A440F Auto Tranny Problems

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by miker, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. miker

    miker

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    I have an 88 fj62 with A440F auto trans. Transmission failed at 225k mi. 1st/Rev failed. Had the tranny rebuilt by a local shop. $3000. Included new 1st/Rev gears, new clutches and all that, new torque converter. Parts alone were over $2000. Since the rebuild, the AT Temp light comes on when we drive it at 60-65+ for more than about 40 minutes. Sometimes sooner in hot weather, sometimes it doesn't come on in cooler weather.

    Have taken the cruiser back to the tranny shop several times for this problem.

    First time they replaced the temp switch - no help.

    It didn't seem to me that the converter was locking up. I believed I could tell when it locked before the rebuild but not after. Reading archives on the 3fe list I knew that a converter not locking up or driving in 3rd rather than OD will create a lot of heat.

    Took it back to the shop. They dropped the pan and valve body and determined that the converter lockup valve was not holding pressure. They said the valve sleeve was warn. They attempted to get a new sleeve but had trouble locating one and I believe they ended up getting a complete rebuilt valve body and replacing the whole VB with this one.

    Just drove the cruiser on a longer trip yesterday since the VB was replaced.

    Temp light came on again.

    I'm scheduled to take the cruiser back to them next Monday. Their Toyota mechanic is on vacation this week.

    Wondering if anyone here has had similar symptoms and possibly found out what was causing it.

    Maybe I have another bad lockup valve in this valve body?

    How soon will this overtemp condition (assuming its real and not false reading) kill this newly rebuily tranny if its not corrected?

    Is there anyway to tell for sure if the converter is locking up?
     
  2. jesterb

    jesterb

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    My temp light was coming on in simular situations after my rebuild. I added a tranny cooler( $50 from a parts house) and haven't had the light come on since.
     
  3. dd113

    dd113

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    follow the flexiable cooler lines, it is very easy to get a kink in one when reinstalling the tranny
     
  4. mpetersrx7

    mpetersrx7

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    The convert locks-up around 53 mph on the speedo. You can tell because it feels like another shift and the revs drop around 300rpms.

    Mark
     
  5. miker

    miker

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    That was suggested by the shop who rebuilt the tranny. However, I insisted that they fix the problem before I add a cooler since it never came on before the rebuild. I don't have a problem adding a cooler but I don't want to "mask" another problem caused by something they haven't rebuilt correctly.
     
  6. miker

    miker

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm guessing they would have caught a problem like this by now but I'll take a look myself to be sure.
     
  7. miker

    miker

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    I tied to "feel" this when driving it yesterday. I put about 100 miles on the cruiser mainly freeway driving but each time it shifted through the gears I counted the shifts as well as kept an eye on the tach. It is very difficult to tell if the converter is going into lockup. If it is going into lockup, its very subtle.

    FYI, 50 mile commute in the morning at about 75 degrees and no temp light. 50 mile commute home at 5pm at about 95 degrees and about the 45 mile mark the temp light came on. Pretty typical since the rebuild.
     
  8. jesterb

    jesterb

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    Yeah, I'm with you on not masking the problem. Get whatever you need to fixed, then add the cooler.
     
  9. Dunbar

    Dunbar SILVER Star

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    Search the 3FE list archives at birfield.com for 'Rodney' or 'Extreme Transmissions and read lots on diagnosing problems with the A440F.

    My suggestion is to see if you can get your money back and buy one from Rodney for $2700ish.

    Lots of info in the files section of the 3FE list too.

    I just ditched the rebuilt A440F that died with 4k miles on it and swapped in a H55F five speed.

    Dunbar
     
  10. euclid

    euclid

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    Just finished swapping in a Extreme Transmission from Rodney in OZ. I am very pleased. Email him and ask for advice.
    http://www.automatictransmission.com.au/default.asp


    Let your shop have another shot at it, but it sounds to me like something went wrong in the rebuild. These transmissions are not average. Many transmission shops get into the job and realize they are in over their head. The only shop I trust here locally for other jobs recommended I buy one of Rodney's because he is an expert on them.

    The tq converter lockup is noticeable. Count the gear shifts, once you are in 4th look for a drop in RPM's. If you are thinking to yourself, "was that it?" the converter didn't lock up. You will know. No lockup is not necessarily a problem in the valve body. Could be in the governor (Rodney's words). Search for threads on 3FE with my initials "GT." Rodney has addressed many of these issues for me in the past.

    Heat will kill the transmission QUICKLY! Once seals start getting hot they will become brittle. Once fluid starts passing through places it shouldn't, the transmission will shift like it did when you took it for a rebuild.

    Dearborn is right, make sure the fluid is flowing correctly. Simple solutions first!

    Hope that makes some sense and is helpful.
     
  11. 3pits

    3pits

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    I HAVE the solution!!!

    flush your tranny cooler on the radiator... mine was heating up too (after I switched to a different used radiator) , I disconnected the lines and hooked the compressor up, blew air thru the tranny cooler and this black tarry fluid gunk came out and I have never had a problem since,,

    good luck!
     
  12. miker

    miker

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    Thanks for the suggestion. The radiator is new and was replaced after I had flushed the tranny fluid a couple of times (before the tranny rebuild). Because of that, I'm thinking its not the problem but I'll keep it in mind.
     
  13. 3pits

    3pits

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    what about the hard and soft lines being clogged?

    I would check the flow thru the cooler, just pop the line, disconnect the coil and turn the motor over i think the tranny will pump fluid if there is enough and make sure the tranny place put enough fluid in,,,,,if it is not flowing, you can work backwards, pull the output hose off the tranny, if it flows it is either the cooler or a line, if it does not flow it is in the tranny,,,

    good luck post up when you find out what it is,,
     
  14. 3pits

    3pits

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    how fast will it kill the tranny, depends on how hot it gets, it can ruin it pretty fast,, didnt they take it out for a test drive? and make sure it was cooling properly?
     
  15. miker

    miker

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    They drove it but not long enough to make it happen again.
     
  16. miker

    miker

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    I sent an email to Rodney of Wholesale Automatics. He recommended a couple things. He highly recommends running a large cooler. He also did not recommend having a A440F rebuild as a standard rebuild without many of his modifications. :( Some of his comments:

    "Over heating problems with the a440F transmission are very common and
    are for the most part running hotter than most transmissions all the time.
    It only take some small thing to push them further up the heat range. "

    "I always recommend a large oil cooler and temp gauge kit as an absolute
    minimum with these transmissions. This struggles with heat at the best
    off time so a cooler is the very first thing that needs to be fitted. "

    "In saying all off this the real cause for these transmission to over
    heat is the extreme inefficiency on the torque convertor. There is nothing that
    can be done about this except if fitting one of our Custom built A440F
    torque convertors that doesn't have a Toyota part within it. It took 4 years
    and a lot of work to solve this problem."

    "When we build a A440F transmission we insist on the Custom built Torque
    Convertor, Extreme Recalibrated Valve Body With 3rd and 4th Gear
    Lock-Up, Complete Temp Gauge Kit and Large Oil Cooler. In most cases we sell
    these parts to transmission shops all over the world except for maybe the oil
    coolers that most transmission shop either carry or can get much
    cheaper locally."

    At this point, I feel I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'll let the tranny shop have another shot at fixing it. I will probably share Rodney's info with them. Not sure how well it will be received or how much they will work with me on this. I'm wondering if installing Rodney's torque converter would solve it. I'm looking for the best way to purchase Rodney's products. Anyone know if these are available in the US? Thought someone may have mentioned Slee Off-Road.
     
  17. euclid

    euclid

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    Slee no longer carries them. He has some other transmissions still in stock, but I got the A440. You can buy directly from Rodney, he will arrange everything.

    Before you throw a bunch more money at it get a secondary cooler, and make sure the lines are flowing well.

    Here is a bunch of info Rodney has posted to the 3FE list over the years. Info on flushing and flow testing will apply to you.
    3FE list info
     
  18. Greg_B

    Greg_B

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    Petra's HJ61 just got an extreme valve body today. I had driven it once just after she got it, and today again. What a difference...Feels like it has more pep when starting out, does not seem to struggle anything at all to shift, is crisp, shift points seem different (better), and just seems all around nicer. Had a Tru-Cooler installed at the same time, as well as a VDO temp gauge.

    gb
     
  19. miker

    miker

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    I installed an oil cooler. Hayden part number 679 "Rapid Cool" transmission cooler. Size is 3/4" x 11 3/8" x 11". This is a Radiator (plate and fin) style and not the "S" tube type. Installed it in series with the radiator cooler. This is the biggest one of this style that Hayden offers. I purchased it a Kragen for $60. I installed it in front of the AC condenser. Instead of mounting it directly to the condenser I made some brackets so it was spaced several inches in front of the condenser rather than mounting dorectly to it. I don't like those 'zip tie' cooler mounts that you get with the coolers.

    After that, took the cruiser on a drive to/from work at ~50 miles each way. Return trip was with outside temps at 100+ degrees. Its been hot here in NoCal! I didn't get an overtemp light on the shift console. Still need to install a gauge to see what's really going on.

    I still can't feel a torque converter lockup. According to Rodney, if one can't feel the lockup, its not locking up. I'm still concerned about this so I also took the cruiser into the tranny shop to have them do another check. I also gave them some of Rodney's info. The shop did a flow test and also opened up a port/orafice to increase flow. Can't recall now exactly which one. :\ They did say Flow rate was 1qt/20 sec. Seems a bit low per Rodney's standards but shop said it was ok and in spec.

    I will be driving it again tomorrow to see if anything made a difference. Hoping to actually be able to determine or "feel" the lockup. Will be taking it back to the shop if I still can't determine if lockup is occuring.
     
  20. miker

    miker

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    Converter is now locking up after the shop enlarged the port. :D I definitely feel the lockup and can see when the lockup occurs by looking at the tach. RPMs drop by about 200 when it locks-up. I spoke to the shop again to ask exactly what port they enlarged. They said it was the port in the VB separator plate that flows/controls fluid to the lockup valve.

    ***

    I guess now my next challenge is to figure out why the Check Engine light comes on when driving at 60+ MPH. Diag codes are 25 and 26.

    25 = air/fuel ratio LEAN indicator
    26 = air/fuel ratio RICH indicator

    Oxygen sensors?

    I did run an O2 check by followign the FSM and I'm getting 8 pulses every 10 seconds. Not sure how reliable this test is for an intermittent or borderline O2. Ususally it takes from 10 to 30 minutes at 60+ to get the Check Engine light.

    Anyone experience the same?
     
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