DIY Auto Transmission flush? - 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 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Auto Transmission flush?

I'm coming up on 70k, so I have the usual service to handle and in addition I want to flush out the tranny..
I have the fluid (16quarts) and am not afraid to tackle this chore.

My intent is to:
Disconnect a line up front (at my tranny cooler) since it's easy to get to.
Open the filler plug on the side of the tranny and stick in a filler tube and funnel.
Put a drain bottle under the open line.
Start it up to pump out a couple of quarts at a time.
Shut it down
Add new fluid in the amount pumped out.
Repeat until I use up all the fluid that I have.

Check the level and top off as required.

Has anyone done this already?
Is my procedure going to work?
What am I missing? I've read that I should reset the ECU so it will re-learn the shift patterns. What else..

Thanks for any feedback (please don't tell me to take it to the dealer).
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post #2 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 05:09 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

I'm ready to do the same, I can't believe the dealerships say it's a sealed unit to last the life of the truck. I want to flush out the system also and seems the best way as I can figure is the way you describe above.

Come on all you experts! Let's hear it from you

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post #3 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 06:36 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

I've done it already. You've got it exactly right, except that there's no need to reset the ECU. Keep flushing until all the ATF coming out of the cooler line is fresh clean sweet and new. The easiest way is to put all four corners of the truck up on jack stands and put an empty 5 gallon bucket under the cooler line so you don't have to empty it during the procedure.

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post #4 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 07:05 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Sounds like a great way to flush out the entire system. I would probably want to drop the pan to replace the transmission filter as well.

What are your thoughts on installing a remote oil filter on the return side? A good flowing unit like a K&N oil filter should work right?

Thoughts?

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post #5 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 07:09 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

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1911 previously said: View Post
I've done it already. You've got it exactly right, except that there's no need to reset the ECU. Keep flushing until all the ATF coming out of the cooler line is fresh clean sweet and new. The easiest way is to put all four corners of the truck up on jack stands and put an empty 5 gallon bucket under the cooler line so you don't have to empty it during the procedure.
Hi 1911 Do you think 5gl of fluid is enough to flush the system out with starting the engine draining a few quarts then adding a few quarts and keep doing this procedure? When you do this does the Old fluid keep mixing with the new fluid added? Meaning that half is new and half new is emptied into the Bucket?

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post #6 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 07:23 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Quote:
fj6high previously said: View Post
Hi 1911 Do you think 5gl of fluid is enough to flush the system out with starting the engine draining a few quarts then adding a few quarts and keep doing this procedure? When you do this does the Old fluid keep mixing with the new fluid added? Meaning that half is new and half new is emptied into the Bucket?
I think you're right.

Best way may be to:

1. Drain the pan. Note how much fluid was drained.
2. Remove the transmission pan.
3. R/R the transmission filter.
4. Install transmission pan.
5. Refill the transmission with fresh WS fluid (refill the same amount that was drained).
6. bartt's procedure as outlined in the first post.
7. Transmission fill procedure per FSM.

This might also be the perfect time to add a good transmission cooler as well. Crap, this is getting expensive!
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post #7 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 08:30 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Quote:
SupraTuRD previously said: View Post
I think you're right.

Best way may be to:

1. Drain the pan. Note how much fluid was drained.
2. Remove the transmission pan.
3. R/R the transmission filter.
4. Install transmission pan.
5. Refill the transmission with fresh WS fluid (refill the same amount that was drained).
6. bartt's procedure as outlined in the first post.
7. Transmission fill procedure per FSM.

This might also be the perfect time to add a good transmission cooler as well. Crap, this is getting expensive!
Have fun removing the pan on that transmission. It may give you a hard time!
That's if you can find it!

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post #8 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-23-2009, 08:38 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Quote:
wrigman previously said: View Post
Have fun removing the pan on that transmission. It may give you a hard time!
That's if you can find it!
Please elaborate... I'm looking right at it and doesn't look like it would be a problem.
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post #9 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 06:37 AM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Quote:
SupraTuRD previously said: View Post
I would probably want to drop the pan to replace the transmission filter as well.
There is no replaceable filter, only a metal "strainer" for the valve body. Waste of time to drop the pan IMO.


Quote:
SupraTuRD previously said: View Post
What are your thoughts on installing a remote oil filter on the return side? A good flowing unit like a K&N oil filter should work right?

Thoughts?
You'd have to be real careful about doing that; modern auto trannies are sensitive to the correct hydraulic pressure and I would be hesitant to introduce any back pressure into the system.


Quote:
fj6high previously said: View Post
Hi 1911 Do you think 5gl of fluid is enough to flush the system out with starting the engine draining a few quarts then adding a few quarts and keep doing this procedure? When you do this does the Old fluid keep mixing with the new fluid added? Meaning that half is new and half new is emptied into the Bucket?
You won't need anything like 5 gallons of new fluid, IIRC a couple of gallons was all I needed. According to the FSM, refilling the system including a new (dry) torque converter is only 6 quarts, so 8 quarts should give you a little extra to flush everything. The empty 5-gallon bucket for a drain pan is just for convenience and less mess; the fluid comes out under pretty good pressure and if you use a regular oil drain pan you will likely splash ATF all over your floor. You still need to run the engine for about 60 seconds at a time, shut it off, and add more ATF and repeat. The auto tranny oil pump is very efficient and it will pump ATF out pretty fast. You don't want to run it dry, just low then refill every iteration. This procedure does a pretty good job of pushing the old fluid out with the new, and not mixing very much if at all. It is pretty obvious when all the old ATF is out because the fluid coming out of the cooler return line will turn bright red (new fluid) pretty much all at once. I always run it for at least another cycle after that just to make sure.

Does this answer your question?


Quote:
SupraTuRD previously said: View Post
2. Remove the transmission pan.
3. R/R the transmission filter.
4. Install transmission pan.
Not to belabor the point, but again, there is no transmission filter.


Quote:
wrigman previously said: View Post
Have fun removing the pan on that transmission. It may give you a hard time!
That's if you can find it!
The pan is pretty easily accessible, but again there is reason to remove it unless you need to service the valve body underneath it.
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post #10 of 487 (permalink) Old 10-24-2009, 06:47 PM
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re: DIY Auto Transmission flush?

Quote:
1911 previously said: View Post
There is no replaceable filter, only a metal "strainer" for the valve body. Waste of time to drop the pan IMO.

Not to belabor the point, but again, there is no transmission filter.

The pan is pretty easily accessible, but again there is reason to remove it unless you need to service the valve body underneath it.
It's my understanding that the strainer has a filtration media built into it. I have one on order so I'll confirm as soon as it's in my hands.
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