Toyota Pick-ups, Land Cruiser, and 4 Runner 1997-00

Automatic Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



All automatic transmissions covered in this guide use DEXRONII or III automatic transmission fluid.

LEVEL CHECK





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Fig. Location of the automatic transmission fluid dipstick

Check the automatic transmission fluid level at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) or more if possible. The dipstick is usually located in the rear of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked only when the transmission is hot (normal operating temperature) and with the engine running. The transmission is considered hot after about 20 miles (32 km) of highway driving.

  1. Park the truck on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into Neutral or Park and set the parking brake.
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  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert if firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. With the engine running, the fluid level should be between the second and third notches on the dipstick.
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Fig. When checking the fluid level on the automatic transmission dipstick, be sure to read the dipstick carefully

  1. If the fluid level is below the second notch, add fluid with the aid of a funnel.
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  3. Check the level often as you are filling the transmission. Be extremely careful NOT to overfill it. Overfilling will cause slippage, seal damage and overheating. Approximately one pint of ATF will raise the level from one notch to the other.
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The fluid on the dipstick should always be a bright red color. It if is discolored (brown or black), or smells burnt, serious transmission troubles, probably due to overheating, should be suspected. To locate the cause of the burnt fluid, a qualified service technician should inspect the transmission.

DRAIN AND REFILL



The automatic transmission fluid should be changed at least every 25,00030,000 miles (40,00048,000 km). If the truck is normally used in severe service, such as stop-and-go driving, trailer towing or the like, the interval should be halved. The fluid should be hot before it is drained; a 20-minute drive will accomplish this.

Unlike many other automatic transmissions, Toyota automatic transmissions are equipped with a drain plug in the pan, so that fluid may be drained without removing the pan. The filter within the pan is NOT replaceable as a maintenance item; removing the pan is NOT required or recommended during normal transmission maintenance.

  1. With the truck safely supported on safety stands, position a large catch pan below the drain plug.
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  3. Remove the plug and gasket slowly, and be prepared for a rush of HOT fluid. Allow enough time for the fluid to drain completely.
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Fig. All Toyota automatic transmissions have a drain plug to ease the removal of fluid



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Fig. Remove the drain plug with an appropriate wrench



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Fig. When installing the automatic transmission pan drain plug, always use a new sealing washer

  1. Install the drain plug with a new gasket if used, and tighten just snug. Add transmission fluid through the dipstick tube under the hood.
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  3. Reinsert the dipstick after filling, then start the engine and allow it to idle. Do NOT race the engine.
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  5. After the engine has idled for a few minutes, shift the transmission slowly through the gears, then return it to Park. With the engine still idling, check the fluid level on the dipstick. If necessary, add more fluid to raise the level.
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PAN AND FILTER SERVICE



The automatic transmission fluid can be drained without removing the pan. The filter within the pan is NOT replaceable as a maintenance item. Removing the pan is NOT required or recommended during normal transmission maintenance.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle using safety stands.
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  3. Place a container under the transmission drain plug and drain the transmission fluid. Install the drain plug with a new sealing and tighten securely.
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Fig. Use a ratchet to remove the bolts from the automatic transmission pan

  1. Remove the pan securing bolts and remove the pan and gasket. The transmission pans are installed with Formed In Place Gasket (FIPG) sealer which means that even after the bolts are removed, the pan will likely still be stuck in place, held fast by the sealer. Toyota has a Special Service Tool (SST) that uses a thin, sharp blade in a holder designed to be tapped with a hammer, to slice through the sealer so the parts can be separated. Use care if using substitute tools. The oil pan flange and the sealing surface of the aluminum transmission case are easily damaged. Do NOT use a screwdriver (you'll deform the pan lip) and do NOT drive the tool straight into the seam; if it goes too far, internal damage will result. Work on an angle to the pan and tap the tool just deeply enough to cut the sealer.
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Fig. Most of the pan bolts should be accessible; you may need to remove another part to obtain access for some



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Fig. Using Toyota's Special Service Tool (SST) to cut through the sealer holding the pan to the case



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Fig. The pan at the top contains four magnets, the pan in the middle has six magnets to trap steel particle debris. They require surprisingly precise placement to avoid interference with valve body components

  1. Before cleaning the transmission oil pan, examine the contents carefully. Some minor amounts of debris will be found from normal operation. Magnets are used to trap steel particles. Excessive amounts of steel particles may indicate a problem with bearing, gear or clutch plate wear. Non-metallic debris could include brass particles indicating possible bushing wear. Fiber particles are from the friction plates in the clutch packs.
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  3. Clean all parts well. Use care to note the locations of the magnets before removing them for cleaning. The valve body and the metal oil transfer tubes and close to the magnets and if the magnets are out of place, the oil pan won't go back into place properly.
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  5. The pan may be washed in solvent for cleaning but must be absolutely dry when it is reinstalled. Do NOT wipe it out with a rag; the lint from the rag can damage the transmission.
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  7. Remove all traces of the old sealer from the pan and from the transmission..
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  9. Inspect, clean or replace the transmission filter or strainer at this time, if necessary. If the filter is removed, additional fluid will drain out. Note that some of the oil strainer bolts will be of different lengths and care should be taken to mark their locations so they can be installed in their original locations.
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Fig. Removing the oil strainer bolts. There may be different lengths so use care to keep track of their locations



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Fig. This filter screen uses three gaskets that must be carefully positioned and three different length bolts

  1. With the replacement strainer in place tighten to bolts to just 84 inch lbs. (10 Nm). Do NOT over-tighten.
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  3. Make sure the oil pan is clean, the magnets have been returned to their proper locations and the sealing flanges of both the pan and the transmission are clean and free of oil.
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Fig. Apply a thin, even bead of FIPG sealant (about 1 / 8 inch diameter) around the pan

  1. Apply a thin, even bead of FIPG sealant (about 1 / 8 -inch diameter) around the pan, staying inboard of the screw holes and roughly centered on the pan flange. Use care NOT to use too much sealer that will get squeezed out into the transmission.
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  3. Install the pan, tightening the securing bolts to the proper torque in a crisscrossing pattern. Torque the pan bolts to 65 inch lbs. (7.4 Nm). Do NOT over-tighten. The pan bolts with break and/or the threaded holes in the transmission case may strip.
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  5. Carefully lower the vehicle, then fill the transmission to the correct level with DEXRONII or III.
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Fig. A funnel with a long, flexible neck allows you to add fluid to the automatic transmission

 
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