Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Valve cover hold downs for the Volvo B-20 engine

Valve covers on the Volvo B-18 and B-20 engines are notoriously leaky and mine is no exception.
 This is the sweet orchestra that lives beneath the cover
Trouble is the valve cover is stamped sheet metal , and fifty six years of overly enthusiastic screw tightening have distorted the metal so the cover no longer puts even pressure on the gasket .
Before I painted it I did a bit of  re-shaping around the screw holes with a ball-peen hammer to flatten out the divets . Spreading the pressure of the crews over a larger area is helpful to prevent it from reoccurring . 
Yea , you can spend money on some store bought hold-downs , but that would just be too easy
A bit of fiddling with some cardboard and scissors . . . gets us something that looks like this
Transfer the general outline to a piece of dumpster salvaged quarter inch 6063-T6 aluminum and go to it with the band saw .
Twenty minutes making the band saw screech , we have four rough cut pieces
Clamp them all together for uniformity and go to it for about an hour on the bench sander with an 80 grit belt . Dipping frequently in a bucket of water to keep from burning your fingers .
And we arrive at something resembling what we wanted .
As the edge of the valve cover has a bead on it we need to make a rabbet to provide space for that
My cheap Chinese Harbor-Fright vertical mill saves the day once again
Looks OK to me
Been dragging those T handle valve cover screws around in a box for twenty years , I think I finally found a use for them .
After taking an eight day side tour of Georgia courtesy of the USPS the new rubber gasket finally arrived
Way better than the stiff ten year old cork gasket
Cleaned the valve cover and installed the gasket
. . . and snugged it all down with the T screws and new hold-downs .
Not bad for a hack . Yea the T handle screws are a bit tacky so I might swap them back out for screws



    I am not one of the cool kids so my opinion is worth what you paid for it - but those t handles look right at home to me. That orchestra has a mighty fine conductor.

    1. Yea trouble is the conductor can't carry a tune most of the time. ;-)

  2. Hey those T handles look great to me!! Good job!

    1. They do make it easy to keep things snugged up.