Lost my transmission today

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Aug 19, 2009
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So after a fun but windy camping trip at Clear Creek this weekend, my tranny gave out in my 92 just after I made it up the hill out of Camp Verde. What a horrible noise to hear when it was giving out, too. Lucky for us my in-laws live in Camp Verde and they were able to come rescue the six of us in their two vehicles and pull my small BT3-C trailer home. AAA was there to help out and tow my truck back to the house.

Now I need to source a transmission and someone to replace it for me. This repair is WAY out of my league. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Not bad for nearly 240,000 miles, I guess.
 
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Now I need to source a transmission and someone to replace it for me. This repair is WAY out of my league. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Not bad for nearly 240,000 miles, I guess.

I have a spare tranny sitting under my parts truck now. It's a 91 so it'll bolt up. I'm not really the guy to hook it up, but I have the part. I'm in Mesa.
 
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Better explain what happened? Did you try locking the CDL?

As soon as we crested the hill out of Camp Verde, I started hearing a slight whine coming from around the center firewall area. When it shifted to the next gear as we start to pick up speed it slammed into the next gear and the whine started getting louder. When it did that I turned to my wife and said this doesn't sound good, we're in trouble. The whine got progressively louder until I started to lose speed. Giving it more gas at that point only rev'd the engine. I had no more forward movement. After I rolled to a stop I tried all forward gears (high and low), reverse, locked and unlocked...no go. Then when I went to put it into park I could hear loud grinding. I shut it off and put it in park and it wouldn't hold, had to use the parking brake to keep it parked.

I'm guessing I must have cooked it coming up the hill. I was towing my small trailer, maybe a 1,000 lbs or so and driving into a super headwind. The wind must have been 30-40mph steady there. I could barely hold 30 going up the hill in 2nd gear.
 
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I think that sounds like a perfect excuse to do an H55 swap.

A 5 speed manual would help to add some power from 3FE and maybe a little better gas mileage. Don't these autos steal about 10-15% power?

I can't do this myself though, so having someone else do a swap would be cost prohibitive.
 
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... Then when I went to put it into park I could hear loud grinding. I shut it off and put it in park and it wouldn't hold, had to use the parking brake to keep it parked.
...

My guess is; the problem is not in the trans. The park pawl is in the tail of the trans, so something is broken between the park pawl and the wheels. On an all wheel drive rig with a center diff, if traction/drive is lost to one wheel it is done. The park not holding, is indicating something broken in the drive train, could be the transfer, diff, axle, birf, but most common is stripped splines in drive plate on a front hub. If park doesn't work, the rig should drive with the CDL locked.
 
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My guess is; the problem is not in the trans. The park pawl is in the tail of the trans, so something is broken between the park pawl and the wheels. On an all wheel drive rig with a center diff, if traction/drive is lost to one wheel it is done. The park not holding, is indicating something broken in the drive train, could be the transfer, diff, axle, birf, but most common is stripped splines in drive plate on a front hub. If park doesn't work, the rig should drive with the CDL locked.

Shouldn't it be able to move with the CDL engaged if the front drive plates were stripped? That would put 50% of the power to the rear, right?

After testing a little more today, I still can't get it to move. But every now and again I get grinding when I try to put it into park. That's telling me that something in the transmission is moving and the parking pawl is trying to insert into a moving part. I had someone watch as I put it into gear and the drive shafts don't move. So does this sound more like a transfer case? I do get a slight decrease in rpms when I put the transmission in 1st gear, like it's engaging, but no drive shaft movement.
 
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Shouldn't it be able to move with the CDL engaged if the front drive plates were stripped? That would put 50% of the power to the rear, right?

Correct, with the CDL locked it should lock the outputs to both drive shafts together, so both drive shafts turn at the same speed.

After testing a little more today, I still can't get it to move. But every now and again I get grinding when I try to put it into park. That's telling me that something in the transmission is moving and the parking pawl is trying to insert into a moving part.

Correct, sounds like the transmission output shaft is spinning. If so, the problem is between there and a tire.

I had someone watch as I put it into gear and the drive shafts don't move. So does this sound more like a transfer case? I do get a slight decrease in rpms when I put the transmission in 1st gear, like it's engaging, but no drive shaft movement.

When testing, are you revving the motor enough to engage the torque converter? Like when normal driving, 2000rpm+. When doing this, are you still hearing a grinding noise, from what part of the rig? The transfer is a possibility, but is a pretty solid part, would be a rare failure?
 
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When testing, are you revving the motor enough to engage the torque converter? Like when normal driving, 2000rpm+. When doing this, are you still hearing a grinding noise, from what part of the rig? The transfer is a possibility, but is a pretty solid part, would be a rare failure?

Thanks for taking the time to give me ideas and your thoughts.

Yeah, I've been revving the motor upwards to 3000rpm with no response. The only grinding I'm hearing and feeling only seems to happen randomly when I try to put it in park. Not every time. No other noises in any gear, low, high, locked, unlocked. Just sounds and acts like it's in neutral.
 
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Thanks for taking the time to give me ideas and your thoughts.

Yeah, I've been revving the motor upwards to 3000rpm with no response. The only grinding I'm hearing and feeling only seems to happen randomly when I try to put it in park. Not every time. No other noises in any gear, low, high, locked, unlocked. Just sounds and acts like it's in neutral.

The park skipping/grinding when engaged is telling us that the trans output is turning. Nether drive shaft turning says that the failure is between the trans output and transfer output. Does the transfer shift/feel normal? If so my next step would be to drain the transfer and examine for chunks, excessive metal?
 
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A 5 speed manual would help to add some power from 3FE and maybe a little better gas mileage. Don't these autos steal about 10-15% power?

I can't do this myself though, so having someone else do a swap would be cost prohibitive.

could be wrong, but the h55 swap into a FJ80 is pretty painless? i wouldn't do it myself, but i would tackle it with some friends. always better to do something you don't know how to do with other people who don't know how to do it.
 
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could be wrong, but the h55 swap into a FJ80 is pretty painless? i wouldn't do it myself, but i would tackle it with some friends. always better to do something you don't know how to do with other people who don't know how to do it.

I haven't done this because I don't have an FJ-80. I have supplied FJ-60 parts to a couple guys who have. Parts have included pedal buckets, tranny humps, clutches, mounts, bellhousings, flywheels, shift boots, among other things.

I don't know if I'd consider the job painful, but certainly has a relatively long list of parts and steps.

If you decide to do it, post some pics!
 
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could be wrong, but the h55 swap into a FJ80 is pretty painless? i wouldn't do it myself, but i would tackle it with some friends. always better to do something you don't know how to do with other people who don't know how to do it.

I haven't done this because I don't have an FJ-80. I have supplied FJ-60 parts to a couple guys who have. Parts have included pedal buckets, tranny humps, clutches, mounts, bellhousings, flywheels, shift boots, among other things.

I don't know if I'd consider the job painful, but certainly has a relatively long list of parts and steps.

If you decide to do it, post some pics!

Although it would be a fun project to complete, I need to minimize the downtime as it's my DD.
 
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The park skipping/grinding when engaged is telling us that the trans output is turning. Nether drive shaft turning says that the failure is between the trans output and transfer output. Does the transfer shift/feel normal? If so my next step would be to drain the transfer and examine for chunks, excessive metal?

I may do that tonight after work.

In the meantime, I'm going to need to line up someone to make this repair for me. Any suggestions to a reputable place that does work on cruisers? I'm not ready to go brand new and use the dealer (Camelback)...sorry Murf, not yet anyways.
 
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I'm not anal, but a cheap backup solution with my tranny. Btw, do any of you guys use a aftermarket warranty? Seems to be a good solution to the high cost of parts, and would be nice to help get Toyota OEM stuff. I have one on my Ford and it's nice... and needed.
 

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