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Replace transmission Output seal and bushing on a 240 series Volvo
(This was done on a 1988, 240GLT B230E, AW70 - 190,000 kms)

240transmissionjob1.jpg (58186 bytes)
Preparations are important.
A good working area, front wheels on ramps, rear on axle stands.

The Auto Transmission (AW70) of my Volvo had been leaking transmission fluid lately, lots of it actually so it was really time to do something about it. After doing some research on the Brickboard, it was clear that the tailshaft seal and the bushing needed replacement, there was a lot of play in the shaft ! So I put the front wheels on ramps and lifted the rear wheels on axle stands to enable me to turn the driveshaft and wheels to remove the flange bolts.

I always take my time to prepare this type of jobs and won't rush into it without doing some homework first. The internet is an excellent source of information and at the bottom of this page you can find a link to the Brickboard for additional information. When you have a spare car like me (1968 Volvo Amazon - actually, that is my main car) there is no need to rush this job. In some publications people boast "this job took me 3 hours to do" but it all depends on your technical knowledge, experience, tools available, work area and urgency to finish the job. My advice is take time and when not sure about part of the job, ask others, there are plenty of good Volvo Forums around.

Here is the description on how I did the job, which is not very difficult: 

  1. Put the front of the car on ramps and rear on axle stands, to enable you to turn the driveshaft and wheels.
  2. Drain the transmission fluid.
  3. Support the transmission under the pan, with an hydraulic jack or similar.
  4. Remove the 4 Transmission cross member bolts from the chassis, the cross member is now hanging on the rubber support. Check the rubber support carefully, it may need replacement.
  1. Remove the 2 support bolts at the transmission and remove the crossarm. The tailshaft housing is now accessible.

240transmissionjob2.jpg (68412 bytes)
Support removed

  1. Remove the gearlever linkage pin/clip and move the link out of the way.
  2. Remove the 4 driveshaft bolts at the flange. Check now for play in the shaft. If there is any play my advice is to be prepared to replace both the seal and bushing.
  3. With transmission now in Park, remove the centre bolt from the transmission flange.
  4. Pull the flange off.
  5. Remove the 6 tailshaft bolts.
  6. Remove tailshaft housing from transmission by carefully tapping it with a rubber hammer and pull it off the transmission.
  7. Clean the tailshaft housing and remove the old gasket from both surfaces. To remove the old gasket from the transmission is actually the hardest (most frustrating) part of the job because difficult access to do it properly and very time consuming. I used gasket stripper, a sort of paint stripper in a spray can.
  1. If you have the new bushing and seal handy, press out the old bushing and seal and press the new parts in place. I actually took the tailshaft housing to a local Transmission specialist (Marshall Transmissions) who replaced the bushing and seal for me overnight and also supplied a new gasket.

240transmissionjob3.jpg (65338 bytes)
Cleaned tailshaft Housing
with new bushing & seal

  1. I smeared a little RTV on both sides of the gasket before installation. Also used some transmission fluid around the shaft. I found it easy to install the tailshaft housing with the shaft in place. Put the 6 bolts in place, but not tight yet.
  2. Install the centre bolt in the shaft and torque it properly.
  3. Torque the 6 rear housing bolts.
  4. reconnect the gear lever linkage.
  5. Install the driveshaft with the 4 bolts.
  6. Install the cross member to the Transmission.
  7. Install the cross member to the chassis. Don't forget the spacers.
  8. Remove temporarily transmission support.
  9. Lower the Volvo.
  10. Add new transmission Fluid (Dextron II or III) approx. the amount that was drained
  11. Test drive the Volvo
  12. Check fluid again and add if necessary.
  13. Clean the underside of your Volvo.

Jim Hekker

Feedback from Jim Silliman:
This weekend I replaced the front engine seals on my '86 240DL wagon with help from your instructions. Thanks again for providing a good set of instructions for an amateur mechanic (I used your tailshaft bushing replacement instructions with success about a year ago). 

I would like to make one suggestion though. You should mention to beware not to push the crankshaft seal too far/deep. Not realizing that there isn't a stop for the seal to push again, I gave it a little push to seat it and it slid about 7 or 8 mm too far. Luckily I was able to get another seal from the auto parts store the next day and tried one more time after removing (and destroying) the first replacement seal. 

With that said, thanks again for your help. 
Jim Silliman, La Grange, Kentucky, USA

Brickboard FAQ - very detailed information, questions and answers about auto transmission work. 1999 - 2021