Auto gearbox - checking/changing ATF

Blues

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
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Co. Antrim
To cut a long story very short I wanted to check the level and condition of the ATF in my early 2005 LC4.
Without any knowledge of how to do this I poked around looking for a dipstick - there isn't one. There are however two plugs on the bottom of the box, one is marked "check". I unscrewed this and ATF flowed freely from it, I quickly replaced the plug. The fluid drawn off was black and dirty looking but does not smell burnt.

I didn't have the engine running when I "checked" the fluid and have no idea what the correct procedure for checking the level is, or indeed, replacing with new. I also have drawn a blank from my local yota garage.

Having seen the state of the fluid in the box I am very keen to replace it.
All inputs greatfully recieved!
Cheers
Richard
 

Blues

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
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Calling into Toyo garage tomorrow, should get it sorted. Obviously not a frequent job.
How difficult can it be?
We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 
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Blues

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
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Co. Antrim
At last - sorted :thumbup:
Found the filler plug on the offside rear of the 'box. There is an "extention housing" between the gearbox and transfer box, the plug is halfway up the offside of this. 24mm plug with WS stamped on it! Now I know where it is I don't know how I didn't see it :oops:

Removed drain plug and got 3.5 litres out and simply put 3.5L back in. Will have to repeat this a few times as there is 5.5/6L in there. This is quite expensive as the WS ATF comes in 1L tins at 8 quid a pop. The new stuff is red like Dexron but different viscosity, I think it is fully synthetic. What came out was black and well passed its best.

A word of warning - my local Mr T was not even aware of this new grade of ATF :roll:
None of the techs there have changed the oil in a 120 cruiser auto box stating they have never found the need. If what came out of my gearbox is normal I would have thought it better to change the fluid every 20/30k to keep things sweet. Even with this partial change done the gear changes are smoother and the TC locks up quicker!

The procedure for checking level is similar to the older boxes except you have to slightly overfill the box then drain off the excess through the check plug. This is done with engine running and ATF at operating temp.
 

Graham

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Mar 22, 2010
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Warrington, Cheshire
Garage
Hello Richard,.

I recently had a major service done on my starship 120. ( 230,000k miles)

I asked them to replace the ATF.
I was asked, why, has there been any malfunction in the changes, there was no malfunctions, it runs great.

The Toyota service guy, and the service manager informed me that they would not normally change the ATF until 500,000 miles reached.

So I said, ok, just leave it.

Graham
 

Blues

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Oct 12, 2010
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Hi Graham, I know what your saying and Toyo should know what these 'boxes are capable of.

Only checked mine as I found some oily gunge in the radiator expansion tank and feared a leak in the ATF cooler - thankfully not the case.

The fluid I drew off was very dark, I thought it was black, but on closer inspection it is actually a dark blue colour. The motor has only done 76k and had no issues with the 'box so I dont know if MrT has changed the colour of the WS ATF or if mine was contaminated in any way.

In any case it cant do any harm to change it, if only for peace of mind. I'm thinking of removing the sump as there are 3 magnets and a strainer in there - then I think(a bloody dangerous thing in my case!) "If it aint broke.........."
 

sae70

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I am in uk
Aug 10, 2010
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Witham, Essex, United Kingdom
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Out of interest this is the difference in ATF between new & what came out of my Volvo V70 @ 112000 miles :shock:

P5300129.jpg


And yes I really did notice the difference once done :D
 

Crispin

Administrator
Staff member
Guru
I am in great_britain
Feb 24, 2010
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Probably a dumb question but how does new oil make a gearbox change better? What's different between old and new oil?
 

Blues

New Member
Oct 12, 2010
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Co. Antrim
Not sure how or why it improves the "feel" of the gear changes but they are noticably smoother and I think the TC is locking up sooner. This is not a significant difference - it just feels smoother.
 

Graham

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Mar 22, 2010
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Warrington, Cheshire
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I think there will be noticible difference if the ATF had been overheated, or burnt at some time.
However, if the oil is just old, then I am not sure there would be any real difference.

Oils will generally deteriate significantly if they are used over and above the design temperature.
Ie, running the autobox low on oil, so the remaining oil needs to work harder, causing higher running temps.
Apart from that, I think ATF will just run, and run, and run.

Graham
 

Jon Wildsmith

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I am in england
Feb 24, 2010
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The level of contaminents will rise with use i.e. clutch plate material etc so to some extent it will depend on the quality of materials used and design of the box itself. Remember that manufacturers have different objectives to the end user and just because not changing the oil meets the OEM design criteria does not mean it's in the owners best interests IMO.
 

dankoLC

New Member
Dec 3, 2010
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Sofia, Bulgaria
Just in. Newbe.
I was told by my local Toyota (Sofia, Bulgaria) that the auto GBox oil filter that is changed with the oil is about 105 pounds?!
Tnx a lot for any insight...
LC 120 SWB 2005.
 
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