Can anyone clear up the record for good on the history of the transmissions
that were put into the 850.
Volvo tells me one thing, and an independent specialist another.
Is it true that an Aisin-Warner box went into the earliest models, and that it was replaced by a
(If it is true...)
What were the reasons for change/failures? What are the model designations of the two different
trannies? Can a later model tranny be put into the earlier model-year cars?
Answers to any of these questions would be appreciated, as I am currently
email corresponding with
someone looking at big tranny costs who needs the issue clarified.
Michael from Sydney
It's Asian Warner (NOT Borg Warner, never although I believe the companies
are "related"). Volvo has
used AW trannies since (at least) the 70s in their RWD auto trans cars and ALL FWDs still use AWs
with the exception of the S80 (GM).
If your going to replace your trans with a reman, not used, I'd suggest buying it from a Volvo dealer and
using the same year trans as they list it for, NOT trying to put a newer type trans in an older 850. It's
alot of work and you (or whoever) won't want to do it twice. All Volvo parts have a 1 year/unlimited
mileage warranty in the US, don't know about elsewhere but you should ask.
I presume that the guy in question would get the same work/parts guarantee
in Hawaii. I'll pass on the
info on the AW.
The l850 uses an Aisin Warner AW 50-42 transmission. There are differences
between early and late
models in that the sensors which supply ground speed signals for the speedometer are different. The
transmissions will interchange but the speedometer,odometer, cruise and fuel consumption monitor will
not work without some modifications. If you require more detail, I can supply it.
I have some information from Volvo which was written around (my guess)
1992-93, which states that
the tranny on the original GLT is the AW-42. (Of course, that didn't tell me if the tranny was to change
in later years, hence the original question. You & John have sorted me out there, ta.)
I guess the AW-42 that they (volvo) talk about and your AW 50-42 are the
same thing. What's the '50'
Any further info on the trannies and year variations is appreciated, I
will put it up at my site for anyone
who is interested, and it will certainly help this guy in Hawaii to get his bearings.
Now that I know that the 850 tranny was always Aisin - Warner, the thing
that I want to know is why
the apparent variation in reliability between earlier and later models?
Kino's survey reports 1993, 74%, with 50 people responding; 1994, 21%, 113 people; 1995, 33%,
101; 1996, 12%, 76; 1997, 17%, 28 and 1998 13%, 66. The 1993 result is particularly unnerving.
(though it depends on how you see the numbers: 37, 23, 33, 9, 4 and 9 are the roughly raw numbers of
respondents saying they had tranny failure, making all three first years look pretty bad...)
Just my 2c worth, but there may be a lot of factors causing the unreliability
(seen in Kino's survey) for
the AW-42. A few possible causes:
* Difference in time elapsed between years surveyed;
* individual variation in the way the transmission is used/car driven;
* Variations in maintenance. (As more people/dealerships/whatever became/become aware that it is
important to change ATF, boxes are less prone to failure? Anyone know about TSB's on ATF
changes/when they were released?)
* might the probs have anything to do with the mods that you speak of? On the surface the mods, being
just sensors, sound too trivial to do that, but the fact that they were done might imply some more
significant modifications to the AW-42 during its' life on the 850? Or am I totally up the wrong tree and
was it pretty much the same box all the time???
And (sorry for the 61 questions) I wonder whether the 960's AW-30's were
prone to such failure as
well? (or was that RWD?)
I'll kill this rant before it goes on any longer! Thanks for your help
Michael from Sydney
I can't tell you what the 50 represents on the model no. As to what changes
might have been made
internally between early and late models, I can"t say. The only obvious change that I am aware of is the
change in location of the ground speed sensor, from near the drive axle to much higher on the housing.
The casting on the later models changed to accomodate this. As to the survey results; perhaps the higher
rate of failure for the early 850 can be attributed to the fact that they are older and likely to have more
use and mileage. How many of the failures were actually PNP switch failures? I installed motor and trans.
from a 1998 into my 1994 850 without any problems other than the speedo. I am currently working on
an adaptor to solve that problem.hope this is of some help.
Hi, can anyone out there answer the following: it is my understanding that
the early 850's ('93, '94) had
some tranny issues, are the transmissions that were installed in the '93/'94 models also found in the '95
and up models? it has been said that the automatic trans. found in the earlier models were manufactured
by Asian-Warner (or something sounding like that), and that these transmissions were not as good as the
ones found in the '95s and later which I believe the the person who wrote the comment said were
manufactured by GM. I could have mis-read what was written so if anyone can help me out, it would be
All 850 and 70 series automatics use Asian Warner transmissions.
There would be differences in the Asian Warner transmissions
year-to-year. So, a 95 model may have improvements in the
transmission that a 93 does not have; some newer ones are
5 speed automatics, etc. I would not assume they are
interchangeable without checking with someone who has replaced
one year with another.
The newer S80 T6 uses a GM supplied transmission (as do some BMWs,
Rolls, and many other makes -- GM makes very good transmissions).
I'm not sure if the normally aspirated S80 also uses a GM or an
Ray Niblett 95 855 GLT / 98 S70 T5M
Wayne '94 854GTAS 94K
If you have any experiences, facts, hints comments or data that you think might be useful on the site, please
and I will post it, with an acknowledgement of your contribution (if you so wish).