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Have an 07 FJ, 4x4, AT, purchased new so I'm the only owner. Started having the strange shudder I've seen referenced in several posts on this site and others. I had already summized it was transmission related because changing the RPM would change the shudder, and it only happens at a specific RPM. If you drive at lower speeds in 4th gear instead of drive, it doesn't happen at all. So, right now, after a ride along with a Toyota tech (they didn't feel it the first time) we've pinned it down to the TC. Right now I'm waiting to hear back if Toyota will help since there are only 80k miles on the truck, and what this is going to cost. $1500 just for the TC alone was mentioned. Booooo!!!! This is my third Toyota truck, had a 92 4x4 22re, 97 4x4 Tacoma and now the FJ. Never had a problem with any until the FJ, and this is the first problem. I am glad for that. What I would like to know are some links to reputable parts suppliers. I do know the tech didn't find any TSB's on this problem, but I've seen it referenced a lot on these types of Forums, so that's a bit strange. I've found it referenced with Tundra's as well.
 

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UPDATE: Taking FJ back to the dealer in a week for them to run a test that will determine whether its the tranny or torque converter. They basically disconnect the third brake light, yep, that's what I said....third brake light... That puts a break in the circuit. If the shudder goes away then it's the torque converter, if it remains it's the tranny. I'm using Bob Howard Toyota in Edmond, OK, where I bought it and have had the FJ serviced. They are really trying to help us figure this out, this will be the third visit and haven't charged me a dime yet. And what I really like is it's the same mechanic assigned to my FJ, so he'll know all the tests and history.
 

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Before you spend any money on this to replace parts, have the ATF completely exchanged with fresh Toyota Type WS atf BEFORE THEY DO ANYTHING ELSE to your FJ. Not just a pan drain and fill but a complete atf exchange(~12-15 qts.), then take it for a drive and see if it doesn't get noticeably better within a 1/2 day or so of driving.

An ATF fluid swap out shouldn't cost you move then $200-250 at a dealer.

Here's just one of several threads : http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/transmissions-transfer-cases-traction-aids/119036-vibration-1300rpm-2.html#post2367194

DEWFPO
 

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2X DEWFPO. Sometimes the ATF can cause the TC to hunt or, You are saying that u have the trany locked in fourth gear (cannot automaticaly down shift) and it is hunting a lower gear to match the RPMS with the load on the engine.

Look at it this way. If u had a straight shift and drove to slow in a higher gear the cruiser would jump and buck or stall out.

Please post an update. I am curious too!
 

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I also have a single owner 07 4x4 AT w/ 90k on it and I am dealing with this same exact problem. It started around the 75-80k mark and I have brought it to a local Toyota Dealership and also to an independant repair shop and both concluded it was my driveshaft. Well, after spending $450 on a new driveshaft it still shudders and vibrates around the 1100 rpm mark but not consistantly. Please post up what you find out so I can get this fixed. I have spent alot of wasted money trying to get to the bottom of this problem with no solution as of yet.
 

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You can get your TC rebuilt at ace. It's supposedly better quality than OEM when finished. Still, the cost of dropping the tranny to have this done is still probably higher than rebuilding the TC itself. I'm looking at this option right now as soon as I get my work truck back, and figure out the paperwork involved with shipping it across the brder and back.

Based on my research, I would strongly recommend this route. There's reported 2011 models with the same problem, indicating that Toyota still has not improved the flawed design. At least the ACE is improved over OEM. I'm surprised there's no class action lawsuit, this is not the kind of probem I would hope to see within 6 years. I got the shudder in less than 50k miles!
 

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I also have a single owner 07 4x4 AT w/ 90k on it and I am dealing with this same exact problem. It started around the 75-80k mark and I have brought it to a local Toyota Dealership and also to an independant repair shop and both concluded it was my driveshaft. Well, after spending $450 on a new driveshaft it still shudders and vibrates around the 1100 rpm mark but not consistantly. Please post up what you find out so I can get this fixed. I have spent alot of wasted money trying to get to the bottom of this problem with no solution as of yet.
Have you had your ATF completely exchanged for new ATF ?(not just a pan drain and refill).

If not, that is the the very first thing I would do and then go drive it. If it's going to help the situation, you will likely notice the shudder diminishing after your first or second drive session. If it doesn't, you may likely need transmission work. You can do the fluid exchange ourself if you are handy or have a dealer/independent do the work for less than $300.

DEWFPO
 

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I have the shudder in my 07 4x4 AT as well...My shudder has gotten REALLY bad its almost teeth rattling. My local dealership is replacing my transmission and Toyota Corp is paying $2,000 with the dealership paying $1,000 which is leaving me at $2,000 out the door. With mine getting as bad as it has I decided to go ahead and swap the tranny instead of the fluid swap which I feel is more of a bandaid than an actual fix. And Im not sure that Toyota would come in with that deal later down the road.
 

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There are a lot of posts on this forum on this subject and a lot of bad misinformation on the term "shudder". I've pointed it out before and I'll explain it again for those who have not read the other posts.

First and foremost many Toyota torque converter clutches will develop a shudder. This type of "shudder" can be caused by several different things. The first thing is WS fluid. If the fluid is the cause of the shudder it's an easy fix. Just change all the fluid in your transmission. If it works it's a home run. If not it was still worth the gamble if your transmission is out of warranty. Another thing that can cause a TC shudder is the SLT solenoid. These solenoids are PWM (pulse width modulated) which means they are constantly pulsed at all times the TC is in lockup. These solenoids will wear and consequently cause a loss of lockup apply pressure. So in many cases replacing this solenoid will fix a shudder. Also the SLT solenoid can sometimes be adjusted to increase the lockup apply pressure.

The second type of "shudder" is actually an engine misfire. You only feel the misfire during lockup as the fluid coupling (TC) absorbs the shock of the misfire when not locked up. This kind of a shudder can be diagnosed by looking at the misfire counters on a scanner in OBDII Global and also watching the O2 sensors and Short Term Fuel Trim during the shudder. This will distinguish between a clutch shudder and a misfire. It's very hard to tell the difference as both shudders feel the same sitting in the driver's seat.

The third type of shudder is a clutch shudder during a shift. This type of shudder is a clutch pack inside the transmission and not the TC. A trained transmission tech can tell the difference between a clutch shudder as opposed to a TC shudder.

I hope this helps someone reading the shudder threads and trying to decide what to do when a shudder occurs. Like I mentioned earlier the first thing to do is a flush. A flush just means changing all the fluid in the transmission.

A final note on fluid condition. If the fluid has turned dark purple or dark brown this can be a normal condition of WS fluid. Personally I change WS fluid to a good synthetic like Amsoil, Red Line or Mobil 1. These premium synthetics will never turn color unless extreme internal damage occurs.

If you want to prevent the shudder the best advice is to keep your oil red. No flush needed if your oil is still red. Just drain the trans pan at 30K and add 3.8 quarts. Then do it again at 60K. If you do this your transmission will last as long as your engine in most cases. If you ever overheat your transmission always get a full flush ASAP.
 

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Well, I took step one yesterday and had the tranny fluid flushed and replaced with a synthetic. After two 13 mile commutes the shudder is still there and as obnoxious as ever. I am tapped out at the moment so I guess I will be driving in 4th gear for awhile until I can get back to trying to resolve this issue. The trial and error is what is killing me on this. I already have a lot invested and I am no closer to solving the problem than I was when I started. I will post up again when I get back to looking for the correct fix.


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No flush needed if your oil is still red. Just drain the trans pan at 30K and add 3.8 quarts.
Just curious, where did you get the 3.8 quart from? The FSM says for pan removal and refill its 1.8 quarts. When i did mine that is about what came out when i drained the pan.
 

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Just curious, where did you get the 3.8 quart from? The FSM says for pan removal and refill its 1.8 quarts. When i did mine that is about what came out when i drained the pan.
I have changed the oil in the pan on my trans several times. I drained the oil into a gallon container just to measure the amount in the pan. I got 3.8 quarts. I just looked in the book and the book says 3L or 3.2 quarts. The amount of oil you get depends on the temperature and the age of the trans has something to do with it too. As a transmission ages and the bushings wear the oil drainback amount will increase a little. Also if someone overfilled the trans before you may get more than the published amount.

If you drained your pan and only got 1.8 quarts then your trans was low to begin with. :)
 

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I have changed the oil in the pan on my trans several times. I drained the oil into a gallon container just to measure the amount in the pan. I got 3.8 quarts. I just looked in the book and the book says 3L or 3.2 quarts. The amount of oil you get depends on the temperature and the age of the trans has something to do with it too. As a transmission ages and the bushings wear the oil drainback amount will increase a little. Also if someone overfilled the trans before you may get more than the published amount.

If you drained your pan and only got 1.8 quarts then your trans was low to begin with. :)
Here's a cut and paste out of the manual:

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Fluid capacity (drain and refill),
L (qt., Imp. qt.):
Up to 3.0 (3.2, 2.6)
Fluid type:
Toyota Genuine ATF Type WS
Change automatic transmission fluid only
as necessary.
Generally, it is necessary to change
automatic transmission fluid only if your
vehicle is driven under one of the Special
Operating Conditions listed in your
“Scheduled Maintenance Guide” or
“Owner’s Manual Supplement”. When
changing the automatic transmission fluid,
use only “Toyota Genuine ATF Type WS”
(ATF JWS3324 or NWS9638) to aid in
assuring optimum transmission performance.
Notice: Using automatic transmission
fluid other than “Toyota Genuine ATF
Type WS” may cause deterioration in
shift quality, locking up of your transmission
accompanied by vibration, and
ultimately damage the automatic transmission
of your vehicle.
Please contact your Toyota dealer for fur
 

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Is that from the Toyota FSM?

Here is the excerpt from the FSM I was referring to. When i refilled it, I got to about 1.8Q by the time it started flowing from the overflow tube.

 

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I also have a single owner 07 4x4 AT w/ 90k on it and I am dealing with this same exact problem. It started around the 75-80k mark and I have brought it to a local Toyota Dealership and also to an independant repair shop and both concluded it was my driveshaft. Well, after spending $450 on a new driveshaft it still shudders and vibrates around the 1100 rpm mark but not consistantly. Please post up what you find out so I can get this fixed. I have spent alot of wasted money trying to get to the bottom of this problem with no solution as of yet.
I am a single owner 07 4x4 AT also with 68K (no problems as yet) so this thread caught my eye. Grouper, what I would like to know is what did these so called professionals have to say for themselves after replacing the driveshaft and you still had the problem?!? I would have been totally pi$$ed.:flame:
 

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Well, I took step one yesterday and had the tranny fluid flushed and replaced with a synthetic. After two 13 mile commutes the shudder is still there and as obnoxious as ever. I am tapped out at the moment so I guess I will be driving in 4th gear for awhile until I can get back to trying to resolve this issue. The trial and error is what is killing me on this. I already have a lot invested and I am no closer to solving the problem than I was when I started. I will post up again when I get back to looking for the correct fix.
My transmission does this as well. However, I've found ways to work around it and also figured out why the dealership can't figure it out.

Before I get any further, and flush at the dealership solved the issue the first time. I haven't had them do it a second time, but both times it's started shuddering was after doing donuts in the dirt. So...I'm not doing donuts anymore.

Now...

Most of where I live is pretty stop and go traffic...Chicagoland. The speeds are also low...so 30-40 MPH is common. That puts me right at the worst speeds for this issue. If I put it straight into D and start out in the morning, it does this. I have a 12 mile commute, again lots of stop/go which warms up the trans faster than cruising, and about halfway into my trip (20 minutes or so) the fluid is warmed up.

If I put it in "4" until it warms up, typically a pan temp of 130* or higher, then shift to "D" it doesn't shudder.

In my experience flushing the trans will solve the issue. However, I've also found that driving in 4 until warmed up and then D works for me. It also explains why the dealer can't ever figure it out...the dealer is far enough away in traffic that by the time I get there it's already warmed up.

As always, YMMV, grain of salt and all that. This is my experience.
 

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Is that from the Toyota FSM?

Here is the excerpt from the FSM I was referring to. When i refilled it, I got to about 1.8Q by the time it started flowing from the overflow tube.

You must a smaller pan than I do. :lol: The info i pasted is right of the owner's manual. If you read a few transmission service threads on here that all say 3 - 4 quarts for a pan drop. That info you have here must have a typo in it. I just looked on Mitchell and All Data and both say 3.2 quarts for a pan drop too.

Here's Amsoil's Chart
 

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The first time I drained my pan this is what came out after letting it drain for about an hour with the trans pretty warm but not hot. Just over 3 qts. from the factory fill.

DEWFPO
 

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The first time I drained my pan this is what came out after letting it drain for about an hour with the trans pretty warm but not hot. Just over 3 qts. from the factory fill.

DEWFPO
Yep. If you park your FJ for a few days the fluid level inside the transmission will slowly rise. So draining 3 quarts is quite normal. Also I'm sure many transmissions are a little over full from the factory. Bottom line is 4 quarts is plenty to do a pan drain service.
 

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I am a single owner 07 4x4 AT also with 68K (no problems as yet) so this thread caught my eye. Grouper, what I would like to know is what did these so called professionals have to say for themselves after replacing the driveshaft and you still had the problem?!? I would have been totally pi$$ed.:flame:
I'm not so sure what they had to say because I didn't bring it back to them. Jacque at TRDparts4u supplied me with a new driveshaft which was installed by a good friend and mechanic. It is what it is unfortunately. Since my last post the shuddering has eased up some and is completely gone if I drive in fourth. I am hoping with the passing days that it might completely go away. Sooner or later I am going to have to deal with the root cause. I guess I will start with a new TC and go from there but not anytime soon.


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