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Very General Manual Transmission Question

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby rmmagow » 27 Sep 2013, 15:54

I am going to drive a 5 speed V70 and a 6 speed V70R. What am I looking for when I drive these cars? Should the transmission shifting action be very well defined or can I expect a bit of rubberyness in the action? Clutch take up, half pedal and strong?
I've never driven a non-RWD manual Volvo and don't know how it should feel.
Thanks
1998 V70 AWD 215K - Daily Driver
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D - 194K Daily Driver - Back On The Road
1998 S70 133K - Wife's Car and Daily Driver
2003 GMC Sonoma - 113K
1958 Mercedes Benz 220S 66K Original and never to be restored.
2006 Saturn ION 5-Speed - 150K Son's weird little car
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rmmagow
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby jimmy57 » 27 Sep 2013, 16:26

Both of those cars will have self adjusting clutch covers that have little clutch pedal feel change even when the disc is worn to the rivet heads. This assumes no replacement clutch kit that deleted the SA clutch cover.
You should have good take up feel at about 1/2 travel and easy shifts between gears. Keep pedal depressed for 2 minutes and then see if clutch takeup spot changes due to leaking slave or master cylinder. Release pedal with gearbox in neutral with foot off pedal. Wait a minute (engine running) and then depress pedal and immediately select 1st or R to see if it grinds from incomplete release.
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby abscate » 28 Sep 2013, 08:14

Thanks Jimmy. Stick shifts are rare beasts and I appreciate the evaluation procedure.

Is it your experience the Volvo sticks and clutches are pretty bullet proof?

I've got 150k on mine, all original, drives and shifts like new.
1999 V70 T5 HPT with stick... :-)
2003 Turbo Beetle Convertible
2002 Eurovan camper
2006 BMW X3
A fleet of 17 boats and kayaks
2 great teenagers
Shepard Husky
Shepard Lab
3 cats
The greatest woman in the world..Angelina Jolie, Maria Vos Savant and Mother Theresa rolled into one.....
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby jimmy57 » 28 Sep 2013, 16:31

The transmissions are durable with some 3 rd gear synchronizers that weaken but that seems to be a high testosterone related failure.
The clutches are fine but hydraulics give the most trouble. Clutch hydraulics are hard to flush and as a result are rarely flushed. It is a bit of trouble to do but not that much trouble.
You get an appropriate length broom handle or dowel that will hold pedal near floor when wedged against seat frame. With pedal depressed you separate the connection down at slave cylinder line entry into bell housing. The fluid gets pushed out of slave that way. Connect it and then go move rod and pull up pedal and then depress pedal and repeat 3 -4 more times. Pressure bleeding the system and opening the bleeder only cleans the fluid in master and line without getting old fluid out of slave.
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby E Showell » 28 Sep 2013, 21:25

My original clutch (non-turbo) went to 229K miles and wasn't yet down to the rivits -- almost, but not quite. It was changed when I did the engine swap since my mechanic was in there. With proper driving technique you might get 300K from the original, but I think 250 would be very possible.
'98 V70 NA FWD 5 spd, silver sand metallic
'99 V70 NA FWD Auto, dark blue
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby rmmagow » 30 Sep 2013, 16:40

Thanks Jimmy, that is a great explanation. The two I drove over the weekend felt fine, now to dickering.
1998 V70 AWD 215K - Daily Driver
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D - 194K Daily Driver - Back On The Road
1998 S70 133K - Wife's Car and Daily Driver
2003 GMC Sonoma - 113K
1958 Mercedes Benz 220S 66K Original and never to be restored.
2006 Saturn ION 5-Speed - 150K Son's weird little car
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby jimmy57 » 30 Sep 2013, 17:01

The self adjusting clutch covers (not self adjusting function of hydraulics) changed the game a bit. With conventional clutch covers the preload force from spring diminished with thinning disc from wear. As a result the feel would change over the life of clutch and the force would go down and the disc life was shorter as a result. The SA cover has the spring rest against a height adjusting ring. As the disc thins the spring will travel more and lift off the adjusting ring and springs will push the adjusting ring around so its stepped rest points place the ring closer to disc. Releasing pedal now lets the spring have a higher (closer to disc) point that the spring levers against to clamp disc between pressure plate face and flywheel face. This gives you pretty much the same pedal feel and take up point until the SA spring rest reaches it travel limit.

The bad news: the clutch can be near the end of its life and you wouldn't know.....
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby rmmagow » 30 Sep 2013, 19:52

would one be able to feel some slippage as the clutch gets close to shot?
1998 V70 AWD 215K - Daily Driver
1985 Mercedes Benz 300D - 194K Daily Driver - Back On The Road
1998 S70 133K - Wife's Car and Daily Driver
2003 GMC Sonoma - 113K
1958 Mercedes Benz 220S 66K Original and never to be restored.
2006 Saturn ION 5-Speed - 150K Son's weird little car
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby metalhead » 02 Oct 2013, 01:13

Hey, this is actually my first post here although I love this site and have been using it for a long time. I've got a 95 850 glt with a stick and I love it to death. For me the clutch feels great; not too high or low and decent take-up and engagement. I find it very stable and predictable. Even my wife enjoys my transmission and clutch.
I've had the car for about 8 years and got it with about 100k on it. It now has about 235k and the (original) clutch is still all there as is the original exhaust. I was about 95% on the way to stage 0 on this car and had just started my annual clay bar and seal about a week ago when a kid pulled out of a parking lot directly in front of me at 35 mph or so.... Took out the front fender and both doors. After the shock, I have set about repairing my baby. I took it in to make sure the front end was okay (the front rim got clipped) and all was fine after an alignment. PS Insurance cars love to total old Volvos. I don't think they get the whole Volvo thing.
If you find a good one with a stick, I can pretty much guarantee you'll love it, assuming you like to shift. My wife's 99 S70 feels like it weighs a thousand pounds more than mine and goes through brakes much more quickly. When you get these engines over about 3500rpm, they really come alive. And I'm happy to report that mine still likes being up there! They don't rev that readily but once they get in that neighborhood they seem to realize that you want to play!
As far as slippage goes, my kids told me my clutch was slipping about 60k ago. I can't make it slip...Volvo strong!
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Re: Very General Manual Transmission Question

Postby jimmy57 » 02 Oct 2013, 06:38

rmmagow wrote:would one be able to feel some slippage as the clutch gets close to shot?


In my experience the clutch will get some shuddering at the end of its life before the cover runs through its adjustment range. The rivet heads or the fact the disc gets thin and its friction properties change (like really thin brake pads) will make it hard to take off without it grabbing or shuddering.
The slave cylinder usually gives up before the disc so most clutches would get changed when found worn out when trans is pulled to deal with leaking slave cylinder.
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