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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright so here is the deal:

Car is a 2004 S60R with 70k miles on it.
Since the day I got it, the shifting has been anything but "buttery smooth".
When engaging gears (mostly 1st and 2nd), you can "feel" the gears like a crunch feeling.
Here is what I have done so far to remedy the issue:

1. Got updated cables from an 05 R
2. Installed the TWM short shifter
3. Installed a weighted shift knob (to help as a counterweight - 450g...feels amazing)
4. Flushed transmission fluid twice - Redline MTL (no particles or anything unusual in fluid)
5. lubed the shifter cables (pulled accordion sleeves back and got it nice and wet :rolleyes:
6. Added additional weights to the TWM shifter bracket to aid with gear selection (no difference)
7. Adjusted cables via the orange tab on the horizontal cable selector atop the transmission). Literally tried every notch one by one, can get it
better or worse, but never perfect.
8. Installed a new clutch and slave
YES I did clean the input shaft, greased it and everything went in place perfectly.

What I noticed since the clutch replacement is that it grabs better, smoother (no vibration) and no longer impossible to put it in 1st in the morning (as per the TNN).

HOWEVER, the stiff/notchy shifter problem remains. I have driven several R's including other's with the TWM kit and they are far smoother and more enjoyable.
When the car is off, I can shift into any gear perfectly smooth without issues. Or, if I shift into a gear and keep the clutch depressed I can cycle into which ever gate smoothly as well. Then, there are moments where it works great by itself and quickly goes back to "crunch crunch"
(This was also a symptom before I changed the clutch, nothing changed really. Also note the old clutch looked brand new as did the slave cylinder and there were no traces of debris or gunk on the transmission input shaft).

I'm at my ropes end on this one (and my wallet's).

Only thing I could think of (and noticed) has to do with the cables again. When looking up the part number for the 05 ones I have installed I see the part is discontinued and a subsequent design replaces it (in fact, it seems Volvo redesigned the cables 4 times...). With the latest part number, the bracket that the cables snap into (not the Intermediate level) also looks updated and more complex than the simple 2 fork design the earlier R's have.
Could any of this have something to do with it?

Anybody have other suggestions. Any way to test the cables or ensure I routed them through the engine bay properly?
They don't snag anywhere and bend naturally easing their way from the firewall to the transmission levers.
Any help or tricks are greatly appreciated!

Bellow is a picture with the latest diagram showing the "cable bracket" anyone have this installed?
Also, latest cable part number is: 31325660 (as far as I can tell)

This is the "updated cable bracket"



And this is the old cable bracket (what I've seen on other cars)




Reading a tech manual for the M66 I also came across this passage:
It states that the gear selector unit is a complete piece except for the "ball selector which is used to align gears". In another manual they call this the "detent".
Is it something meant to align gears inside the control unit and is adjustable?
How likely is it the cables...do the 05+ ones also tend to go bad? Has anyone replaced theirs?

I can really use some input.
Thanks guys
 

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Here's a totally random suggestion: have you checked the clutch position sensor? My R is a lot smoother shifting now that the ETM has been replaced... Every gear is like butter no idea why... Maybe I just got magically better? Did you change the flywheel and transmission/upper engine mount while you were in there? Are you using an API GL4 or GL5 transmission fluid. GL5 doesn't work in the R because of whatever the synchros are made of. Do everything easy--mounts, fluid and then look to complicated things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No I haven't checked the clutch position sensor yet...would it really affect gear notchiness?

I replaced all the engine mounts when doing the clutch (upper, lower front and rear and side one)
Fluid used and flushed with is RedLine MTL which is GL-4 compliant and highly regarded by other members.

When referring to the clutch position sensor, you are talking about the one under the dash that connects to the clutch pedal correct?

Also, about the ETM being replaced and shifting smoother...who knows. Sometimes these cars have a mind of their own.
My parking lights never worked (no matter what I tried), replaced the clutch and all of a sudden boom, lights work (although I did clean and lightly sand the bellhousing to ensure a proper ground so many that helped.
 

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These cars are freakin' weird. I got a failing ETM to throw SUM and BCM codes... Yeah, that's the sensor I'm talking about. What about the flywheel? I mean I have no idea if that will affect shifting.

Here's an actually useful suggestion: Have you checked the bushings in the shifter base?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bushings in shifter base have also been replaced with solid units from TWM.
Flywheel has no issues, grabs perfectly, had no play or burn marks...I don't dump the clutch or launch hard.
I have changed every possible part on this car just trying to get it to shift smoothly and enjoyably...it's getting ridiculous.

Transmission oil (twice), all engine and transmission bushings and mounts, cables, clutch, slave cylinder, slave cylinder flush, etc... etc...

Excuse me while I go out in the freezing cold (Montreal) and tangle myself under the dash, see if I can find anythings
 

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Bushings in shifter base have also been replaced with solid units from TWM.
Flywheel has no issues, grabs perfectly, had no play or burn marks...I don't dump the clutch or launch hard.
I have changed every possible part on this car just trying to get it to shift smoothly and enjoyably...it's getting ridiculous.

Transmission oil (twice), all engine and transmission bushings and mounts, cables, clutch, slave cylinder, slave cylinder flush, etc... etc...

Excuse me while I go out in the freezing cold (Montreal) and tangle myself under the dash, see if I can find anythings
If you eliminate the impossible the only thing is left is the truth... Maybe your M66 is just derpy. Are the mounts poly or OE rubber?

I always shift out of 1st at 2k RPM and 2nd at 3k. Anything after 2k out of first and it's not smooth for me. But it doesn't feel crunchy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I took a look at the clutch position sensor. It was snapped in place and plugged in. Not wet from brake fluid or anything.
Drove the car a bit without it, no difference in shifting.
it was a little rougher on throttle (expected) but shift feel was identical.

So that is ruled out.
One thing I did notice is that the first 2 or 3 shifts after the car has been sitting are always smooth and crisp...after that it goes back to "notch notch"
I even got grinding twice today because the gears weren't fully engage...as though it goes "crunch" then stops and it's in half gear...?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Shift speed doesn't make a difference in the slightest. Clutch feel and engagement is great.
Just the shifting is terrible and nothing has improved it.
mounts are oem and bushings (tables, transmission mount and top engine mount) are poly
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE:

okay so I drive around today testing the shifting and trying to replicate symptoms.
Here is what I know for certain;

1. After the car has been sitting a while (at least 2 or 3 hours) the first shift is always buttery smooth into 1st and 2nd gears. After that shift quality declines.

2. With the car turned off and pressing the clutch pedal I can gear a distinct "clinck clinck" from the pedal as it is about 2/3 of the way down. This sound was never there before (trust me, I'm ocd about soubds).

3. When pressing the clutch pedal quickly (as in real world shifting) there is a bit of spongyness and the "clinck clinck" is amplified.
Already checked under the dash for any boots/obstructions but nothing. Sounds like it's coming from just past the firewall.

This leads me to believe that maybe there is still air in the clutch system?
Pedal felt weird the first day and clutch engagement was really low to the ground but it sorted itself out...maybe it just needs a little more purging?

Sent from my SGH-M919V using Tapatalk
 

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I bought the motive power bleeder and when bleeding my clutch I got fluid to come out without bubble and it felt okay. But then I pressurized the reservoir up to 15 psi and broke the bleeder and alot more bubbles came out. I would try bleeding a few more times. The clutch line can hold air and maybe be causing the clutch not to fully depress in turn making shifts rough.

From my electronic gismo- Galaxy S6
 

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I read through all the post and was thinking I would start with bleeding the slave cylinder, there may be air in the lines. I've had to bleed one for what seemed like a dozen or more times with a pressure bleeder before the new clutch felt right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input guys!

Right so I'm going to start with that so I can eliminate possible issues because chasing air, clutch cables etc is getting me nowhere.
Only other thing I could think of would be synchros...but with 70k miles and no particles in the oil I find it highly unlikely. Plus, the symptoms come and go...no consistent.
Really hoping there's just air stuck in the lines and purging again will remove anything left allowing for proper clutch engagement/disengagement,

I'm not losing break fluid, so that a good sign... :rolleyes:

Out of curiosity, when replacing the slave cylinder last week I noticed that it has about an inch and a half travel between compressed/decompressed.
(old slave cylinder and clutch were pristine btw....).
So, does anyone know the gap or clearance between the flywheel and clutch when it is released...obviously it's not an inch because the slave works on the pressure plate veins but I always wondered...is it "just" enough to release or is it a considerable amount?
Just curious as to why and how a clutch wouldn't fully disengage or how much travel it would need...it fascinates me
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
P.S.

What's the best method to bleed?

1. Classics one person pumps clutch while the other opens and closes bleeder?
2. Pressurize the system using a Mighty bleeder or something like that?
3. Reverse bleed by pumping fluid through the slave and up into the reservoir so as to use gravity and make the lighter bubbles rise?

Any other method?
 

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I got a motive black label power bleeder off of ebay. It's been the easiest and most effective way I have ever blead the lines.

From my electronic gismo- Galaxy S6
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Perfect, my buddy has one of those so I'll give it a try with that tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
UPDATE:

So today I proceeded to power bleed the clutch system.
Set the pump to 15psi and cracked the bleeder valve open...clean fluid started dripping with no signs of air or bubbles. So we bled it quite a bit and closed it up.
Tested it, pedal firmness was good, clutch action was smooth.
However, notchy shifting persisted at which point I got under the hood and started tinkering with the cables.

Here is something that always bothered me:



Notice how the (gear in/out) cable on the right hand side bends right after the clip that holds it to the transmission.
This joint, besides being a snap-in clip also acts as a ball-joint type device allowing for it to bend a bit. However, the angle to me seems extreme.
So then I compared the TWM short shifter unit to a buddy's stock bracket and wouldn't you know it the TWM unit sets the pin almost an inch inward and making the cable take a much tighter bend. I was watching my friend change gears and I could hear a "click" sound when going into first gear which makes the cable pull in towards the firewall and I noticed it was the cable touching where it bends.
So I unclipped it and plaid around holding the cable by hand at a more suitable angle and allowing for a straighter line to the pin...gears shifts improved greatly.
The other cable for left/right action has nowhere near the bend is a straight shot to the ball where it clips.

Additionally, I also pulled the cable a little more taught by reaching deep into the rear of the engine bay where it bends out of the firewall and using a temporary tie-wrap tied it to a nearby pipe to keep it lifted a little higher and put added tension on it. This was in hopes on eliminating possible slack,

These two things made a noticeable difference.
The car (despite it being 4 degrees in Montreal) shifted better and smooth than it ever has!
Which leads me to conclude that either the weird angle caused by the TWM cause the notchiness or the cables I purchased (used) are simply no good or stretched...

First I will try the easiest solution which is to drill and tap a hole in the TWM bracket a little further our so as to provide a clear line shot for the cable.
Either way, it couldn't hurt...
If that doesn't work then I might have to start looking into a new set of cables and doing it all over again which sucks, but at least it's not the transmission (I'm releaved).

Last thing I noticed was with the cables completely detached from the TWM lever, the mechanism would go into any gear nice and smooth...butter smooth.
Not a single hint of resistance of notchiness. Just a crisp and light click.
One the cables are attached and again doing the test by hand operating the level you can feel resistance and the notchiness.
Based on these tests, and the pleasant drive home tonight (only experienced a notchy first gear a few times lol) I would say cables are definitely the culprit. So time to work on a solution.

As usual, any input is appreciated!

More photos
(don't mind the dirty engine bay and grease, working on getting the car perfect, then I'll clean it!)



And here is a picture from TWM's installation instructions. Notice where the cable sits naturally atop the bracket. This is where I plan to drill and install the pin in order to get it re-aligned.

 

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Yeah like Stealthy said, maybe a bent bracket. I would try to bent it so the cable then aligned strait. You shouldn't need to drill anything. A long pair of Channel Locks should convince the bracket to move.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll give that a try but those bracket are steel and pretty thick. Harder than you'd think to bend.
I'll report back with the results.


Sent from my SGH-M919V using Tapatalk
 

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Why don't you just try re-installing the stock shift assembly? The TWM short shifter makes the throw shorter by moving the post that the end of the cable attaches to further inboard relative to its position on the stock shift assembly (creating the extreme angle that you have noticed).

I used to have both the TWM short shift kit and the SNABB short shift kit installed on my VR. My wife did not like the added effort required to shift with both kits installed. I opted to keep the SNABB kit and sold the TWM kit, because I didn't like the angle that the TWM kit caused at the bracket. If I had kept the TWM kit, I would have fabbed up a custom bracket to try to reduce that angle.
 
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