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Clagged up swirl flaps

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Old Aug 23rd, 2012, 23:01   #1
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Default Clagged up swirl flaps

Anyone had this? V70 D5 185bhp, 2007, 70k miles and swirl flap actuator arm flipped off having been displaying engine management service required warning intermittently for a few weeks. Car went into limp home mode, reconnection got power back but decided to work out why?
Removal of rocker cover (along with injector pipes etc etc) showed all the flaps covered in hardened carbon/oil clag. So stiff that the actuator and arm coudn't move them. Much cleaning, refitting and all is well again. Local garage took 3.5 hrs and new rod, gaskets, etc to sort. Car now going like a high speed train.
Is this build up of muck normal or not, and if so can it be avoided?? What causes it?
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 11:47   #2
James S
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<sighs>... This whole swirl throttle business really doesnt seem to have been thought out very well. There is a good thread on here about repairing the control arm so that it doesn't pop off. I have made such a modification which has worked well until now. Now the plastic socket on the end of the swirl throttle has 'melted' so I am now in the process of making a Mk 2 repair involving using epoxy putty and a male ball joint made of metal on the end of the swirl arm. That will then require a link arm to be made which has 2 female ends.

Your post here indicates that any repair to beef up the outside may be ultimately futile due to the build up of deposits within the top of the engine.

As a matter of interest, did you replace the swirl throttle assembly with the upgraded version which is supposed to be built to a higher (stronger) standard? Would be very interested to read about the difference between old and new if you did.
2006 V70 D5 SE 185
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 12:36   #3
Brendan W
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Let's see , countless hours developing a low loss, optimal swirl induction system and then spray it with a carbon oil sludge. To reduce it try keeping the EGR mixing chamber clean , maybe it will act as a trap. Is the crankcase breather system working properly ie draining freely and not sending oil to the turbo inlet. Nobody seems to have opened one yet. Still think there should be a drain on the intercooler. Is there a small leak in the induction system allowing more smoke than normal. Could other choices of fuel and oil reduce smoke production.
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 23:51   #4
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Default Clogged swirl flaps

Thank you both for rapid replies.
No I haven't upgraded the flaps, didn't know about the possibility. Also the bill was high enough already!!
I will look into the Egr mixing chamber but know nothing of it. The little garage it is serviced at thought of blocked breather and checked it: apparently no problem but will look again.
The engine runs, and has run, really well: no smoke at all even under heavy acceleration, uses NO oil at all etc etc
I was disappointed really: I had thought a Volvo would be better thought out! It really might explain why so many have acting rod failures.
And now it is all clean: wow! Does it shift better throughout all rev / accelerator range! Much quicker and doing better mpg too at present .
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 22:57   #5
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Swirl flaps can be a pain, If anyone has a 150bhp vectra diesel they are prone for the same problem, but require new inlet manifold (lancia/fiat engine). At least it seems that volvos can be cleaned/repaired. Not had any dealings with this yet but shall look out for it.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 13:35   #6
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Originally Posted by corbsxc90 View Post
Swirl flaps can be a pain, If anyone has a 150bhp vectra diesel they are prone for the same problem, but require new inlet manifold (lancia/fiat engine). At least it seems that volvos can be cleaned/repaired. Not had any dealings with this yet but shall look out for it.
Yes, I had that engine before my current XC. Mine didn't suffer the manfold problem, pehaps partly because I cleaned out the EGR valve and associated trunking every 10k miles after 45k miles. Fiat themselves introdued a modified EGR-Inlet manifold gasket designed to resrict the EGR gasflow which also helped. Vauxhall never themselves sold the modified gasket but I used the Fiat one. These issues were/are well discussed on the Vectra-C forum along with various user designed fixes, both for EGR flow and prolonging the life of a failing swirl actuator system.

I haven't cleaned the EGR system yet on my D5 as it doesn't seem so easy to do as the Fiat based system was. That may just be because it doesn't seem as widley discussed on these forums though as the 1.9CDTi was on the various forums for models that engine was used in.

My D5 had the 'official' plastic actuator rod fix done before I had it but nothing else.

At least neither is as bad as another manufacturer who's engines seemed at one time to suffer from ingestion of the actual swirl flaps through the inlet valves!
'07 P2 Willow Green XC70 D5 (185), 6 speed Geartronic, SE, As standard.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 09:37   #7
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Default Access to swirl flaps

I've seen suggestions to remove the top of the inlet and clean it but can't find any pics/instructions and the Haynes manual is useless.
Can anyone enlighten me on how to do the job. My S80 has had the EGR/plenum cleaned and it's my guess that the inlet is pretty bad too.
Any help gratefully accepted.
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