Exhaust | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

Keeping a '92 Volvo 240 Wagon on the Road & Other Automotive & DIY Musings

No more smog

I finally brought the brick in for service after giving up on diagnosing the emissions problem. Turns out I had a bad air mass meter and I had it replaced. I thought the diagnostics box was broken but it turns out that it just needed to be reset with a bunch of button holds and clicks. D-oh! Would have been good to know that before.

Once fixed the car doesn’t lag, gets good mileage and passed NJ inspection. I took the opportunity this weekend to replace the plugs, cap and rotor. Above are the old plugs. They didn’t look too bad after 36k miles.


A Tale of Two Cats

I just took delivery on some parts from FCP Groton and am trying to figure out if I got the right catalytic converter. I photographed the new and old part together and it looks like the new one is different. I’m not sure if it’s just a different design or a totally different part.

I have a 1992 245 non-california. It’s Davico DV008, ref #8551608. Part listing here.

I’m cross-posting on the Brickboard for input.

UPDATE: I just installed and it fits perfectly, better than the old one. I’m afraid my problem may be the O2 sensor though since the check engine light is still on and it still lags on acceleration. I’m heading out for inspection.


My Cracked Pipe


In the continuing saga of my exhaust leak, I’ve discovered a new issue. There’s a big crack in the pipe going into the catalytic converter.

I think I missed it last time I was under there because I was looking from the other side. But with the camera the hole reveals itself. It’s only 2 years old, so I don’t know why it would have a fracture like that. It looks like it happened from over-tightening.

I posted to Brick Board here.


Exhaust Leakage

I just posted this on the Brick Board:

My brick rasps awful loud and I went under and found where it’s leaking. It’s at the flanged fittings where the header meets the cat. converter. I got a generic exhaust gasket from a local shop and it fit correctly. The old one was held on by one out of the three holes.

I tightened up the bolts but it still leaks. When I hold my hand around the back of the flange for the cat converter I can feel exhaust leaking out. It’s on pretty tight though, so I’m not sure why it would still be leaking. I tightened each bolt equally. Could they be too tight? Bad gasket? Bad flange?


Removing the Rusted Exhaust

Back in November I had a problem starting the Brick. It had been tough to start for about a half year. I changed the plugs, rotor and distributor cap. When that didn’t help I replaced the spark plug wires but it still wouldn’t start. The car was towed and it turned out to be a broken ignition coil.

When I picked it up again it was noticeably louder than before. I looked underneath and it was leaking masive amounts of exhaust. I brought it back and was told that the whole exhaust system, cat back, would need to be replaced, and got an estimate of about $600. No way.

Last weekend I got a $120 Starla system from FCP and installed it at my parents house. It was a pretty easy job, about 3 hours. I wish I’d replaced the catalytic converter also, because it would have made the job a little easier, but would also have raised the price over $300. We’ll see if it passes inspection.

UPDATE April 2008: Didn’t pass inspection. I felt so stupid having to shell out a bunch of cash for the installation of a new cat after having been under the car a few weeks before. But I had no interest in going under there again, and I figured if i got the work done by the place that would redo the inspection I’d be better off.

I’m learning it’s better not to be too frugal. This is the second time I’ve tried to save money by going cheap, ended up getting burned and had to shell out a bunch MORE money to pull myself out of it.