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Old 05-27-2017, 07:38 AM   #1
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LB Viggen Convertible Build

Well, I have been on the forums here and there over the past 4 years after building my vert in 2013/14 and after some extended periods of sitting I finally got it situated in a garage after we bought our house.



However, it's been giving me trouble over the past couple of months as I got it out of its latest hibernation. First was the radiator blowing up at the inspection station, then the alternator going shortly after and now this:



So I'm looking at least at a new head gasket, probably new rings and a hone depending on how bad it looks. It did seem to be seized when I tried to start it and it wouldn't crank. Before I tear into it any advice with sitting coolant in the cylinder?
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:17 PM   #2
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Is the piston up or down? I'd stick a chopstick or something in there and see where the piston is, then use a syringe with a hose on the end and try to suck it out. Then try to slowly turn it by hand with the plugs out. It might actually be hydro locking a little.

Probably it doesn't matter too much if you're going to be pulling it all apart.

My '03 Aero started losing coolant over night into one of the cylinders, but only if the piston was down. I didn't do anything immediately and when I did tear it apart for a head gasket there wasn't any damage.

I knew it never overheated so I just cleaned up both surfaces real carefully with acetone and multiple fresh straight razors, used Halomar gasket dressing on the head gasket, and put it back together. That was like 30-40k miles ago, no problems.
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:55 PM   #3
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I believe it's up but I have to check, hard to tell with all of that coolant. I'm going to try attaching a narrow straw to a shop vac to get it out and then wd-40 and drip some oil down in there to sit and soak. I'm afraid to try to break it loose and cause more damage but I don't have much to lose at this point.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:23 PM   #4
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I guess worst case you'll gouge the cylinder wall beyond a hone; it has to come loose no matter what you do. How many miles are on it? Going the first oversize is definitely more expensive when you throw in the machining costs, but then it'll be right, so that's not a too bad worst case.

If you go that route, $519.00 gets you a nice set of new forged pistons, wrist pins, and rings from GenuineSaab. https://genuinesaab.com/catalog/prod...roducts_id=518

What is that car anyway? Is it a real LB Viggen, 1999 or 2000? I know some LB 5-doors sneaked out in 2000, but I didn't know there were any LB 'verts.
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.

Last edited by Trionic3000; 05-27-2017 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:14 AM   #5
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I guess worst case you'll gouge the cylinder wall beyond a hone; it has to come loose no matter what you do. How many miles are on it? Going the first oversize is definitely more expensive when you throw in the machining costs, but then it'll be right, so that's not a too bad worst case.

If you go that route, $519.00 gets you a nice set of new forged pistons, wrist pins, and rings from GenuineSaab. https://genuinesaab.com/catalog/prod...roducts_id=518

What is that car anyway? Is it a real LB Viggen, 1999 or 2000? I know some LB 5-doors sneaked out in 2000, but I didn't know there were any LB 'verts.
It actually already has forged piston and arp head studs so I'm really surprised it's come to this. I mean this was my first project car and my first motor build, lasted about 25k, but over 4 years it sat dormant for over 6 months about 3 times. It has never overheated as far as I can tell but we'll see when it's apart.

It's a true LB Viggen vert, produced in 2000. One of 47 I believe. I've been through this before, I'll get to take my time since it's in my garage and not my parents. Either I'll go the rebuild route again or I'll find a decently priced 06+ B235R to throw in.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:13 AM   #6
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It actually already has forged piston and arp head studs so I'm really surprised it's come to this. I mean this was my first project car and my first motor build, lasted about 25k, but over 4 years it sat dormant for over 6 months about 3 times. It has never overheated as far as I can tell but we'll see when it's apart.

It's a true LB Viggen vert, produced in 2000. One of 47 I believe. I've been through this before, I'll get to take my time since it's in my garage and not my parents. Either I'll go the rebuild route again or I'll find a decently priced 06+ B235R to throw in.
I see. Well that stinks; it's a car worth saving in any case. Did you go the first oversize last time around?

Years ago, maybe like 10 somehow, I talked with Nick regarding these headgaskets vs the T5 generation and he told me something to the effect of 'sometimes every once in a while they leak for us too, make sure everything is flat and clean'.

You might try coating things with a real thin layer of Hylomar. I've done 7 or 8 B2x5 engines, reused old heads and bolts in some cases (stuff you're not supposed to do), and haven't had any leaking in accumulated multiple 100 thousands of miles. Not to turn this into a Hylomar commercial lol.

Hylomar – Non-Setting Compounds

edit: Oh! For leaking, you could maybe think about running a T5, B2x4 head gasket. It'll lower your compression ratio a little because they're thicker, I forget the number, but I think it's around what the B205R's run. They're a different style, like a fiber with steel rings around the piston area and they have some sort of deforming gasket material around the coolant passages, compared to the thinner layered steel type that the T7's have by reputation they seal a little better. Stock B235R CR is 9.2:1 and the B205R's are 8.8:1. Check because I might be wrong, but I think you'd end up at high 8's somewhere.
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.

Last edited by Trionic3000; 05-28-2017 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tip on the Hylomar, I want to say I saw someone suggest it when I was searching for coolant leaks through the forums. I actually forgot that this block was o-ringed at the top of each cylinder as well, so I may be looking at a warped headed combined with the fact that the leak seems pronounced and it only has about 25k on the build. Unfortunately when this issue cropped up the car was in my father's possession and 7 hrs away. He drove it up, periodically filling it with coolant on the way up. That trip may have done it in.

I purchased this motor from someone here on TSL and it had been built before, kind of a package deal with the JE pistons and T5 cams in the head. I forgot who but it was a part out out of NH. It's already been milled twice from what I can tell and the compression was pretty high right after my build, like 220 psi or around there. I may just be better off getting a new head, or if the scoring is bad enough, a new motor.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:35 AM   #8
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:53 AM   #9
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That's a pretty car in blue. Even after all these years I still like how Viggens look.

What percentage coolant were you running--and was refilled with during the drive? If it was high enough, maybe you don't actually have corrosion and things might just be a little sticky where the water cooked off and left behind the nonvolatiles(?). I guess that's the optimists version.

Hmm, actually, this is a really a long shot, but if you get the head off and there's no surface rust on cylinder wall, what are the rings made from? If they're more resistant to corrosion than the cylinder wall, they may just be gummed up a little and you might be able to pop a T5 gasket on there and go, assuming it wasn't overheated and the head is straight. I don't have any experience with o-ringing these though and what impact that has on the sealing.
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First T7 19T turbo setup. First T7 Deka 80lb. injector setup.

Last edited by Trionic3000; 05-28-2017 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 05-28-2017, 07:23 AM   #10
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I can only hope it goes that well and I just need to free some things up and replace the gasket. As much as I love the car and adore the interior it drives me crazy at the same time not having an easy replacement for the blue leather. I have an old set of 99 LB 3 door rear seats I'm hoping to use the good blue from to make new front seat covers.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:59 AM   #11
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Just vacuumed the coolant out and filled up cylinders 1 and 3 with about 1/2 inch to an inch of wd-40. I'll let that sit for a day or too and then dry that up and soak the cylinder tops in oil. We'll see if that frees anything up before I can tear it down.



I had the overflow tank over pressurize the day before I found the coolant in the cylinders.



A straw and electrical tape to the rescue!

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Old 05-29-2017, 08:08 AM   #12
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Thankfully as John had mentioned it wouldn't crank because the piston couldn't compress the coolant sitting on top, so nothing is seized. I'll be doing a head gasket and valve cover seal and look in to that T5 head gasket. Trionic, anything to look for when ordering the T5 one?
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:01 PM   #13
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As far as I know all the B2x4 head gskets were the same. You might do a little searching to double check where it puts you compression ratio wise just to make sure, if your head has been taken down twice already it might be perfect
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:35 PM   #14
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As far as I know all the B2x4 head gskets were the same. You might do a little searching to double check where it puts you compression ratio wise just to make sure, if your head has been taken down twice already it might be perfect
And there's no difference in the passage ways and channels in the B2_5R block compared to the B2_4R block?
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:25 AM   #15
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And there's no difference in the passage ways and channels in the B2_5R block compared to the B2_4R block?
I can't say whether they're exactly the same but I don't think there are any differences that matter--sorry, I just don't remember. I bought a Viggen with bent valves from a bad downshift that was running one when I took it apart, and I built one lower compression engine using one that ran fine.

I'm sure someone posted a picture of the two gaskets on top of each other at some point
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:22 AM   #16
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You definitely won't have any problem using a t5 head gasket on the t7 engine. I once built a b234 for a 9-5. used the t5 gasket with the t7 head on the t5 block.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:26 PM   #17
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Sounds good, thanks guys. I have to replace the compressor in my brothers Malibu, then I can't get to this.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:06 PM   #18
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Been taking a break from the Viggen to help my brother with his 2005 Malibu Maxx. He had driven it from DC to western NY and mentioned that he had no AC. When I asked him how long he's been without it he said a few months. Man was I surprised to see the compressor pulley fully locked up and the belt running right over it! He said no noise and no change in mpg.

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Old 06-02-2017, 04:19 AM   #19
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Been taking a break from the Viggen to help my brother with his 2005 Malibu Maxx. He had driven it from DC to western NY and mentioned that he had no AC. When I asked him how long he's been without it he said a few months. Man was I surprised to see the compressor pulley fully locked up and the belt running right over it! He said no noise and no change in mpg.

Must have been a pretty slick belt!
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:07 PM   #20
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So I just picked up a cheap 19t, will I have problems running it with a stage 0 tune (stock injectors, stock fpr)?
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