About three weeks ago, the timing belt snapped on my 1998 Volvo V70 as the the key was turned to shut off the engine. The car has 135,000 miles on the odometer. My Father-in-Law and I changed the timing belt and water pump at 65,000 miles, so the belt that broke was was the second one in the car.
The interference engine did not disappoint, and interfered rather swimmingly. Eight of the 20 valves were damaged. The shop where I took the head removed all the valves; inspected the head; ground, lapped,and replaced the damage valves; and sent me back to our garage to rebuild the engine. The pistons suffered small half-moon dents from the valves, but were not broken. We were told the head was free of cracks, and proceeded to rebuild the engine. We bought a head kit, new head bolts, replaced all the gaskets, and even put the hydraulic lifters back in the original positions. Everything was done to Volvo specification for torque and degrees of stretch on the head bolts. Of course, the engine also got a new timing belt and water pump. We changed the oil, turned the key, and won the battle; the car was not dead. In fact, it ran beautifully. After a minute or two, the lifters quieted down, and we sent up a cheer!
For the next few days afterward, I diligently checked for leaks; spots on the ground or garage floor. I even went so far as to put down a piece of plywood to easier spot and trace dripping fluids. I did find a couple of hoses that were a little loose, tightened up the clamps, and all was right with the world. That was, until I checked the oil. On the dipstick, rather than reading the lovely golden-colored 6.1 quarts of 5W30 Penzoil I had put in just 150 miles earlier, was coated in a thick, gooey tan material akin to butterscotch pudding. My good mood waned as I called my Father-in-Law to report that coolant had infiltrated the oil system. He too was deflated.
I have been reading several hypotheses as to the presence of said goo on said dipstick. Some say it is moisture from cold, wet weather (I live in northern Illinois). Some say it is a leaking oil line inside the radiator. And yet some others say (God forbid) it is a broken head or leaking head gasket. I need your expert(?) opinion. Is my beloved V70 toast? I can take it. Tell me the truth: did we win the battle, but lose the war?