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Trans overheated!

Discussion in 'Towing' started by NCjaybird, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Apr 23, 2016 at 5:06 PM
    #1
    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    So, Friday I was taking the maiden voyage towing the new travel trailer from NC to a spot in SC. I live close to the border and was just 20 minutes or so into the trip, heading southbound on 25 which is 80% downhill. At the bottom of the Mtn I could smell something bad. Naturally I thought it might be brakes but they were fine. Turns out my trans had overheated and boiled over and was getting cooked on the exhaust. I was running in 4th(not Drive). The Toyota service said they found no issues with the truck, other than it got too hot. I do have the towing package and trans cooler. It's an 08 V6 DC, and I'm more than 2000 below capacity. Any help or suggestions? Am I in the right gear? Was I going to fast? (@60-65). this has me worried that this truck can't handle the camping this year and I'm thinking about selling it for a Tundra or Silverado.
     
  2. Apr 24, 2016 at 8:59 AM
    #2
    robm7

    robm7 Well-Known Member

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    Should be ok
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  3. Apr 24, 2016 at 6:20 PM
    #3
    lock

    lock Well-Known Member

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    Heat kills engines and transmissions. You might have been under tow weight but how tall is the trailer? A tall trailer is like a large sail and creates drag way above its weight.
    At the least I would change fluid and I would also think long and hard if this will happen again if so its going to get expensive.
     
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  4. Apr 25, 2016 at 9:41 AM
    #4
    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    Yeah the TT sits high and catches wind, but going downhill, I have to think that I shouldn't be overheating like that. Another member suggested that the gearing may not be right considering the larger tires, which makes more sense to me. Regardless, I think this was enough of a headache to make me want to sell the truck and get a Tundra. Then, I have room to upgrade my TT in the future, maybe buy a nice boat, whatever. We will see.
     
  5. Apr 25, 2016 at 9:55 AM
    #5
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    Where exactly was this 'boiled over' fluid escaping from?
     
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  6. Apr 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM
    #6
    mountainwolfpup

    mountainwolfpup Ford Guy (Formerly known as a Toyota Guy)

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    First month of ownership... This month I'm removing front air dam, and also Rhino lining the bed.
    My guess is that it had to be the radiator. The actual transmission is sealed. Probably an overheated engine. Engine braking (holding gear) on a steep grade or long grade can teally heatup the engine.

    That's my gurss anyway for what its worth...
     
  7. Apr 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM
    #7
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    He says dumping trans fluid on the exhaust........ didn't know if this was a dipstick model ('08) or not. So curious where trans fluid was coming out.
     
  8. Apr 25, 2016 at 10:43 AM
    #8
    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    Yeah so the fluid was all over the backside of the engine and was dripping onto the driver side exhaust between the header and the T where the driver and passenger exhaust meet and go rearward. I'll have to ask the dealer exactly where is was leaking. What they told me was that it "boiled over ". I assume that is from the radiator, but to be honest I don't recall seeing anything on the trans cooler and I specifically looked there. Where else would it boil over from?
    You raise an interesting point regarding engine braking down hill. Should have have switched to drive going downhill? I left it in 4th.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2016 at 11:36 AM
    #9
    mountainwolfpup

    mountainwolfpup Ford Guy (Formerly known as a Toyota Guy)

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    First month of ownership... This month I'm removing front air dam, and also Rhino lining the bed.
    OK. I think that was the built-in tansmission cooler. It's connected there and takes the trans fluid out through a radiator to cool it and then back in. Must have a pressure valve on that system?

    4th gear was correct. Just try to use the brakes more instead of letting the engine stay revved up. Trailer brakes help.

    The Tacoma isn't designed for engine braking (hill descent control, j-brake, etc). So need to use braking to assist the engine. Besides, new brakes much cheaper then new transmission.

    Yeah, I'd be real interested to learn where the fluid was coming out from...
     
  10. Apr 25, 2016 at 6:41 PM
    #10
    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    Update! So where the trans fluid was leaking was from a pressure valve that runs up the rear of the engine? It was not leaking from the trans radiator. Toyota mechanic thinks it was perhaps overfilled and boiled over? They said a light would have come on if I actually went over temp? Toyota also said that my vehicle came stick with 3.73 gearing, but when looked at the irk gear code in my door jam, it shows A04C, which should be 4.56 gearing? Stock tires on this truck were 30.6", and I now have 32.2" tires. According to my calculations, to regear I should use 4.8 or close. Any help???
    image.jpg
     
  11. Apr 25, 2016 at 7:09 PM
    #11
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    I know of no external 'blow off' pressure relief valve on the transmission. Doesn't mean there isn't one, but it just doesn't make sense to me. Let's see if @gearcruncher can chime in.

    How could it 'boil over' and not set a temp light? Be overfilled and foam out? Maybe. But from where? On a sealed trans system, I'd be all over trying to find that out.

    Forget paperwork and validate the real deal, then write it down. Easy to figure out what you really have by this method http://www.how-to-build-hotrods.com/gear-ratio.html Do that prior to trying to calculate any regearing needs. And why do you think you need to regear? Your tire change isn't much.
     
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  12. Apr 25, 2016 at 8:37 PM
    #12
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again Bill
    My opinion after reading through the posts . I think the dealer technician was pretty spot on .
    If a transmission is overfilled , fluid will foam up and eventually work its way out the transmission vent .
    These are not sealed transmissions . They still work with atmospheric pressure meaning if the transmission gets hot enough , it has to dump oil out somewhere .
    If the transmission was completely sealed against atmospheric pressure , every time the transmission fluid warms up , fluid would actually blow out all the seals as it expanded .
    This is the reason for the transmission vent , transfer case vent , differential vents .

    The transmission temp light illuminates at 305 degrees . Thats horribly hot . I think most of your transmission fluid would have dumped through the vent before the light turned on .
    There is a good chance the OP cooked all his transmission fluid .
    I would be checking the condition of your radiator ,and transmission cooler and also suggest a scan guage
    Consider a scan guage http://www.amazon.com/ScanGauge-Comp.../dp/B000AAMY86
    Here is the best information for the scan guage http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-pressure.html

    Ultraguage is now offering transmission temps http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd-gen-tacomas/318340-ultragauge-transmission-temp.html

    You could also use the Torque app with an Android phone as a cheap alternative to watch your temps http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/per...d2-reader.html

    I think Mountainwolf has a good point about decelerating in 4th gear . The transmission is holding the weight of the truck and camper from increasing in speed
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  13. Apr 26, 2016 at 1:28 AM
    #13
    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the input @gearcruncher . This truck actually has a ScanGuage2 installed, but I honestly don't know how it works or what it can do (no paperwork for it and I've never seen one before). Maybe I can download a manual for it and study up right quick.

    So what do you make of the gear discrepancy? Why would the dealer tell me 3.73 but the code on my door jam reads A04C? Everyone makes mistakes, but can I trust the info on the door jam for an 08 model? If so, seems that 4:56 gearing should be plenty beefy to tow a travel trailer!
     
  14. Apr 26, 2016 at 11:29 AM
    #14
    Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Sometimes when I close my eyes, I can't see.

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    Yes, SCII docs are available online via their site.

    I gave you the 'how to' determine the actual gear. W/o doing that, everything else is guessing.

    Hopefully you didn't miss gearcrunchers point on the health of your fluid. You need to be considering a full flush and fill, along with some diagnostics on the cooling components.
     
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  15. Apr 26, 2016 at 5:17 PM
    #15
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    Hey Jeremy .

    You can download a user manual directly from scan guage . I am not sure what model you have so I am pointing to all the user guides here .
    http://www.scangauge.com/support/user-manuals/

    If you were in 4th gear , you were in the proper gear for towing . 4th gear is direct drive in the A750E transmission . 5th gear is overdrive .

    How long have you owned the truck ?

    Program your scan guage to read the trans temps . If it gets higher than 220 , pull over and let the truck idle in park until the temps drop back down to 170 where it should be
    Lets have a peek at what transmission coolers do
    TRANSMISSION COOLERS
    If you do not have a transmission cooler on your truck and you plan to tow or haul heavy loads or you are in heavy stop and go traffic and use 4X4 low a lot , consider purchasing a cooler . The cooler thats built into your rad is designed to cool the transmission with the weight of just the truck by itself .When you are in 4x4 low , your torque converter is usually in the stall stage and creates a tonne of additional heat .You dont have much air flow going through your rad when you are in low range 4x4 .
    160 - 200 are considered normal temps providing your engine radiator is functioning properly . If your engine overheats , your transmission will also overheat
    Normal fluid temperature in transmission to be 175 deg. F.

    Rate of oxidation to double for each temperature increase of 20 deg F above normal (175 deg F). As oxidation rate doubles, useful life of fluid is cut in half.

    At 175 deg F life is 100,000 miles
    At 195 deg F (20 deg above 175) life is 50k miles
    At 215 life is 25k miles
    At 235 life is 12k
    At 255 life is 6,250
    At 275 life is 3,000
    At 295 life is 1500
    At 315 life is 750

    At temperatures much above 300 deg F the metals in the transmission will tend to warp, twist etc. high temperatures causes the formation of varnish deposits which impair or pre vent transmission operation.

    At a fluid temperature of 415 deg F fluid life is 30 minutes!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
    CO TacoBoy and gmann1972 like this.
  16. Apr 26, 2016 at 5:44 PM
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    NCjaybird

    NCjaybird [OP] Active Member

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    I'll do the manual gear check mentioned ASAP. Just need access to a lift since I don't own jack stands and a level driveway.

    Both I and the dealer inspected the fluid and it looked brand new. I mean seriously new. I think that's why the dealer is thinking that it was services somewhere and overfilled. It couldn't have been cleaner if you had poured it straight from the bottle.

    Truck has 50k on it. Hardly driven. I'm a new owner of it. Purchased in December and maybe driven 29 times since then.

    I did some research and found that I have a ScanGuage2 with Xguage, version 3.17, do without a firmware upgrade, I can't see trans temps. I'll pm the Linear Logic guy tonight to see if they are still offering the free upgrade for TW members.
     
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  17. Apr 26, 2016 at 6:09 PM
    #17
    gearcruncher

    gearcruncher Well-Known Member

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    OK sounds good . I agree with your findings about the trans being overfilled . There is a proper procedure for checking and adjusting the fluid level listed here https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/how-to-drain-refill-automatic-transmission.63851/
    Judging by what I am reading here , your fluid was changed . but the level check procedure was performed incorrectly

    Considering you have a 4x4 , I would also suggest greasing your universal joints . They should be purged with new grease at every oil change
    Here is a write up for the transmission you own
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...th-pics-for-second-gen-4-liter-trucks.289913/
     
  18. Apr 27, 2016 at 8:39 AM
    #18
    scottfarm

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  19. Apr 27, 2016 at 4:56 PM
    #19
    Capt Jrod

    Capt Jrod Well-Known Member

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    Gear cruncher, will a soil hold up better at trailer towing temps? I see some 220's on my sequoia on a steep hill with the camper... Time to drop and fill again based on your post. It has ws in it now, but I think it's time to go amsoil
     
  20. Apr 29, 2016 at 7:50 AM
    #20
    huachuca

    huachuca Well-Known Member

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    What mfr/model trailer were you towing and what does it weigh? I have a Scamp 19' that we've towed over much of the US - first with an 05 4WD DC TRD OR and more recently with a similarly equipped 2012 and have never had a transmission overheating problem. Trucks are/were stock other than tires - BFG A/T KO 265/75-16. Trailer weighs around 3,300 in camping trim.

    Al
     

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