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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As some of you may know I am a Master Volvo tech and have access to some pretty nice equipment. I have cruised this forum for quite some time since purchasing my FJ and would like to clear up some misconceptions or opinions.

Here are some facts and then on to the flush procedure that shops can do.

1) The trans is NOT a sealed unit. The fluid is accessible, flushable and replaceable/drainable.

2) Toyota, much like Volvo, does not have an interval for trans fluid replacement but this does not make me comfortable as a technician. The fluid can and will break down as well as carry clutch pack debris that can clog solenoids/harm the solenoid pack. ATF is formulated with friction modifiers and detergents that do not last indefinitely.

3) Drain and fills are perfectly acceptable but only replaces 1/3-1/4 of the total volume. I drained exactly one gallon from the trans pan (one gallon = four quarts). This means you will need to do drain and fills periodically. I would recommend every 30k-45k if you are picky like me.

4) Valvoline Maxlife and BG synthetic ATF are completely acceptable and far cheaper than Toyota WS ATF. I paid $17/gallon from Wal-Mart for the Maxlife.




On to the flush!!

Here is the machine that does magic. It has an internal tank with a bladder inside of it (see the second pic). This allows the machine to pump in exactly what is pumped out of the transmission. This keeps the fluid level very close to where it needs to be when all done.



All that is needed is about 4 gallons (16 quarts) of ATF poured into the machine/tank and then you open a transmission line (anywhere in the system) to hook in. I chose the upper cooler hose from the radiator.


You start the vehicle with the flush machine switched to "loop", this means no fluids in or out of the machine. You allow the trans fluid to get hot and pressure to build up in the system.


After pressure gets to about 20psi (give or take, varies by vehicle), you switch the machine to flush. Old fluid goes into the tank, pushes on the internal bladder, and then pushed new fluid into the vehicle. There is a window on the machine to see old fluid out and new fluid in. Notice the center glass tubes on the machine. The upper tube is nearly black and lower tube is bright red.


You allow the vehicle to idle, switch through a few gears, and just stand around waiting until A) the machine runs out of new fluids or B) the upper glass tube turns bright red which means the fluid coming out of the transmission is brand new/flush is complete.



This does not harm the vehicle in any way. My trans didnt have a problem previously but I swear it shift smoother, almost like my Volvo. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.:rocker:
 

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Thanks Mate,
Great write up....
Well done.
Hope it encourages more to flush their tranny's ...
Cheers
Baz
:blueblob:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Where does one get one of these machines? Would the procedure for a manual transmission be any different?
A manual transmission does not have a fluid pump or build up pressure. It also does not utilize a cooler, valve body, or torque converter where fluid can hide when doing a drain/fill. A basic drain/fill will be all you need.
 
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A manual transmission does not have a fluid pump or build up pressure. It also does not utilize a cooler, valve body, or torque converter where fluid can hide when doing a drain/fill. A basic drain/fill will be all you need.
You just made my stress about this procedure much lower. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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G'day Chris,
This is where you get this machine, but i bet it aint cheap.... :rofl:
Still I would love to have one..... :lol:

https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/transmission/bg-big-dawg-ii-power-flush-and-fluid-exchange-system/

cheers
Baz
You dont need the machine when you have friends in places like me :wink
Life is all about who you know.
A smaller unit is $500+ American on eBay so I guess you definitely need good friends :grin
 

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VolvoDoc -

Nicely documented.

Three questions:

1. Is the vehicle's engine idling during the flush?

2. If the engine is not running, what is happening at the transmission's internal pump? If nothing in the transmission is moving, I assume that the pump is mechanically locked against rotation, but somehow the new fluid is passing through the pump?

3. During the flush, is the direction of fluid flow in the same direction as normal fluid flow during transmission operation, or counterflow?
 

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Nice write up... It really is a simple procedure even without the machine but it just takes a few more procedures and steps.
I most likely over paid using Amsoil about $140 because everybody claims its the best. I guess the next 50K Change I will use the Valvoline Max life and save a lot of $$$.
 

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No need to have all that expencive equipment. I do a full flush on my trans every 50K. Its as easy as an oil change and it takes about 14qts to do. I have done 2 full flushes so far and it will be a couple years before the next one. ( I flush them myself. ) Volvos may need all that expencive equipment but our FJs dont :)
 

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No need to have all that expencive equipment. I do a full flush on my trans every 50K. Its as easy as an oil change and it takes about 14qts to do. I have done 2 full flushes so far and it will be a couple years before the next one. ( I flush them myself. ) Volvos may need all that expencive equipment but our FJs dont :)

Really? I'm going to have to do a little searching around to see if it's within my capabilities to pull this off..I'm scared of wrecking my transmission if I mess up. I'd really like to get it done for peace of mind. The last owner neglected the diff/TC oils pretty badly, they were black and low in level when I changed them out.


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Discussion Starter #20
@VolvoDoc I see these $500ish machines on eBay brand new all the way up to thousands. A $500 rig would pay for itself in 2-3 flushes, as opposed to a shop.

Brand New Transmission Fluid Oil Exchange Flush Cleaning Machine | eBay

Is something like this junk or OK for home use?

I just want to see if this is worth consideration.

I see no reason why that machine would not work. You could even charge to do other people's flushes to recoup more money.


No need to have all that expencive equipment. I do a full flush on my trans every 50K. Its as easy as an oil change and it takes about 14qts to do. I have done 2 full flushes so far and it will be a couple years before the next one. ( I flush them myself. ) Volvos may need all that expencive equipment but our FJs dont :)
Sure, you dont need this equipment and I have seen others do the garage/back yard flush but I am not fond of that style. The second your pump runs dry, you COULD cause irreversible damage.

VolvoDoc -

Nicely documented.

Three questions:

1. Is the vehicle's engine idling during the flush?

2. If the engine is not running, what is happening at the transmission's internal pump? If nothing in the transmission is moving, I assume that the pump is mechanically locked against rotation, but somehow the new fluid is passing through the pump?

3. During the flush, is the direction of fluid flow in the same direction as normal fluid flow during transmission operation, or counterflow?
1) The fluid exchange machine does not move the fluid on its own so Yes, the engine does need to be idling. While the machine is exchanging the fluid, I like to switch between gears to ensure all solenoids are cycled to allow flow of new fluids.

2) See above

3) The machine does not pump, the gearbox does. The allows the fluid being pumped out of the gearbox and into the machine to push on the internal bladder of the exchange machine thus pushing new fluid back into the gearbox simultaneously.
 
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