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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default The BIG Transmission Posting: Gibbons method + other goodies!

    Quote Originally Posted by gibbons View Post
    Knowing that I blabber too often here, I don't post a lot of stuff that I personally find interesting. However, I will toss this one out there for consideration. There are 7.5 liters of ATF in the transmission. Some people think it's good for life, which it is, technically. Good right up until the life of the transmission is cut short from dirty ATF. Volvo designed a counter in the TCM (transmission control module) to monitor hours vs load. After a given amount of use, a service message will pop up. I like to error on the safe side, so I just changed mine at 15K miles to get out the "break-in" junk and other generally oxidized fluid.

    There are two schools of thought on what to do, easy and hard. Easy is to dump what is in the bottom of the transmission, and replace it. That will leave over half of the old ATF remaining, but diluted with new ATF (better than doing nothing). The hard way is to fork out $300+ to have the dealer "power flush" it to remove all the old. I read in Volvo documentation a way to flush it without the machine, but it looked like a plumbing monster involving magic proprietary wrenches to fit in impossibly tight areas. So I came up with this trick using a $4 vinyl tube, which does essentially the same thing.




    1. This is the outlet fitting at the top of the transmission cooler. The line off to the side with the o-rings is no-pressure return line back to the transmission. I pulled the line out, and put in a piece of 9/16" vinyl tube with teflon tape wrapped around the end (for a great seal) in the hole. It fits comfortably tight when pushed in, and didn't leak a drop. I put the other end of the tube in a container.

    2. Pull the plug in the bottom of the transmission. about 3.1 liters of ATF will come out. Put the plug back in, and put in 3.1 liters of new ATF (through the dipstick hole) to replace what just drained out.

    3. Start the engine. The ATF hiding in the rest of the transmission, cooler lines, and cooler will start to pump out though the vinyl tube into the container, while sucking the fresh fluid into those components. About 2.2 liters will come out before bubbles start coming out, stop the engine then. Measure it with a graduated vessel (pyrex cooking thingy I thugged from my wife), and put that much new ATF back in the trasmission. You need a helper to start and stop the engine, while you carefully monitor the flow. It takes about 1 minute.

    4. Repeat the engine start/stop cycle again, pumping out another 2.2 liters.

    5. At this point, the bad stuff will be gone and new ATF will be running clear and clean. Measure what you just pumped out, and replace that amount with new. You will be darn close to what you had in before you started, minus maybe a few CC that was left in the tube and on the container side walls. Remove tube and put real line back in cooler.

    6. Run engine until hot, and check the fluid level. Adjust to marks on the dip stick. That's it!

    Some general notes on this procedure:
    - If you can change your own oil, you can do this.
    - The ATF I pumped out at 15K miles was a dark mahogany color. In a pint canning jar, it was completely opaque, even holding it up to look at the sun through it. It is supposed to be translucent. It smelled OK. I think my trans has been working fine, my guess is that it was full of break-in particles, which are abrasive and that's why I like to get initial lubes out.
    - The drain plug has a magnet in it. Mine had a small amount (if you compiled it, it might be like a grain of rice) of black "paste" on it, that's the metalic sludge from wear. When I do my truck service, I get a table spoon of the stuff. The XC plug had no "glitter" or chunks on the magnet, like I usually expect to see coming out of a geared mechanism. That's nice.
    - I ordered 8 liters of real Volvo ATF from Borton for $90, locally it was $22 per liter. I saved enough to buy the PA-300 75w/ch stereo amp, which, by the way, is really cool.
    - These transmissions are just too complex to hope that a technician could ever re-build one correctly. Sorry, but that's how I see it. A "new" one (factory rebuilt) is $3200. The number one cause of transmission failure is dirty ATF. I think this is pretty cheap insurance. My next one will be at 50K, and 50K's after that.
    .
    Last edited by Forkster; 08-29-2008 at 08:02 AM.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by texascanuk View Post
    Here's my experience:
    I called Mobil customer service and they provided me with a phone number to a distributor in my area, who then gave me a phone number to a dealer close to home. They sold me 2 cases of Mobil ATF 3309 for 83.92, since the distributor had them in stock there was no shipping charge (extra $20/case).


    assemble the tools, as suggested before:
    -Extra green clip and 2 o-rings
    -drain pail
    -9/16 or 3/4 hose, ( the opening in the radiator is 19mm or 3/4" but the return line is 13mm or just over 1/2" diameter, the 9/16 tube I had fit snug when I pushed it into the same depth as the return line goes), get about 4 ft long
    -funnel with hose to refill trans oil
    -Mobil ATF 3309 oil (12-18 qt) Herein referred to as "oil"
    -stopwatch or clock

    I started by removing the lower belly pan and removing the drain plug from the transmission (large brass colored bolt facing passenger side of car).
    Remove transmission oil return line from top of Radiator by squeezing the green clip and pullin out on tubing, mine was stuck and I needed a small pry bar to get it out.
    Insert proper diameter drain hose, make sure it fits tight, the flow is under low pressure and will force the hose out if not secure.
    Refill the trans with 2 qt of oil. Start car and time how long it takes to get bubbles in hose (mine took 35 sec). I didn't like the sound that I heard when running it empty so on the following runs I stopped it before I got bubbles in the line (25 -30 sec).

    Refill trans again with 2 qt of oil and repeat process until satisfied with the color of the waste. In the pictures there is a tube of identical material filled with fresh oil to use as a reference control.
    I missed getting pictures of the first few changes but here is the color of the waste oil after my 8 L flush

    10 L getting better

    12 L looking good still a little brown

    14 L (picture looks darker than 12 L)

    16 L I should stop here, No maybe one more go at it!!

    I should have stopped at 16 L, or check my waste tube, it got pushed out of the radiator housing. AAAAAAHHHHHHH why is there no oil moving in the waste tube????

    Well at 18 L I had a big mess to clean up but the oil looked as good as my control tube.

    remove waste tube and carefully reinsert oil line.
    After adjusting the level and driving the car for an hour the fluid looks as dirty again as it did at the 8L flush, I guess there are more pockets of oil to flush out than this method is able to reach.
    Here's what I suggest, the next time I do it I'm going to just change to 10 L and then adjust the level and drive the car for a bit. Then continue on with the process and flush out again until it's like the 18 L clarity. It'll probably take extra oil but save 2.5 L aside to do the final fill and adjustment.
    p.s. I flushed the system with the last 4 L that I had and the fluid cleared up to about the 12 to 14 L clarity. Not as good as the 18 L but It'll have to do since I'm out of fresh oil.
    .


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
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    Default Fluids you can use

    Mobil 3309 or Toyota Type T-IV or Volvo 116-1540-8 fluid

    I can put Toyota IV or Mobile 3309 ATF in my Volvo?

    You bet. Asin & Warner (who makes the XC70 transmissions) are sub-division of Toyota Motor Corporation hence why our transmissions can take Toyota T-IV fluid or Mobil 3309. The Volvo fluid is actually rebadged Mobil 3309 at 3-5X the cost.
    • Toyota Type T-IV: $5-7 a quart
    • Mobil 3309: ~ $7 quart.
    • Volvo 116-1540-8: $20-$35 a quart
    More info here: http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11368
    Last edited by Forkster; 08-29-2008 at 08:08 AM.


  4. #4
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    May 2007
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PierreC View Post
    I installed the Magnefine filter yesterday. Removing the air inlet pipe helped to give access to the very confined space ...I cut the return pipe from the ATF radiator / cooler about 1.5" below the exit bend, just enough for the filter spout and to allow for some bending. I ended up removing only about 1" of the pipe and it is now installed without any sharp bends or kinks.

    I used a small ratchet / socket spanner (1/4") to fasten the clamps as it gave more leverage than a screwdriver and helped to keep my hands away from skin-bruising parts ... but even then, I became a "skin donor" as Gibbons had warned ...

    Testing the AFT level after driving the car to check for leaks, I noted that the ATF - which I had replaced about 6.000 miles ago at just under 70.000 miles - is still clean. Next replacement will be at about 115.000 - 120.000 miles (180.000 km). PS I used Toyota T-IV and have experienced no problems.

    Here are the promised pictures:
    1 = view from the top showing the return line from the cooler and where I cut the pipe
    2 = view of the bottom end, showing the "gentle" curve of the return line - NO sharp bend or kinked line. To achieve this, I removed about 1" of the pipe
    3 = overall view of the complete job
    Note that the air intake pipe has been removed - if that was still in place, none of these photographs would have been possible
    .


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5

    Default Shift through gears during flush

    After adjusting the level and driving the car for an hour the fluid looks as dirty again as it did at the 8L flush, I guess there are more pockets of oil to flush out than this method is able to reach.
    I flushed my tranny in my '01 XC yesterday. After reading Texascanuck's post I decided to try having my partner shift from N to D to R to N during the flush, holding it in each position for 3 seconds or so. I thought this might deliver new fluid to areas that leaving it in Neutral might otherwise not reach. Forgive me, I don't know the schematics of the inner workings of our transmissions. Maybe shifting had no effect whatsoever on the fluids end clarity but my flush turned out great, looks brand new! At the very least, shifting during the flush didn't hurt anything (that I can tell).
    The fluid that was in there when I bought the car a month ago looked like it had never been changed (79k miles). I used Mobile 1 synthetic ATF, I'll post if I have any problems because of it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Dimock, PA
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    1,559

    Default

    Although in 2008 Mobil changed its description to state that Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF had been reformulated and met the JWS 3309 specification , IT NO LONGER TAKES THAT POSITION! In response to an April 2011 email inquiry I submitted, a Mobil representative informed me that Mobil no longer claims JWS 3309 compliance for Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF and that the correct product to use in our Volvos is Mobil 3309.
    Last edited by BillAileo; 04-27-2011 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Mobil's changed position
    Bill
    63 PV544 (attempted restoration)
    83 245 DL OSD (transferred to son)
    85 240 GL OSD (transferred to son)
    03 XC70 OSD (traded-in 4/12)
    05 AWD S80 OSD (transferred to son)
    12 XC70 T6
    16 S60 T5 Drive-E (FWD)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    I have two questions regarding this method and would be very appreciative if someone could help. 1. The dealership says that they "readapt" the transmission when they do this service. Is that true? If it isn't readapted could it cause damage?
    2. I have a mechanic who deals in amzoil which is jws3309 compatible. Will this ATF be ok? Thanks for any help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
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    3,932

    Default

    Read through the Valve Body Replacement notes for a description of the adaptation procedure.

    If the fluid is in good shape, probably not needed. If you're trying to fix a problem...then you should do the adapt, which can ONLY be done with VADIS.

    Amsoil is great stuff. While Amsoil is recommended for use where JWS-3309 is specified, I don't think I would use it in this application...It's a synthetic that is used for a wide range of applications, not specifically designed for this transmission.

    Consider what Mobil says about their own Mobil 1 synthetic fluid, "However, the Toyota/Lexus ATF is specifically designed for those vehicles and will provide optimum performance." like Amsoil, it is synthetic, great stuff, and recommended for a wide range of applications...but they caution that the specific JWS-3309 fluid is better for the Toyota transmission (and our beloved AW55-50SN is a Toyota transmission...)

    In my transmission, I stick with the Toyota T-IV or Mobil 3309.
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Michigan, USA
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    Default

    Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    Posts
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    Default

    Just found out that Ford sells Motorcraft XT-8-QAW for Fusion and other models equipped with an Aisin-Warner transmission. It is certified to meet JWS-3309, which at Ford, is known as WSS-M2C924-A.

    Another source of locally available, reasonably priced trans fluid for the AW55-51SN...

    Cheers,
    Astro
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (258K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (208K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (92K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

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