PRV V6 Volvos - are they really that bad?

Here is an interesting topic for discussion. The Volvo 260 (264/265) and 760's had the dreaded PRV V6 engine. Are they really to be avoided like the
plague; especially the earlier ones?
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On Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:52:14 GMT, "Peter Gottschald"

I've owned one '79 200 with the V-6 and 6 other 200 and 700 with the red block. My vote is yes avoid the PRV. Not just because of the durability issues but they are a pain to work on. Dave Shannon daveshan@DIE_SPAMMERScox.net (Spring Valley CA) 1984 245DL 200K 1984 245Ti 190K 1988 240DL 190K 1992 745Ti 150K '01 Jeep Sahara 15K www.volvo2.homestead.com
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Peter Gottschald wrote:

They can be OK if they've been meticulously maintained. However as noted, they are harder to work on, and tend to seep oil from here and there. The later (1987-) B280 version is quite a bit better durability wise, in addition to being smoother, more powerful and less susceptible to poor maintenance
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Mike F.
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Because there's more to the internet than hits alone, Peter Gottschald wrote:

I've owned a 264 with a B27 in it. This was 20 or more years ago. My dad had it before me, and we never saw the problems that it is meant to suffer from.
The two problems we did have were
1) My dad had a very difficult starting problem that 2 Volvo dealers couldn't resolve. A small independent workshop found it in 5 minutes - the central contact in the distributor cap was missing;
2) There are four small bolts that locate the huge central inlet manifold - the threads in the ally head stripped, and I had to fabricate a clamp plate to hold the manifold down.
Oh, yes, there was a third problem - the heater fan packed up and cost a fortune to put right (this is common to all 200 series). I saw the horrified correspondence that went between my dad and the Volvo dealer. In the end the dealer agreed to write off half the cost as 'learning time'.
I liked the car; the engine had more guts than the 4s (though probably not the turbos), and it was comfortable enough. I only sold it because I needed an estate, and because 16 mpg (UK) was just a little too extravagant for me.
Someone metioned somewhere that it was only the Volvo-ised versions of the PRV engine that had the head/cam problems.
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Stewart Hargrave

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the
The later ones were better than earlier ones, the main reason I avoid them is they're such a pain to work on, they're really shoehorned in there, and they feel very unfamiliar, there's really nothing Volvo about them, you open the hood and it looks like someone's done a half assed engine swap.
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James Sweet wrote:

Heh. I guess it's all us old farts with the idea that Volvo=inline. :)
Actually, the last couple of years for the V6 are good used cars as they tend to sell for next to nothing.
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PRV Volvos are ideal candidates for V8 conversions. Cheaper than 4-cyl because of the reputation that the engines have, but loaded with all the luxury gear...
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Athol
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That is why I have one in progress. All the extras will sure be nice to go with the extra power. Chris V
athol wrote:

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Yep. I specialise in certifying ceonversions such as engine conversions, and the forst time I saw a PRV in a 264, my reaction was that the engine conversion was no good.
If it hadn't been a factory installation, it would have failed for having the engine too far forward in the engine bay and upsetting the car's weight distribution. :-)
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Athol
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athol wrote:

Yeah, it looks like there should be 2 more cylinders in that space doesn't it?
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conversions,
I believe that engine started on paper as a V-8. Probably right around the same time as a fuel crisis.
Maybe that has something to do with it, maybe not...
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Not that I know of. The PRV was designed for Renault transverse FWD applications as well as Peugeot and Volvo longitudinal RWD applications. A V8 would never have fitted the Pug or Reno.

I'd say that the sump design is the whole key to it. If volvo had built a different front crossmember, rear-mounted steering rack and different struts (different steering arm shape), they could have moved the engine back about 75mm (3"). The steering would have fouled the lower control arms... Essentially, the engine wouldn't fit into the engine bay any further back.
From a conversion perspective, that would have made that engine rate as "unsuitable" for that model of car.
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wrote:

the
It baffles me why Volvo, maker of some of the best engines in the world chose to put some of the worst aftermarket engines in some of their cars. There were plenty of decent 6 cyl engines out around the time of the PRV.
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wrote:

around
Wasn't an aftermarket engine for Volvo-PRV stands for Peugeot-Renault-Volvo- the engine was a joint venture between the three firms to cut development costs-the engine did well in Peugeot 505s and was the best part of Peugeot's 604. Renault's 30 had the engine, but the 20 (same car but with a 4-cylinder) was a better (well, less bad) car and the later executive 25 did well with the PRV. Don't really know why Volvo's PRV engines got such a bad reputation-Maybe Volvo buyers have higher standards! Regards, MadNurseGaz
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wrote:

cars.
PRV.
Peugeot-Renault-Volvo-
Peugeot's
did
bad
I've heard it was a joint venture, I can't however see any Volvo influence in it at all, it shares nothing in common with either the old redblocks or the new alloy engines. I was thinking in particular the VW Diesels when I referred to the lousy aftermarket engines.
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James Sweet wrote <snippedfor brevity>

As an aside, the other engine built at the PRV engine factory was used by Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, and Talbot- about all of the French auto industry, then. It was a small (954-1124-1360 c.c.) 4-cylinder SOHC engine built in unit with a gearbox in the sump. It was notable for being a transverse-mounted slant 4 that tilted back at 72 degrees. The models in which it was used were the Renault 14 (1216 cc exclusive to Renault), Peugeot 104, 205 (all sizes), Citroen Visa, ZS (all sizes) and Talbot Samba (all sizes) . VW's 6-cylinder diesel was only used by VW in their LT van and truck line. Europeans will know what I mean when I say this van was Transit sized,(Ford Transit-Europe's most popular LCV), For American readers, think Econoline. As a 5-cylinder, this engine was used by VW in the Passat range and by Audi in the 90 and 100. It's best-known incarnation is as a 4-pot as used in Golf and Jetta. The reputation these engines have in Europe is second only to Peugeot's diesels as the pace-setters (in their time) for diesel power. The 6-pot definitely feels like a truck engine, though! Regards, MadNurseGaz
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: James Sweet wrote : <snippedfor brevity> : > : >> Wasn't an aftermarket engine for Volvo-PRV stands for : >> Peugeot-Renault-Volvo- the engine was a joint venture between the : >> three firms to cut development costs-the engine did well in Peugeot : >> 505s and was the best part of Peugeot's 604. Renault's 30 had the : >> engine, but the 20 (same car but with a 4-cylinder) was a better : >> (well, less bad) car and the later executive 25 did well with the : >> PRV. Don't really know why Volvo's PRV engines got such a bad : >> reputation-Maybe Volvo buyers have higher standards! : >> Regards, : >> MadNurseGaz : >> : >> : > : > I've heard it was a joint venture, I can't however see any Volvo : > influence in it at all, it shares nothing in common with either the : > old redblocks or the new alloy engines. I was thinking in particular : > the VW Diesels when I referred to the lousy aftermarket engines. : : As an aside, the other engine built at the PRV engine factory was used by : Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, and Talbot- about all of the French auto : industry, then. : It was a small (954-1124-1360 c.c.) 4-cylinder SOHC engine built in unit : with a gearbox in the sump. It was notable for being a transverse-mounted : slant 4 that tilted back at 72 degrees. The models in which it was used were : the Renault 14 (1216 cc exclusive to Renault), Peugeot 104, 205 (all sizes), : Citroen Visa, ZS (all sizes) and Talbot Samba (all sizes) . : VW's 6-cylinder diesel was only used by VW in their LT van and truck line. : Europeans will know what I mean when I say this van was Transit sized,(Ford : Transit-Europe's most popular LCV), For American readers, think Econoline. : As a 5-cylinder, this engine was used by VW in the Passat range and by Audi : in the 90 and 100. : It's best-known incarnation is as a 4-pot as used in Golf and Jetta. : The reputation these engines have in Europe is second only to Peugeot's : diesels as the pace-setters (in their time) for diesel power. : The 6-pot definitely feels like a truck engine, though! : Regards, : MadNurseGaz : You obviously havent driven mine, MNG. Mine goes better than a hot hatch and can put the frighteners up the local youth. Volkswagen managed to peak at 225 bhp and around 450 lbsft torque from the D24 engine.
Cheers, Peter.
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Peter Milnes wrote:

No, Peter, I've only driven mine!Yours sounds like fun! I've asked you for tuning info on the VOC forums, though! Regards, MadNurseGaz
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I have been driving a 1988 280F for the last 9 months. My only complaints are the high cost of components (I was quoted $Aus784 for a fuel pressure regulator, $Aus400 for an rpm sensor) and the high fuel cost. Currently my car runs at ~6.5km/l (15 US mpg) city driving. Compared to the 4 cylinders it is a better drive. Overall, however, I would gladly swap my 760 for a 4 cylinders.
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Hmm... Converting to a 350 Chev on LPG makes it cheaper to run and a lot more fun to drive. :-)
IIRC, I worked out that I got about the same economy from the PRV as I now get with the 350, and the 350 doesn't struggle up hills. :-p
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