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Friday, August 25, 2006
VEV Logs Installment #2; 225,317 miles:

The Compression Test, And Other Stuff

I finally got around to doing a compression test on the VEV. However, as much as I touted the need to do a initial compression test "cold and dry," I wasn't able to follow my own advise. But, it didn't exhibit the cold starting problems that such a test would identify, so I wasn't too worried. It had sat for about 10 hours, before I did the compression test.

The results were rather startling: 150-152 psi on cylinders 1 - 3, and 145 on cylinder 4. Well, I'm not too concerned about the compression being higher than the theoretical "125 or so" psi I stated in inst. #1; this would hardly be the first engine that I've tested higher than theoretical. But it does give me cause to check the engine number, and the camshaft code, when I do the valve adjustment, to see if this is perhaps a non-turbo (9.7:1 CR) engine that has been swapped in. It certainly isn't an engine, even a Volvo engine, with almost 1/4M original miles on it.

I have little doubt that most of this VEV's operational problems have to do with nothing more than poor electrical connections. The 700s - particularly the turbos, were notorious for wiring harness problems. I plan to do a wholesale underhood cleaning of all the underhood electrical connectors, and then doping them all with dielectric grease.

Also, in a coming installment, I intend to do a timing belt and tensioner pulley replace, and a valve adjustment. Volvo only rates the timing belt for 45K miles, and Gates says it is an "interference" motor. And my "edge-i-dated ear" tells me one tappet is very loose, and another just sorta'.

Also up: an oil change, and new air filter.

In any event, fixing these things will at least make this VEV beater worth the money I paid for it. Then, with winter coming, I need to make the sunroof close, as well as the electric windows. In the former case, it is most certainly worn parts - in the latter, more bad electrical connections. Those thing fixed, this VEV should get me to next spring.
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A blog dedicated to the personal musings of Kevin L. Connors - a pragmatic libertarian, engineer, businessman, and journalist.

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