty simple: An old master cylinder reservoir cap with a hole drilled in the middle. Through the hole, one of the fancy bolt-tightened tire valve stems with the Schraeder valve removed. Then with a cheap bicycle pump I put 8 or 10 psi into the reservoir, and with a clear hose on the clutch nipple you watch until bubbles stop coming out and there's a bunch of fluid in the hose. For good measure I then puffed some shop air into the hose to drive the fluid back into the slave and push any bubbles that might be trapped on the master cylinder side back into the reservoir and out that way. Took about 5 minutes, and the clutch feels magnificent!

With the hood back on, I washed down the body in brakleen and shop towels. I peeled off all the badges, moldings, and trim, and scraped the adhesive tape off the body. More brakleen and shop towels. Then a couple hours with a clay bar, a couple hours with the rotary polisher and heavy cut cleaner, a round of swirl remover, a hand job of sealer and a hand job of wax, and I ended up with this:

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It didn't do much for the rust, dents, scrapes, or other body damage, and the paint certainly isn't going to make anyone drool, but it looks presentable now. I really dig it without the side trim, though I probably need something to replace the bottom trim and cover the alignment holes. I'll probably get a narrow (maybe 1.5" wide), low profile, solid black strip for this instead of the big bulky Saab stuff that's in bad shape. The upper rub strip is staying off.

I took it for a victory drive:

The steering feels pretty good. Stopped, it's stiff like you'd imagine but certainly no worse than a manual steered car. Nowhere NEAR as stiff as it would have been with looped lines, but we already knew that, right? On the move it snaps back to center with a nice return action, it has no torque steer (could be that it's also got no torque), and it generally feels nice and communicative. Parallel parking is a bit firm, but yeah... we'll get used to it.

The exhaust... sounds good. It's not as loud on the road as I thought it would be as long as you keep the revs down, with the windows up it's actually pretty easy on the ears. 5th gear, 100-110 kph, there's no drone or excessive noise. The whine from the timing chain is more noticeable. Open it up and that changes though: it barks and rasps, bellows and howls. Pretty sweet. Before it warms up and the decel valve starts opening there are delicious pops and crackles on the overrun, and then when it warms up and that valve starts working they go away. I may add a switch on the dash to disable that valve for giggles when I'm feeling raunchy, and leave it enabled when I don't want the rally car sounds to annoy the neighbors.

The alignment feels good enough to leave alone, the steering isn't numb or wandery, there's no pull, all the clunks and bangs in the front suspension have gone away with the new ball joints, and basically everything works as it should on a new car. I could have replaced the bushings but I'll do that the next time I've got the engine out. The rear springs are sagged out and the rear shocks are very soft compared to the Bilsteins in front, so my next move is to tighten that up back there and I would love to get some sway bars in the car, but for the next few weeks I think I can just drive it and leave it alone.

I need some quality time with the car to start to see any value it may have, besides what my stubbornness bestows on it. For the next few weeks I'll be getting that time with this car while working on the VW, then I'll chase down whatever adjustments this car might need to survive the 1000 km Beater Challenge, and then I'm going to strip apart the '89. Later!


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:00 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
So finally after getting some pictures sorted I can make some updates.

Shortly after getting the car running and cleaned up I took it down to Fort Macleod to play on the autocross track.

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It was a hoot - slow as hell and on snow tires it was never going to set the world on fire, and with squishy rear shocks, stock base model springs and no sway bars the expectations were pretty low. But, it was fun, forgiving, and not too embarrassing. This was just a test & tune and I couldn't even get within 10 seconds of my buddy's street-prepped 242, but it's not about the time. The PO and organizer of the GBC was also one of the organizers for this event, and I wanted to show it off. Our afternoon session was cut short when everyone had to go flip an Outback back onto it's wheels & clean up a bunch of broken glass & power steering fluid. Yeah, that happened.

Everything was going well, until the day before I was scheduled to pull the car off the road so I could start outfitting it for the GBC event itself. I was considering leaving the car at home and taking the van so I could start decorating the car early, but I took the car anyway. On my way to work the car makes a SQUEEEEEEEL noise... Frig. I pulled it over and found that the water pump housing wasn't quite as strong as I imagined.

Remember how I had to build a new tensioner bracket for the alternator, and I anchored it to the air conditioning compressor boss on the water pump housing? Well...

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The whole cast alloy boss, which was more than skookum enough for the job, snapped clean off and took the end of my tensioner bracket with it! To pin some blame on myself: I didn't use a bushing on the water pump boss, I just solid mounted it, so the vibration and rocking allowed by the wasted alternator pivot bushings eventually fatigued everything to the point of failure. My bad. I jammed a chunk of hose between what was left of the arm and the water pump and when I got home, I built something even more skookum: (in progress photo)

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About a week after the car broke GUESS WHAT showed up on the driveway at work!?! The missing chunk of alternator bracket & water pump housing! I have no idea how it ended up there, but I brought it home and it's now sitting in my art bin.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:28 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
Remember this was a costume party?

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The stripe is white Plasti-Dip spray with electrical tape piping. It peeled right off when we were finished with it, but it got a lot of attention while it was on! We had the tight jeans, cardigans, cop light, and all sorts of other fun props to pull off the goofy Svensky & Hutchenssen motif. We were a little warm, but were having fun.

The GBC event was basically a photographic scavenger hunt. The route was laid out fairly simply: Starting in Lethbridge we took the Crowsnest Highway to the Forestry Trunk Road, about 400km of washboard, gravel & dust, to the Highwood Pass (a paved, scenic part of the Forestry Trunk Road closed in the winter months) up to Kananaskis, then Highway 1 to 22, up to Cochrane, to the 1A, and back West to the Northern part of the Forestry Trunk Road - up more washboard, gravel & dust to a WICKED little road of death called Harold Creek Road. From there it was all pretty simple backroads driving to our overnight stop. In the morning we set off for Drumheller to spend some time at the museum & driving around town searching for landmarks, then the 11 bridges to Wayne... a bit more gravel, and then it was more smooth sailing through Vulcan and back home to Lethbridge.

On the first day we got a little lost looking for something, and the Saab found another Starsky & Hutch fan-car:

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And on the second day, a close encounter:

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When I got home, the car was FIL...THY! Not that I'd done any real interior cleaning leading up to the trip, because I knew it was going to be a mess afterwards, plus I didn't want the car looking TOO nice (it is a Beater Challenge, after all). But the dust was thick and heavy, and half the interior was out already anyway, so why not?

The old seats came out:

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The carpets from the parts car got taken to the car wash, and I spent a couple hours scrubbing the seats from it too. Looking pretty good!

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The sagging headliner had to get dealt with, and when I took it out I found it was broken right by the sunroof so I had to get a little crafty. The roof from the parts car, complete with sunroof assembly, was used as a jig and I set to fixing it up.

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To reinforce it I used fiberglass resin and some fleece. It turned out okay, but I did use the wrong fabric. It's too stiff and not stretchy enough, and is starting to pull a little in places & it looks like a sharpei in others, but on the balance of things it's a huge improvement.

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Did the door cards too:

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The cracked dash from the parts car got it's cracks opened up and bondoed:

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And then flocked:

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The fascia had a bunch of broken tabs but I had the tubes, so to fix them I drilled a hole in the tab and wrapped some cotton string around and around to fasten the tube to the tab, and then soaked the string in krazy glue. Super hard and is never coming apart again!

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While putting in the knee brace I was FRUSTRATED by the way it fit! I couldn't get it in place - the old one came out fine but the one from the parts car would NOT go back in! The one from the '87 never fit properly anyway, but why??? Well, there's this spacer thingie...

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That was behind the ashtray mount. I could get the new knee pad in one of the A-pillar holes and I could barely get the center screw (into this spacer) in, but there was no way I'd get the other A-pillar connected. I looked at the heater box/cross brace from the '89 and it had no spacer, so I pulled it out of the '87 and the knee pad practically fell into place.

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A little work to the stereo, fixed up all the interior lights, and the car's a pretty nice place to be now!


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:46 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
With all the washboards and dust, the car started running a bit rough. I figure I shook something loose in the fuel tank, filter, fuel distributor, or whatever. I gave the injectors a flow test, and found that #3 flowed more than anything else while #4 sagged behind the rest at the highest flow. I fiddled with the trim screws for a little while and got #3 under control, but couldn't get #4 to perk up. This was a few seconds spray time at max flow:

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I set the wideband on it and took it for a little tune, and got things dialed in pretty well. After pulling the wideband and driving it around for a couple days, it produced a dead miss that turned out to be #2 injector HOSING fuel into the engine. I don't have any bottle pix of that, but at low flow it was flowing maybe 50% more than the other three, and at high flow it was flowing maybe 20% less than the other three. It was basically unregulated. Frig - I didn't even TOUCH #2! I wish I'd gotten pictures of this - it was pretty sad.

Well, I guess I've always wanted to do this...

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The culprit:

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This is the plate that rides against the jets (that you can see in the below pictures) in between the two halves of the fuel distributor. When the plate gets dimpled like this, fuel pressure cannot build up enough to pulse out of the injectors in a spray. This is the first time I've seen a K-jet unit do this.

In case you ever want to rebuild your fuel distributor: it's easy. Get the kit from these guys (http://salvox.com/index.php?cPath=12&si ... b9d807142c) and do it. I lapped the two halves with 400 grit on a granite surface and used Loctite 510 to glue the parts together. The two adhesives/sealants commonly recommended are Loctite 542 and Permatex Indian Head shellaq, but when I checked with Loctite they responded saying 510 is their recommendation. Just a little dab'll do ya, a real bog gob will screw ya.

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I used one of my wife's makeup sponge wedges to dab it around in a very thin film on both halves and then bolting it all together. After it set up I gave it another spray test:

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Yup, that'll do.

It idles super smooth now, runs great! I think I could fiddle with all four screws a bit to get some flatness out of the lower midrange, but it'll be fine for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:27 pm 
First volvo in outer space
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:46 pm
Posts: 1603
Location: East L.A.
Thanks for posting all of that Matt, lots of great "car" stuff that can be applied to other makes. If I have to split the distributor on the GT I'm either coming back here or looking for LH2.2 parts. Really great effort as always. =D>

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66 122S (Garage Queen)
89 244 (Hers)
90 745Ti (Mine)
89 744 (SOLD/Bought back for other daughter)
78 242GT (Project... LOL)
91 244 (Don't Ask!!)


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:18 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
Little things keep popping up, but nothing is a deal breaker. A couple weeks ago the brake light switch backed itself away from the pedal, leaving the brake lights on all day while I was at work and forcing me to bump start the car. By some miracle there was enough fuel hanging around the intake manifold and K-jet system, and enough juice for spark, to get the engine running fast enough to get the alternator charging. On the Saab forum another guy complained about exactly the same thing, and I was chatting with the lady who had the car before me and she said it happened to her as well. I can't see how this would be a common fault - it's just a brake light switch - but there you have it.

This morning the passenger side mirror glass came off. The glass was missing from the car when I got it, but I swapped mirrors with the parts car. Another apparent Achilles heel.

These showed up last night. 15x6 et33, 4x114.3. Two center caps need a little repair, but otherwise they're pretty nice. The tires are mounted backwards (directional tires on directional rims should point the same direction, I think), but that's fine because they're 205/50 and are too small. Someone's going to need them.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:56 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:19 pm
Posts: 2999
Location: Lethbridge, AB
Keeping them white? Should look great on the car.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:24 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
Yeah, white. Apparently the center caps are way scarcer than the wheels, I need to think about them.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:21 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:19 pm
Posts: 2999
Location: Lethbridge, AB
I could print them...

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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:10 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
True that. I'll model something up. They're around 185mm diameter, so you're going to have to run them one at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:39 am 
Turbo'd and Intercooled!

Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:02 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Calgary, AB
Matt,

Great content as usual...

To be honest, I too, am a huge SAAB 900 (classic) fan. I have owned a few before I ever owned a Volvo...

Keep up the great work!!!

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1996 Volvo 850 Platinum Edition
R Manifold, 54Trim Stage III Turbo, 550cc @ 3bar Inj, 3" Turbo-back, Custom Intake Manifold, Turbo Tuner, BOV, FMIC, Crane Ign, 5spd Swap, KONI FSD & Eibach Susp, IPD Sways and BBK, 384whp & 363wtq


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:26 pm 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
Thanks, Ahmad. I'm a little stuck on this car: I have lots I can do but not sure if it's worth doing. What I mean to say is that I'm sure it's NOT worth doing, but I'm not sure yet if I'm doing it regardless. It would be terribly foolish to screw around with this thing any further. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Matt's Winter Beater & Great Beater Challenge 2017 Entry
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:47 am 
Haha, I just built a W24 Octo-Turbo, now what?!
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 3381
Location: Calgary, Ab
The parts car had a newer, significantly more elegant engine & fuel injection. I was thinking that I'd do a quick refresh but as I started tallying up the parts it occurs to me that it's a bit more money than I want to spend right now, on a car I'm not sure about. However, I decided I'd still at least pull it all apart and confirm what parts it'll need and that nothing is completely wrecked.

The head was FILTHY inside. It had been rebuilt once upon a time, but I'm not sure when or why. There are a pair of non-OE exhaust valves in #2 cylinder, there are shims under each of the valve springs indicating the valves & seats have all been cut, and the head gasket actually had printed on it "SAAB B20/B23" - the B23 motor didn't come out until after 1990, this one's an '89. The rubber seal around the outside and inside of the valve cover had been liberally glued in place with black RTV, and for one reason or another this thing was running RICH - there was 1-2mm of carbon surrounding every surface of the exhaust ports, and the intake ports were squeaky clean indicating excessive fuel wash.

The exhaust ports are conventional, but tiny. The valves are 29mm and the ports are symmetrical. As is typical, the head wasn't designed for flow but rather for emissions, torque, and fitting under the hood. Intake and exhaust ports all turn about 75 degrees at the valve and the short side radius could be a whole lot longer. Saab ports are as high quality as Volvo ports, thankfully. There is a substantial funnel from the valve seat into the port, where it widens again around the corner. I have chipped away at the majority of the carbon in these pictures, using concentrated degreaser, wire brushes, and dental picks to get to where I am now.

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The intake ports are a little goofy. There is a primary and a secondary - the primary is conventionally shaped and has a broader short side radius, while the secondary is shallower and seems to be designed to skip the air straight off the back of the valve. The primary port exits into the combustion chamber against a cloverleaf chamber wall, while the secondary exits along side a flat wall. I'm trying to wrap my head around the design here - I think the secondary port swirls clockwise and stays up near the top of the cylinder while the primary port swirls anticlockwise and drills down to the bottom. As far as I can tell the primary and secondary ports have the same cam lobes. The intake valve has a strange treatment around the edge of the face - maybe it sets up a vortex to prevent reversion? The intake valve is also tiny at 33mm - one millimeter bigger than the exhaust valve on a Volvo 16v.

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I was curious about the oiling path, so decided to analyze that a little: The oil comes up through the head gasket and up through a head bolt hole, into a gallery that crosses to the other head bolt hole. Along the way it branches off to the chain tensioner.

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Then it runs along parallel gallerys on the outside of the head, feeding the hydraulic lifters. The oil travels around a perimeter groove in the lifters and this feeds into a slot under the cam bearing, where it travels up a hollow bolt that feeds the cam bearings with oil. Check out the lower half of the bearings in the head!!! The caps are drilled and really all the pressure is upwards on the camshafts (except at the chain side, where the bearing is full width all the way 'round) so I don't see TOO much problem with the way these were designed. Indeed, there's very little wear showing anywhere.

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This engine was equipped with Bosch LH2.4 but the car it was in was owned by a kid who'd installed a cone filter on the AMM and just left the AMM to dangle in the breeze, so I'm not sure if the AMM is dead or if it's one of the O2/CLT/knock sensors that have died & caused it to run so rich. I'll replace 'em all when the engine does get installed.

Next step is to start on the bottom end and see how that looks.


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