Yup, you called it. Dropped the pan and found this: Which led to this: and this: Rather than attempt an in-car repair like many others have done, I decided not to subject my body to the contortions that undertaking would impose. I wanted to work on a clean workbench with good lighting. Also taking the opportunity to replace motor mounts, heater hoses and the like while the trans is out.
I have learned a lot about the GM 4T65E transmission along the way. It's taking me a long time because I keep finding items that are worn slightly more than I would like, and oh, my, but aren't GM parts sooooo much less expensive than Volvo parts? Rock Auto has been getting a lot more of my business than FCPEuro or IPD lately.
A tip of the hat here to David Norris at Triple Edge Performance for his patience in answering my unending stream of questions about the 4T65E.
Now a question for the forum. I intended to replace the crankshaft seal, but when pulled the flex plate today, I found that the factory seal is not leaking a drop of oil, and also seems to have a ring of felt material bonded to it that the replacement seal doesn't have. Has anyone seen this before? I'm loathe to wreck a beautifully-installed factory seal and replace it with one which frankly seemss a bit flimsy by comparison.