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2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive "P2" platform cars.

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Blacklab467
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2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by Blacklab467 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:10 pm

I have determined that I need to clean up my linear solenoids, I've changed the B-4 Servo, flushed the fluid and changed the torque mounts, and updated the transmission software. Although these things improved the overall performance of the transmission, some symptoms remain that would point to the solenoids. I get the bang into drive from park, various shift flares, false neutrals on downshifts, etc. Also these symptoms are only there when the car is warmed up to operating temperature.
My question is: how difficult is it to access the valve body? How big of a job is it? I'm a fairly competent backyard mechanic with all the tools required to do the job. Also, I was looking at the Transgo Kit but from what I understand, many people just do the linear solenoids and leave the rest of the VB alone and on the car. Is this best? or should the whole valve body be removed and change the other parts included in the kit?
Thanks in advance.



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oragex
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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by oragex » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:24 pm

How many miles on the car ?

I tried cleaning my solenoids and it basically ruined them. Had to remove them again, this time replaced with new Rostra. The thing about cleaning is it's impossible to know when it's enough and when it't too much. Some show you the pins sliding more or less, but it's impossible to know how easy the pin should slide. If you 'drill' too much, it's gone.

My 0.002c - if you have flares I would not hope much from the solenoids, and maybe even from the whole VB. But given the Rostra sell for only $100 it may be worth a DIY

You are in Canada so the bolts on the VB cover will be fun to undo - I discuss this in the video



2003 2.4i S60 automatic 125k miles
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SuperHerman
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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by SuperHerman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:43 pm

See here on the process: http://www.volvoxc.com/0/resources/how- ... -Notes.pdf

My experience on an 2001 XC70 was that it was not complicated. I did not use an engine brace, rather I used a jack and a wood block to hold the engine up. If you have an engine brace or want to fashion one out of wood it would not hurt. I did a few things different, disconnecting certain pipes at different locations, but the instructions linked are pretty good. There are also great ones on the forum as more members have done it as the car ages. My only add has been to switch to a real gasket rather than RTV, so if you have to go in there again RTV clean up is not an issue. The gasket is the same as found on a Nissan Maxima of correct year using the same transmission. It is under $10.00.

I used the TransGo kit and had no issues with the solenoid rebuild. Their instructions are pretty good and there is a video on the web where a guy shows how it is done.

The valve body rebuild is not bad either - just pay attention to the check valves and/or check balls as different versions of the valve body change the usage. Take pictures and stay clean and organized. Open the valve body in layers - be careful when handling so it stays in one large piece until you can take it apart. That way the check balls stay where they should be and you know which level they go on.

Rebuilding the valve body with the updated parts will help if you have some issues with the valve body - so it is worth the extra time.

Buying Rostra solenoids is not a bad idea if you are not happy with the rebuild method in the TransGo kit or if you have a failure here during your repair.

Swapping just the solenoids if you have the replacements on hand makes for a very quick turn around. Removing the valve body is really not that much extra work. Rebuilding the valve body takes a couple hours, but it can be done on a clean bench and is basically an easy process with little if any stress on the body. The "hard" work is getting the valve body cover off.



Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by Blacklab467 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:18 pm

Should I buy a VB gasket kit or does it come with the Transgo kit? Also, how long does it take to get the VB out roughly? Thanks, Kevin.



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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by vtl » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:35 pm

Took me about 12 hours to replace my VB. I worked slowly.


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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by SuperHerman » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:18 pm

Not sure on which gasket you are speaking of exactly, but as follows: 1) The valve body plates have bonded gaskets adhered to them. You should leave them alone unless they are messed up. The three or four valve bodies I have played with on this transmission had no issues. If this is what you are asking about - I don't think the kit comes with them - but I recall removing them on one and it was a ton of work (but that was on my first go and also had a complete tranny rebuild kit which had the gaskets). It is not needed.
2) If you are asking about the gasket for the valve body pan (equivalent to a transmission pan but it is mounted vertical rather than horizontal) then the kit does not come with this gasket. Volvo does not use a gasket, rather they use RTV. I suggest you buy a gasket from a Maxima or other car that uses a gasket on their AW55/50 equivalent rather than RTV. It is an exact fit. It makes installation and any possible reentry easy and painless. In my mind the worst part of the job is cleaning the RTV off and assuring no pieces are left behind and/or fall into the cavity in the cramped and poorly lit confines of under the car.

If you follow the instructions and have the tools it should take you about 1.5-2 hours to remove the valve body. Rebuild time depends on your skill level and willingness. First time took me 3 hours or so as I was a kid in a candy shop. If you just go at it I think it would be less than one hour. Putting it back together should be about an hour of work. My second go - was basically 2 hours total from lifting the car to putting it back down - excluding the valve body which I already had out and rebuilt. I had, at the time, purchased three tranny cores and pulled a valve body and rebuilt it.

If you are slow and need to adapt for lack of a tool - plan on a weekend.



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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by vtl » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:40 am

Rusted torx bolts can be hours of work, be prepared. At one point I was thinking about dropping the whole transmission down. This was on a New England car, your experience may vary.

I agree Transtec B11548 gasket is much more convenient, though my slowly leaks. Slow enough to warrant leaving it as is, just tightening bolts from time to time.


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Blacklab467
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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by Blacklab467 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:21 am

Ok great thanks! I am in Canada where they salt the roads so I am definitely going to have to fight with the torx bolts on the cover. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to go to the wreckers and get a VB and rebuild it so I can just R&R the one on the car with a rebuild?



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Re: 2003 XC 70 AW 55 Linear Solenoids

Post by vtl » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:48 am

Good rebuild requires a Sonnax Zip kit. Swapping bad VB with Sonnax is definitely the best route.

Or you can get a GM VB on Amazon for under $500 and swap it. Sonnax VB is $700 or so.


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