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2003 Tacoma Trans swap?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by SmokeyDP, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Jul 27, 2010 at 5:58 PM
    #1
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2003 Double Cab V6 4x4 trd with an automatic transmission. The trans has 154k on it gives off a whine noise when I am accelerating and its under load. I brought it over to AAMCO and they said its the torque converter but want $2600 to rebuild the transmission with a 5 year warranty. They said the converter can't be fixed without rebuilding the transmission. I've seen a few used ones locally on car-part.com for around $600 (20k-90k miles). Right now it shifts fine and everything its just the whine, so I'm not sure how much time I have left.

    I've also heard that the pump can cause the whine noise with other automatics, but I'm not sure if the Tacoma has a pump.

    I'm weighing doing this myself or having a shop do it. I do all my own work including valve adjustments, head gasket, and suspension stuff on my BMW. What's involved with swapping out this transmission in the driveway with hand tools?

    Generally how much does it cost to have a shop do a swap?

    Any suggestions on something I can put in it to quiet it down for now?
     
  2. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:16 PM
    #2
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    The torque converter can be replaced without re-building the trans.
     
  3. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:23 PM
    #3
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what I asked and they said no.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM
    #4
    JDMcQ

    JDMcQ Well-Known Member

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    They are in the business of rebuilding transmissions. They are probably trying to sell you on the bigger service and bigger bill.
     
  5. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:38 PM
    #5
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Replacing the torque converter is actually not that hard to do your self, disconnect driveshafts, take off dust shield, take out converter bolts from trans to flywheel, disconnect shift linkage, disconnect electric plugs, drop trans and transfer case with crossmember, take off converter, put in new converter, repeat process in reverse, add trans fluid.
     
  6. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM
    #6
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I just found the FSM section on removing it:
    http://ncttora.com/fsm/2003/Repair_Manual/03tacoma/ata340ea/atua340f/remo.pdf

    So I guess the big question is how do I know that its actually the converter that is the source of the whine vs something else in the transmission?
     
  7. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:42 PM
    #7
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Thats the main thing, I'm not sure the converter is the source off the whine either. Its hard to say though without hearing it in person. I will say the Toyota auto is very tough and should last at least 200k. My 98 had over 200k and I put it through hell with no problems...
     
  8. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:45 PM
    #8
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I heard the same thing about how durable they are which is why it surprised me. I thought it might be the front dif, but the trans shop has targeted the the converter. Everything I look up points to it usually being the pump that goes bad and not the converter.

    Do we even have a pump on our trans that can cause this? I can't find anything in the parts listings. I also can't find anywhere that sells a torque converter...

    I can't come up with a better way to isolate what the problem is other than dropping the pan or the trans, but I would have no idea what I'm looking at.
     
  9. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:57 PM
    #9
    Nowhereman04

    Nowhereman04 Well-Known Member

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    My wife has a 2002 Mazda 626 and the auto tranny in it has been whining for 60,000 miles. If it were me, and it's performing well and shifts fine, i'd drive it till it quit man. There is no way to tell how much longer it will last. And no tranny shop can tell either. They are in the business to make money, and they want your business. Tranny shops are notorious for taking advantage of people. It's hard to find a good honest tranny shop that won't bend you over.
     
  10. Jul 27, 2010 at 6:59 PM
    #10
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    My first thought is to drive it till it dies but to be honest I just recently got this truck and want to fix it so the noise goes away.
     
  11. Jul 27, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #11
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Dumb question but have you changed the fluid? Maybe a flush?
    My 2002 2.4l auto was making a clunk when shifting from first to second and just changing the fluid three times fixed the problem. On my 2002 draining the fluid just replaces about 2.5 quarts of the 12 or so total. Don't know about your V6 auto.
     
  12. Jul 27, 2010 at 7:27 PM
    #12
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    I would drive it till it quits myself...
     
  13. Jul 27, 2010 at 7:27 PM
    #13
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The fluid was done at 110K with the timing belt as per the timing belt cover. Other than that I have no idea, but the fluid looks clean when I pull the dip stick. I guess the next step is to try to change it. I haven't really seen an additive that claims to fix my problem either.
     
  14. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:01 PM
    #14
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Are you 100% sure that its coming from your transmission and not something else?
     
  15. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:10 PM
    #15
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No I am not, its what the shop told me and they said it was the torque converter. The only way I can get it to make the noise is if the car is in drive so I'm not really sure how to pinpoint it without a lift. I can try jacking up the rear and see if it still makes it, but I wouldn't want to be under there with the rear wheels spinning. If I am on the ground next to the car it sounds like its coming from the front of the trans.
     
  16. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:17 PM
    #16
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure its not coming from a pulley on the engine, I know it sounds strange but the noise can echo and sound like its right below you...
     
  17. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM
    #17
    SmokeyDP

    SmokeyDP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Revving the engine in neutral and I hear no sign of the sound at all. The sound gets louder with the more gas I give it when its in gear. It's quieter when I am not accelerating but I can still hear it when moving.
     
  18. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:41 PM
    #18
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Ok then def. a drivetrain problem.
     
  19. Jul 27, 2010 at 8:43 PM
    #19
    SmokeyDP

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    So is OEM the best way to go for the torque converter or are there aftermarket alternatives? I haven't been able to find any for sale online in my searches tonight for a A340F trans.
     
  20. Jul 28, 2010 at 4:04 AM
    #20
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Does the fluid smell burnt and is it a red color?

    I've heard that a whine can be caused by fluid starvation due to low fluid level or clogged filter. Maybe you ought to pull the trans pan and check the fluid quality and filter.

    Make sure that the right type fluid is in the trans.
     
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