A440F - Any expert advice appreciated

EscapeWagon62

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I”m driving an 88 FJ62 with an A440F tranny. Total mileage 230k, it’s never towed and any off-roading in its past was very light dirt road stuff. At some point it’ll die and I’ll put in an H55. The trans fluid is new, dropped the pan a year ago, filters clean, kickdown cable replaced and dialed in properly. The fluid level is slightly high vs high hot mark after freeway driving. I have done a ”party trick” once two years ago and once recently.

OK - for the symptom.
- When first starting out it tends to hang in second gear. I do not as a matter of practice warm up the truck.
- It does not seem like there is any slipping
-After a 1/4 mile or so it will shift to third. Since I’ll be at close to 3,000 RPMs it sometimes has a harder than normal shift into third.
- Once it has shifted to third Once, it has no further issues for the day and shifts smoothly at correct shift points
Other than this anomaly the transmission Functions perfectly with the exception of two times in four years where I had a weird squeak/light screech sound in park and neutral. This sound went away after cycling through the gears during driving. I assume that was some muck or grit working it’s way through.

Aany relevant advice on the second to third shift is greatly appreciated (full well knowing that based on mileage it’s near the end of its life and H55s are better) I just did a full sheet metal restoration and paint job so the wife ain’t interested in me spending more $.

thanks and cheers
 

ceylonfj40nut

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Typical symptoms it’s going to go on you. Drive it like hell raised banshee. Save for the H55. If you have the $ do it now. Life is short. You will really wake it up!
 

Ocho77

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I”m driving an 88 FJ62 with an A440F tranny. Total mileage 230k, it’s never towed and any off-roading in its past was very light dirt road stuff. At some point it’ll die and I’ll put in an H55. The trans fluid is new, dropped the pan a year ago, filters clean, kickdown cable replaced and dialed in properly. The fluid level is slightly high vs high hot mark after freeway driving. I have done a ”party trick” once two years ago and once recently.

OK - for the symptom.
- When first starting out it tends to hang in second gear. I do not as a matter of practice warm up the truck.
- It does not seem like there is any slipping
-After a 1/4 mile or so it will shift to third. Since I’ll be at close to 3,000 RPMs it sometimes has a harder than normal shift into third.
- Once it has shifted to third Once, it has no further issues for the day and shifts smoothly at correct shift points
Other than this anomaly the transmission Functions perfectly with the exception of two times in four years where I had a weird squeak/light screech sound in park and neutral. This sound went away after cycling through the gears during driving. I assume that was some muck or grit working it’s way through.

Aany relevant advice on the second to third shift is greatly appreciated (full well knowing that based on mileage it’s near the end of its life and H55s are better) I just did a full sheet metal restoration and paint job so the wife ain’t interested in me spending more $.

thanks and cheers

Seems to be fairly normal, ours does that as well, and there are many threads on here with the same shifting pattern. I’ve heard of this happening for years in these trucks, so I don’t think it’s a guarantee that It is going out on you in the near future.
 

red66toy

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Definitely check the kick down cable. Adjusted to spec? Is it original? It could be gummed up or rusty and catching more when cold. Not a hard project to swap it. Just a little messy.
 
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I’d guess it’s related to transmission fluid temp and may well be a characteristic of the transmission from new - hard shift aside.

If you want to experiment, start the truck up and let it idle with the transmission in neutral for 15-20 minutes. Then take it for a drive and see if the 2/3 shift is different.
 
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@EscapeWagon62 Far from expert advice....but I've had my '90 62 for ~24 years (geez...) and I've limped my A440F along for about the last 10+ years with plenty of symptoms. I drove the absolute snot out of it regardless. Carry on. And, yes, I had an aux cooler on it for a long time.

Do the usuals as time goes....cable adjustment, fluid flush (passive and/or Rodney flush), drop the pan and keep the filter cleaned, keep the shifter linkage adjusted and tight as possible (this doesn't really relate much to actual trans performance but sure feels better in the palm of your hand :cool:). Sometimes feathering the go pedal between shifts can be helpful depending on its mood.

When it starts to have issues shifting into Reverse, then it begins to get dicey. Ultimately mine wouldn't shift above 2nd combined with little to no reverse.
Drive, enjoy, slowly collect parts.
 

EscapeWagon62

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I’d guess it’s related to transmission fluid temp and may well be a characteristic of the transmission from new - hard shift aside.

If you want to experiment, start the truck up and let it idle with the transmission in neutral for 15-20 minutes. Then take it for a drive and see if the 2/3 shift is different.
Great idea and thanks. I’ll give it a try.
 

EscapeWagon62

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@EscapeWagon62 Far from expert advice....but I've had my '90 62 for ~24 years (geez...) and I've limped my A440F along for about the last 10+ years with plenty of symptoms. I drove the absolute snot out of it regardless. Carry on. And, yes, I had an aux cooler on it for a long time.

Do the usuals as time goes....cable adjustment, fluid flush (passive and/or Rodney flush), drop the pan and keep the filter cleaned, keep the shifter linkage adjusted and tight as possible (this doesn't really relate much to actual trans performance but sure feels better in the palm of your hand :cool:). Sometimes feathering the go pedal between shifts can be helpful depending on its mood.

When it starts to have issues shifting into Reverse, then it begins to get dicey. Ultimately mine wouldn't shift above 2nd combined with little to no reverse.
Drive, enjoy, slowly collect parts.
Solid advice. I’ll try the warm up trick @FJACS mentioned and look for any issues shifting into reverse. I’ll recheck my cable, it’s only got 1000 or so miles on it but maybe some got buggered.
cheers
 

EscapeWagon62

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@FJACS - tried warming it up for 15 min and had no issues last night or this AM shifting from 2nd to 3rd. Thank you. I guess here old rigs prefer some foreplay before hitting the road.

I put a note into @cruiserparts to start sourcing H55 and I guess I’ll have to get another carpet kit from @dnp for when I do the swap.
 
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Mine had hard 2nd to 3rd gear shifts. Last spring I did the party trick, Rodney flush, new kick down cable, installed a big trans cooler and switched fluid over to Schaeffers All Trans Supreme. It's like someone dropped a new trans in my 62, it was night and day better.
 

EscapeWagon62

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thanks again @FJACS
absolutely flawless shifts warming up for 10 minutes or so. I’m curious if anyone knows why not warming it up would cause hanging in second gear, particularly in the summer during a heat wave. Intuitively I would assume trans fluid temp in winter could cause an issue. Maybe it’s one of those things we’ll never know.
 
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Could be a shift valve hanging up in the bore. I know sometimes when cold my TV cable would stick in the sheath when you first gave it a bunch of throttle taking off, making the transmission think you were given 'er
 
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thanks again @FJACS
absolutely flawless shifts warming up for 10 minutes or so. I’m curious if anyone knows why not warming it up would cause hanging in second gear, particularly in the summer during a heat wave. Intuitively I would assume trans fluid temp in winter could cause an issue. Maybe it’s one of those things we’ll never know.

I don’t fully understand the relation of fluid temperature to transmission performance, but it’s in the fluid viscosity and resulting pressures. Most vehicles, especially newer ones, are looking for the transmission fluid to hit an ideal operating temperature for maximum efficiency and to activate lockup in the torque converter.

FJ62’s (any many other automatics) have the ATF loop through the radiator. Most people think of this as a small transmission cooler. It’s actually a warmer before it’s a cooler. When the truck is first started and running, the engine‘s coolant is warming the transmission fluid. Once the transmission is up to temperature the loop through the radiator works to keep the temperature consistent.

Theres a couple of good points in posts above - could be adjustment related, could be a gummed up or worn bore in the valve body. Either way, warning it up and not letting it slam through the 2/3 change is your best bet for longevity.
 

EscapeWagon62

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I don’t fully understand the relation of fluid temperature to transmission performance, but it’s in the fluid viscosity and resulting pressures. Most vehicles, especially newer ones, are looking for the transmission fluid to hit an ideal operating temperature for maximum efficiency and to activate lockup in the torque converter.

FJ62’s (any many other automatics) have the ATF loop through the radiator. Most people think of this as a small transmission cooler. It’s actually a warmer before it’s a cooler. When the truck is first started and running, the engine‘s coolant is warming the transmission fluid. Once the transmission is up to temperature the loop through the radiator works to keep the temperature consistent.

Theres a couple of good points in posts above - could be adjustment related, could be a gummed up or worn bore in the valve body. Either way, warning it up and not letting it slam through the 2/3 change is your best bet for longevity.
Thank you.
this will nurse it through til the H55 comes in.
 
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What is this "party trick" people mention here?
And i'm willing to swap my H55 to a low mileage A440F from japan, everyone seems to want to do the opposite thing here x) Is A440F really THAT bad for driving experience and reliability? Or why are you willing to get rid of it instead of overhaul/replace the worn one?
 

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