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Old 09-09-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
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clunky transmission

*EDIT* got my clutch replaced under warranty, had the clutch tsb done. PROBLEM RESOLVED. shifts like butta now...

hey all, i have an 11' 2.7 AC 5 speed. i have been poking around, and it seems i am not alone with the clunky trans issues. enguaging first and second are both fairly rough, not the sily smooth i remember from my other trucks. hell, the 94 toy i just sold with 260k on it shifted better...

is the general consensus that they loosen up as you get more miles on them? truck has 2800 on it now. i never had these issues with previous trucks, although they were not current gen 2.7 vehicles.

at 1k, i went though all the fluids, so it is not a fluid issue. YES, i know how to drive (30 years behind the wheel, with racing national championships). the wife daily drives standard shift, and when she drove it, and said the shifter feels very notchy, as if it was very fragile and was going to break.

i have read about the clutch issues, and i am not sure that it pertains to my truck. clutch disenguages fairly early in the pedal travel, and even if i am at a dead stop, depressing the clutch all the way, and placing it in first takes some effort. please ease my fears and say this will go away....
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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I know my tranny definitely feels smoother now than when I first got it. Part of that is the break in, but I think the biggest factor is that I've slowly been tweaking my technique to drive this transmission. I agree that it is still notchy when I shift quickly, but now that I have learned to really take my time with it, it feels 10x smoother. The RPM's tend to hang for a split second when you lift off the throttle, so you need to wait until they drop to get into gear as smoothly as possible.

Also the gearing is a little strange. The drop in RPM's from 1st to 2nd is BIG, so you have to take wind out 1st gear a little longer before shifting.

Luckily these transmissions are close to bullet proof. The clutch is definitely a weak point, but compared to the 6 speed in the V6 Taco, the 5 speed is very reliable.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:33 AM   #3
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I have been encountering the same issues. I bought my truck in Feb of 11. My 5spd was very rough then around 5-6 thousand miles it "loosened up" There are still times where I think the shifts could be better, it seems that easing out of the clutch and slower shifts, as well as not slamming the shifter have helped a lot. As the previous poster mentioned the clutch is a weak point so when I can gather enough money a new/better clutch is in order. BTW I now have 8400 miles.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:21 PM   #4
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Yeah, i can agree that the 5 speed was a little rough for the first 5-6K Miles. Clunky at first but as Andrew has said you just need to learn a proper shifting technique. Took me awhile but now i can shift smooth as butter. You have to Rev first a little higher and ease the clutch out a little slower.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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Yeah my 09 five lug was way smoother than my 2011 i've got 17xxx and i still can be clunky at times
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodney View Post
hey all, i have an 11' 2.7 AC 5 speed. i have been poking around, and it seems i am not alone with the clunky trans issues. enguaging first and second are both fairly rough, not the sily smooth i remember from my other trucks. hell, the 94 toy i just sold with 260k on it shifted better...

is the general consensus that they loosen up as you get more miles on them? truck has 2800 on it now. i never had these issues with previous trucks, although they were not current gen 2.7 vehicles.

at 1k, i went though all the fluids, so it is not a fluid issue. YES, i know how to drive (30 years behind the wheel, with racing national championships). the wife daily drives standard shift, and when she drove it, and said the shifter feels very notchy, as if it was very fragile and was going to break.

i have read about the clutch issues, and i am not sure that it pertains to my truck. clutch disenguages fairly early in the pedal travel, and even if i am at a dead stop, depressing the clutch all the way, and placing it in first takes some effort. please ease my fears and say this will go away....
What transmission was in your '94? If I read the internet right... there were three transmissions available in the pre-tacomas of that vintage... the R150 (3.0 L V6, 3VZE), W56 (2.4 L I4 4x2 and 4x4 w/o ADD, 22RE), and the G58 (2.4 L I4 4x4 ADD, 22RE). Your current truck has an R155 transmission, which differs from the R150 primarily in gear ratio -- first is lower, 5th is higher. If you had a V6 in your '94, I would expect the transmission to feel similar once well broken in. If you had an I4, then the transmission is quite different. Note that the W56 and G58 are very similar units, according to the wikipedia article from the wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/web/200505191...G_transmission (apparently, this article was deleted a few years ago.... something about plagiarism ).

One of the tricks I found to shift the R155 is not to be in any hurry and don't try to force it. It is perfect for a very relaxed type of driving.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:22 PM   #7
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Sometimes it feels like when you hit the sweet spots shifting seems very smooth, then at times I still feel the clunky or notchy feel with close to 30,000. I am about to change out the manual trans and rear diff oils and hoped an upgrade in oil may help things a bit...
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSJ View Post
Sometimes it feels like when you hit the sweet spots shifting seems very smooth, then at times I still feel the clunky or notchy feel with close to 30,000. I am about to change out the manual trans and rear diff oils and hoped an upgrade in oil may help things a bit...
I'm in the exact same boat as you. Most of the time, the shifts are buttery smooth...but then again, I always have a few days a month where 1-2 and 2-3 are notchy. To me it feels like the clutch doesn't fully disengage sometimes, and the engagement point is very vague. But most days it's spot on.

I have 28.5k on my truck.

Edit: I have been running Redline MT-90 in the transmission, and Mobil 1 gear lube in the rear differential since 10k.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewFalk View Post
a few days a month where 1-2 and 2-3 are notchy. To me it feels like the clutch doesn't fully disengage sometimes, and the engagement point is very vague. But most days it's spot on.
I have 28.5k on my truck.
Edit: I have been running Redline MT-90 in the transmission, and Mobil 1 gear lube in the rear differential since 10k.
I know, like you did not push in the clutch in all the way prior to shifting and you get that notchy/clunk feel as you shift.. well it seems upgrading fluids has not help you, unless it was worse prior to your oil upgrades. I do plan to run different oils so I will get back if things are better.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PSJ View Post
I know, like you did not push in the clutch in all the way prior to shifting and you get that notchy/clunk feel as you shift.. well it seems upgrading fluids has not help you, unless it was worse prior to your oil upgrades. I do plan to run different oils so I will get back if things are better.
The new fluids did improve shifting when it's cold, and I saw marginallly better shifting all around. I'm going to change them out again at 35k...not sure if I want to try Amsoil/ Royal Purple/ etc. or just keep using Redline.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:09 AM   #11
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I'm in the same boat. Bought my '06 back in January w/18000 miles. Noticed the clunky shift and grind into 2nd gear so I changed fluid to Redline MT-90. It made things a little smoother but it's still pretty bad. Im at 25000 now and plan to change it again at 30000 miles. One thing I did notice on a recent long trip is that the hotter the transmission is, the smoother it shifts (I.e. After long runs down the highway in 5th gear).
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoterragaia View Post
I'm in the same boat. Bought my '06 back in January w/18000 miles. Noticed the clunky shift and grind into 2nd gear so I changed fluid to Redline MT-90. It made things a little smoother but it's still pretty bad. Im at 25000 now and plan to change it again at 30000 miles. One thing I did notice on a recent long trip is that the hotter the transmission is, the smoother it shifts (I.e. After long runs down the highway in 5th gear).
I would agree with that. I usually notice the notchy shifting in the morning on the way to work. I also noticed that after long highway trips, that's when I start to feel the clutch not disengaging/ engaging properly...probably because the clutch has gotten pretty hot.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:20 AM   #13
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He next thing to address is the throttle lift grind. Had that since day one and it's only been getting worse. I'm 99 percent positive that it's the driveshaft slip yoke as there's a lot of play in it.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecoterragaia View Post
I'm in the same boat. Bought my '06 back in January w/18000 miles. Noticed the clunky shift and grind into 2nd gear so I changed fluid to Redline MT-90. It made things a little smoother but it's still pretty bad. Im at 25000 now and plan to change it again at 30000 miles. One thing I did notice on a recent long trip is that the hotter the transmission is, the smoother it shifts (I.e. After long runs down the highway in 5th gear).
noticed that too. drove from philly to chicago and after driving across the states and paying tolls, coming out of the tolls it shifted like butter
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:04 AM   #15
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I have the exact same engine trans. combo. The 5 speed trans is very tight and I had to stop wifey from driving it because she would cluck it while shifting. Occasionally I would clunk it. After changing oil to Amsoil severe gear 75w-90 ALL shifting problems went away. I would try Amsoil, become a preferred customer for $10 and get it whole sale. I'm not a dealer and not associated w/ Amsoil in any way other than being a P.C. I changed engine oil, trans., transfer case, front and rear diffs. brake and clutch fluid, lubed drive line, added gas treatment, replaced air filter, and undercoated truck w/ top of the line Amsoil products and the truck drives like a dream boat. I believe the truck, thru P.M will last forever. Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #16
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Has anyone encountered a sort of "pop/snap" when in 1st and engaging the clutch?. From time to time when i press in the clutch it feels as if there is some friction or tension and it "pops/snaps". Its not frequent but its enough to make me shudder when it happens.
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Old 11-13-2011, 07:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by rydaniels View Post
Has anyone encountered a sort of "pop/snap" when in 1st and engaging the clutch?. From time to time when i press in the clutch it feels as if there is some friction or tension and it "pops/snaps". Its not frequent but its enough to make me shudder when it happens.
I know this is old, but I just found this post.

I think my truck does the same thing. It only happens in first gear from a stand still. It's a strange feeling I feel through the clutch. I don't know if it's the clutch slipping, or if it's the plastic pedal assembly. The clutch grabs fine in every other gear...it just feels weird sometimes in first. I can't really describe it.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:58 PM   #18
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I'm new to this site, but I just bought my used Tacoma a few months ago(38000 miles) and agree with most everyone. Shift to first and second is tight, clunky, the rest of the gears our fine. These lower speeds are tricky, all most like you have to really concentrate at shifting, to smooth it out!
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:09 AM   #19
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I just did a reset of the computer and found after I did my shifts seemed to be more fluid and smooth? Its been a week and I can not remember one time it clunked on me during a shift. Give it a try to see if you have the same results!
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #20
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Mine shifts a whole lot better than my ranger and my old jeep although the creaky clutch pedal could go.
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