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Discussion Starter #1
I'm staring at the high possibility of needing my 2004's transmission rebuilt. I have a transmission shop I fully trust and who's rebuilt transmissions for me in the past that's going to diagnose mine tomorrow, but with 215k miles on it, I'm pretty sure it's time for a rebuild. I'm also not far away from needing a timing belt and water pump.

So, in the interest of saving a truckload of money, I'm thinking of pulling the motor and transmission myself, getting the transmission rebuilt/updated by this shop, doing the timing belt and water pump with the motor on an engine stand, and fixing all of the other small things that probably need replaced on a motor this old. Am I crazy?

Pulling the motor and trans together, it looks like coming out the top would be the best option.

Is there any sort of service/repair manual I can get for this?

What else should I replace while the motor is out? I'm thinking that I should probably rebuild the turbo as well. Suspension is all fairly new already and it has the IPD intercooler hoses.

I've never done any serious wrenching on a Volvo before, but it doesn't look too complicated. The biggest hangup will be the LF axle because the dealer couldn't get it out a few months ago when I had the other side replaced as well as a bunch of other items. The mechanic took 3 days attempting removal and finally said the only way he could get it out would damage the transmission, but since it didn't have much play in it, he recommended just leaving it alone. Is that something I can leave attached when I pull the whole transmission out and let the tranny shop separate it, or am I looking at the strong possibility of having to buy a used transmission and getting that rebuilt?
 

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I would try to find a low mile tranny instead. Will save you time and possibly headaches from a poor rebuild, and keep up with your fluid changes with the new transmission. Also investing in a VIDA/DiCE would be a wise decision.
 

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That's just myself speaking, I'm very skeptical of rebuilt transmissions and would rather have a low mile replacement instead. Depending what your shop comes up with maybe a full transmission removal isn't necessary, could just be a VB issue which can be serviced without removing the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I trust this shop with transmissions. It's all they do, they've been doing it for ages, and it's the transmission shop most mechanics send transmissions to in the area. It's a bunch of old guys with their own work stations and they do nothing but rebuild them. My dad had his 4L60E rebuilt there about 10 years ago with upgraded internals and he's abused it by towing a chipper and chipper box full of wood chips/wood those entire 10 years. It's still working great.

They're diagnosing my transmission tomorrow. I'll see what I'm going to do after that, but it's likely going to be a rebuild. I don't really want to spend the money, but if I'm gonna be getting into things deep, I'm going to make it 100% when I'm done.
 

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As for your actual question, yes it comes out the top and can come out with the axle stuck in the tranny. You'll need a load leveler on the engine hoist though. Basically you lift the passenger side up high until the crank pulley clears the frame rail, then up and out, slowly getting it out from under the ABS module and brake lines.

If you disassemble a lot of the front end, so you can dig in to the ECU box and pull the wiring there, you won't have to disconnect anything on the motor except the O2 sensor wires.

If the motor is out, replace the PCV system too, and any engine seal you can get to, especially the rear main seal. If it's on an engine stand, flip it over and take the oil pan off to replace the O-rings in there. Maybe a new oil pump since you'll be in the front crank pulley area already when you do the timing belt. Replace the serpentine belt and its tensioner too.

Rebuilding the turbo is super easy, and you can do it without taking the hot side off the manifold, or the manifold off the engine. Although that's also a good time to upgrade to something bigger. And while you're back there, any hoses like the turbo coolant lines and heater hoses will be easy to get to and should be swapped. And make sure a new turbo drain seal/gasket kit is on your parts list, even if you don't do anything else to the turbo. Those are a serious pain on AWD cars when the engine is in the car.

Fun stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The transmission shop could not replicate my problems with it, so I'm going to continue driving it as it is until it gets worse, I suppose. I think I'll go ahead and do the timing belt and water pump with the motor still in the vehicle, though, and save about $1000 over letting the dealership do it. If/when the transmission goes south, I'll take it out the bottom.
 

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Most regular transmission shops can't rebuild these aw-55's as they are rather complex in comparison to the 4L60E you mentioned. Tripleedge performance does a excellent rebuild of these with upgraded internal parts and if/when my 02's trans ever starts to go I will be sending it to them.
 

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The transmission shop could not replicate my problems with it, so I'm going to continue driving it as it is until it gets worse, I suppose. I think I'll go ahead and do the timing belt and water pump with the motor still in the vehicle, though, and save about $1000 over letting the dealership do it. If/when the transmission goes south, I'll take it out the bottom.
What's your issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The transmission feels like the torque converter slips for a second, usually a few times in short succession, while it's under load in top gear. It usually does it when slightly accelerating or going up a hill such that there's not enough load to make the transmission drop a gear (usually) under normal circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's not really slight. It feels like when a manual transmission pops out of gear, except it's instantly back into gear in less than a second, and it can do it several times each session, or sometimes just once. It's often on a slight incline, yes.
 

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