I was replacing the timing components on my 1998 Volvo S90’s engine this afternoon. While this is a somewhat technical repair, it’s not terribly time consuming. I only had to remove about 10 bolts to expose this area of the engine and another 10-15 bolts had to be removed to replace the necessary parts (water pump, tensioner, and two idler pulleys). It took about 2 hours from start to finish….including cleaning the tools and putting them away.
This picture was taken after I was already putting things getting back together.
The reason the post is entitled “Disaster Averted” is because this engine is what is called an Interference Engine. As the link points out, anything that causes the timing system to fail will cause nearly irreparable engine damage.
My wife and I are very aware of the normal noises our cars make and on Monday she noticed a new noise. I quickly discovered that the noise was coming from the timing system, so we quit driving the car until I could get the parts to fix the problem. It turns out the problem was the pulley pointed to by the green line. But, since this system is so important to have working correctly, I also replaced the rest of the stuff that makes up the timing system.