Tanny fluid and Oil Change (1 Viewer)

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Dec 15, 2003
I just bought a 97 Lx 450 w/67K a couple of months ago and don't know what fluids are on board, but want to change (upgrade??) oil and tranny fluid so I know what's in there.

First, tranny fluid - Dexron III by Pro Line, Valvoline, or Pensoil OK? Also, is this just a drop the plug and pour the new stuff in deal or is there more to it?

Second, oil - Folks seem a little mixed on going with synthetic. Is there a consensus here? If non-synthetic please recommend type. If synthetic, sounds like Mobil 1. Current oil filter is AC Delco. Sounds like Toyota OEM filter is the correct route.

Sorry for the junior league questions. Your advise is greatly appreciated.

Mobile 1 0w40 is the best motor oil but with mi millage I kant use it.
Chevron Supreme is what I use now.

I was thinking of syn in the tranny but not sure if I should with my millage.

M1 in the t-case and amsoil in the diff's
I've run Mobil 1 5w30 since 30K miles (5K mile change interval using OEM filter) and I now have 130K+. I run Mobil synthetic ATF in the transmission. Takes about 15 quarts with a fluid exchange machine (don't let anyone flush your tranny) just do the fluid exchange. I also run synthetics in the diff's and transfer case, change all fluids at Toyota recommended intervals.
I know you said you only planned to replace the engine and tranny fluids but since this is a low mileage vehicle and new to you (2 mo) I strongly recommend that you replace all fluids soon. Engine, transmission, transfer case, front and rear diff, radiator, power steering, and brake fluid. Do these yourself (w/filters) if you can. If not, then still plan to have everything done so you have a good starting point. The rad should get a good water flush including the engine block and heater core.

For your low mileage vehicle, assuming you plan to keep it for a long time, switch to synthetics if you can afford the additional cost. Many of the regulars here recommend and use the M1 products. You can extend your change intervals when using full syn and a good filter. Stay with the Toyota oil, air, and fuel filters.

This would also be a good time to replace the belts.

Thanks for the solid advise guys.

I had the 60K service done when I bought the vehicle (by a non-dealer outfit, supposedly an ex-lexus mechanic) and all the fluids were supposedly change as prescribed at this service interval. But I wasn't smart enough then to ask all the right questions.

Couple of last questions:

In changing the oil to synthetic, is this a drop the plug and pour in deal, or is there an exchange process to purge out the existing oil?

Also when I bought the rig, one of the alternator belts had broken off, so I had all the belts changed the day of the purchase at Pep Boys (I know.. bunch of jag-offs). Do you think there is anything wrong with keeping these belts, or do I need to get OEM?

Thanks again.

if you wheel..don't use amsoil in the diffs...pricey to swap after swimming.
1) My preferences for Diff, Transfer Case & Trans Fluids is Redline, good track record.

2) Mobil 1 is the best mass available Synth. Starting this spring 5w-40 Mobil 1 will be available instead of 0w-40 for those that want it. Mobil tends to formulate a bit on the thin side of the scale for a given weight, the reason I like their 40 weight over the 30 weight (which is borderline 20 weight).

3) Chevron turns in the best UOA's of the mineral oils, and in many cases is right there with Mobil 1.

4) If you are going to change your oil every 3000-4000 miles, use Mineral, if you are going to go 5000-7500 use synthetic.

5) There is not special procedure for switching to or from synths, do like you do any oil and filter change.

[quote author=Rookie2 link=board=2;threadid=9172;start=msg80012#msg80012 date=1072288971]
I had the 60K service done when I bought the vehicle (by a non-dealer outfit, supposedly an ex-lexus mechanic) and all the fluids were supposedly change as prescribed at this service interval. But I wasn't smart enough then to ask all the right questions.[/quote]

keep in mind that you're technically at the service point for a birfield repack. This is great as you should have pristine birfs! You don't have to do it right away, so do some searching and research and make the smart buy on OEM seals etc. Do the work yourself as Toyota will charge you $1000-$1500 for it. Many of our trucks have gone a loooong time w/o the service, but I wouldn't recommend overlooking it.

Also, your rear wheel bearings will need repacked. This is usually less dangerous to overlook, but if you get all this stuff now, your expensive wheel bearings/ birfields should last you a real long time!

run synthetic engine oil. at 67K your engine should be broken in and ready for it. No special procedure, but if you do it yourself you have the advantage of getting the engine hot and letting it sit and drain as long as you want if you really want to get as much of the oil out as possible. Not necessary though as most good synthetics are compatible with mineral.

Toyota OEM filter. The expensive one. (like $13) There are 3 so be careful not to get the cheap one.

I agree with Beowulf that you should renew everything now so you know where you are. Brake fluid especially! This will help ensure the long life of your master and calipers.

Synthetic in your transfer case, and maybe your diffs. It is expensive, and after dunking my 80 2-3 times I just drained like $30 of white creamy H20 contaminated Redline 75W-90 out with only 6k miles on it :mad:

Use an exchange machine for your tranny. by draining the pan you only get part of the old fluid out. You will still have the fluid in the system left (tranny body, torque converter, cooler lines, and cooler in radiator.) I don't want to give an opinion on synthetic due to possible loosening of gunk and subsequent problems, but I will say not to *flush* it with a cleaner.
wow.... :eek:
I just wrote a book..... sorry all :D
I would spoil everything you can when new...especially if not wheeling hard.

Swap EVERY fluid...coolant, brakes, tranny, t-case, etc. Better to know everything and...makes your schedule accurate to your truck.

Also...you have the chance to have the perfect schedule for front axle service, etc.

Grats and welcome.
[quote author=landtoy80 link=board=2;threadid=9172;start=msg80126#msg80126 date=1072302502]
KC, don't worry. No one read it. :D :flipoff2:


I feel better now... ::) :flipoff2:

>> Do you think there is anything wrong with keeping these belts, <<
>> or do I need to get OEM? <<

Non-OEM belts tend to cause problems with the accessories on your 80. Also, the notched belts are very noisy. Who replaced the belts isn't a concern but whether or not they used Toyota belts is the biggest issue. If it were me, I would replace them with OEM at the first convenient weekend and use the others as spares. It is important to note that the OEM belts come as a matched pair for the accessories with a separate A/C belt, so your set from the dealer will technically have 3 belts. Replace all at the same time.

When you replace the fluids in your diffs make sure you can get the fill plug out before you drain the old stuff. Same principle as pillage then burn. I drained my rear diff and couldn't get the fill plug out! Used all the tricks: pipe wrenches and big hammers, torches etc. I was using a hand pump to fill the diffs and finally took brass breather out and put the threaded end of the fitting in the hand pump discharge tube and put the other end in the threaded hole and pumped in a gallon. I still don't know what I'm going to go 'bout that stuck and mauled plug but I'm back in service. I could probably live with it as is.

For my trans I drained 3 quarts added three and repeated for two cases of dexron III. I've never been able to take a pan off and get it back on without it leaking. For power steering I took the return hose off the reservior and routed it to a milk carton then jogged the engine and turned the steering wheel. I ran several quarts through it and still a few days later the fluid got sort of off color. My point: I'm going to clean things up with the cheap stuff before I upgrade to the synthetics.

You can bleed your brakes by yourself, just get some 1/4 inch ID BY 3/8 OD tubing and route it such that there is always a column of brake fluid standing on the brake nipple. I just took a big paper clamp and clamped it to the top of the wheel well and routed the tube through that into a bottle on the floor. Cycle the pedal like you mean it otherwise the fluid just moves back and forth.
Bummer on the plug, and good advise. I agree with Beowulf about the belts, I have a couple that I have to change. I bought the gates with the cogs and they make noise. It is worth changing them just to get rid of the whine.
Thanks again all for the responses and your time.

I went by and got an Oil filter from Toyota. She first brought out a little one (looked like something for my wifes Civic) that was $7. I told her that did sound like the right one. After a sigh, she brought back one that was twice as big (part no. 15600-41010) that was $10 which I got (pissed her off for some reason, cause she insisted the other one was just as good, :flipoff2:). Does this sound like the one I want?

Also, on the tranny fluid: please bare with me here, what's the difference between a flush and an exchange? All these cats seem to do a flush and drain. I guess you have to have a special machine for the exchange, not a DYI deal??

Thanks again.
I've used the small one for the last several years, seems to get rid of the rattle I had at start-up when I used the big one. The small one you want ends in something like 20004?? The big one will work just fine but next time I would get the little one. I do the exchange, they use the same machine that they do the flush with only you don't let them put any thing in your transmission but transmission fluid. I use Mobil 1 synthetic ATF, takes about 15 qts. JMHO
[quote author=turbocruiser link=board=2;threadid=9172;start=msg80898#msg80898 date=1072564011]
Please explain what an transmission fluid exchange machine is...Is this something that a DIYer would be wanting to get or is it strictly shop stuff? Why are the "transmission fluid flushers" not recommended? Thank you.

My buddy has one in his shop, not something a diyer would want to buy $$$. On why you don't want to flush? What I have been told is you don't want anything that is not transmission fluid in your tranny. You can do the exchange manually with a bucket, and I've seen the procedure described, not something I have ever wanted to do. Easier just to have my buddy use his machine.

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