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'07 Volvo C70 B5254T3 with AW55-50 Fully Stock
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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I've had the car for a few months now, and my introduction into the Volvo car community has been great as an amateur to the brand. I plan on building the car so expect more posts, but for now I'll get to the point. I've taken the car on a trip already and even a 'spirited drive' on a touge, but the transmission has been rough with manual downshifting. I've been looking for some more information on it, but all that I've found is that the AW55 does not rev-match for you like the much newer Volvo 6-Speed automatic. To my knowledge the transmission fluid has not yet been changed at 128,000+ miles, which I'll be doing very soon. The transmission works just fine in automatic and I don't notice any kind of jerks or rough transitions. Back in manual mode, it also upshifts smoothly and with minimal delay.

So, what would be the reason for the harsh downshifting? I came up with a few explanations but I haven't driven the car in manual mode for a while with the fear of breaking something. The first thing that I've thought of was rev-matching. Since I assume the AW55 has a clutch like most torque converters, I took my guess that you would have to blip the throttle a little bit for the transmission to downshift smoothly while braking or cruising, just like a standard. My second thought was maybe the transmission fluid, since it hasn't been changed in ages and that's certainly the next job I'm doing. My third reason was, maybe the transmission itself is starting to go? Maybe the clutch is starting to finally wear out and I'm gonna be needing a manual swap.

If someone could tell me, I'd greatly appreciate it, as it would leave me one less thing to worry about!
 

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I've had the car for a few months now, and my introduction into the Volvo car community has been great as an amateur to the brand. I plan on building the car so expect more posts, but for now I'll get to the point. I've taken the car on a trip already and even a 'spirited drive' on a touge, but the transmission has been rough with manual downshifting. I've been looking for some more information on it, but all that I've found is that the AW55 does not rev-match for you like the much newer Volvo 6-Speed automatic. To my knowledge the transmission fluid has not yet been changed at 128,000+ miles, which I'll be doing very soon. The transmission works just fine in automatic and I don't notice any kind of jerks or rough transitions. Back in manual mode, it also upshifts smoothly and with minimal delay.

So, what would be the reason for the harsh downshifting? I came up with a few explanations but I haven't driven the car in manual mode for a while with the fear of breaking something. The first thing that I've thought of was rev-matching. Since I assume the AW55 has a clutch like most torque converters, I took my guess that you would have to blip the throttle a little bit for the transmission to downshift smoothly while braking or cruising, just like a standard. My second thought was maybe the transmission fluid, since it hasn't been changed in ages and that's certainly the next job I'm doing. My third reason was, maybe the transmission itself is starting to go? Maybe the clutch is starting to finally wear out and I'm gonna be needing a manual swap.

If someone could tell me, I'd greatly appreciate it, as it would leave me one less thing to worry about!
Blip the brake when you are ready to downshift.
 

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'07 Volvo C70 B5254T3 with AW55-50 Fully Stock
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Blip the brake when you are ready to downshift.
Thanks, that's what I thought it could be, the transmission seems to lag with no throttle. I'll try it out today and see what happens, hopefully no issues. Blip the throttle while downshifting for no lag or jerk, let off throttle for upshifts from the information that I've read up on.
 

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Thanks, that's what I thought it could be, the transmission seems to lag with no throttle. I'll try it out today and see what happens, hopefully no issues. Blip the throttle while downshifting for no lag or jerk, let off throttle for upshifts from the information that I've read up on.
Blip the "BRAKE" not the throttle, this will fool the trans into thinking that you are going to slow down and therefore need to downshift. You only need enough pedal travel on the brake to get the brake lights to come on, not actually apply the brakes…
 

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'07 Volvo C70 B5254T3 with AW55-50 Fully Stock
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Blip the "BRAKE" not the throttle, this will fool the trans into thinking that you are going to slow down and therefore need to downshift. You only need enough pedal travel on the brake to get the brake lights to come on, not actually apply the brakes…
So you would enter a corner with no throttle, blip the brake while downshifting to prevent jerking, and then you'd continue actually braking until you accelerate again? Sorry it's just a weird concept to me, I'm used to actual manuals or DCT transmissions. Would you be able to downshift at any RPM? 2000+?
 

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Thanks, that's what I thought it could be, the transmission seems to lag with no throttle. I'll try it out today and see what happens, hopefully no issues. Blip the throttle while downshifting for no lag or jerk, let off throttle for upshifts from the information that I've read up on.
If you want "quicker" up shifts/gear changes without hesitation….? Three options…
1. Use manual mode for 85% of your driving over the next few days and run the revs up to 5500 before you shift and make sure you are performance driving while doing so. These transmissions are adaptive/learning and need to be taught your driving style. Drive like granny….it will shift like granny…
2. Get a tune…Hilton, Polestar etc. that changes the shift points and response times.
3. Do both of the above.
 

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So you would enter a corner with no throttle, blip the brake while downshifting to prevent jerking, and then you'd continue actually braking until you accelerate again? Sorry it's just a weird concept to me, I'm used to actual manuals or DCT transmissions. Would you be able to downshift at any RPM? 2000+?
I've done it. Just remember you can't drive an auto like a standard, a standard like an AWD, a AWD like a FWD. Best results for cornering in a FWD, trail brake or even left foot brake, and get on the throttle earlier exiting the turns. AWD brake early and throttle at apex of turn. And then it comes down to suspension, tires/grip, and knowing 'your' car and how it handles.
 

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'07 Volvo C70 B5254T3 with AW55-50 Fully Stock
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've done it. Just remember you can't drive an auto like a standard, a standard like an AWD, a AWD like a FWD. Best results for cornering in a FWD, trail brake or even left foot brake, and get on the throttle earlier exiting the turns. AWD brake early and throttle at apex of turn. And then it comes down to suspension, tires/grip, and knowing 'your' car and how it handles.
Alright, thanks! One more question. If you're in a situation where you aren't braking (like on a highway) and you want to use manual mode on a highway (for some reason) then would you use the brake like on a backroad or would you let it shift itself, or maybe use a little throttle?
 

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Alright, thanks! One more question. If you're in a situation where you aren't braking (like on a highway) and you want to use manual mode on a highway (for some reason) then would you use the brake like on a backroad or would you let it shift itself, or maybe use a little throttle?
If your trans behaves the way mine does, it won't initiate a downshift unless you tap the brake or are at a speed "well" below the cars preset downshift threshold. (Which is about as useless as a chocolate tea pot) It comes down to how fast you need the extra revs to put you in the power band. If I'm on the highway traveling in the right lane and need to lane change and pass 'like now!' I'll tap the brake and down shift as I'm change lanes and hammering the throttle.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If your trans behaves the way mine does, it won't initiate a downshift unless you tap the brake or are at a speed "well" below the cars preset downshift threshold. (Which is about as useless as a chocolate tea pot) It comes down to how fast you need the extra revs to put you in the power band. If I'm on the highway traveling in the right lane and need to lane change and pass 'like now!' I'll tap the brake and down shift as I'm change lanes and hammering the throttle.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Well currently the transmission hasn't felt any kind of high-revs unless you count 4,000 (once) as high. So it's behaving a little docile right now. I'll definitely try all of this and get back to you in a few hours whenever I get a little experience under my belt. I just hope that I can bring a little spirit into the car's life instead of just lugging around town.

Again, thanks for all of the advice.
 

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'07 Volvo C70 B5254T3 with AW55-50 Fully Stock
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If your trans behaves the way mine does, it won't initiate a downshift unless you tap the brake or are at a speed "well" below the cars preset downshift threshold. (Which is about as useless as a chocolate tea pot) It comes down to how fast you need the extra revs to put you in the power band. If I'm on the highway traveling in the right lane and need to lane change and pass 'like now!' I'll tap the brake and down shift as I'm change lanes and hammering the throttle.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
So I know I said that I had one more question, but now I have my final question. At what RPMs would you regularly downshift at? Assuming that you only ever use the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear.
Would you maybe downshift in-between 3,000 and 4,000? Or is that too high for the AW55? I'm trying to get a picture in my head of braking zones with the addition of manual mode. I feel like it would be easier for the transmission if you downshifted above 2,000. I'd just like to know before I go for a pretty long drive for the day.

Again, thanks, and sorry for bothering you with another notification.
 
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