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1997 2WD 2RZ-FE a43D Transmission, Long shifts between 1st and 2nd, jerking, throttle pedal weird

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by iamtheghost, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Aug 3, 2022 at 3:03 PM
    #1
    iamtheghost

    iamtheghost [OP] Well-Known Member

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    People smarter than I,

    My '97 taco's transmission is beginning to go the way of the dinosaur. I have the ole reliable 03-71 Aisin A43D automatic 4-speed.

    All forward gears and reverse still work, but I can sense the transmission wanting to give up. The throttle pedal is inconsistent: sometimes it will be rigid/stiff and sometimes it will be very easy to push.

    The shifts from 1st to 2nd gear are getting very long and I have to get up to around 30-40mph for it to shift to 2nd gear. Shifting from 2nd to 3rd takes just as long, if not longer, and requires getting up to around 55-65 to roll over into 3rd gear. Switching overdrive off does make a difference in the performance, but I am unsure if it's related. The problems largely still exist with overdrive off, though to a less noticeable extent.

    There are also noticeable jerks when the shifts finally happen. Reverse still works fine and at low speeds it seems mostly normal--maybe just a little slow to accelerate. This is my daily driver and it's the original transmission with around 236k miles on it. I have been great about maintenance (like most of us in here), so I'm fairly certain it's an imminent mechanical failure though I am hopeful for a repair.

    To my surprise, there are essentially no A43D rebuild tutorials or videos out there. Given how prolific and widely used this transmission was, I was expecting to see a wealth of rebuild and re-man videos but there's only 1 playlist on YouTube and unfortunately it is not in my native language.

    I am weighing my options. I am interested in making the swap to a 5-speed for ease of maintenance and "rebuildability". I have no idea what or if there's a direct bolt-up 5-speed/manual swap for the 2rz-fe engine, but I assume it's the W59 since that was the 5-speed that shipped on manual versions of my truck. A local salvage yard has a low miles W59 but no clutch, pedal assembly, or shift assembly. Just the trans. So, I would have to pony up some cash buying the parts separately.

    Still, this is my daily driver, so a swap would be a headache and I would have to work on it day and night to get back up and running again. So, a repair, especially one that I can do or someone local could do, would be much more convenient. Are there any known common points of failure for the A43D? If you were me, would you just take it to a local transmission shop with toyota experience and get their input?

    From my description, does it sound as though a "rebuild" kit with new clutch and steel packs, seals, and rear bearing would be the best bet to solve the issue? Or am I looking in the wrong place altogether? What are the odds that my issues are in the valve body and not the transmission or overdrive core?

    Thanks for any input and information you can provide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
  2. Aug 3, 2022 at 4:16 PM
    #2
    Dm93

    Dm93 Test Don't Guess

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    Have you checked that your TV cable is adjusted properly and not sticking?

    A43D Throttle Cable Adjustment.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
    iamtheghost [OP] likes this.
  3. Aug 3, 2022 at 4:38 PM
    #3
    iamtheghost

    iamtheghost [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the PDF. I have not checked this, I will start there. Are these symptoms indicative of a maladjusted throttle cable?

     
  4. Aug 3, 2022 at 4:43 PM
    #4
    Dm93

    Dm93 Test Don't Guess

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    Predator tube steps, Ranch Hand grill guard, Magnaflow CatBack exhaust, Toyota tool box & bed mat, 2LO Module by @Up2NoGood, Rearview Compass/Temp Mirror.
    Yes, the TV cable controls line pressure and shift points, the farther it is pulled the higher the line pressure and the later it wil shift. It shouldn't be adjusted to compensate for a problem but it needs to be adjusted and working properly for the transmission to operate correctly.
    @gearcruncher any other suggestions?
     
  5. Aug 5, 2022 at 4:02 AM
    #5
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    No other suggestions from me . You nailed it dude
     
    iamtheghost [OP] and Dm93 like this.
  6. Aug 5, 2022 at 7:04 AM
    #6
    iamtheghost

    iamtheghost [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input, guys. It has been raining non-stop in my area for days, but I will observe the throttle cable as soon as I can and share some results.
     

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