1989 FJ62 pushing 3500 rpm at 65 mph (1 Viewer)

Joined
Mar 31, 2021
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los angeles, ca
Hell everyone!

First time poster and first time owner here. I got my 89 FJ62 about a month ago and have been loving it so far. It’s now at K&H cruiser specialists in LA to get it up to CA smog standards.

However, in the limited driving I’ve done with it so far, I’ve noticed that the rpms seem pretty high at highway speeds. Top speed I got it going up to about 65-70 mph and the rpms were hovering around 3200-3500. Upon doing some research, that sounds pretty high for these trucks. My assumption is that it’s stuck In 3rd gear and not able to shift up. I’ve done a lot of reading about the “rodney party trick” and while it sounds pretty terrifying, it is tempting to try and see if it frees it up a bit. Does anyone have any experience with this? Would the party trick help/hurt with this issue?

Thanks for reading, sorry for being such a newbie, I’m just stoked to be here!
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
5
Location
los angeles, ca
Welcome to the insanity. Pics of said rig or it dsnt exist. No advice for ya!! :)
Here she is! Including up on the lift yesterday.

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EscapeWagon62

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Longmeadow MA
Party trick works and nothing to worry about.
1. Before you do that, check fluid level when hot and running
2. If your low, 2nd and 3rd shift points are higher than 2200-2500 RPM under moderate throttle, loosen your kickdown cable. Unit may think you are under hard acceleration and not upshifting
 
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Couple things, don't start off with the 'party trick'. As mentioned check fluid level at normal/hot temperature, fluid condition...the usual auto trans stuff.

What is the mileage on the vehicle? Would recommend doing a fluid flush ( ie a Rodney flush....yes, the same party trick guy), it really cleans out the old fluid.
Drop the pan and check/clean the mesh filter housing. There's several little things (maintenance things) that can be done to really refresh the auto trans if they haven't been done in awhile, which is usually about 100% of the time.

Looks like your running close to OE stock size tires, which means you're not stressing it by trying to turn big tires, which really drags down those transmissions.
I don't recall what my RPMs were with stockish size tires, that was long ago, but it wasn't as high as you are reporting.

Also, you should 'feel' it bump into overdrive right at 52-54 mph, there is a slight shift feel and the tach rpm should drop down slightly. Sounds like your are not getting past third and definitely not into overdrive.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2021
Messages
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Location
los angeles, ca
Couple things, don't start off with the 'party trick'. As mentioned check fluid level at normal/hot temperature, fluid condition...the usual auto trans stuff.

What is the mileage on the vehicle? Would recommend doing a fluid flush ( ie a Rodney flush....yes, the same party trick guy), it really cleans out the old fluid.
Drop the pan and check/clean the mesh filter housing. There's several little things (maintenance things) that can be done to really refresh the auto trans if they haven't been done in awhile, which is usually about 100% of the time.

Looks like your running close to OE stock size tires, which means you're not stressing it by trying to turn big tires, which really drags down those transmissions.
I don't recall what my RPMs were with stockish size tires, that was long ago, but it wasn't as high as you are reporting.

Also, you should 'feel' it bump into overdrive right at 52-54 mph, there is a slight shift feel and the tach rpm should drop down slightly. Sounds like your are not getting past third and definitely not into overdrive.
Thanks for the informative reply!

It’s at 178k miles now. I’m definitely planning on doing a flush and cleaning the filter etc before I consider doing the party trick. When I got the truck it already had a transmission fluid leak and the fluid level was pretty low. The trucks in good hands at the shop right now and they’re gonna check it out along with all the other stuff they’re doing. Will report back in a week or so when I get it back!
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2008
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1,174
From a stop, accelerate hard. You should feel 3 shifts. 1-2, then 2-3, then 3-4. If you don't, you are missing overdrive. The shift some feel at 51-53 mph is the torque converter locking up. You should hear it more than feel it and see about a 200 rpm drop. The way to tell is to drive at steady speed and throttle on flat ground at 55 mph. Press on the gas but don't floor it causing a downshift. If the engine rpm flashes up 1-200 rpm, the lockup is not working. You should hear the engine work harder but the rpm should not change.

If you feel 3 shifts and feel lockup and still turn 3500 rpm at 65, someone changed the gear ratio.
 
Joined
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los angeles, ca
Hey everyone, thank you all for replying!

I got the truck back from K&H a few weeks ago and have since driven it about 1,000 miles without any issue. All in all, I had the brake pads/rotors/shoes replaced, transfer case gasket replaced, new suspension bushings, new tires, and the transmission serviced. Turns out all the transmission needed was a fluid flush, filter cleaned, and the kick down cable adjusted a bit. With all that done it seems to be hitting all gears at the appropriate times. The shifter itself feels pretty loose and it can be easy to go into D3 inadvertently, but that isn’t a huge issue.

I’m a happy camper now with a road ready cruiser! Thanks again for your insight, everyone!
 

EscapeWagon62

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Longmeadow MA
Hey everyone, thank you all for replying!

I got the truck back from K&H a few weeks ago and have since driven it about 1,000 miles without any issue. All in all, I had the brake pads/rotors/shoes replaced, transfer case gasket replaced, new suspension bushings, new tires, and the transmission serviced. Turns out all the transmission needed was a fluid flush, filter cleaned, and the kick down cable adjusted a bit. With all that done it seems to be hitting all gears at the appropriate times. The shifter itself feels pretty loose and it can be easy to go into D3 inadvertently, but that isn’t a huge issue.

I’m a happy camper now with a road ready cruiser! Thanks again for your insight, everyone!
I’m sure you are feeling a great sense of relief!
Take the time to re-do your shifter linkage. A crisp, predictable shift feel makes it a more enjoyable rig.
Several threads on shifter slop.
There are bushings in the shifter stalk pivot (blue color) that tske csre of side to side.
Two sets of bushings in the linkage on the underside of the vehicle.
And finally two nuts on the stalk that connects the linkage to the gear selector pin that enters the transmission.
Dial them all in and you’ll have a better shifter feeling.
Note - the system was designed to slide between OD and 3 without pressing the button. The adjustments just make it a little firmer.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
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North of LA California
You're hanging out in Trailcrew Territory. We have quite a few wagons in our club. Look us up on fb 'trailcrew 4x4's' or feel free to pm me. We do lots of wrenching parties and trips when Covid isn't a thing.

As noted above, you NEED a transmission cooler on it. Only a matter of time until it gets upset with you. Synthetic fluid dropped my tranmission temps about 10°F too.
 

FJ Silver

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Jul 8, 2012
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New Harmony, Utah
I'm running Amsoil with a 12x12 aux cooler. What kinda temps are you guys seeing? Locked in 4th on the highway I'm around 110, around town in 70s/80s degree weather, I'm seeing between 145 and 175 or so.
 
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Southern Colorado
That's a nice sized cooler and those are good temps. With a 9"x11" aux cooler and non-synthetic, I see 205F at the pan on a 85 degree day. Before the cooler, temps were more like 225-235.
 

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