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I recently bought a 2004 S60R with an automatic transmission which is close to what the XC70's use I think. I bought it knowing the tranny has a problem. It clunks when down shifting down from 3rd to 2nd gear. It was doing it really bad and all the time when I test drove it but the fluid was low(about 1/2 to 1 qt) and really dark. I drove it home and did a gibbons flush on it right away using Toyota T4 fluid. I flushed 15 qts through it and the fluid is much better and looks new. The shifting is greatly improved after 500 miles on the new fluid but it still shifts hard about 10% of the time and it is always that 3 to 2 down shift. Even when it does shift hard(car bucks) it is not nearly as bad as before the flush. I'm wondering what else I can do to help save the transmission or if the entire tranny needs to eventually be replaced or just something with that 3 to 2 gear(I don't know how transmissions work).
Worst case what should I expect to pay for a new transmission? Here are some pictures of the tranny fluid. The 1st picture is the initial 3 1/2 qts drained from the tranny drain plug(stuff looks like mud!!!!). The 2nd picture is what the entire 15 qts loked like and the last picture is the original fluid compaired to the last bit of new fluid that came out of the flush tube.




Thanks for any input!!!!!
 

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The hard 3-2 downshift is a hallmark symptom of the solenoid/valve body problem.
I know some shops have done the solenoid repairs but the success rate is not 100%.
I exchange the valve body. Ream Man valve bodies (reamman.com) has a test bench and is one of the VB rebuilders who has been doing AW valve bodies for a long time. The AW 55-50/55-51 is used in a lot of other cars in North America and several more in Europe.
I have not had any issues with the cars I put Ream Man VB's in.

There is no 100% guarantee that VB is the only problem. IF you had no 3rd gear or if you found friction material flakes then you'd need an overhaul with new valve body.
With the issue being 3-2 harsh downshift with some erratic upshifting, you have a very high probability of fixing it with VB only.
The trans pulses some of the solenoids to build pressure for gear changes at a controlled rate. The trans does not have pressure sensors, it only sort of figures out the pressure by adjusting solenoid signaling to get acceptable upshift times. WHen the solenoids have worn bores the spool valve that moves via signaling from TCM can't move correctly and the TCM pressure regulation gets wonky. Harsh downshift occurs when it doesn't control the pressure accurately.
 

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Test the trans fluid for coolant contamination. The trans cooler is integrated with the radiator, and (at least on the 04) is prone to failure causing contamination. Volvo issued a TNN with a test kit for the trans fluid contamination (its on here somewhere). the contamination can damage the VB and the friction material.
Your initial symptoms are similar to mine when I had this issue. Ended up with a new trans, radiator, and trans cooler lines.
Ultimately worth a check to make sure that you address the root cause.
YMMV.
 

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I thought that 06-07 R's are prone to valve body issues?
My wife has the similar issue except it is 1-2 gear. Car has the latest software. I am not going to spend any money on new fluid, seems like a waste to me. Hopefully the car will last for a few years, that is all we need before we could save some $$$ for a new one.
 

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I thought that 06-07 R's are prone to valve body issues?
My wife has the similar issue except it is 1-2 gear. Car has the latest software. I am not going to spend any money on new fluid, seems like a waste to me. Hopefully the car will last for a few years, that is all we need before we could save some $$$ for a new one.
Bad valve body was identified in early 06 only. You can look around on here for the TNN; it related to a specific group of S/N's. That doesnt mean the problem couldnt crop up on other 6 speeds however, just not a regular pattern of failure for VCNA to do anything about it.

I do know the trans fluid contamination was at least on the 04's. If you are having those types of issues, i would encourage you to get the fluid checked (even if you just take a sample and send it out to be analyzed). If nothing else, it would tell if that is the cause, and you can make some decisions then....
 

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Worst case what am I looking at for a new automatic tranny?
IIRC, all of that work carried a list price of around $8400 or so. That was at the dealer, and it was covered under CPO (thankfully), so im sure the price is overstated compared to what they would have charged me out of pocket. If you are paying out of pocket, there are a lot of ways to get it done much cheaper (i.e. indy, used trans from a junkyard, etc).
 

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One other thought - does it bang and shift hard sometimes on upshift too? you may also want to check your TCV/boost levels. We had that issue with my wifes 06 and dealer traced it back to a faulty IPD TCV. Car would sometimes slam on upshift under WOT, and also on kickdown under boost. Dealer said boost peaked over 30 psi (momentarily). caused some goofiness for sure... we were getting ready to put in a new trans and dealer traced it to that (Im lucky that i have a great dealer to work with!)
I only bring it up because its probably worth confirming stock TCV/.proper operation. (although the old fluid looks terrible)
 

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Sounds like my transmission lol When I took it too the dealer they just quoted me $4800 for a new transmission, never told me what was wrong with it just that it's easier to just put a reman one in then searching for a problem.

I have 109K on mine and my fluid looked like yours (probably worse) flushed 24qts of fluid through and it came out clean. Shifted fine for a couple days then back to the harsh 2-3 shifts, clunks when coming to a stop and downshifting from 3-2 and CEL lights. A reset of the ECU will solve the problem for a couple days but it comes back. At this point it isn't even worth replacing the transmission for me.

Good luck.
 

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If any of you with these trans problems will call around to some reputable auto trans shops you are likely to find one who has experience with the 5 speeds. I am not sure the 6 speed owners will have any luck as the AW TF80SC is not used in as many vehicles as the AW55-51 5 speed. The Auto Trans Rebuilders Association, ATRA, is very active on getting fixes for auto transmissions. The members buy their warranties through ATRA and ATRA has guidelines on what has to be done to get the warranty. FOr the AW 55-51 it requires valve body repair or replacement and a few other checks and some upgrades.

There is the issue of internal radiator leakage gets some of them but in my testing I have not found much of that on 03 and later like was seen on 01 and 02 models.

The ones that have harsh shifts and shift flares are often addressed with VB's with no overhaul. The TCM needs to have been upgraded for the 2-3 shift flare and the servo cover replaced if that is all that is an issue.
 

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If any of you with these trans problems will call around to some reputable auto trans shops you are likely to find one who has experience with the 5 speeds. I am not sure the 6 speed owners will have any luck as the AW TF80SC is not used in as many vehicles as the AW55-51 5 speed. The Auto Trans Rebuilders Association, ATRA, is very active on getting fixes for auto transmissions. The members buy their warranties through ATRA and ATRA has guidelines on what has to be done to get the warranty. FOr the AW 55-51 it requires valve body repair or replacement and a few other checks and some upgrades.

There is the issue of internal radiator leakage gets some of them but in my testing I have not found much of that on 03 and later like was seen on 01 and 02 models.

The ones that have harsh shifts and shift flares are often addressed with VB's with no overhaul. The TCM needs to have been upgraded for the 2-3 shift flare and the servo cover replaced if that is all that is an issue.
Thanks I'll call around and see if any shops have had experience with the AW55-51SN.

I did buy a new set of Rostra Linear Solenoid's and a whole case of 3309 on ebay about a month ago too see if replacing those would have a positive effect on the transmission since I would figure old fluid would clog and cause damage to the solenoids on the VB itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sounds like my transmission lol When I took it too the dealer they just quoted me $4800 for a new transmission, never told me what was wrong with it just that it's easier to just put a reman one in then searching for a problem.

I have 109K on mine and my fluid looked like yours (probably worse) flushed 24qts of fluid through and it came out clean. Shifted fine for a couple days then back to the harsh 2-3 shifts, clunks when coming to a stop and downshifting from 3-2 and CEL lights. A reset of the ECU will solve the problem for a couple days but it comes back. At this point it isn't even worth replacing the transmission for me.

Good luck.
What was your dealer?
 

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Annapolis Volvo and Subaru in Maryland.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Is the VB a difficult item to remove & replace? I've replaced them on other transmissions: drop the pan, remove a few bolts, and pop in the new one. Is it the same on these? Mine was replaced @ around 52000 miles, not sure if it will need to be done again.
 

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Is the VB a difficult item to remove & replace? I've replaced them on other transmissions: drop the pan, remove a few bolts, and pop in the new one. Is it the same on these? Mine was replaced @ around 52000 miles, not sure if it will need to be done again.
pretty much the same but you have to drop the subframe to get to the VB so you need to have total engine support while doing thing. You also need to change the VB gasket.
 

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Damn engineers couldn't design an access door in the sub frame? LOL... so, a cherry picker holding the engine from above. Seems doable.
 

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Damn engineers couldn't design an access door in the sub frame? LOL... so, a cherry picker holding the engine from above. Seems doable.
Or a $60 engine support from Harbour Freight but if you already have access to the cherry picker... :D


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Yeah.. already have the picker. But I could always use another tool! :D
 
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