New-to-me FJ60 - trans fluid check/fill issue

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Feb 22, 2016
Venice, CA
Hi all,

I bought my '84 2F wagon with 130k miles about 5 months ago. I am finally getting around to some maintenance and diagnosing some issues. I am very wrench capable, but I am used to 4-cyl FWD Hondas, and not yet familiar enough with the FJ to diagnose what everything is.

I went to check the fluid levels of the transmission and transfer case. Loosen the fill bolts for both and:

transfer case: seems low- had to stick my pinky in and down to the first knuckle to feel oil

Transmission: this is where things got weird. I assumed I could pull the fill bolt and stick my finger in as I did with the transfer case, but oil started pouring out so I quickly plugged it again. Whats going on here?
There's a seal in between the gearbox and transfer case that will fail and allow fluid transfer as you've described. From what I've read it's a PITA to fix; dropping the gearbox/transfer case, splitting them and doing a rebuild. A common work-around is to fab a bypass with a piece of tubing connected to the fill ports of each. There are some detailed write ups on exactly what size connectors to use, etc. and how to install within the forum, search function with a few variations of key words and you'll strike gold.

Oh, and welcome! You're already addicted, you just may not know it yet. :cheers:
I just went through this over the weekend, Only I started with the transmission, and when I opened it up fluid came rushing out. I drained it, filled it but didn't want to open the t-case in case fluid started gushing out, I was out of new fluid at that point.

I also suspect is a seal between, as I have a lot of seepage on the transmission t-case that finds its way to the ground. Time for a rebuild, but I will check out the hot fix above.

....And I will chime in, as often as I can, with my statement that the vent cap on the transfer case is stuck shut with gear oil, causing the xfer case to pressurize when hot and overfill the transmission. Before you tear apart the trans and xfer to replace the seal, pry off the vent cap on the xfer case (it's hard to see and reach - on the top), and attach a long piece of 3/8" fuel line to the vent cap 'stub' and clamp it on. Run the vent line up the firewall and stick a fuel filter on the end to keep the bugs and dirt out.

I have seen legitimate cases where the seal between the trans and xfer was cracked and shot, and needed replacing, but in several cases of my own, properly venting the xfer case solved the entire problem. Best of all, it costs about $15 in fuel line and clamps.

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