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Discussion Starter #1
ok guys I am going to try and attempt my own oil changes from now on and have a few questions for you all I see that we should be using 5W-30 and about 5.5 quarts. I have never before attempted to change my oil on ANY vehicle I have ever owned....so this should be fun LOL


questions:

1. How do I change the oil? is there a step by step somewhere or a thread that shows?

2. What oil do you recommend and more important what filter.......do I basically just unscrew the oil filter and screw a new one in, do I have to fill the filter with oil first? (do not get that)


3. I have a TRD performance air filter.....it says these can be cleaned and reused....I thought I saw somewhere that people used simple green......so I just spray it all over the filter, run it under hot water, let dry and slap back in? how often should this be done?


4. Engine coolant.....what do you all recommend? stuff in there is pink......do I just pour in and forget or should I pour a little in then add some water?



thanks for all your help and input
 

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First things first here. Congratulations on making the decision to do some of your own maintenance. It's absolutely the best way to become familiar with the truck and you will gain mountains of confidence in both your truck and yourself as you progress. You will never look back, I guarantee it.

Now on to the questions:

The first thing you want to do obviously, is to buy the oil, the filter and a drain plug gasket. The gasket you will probably have to get from the dealer. You can often reuse the old one, but they are very cheap. Buy a dozen when you are at the dealer so you will always have them on hand for future oil changes. You will need a drain pain too and they are also very cheap. Get one when you buy the oil and filter. A good investment is an oil filter wrench. It's also an inexpensive item. You may be able to get the old filter off without one, but it makes it a no brainer for a few bucks. I assume you have a set of socket wrenches. If not, now is the time to start acquiring some basic tools. Might as well get a torque wrench too. It's good practice to properly torque any fasteners that you work on. This time it will be used for replacing the drain plug. You can get by without the torque wrench if necessary. The drain plug torque specification is 30 ft. lbs. (or 360 inch lbs) Just don't over tighten the drain plug and take care not to cross thread the plug. Now, you want to drain the oil when it's hot. It flows better and drains more completely. No need to jack up the truck for the oil change, but if you do so, be sure to use jack stands to support the truck and not just the jack alone. People die all the time when a jack slips and they get crushed just because they didn't properly support the truck on stands. Don't become a statistic. Now, crawl under your truck and find the oval shaped access cover in the skid plate and pop it out with a screwdriver or whatever. It comes out easily and don't be concerned if it is not ther or you lose it in the future. It isn't really necessary and it can get knocked of very easily. Look up through that oval hole and you will see the drain plug. Use your socket set to remove the drain plug. Have the pan ready to catch the oil. Be careful because the oil is hot. I just loosen the plug with the wrench then spin the plug with my fingers. You can sort of spin it and get your hand out of the way when the plug drops in to the pan. You will develop your own technique for this step after some hot oil runs down your arm a few times. While the oil is draining, got up top and remove the oil filter. There is a rubber cap on the drain port under the filter. This is to allow any oil that comes out of the old filter to drain out. Loosen the filter and hold a cup of some kind uner the drain port. It takes a little finesse to quickly grab the filter and turn it up so that only a minimal amout of oil drains out. Again, once you do it you will develop your own method for this. It's no big deal if you spill some oil, but it's also nice to avoid so you don't have to clean it up later. Next, clean off the mating surface where the new filter will screw on to the port. Just wipe it off with a clean rag. Use some new motor oil to wet the filter gasket before you put it on. Just dip your finger into the bottle of new oil and rub it over the gasket. This helps the filter seal on the seat when you tighten it. There is no need to fill the filter before you intall a new one. Now screw the filter down until it just touches the seat surface then tighten it 3/4 ths of a turn more. Avoid over tightening it. The next thing is the most important part. Replace the drain plug before you start dumping in the new oil. You may forget to do this once, but you will never forget in the future. If you don't put the plug in before you put the oil in, you will have a nice big ass puddle of new oil on your driveway or garage floor and it is a major PIA to clean up. Not to mention you will probably have to go get some more oil and you will need a different vehicle to do that.

I prefer to stay with OEM filters while the truck is under warranty, but any of the typical brands will be OK. Fram, Bosche, Purolator, Wix, Mobil 1 etc. They are all good IMO. When in doubt, you can't go wrong using Toyota parts. It's difficult to recommend a particular oil, but I'm using Castrol full synthetic. You will find that others like Royal Purple, Mobil One and some others. I favor the synthetics. They are considerably more expensive, but worth it IMO. The synthetic vs. dinosaur oil is an ongoing argument, but I think most of the other guys here will agree that the synthetics are superior. Toyota specifies 5 W 30 for this engine unless you are somewhere like Antartica or out in the Sahara where exttreme conditions might be encountered. Cross that bridge if and when you find yourself and your FJ dealing with those conditions.

The TRD air filter is pre oiled right out of the box so you don't have to do anything to it before you install it. Unless you are in very dusty conditions, you shouldn't need to clean it for a long time. I would suggest buying the TRD filter maintenance kit which includes a cleaner and new oil to apply. It will have instuctions on how to clean and re oil the filter. I have not cleaned mine yet, but I plan to get the kit soon in case I need it. I'm thinking that under normal circumstances you may only need to clean it once a year or even less. If you do a lot of off road wheeling, then it will require more frequent cleaning. I plan to buy a spare filter so that I always have a clean one ready and don't have to wait for the old one to dry after washing it. Simple Green, 409 or any similar stuff. will probaby work OK, but again, I prefer to use the Toyota cleaning/oiling kit just to be sure.

You should not need to add coolant, but I would stick with the Toyota pink stuff while the truck is under warranty. I have not looked into this yet, as I have not lost any coolant so far. If you are losing coolant, I would suggest that you find out where it's going and fix the leak. That may be something you want to the dealer to look at and get it fixed under warranty. I don't know anything about the pink OEM coolant, but would guess that you dilute it to a specific concentration as with most others.

A final note. Some of the guys have mistakenly removed the transmission drain plug thinking it was the oil pan drain plug. Make sure you are removing the right plug. It is costly to refill the transmission as you must use Toyotas proprietary transmission fluid and it's more involved than simply filling it back up. That's something I won't go into here. Just be sure before you remove any drain plugs.

So, post back here after you do the work and let us know how it went. You will probably spend an hour or more on this the first time around. Next time it will take you about 20 minutes or so and most of that time will be waiting for the oil to drain. This is a very easy job. While you are under the FJ, take a close look at everything. Get familiar with the underside while you are there.

One last thing. The maintenance guide recommends greasing the driveshaft U-joints and the shaft splines when doing an oil change. You will probably want to remove the shield that protects the u-joint on the forward end of the rear driveshaft in order to get to the grease fittings. So, add a grease gun and grease to your needed tool list.

I think that should cover it. Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cat22 awesome right up brother thank you!! any pics or info on the driveshaft u joint and splines? I need to know exactly what to grease up, where, and how much(I have a 4x4 so is that all that needs to get the grease?) Fjamming, very interesting product, I may just consider this.....one question since your going from the top is the drain plug gasket ever an issue since your not changing it? does this have to get changed periodically since they are cheap.....or can I just continue to change oil topside forever and vever worry about fidling with anything on the bottom?


also on the filter.....ok so lets say I use simple green....do I basically spray both sides of the filter and then just run water over it....let to set dry....and what oil do I spray on?? both sides??
 

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Nice answer catt22!
 

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Thanks guys! I had a little insomnia last night and it helped to pass the time.

Survivorman,

I will try to take some picks of the u-joints and grease fittings sometime today. There are two drive shafts (the service manual calls them propeller shafts). One from the tranny to the rear differential and one from the transfer case to the front diff. The ends of the shafts are connected by universal joints. The U-joints have two yokes (outer parts) and an x-shaped inner part called a spider. The grease fittings are located on the spider near the center. There are four of these. There are two more located on the sliding yokes that lubricate the splines of the shaft where they slide together. The purpose of the sliding yoke is to allow the shaft to vary in length without binding when the axles, etc. move. So, the shafts are actually two pieces each. One slides inside the other and that is what you are greasing. There are two grease fittings for these sliding shafts located on the outside of the yokes. One is on the rear end of the rear shaft and the other is on the front end of the front shaft. You may have to move the truck a little to turn the shaft to where you can access the fittings with room to get the grease gun to it. The sliding yoke part only requires a couple of pumps of grease. Don't over do it. I like to spray the grease fittings with WD-40 and wipe them off before attaching the grease gun. This helps to keep from pushing crud into the fitting along with the grease.

There is a thread somewhere here about greasing the sliding yokes. The potential for a problem might be if you over do it with the grease and the excess fills up the space that the shaft would slide into. There is no place for the grease to go when the shaft moves and that could potentially cause damage. The grease cannot move out of the way fast enough. I guess over time the normal amount of grease on these splined shafts gets squeezed out slowly and otherwise dissipates and that is what you are replacing when you grease them. A little grease goes a long way.

Sorry for the long winded posts, but this is one of those things that takes a lot to describe in words, where someone could show you in about two minutes. Pictures will help a lot. Take a flashlight under there. It's hard to see the grease fittings without a light. Don't run over yourself. I had mine on jack stands which made it a little easier. you can probably do it without jacking it up.

If you are doing the 5 k oil change interval, it's also time to rotate your tires. A lot of us are draining and refilling the rear differential at this time too. It's not a warranty requirment, but is definitely good preventative maintenance.
 

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Regarding the air filter. Yes, basically you are washing the filter, letting it dry and re-oiling it. The filter oil I think is specifically made for this use. Those filters are kind of expensive, so I think it's best to use the cleaner and oil made for them instead of using household substitutes that may or may not work well. Unless you are off-roading a lot or have a lot of miles on your FJ, you probably don't need to clean the filter yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks again Cat :) cant wait for the pics......well my FJ has about 18k on it, and I have not been offroading...YET! lol


just like to know what needs to be done after I do take it offroad...I am very anal about keeping my rides in tip top shape......so the TRD filters, how often do they need to be replaced? how can I tell when they are ready to be thrown out?......I will look into buying the cleaning kit
 

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If you rotate your tires, I suggest you rotate all 5 tires as Toyota recommends. The pattern is in the manual.

When you are tightening the lugs, make sure the stud is in the center of the wheel hole before snugging the nut. Don't tighten the first one all the way. Start 2 nuts, across form each other. This will center the wheel on the hub. Put all the lugs on snug, then torque in a star pattern. I always run the pattern twice with the torque wrench (85 ft./lbs.).

There is a total of 6 grease fittings. 1 on each driveshaft slip yolk (total of 2) and 1 on each universal joint (2 per driveshaft) total of 4.

The universal joints typically only take 1 sometimes 2 pumps of grease, sometimes none at all. Don't force it.

The slip yokes typically take 2-3 pumps of grease. Again, less is better than too much. You are just replacing used grease here not 'changing' out the grease.

Also, if your so inclined, wear disposable gloves.

I like to add some oil to the new filter. As much as it will soak up, but not too much since you will be inverting it to install it.

I pull the pan plug and then go change the filter. By the time you have replaced the filter ~95+% of the oil has drained. I wait till there's a slow drip but some let it sit for hours to get every drop they can. I don't.

After your done, always start your engine and check for leaks at the filter and the drain plug. After the engine has been sitting for a while, check your oil just to be sure.

Most auto parts places that sell oil also take your old oil to recycle.

With all the great advise, you can't go wrong.

DEWFPO
 

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Survivorman,

Here's the Naked U-Joint and Driveshaft pics. I'm not experienced at uploading pics, so bear with me if I screw it up:




















I still have to learn how to get the clickable thumbnails in here. No need to do anything, I will use the search function as I am supposed to do. Maybe these will help in the meantime.
 

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cat22,

Just edit your post and put your web addesses between these :
and the pics will come up in the post.

DEWFPO
 

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Never mind....got it finally. Thanks much DEWFPO!!!

I copied those bracket thingys from your post. Where do you get them normally?

I would have preferred that they show up as clickable thumbnails instead of the full size pics, but this is a good start.
 

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I copied those bracket thingys from your post. Where do you get them normally?
On my keyboard, they are to the right of the "P", lower case.

DEWFPO
 

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Never mind....got it finally. Thanks much DEWFPO!!!

I copied those bracket thingys from your post. Where do you get them normally?

I would have preferred that they show up as clickable thumbnails instead of the full size pics, but this is a good start.
You can click on "insert" image instead of typing out the brackets.

If you want clickables, you need to first upload them to the gallery. Another way is to generate a small thumbnail and then link the thumbnail to the larger pic (which is more time consuming).
 
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