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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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Old 06-17-2009, 08:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Transmission Fluid Change Results

A couple of days ago I posted a thread asking for input on changing the AT fluid http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...e-fluid-2.html. As I mentioned in my post I have 55K on the FJ and decided to change the AT Fluid.

Today I arrived at my friendly Toyota Dealership with whom I have a great relationship. Once again they tried to talk me out of the process again claiming this was "world standard" AT fluid and that it didn't need changing until 100,000 miles. I told them I decided to change it anyway. I discussed what they were going to do. At first they were just going to drain the pan and refill. I insisted that they do a total flush which takes almost 16 quarts of AT WS fluid at $7.00 a quart... Ouch!

As many of you know the transmission is a sealed unit and they have to pump the fluid in and out and there are several steps that need to be taken to ensure the fluid has been properly refilled. The process takes approximately one hour. However, because I'd been driving my FJ instead of leaving it at the shop overnight I had to wait over two hours until the transmission cooled off enough to get a correct reading. The mechanic told me the transmission temperature had to be below 117 degrees to properly check it.

Once the AT fluid was changed the transmission seemed to shift better and with less resistance. Of course, after shelling out $220. it may have been my mind trying to justify the expenditure...

Below are some pics of the AT fluids.

THIS IS A PIC OF THE FLUID DRAINED FROM MY AT. Note the color. It also had a burnt smell.


THIS IS WHAT NEW AT WS FLUID LOOKS LIKE


THIS IS A SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON OF THE AT FLUIDS


Bottom line is that I was justified in changing the AT fluid. I wheel the FJ, but I do not push it too hard.

Based on my findings I recommend changing the AT fluid in your FJ at 50,000 miles or sooner if driven in harsh conditions. Sealed system, world standard fluid or not, it may need changing!

We all know that heat and friction are the worst enemies of an AT. My next step is to add an additional transmission cooler. I will be posting my install tomorrow.

cheers,

dale
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To be continued...

Last edited by w5wi; 06-17-2009 at 08:25 PM. Reason: add information
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Nice call on the swap...... U definitely needed it.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

hmm, yeah i havent checked too many trans fluid on cars, but i would every day on the boat i drove (had a chevy/indmar engine)

And the fluid was definitely always red color and if it wasn't, something was wrong.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Thanks for posting the pics. You should see it at 100K. It looks like chocolate syrup even if it doesn't smell burnt. The trans has an air vent so it still gets exposed to dust and there are clutches that wear a little at every shift. The glue from the clutch material is affected by very high heat. Remember these transmissions are controlled by solenoids so the fluid still needs to remain relatively free of debris otherwise the solenoids can be affected.

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Old 06-17-2009, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Post Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Oh man! The fluid looked burnt? So how much did the dealer charge again? I'm at about 44k now and I wheel mine. Thanks for the info. A transmission cooler sounds like a good idea if you are overheating the tranny. Why can't my Scan Gauge II tell me how hot my tranny is?
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Quote:
frogeye previously said: View Post
Oh man! The fluid looked burnt? So how much did the dealer charge again? I'm at about 44k now and I wheel mine. Thanks for the info. A transmission cooler sounds like a good idea if you are overheating the tranny. Why can't my Scan Gauge II tell me how hot my tranny is?
I don't think it is a FJ or scan gauge issue, i think it's with most toyotas the scangauge cant read it.

I am considering getting a tranny cooler as well. Transmission has to be working harder with the extra amount of weight that is always there with tires, bumpers winches, etc.

How hard is it to install one and what is the price tag?
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Quote:
layonnn previously said: View Post
I don't think it is a FJ or scan gauge issue, i think it's with most toyotas the scangauge cant read it.

I am considering getting a tranny cooler as well. Transmission has to be working harder with the extra amount of weight that is always there with tires, bumpers winches, etc.

How hard is it to install one and what is the price tag?
A cooler sounds like insurance to me. Would it be a forced air style? Fan pusher? Insert link to COOLER info here > =) <
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

Quote:
layonnn previously said: View Post
I don't think it is a FJ or scan gauge issue, i think it's with most toyotas the scangauge cant read it.

I am considering getting a tranny cooler as well. Transmission has to be working harder with the extra amount of weight that is always there with tires, bumpers winches, etc.

How hard is it to install one and what is the price tag?
I picked up one at O'Reilly's for $45. It was a complete kit with the necessary hoses and clamps. It is the recommended size for the FJ. It is 7 1/2 inches tall and 10 inches wide. I discussed the installation with the Toyota mechanic. He recommended putting it inline with the inlet hose from the AT. The line is the top rubber line entering the top of the radiator on the left side.

I'm doing the install in the morning and will post pics of the install.

Oh yeah, I wish we had an AT temp gauge. The scan gauge could read it if Toyota would put a sensor on the AT...

cheers,

dale
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Happy Trails!
TLCA #17625

LOS TRES AMIGOS IN MEXICO


2013 ARMY GREEN--A/T

INSTALLED: BFG TA/ko Tires - M-Pac system - Rock Rails - ARB Roof Rack - ARB Fridge/Freezer - Gobi Ladder -All Pro APex rear bumper - All Pro Lower Links - All-Pro Lower link skids - Bud Built Skids - AT Cooler - Rear Diff Skid - ARB front Bumper with fog lights - Engo E10,000 winch - PRG Snorkel - IPF driving lights - Optima AGM Battery - Painless Dual Battery System - Scuba Driver Mod - Bandi Mount - Yaesu dual band radio - Icom IC-7000 HF - 12v Receptacles - Rock Lights -- Rocktek Shock Armor

To be continued...
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
w5wi previously said: View Post
I picked up one at O'Reilly's for $45. It was a complete kit with the necessary hoses and clamps. It is the recommended size for the FJ. It is 7 1/2 inches tall and 10 inches wide. I discussed the installation with the Toyota mechanic. He recommended putting it inline with the inlet hose from the AT. The line is the top rubber line entering the top of the radiator on the left side.

I'm doing the install in the morning and will post pics of the install.

Oh yeah, I wish we had an AT temp gauge. The scan gauge could read it if Toyota would put a sensor on the AT...

cheers,

dale
Thanks Dale, I'm looking forward to more info on this.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Transmission Fluid Change Results

great info dale, thanks for taking the time to post the pics and share the details!
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