You are on page 1of 5

Volvo Owners Club Forum (

- 200 Series General (
- - engine/carburettor vacuum hoses (

EYB Apr 13th, 2007 12:56

engine/carburettor vacuum hoses
I am in the process of restoring a 1987 240 gl. I was able to purchase a carburettor rebuild kit from Ireland. I am in need of technical
assistance for the following:

1. Where are all the colored vacuum hoses are connected? Mine has some not connected, while other hoses seemed to be are
2. What is the gadget/part with 2 vacuum hose fittings located on top of the power steering hoses?
3. The brick runs with no problem on high gear, my main problem is acceleration. It usually stalls and sometimes backfires upon
acceleration. Acceleration is very slow.

Also, the Pulse Air System has been cut off already. The line located at the back portion of the exhaust manifold, very near the
firewall has been cut off also and seal-welded. High speed is very impressive.

This model never came out here in the Philippines and so in the US, so nobody can help me. Attached are pictures that may aid the
volvoclub members for an accurate diagnosis and recommendation
Clifford Pope Apr 13th, 2007 20:40
I have a fully working 86 GL with the B230K carb engine, and it has the pipework just like yours. I have just been out and noted it all
Note the following components and connections:

1) The black thing in your photo, called I think the vacuum distributor. (5 connections)
2) The Pulse Air valve on top of the air cleaner box (1 connection)
3) Temperature sensor in the engine block, just below the inlet manifold by no. 3 cylinder ( 2 connections)
4) Ignition unit, mounted on the left hand wheel turret, quite close to the vac didtributor ( 1 connection)
5) Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve (EGR) underneath the carb at the back , connected to a thick metal pipe running round to the
exhaust manifold (1 connection)
6) Vacuum connections (2) on the side of the carb facing the engine
7) Carb vacuum connection (1) on the wing side, just below the fuel intake pipe
8) Vacuum take off in the inlet manifold, wing side, just below the carb. This has a rubber T-connector
9) Air connection on the underside of the inlet pipe, just before the carb.

I cannibalised mine from two working engines, and they each used the same colour codings. However, not all of the pipes are the
same colours as yours, so I am describing where they run, not just the colours.

Rearmost pipe on 1 (your yellow) goes to EGR 5

Middle pipe on 1 (your grey) goes to 3
Front pipe on 1 (your blue) goes to 9

On the outer side of the vac distributor

Upper pipe on 1 (your blue) goes to 2 Lower
Lower pipe on 1 (your orange) goes to 2 Upper

Branch Pipe from 8 (my yellow) goes to 3

Straight pipe from 8 (another my yellow) goes to 4

Pipe on 7 (my grey) goes to 2

You may not have all the pipes to the Pulse Air and the EGR if they have been removed or welded up, but presumably the vac pipes
should be stopped and not just open.
The Pulse air has 4 tappings into the block just the exhaust manifold. These, and the pipe, are prone to leaks.

The rubber joiners should all be checked for leaks, especially those that are bent. If the engine temperature thermostat fails the
engine won't run properly cold. Confirm by clamping the vac connection - it should then run OK, and can be released when warm.

I hope this helps. Post again if anything needs clarifying.

Good luck!

Cliff Pope
classicracing Apr 13th, 2007 22:22

You won't get this sort of help anywhere else, great group of people, I don't need this info myself but it makes you feel good to feel
part of it.
Thanks Clifford

Mike_Brace Apr 13th, 2007 23:45
That's a great reply Clifford - certainly a full and better reply than I could have given - I'm sure it will be much appreciated.

EYB Apr 14th, 2007 06:52
B230k engine on solex cisac carb
thank you Clifford for the much detailed assistance. Please find some questions/clarifications regarding your email:

1. Since the Pulse Air System has been cut-off already. How do I seal shut the 4 tappings on the side of the exhaust manifold? It
looks like that I have to remove the exhaust manifold first. What is a cost-effective and reliable material that I can use to seal the

2. Do you recommend installing headers and what size of exhaust pipes should be used? (since I have to remove the old and rusty
manifold to access the 4 tappings)

3. Does removal of the EGR (which you say is connected to the thick metal pipe running along the exhaust manifold) affect the
overall performance of the vehicle? As previously stated, mine has problems with acceleration, it usually stalls, backfires and the
RPM/idling during traffic fluctuates.

4. I still do not know what the small part on top of the power steering hoses is for. It has two fittings for vacuum hoses. Are you
referring to this part on item no. 4 of your email?

Thanks again for all the help!

Clifford Pope Apr 14th, 2007 09:31
1) The Pulse Air system consists of a network of 4 metal pipes (about 1 cm diam) connecting to a pair of large metal valves at the
front of the engine. These then joint to a 1" rubber pipe, which runs via a plastic bulb to the vacuum valve on top of the air intake box.
A common fault is that the metal valves fail, so they let through pulsed air into the exhaust pipe at the wrong moment. My colleage
from whom I aquired the car had problems with shattering backfires that blew the exhaust system to pieces on several occasions. A
Volvo agent advised removing the rubber pipe and sticking corks in the ends. This completely solved the problem.

On the donor car the metal pipes under the exhaust manifold were rusted through, but the car still ran because the section of pipe
near the manifold had fortunately choked up completely.

The 4 tappings are in the head, not the exhaust manifold. The ends of the pipes are a press fit (O-rings ? can't remember) but have
flanges held by washers and 4 small bolts. You have to remove the manifold to get at these. I am not sure what would be the best way
of plugging them - bits of solid rod of the right size, like rivit heads, perhaps, sealed in exhaust paste?

2) I am not quite sure what headers are - individual performance exhaust manifolds? No experience of any of these. But I do know
that all the exhaust manifolds are interchangeable, so one from a non EGR car would save the bother of plugging the large take-off at
the rear (Note EGR not the same as the Pulse Air)

3) I believe both Pulse Air and EGR were to clean up emisions rather than improve performance, so if anything removing them might
be expected to be beneficial to running. Certainly you eliminate the common problems they introduce. My understanding is that you can
just remove the lot, but you must plug the points of connection.
The EGR was a way of taking exhaust gas that sometimes contained unburnt fuel, and re-routing it into the inlet manifold to be burnt
again. It was controlled by the vacuum valve 5 in my list, perhaps to operate on overrun.
So the exhaust tapping in the manifold (or the pipe itself) has to be sealed, and also the inlet end so that air cannot get sucked in

4) I cannot make out what this is. Mine doesn't seem to have one. Item 4 is for ignition control, I think. It only has one vacuum
connection, and can just be seen in your picture in the background - the one with the large green electrical connector.

I would suggest that you thoroughly check all the points where the original Pulse Air and EGR have been disconnected, both vacuum
and air/exhaust tappings, and make sure these are properly plugged. That will eliminate the need for a lot of the vacuum pipes I have
Then review what is left and make sure all the connections are correct, and not leaking.
You can test some of the items. The temp sensor I think is shut when cold, but opens when hot. You can test by blowing. If you
suspect it isn't working, try clamping the pipe at a rubber joint. Mine was usable by doing this manually when cold starting, then nipping
out and releasing the clamp after it had warmed up.
The vacuum distributor has two controlling pipes on one side, which then distribute "vacuum" according to the difference in pressure
between the two control pipes. How much this unit actually is required to do once Pulse Air and EGR are removed I am not sure.
Somewhere in Haynes I read how to check it.

The system was always temperamental, and was commonly ripped out in frustration. i have to say that at the moment I have got
mine working as intended, but then the car is onlty a spare not in regular use. When I had it MOTd a few years ago it passed the
emisions test with incredibly low readings - it would have passed the modern test for catalysed engines, so all that ridiculous pipework
proved its point
Best wishes,


PS many thanks for the testimonials everyone - very gratifying.

minesa240x3 Apr 14th, 2007 12:59
Well Clifford I cannot beleave just how well you have described all the pipes and various connection's!Only yesterday I took my
camera to my old car knowing it had the same system fitted,I tried tracking the pipes but lost some where they disappeared under

manifold's etc.although I never had problem's with my car i can sympathise with EYB,I never did get round to understanding the maze
of pipework.
Like you if any pictures of certain bit's are needed then I may be able to take some specific shot's.
Very well done!!!!

:WeAreNotWorthy: :baffled: :confused_smile: :Banane59:

GL/GLT JIM Apr 14th, 2007 18:24
Clifford, you pretty much covered everything. I had to replace the pulseair pipe on my 87 GL about six years ago. I have owned my
car from new so it was the first one. The pulseair system draws some of the exhaust bypass and routes it back throught the carb. The
carb draws from both the pulsair side, and from the crankcase via the flame trap. Over a protracted period of time, the fuel, exhaust,
and oil combine to form a rock solid "coke" in the metal pipe. I removed each hose from the carb, and discovered that some of this rock
solid material was forming in some of the rubber hoses, and it was a challenge to clean it out. Pulseair is the Volvo trade name for
EGR, i.e., Exhaust Gas Recirculation. A form of this type of deposit builds up in the flame trap, and, once completely clogged, will
cause the crankcase gasses to overpressurize the crankcase, and if the system performs as designed, will blow the safety plug out
from the backside of the valve cover.
Clifford Pope Apr 14th, 2007 19:47
My understanding, but only from reading Haynes, was that Pulseair was the separate device at the front, connecting the air filter box
to the exhaust ports via the two big metal valves at the front. EGR is the pipe at the back, connecting the inlet manifold to the exhaust
manifold via the pipe round the back of the engine.
The first lets in pulses of air into the exhaust, to aid incomplete combustion, the second extracts exhaust gas and feeds it back round
for a second go.

But I may be wrong. Whatever it does, or is supposed to do, it's jolly complicated and in most people's opinion just too clever by half.
GL/GLT JIM Apr 15th, 2007 00:29
The pulseair portion of the circuit begins at the "gulp valve" where the black hose from the breather hooks into it. I say gulp because
of the noise it makes when the fresh air hose is removed while the engine is running. The fresh air is drawn from the front of the circuit
at the valve. The fresh air is drawn in from the front of the circuit to dilute the raw exhaust being drawn from the engine, through the
pipe to the carb. Metaphorically speaking, the Solex Cisac is one hell of a good bartender. It has to add the input from the pulseair to
the draw from the crankcase via the flame trap hose, meter in the correct shot of ambient air and petrol to achieve the correct
detonation. A lot of B230K owners erroneously blame the carb for poor performance problems, when in essence, the problem is that of
a problem upstream from the carb which has adversely affected the bartenders ability to mix the proper cocktail.
EYB Apr 16th, 2007 11:18
Solex Cisac carb/Pulse AIr System
Thanks Clifford for the overwhelming and detailed explanation. I'm sure this will not only help me but to the rest of 240 owners in the
malb Apr 18th, 2007 11:23
Pulse air system
I suspect that Clifford's comparison of Pulseair and EGR is correct.

Early 244/5 in Oz were fitted with a belt driven air pump mounted on the head above the altenator. There was a vacuum conection to
the inlet manifold used for controlling the output from this pump. The output connected via a short hose and a check valve to air
injection ports in the exhaust ports of the head. The intention being that a constant supply of fresh air into the exhaust would help
complete the combustion process and reduce emissions.

Apart from being a mechanically clumsy system, the system had two other failings that combined to cause problems. The pump unit
was a sealed unit without any ability to be serviced, i.e. no changing oil or repairable/replacable parts, and it sucked unfiltered air.
Hence they ultimately failed early in the life of the car and cost a bucket to replace.

From what I have seen of the Pulseair system it is a self powered equivalent to the air pump system. After a cylinder has fired and its
piston has reached the bottom of its cylinder travel, the exhaust valves open to vent the high pressure gases into the exhaust. The

exhaust gasses flow into the exhaust as a high velocity pulse, rather than as a smooth constant flow.

When the exhaust pulse has left the cylinder, or been cut off by the exhaust valve closing, this pulse continues to travel along the
exhaust at high speed, although the speed reduces as the pulse expands to fill the exhaust pipe volume.

Pulseair allows air to enter the exhaust system via the check (one way or anti backfire) valve drawn by the velocity of the tail of the
exhaust pulse. The air then mixes with the exhaust gases to complete combustion and possibly also dilutes the exhaust mix to reduce
measured emissions.

The check valve prevents exhaust gases leaving the system via the air inlet systems. If the check valve fails open, the exhaust can
get back to air box and possibly the inlet manifold or carby, producing a backfire.

This whole system is very similar to the pulse jet aircraft engine principle for those who have come across these delightful monsters.
malb Apr 18th, 2007 11:46
Vacuum Solenoid

The small component above the PS hoses is definitely a vacuum solenoid. If you look closely you see cables emerge from it at the
bottom, and end at the two pole electrical connector immediately behind it.

Basicly, if the unit is electricly energised, it will allow air flow (presure or vacuum) between the two air ports on the unit. If it is not
energised, it will not allow airflow. (Of course, if the designers wanted to be perverse, they could design the unit to function in the
oposite manner, allowing flow when the unit is not energised, and blocking when it is.)

The unit will be part of the vacuum system. If the electrics are still connected, it might be worthwhile to trace them and find out exactly
what event energises the unit.

Clifford may not have such a unit in that location but your car is left hand drive and his is right hand drive. His might have the same
item, but secreted away a different place. Alternatively, it might be peculiar to left hand drive, or US intended vehicles. Do you know
much about the history of the car, as you might determine which market it was manufactured for that way?
Clifford Pope Apr 18th, 2007 12:22
I've looked again carefully at mine, and there is definitely no additional electrical solenoid. This is, as you say, presumably a market
I would guess that it was added as an additional tweak to an already complicated system in order to overcome some perceived
weakness. One obvious possibility is that it ensures that all or part of the vacuum system does not become operative unless the ignition
is turned on. Just a guess - maybe it was to prevent backfires as the Pulseair continued to operate in the moments after the ignition
was switched off? Perhaps more of a problem in hot climates?

(I have a large lawnmower that waits about 10 seconds after shutting down, then gives a loud bang as residual unexploded mixture
seeps through into the hot silencer)

All times are GMT +3. The time now is 17:20 .

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.7.2

Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.