1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Extreme Valve Body - just installed

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by RockDoc, May 19, 2008.

  1. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    After sitting in a box on my living room floor for around 6 weeks, my extreme valve body is finally in my truck and working. For those who aren't familiar, Wholesale Automatics is an outfit in Australia that does rebuilds and upgrades of Land Cruiser automatic transmissions (A440F, A442F, A343F) as well as other brands. Their extreme line goes beyond a simple rebuild, with components being recalibrated and machined to tighter than factory tolerances (yadda yadda, best thing ever, yadda yadda). The extreme valve body is touted to give you greater clamping pressure for the clutch packs and torque convertor lock up, quicker shifts, and greater flow to the cooler. But the big advantage of these units is that they give you torque convertor lock-up in 3rd gear (when above the same road speed as for OD lock-up) so that you can take steep hills and tow on the highway with more umph and less heat generation (from the torque convertor).

    So, I have an A440F in good shape, about 170 000 miles on it, and decided to swap in the new valve body after hearing good things from others here on mud who have done it. Wholesales products are now distributed in North America by Pacesetter Products out of the Yukon (same guys as Outback Imports, one of the big JDM importers in Canada). They list the valve body at $1250 Cdn, an enquiry direct to Rodney at Wholesale sent me back to Pacesetter...... I'm sure you all want to know what I paid, all I'll say is that Jesse at Pacesetter and I agreed to a price, and it was considerably less than the list price.

    Here are a couple pics of the valve body straight out of the box. It came with a new strainer/filter & gasket, a new pan gasket, 4 new o-ring seals (that go between the valve body and transmission case) and a recalibrated spring for one of the accumulators:
    IMG_1927.jpg IMG_1926.jpg IMG_1925.jpg
     
  2. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Got around to installing it last night, what a mess!!! You'll need a 24mm socket (for the drain plug), a 12mm socket (for removing the skid plate), 10mm and 8mm sockets, an inch-pound torque wrench, about 8 litres (~2 gallons) of ATF to replace what drains out, a large catch pan for all the continuous dripping, and lots of paper towel.

    Removing the old valve body goes smoothly, but dirty. Wholesale provides some instruction sheets (really just copied pages from an FSM for a different version of the A440F with relevant stuff highlighted and other stuff stroked-out), so it is easy to see what bolts must be removed to loosen the valve body from the transmission case. The only thing to watch out for here is to make sure you get the kickdown cable disconnected from the cam before you drop the valve body. I loosened the kickdown cable at the throttle body to give more play to work with. Also, removing the dip-stick before separating the pan is a good idea.

    Installing the new unit is where it gets tricky. Having an extra set of hands for 5 or 10 minutes would help a lot. First you need to put in the new o-rings. I suspect soaking them in ATF for a day or two would help them swell and hold in place better, but I seemed to have managed without. Then you need to swap the accumulator spring, just pry out the appropriate accumulator piston, and switch it in. Lifting the new valve body in is where it gets tricky. You need to lift it in place, hook up the kickdown cable, get the accumulator piston(s) in position above the valve body, get the "manual valve" aligned with the pin in the manual valve lever and get a couple bolts in place to hold it all up in "one" step. I found it easiest to angle the valve body up to get the kickdown cable in place, then swing it up and get it bolted up. Unfortunately, I didn't get the manual valve and lever lined up on my first install attempt (no mention of this in the "instruction" sheets, but illustrated clearly in the FJ62 FSM) so I had to go back into the transmission after sealing it all up :mad:

    Once you get the valve body held in place with a couple bolts, use the FSM or instruction sheets as a guide to get the correct length bolts into the correct places, and torque them all in. Slide the strainer and gasket in place, bolt and torque it up. Slide the pan and gasket into place, lining up the two portions of the dip-stick tube, then install the bolts and torque. The 3 bolts along the back of the pan are a pain, as the transmission cross-member is in the way and make lining them up tricky.

    Replace the ATF you lost (about 8 litres/quarts for me), and test it out. At this point I found that the gear selector wouldn't go back into "1", and the transmission wouldn't do anything, all a result of the misaligned manual valve (circled in the photo below). Fixing this was time consuming and messy, but straight forward.
    IMG_1951.jpg IMG_1948.jpg
     
    sm ali likes this.
  3. hicruise55

    hicruise55 IH8MUD VOYEUR

    Messages:
    1,044
    Media:
    8
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    131
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Ea.Wa.
    So... the big question! How does it work? Different shift points, tighter shifts, seat of the pants? Its good to know, there is a dist. somewhat more local. Interested in more info
     
  4. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Going for a drive, the difference was immediately apparent. At first the shifts were harsh, and the gears "hung" long before upshifts (especially when moving the selector up the gears, rather than letting the tranny do it all in "D"), but this went away fairly quickly, and I'd chalk it up to air in the system. After everything settled in, the tranny seems to give a more spirited feel. I think this is an equal mix of placebo effect, crisper/quicker upshifts and higher shift points. I did my best to keep the kickdown cable adjusted the same, but the difference in shift point is akin to the first time I adjusted that. Cable adjustment won't give you the crisper/quicker shifts though. The more spirited behavior is most notable at moderate throttle, and less so at WOT (when the transmission was already doing its best in terms of shift points I suppose), so it seems to be a re-profiling of the shift behavior with the limits staying much the same. It does seem to give you better response when step into it after light throttle cruising though.

    Taking it out on the highway, I was initially shocked to find no lock-up in 3rd, but this must have just been some air in the system, because a minute later the lock up was apparent. Lock up is much more subtle in 3rd than in OD, but dropping from OD to third when lock up is engaged is much more solid (read a kick in the pants/holy crap is it supposed to do that?) than from OD to a non-locked 3rd with the old valvebody.

    I did a couple of speed tests before the install to compare performance, then did the same spots again. 0-100km/h (63m/h) in "3" on a slight incline took 27.7 sec with the old set up, 28.7 sec with the new. 80-110km/h in "3" up a slight incline took 16.6 sec before, 15.4 sec after. I'll test these again after things get worn in a bit more, to see if the first value drops back down after the fluid level is stabilized and air is all worked out. Clearly though, there is a slight improvement over the range that the TC is locked up. So far there is no clear difference in operating temperature.

    Well, that's all I have to report now. I'll add in more after a get more seat time with it. Can't wait to see how it does on a good highway hill, but may be a few weeks before I get to find out. I'm going to be more relaxed throwing it into 3rd at highway speeds now, as I should be able to get another 10 or 15 km/h without pushing the engine speed any farther. So far I am pleased (aside from F-ing up the install), time will tell if I am pleased to the tune of the purchase price. If I end up towing at some point, I think I will be.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  5. worshhim

    worshhim

    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    does the valve body need to be "broken in" a certain way? I am going to get around to getting one from Rodney one of these days.
     
  6. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Not that I am aware of, unless some of the seals need to swell up, or the valves run in with a few cycles. I just figure it might take a few outings to get all the air pockets worked out so that I am getting full flow and full pressure through the circuits.
     
  7. Randy88FJ62

    Randy88FJ62

    Messages:
    4,391
    Media:
    1
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    165
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Location:
    North of LA California
    You make this task look easier than I thought in would. Do you have any more pictures? I would love to see any extra information as I am a month or two out from diggin in myself. Any other pictures?
    Great writeup by the way.
     
  8. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    It really isn't a complicated swap, just messy and a bit awkward at times. I'm afraid I don't have any real different pics, it turned into such a mess with ATF everywhere (including my face) that I didn't want to bring out the camera till it was all in place an I was cleaned up.

    Have you seen Cruiser Jimmy's rebuild thread? https://forum.ih8mud.com/80-series-tech/65907-tranny-rebuild-shadetree-mechanic-style.html

    Here is a photo from his thread I have doctored to show the 4 spots the o-rings go (the old ones held in place for me) and the accumulators. The B0 Accumulator is the one you swap out the spring for, I just pried it out, changed the spring and pushed it back in. The C2 Accumulator popped out on its own for me, so I had to hold it in place as I got the valve body up under it. The o-rings go in with the smooth side to the valve body and the pitted side to the transmission case.
    11-23-05 buildup.jpg 11-23-05 buldup2.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  9. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Well, just took it out for another drive. Really like how it behaves on kick-down now. It used to have a delayed response when you booted, typically if I kicked it in 3rd, it would bog for a second, then drop to 2nd, then to 1st for a second, then back up to 2nd. Now when you boot it, it quickly hits the right gear, and stays there. :)


    New 0-100km/h time is 27.0 sec (27.7 for before with old valve body, 28.7 for initial after extreme install)
    New 80-110km/h time is 15.0 sec (16.6 for before with old valve body, 15.4 for initial after extreme install)
    So it seems to be noticably quicker through the range where 3rd is locked now.

    Really like the lock up in 3rd at highway speed, feels noticably stronger when I lay into it to pass, and I can keep it in 3rd to a higher speed without winding it up so much (turns about 150-200 rpm less than without lockup). :bounce::steer::bounce2:

    Still no clear change in running temp. (although there should be a definite change when running in 3rd above 80, now that the TC isn't free and churning up heat)
     
  10. cruiser88

    cruiser88

    Messages:
    11,874
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Medford Oregon
    Well I am convinced .....well done my man:cool:
     
  11. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Like I said up there somewhere, so far I am pleased with it, time will tell if I am pleased enough for the cost. If you are towing with your truck, or taking hills on the highway all the time I'd say it's pretty much a no-brainer.....
     
  12. cruiser88

    cruiser88

    Messages:
    11,874
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    31
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Location:
    Medford Oregon
    :cool:I live in the mountains.
     
  13. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

    Messages:
    22,837
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    Panamá
    Did you did any disc rebuild before to your tranny .. I thought you are running the same tranny as factory .. only with this mod you found a great improovement ..
     
  14. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    The transmission was totally stock with ~269 000 km when I swapped the valve body, so the only thing modified/rebuilt is the valve body itself. The transmission has never given me any issues, if it had, I probably would be saving for an H55F swap rather than upgrading the auto.
     
  15. Tapage

    Tapage Club 4X4 Panamá SILVER Star

    Messages:
    22,837
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Location:
    Panamá
    Thanks for your coment dude ..

    I'm still in between manual tranny or something special for my A442F ..
     
  16. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    FWIW, looks like these guys are the NA distributor for Wholesale Automatic now: West Coast Cruisers
     
  17. mwood5

    mwood5

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Location:
    Dallas
    I spoke to them a few weeks ago and they're not quite up to speed yet. Not stocking anything, but as I recall, waiting on their first container. So, they should be stocking inventory soon.

    This is great as this was the biggest complaint before...when my tranny does die, I couldn't wait for a Rodney Extreme to be sent to me. I would need one quicker. This might solve that.

    I just wonder, and didn't go into it with them, if their prices were close to the prices that Rodney has quoted in the past. I wonder if Rodney was giving them a special price to distribute, so their prices will be similar to what we could have gotten by going direct? I realize conversions and freight, etc....after that's all factored in.

    If the price is more than the H55 conversion, that'll be a tough sell.

    m
     
  18. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Their price for the VB is pretty comparable to what I paid for mine (less than advertised)...... I asked Rodney then about ordering direct, he talked to the guys at Pacesetter and they cut me a deal.
     
  19. longbow

    longbow

    Messages:
    574
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson
    Hi Rocdoc,

    Thanks for showing the detailed photos.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  20. RockDoc

    RockDoc

    Messages:
    6,804
    Media:
    3
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    420
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    SW MB, Ca
    Good to see you found it. I saw your new thread this morning, but didn't have a chance to look this one up before heading off to work.