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Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by JimBee » Thu May 05, 2016 3:38 pm

My 96 855 AT has sat since Oct. I decided to drain & fill trans, although I did 3 drain & fills last summer and with not many miles the fluid still seemed pretty dark. There was a little gob of sludge on the drain plug. The sludge seemed smooth rubbing it between fingers. I should have put a magnet to it, but there were no visible metal particles.

I got almost 4.5 quarts out and it is pretty dark so I'm glad I changed it.

But after I put that much fluid back in, it's way over the top on the dipstick. It was actually a little low when I last drove it. I'll let it sit for couple of days and see if it seeps into wherever it goes inside the trans. If it doesn't go down, will all that surplus gush out when I start it up?

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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by Clemens » Thu May 05, 2016 4:06 pm

Did you measure with the engine running? If you refill the same volume the level has to be where it was before. Unless the engine isn't running.
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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by MadeInJapan » Thu May 05, 2016 5:11 pm

Clemens wrote:Did you measure with the engine running? If you refill the same volume the level has to be where it was before. Unless the engine isn't running.
Agree 100% If you measure what you take out and put the same amount in, it should level out to be the same!!
Btw, I thought the plug on the AT pan was magnetic anyway- no?
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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by JimBee » Thu May 05, 2016 5:26 pm

Two things.
The engine hadn't been run since October and I intentionally didn't start it before d and f because I wanted any heavy material to have settled at bottom and hopefully drain out, which I think it did. That small wad of sludge was right there on the plug. I swabbed out what I could reach with some giant pipe cleaners and there was a little more that came out.

I poured the drainage into a gallon "graduated cylinder" (dollar store variety). According to the stamped imprints of quantities along the sides (US and metric) I got out about a gallon and a third. That's what I went by in refilling.

Now I'm wondering if those scales are correct.

I have an empty oil jug I can transfer it into for a second check, but there is quire a lot that drained. I doubt it's less than 4 quarts.

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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by FLXC90 » Thu May 05, 2016 6:08 pm

If the level was good last time the engine was running, whatever you took out goes back in. your container scale is irrelevant. BUT, the trans will have to re-disburse the fluid throughout the valve body and torque converter. And NO, it will not just creep back into those places, it will need to be pumped there by the trans. That's why you have to go through the gear positions before reading the dipstick. Also keep in mind that trans fluid expands significantly as it heats up. That's why you check the cold or hot marks as appropriate. If you are concerned, pull the coil wire or FP relay, crank without starting a few turns first to pump fluid through the trans.
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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by JimBee » Thu May 05, 2016 8:22 pm

Okay, I think I've got it now. I did transfer the liquid to a gallon antifreeze jug, filled right to the very brim with a little left over, so that's about a gallon and a third, which is what I put back in.

MIJ: I think it is magnetic. So you're suggesting that "gob" might have been metal sludge? I suppose. That's why I massaged it between my fingers and it felt smooth, so it suppose it would be a fine metal dust mixed with grime deposits. Volvo engineers made that plug metallic for a reason; I supposed they expected wear to routinely happen, maybe in the clutches? I'm glad that I didn't find filings.

FLX90
I'd forgotten about putting the shift lever in the different positions with the engine running, so thanks, for the reminder. I think I will turn the engine a bit with power off before starting just for peace of mind.

I did the d and f earlier today. Just checked the level and it's still showing an inch above the upper hot mark, so like you say the new fluid is not going to just seep into the transmission's innards, it will need to be pumped there. Good reminders.

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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by polskamafia mjl » Thu May 05, 2016 10:26 pm

JimBee wrote:So you're suggesting that "gob" might have been metal sludge?
Yes absolutely. If you ever drain an old diff the drain plug is always covered in metal sludge. Those tiny metal shavings in the presence of gear oil turn into a metallic paste. The same thing will happen in the transmission.
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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by JimBee » Fri May 06, 2016 12:05 pm

That metallic paste then must be "expected" wear and tear, not much to worry about unless visible shavings start showing up?

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Re: Drain & fill; geyser from fill tube on startup?

Post by polskamafia mjl » Fri May 06, 2016 12:41 pm

Yes its normal. As long as there are no "big" pieces all is good.
'All my money is gone and I have an old Volvo.' - Bamse's Turbo Underpants

Current: 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R Manual - Bringing it back from the brink of death
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