“Volvo 850, S70, V70, C70 & V70-XC Forum (1992-2000)
I just can't take it anymore. I have been a member of this forum for a while and everytime the topic of a timing belt comes up, the ususal suspects proclaim that a broken belt means the end of an engine or the head is "destroyed" and requires purchasing a new or rebuilt head.
While a broken timing belt is bad and costs a lot more money than it would have cost to maintain the belt, it is by no means, a catastrophe or the end of the engine.
The only thing that happens when a timing belt breaks is a few valves get bent. This is not that big a deal! The valves for this car are relatively cheap at $10-15 a piece. In 1992 I bought a 1987 Porsche 928S which was a 32 valve V8 that had a broken belt. The intake valves were $48 each and the exhaust valves were $76 each and the headgasket set was $315 per bank. Now that was a catastrophe! Only one intake valve was unbent. I had to buy the other 31 valves.
All that is required is a valve spring compressor and a piece of 1/2in pvc pipe with a slot cut out to reach into and get the valve locks out. Put in the new valves, re-lap the valves with a drill or a grinding stick with suction cup and fine grinding material.
For those who might think that there are special procedures or something different because this car is a Volvo, think again, there is nothing different or difficult. Because of the automatic tensioner, it is actually one of the easiest engines to put a belt on. The Porsche 928S-S4 , GTS and 944/944Turbo are the most difficult which requires the use of a special belt tensioning tool(p9201). The Porsche 928's are so critical to have the timing belt at a particular tension that they are one of the only cars that have a timing belt tension light on the instrument cluster.
The Volvo engine is as simple as a Toyota or Nissan and is nothing to marvel at or be afraid of.”