How To Change The Oil On An M66 Transmission
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    1. #1
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      How To Change The Oil On An M66 Transmission

      There is a thread in the sticky section regarding how to do this, and while the diagrams from Vadis are helpful, they don't tell the entire story. There is a special tool required to open the fill bolt on the M66 transmission if you don't feel like dropping the sub frame. I just completed this oil change last night, and thought I'd share some pictures from the process in the order I did them.

      1: Drive the bjeebers out of the car to get the transmission up to temperature.
      2: Jack the car up on 4 jack stands. Make sure the car is level as this affects the fill amount. I used a 2' bubble level placed on the oil pan to make sure I had the car truly level. If there is a better place to level off of, someone please speak up.
      3: Pull off the drivers side front wheel.
      4: Locate the fill bolt and remove it first. After being on the transmission for 6 years, mine was on extremely tight. I needed penetrating oil and a lot of muscle to get it loose. Here are two pictures, one of the location of the fill bolt, and the other of the Volvo tool necessary to get it off.





      5: In my case, I think the transmission was over full because the moment I pulled the fill plug used oil began to drain out. In anticipation of this, I had my oil catch pan already in place, but be aware that while your driveway will stay clean, your sub frame will not and you'll need some rags or paper towels to clean it up.



      6: After opening up the fill plug, time to get the drain bolt off. You can use the special Volvo tool, but a 24mm socket (15/16")will also work. I could not put enough torque on the bolt to get it loose, even after 2 hours of soaking in penetrating oil. I had to hit it with the impact wrench to get it off. While the oil was draining, I took a sample to send to Blackstone Labs for analysis. Along with some fresh oil to test, I should be able to determine how much wear is occurring in my transmission and a general idea of the change interval we should be observing. I have 93,000 miles on my car at present and will report back when I get the test results. Looking in the hole with a flash light, you can see some of the gear teeth and it isn't a bad idea to turn the wheel hub which will turn the gears and allow a basic visual inspection of the teeth. Here is a picture of the drain bolt location and the bolt off for draining and inspection.





      7: After letting the transmission drain, time to put the plug back in with a new crush washer, or with a replacement plug. I let my transmission drain for 3 hours to make sure every last bit of oil that could get out did. After all, I'm only going to do this once every 100K miles or so. I chose to replace the drain plug with a magnetic plug from Viva Performance. This plug goes back in a little easier as the socket size needed is 17mm, not 24mm. The torque spec I was able to find was 35Nm. If this is in error, someone with access to Vadis please correct me.

      8: When you've got the drain bolt back in and torqued, time to fill the transmission. I use an inexpensive oil transfer pump to get the oil from the containers into the fill port. A funnel and hose would work fine as well since this is very thin oil. I found that with the hose in the fill port, it is a little difficult to tell when the transmission is full. After pumping in two full liters, I pulled out the fill hose and some oil began to drain back out. There is nothing wrong with this because the proper fill amount is when the oil is level with the lower threads on the fill port. Letting a little oil drain itself back out will ensure a proper fill is achieved, but this is predicated upon the transmission being level to begin with. Here is a picture of the fill port once the oil level stabilized.



      9: Time to put the fill plug back in. Getting the threads started was a little tricky working around the sub frame member, but once in, you can use your finger tips to spin the plug till it is in reasonably snug. I believe the torque spec for this plug is the same as the drain, 35Nm. This is a little harder to torque because of the special tool needed, but with some extensions and adapters it can be done. I needed to use a 3/8" drive torque wrench adapted up to the 1/2" drive of the Volvo tool because most 1/2" torque wrenches can't be set low enough for 35Nm. Here is a picture of the frankenstein rig I ended up with to do the job.



      10: Once everything is tight, clean all excess oil up so you can check for leaks, put the wheel back on, and take the car for a test drive. After the test drive, check and make sure you've got no leaks.

      While I have very little doubt that most of what I experienced was placebo effect, I thought that the shifting was smoother and the transmission quieter. I especially thought I noticed a difference when rev matching a 3-2 down shift in that there was a noticeable smoothness to the engagement of the gears and it felt like the engine revved a bit faster during the blip in neutral. All of that to say, the car shifted smoothly and quietly before, and any improvement I might have made is minuscule. The whole point of changing the oil is to try and make the transmission last as long as it can.

      In case you're wondering, the tool to buy is part number 9997301 from SPX/OTC USA (http://volvocars.spx.com/). Thanks to pczeilon for providing that information. I paid $64 with shipping for this tool and received it a few weeks after ordering it. here is a picture of the tool.

      Last edited by briancpearce; 08-01-2011 at 08:55 PM. Reason: Corrected a socket size listing.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

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    3. #2
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Received my tool & did the change this weekend as well. An 05' 5sp with 110,000 miles. 35nm (26ftlbs) is indeed the correct torque for both plugs. My plugs came right out with no drama at all. Refilled with Redline MTL (2 quarts will not quite get it done, you need just a bit more) & my experience exactly mirrors yours. A very slight improvement in shift quality.
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    4. #3
      Excellent write-up! Any idea when the lab results will be back?

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    6. #4
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      If I get the oil samples sent tomorrow, I should have something within the next couple of weeks. Of course I am making the somewhat educated guess that Volvo hasn't changed their transmission oil formula in the last 6 years, but without having a sample of the stuff they put in back then, sending in a sample of fresh and used together is the best I've got.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    7. #5
      Member Big Will's Avatar
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      Just a small correction: Pretty sure that the drain and fill plugs are 24mm just like the older M56/58/59 gearboxes and the Viva Magnetic Drain Plug uses an 18mm head.

      35Nm should be fine.
      98 V70 AWD - M58 Gearbox | Beüst tune | 20T turbo | Green injectors | NA intake & throttle body, EST Intake, Snabb Fresh Air Pipe & Reverse Intercooler Piping | R Manifold, TME Downpipe, TME Exhaust | IPD Swaybars, Volvo Strut Brace, Öhlins Roadholding Suspension | 302mm front rotors, vented R rears, SS Brake lines | E-code C70 jewel headlamps. Engine build thread

    8. #6
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Big Will, there may be some difference between transmissions and versions of plugs. The sockets I used yesterday were 22mm and 17mm, so maybe I've got a newer version of the transmission and Viva plug? Ok, so I went back and checked and it is truly 24mm on the drain and fill plug. I just got under the car and checked again, and the current version of the Viva plug is 17mm. (8/1/11)
      Last edited by briancpearce; 08-01-2011 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Confirmed a socket size.
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    9. #7
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Big Will View Post
      Just a small correction: Pretty sure that the drain and fill plugs are 24mm just like the older M56/58/59 gearboxes
      I can confirm that my 2005 has 24mm hex heads. A 15/16" socket also fits.

      Stickying this thread. Thanks!
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    10. #8
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      You guys are right. I went back and looked at what tools I used yesterday and realized my 22mm socket didn't fit, and I grabbed the 15/16" socket instead. Thanks for setting the record straight.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

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      Anyone know if this is the same procedure for the AT tranny also?

    12. #10
      Member Big Will's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by briancpearce View Post
      You guys are right. I went back and looked at what tools I used yesterday and realized my 22mm socket didn't fit, and I grabbed the 15/16" socket instead. Thanks for setting the record straight.
      No worries at all! Thanks for doing a nice write-up.

      I change the manual gearbox oil (and AWD gear oils) in the Volvos of almost everyone I know so these socket sizes are pretty fresh in my head. Also really glad to hear that you decided to use the ViVA magnetic drain plug. I have 2 in my gearbox and 1 on my angle gear and rear diff (I did the product testing/test fitting) and think they're a great addition if you plan on keeping the car for a while.
      98 V70 AWD - M58 Gearbox | Beüst tune | 20T turbo | Green injectors | NA intake & throttle body, EST Intake, Snabb Fresh Air Pipe & Reverse Intercooler Piping | R Manifold, TME Downpipe, TME Exhaust | IPD Swaybars, Volvo Strut Brace, Öhlins Roadholding Suspension | 302mm front rotors, vented R rears, SS Brake lines | E-code C70 jewel headlamps. Engine build thread

    13. #11
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      By the way, I believe that a "low profile" socket such as this one can be used with a wobble extension to sneak around that suspension piece to remove/retighten the fill plug. This is a $6 tool from Lisle that's used for oil filters. I plan to pick one up and will post back if it works.

      http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...n=1&category=9

      2005 V50 T5 AWD 6MT w/Heico tune, Heico exhaust, Bell intercooler, IPD TCV, Viva Forge CBV, Elevate rear swaybar and torque mount, Snabb shift kit, etc.
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    14. #12
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      By the way tmtalpey, I'm going to be pretty mad at myself for spending $64 on a special tool if a $6 shallow socket will do the job instead.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    15. #13
      Member EngTech's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by pczeilon View Post
      Received my tool & did the change this weekend as well. An 05' 5sp with 110,000 miles. 35nm (26ftlbs) is indeed the correct torque for both plugs. My plugs came right out with no drama at all. Refilled with Redline MTL (2 quarts will not quite get it done, you need just a bit more) & my experience exactly mirrors yours. A very slight improvement in shift quality.
      What version of Red-Line - MTL did You use ?
      Also - briancpearce

      I think I took My Drain Plug Out after I just loosened the Fill Plug to allow Air , but You were going for a Sample : Most Interested in the Oil Test Results . Thumbs Up on Pictures - etc.

      Also If one uses Ramps Only this will lower the Fill port just a Little , so I gave Her a Big Squirt
      about 4-6 Oz. then Quickly Installed Plug .

      Less Mess:
      Could be done on One Ramp If You suction out the Bottom
      Oil . Just remember to Fill 2 qts. - It's all M66 is going to take , and I only Drained for 5 Min.
      read : ( Warm - MTL Oil ) - which seems like a 30# Weight Type Feel .
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    16. #14
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      There is only one AFAIK (70W80 / 5W30): Redline MTL
      I've tried several brands & weights over the years. Most are complete disasters as they don't give the correct coefficient of friction for the synchronizers. This is the only product other than stock I will use. I find it to give a very slight improvement in shifting.

      tmtalpey, the shallow socket will piss me off as well. I actually did a long search looking for one but came up with nothing in 24mm. I bow to the search master.
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    17. #15
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      They have 2 different MTL's , but One 70W80 - just checking which One You chose ,as the R Guys usually use the Race Version . ( Tuned )
      On the Comment : coefficient of friction for the synchronizes - Yes and what's worst some have Chemicals that don't play well with synchronizes .
      I'd like to say Our better Synco's are Phosphate Coated Bronze - can't remember - and are Void of that Issue .

      I Only Used a Wrench - just had to move it 1 - 2 flats then it came Off By Hand. read
      ( Shortly After Burnishing Gears - Break-In ) about 15,000 on Trans , so everything was pretty new .
      I don't recall but I might have Interlocked a second Wrench just to get started . Cost 0

      After 65,000 and 3 years - those would be harder to get undone .
      Last edited by EngTech; 08-03-2011 at 03:33 PM.
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    18. #16
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by pczeilon View Post
      tmtalpey, the shallow socket will piss me off as well. I actually did a long search looking for one but came up with nothing in 24mm. I bow to the search master.
      :-) I am most definitely not a search master, but "24mm low profile socket" yielded many hits. Mine is ordered and on the way, will let you know the results.

      The main reason I think it will work is because I test-fit my standard 24mm 1/2" drive socket, and it nearly made it onto the flats except for the height of the socket itself. The low-profile socket is 3/8" drive too, so I'm hopeful my thinner wobble extension will sneak right past the vertical obstruction. Well, I'm only out 6 bux if it doesn't work!

      IMO, one other reason to change the oil is to get better results in cold weather. I find that on cold mornings (say about 0-10 degrees F), my tranny makes noise in the lower gears, and when idling with the clutch out. This noise goes away after a mile or two. Of course, this could also be an oil level problem - getting that plug out will tell!
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    19. #17
      Member EngTech's Avatar
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      Hey , Tom
      I Know the Sound , Your referring to seems to be just be - Stiff Oil , as it does it much more in Coldest Temps .

      On the Tractors - in the Winter Straight 30 weight# Hydro is Stiff - they recommend a 15 min. warm up or switch to 15W-45W

      Oh on a further note , have been riding around without Splash Shield for 2 months - seems the Transmission is getting more Air to Cool .
      It took a really super Hot day to get any of that - slight back lash noise - which I quickly adjusted My shifting Pattern to Quick 1" Dip and Shift .
      Last edited by EngTech; 08-03-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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    20. #18
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by EngTech View Post
      It took a really super Hot day to get any of that - slight back lash noise - which I quickly adjusted My shifting Pattern to Quick 1" Dip and Shift .
      Geez on a hot day mine sounds like I'm racking a set of billiard balls when shifting at low speed. CLACK-CLACK. I kind of like it, but "slight" is not a word I would pick. Noisy bugger, this Getrag.
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    21. #19
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      The Fly Wheel is Killing the enjoyment factor , for sure . The Thicker Oil Dampens that Out .
      Is there some Fluid or Grease in the Spring assembly on the Dual Flywheel ?

      Only reason a say this is It just seems to be to much backlash for a Transmission .
      Last edited by EngTech; 08-03-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      It is kind of funny to see people on this forum switching their cars over to Redline MTL and singing its praises. On the forum I frequent for my Miata, everyone there loved the MTL for a couple of years and is now on this huge Motorcraft XT-M5-QS kick, thinking that is the stuff to have. Interestingly enough, if you look at the Motorcraft spec and the spec for the Volvo OEM transmission oil, they are the same thing. Seems to be two different flavors of good. Next time my Miata needs a transmission oil change, I'm going to put the Volvo OEM oil in there.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    23. #21
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by briancpearce View Post
      Motorcraft XT-M5-QS ... spec and the spec for the Volvo OEM transmission oil, they are the same thing.
      Wait a sec - what oil did you actually use? Redline, Motorcraft or Volvo?

      BTW it doesn't surprise me at all that the M66 uses the Motorcraft spec oil. Getrag is a Ford family drivetrain manufacturer.
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    24. #22
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Sorry for the confusion. I used the Redline MTL in my Miata, and the Volvo OEM oil in my Volvo. The Volvo oil is the Motorcraft product in a Volvo jug, that's all. Oh, and typically the Volvo branded stuff costs a couple bucks less. There have been some very lively debates on the Miata forums as to which works better in that particular transmission, and I find it kind of humorous that I've been using the Motorcraft product all along in the Volvo and didn't know it. To see Volvo guys putting MTL in their transmissions strikes me as a little ironic after all the debate I've been a party to. Still, there are of course many differences between an M66 transmission and the 5 speed transmission of an older Miata so I would expect the two oils to give different results. I really hadn't thought of using MTL in my Volvo transmission, so I'm pleased to see people having good results with it.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    25. #23
      Quote Originally Posted by EngTech View Post
      The Thicker Oil Dampens that Out .
      Is there some Fluid or Grease in the Spring assembly on the Dual Flywheel ?

      Only reason a say this is It just seems to be to much backlash for a Transmission .
      If the little Volvo DMFW is anything like the 12" DMFW that was in my Ford diesel pickup, there's just a sealed greaseless bearing between the two masses, and the spings, no rubber dampers, no oil, grease, anything to soften the hit when shifting. The design of the DMFW as far as the springs go looks just like the "old Fashoned" dampened clutch discs common 30 yrs ago, a compression coil spring secured between two formed lips capturing the spring. The added backlash you hear is from the springs taking a set to a shorter length after the hours & miles pile up. There's really no way for those springs to exit the FW unless they break, which can happen, with some interesting damages resulting. One guy on my diesel forum years ago had a spring on his engine exit the FW thru his oil pan, it flew out of the FW, punched thru the back wall of the pan and out the bottom of the pan and since the IH-built Ford diesel uses engine oil to fire the injectors, it will shut itself off before damaging the rotating assembly. Lucky Guy, new clutch & oil pan and he was running again as opposed to a whole new engine or short block.

      I wouldn't worry about too much backlash, with the light weight oil used in these transmissions and the aluminum cases, it would be impossible to keep tolerances tight over the range of temps these things see. Plus tight backlash really builds heat. I know all auto makers use thin transmission fluids even in manual trans for improved MPG, but really, a heavier oil would work better, it cushions gear-to-gear tooth contact MUCH better.

    26. #24
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by briancpearce View Post
      Sorry for the confusion. I used the Redline MTL in my Miata, and the Volvo OEM oil in my Volvo. The Volvo oil is the Motorcraft product in a Volvo jug, that's all.

      K, thanks. To me, the MTL is attractive beause of the lower viscosity, which should make for slightly crisper/quicker shifts, and better cold weather performance. It's easy enough to experiment, in any case!
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    27. #25
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tmtalpey View Post
      By the way, I believe that a "low profile" socket such as this one can be used with a wobble extension to sneak around that suspension piece to remove/retighten the fill plug. This is a $6 tool from Lisle that's used for oil filters. I plan to pick one up and will post back if it works.

      http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/p...n=1&category=9

      Well, I don't know how to break to you but the low-profile socket fits just great. Sneaks right by the suspension member and makes a good fit over the fill plug flats:

      Comparison between 15/16" standard socket and low-profile 24mm:



      It *looks* like the tall socket is making it, but compare the angle to the low-profile one which does work:



      Got mine from toolsource.com, it arrived in just a couple of days. 6 bux and a nickel. Picked up a box of nitrile gloves and some other goodies, too:
      http://www.toolsource.com/24mm-drive...-p-107891.html

      Still, thanks for the excellent writeup, and if the fill plug is frozen like yours was, I bet the SPX tool does work better for true persuasion. I'll find out whether mine is as soon as I grab some fresh oil!
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    28. #26
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Got the Oil Analysis

      Well, I got the oil analysis back from Blackstone, and it looks pretty good. Based on what I see here, I'll probably set up a 100K mile interval between changes, unless I want to do 75K just for the heck of it, or to experiment with different oils.

      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    29. #27
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Has anyone tried the low profile socket and wobble drive yet?
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    30. #28
      Member EngTech's Avatar
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      Hey Brian - Thanks for the Oil Test Results : +1
      Could You get Us a Clearer or Larger Copy , really can't read it very well .

      This was from Your First MTL Change ?
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    31. #29
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Yes, this was the first change of the transmission oil. As soon as I figure out how to post a PDF I'll put it up.
      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

    32. #30
      Junior Member briancpearce's Avatar
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      Better Copy of Analysis

      Ok, I think this is a better copy. Thank you Google Docs. Let me know if it still isn't clear enough and I'll email you the PDF from Blackstone.


      2005 S40 T5 FWD (manual of course)

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      just did transmission fluid change. used a 24 mm impact socket with a 5 inch extension. the impact socket depth will allow enough bite on the plugs head from the left side of the suspension member, mine had never been removed and came off with minimal effort after 20 minute soak with penetrating oil. fluid did not come out clean and ended up doing a full change rather then 50/50. replaced with OEM stuff from my local volvo mechanic, went through 3 1/2 liters. used 3 feet of 3/8 tubing and a funnel to fill from above and outside the wheel well made life allot less messy. would have never found the fill plug without this thread. good stuff!

    34. #32
      Global Moderator tmtalpey's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by briancpearce View Post
      Has anyone tried the low profile socket and wobble drive yet?
      Actually, thanks Rifki for bumping and I can confirm that the low-profile socket and wobble drive work well. I will try to take a picture this weekend.

      Oops - I already did! See below.

      Rifki, you mentioned using an impact socket. Be careful with that! There isn't a lot of meat on the plug flats, and impact sockets usually have a "loose" profile. And tightening is a delicate operation too.
      Last edited by tmtalpey; 06-27-2012 at 10:14 PM.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD 6MT w/Heico tune, Heico exhaust, Bell intercooler, IPD TCV, Viva Forge CBV, Elevate rear swaybar and torque mount, Snabb shift kit, etc.
      2016 XC60 T6 AWD
      1956 PV444 complete, running
      1956 PV444 very original, very rough

    35. #33
      Junior Member
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      tmtalpey, Not sure what bumping is but your welcome.
      My experience with the fill plug was pretty straight forward, the 26 foot pounds was vary easy to achieve. over torquing of the crush washer can cause major issues when removing the plug and is not uncommon to happen during manufacturing, I can only assume mine was to spec or under torqued perhaps, but had no signs a drop had ever leaked. that being said I would suggest your low profile socket with wobble head solution, my car was already up on stands when I finally came across swedespeed.com and with my master tool set in my roll cab at work, I was forced to find an alternative that did not require me leaving the house.

      thank you for your concern

    36. #34
      Member jdsr917's Avatar
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      May 2009
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      LongIsland NY
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      Hey just wondering if everyone is using the 70W80 or the 75W90? I tried the Mobile 1 and Royal Purple 75W90 and both have not done well at all! ... I am in the process of a full engine and trans flush and wanted to know if what everyone else is using. I did order the Volvo OEM fluid but if everyone is moving the Red Line with great results i would love to join.
      S40 T5

    37. #35
      Member pczeilon's Avatar
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      Jun 2011
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      Apple Valley MN
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      3,807
      It's not the weight per say, it's the coefficient of friction. As you have discovered those two are incorrect. So is Redline MT.

      Use OEM or Redline MTL. Since you already ordered the Volvo stuff, just use it. Very high quality, no worries at all.
      2007 V70 5 Speed
      2005 S40 2.4i 5 Speed

      1995 855 5 Speed SOLD

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