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Dumb question Transmission cooler / AT fluid check 08 Tacoma? –

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas' started by JJK, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. Nov 23, 2007 at 12:14 PM
    #1
    JJK

    JJK [OP] Active Member

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    OK – Dumb questions –
    Go easy on me – I’m NOT a mechanic (understatement)
    I had a transmission cooler added the other day, along with a tow hitch. I wanted to check the transmission fluid level to make sure that the guy at UHaul that installed the hitch and cooler didn’t lose too much fluid – he says he lost a very small amount – about a cup – from what was in the hoses.
    No big deal, I figured I would just check it when I got home.
    I can’t find a transmission fluid dipstick!!??
    2 questions
    How do I check the fluid level? – If he lost “about a cup” is that a big deal?
    Does ATF flow through the extra cooler and radiator? Or does coolant from the radiator flow through the transmission?? – The new cooler is connected to the radiator but I’m not sure if transmission fluid flows through a closed system inside the cooling system or if coolant (anti-freeze) flows to the transmission. I’m not sure if he was referring to a small amount of coolant or a small amount of transmission fluid. They are closed or I would just ask him.
    Thanks
    JJK
     
  2. Nov 23, 2007 at 12:17 PM
    #2
    Nitro_rc

    Nitro_rc Active Member

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  3. Nov 23, 2007 at 12:32 PM
    #3
    JJK

    JJK [OP] Active Member

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    Wow - another FAST answer - Thanks!!
    so if he lost "about a cup" - Would you think I should be OK??
    22.4 cups in 5.6 quarts (total transmission capasity) :) -
    Thanks
    JJK
     
  4. Nov 23, 2007 at 4:01 PM
    #4
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    I think that the first response pretty much covered the how to check the fluid level thing.

    As for your second question. Automatic transmission fluid runs from your transmission into a seperate cooler which is housed in the bottom of your radiator. It looks like it runs into the radiator, but it is a seperate system that just makes use of the radiators fins as well. That said, depending on how the U-haul guy routed it, the tank in the radiator should still be your primary cooler, and the one you had added will be your secondary cooler.so it should run like this transmission --> radiator tank --> transmission cooler --> transmission.

    Also, depending on how big of a cooler you added, you will have increased the fluid capacity of the transmission system by as much as a quart, with the cup that the guy at u-haul lost you are a quart and a cup low, so I would reccommend that you add some fluid in the manner described in the first response.

    BTW, what are you towing?
     
  5. Nov 23, 2007 at 6:21 PM
    #5
    JJK

    JJK [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the info! - I have my first oil change scheduled for Monday.
    - I'll have the dealer top it off.
    3000 miles and I already added a Toyota roof rack for the canoe, TrueTrac rear-end for the snow and mud, Tow hitch and cooler,
    WeatherTech floor mats all around, seat covers, bed mat, Good Year SilentArmor tires, 6 cd changer from a guy on one of the forums. All needed for the messy hobby of duck hunting:D (except for the new radio)
    Now all I need is the springs TSB.

    I'll be pulling a duck boat. Max 2500lbs depending on the one I get. Probably a smaller one 1500lbs - boat, motor etc.

    JJK
     
  6. Nov 23, 2007 at 8:26 PM
    #6
    ForeRunner

    ForeRunner BBC. Bring Back Clarkson Staff Member

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    I'll have to research this a little more but with the 3rd generation 4Runners and Tacomas running the 5VZ-FE the tranny cooler is integrated into the radiator. There are a few people that have experienced the Strawberry milkshake that occurs when your tranny cooler gets a pinhole leak in it and coolant mixes with your ATF.

    Thread on Yota Tech


    More threads on it at YT.

    If it's that way on my new FJ first thing I'm doing is bypassing and plugging.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2007 at 5:14 AM
    #7
    maverick491

    maverick491 Towing Guru

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    Banshee,

    It's not just a Toyota thing. It is every manufacturer I can think of with an automatic transmission. I know it's that way on Hondas, Fords, Toyotas, VW (Jettas at least), and Dodge (Confirmed first hand on a Neon)

    As far as the strawbery milkshake? I dunno if maybe there was/is a manufacturing defect in the Toyota radiators, but if you are intending to bypass it, then you are going to need to install the biggest trans cooler you can find in place of it as it will not be a primary/secondary set up at that point and you'll only have the one cooler.

    Or just buy a manual, and then forget all this trans cooler nonsense :)
     
  8. Nov 24, 2007 at 6:30 AM
    #8
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are well on your way, but maybe leave the springs alone at first. Pull the boat and trailer first, that's not a lot of weight, and the stock truck should be able to pull that without much effort, if that's the case then you can spend your hard earned dollars on something else. Drive on :D
     
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