FJ62 Shifting Issues Fixed! (1 Viewer)

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Jun 15, 2010
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Hey everybody, I apologize if this has been asked and answered already but I couldn't find my exact problem after searching. My '89 FJ62 develops some wonky shifts after driving for about 15-20 minutes. It's fine cold, but after a while the shift points get really high, 3K RPM or higher and if the engine isn't under a load the 2-3 shift kicks really hard. The accelerator pedal also gets "soft" at this point, it loses the typical mechanical friction feel. Trying to shift manually does nothing. I just had the transmission serviced and all new hoses and fittings installed, this problem existed before the work and is still there after. Any thoughts on what could be causing this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Update edit: Thanks to @EscapeWagon62 I learned about the kickdown cable and what it does. I believe that as the engine and transmission heated up the cable was expanding in the housing causing it to get stuck at an open throttle position. Using a cable lubricator I forced a bunch of cable lube down the housing until the cable moved freely again. Between that and the party trick the truck is shifting better than I remember in the last 10 years.
 
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EscapeWagon62

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Pretty good bet you have a bad kickdown cable. The fact that you loose tension on the accelerator likely means it has a fray inside the housing.
Still available. there are directions for install on the forum. It’s a pain but not overly difficult.
With an A440f there are three main (fixable) things you can do to improve performance
1. Replace kickdown cable and adjust it properly. Very easy to adjust at the throttle body. Hard shifts, loosen. Shifts before you want, tighten.
2. Party trick. The innards get gummed up, you drive at 50+ mph and throw it into park for a few seconds. All you’ll hear is a buzzing from the parking pin which can’t engage at that speed. It reverses flow of the trans fluid and moves the funk out. Sounds scary but it works, I’ve done it myself.
3. Set fluid level to the hot line on the dipstick after driving for 20-30 minutes

This pig of a tranny lasts about 225k miles depending on usage.
Im just north of that and the three things above have it shifting well now though it’s happier if I warm it up for 10 minutes before driving.
 
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Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
9
Location
Baltimore, Md
Pretty good bet you have a bad kickdown cable. The fact that you loose tension on the accelerator likely means it has a fray inside the housing.
Still available. there are directions for install on the forum. It’s a pain but not overly difficult.
With an A440f there are three main (fixable) things you can do to improve performance
1. Replace kickdown cable and adjust it properly. Very easy to adjust at the throttle body. Hard shifts, loosen. Shifts before you want, loosen.
2. Party trick. The innards get gummed up, you drive at 50+ mph and throw it into park for a few seconds. All you’ll hear is a buzzing from the parking pin which can’t engage at that speed. It reverses flow of the trans fluid and moves the funk out. Sounds scary but it works, I’ve done it myself.
3. Set fluid level to the hot line on the dipstick after driving for 20-30 minutes

This pig of a tranny lasts about 225k miles depending on usage.
Im just north of that and the three things above have it shifting well now though it’s happier if I warm it up for 10 minutes before driving.

Thanks. Yeah, I've read about the party trick but haven't worked up the gonads to actually try it. I'll check the fluid level hot as well next time. This truck only has 136K miles on it so I'm hoping there's plenty of life left in the tranny.

Edit: now that I know what a kick down cable is a quick search turned up a ton of good info. Thanks again!
 
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EscapeWagon62

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Some instructions will tell you to remove the valve body to install the kickdown. Not needed. You do have to drop the pan so have some extra trans fluid on hand to refill. Keep it all in a bucket and measure how much so you know how much to put back in. From there you can tweak your fluid level by adding from the dipstick tube or remove from carefully loosening the drain plug. Don’t get impatient if you have to drain some out. Just get a dribble Going. It goes from dribble to full on bolt falling out and tranny fluid everywhere (don’t ask me how I know)
 
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Not to rain on your parade but my tranny had 140,000 when it died. And in a strange way it was the best thing that ever happened to it cuz it gave way to a
H55 5 speed.
Yeah, I had the tranny go in my ‘88 at about 120K but it spent more than a few of those miles pulling a horse trailer lol. I’d LOVE to throw a H55 in this thing, I just don’t have the coin for it right now and that money would be more fun sunk into twin snails for my Taco :) (which is a 6MT)
 

EscapeWagon62

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Not to rain on your parade but my tranny had 140,000 when it died. And in a strange way it was the best thing that ever happened to it cuz it gave way to a
H55 5 speed.
I’ll be Joining the H55F club shortly.
Have all but one of the parts for the swap.
While the A440F is working fine since the adjustments, I just don’t have the confidence that it’ll continue. While I may lose some top end speed ability, it’ll be nice not to fear every grade on the freeway and maybe, just maybe, won’t have to dive over to the slow lane with the 18 wheelers.
 
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Some instructions will tell you to remove the valve body to install the kickdown. Not needed. You do have to drop the pan so have some extra trans fluid on hand to refill. Keep it all in a bucket and measure how much so you know how much to put back in. From there you can tweak your fluid level by adding from the dipstick tube or remove from carefully loosening the drain plug. Don’t get impatient if you have to drain some out. Just get a dribble Going. It goes from dribble to full on bolt falling out and tranny fluid everywhere (don’t ask me how I know)
So it appears the kickdown cable was sticking. A whole bunch of cable lube later she’s freed up. Thanks again!
 
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Next time you lube, use trans fluid. If it seeps into your tranny through the cable housing, no harm no foul.
That occurred to me about halfway into the process but I figured I was committed at that point and an ounce or two of cable lube wasn’t gonna do any real harm. Guess we’ll see lol.
 

EscapeWagon62

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That occurred to me about halfway into the process but I figured I was committed at that point and an ounce or two of cable lube wasn’t gonna do any real harm. Guess we’ll see lol.
I did the same, no issues but later read about using tranny fluid.
At least it’s wasn’t one of those “don’t ask me how I know” situations.
cheers
 

Ocho77

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So it appears the kickdown cable was sticking. A whole bunch of cable lube later she’s freed up. Thanks again!
Where was it sticking and where did you lube? Sorry, I'm not around my truck right now. Was it just up by where it connects to the intake, or other areas?
 
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Where was it sticking and where did you lube? Sorry, I'm not around my truck right now. Was it just up by where it connects to the intake, or other areas?
I couldn’t tell you just where it was sticking, the cable just wasn’t retracting when warm. Fortunately, gravity is in our favor from the throttle body so I just kept cable lube going in as I saw bubbles coming out, used a cable lubricator and kept working it back and forth until it moved freely.
 

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