The Volvo B8444S engine is an advanced 60° wide-bore short-stroke V8 engine, with a 94mm bore and a 79.5mm stroke (over-square engine). This lends to a rather high-revving nature with peak power output much later in the RPM range. In fact, Volvo rates the engine making it’s peak power of 315hp at 5850RPM and peak torque of 325 lb-ft at 3900RPM. The short stroke, coupled with the close ratio 6 speed TF-80SC automatic transmission make for a very spirited and sporty feel in the rather large and heavy XC90 that tips the scales at over 4400lb.
To give the engine a wider powerband and improve engine response when it’s not running at it’s optimal RPM, the engine is fitted with variable intake runners, with plates that open and close in the intake manifold based on engine vacuum and computer controlled with a solenoid.
Recently while checking over the engine, I heard a loud hissing noise coming from the passenger side (US market, LHD) of the engine towards the cylinder bank facing the firewall. After pulling off the plastic valvetrain cover, I found a mysterious black tank with two vacuum lines running to it – one of the lines had the nipple broken off, and the vacuum was sucking away with a great deal of noise into the vacuum tank. You can see it in the picture below, the black cylindrical tank with the broken nipple on it. I taped up the broken connection to prevent a vacuum leak.
- Volvo OEM part number: 8687949
- Supplier: SwedishAutoParts.com – $41.07
Here is an exploded parts diagram of the vacuum tank. It is labeled as #6 in this diagram:
When you get the part, you get the metal bracket and the tank. The solenoid is a separate part. Here’s what it looks like from the parts supplier. Country of origin is Japan:
Installing the part is actually much easier than it looks:
- Remove upper engine mount. This is the piece that looks like a strut bar. Remove the two bolts on each strut tower, then remove the bolt and flange nut on the upper engine mount. Lift the entire assembly off the strut towers. It’s rather heavy.
- Remove the rear (firewall side) decorative valve cover. No fasteners on this one.
- Spray down the hose connections with a light lubricant, such as WD-40 or PB Blaster. This helps to loosen the hoses on the nipples so they come off easier and save you the trouble of possibly breaking more nipples on more fittings.
- Remove the orange clip to the solenoid. This has to be removed so you can access the two bolts that fasten the bracket to the engine block.
- Carefully remove the hoses from the vacuum tank. Take your time and try to twist them a bit before yanking them to prevent breaking more fittings. For the nipple that broke off inside the hose, you can just get a new vacuum line from Autozone or do what I did and spray down the inside of the hose a bit with the lubricant and then get a small screwdriver and pry it out.
- Remove the solenoid from the bracket. You need to do this because the lower bolt for the bracket is blocked by the solenoid. It is bolted in by a very small bolt on the back facing the firewall.
- Remove the bracket from the engine block. Two bolts, very straightforward.
- Once the bracket and the tank are out, swap, and re-install. If needed, lube the nipples on the new tank and on the solenoid to help the hoses go on easier. The tank is also a one-way check valve, and the hoses has yellow and white paint to match the connections on the tank. Make sure you put them on in the right location!
- That’s it. You’re done. Total time for me was about 20 minutes.
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