I broke my FJ - 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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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I broke my FJ

Howdy!

My name is Carlos and this is my first post. I have read up and watched lots of videos about FJs and I love driving such a unique car. It gets called a Fake Jeep by all the Jeep lovers, but mine probably has more miles than all their jeeps, 167,000.

So about two months ago I went to Northwest OHV Park in Bridgeport TX. I have a 2wd automatic 07 Yellow FJ with a difflock and a snorkel! I knew that the trails out there were not hard and I was told my car would have no problem. It had recently rained so there were lots of puddles and me being the newbie off roader I wanted to drive through them. My FJ handled great and I never got stuck, but it was mainly muddy water. Sadly, on the way home I found that it would not shift past third. Eventually the dashboard lit up. I took it to my uncle who has a mechanic shop and after they took it apart it was decided I blew my transmission. $3k later I have an almost new transmission and it runs great.
I was really disappointed that this happened as I thought my FJ was tougher than that. Any idea of what happened? I was spinning my tires a lot going through the deep puddles as you can see in the video:
(Yes Im a white Carlos)
I had it in D the whole time, so my theory is that as I was going through the puddles my car shifted as the rpms went up and then when I hit solid ground it shredded the gears. Would I have avoided problem this if I had it in L or 2 or if I had the Diff lock on and kept it in a lower gear?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 06:08 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

If you were in deep water, your transmission most likely ingested water through the breathers...

or

You got too mud in the radiator/transmission coooler and burned the clutch discs inside the trans...

depending on what you did exactly, hard to say really... I'd def' search the tech' forum here for the "scuba mod"... I believe there are 2 breathers on top of the trans (someone else can confirm as I have a manual trans an it is different)... Basically you will need to extend the breather lines up higher to a place in the upper engine compartment...

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I broke my FJ

Thanks for the reply! I will look into that
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-24-2018, 09:12 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

If your uncle's shop disassembled the transmission and pronounced it DOA, and they know anything about automatic transmissions, they should be able to tell you EXACTLY what failed, and what likely killed it.

The Toyota A750E 2WD transmission is pretty robust, and is not easy to kill IF it is properly maintained. A day spent spinning the rear wheels in mud puddles should have had no adverse affects on this transmission, so a few questions to help understand what happened, and how to prevent it from happening again:

1. How long did you have the vehicle before the transmission failed?

2. When did you last check the ATF level?

3. When did you last have the ATF changed?

4. Was the ATF cooler in the radiator (and all the connecting lines) THOROUGHLY flushed before the replacement transmission was installed?
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Last edited by FJtest; 10-24-2018 at 11:15 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 05:52 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

Quote:
FJtest previously said: View Post
If your uncle's shop disassembled the transmission and pronounced it DOA, and they know anything about automatic transmissions, they should be able to tell you EXACTLY what failed, and what likely killed it.

The Toyota A750E 2WD transmission is pretty robust, and is not easy to kill IF it is properly maintained. A day spent spinning the rear wheels in mud puddles should have had no adverse affects on this transmission.....
.....
.....
AGREED on BOTH ACCOUNTS !!....

Quote:
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2. When did you last check the ATF level?
.....
.....
I BELIEVE THERE IS NO WAY TO CHECK LEVEL????.... (no dipstick, sealed system, but someone with the AT5 auto might chime in)...

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 07:55 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

"I BELIEVE THERE IS NO WAY TO CHECK LEVEL????.... (no dipstick, sealed system, but someone with the AT5 auto might chime in)..."

On the A750E (2WD) and A750F (4WD) transmissions, the fluid level is checked via an "overflow standpipe" system.

With the vehicle perfectly level and ATF at a specified temperature, the standpipe plug is removed, and a small amount of fluid should dribble out. If nothing dribbles out, SLOWLY add fluid until it just starts to dribble.

The fluid level check procedure is covered in detail in various posts on this forum.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 08:10 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

Quote:
FJtest previously said: View Post
"I BELIEVE THERE IS NO WAY TO CHECK LEVEL????.... (no dipstick, sealed system, but someone with the AT5 auto might chime in)..."

On the A750E (2WD) and A750F (4WD) transmissions, the fluid level is checked via an "overflow standpipe" system.

With the vehicle perfectly level and ATF at a specified temperature, the standpipe plug is removed, and a small amount of fluid should dribble out. If nothing dribbles out, SLOWLY add fluid until it just starts to dribble.

The fluid level check procedure is covered in detail in various posts on this forum.
Awesome, thank you for the info !...

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I broke my FJ

My uncle did say what it was, but it was not something I was not familiar with, so I do not remember.

I bought the FJ in April of 2017 with 146k miles and from what I could tell only stayed on the street.

I had about 165k miles on it when this happened.

I had not checked or changed the ATF since I bought it.

I believe that it was flushed before the new transmission.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 09:19 PM
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Re: I broke my FJ

Quote:
CS2018 previously said: View Post
My uncle did say what it was, but it was not something I was not familiar with, so I do not remember.

I bought the FJ in April of 2017 with 146k miles and from what I could tell only stayed on the street.

I had about 165k miles on it when this happened.

I had not checked or changed the ATF since I bought it.

I believe that it was flushed before the new transmission.
i hear/see reports of people breaking higher gears if they pull heavy trailers in OD. No idea if its related to your trans failures. Might want to circle back with your uncle to find out, so you can avoid in the future.

The only thing that I would advise is to stop watching car/truck commercials and thinking you can run through mud/water like that. Go ahead and google "hydrolocked the motor". You are probably lucky you didnt encounter mud/water that is as deep as the air intake.

If you are going to run your vehicles hard offroad, you are going to need to closely monitor engine, transmission, transfer case, and differential temperatures and fluid quality. Equipment that is run hard offroad will need frequent maintenance.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I broke my FJ

No kidding about the videos lol

I do have a trailer around 3500-4000lbs I tow occasionally for my business when our truck is demanded elsewhere. Most of the time it is city driving. I take it SLOW. I always prefer using our tundra over my FJ and am currently looking to sell the FJ for a tundra. I just love my FJ too much to part with it. Although if I sell now, I can get a 4x4 later

I have a snorkel

I am definitely waiting to go offroading again until I have more disposable income/toys

One nice thing about having the transmission go out was that I was able to get it all looked over and everything else is in good shape. I did get some belts replaced too.
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