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2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.

2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby frnorke » 16 Jun 2009, 18:35

Has anyone tried to replace the transmission by themselves? With the failure rate, I want to get another transmission so that I have one when the currently installed one goes.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby dcarlson12 » 16 Jun 2009, 20:29

Wonder if you could obtain one from a wrecker and then have it rebuilt by a good tranny shop who hopefully could upgrade some or all of its weaker points?
Eg see this site re known problems with this particular GM tranny:
http://www.tripleedgeperformance.com/4T ... n_Info.php
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby vegasjetskier » 16 Jun 2009, 21:52

frnorke wrote:Has anyone tried to replace the transmission by themselves? With the failure rate, I want to get another transmission so that I have one when the currently installed one goes.


I suppose it could be done, but you will need some special tools, a helper(s) and a lot of room. You have to lower the trans/engine/subframe combo out the bottom of the car and then separate them. I'm going to drive my car until the tranny fails (hopefully never), then evaluate if it's worth paying a shop to replace it for me or junk it and buy a new car.
.

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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby Crito » 17 Jun 2009, 12:37

These GM trannies have been extremely reliable, in every other car they've been used in. So question is what's the difference when it's in a Volvo? Some people say Volvo messed with some holes and screwed it up. Some people say it's the TCM software. A Volvo master tech on another site says the marks on the dipstick are wrong, and he's got high mileage on his original tranny to prove it -- think he said to measure about four inches up from bottom of dipstick and scratch in a new cold fill line, but don't quote me (google it yourself).

I think the problem is even simpler than all that though. The method used to check fluid level for every other Volvo (RWD and AWD) is with engine off. If you check fluid level of my FWD GM tranny with engine off you'll be a quart or two low. But AFAIK Volvo doesn't specify different procedures. So could be everyone is driving around low on fluid and that's why they're failing prematurely.

Anywho, GM recommended procedure is: wheels chocked, engine on, gear selector in neutral.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby MadeInJapan » 17 Jun 2009, 15:15

Crito wrote: The method used to check fluid level for every other Volvo (RWD and AWD) is with engine off....

Anywho, GM recommended procedure is: wheels chocked, engine on, gear selector in neutral.


Actually, VADIS shows to check the levels on a Volvo at the high end/mark of the dipstick after 30 mins of driving and after going through all of the gears for 10 seconds or so and ending up in Park (with the engine running). The low mark is unreliable according to just about all mechanics I've spoken with. On a AW (Volvo) transmission (not GM), I have always done this when topping off, etc. and never have had any transmission issues from low or otherwise over-filled ATF.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby frnorke » 17 Jun 2009, 15:29

Actually, could someone provide the correct way to check the transmission fluid level on a 2001 S80? I think I've been doing it wrong all along.


V/R,
Kurt
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby dcarlson12 » 17 Jun 2009, 18:11

To MIJ:
You say: "The low mark is unreliable according to just about all mechanics I've spoken with."
Are you saying the low mark is too low or too high as shown on the factory dip stick?
Would the 'Full' mark then also be proportionately too high or too low or correct?
Thks,
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby dcarlson12 » 17 Jun 2009, 18:18

To Crito:
What did you google to find the bit about mark being at incorrect place on dipstick?
What was the website where you found this?
Thks.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby vegasjetskier » 17 Jun 2009, 19:44

frnorke wrote:Actually, could someone provide the correct way to check the transmission fluid level on a 2001 S80? I think I've been doing it wrong all along.


V/R,
Kurt


As MIJ said in a post above: "Actually, VADIS shows to check the levels on a Volvo at the high end/mark of the dipstick after 30 mins of driving and after going through all of the gears for 10 seconds or so and ending up in Park (with the engine running)."

This is the correct procedure. Do it on a level surface.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby MadeInJapan » 18 Jun 2009, 01:12

vegasjetskier wrote:This is the correct procedure. Do it on a level surface.

Yes, and Yes!!!!
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby Crito » 18 Jun 2009, 07:36

dcarlson12 wrote:To Crito:
What did you google to find the bit about mark being at incorrect place on dipstick?
What was the website where you found this?
Thks.


I just remember it was a Volvo message board and that the guy was a Volvo mechanic who had seen one rebuilt or had rebuilt one himself. I also seem to recall he owned one which he was "overfilling" and that had high miles and no problems.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby Crito » 18 Jun 2009, 07:39

MadeInJapan wrote:
vegasjetskier wrote:This is the correct procedure. Do it on a level surface.

Yes, and Yes!!!!

So all tranny manufacturers use the exact same procedure? Doesn't matter if it's an all-wheel drive Japanese tranny or a front-wheel drive American?

I'll use GM's procedure. Thanks for the advice though.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby Crito » 18 Jun 2009, 09:22

The cold mark trick comes from Larry P at vvspy.com actually. I've made my own cold fill/check mark that's slightly higher, based on the procedure I use to do a warm fill/check. But here's Larry P's exact quote for everyone's reference:

"Topping-off tip. I put a scratch on my dipstick exactly 4 inches from the bottom. This is where my fluid sits with the engine cold, off, and level. It is a very good approximation of where you should fill to. The owner's manual has the official level check procedure."

EDIT: Since I've never done it before and curiosity was killing me, I just went downstairs and measured the mark I made. It's exactly 4.25 inches from bottom of dipstick. That's four and one quarter inches.
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Re: 2001 S80 - Anyone tried DIY replacement of transmission?

Postby MadeInJapan » 18 Jun 2009, 11:04

My thinking is that the fluid, when measured hot and at the appropriate mark no the hot side of the stick, will show up at approximately the 4 inch mark after the engine is turned off and the fluid becomes cold- now, that would make sense.
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