anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues? - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Transmissions / Transfer Cases / Traction Aids This area is for discussion, questions and problems with the FJ Cruiser's gear train, including topics on A-TRAC, VSC, locking diffs, gear ratios, manual vs. AT, etc.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 11:08 AM
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anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues? i was playing around with 4H and 4L a few weeks ago and and lets say i had a horrible grinding session for 20 minutes, BAD grinding in both the H2-H4-L4 shifter and main trans shifter, so bad several times i had to turn off the FJ to get it into gear with no grinding. it was a complete horror show!

weeks later the FJ is driving perfect, even after a road trip, but what about the trans , long term. how robust and heavy duty are these toyota trans? is a lil grinding a non issue...

please help...
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 11:23 AM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

My experience with Toyota auto transmissions is very positive, going back to the A440F auto tranny in my 1991 FJ80. I have never had a failure or a problem with one, and I put 250,000 miles on the FJ80, 100,000 miles on a Sequoia, and currently have more than 120,000 miles on my auto-tranny FJC. But auto trannies are more complex, and have more moving parts to fail than a manual gear box. IMO it's important to fully flush the ATF in an auto tranny more frequently than the recommended service interval, if you use your truck off-road or tow with it. And to use synthetic ATF. There are a few people here on the forum that have had problems with theirs; the vast majority have not. IMO Toyota and Honda both build an auto tranny as well or better than anyone.

The grinding you describe was almost certainly in your transfer case though, not your transmission. The VF2A transfer case on your truck is very robust mechanically. The shifting sensor switches on it the various ECM's use seem somewhat problematic for some folks, but mechanical failures of the transfer case itself are extremely rare.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 11:31 AM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

fantastic! thank you for your educated reply, cheers!
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 06:49 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

I am a new FJ (2011) owner. I was just for the first time, trying out the 4WD. With the rig stopped and in N, I engaged the forward axle, L4. I took the rig for a short ride around the block in L2. It felt good. I stopped and put her in N, then I proceeded to shift the front-wheel drive control lever into N, but when I tried to go from there back to H2, I got what sounded like gear grinding. I thought, hmmm that does not sound good. I played with it a little, making sure that the main shift was in N, and finally after some more grinding, got it into H2. Is this normal? Will this grinding problem go away? Is a little grinding O.K.? Should I turn off the engine, to shift back to H2? Thx.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 08:28 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

With the transmission in neutral, shift the transfer case firmly and quickly, with authority.

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 11:43 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

Thanks for the idea. With the rig stopped and AT at N, I will try moving the transfer case stick, firmly and quickly, when going from L4-N-H4-H2. I was reading elsewhere (here in the forum), that when trying to go from L4 back to H2, that if it is not easy (e.g. grinding) then move the truck forwards and/or backwards a little, to realign the gears--then retry. I will try this also. I followed the operator's manual carefully, it makes no mention of these issues. It seems maybe TOYOTA should spell these solutions out in the manual.
In any case, I just love my FJ, and hope this matter with the transfer case is solvable
with my improved technique. Thanks for your suggestions.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-03-2011, 11:51 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

The Toyotas i own i haven't ever had any transmission issues. My 80 series has 160K miles on it, shifts great.

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 01:24 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

my auto tranny went out at 35k miles, would hesitate shifting from 3rd to 4th, took it in and was replaced under warranty, i guess i was just one of the unlucky ones

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2011, 06:33 PM
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Re: anybody know how robust auto trans is? how common are failures or issues?

Quote:
fjessence previously said: View Post
my auto tranny went out at 35k miles, would hesitate shifting from 3rd to 4th, took it in and was replaced under warranty, i guess i was just one of the unlucky ones
New transmission replaced under warranty sounds rather lucky to me! It's unlucky when the warranty is gone or they say nada to the replacement claim. You should be real good with your new trany, they don't rebuild them they replace them.

Quote:
1911 previously said: View Post
My experience with Toyota auto transmissions is very positive, going back to the A440F auto tranny in my 1991 FJ80. I have never had a failure or a problem with one, and I put 250,000 miles on the FJ80, 100,000 miles on a Sequoia, and currently have more than 120,000 miles on my auto-tranny FJC. But auto trannies are more complex, and have more moving parts to fail than a manual gear box. IMO it's important to fully flush the ATF in an auto tranny more frequently than the recommended service interval, if you use your truck off-road or tow with it. And to use synthetic ATF. There are a few people here on the forum that have had problems with theirs; the vast majority have not. IMO Toyota and Honda both build an auto tranny as well or better than anyone.

The grinding you describe was almost certainly in your transfer case though, not your transmission. The VF2A transfer case on your truck is very robust mechanically. The shifting sensor switches on it the various ECM's use seem somewhat problematic for some folks, but mechanical failures of the transfer case itself are extremely rare.
I hope not the A440F was/is the largest trany Toyota ever brought into the US. They used that same trany in their diesel buses in Japan. (look like airport buses) Of course the 3FE motor could never over power that trany! The most anemic motor put into a Land Crusier in that package! We know of one FJ80 that was re-powerd with a 24 Valve Cummins and they used the A440F! The trany lasted for almost a year behind that power! (then died a horrible death)

Quote:
Leibniz previously said: View Post
Thanks for the idea. With the rig stopped and AT at N, I will try moving the transfer case stick, firmly and quickly, when going from L4-N-H4-H2. I was reading elsewhere (here in the forum), that when trying to go from L4 back to H2, that if it is not easy (e.g. grinding) then move the truck forwards and/or backwards a little, to realign the gears--then retry. I will try this also. I followed the operator's manual carefully, it makes no mention of these issues. It seems maybe TOYOTA should spell these solutions out in the manual.
In any case, I just love my FJ, and hope this matter with the transfer case is solvable
with my improved technique. Thanks for your suggestions.
Auto trany + putting the t-case in N the case stops spinning. Its going to grind if you move it slow or hunt for the gear. Like 1911 said, authority!

I have 191,***+ on my 97' FZJ80 Land Cruiser, shifts strong and no issues.

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Last edited by helocat; 01-04-2011 at 06:37 PM.
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