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"FUN" Transmission Fluid and Filter Change!!!

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by TD2, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. Jun 12, 2010 at 10:41 PM
    #1
    TD2

    TD2 [OP] Member

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    Well I decided to try and change the ATF fluid and filter myself today. What a mistake!!!!

    First of all let me tell you if it's never been done by 114k miles then your oil pan is going to be welded on there, or at least mine was. It took several hard blows from a hammer into a thick blade putty knife to get the pan to even crack open!

    Secondly the dipstick would not come apart. I had two of us pulling and prying and banging. Finally I had to disconnect it from the engine block and pull the whole thing down! Then somehow it just slid off like nothing was holding it together. @%^#@$$@ THING!

    Thirdly the gasket material from the factory is something like a rubber version of JB weld! I had to use a Dremel tool to clean the pan off and an 1hr of hard labor scraping the bottom of the AT. Luckily, I hope, the new gasket is one rubber piece and hopefully won't leak?

    Next I cleaned the pan and magnets. They magnets were coated with thick black gunk! But no metals shavings, hurray! I got it all put back together and then had the reverse problem with the $#%$#$%# dipstick! I had to re-remove it form the engine block and seat it and then wrestle for 15mins to get the bolt back into the block.

    Then I moved onto measuring my removed fluid so I could properly refill it. Strangely I have 6.5qts???? Where did it all come from? Well I know it came from the ATF but what happened to 2qts it was supposed to be?

    So here is the question part of my post. How much does a total AT hold? I was going to fill with standard AT fluid, Valvoline Dex-III, nothing special it's from NAPA. But now that almost all the fluid is out should I go with Mobil 1 Synthetic? Or stick with standard oil? Royal Purple is available here but Amsoil isn't easily found. Any thoughts? How much would I need? 6.5qts is my guess.

    Finally how the %$#%$$ do you get to the front diff to change the fluid there and where are the drain and fill plugs on the transfer case?
     
  2. Jun 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM
    #2
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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    It likely holds much more than 6.5 quarts.

    Its probably more like 10-15 quarts. (my Chevy Express Work Van holds like 15-20 quarts of ATF)

    Dropping the pan and draining it does not remove all of the fluid. The only way to remove it all is to flush the transmission.

    I would go synthetic if all the fluid is gone (if you flushed it) and if you changed it before (around 50K). Sometimes if you wait too long and change your transmission fluid with synthetic it can cause the tranny to slip or leak. Synthetic fluid is much thinner and reduces friction. It is unlikely on a Toyota but on other cars it can happen.

    I would go with the cheaper ATF and just change every 50K miles even if it still looks good. Your transmission costs just as much as your motor so make sure you are changing the fluid often.

    I do most of my maintenance myself but I always pay someone to change an auto tranny because it is much better to flush the fluid and change the filter. It also is a giant pain in the ass lying down to change all of that stuff.

    The skid plate must be dropped to get to the front diff. There is a drain and fill plug. One or both of them uses a hex/allen wrench. It may be a large size - I had to buy a hex socket from Snap On (expensive). I could not find a cheap one that large. I bought a replacement plug and the hex was much smaller so it may vary depending on your year.

    The transfer case has a pretty obvious drain and fill plug. Something like 19-23mm... Can't quite remember the size. Maybe someone can let us know. It is really easy to round the heads on the drain and fill plugs so be careful and don't over-tighten it.

    My 98 doesn't have a skid plate under the transfer case but I think the 01-04s do with an auto tranny... maybe someone could chim in.

    BTW, the front diff is a pain to change.
     
  3. Jun 13, 2010 at 11:30 AM
    #3
    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    id rather drain and refill, with 114k miles flushing could damage seals and flush metal particals where you dont want them. take off pan, you have a 2 peice dipstick you have to disconnect, take off the magnetic filer and clean it good, clean off all magnets, and scrape off all toyota gunk on both sides of pan and replace with either rtv silicone gasket or a synthetic gasket, i dont reccomend cork or rubber. be sure to fill the trans to the proper level and not any large metal chunks or excessive metal shavings on magnets (there will be some from clutch pack wear)

    fill it with the 6.5 qts, thats about how much mine holds, these trucks transmissions arent as big as that work van iirc we have an A340E transmission


    the tcase isnt hard to do, its essentially what he said, just be sure to have enough gear oil for the front diff and t-case, fill it till it comes out the fill hole

    it also helps if you buy a cheap pump from harbor freight to pump it in.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2010 at 12:06 PM
    #4
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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  5. Jun 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM
    #5
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    Your owner's manual should tell the fluid capacity of the A/T. If I remember right my I4 A/t was 11 quarts total. The manual said to add about 2.5 quarts on a simple drain.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2010 at 7:06 PM
    #6
    TD2

    TD2 [OP] Member

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    Thanks all for the great links and advice. I filled the AT with the cheap stuff from NAPA, Dex-III. It took 6qts and is now between the two indents on the dipstick where it says HOT. I ran it about 6 miles and checked again and still reading there. Also checked pan and no visible leaks yet. I'm not sure what the gasket material was but it was black and felt like rubber. I may do the Rear Diff and Trans case myself and then get someone else to do the front diff. My neck , back, shoulder, and hands are toast.(joint problems) I don't think I'll be dropping that pan again unless it leaks.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2010 at 7:09 PM
    #7
    TD2

    TD2 [OP] Member

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    What is the funny thing hanging down off the transfer case? It's the thing right where the word "drain plug" is.

    transfercase.jpg
     
  8. Jun 14, 2010 at 6:43 AM
    #8
    96er

    96er Sport Rally'er

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    Looks like a protective skid plate.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2010 at 8:42 AM
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    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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  10. Jun 14, 2010 at 11:10 AM
    #10
    TD2

    TD2 [OP] Member

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    I didn't intend to Flush mine but it seems I semi did by dropping the pan. I would consider 6.5qts almost a complete flush. Well ok half at least. But I've driven about 20miles now and all is the same so far. I won't ever flush just drain and fill every 30-50k now.
     
  11. Jun 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    #11
    twfsa

    twfsa Well-Known Member

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    My Honda car had no filter, or pan just drain>fill>drain>fil>drain>fil. Took about 3 qts each time..
     
  12. Jun 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM
    #12
    montanabay

    montanabay Active Member

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    Fireturk, is your truck 2x4? I was under the impression that the A340E was the 2x4 and A340F was 4x4?

    EDIT: Nevermind, I was thinking A34D, the A340E is the electric 4x4 vs the manual A430F.....I think.....lol
     
  13. Jun 15, 2010 at 4:50 PM
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    fireturk41

    fireturk41 I like to break shit!

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    eh not sure, i can check i have both 2wd and 4wd trans in my garage, theyre both small lol

    the only differance in the trans on a 2wd and 4wd is the nose cone and the output shaft
     
  14. Sep 29, 2010 at 7:28 AM
    #14
    TacomaJack09

    TacomaJack09 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to revive an old thread, but what about a manual transmission? Any good write-ups? I can't seem to find anything on the manual tranny. What lube would you suggest?

    Thanks!
     
  15. Sep 29, 2010 at 7:36 AM
    #15
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Use the same gear oil you put in the transfer case. Draining and filling is also pretty much the same as the t-case; drain plug on the bottom and a fill plug about half way up. I find it easier to fill the tranny through the top (remove the shifter).
     
  16. Sep 29, 2010 at 7:38 AM
    #16
    TacomaJack09

    TacomaJack09 Well-Known Member

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    thank you sir!
     
  17. Sep 29, 2010 at 10:31 AM
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    Space Wrangler

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    it's a vibration damper. ..i took mine off and experienced no ill side effects. ..however, some have removed it and said they got vibs.

    guess what the price for that part is from the dealer? ...over $300 last i checked. pretty expensive damper, no?
     
  18. Sep 29, 2010 at 10:01 PM
    #18
    Digiratus

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    Definately don't use any gear oil that contains friction modifiers. Those are OK for diffs but not for trannys and t-cases.

    Redline Oil makes a synthetic 90w oil for manuals trannys called MTL. I've used it in my old Tacoma. Made a huge improvement in dowsshifting into 1st gear. Overall, the synchros seemed to run quieter and shift smoother.
     
  19. Sep 30, 2010 at 5:48 AM
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    TacomaJack09

    TacomaJack09 Well-Known Member

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    I just used, Mobil 1 Synthetic 75w-90. Like the guys used on this link.

    http://www.yourtacoma.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&cat=3&id=10&artlang=en

    I found out that my transfer case was almost empty (maybe half a soda can full) , and the oil was old.

    My transmission had a quart too much oil.

    And my Front & Rear Diffs were fine, with good oil.

    So hopefully I didn't hurt my transfer case, or transmission but everything seems fine, and my truck drives quieter and shifts smoother into first and second. :)
     
  20. Sep 30, 2010 at 9:58 AM
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    STLharry

    STLharry Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    x2 on the Mobil 1. Service manual said 75w-90 for MT, TC, and front dif so I drained them and refilled with Mobil 1
     
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