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03 xc70 transmission compatibility

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03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by madymo3d » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:12 am

My '03 XC70 has had a transmission failure @ 181k miles. No engagement at any gear. The local trusted Volvo shop says I need a new tranny, $4500 parts + labor for rebuild of my actual trans. Dealer can do reman for about $5300 P+L. A 3rd non-Volvo shop says they can only give me an estimate once they get in there and see what's actually wrong, so maybe few hundred to thousands. I'm leaning towards used from ebay and scrap yard online.

I found a list of years/models that used AW55-50(SN), but want to know if what years/models are direct bolt on vs requiring additional work like reprgamming or wiring due to AWD vs FWD, lower/higher horsepower engine, calibration, etc.

BTW, what's the difference between AW55-50 vs 55-50SN?

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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by abscate » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:43 am

A 3rd non-Volvo shop says they can only give me an estimate once they get in there and see what's actually wrong, so maybe few hundred to thousands.
No...no...no.

Unless you can live with the delay of sourcing the used transmission, installation and walking away from the diagnostics dollars.
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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by oragex » Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:53 am

Can't answer for the compatibility thing, but how did the transmission work just before failing? It is strange to fail all of a sudden, especially for the 2003-onward models

Have they inspected the transmission fluid level and the front axles? Too low fluid level can happen suddenly in cold weather (even if the car worked in warmer weather) causing the car not to move in all gears.

If indeed it needs replaced, I would definitely recommend a trusty used one, even from a trustful Ebay seller. It will probably cost less than $800 shipped, then add another $700 or less to have it installed.

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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by madymo3d » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:10 pm

Wife drives it mostly, and she said nothing unusual happened right up until losing power then no engagement after she pulled over. We bought the car at 125k. I did drain and fill as soon as I bought it, as well as next couple oil changes. Always kept an eye on the fluid level and smell/color. As it is now, fluid is a little low but the shop said not low enough to cause issues. Presumably they hooked up VIDAS to get codes and concluded some sort of internal failure. This shop is well known locally and I don't expect them to BS.

Someone on reddit suggested pump failure, which makes sense on a cold day as well as no gears work.

I pretty sure I can find used trans shipped for less than $1k, but the shop wants $1400 for labor including the crank seal + material like J3309 trans fluid, which is quite a bit higher than your $700 and they won't budge. Can I ask where you're getting your labor cost? 2 shops have told me about 10 hours which seems long for a R&R.

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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by precopster » Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:49 pm

The $700-$800 is for a used tranny.

The labour is high in hours because subframe including engine will be dropped in most cases. Absolutely get the rear seal done.
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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by madymo3d » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:02 pm

I was referring to the "then add another $700 or less to have it installed" statement if that's is in fact the case. I can see difference of a few hundred dollars with labor rates differ between regions, but double seems excessive.

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Re: 03 xc70 transmission compatibility

Post by oragex » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:20 am

10 hours looks long indeed, I would suspect a job that has already worked on Volvo to take a good 6-8h. A place used with european cars is a good bet.

Usually, these transmissions don't die all of a sudden without showing issues before. I suspect the right 3309 fluid was used for the drain. To properly check the fluid look for a 'thick' portion of fluid on either of the sides as fluid can spread on the dipstick from the transmission tube and indicate a false level. It is good to wipe the dipstick before reinserting and pulling it back for reading. True level is where the fluid is thicker on the dipstick - looks like a droplet. All this on a very flat surface with the transmission oil fully warmed (>30 min driving), running in Park, the 'droplet' should be at the hot mark.

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