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Brown Dog
02-01-2012, 09:14 PM
Any one care to post their experiences with transmission additives?
I am doing another drain and fill tomorrow and I think I will add some Sea Foam Trans Tune to my gearbox. I have had good results with the Lucas Stop Slip/Tans Fix before in older Mercedes. I used it in two 1967's a 230 and 230S, I know they were a little different style trans but it smoothed them out. One had flaring and one had a harsh engagement, both of which sometimes occurs in my XC70. Also used in a '79 240D which had no issues and never developed any either.

I am thinking about the sea foam because the ipd website sells it and I assume if they are selling it they maybe have tested it or at least its compatible with the 3309 type trans fluid.

I have a bottle of the Lucas stuff but I am hesitant to put it in this car. I read on a site about oils that it had made some peoples cars (not specifically Volvo's) shudder.
My thinking is this stuff is too slick for the surfaces to lock up all the way. I am already having a little bit of not going into full lock up issue, but the slickness of it could help the other moving parts. (Just my theory from previous use).

Also on the lock going into full lock up thing... Sometimes it does sometimes it doesn't, about 85% of the time not. It seems to try and lock up and bounce back and forth between lock and unlock over and over. I also have another post on this from a few weeks ago and I think I have come to a better understanding of what it trying to do.

On its good days its a pleasure to drive, the pedal is very touch sensitive like it just floats along and is often switching down and up through gears smoothly. On the off days it shifts to fifth gear asap and doesn't want to downshift, I have to force it to unlock by nudging the gas so it will stop shuddering and as my speed levels out the rpm's drop low and I feel the Shuddering vibration, so step on the gas and repeat.

Driving me crazy, It feels like work to drive this car..

Car is a 2001 V70 XC, 134,000 miles.

howardc64
02-01-2012, 09:30 PM
I've used it in my 01 V70 T5 and 01 V70XC. No problems with 3309. I also felt confident due to iPD's willingness to sell it.

My T5's tranny had some some bad shifts after improper magnifine filter installation that limited the fluid flow. Seafoam transtune smoothed out some bumps. But adaptation got rid all the bad shift adaptation memories and car shifts like new.

You might try this

1/2 bottle of transtune in old fluid. Run it for a couple of days. Flush with new fluid
Get an adaptation done.

Check your lower torque mount bushing to make sure that is not broken. Replace if so before the adaptation.

Brown Dog
02-01-2012, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the info and quick reply, I noticed my transmission shifts great for a day or so after I do the drain and fill and then it slowly goes back to its old ways. I'm wondering if after a couple days it's mixing with the remaining fluid and contaminating so much it breaks down, or maybe I have low pressure from gunk build up in there. I hope I don't break loose too much junk with the Trans Tune.

BTW, any thoughts on Trans Tune vs. Lucas Fix/Stop Slip?
Is the Sea Foam a thick substance like Lucas or more the consistency of AT Fluid?

howardc64
02-01-2012, 10:53 PM
Thanks for the info and quick reply, I noticed my transmission shifts great for a day or so after I do the drain and fill and then it slowly goes back to its old ways. I'm wondering if after a couple days it's mixing with the remaining fluid and contaminating so much it breaks down, or maybe I have low pressure from gunk build up in there. I hope I don't break loose too much junk with the Trans Tune.

BTW, any thoughts on Trans Tune vs. Lucas Fix/Stop Slip?
Is the Sea Foam a thick substance like Lucas or more the consistency of AT Fluid?

Transtune is red color like ATF and very thin. Viscosity is like gasoline/water. No experience with Lucas.

Try complete flush per gibbons method so no more old fluid.

Maybe something is causing your ATF to break down quickly? Read this

http://www.aa1car.com/library/atf.htm

When I had my flow restriction problem (crimped hose), the new ATF degraded pretty quickly. I presume it was high temps caused by the restricted flow. One symptom I had was slipping out of lock a couple of time during small hill climbs. Had to remove the restriction, flush with new ATF, add transtune, do adaptation to make it shift normal again.

Brown Dog
02-01-2012, 11:35 PM
Definitely seems to be a heat related issue also. Doesn't do this when cold. It really acts crszy if I get stuck in traffic for a while. I've been thinking its over heating. After the car sits for a short time it dives normal again, or it seems ok as long as its cold out and i keep moving and it has plenty of airflow.

howardc64
02-01-2012, 11:51 PM
I have heard and seen failed tranny on an XC work perfect when cold. ATF thins when hot and internal pressure channel leaks gets worse and affects hydraulic pressure necessary to shift the mechanical gears. Search and you will read a lot of people do a short test drive when buying a used XC only to find out shifting problems when in traffic.

Try flush, transtune and adaptation. If that doesn't cure, might be looking at more expensive stuff like valve body replacement or tranny itself.

Brown Dog
02-02-2012, 12:05 AM
Would you recommend draining out the 8 ounces of ATF before adding the trans tune or would it be safe to just add it? I'll be doing the 30 min. drive then draining it out.

howardc64
02-02-2012, 12:18 AM
Would you recommend draining out the 8 ounces of ATF before adding the trans tune or would it be safe to just add it? I'll be doing the 30 min. drive then draining it out.

Not sure if it will make much difference. But better remove 8 ounces to be safe. Not sure how one can drain 8 ounces precisely. Seems possible to lose a lot more than 8 ounces via quick removal of the drain bolt. Removing the ATF cooler tube at the top might be the easiest way to remove a little bit of fluid. Per Gibbon's method, remove the green clipped hose, install a 3-4 feet of clear hose into a bucket/5 gal empty oil container, Filling 1-2 foot of that hose (run the engine (turns the transmission fluid pump) for only a couple of seconds) is probably 8 ounces.

Drive it for an hour or more. Takes 20min just to make ATF hot.

billr99
02-02-2012, 04:59 AM
Not sure if it will make much difference. But better remove 8 ounces to be safe. Not sure how one can drain 8 ounces precisely. Seems possible to lose a lot more than 8 ounces via quick removal of the drain bolt. Removing the ATF cooler tube at the top might be the easiest way to remove a little bit of fluid. Per Gibbon's method, remove the green clipped hose, install a 3-4 feet of clear hose into a bucket/5 gal empty oil container, Filling 1-2 foot of that hose (run the engine (turns the transmission fluid pump) for only a couple of seconds) is probably 8 ounces.

Drive it for an hour or more. Takes 20min just to make ATF hot.

To get my gearbox level right on, I use a bit of plastic tubing and a 50ml syringe that I got at a vet's office. Put the tubing down the dipstick hole (the tubing being well cleaned obviously) and draw out as much as 50ml at a whack per the graduations on the syringe. Works great. I've also used a MightyVac before but the syringe with its 50 ml capacity seems to work a bit better with this gearbox.

Cheers,

Bill

MacNoob
02-02-2012, 07:22 AM
I don't think I'd use any 'stop slip' product in this trans. The unique part about the AW trans is the slipping lockup for the torque converter. That's what requires the special 3309 fluid.

Read about slipping lockup here:

http://www.sonnax.com/publications/transmission/titles/aw5550-differences-between-manufacturers-part-one

jda2000
02-02-2012, 07:30 AM
you need to leave the transtune fluid in for a couple of hundred miles for it to do a good cleaning job.

This is what I do: Remove 8 oz of tranny fluid, add 8 oz of transtune on a sunday. Drive the car all week and do a drain and refill the next saturday.

howardc64
02-02-2012, 09:03 AM
I think there is no need to worry about transtune damaging this transmission. Here are some data for you

Here is the transtune website. It states you can add 1/2 can of transtune with new ATF and leave it in there as an additional cleaning agent for maintenance. Read "Performing a transmission flush:

http://www.seafoamsales.com/how-to-use-trans-tune.html

I've had 1/2 can of transtune in my T5 for more than a year. No issues. Like I said, Transtune smoothed out a few bumps but adaptive provided the big improvement.

Transtune website suggest the following

- 1/2 can to old fluid. Drive it around for awhile and flush it out to get any of the loosened gunk out

- 1/2 can with the new fluid for maintenance.

This said, loosening up any dirt and circulating is around the valve body theoretically can cause blockage of fluid channels. I recall this to be a common problem on early 90s BMW speed autos. On that tranny, flushing it at >100k miles without previous ATF flush often stopped the tranny from running again. I have not read anyone ruining this particular tranny doing a flush.

If you are truly experiencing improvements after drain+fill but return back to problems within a week or two. Something is degrading your ATF. I'd confirm if this was true if I were you. But it may take you a couple of ATF changes to truly learn if this was the case.

By the way, transmission shop will also do what is called a hot flush if they have the equipment. Here is a link on that.

http://www.hotflusher.com/

If I were you, I'd do the following steps

1. Add 1/2 can of transtune. Drive it around a few days (agree with jda2000) and let it do it works

2. Do a flush per Gibbons method and not just drain+fill

3. See if there is any improvement and weather it lasts or if the problems return after a couple of weeks.

If problems return, you have to find out what is ruining your fluid.

Astro14
02-02-2012, 10:58 AM
Definitely seems to be a heat related issue also. Doesn't do this when cold. It really acts crszy if I get stuck in traffic for a while. I've been thinking its over heating. After the car sits for a short time it dives normal again, or it seems ok as long as its cold out and i keep moving and it has plenty of airflow.

I would not, under any circumstances, add any stop-slip product to this transmission. You are asking for trouble. Your MBs are a far different design, and they don't even lock-up...add the stop-slip to it and you could turn a minor problem into a complete rebuild. It will be the most expensive $8 can you ever bought at Pep-Boys...

Trans-tune is a solvent...you could get away with that, for a bit, but I sincerely doubt it will fix your issues. 8oz one way of the other in level won't adversely affect the trans...but if you feel better, remove 8oz via the dipstick tube using a vacuum pump.

When the fluid is new, the viscosity is high. Your trans performs correctly.

When the fluid is cold, the viscosity is high. Your trans performs correctly.

When the car gets hot, the fluid gets hot and the viscosity drops. Your trans acts up.

It doesn't work right when the viscosity drops because the line pressure is dropping at the same time...

So, my best guess: you have a mechanical problem. And no amount of chemical wonder goop will remedy a problem with a mechanical cause.

You've got an '01 with 134K on it? It's worth trying Howard's advice...but, honestly, my $$ is on the valve body...you'll probably have to replace that or rebuild the trans....but stay away from the additives (that Volvo specifically cautions against)....they'll do more harm than good.

sjonnie
02-02-2012, 11:22 AM
If I were you, I'd do the following steps

1. Add 1/2 can of transtune. Drive it around a few days (agree with jda2000) and let it do it works

2. Do a flush per Gibbons method and not just drain+fill

4. See if there is any improvement and weather it lasts or if the problems return after a couple of weeks.

If problems return, you have to find out what is ruining your fluid.

I'd add the following to that:

0. Add a magnafine filter to catch all the crap floating around your transmission fluid lines.

2. Make sure you wipe the filings off the drain plug when you drain the transmission.

3. Once you've got it cleaned up pretty good and if the problems have diminshed, consider an aftermarket cooler, it'll prolong the life of your transmission fluid (and transmission[thumbup]).

howardc64
02-02-2012, 12:12 PM
0. Add a magnafine filter to catch all the crap floating around your transmission fluid lines.


Since my problems started with a botched magna fine addition job, I like to add the following info for people trying to add Magnafine.

- Remove the cooler to Transmission hose and work on a bench
- Find the best location to cut a small section of hose to add Magnafine while still preserving the original shape.

The connections between the hose+magnafine fittings are really tight and ATF make the job really slippery. Doing this in tight quarters on the car is a pain (can't get a good cut, can't find the best place to cut etc...) and I ended up with a connection that I didn't feel comfortable with (worry it would pop loose). By then the hose was cut too short, purchased an elbow hose from the local auto store. Unfortunately it wasn't built for hot oil and elbow collapsed and restricted the fluid flow.

Moral of the store is.. take the hose out and work on a bench.

Took me forever to figure out how to get the car back running nice. Ordered a new hose, changed out the degraded ATF, added some Transtune, and finally adaptation. Again, adaptation was the biggest gain. Car is back to what it was before this whole fiasco.


I would not, under any circumstances, add any stop-slip product to this transmission. You are asking for trouble. Your MBs are a far different design, and they don't even lock-up...add the stop-slip to it and you could turn a minor problem into a complete rebuild. It will be the most expensive $8 can you ever bought at Pep-Boys...

Trans-tune is a solvent...you could get away with that, for a bit, but I sincerely doubt it will fix your issues. 8oz one way of the other in level won't adversely affect the trans...but if you feel better, remove 8oz via the dipstick tube using a vacuum pump.

When the fluid is new, the viscosity is high. Your trans performs correctly.

When the fluid is cold, the viscosity is high. Your trans performs correctly.

When the car gets hot, the fluid gets hot and the viscosity drops. Your trans acts up.

It doesn't work right when the viscosity drops because the line pressure is dropping at the same time...

So, my best guess: you have a mechanical problem. And no amount of chemical wonder goop will remedy a problem with a mechanical cause.

You've got an '01 with 134K on it? It's worth trying Howard's advice...but, honestly, my $$ is on the valve body...you'll probably have to replace that or rebuild the trans....but stay away from the additives (that Volvo specifically cautions against)....they'll do more harm than good.

Ditto, I also don't think Transtune will do much for OP from the problem described. But no harm in trying.

sjonnie
02-02-2012, 04:48 PM
The connections between the hose+magnafine fittings are really tight and ATF make the job really slippery.
Buy the 5/16" filter, it fits a lot easier than the 3/8". Taking the fan shroud out is also a relatively simple way to make more room in there if, like me, you can't get a wrench on the transmission end of the fluid return line.

Brown Dog
02-02-2012, 06:42 PM
Well Trans Tune is in. I drained out 8 ounces and put in half a bottle. I'll see how it drives for a couple days.

Brown Dog
02-03-2012, 10:22 PM
After Driving for a day I decided to go ahead and drain and fill the system again. I put maybe 130 miles on the trans tune. My car didnt seem any different with it in there and in some ways it acted up a little more when hot plus it has a new hissing sound when sitting stopped and shifting manually into second gear, kind of sounds like fluid spraying in the trans,I assume it just makes this noise under pressure, but other than 3rd gear making a slightly quieter version of this sound it seems quiet.
Also have lost power in reverse, I had to back up a long and very steep driveway and it took two tries, I almost had it floored half way up and it would barely move. Something must not be locking in all the way or it's slipping.(Did I mention how steep this driveway was..Like a mountain)

Immediately drives better after refilling with fresh fluid, but its still not acting totally right. I guess it is what it is.

I'll keep on driving it and maybe it will have more good days than bad. Still have some trans tune left over for anther go at it.

howardc64
02-04-2012, 01:37 AM
Drain+fill probably only got 1/2 of it out. On this car, ATF is routed through a cooler in the radiator and back into the tranny (to cool the ATF). Drain and fill won't exchange the ATF in this part of the circuit. Here are the directions for a full flush but its more involved than a drain+fill

http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5668

Another drain+fill would get more new fluid in the system.

Doesn't sound good that you can actually hear some noises with the transtune in there...

Do you know the history of transmission software update? There was a software update a couple of years after 01 that turned off a stop neutral feature that was killing these trannys.

It might to too far gone but here is a list of low cost things to check (b4 servo, lower transmission torque mount, transmission software, adaptation) Here is a link with some pointers to info for you.

http://www.freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/driveline.htm

Astro14
02-04-2012, 08:18 AM
"lost power in reverse"..."had it floored half way up and it would barely move"...

Something is seriously wrong with this trans...

howardc64
02-04-2012, 09:47 AM
Immediately drives better after refilling with fresh fluid


Perhaps this is due to the drain+fill lowering the ATF temperature and drives better due to thicker viscosity? Wonder how it behaves after 30min?


"lost power in reverse"..."had it floored half way up and it would barely move"...

Something is seriously wrong with this trans...

I recently backed up our 01V70XC up our steep drive way (20-30 degrees?) in rain slicked pavement. The front tires sat in the dip/drain at the junction between the drive way and the street as I got started. Had to step/floor the gas pedal to get the car started backing up. The engine didn't RPM up really high, just seems like the engine had a hard time getting the car started up this steep hill in reverse. My transmission shift fine. No delay garage shifts, no clunks, no flares.

Curious how OPs car backs up in less inclined surfaces?

Brown Dog
02-04-2012, 10:10 AM
It actually drove better all last night after the refill. I have to wonder how these cars transmissions can be so troublesome with such a low number of miles. I know this isn't a completely fair comparison but my vintage mercedes which were over 40 years old and with more miles worked so well and this car is just 10 years old. I mean 10 years isn't that long.

What is actually going on inside this thing? Maybe the passages are too small and get clogged easily. Out of spec parts from the factory? I don't know for sure.

I'm on drain and fill five. The fluid is way better looking than it was a couple drains back. I will get around to doing the big flush on it sometime soon. I've got a clear bottle with each drain and fill, I'll try to get some pics up.

BTW, all of these things going on aren't always happening, some days it works great so I know it can work correctly. I mean it mechanically has the ability, something is just throwing it off sometimes.
I've always thought this car had a soft takeoff in reverse. Like it takes a little more than other cars to get going. It is a really heavy car.

howardc64
02-04-2012, 10:17 AM
I have to wonder how these cars transmissions can be so troublesome with such a low number of miles.

01 is early version of this tranny. Lots of problems in the Valvebody solenoid design. Do a search and quite a few fail before 100k.

google "AW55-50 valvebody" if you are curious... Lots of rebuilder, docs, improved aftermarket solenoids etc...

sjonnie
02-04-2012, 10:35 AM
What is actually going on inside this thing? Maybe the passages are too small and get clogged easily.
The line pressure control solenoids get gummed up and don't move as freely as they should. All the brown crap you see in the transmission fluid, well that's coating the inside of the transmission as well as the solenoids. This can also cause excessive wear inside the solenoid bore. You can rebuild gummed up solenoids but a worn solenoid bore requires a replacement valve body.

Astro14
02-04-2012, 01:24 PM
SJonnie and Howard are right...and a worn body will work better with higher viscosity (fresh and/or cold) fluid vs. lower (hot and /or worn).

On the days it works great - it's likely colder...when it gets hot (the trans, not the outside air temp), is when it will act up...

As far as comparison, remember that your MB is a 3 speed (maybe 4 speed, depending on year) non-locking trans. This one is 5 speed, slip-controlled and locking. Your car would get far worse MPG with an older trans that slips all the time, creating heat and wasting fuel.

Brown Dog
02-04-2012, 01:47 PM
Something I forgot to mention about the transmission locking and unlocking over and over at around 40 MPH. It doesn't do this when I turn on cruise control.
It can be locking, unlocking and having that slight shudder and vibration, click on cruise and the RPM's jump up a little and everything smooths out.

I find this interesting, its like cruise at that speed is signaling the trans to not lock up totally.

kinda cool discovery, just wanted to throw that in too.

Thanks for all the help on this.

howardc64
02-04-2012, 01:55 PM
Any other symptoms with the car? Intermittent ABS light? Check Engine light? Warning Messages? Know if you have any codes?

And probably important for you to focus on your transmission software version. Volvo updated the shift/lockup profiles after 01 sales.

Brown Dog
02-04-2012, 03:00 PM
I do have the check engine light on. It's code is P0422 main catalyst below threshold. I can clear it but it always comes back after about 11 miles. My research shows either the cat or o2 sensor is bad. I'm thinking o2 sensor because the shop I got It from said the previous owner had the cat replaced. No way to really know for sure.
I wouldn't think this code would effect the transmission but seeing as how thing are connected on this car it could be the case. But other than that no codes.

I been meaning to check the MAF sensor because it seems to idle a little rough. And I mean just a little rough, it may even be normal idle and I'm over thinking it. May need to do the spark plugs too.

What other systems on the car can effect the transmission? I'm thinking maybe the throttle body will need to be replaced at some point. I wonder if its not able to sense the correct amount of throttle, but that may mean the control at the gas pedal is bad if it drives correctly with cruise on.

Brown Dog
02-04-2012, 03:26 PM
Another thought, since it doesn't have a filter is their a strainer screen somewhere in there? Maybe got partially clogged.

Brown Dog
02-04-2012, 03:31 PM
I have a bottle of this stuff sitting out in the garage!:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ikC_OUbqpRU

howardc64
02-04-2012, 03:53 PM
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I do have the check engine light on. It's code is P0422 main catalyst below threshold. I can clear it but it always comes back after about 11 miles. My research shows either the cat or o2 sensor is bad. I'm thinking o2 sensor because the shop I got It from said the previous owner had the cat replaced. No way to really know for sure.
I wouldn't think this code would effect the transmission but seeing as how thing are connected on this car it could be the case. But other than that no codes.

I been meaning to check the MAF sensor because it seems to idle a little rough. And I mean just a little rough, it may even be normal idle and I'm over thinking it. May need to do the spark plugs too.

What other systems on the car can effect the transmission? I'm thinking maybe the throttle body will need to be replaced at some point. I wonder if its not able to sense the correct amount of throttle, but that may mean the control at the gas pedal is bad if it drives correctly with cruise on.

google P0422 shows lots of people chase cat+O2 since that is the code description. But it seems incorrect air measurement is also the likely cause. Here is a thread from google that might yield some insight besides the cat+O2

http://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-v70-13/trying-make-sense-p0422-symptoms-54000/#post272464

Failing MAF is hard to debug on this car. It often doesn't throw a code. Best trick seems to be disconnect it. If runs smoother, then MAF is failing.

Since you are not the first owner, you might not know the full history on the throttle body. If it has a white sticker in the front, it is original. If the original hasn't been cleaned in 130k miles, I'd say that would improve your idling. If Volvo replaced the throttle body, it would have a yellow sticker.

Transmission computer is fed all kinds of info. I'd say lots of things can affect it. When I had my ABS module (another common failure on the 01s) out for rebuild, transmission shifted slightly harsher.

Transmission has no serviceable filter or screen that can be easily accessed.

Sounds like you have quite a few problems, best to chase down one at a time. From what you've mentioned so far, I'd try the following steps

1. Solve your P0442 code first
2. Check all the common low cost transmission items (B4, software, lower torque mount, and a complete flush) But the fact that you heard spraying noises after adding transtune is really alarming. There must be a significant mechanical change to yield this observation.

Astro14
02-05-2012, 08:20 AM
Something I forgot to mention about the transmission locking and unlocking over and over at around 40 MPH. It doesn't do this when I turn on cruise control.
It can be locking, unlocking and having that slight shudder and vibration, click on cruise and the RPM's jump up a little and everything smooths out.

I find this interesting, its like cruise at that speed is signaling the trans to not lock up totally.

kinda cool discovery, just wanted to throw that in too.

Thanks for all the help on this.

That's a pretty common observation and no real cause for worry, both my cars ( and Howard and I are in the same club, with both an XC-70 and a V-70 T5...) do it, slight uphill seems to draw mine out, 35-40 MPH and the trans will "hunt" a bit, locking and unlocking...alternatively, you can select a manual gear, like 4th and it will stop hunting...

Astro14
02-05-2012, 08:36 AM
I have a bottle of this stuff sitting out in the garage!:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ikC_OUbqpRU

Never tried it...not sure I would (see my comments below) in this transmission. There is one good friction modifier on the market - hard to find, but used by professionals - Lubegard Red (that's the correct spelling). A transmission supplier/rebuilder would have it, Pep Boys would not.

The Mobil 3309, Volvo Fluid, and Toyota T-IV already have friction modifiers, anti-foaming agents and other additives in the fluid, it's part of the JWS-3309 standard, so I sincerely doubt that adding anything will fix the transmission issues you're having.

That said, you've got other driveability issues with the car. Fix them first before determining that the trans is shot. All of those affect how the car drives and feels.

There is a screen in this trans, but it's just a screen, and you have to remove the transmission from the car and pull the cases apart to get at it. So, there's no point worrying about it....if that screen is plugged, you're losing major chunks out of the transmission. A filter is a good idea (though I haven't done it yet on either of my cars) but filtering the fluid will not fix your issues, it will simply keep the fluid clean.

Finally, if your trans has a worn valve body (which is likely, given the year and miles) then there is only one fix: rebuild. Either rebuild the trans and valve body, or if the trans itself is still in decent shape, you can rebuild jus the valve body. The wear occurs mainly in the SLT, or line pressure, solenoid bore. That solenoid is modulated by the TCM to maintain a certain line, or operating hydraulic pressure, in the trans. That pressure is used to actuate everything: gear changes and engagement, TC lock-up, everything. When the SLT solenoid bore wears, fluid escapes past the solenoid and it cannot keep the pressure in the trans within parameters and everything operates poorly. Naturally, the less viscous the fluid, the greater the leakage...so you'll notice it acting up more when it's hot or the fluid's old.

Go to Howard's site and peruse the links from Sonnax to get an idea of what's going on there. Go to the resources section and read about rebuilding the valve body - it can be done by a good shop for $1500...half the price of a rebuild, but it's a risk...your trans internals may be worn out as well and a rebuild may be the better option.

Fix the driveability issues first, then you'll know what you're up against...