I performed this job with a mechanic buddy of mine on a lift and by dropping down, but not totally removing the front sub-frame. I read about people going in through the top under the battery tray and now know that this would be a tougher method to get to all nine transmission cover bolts.
Additionally, after the cover is removed and cleaned of the old gasket sealant, you still have to get the cover with the new sealant applied back on straight the FIRST time and get your bolts back in. While all this is happening no matter how well you clean off the valve body under the cover, it will keep dripping right onto the area that you want dry for the new sealant, so seconds count.
Note: I understand that people have indicated that S1 and S2 are the same solenoid. Even FCP Euro indicates this. All I can say is that on my 1997 850GLT Automatic, the S1 solenoid has the electrical connector facing AWAY from the O- ring and has an extended bolt hole for the hold down screw. It also has a black connector where the S2 is green. You will thank yourself later that you had the right parts and plenty of shop towels beforehand. Also use Permatex Ultra Black oil resistant gasket sealant or factory sealant from your friendly Volvo parts counter.
Incidentally, I did this fun project because I had a flashing arrow of doom and a check engine light on and the car was in limp mode. Going to the Volvo dealer with an active check engine light gets you a free scheduled 1- hour code reading, 222 Shift Solenoid B malfunction in this case. You get just a code reading and not a single thing more, except the recommendation to schedule a new transmission installation.
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