Radiator/oil cooler

Blues

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Hi Folks,
finally got around to registering over here.

I was checking a few bits under the bonnet today and discovered some oil in the rad expansion bottle :thumbdown: It's not much oil, but it wasn't there before. I dont think it's engine oil as it is clean and cream in colour but has got me thinking about the gearbox oil cooler in the rad. I haven't had a chance to check the ATF in the box yet but gears are shifting as normal. I know the 90's had issues with these and fitting a separate oil cooler was a common mod. Can this be done on the 120? I assume it can as the ATF pipes are easily accessable.

Has anyone changed the ATF in these boxes?
How do I check the level in the box?
Will fitting an oil cooler have any adverse effects?
What colour is this new type of ATF?

Lots of questions - me thinks I'm going on a steep(and expensive :shock: ) learning curve with this one !!
Cheers
Richard
 

Crispin

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Welcome...

Hopefully not too bad...
Is yours the sealed auto 'box or not? Not sure when they changed.

The cooler pipes come out, top and bottom, of the rad on the driver's side of the rad.

Not too much help - I have a wobbly stick and mill-stone clutch version :lol:
 

Blues

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Hi Crispin,
not sure about it being sealed, I don't think there is a dipstick - just drain plug and level plug. TBH I know very little about auto boxes in general and even less about this one but I'll have a poke around in the morning. Just hoping there isn't coolant in the box. Got a bad feeling tho....
 

Crispin

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I am sure Toyota changed them to a "sealed" for life box where you never have to top up or change the oil. I think Gary Stockton's is like that where as TonyP's is a "normal" type. Not entirely sure.

You say the oil is white / cream in colour. Engine oil does that when churned with water. Have you checked the oil cap? I thought ATF was red, though it might turn white when mixed with water as well?

Regardless, I am guessing a drain and fix the leak are in order.
 
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Blues

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The service schedule says "filled for life" and only to check and top-up as required.
The oil in the expansion bottle doesn't look like engine lube. There is no sign of water in the lube oil. This is a new engine fitted by Mr.T last November and only done 10k, the car is Jan 2005 and has 75k on clock.
These boxes take a new grade of ATF and, AFAIK, only available from Mr T. I have no idea what colour it is(why could they not use Dexron?).
Wonder what the chances are of Toyo standing over this! :pray:
 

Crispin

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Blues said:
This is a new engine fitted by Mr.T last November and only done 10k,

Surely it is still under some sort of warranty then?

Why the new engine?
 

Blues

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Engine still under warranty but can't see them covering rad and gearbox at this stage (car 6 years old in Jan)

Engine replaced at 64K due to injectors/blocked oil pick-up/knackered crank and no.1 piston. £12.8k at MR. T's expense :thumbup:
 

Andrew Prince

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To add my 2c, the "mayonnaise" sounds more likely to be engine oil than ATF. I haven't heard of lots of ATF leaks into the rad with the 120. Engine woes unfortunately are a little more common-place... Presumably if you've had a replacement engine, you've suffered from the infamous blocked oil pick-up/injector woes before?

Hopefully the appearance of this oil is not indicative of a crack in the head or leaking head gasket. :( Presume you're running the standard red (or maybe the newer pink) Toyota coolant? If so, this should be turning yellow if you have a gas leak (i.e. leaking CHG or cracked head).

Hope you get to the bottom of this with minimal pain!

Cheers,

EDIT: I see you've answered my question about the engine replacement before I posted. If I were you, I'd go rushing back to Mr. T and get them to convince themselves that this isn't happening again with your new engine and let them know that they'll be fitting another new engine at their cost if it is! :evil:
 

Nuclear Chicken

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I'd be very surprised if there's anything wrong. It's quite possible during the engine re-build/ replacement that the system was not clean. However, it is best to err on the side of caution. :? I've an auto and there is a dipstick. Look close (ish) to the bulkhead, behind the oil dipstick, and you will see dipstick there. Be very careful pulling it up if it has not been off in a while as you don't want to knock crap and grit into the tube. Dipping is always done when hot and engine running. I don't buy that sealed for life bollocks. I'll be changing mine at the first available opportunity and I'm at 90k miles. Dunno about the oil type but the Toyo stuff seems to be particular to these boxes and that's what I'll be using as long as I don't have to buy a stupid sized drum of it.
 

Andrew Prince

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Blues said:
Engine still under warranty but can't see them covering rad and gearbox at this stage (car 6 years old in Jan)
Somehow I don't think the rad is at fault here. IMHO with the engine history, I would be looking at this area very closely for the source of the problem.
 

Blues

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Toyo pink coolant (£27 for 5 litres :shock: )
There doesn't appear to be any pressurising in cooling system and I cant really tell if there has been much, if any, coolant loss. Lube oil in this motor very clean too - I've been doing 3.5k changes on this new motor.
They fitted a short engine rather than short block, so I wouldn't expect a cracked head but you never know.
 

Blues

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Had a poke around thismorning and can't pinpoint anything wrong.
I removed the oil from the expansion bottle - it looks like grease rather than oil. It may be some sort of protective coating which was on the new engine.

There is no measureable loss of coolant from the system and it is maintaining positive pressure when engine is turned off - I don't think there is a leak.

The 'box has two plugs on the bottom , one is marked "check", the other I assume is a drain.
I unscrewed the check bung and ATF flowed freely, no sign of water BUT the ATF is black. I only drained off 50ml. It looks very dirty although it doesn't smell burnt.

I am no wiser about the oil in the coolant.
I do need to replace the ATF - anyone got details on how this should be done?
I can't even see a filler bung on the 'box.

Thanks for the response
Richard
 

Nuclear Chicken

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Weel Richard, as we have established earlier 'boxes have a dip stick and later ones apparently are sealed, I can't help you there. I suspect if there is a fill point it may be on top that is only accessible when the 'box is out. Unless you can fill it through the bung you were at already. :?:
 

Blues

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I didn't expect the fluid to run so freely when I unscrewed the "check" bung. Perhaps the level is checked with the engine running - buggered if I was going under there with the engine running :?

I've done a LOT of searching and still not sure how to check the level, never mind changing the stuff. Hopefully someone will come along and throw some light on it :eusa-think:
 

Crispin

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To check the fluid in an auto, the engine has to be running and hot, cycle all the gears and then check. So I've heard. :mrgreen:


Having a look at the parts diagram, there seem to be a few of those plugs, one on the LHS, 3 on the RHS when facing forward. There is also a breather tube which runs up into the engine bay with another plug on it. Not sure if any of them are meant for filling?
 

Blues

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No more oil has appeared in the expansion bottle after about 80 miles of driving so I don't think there is anything sinister going on.
I'm off for a good drive this weekend so will keep a watchful eye......

I called local yota service department today and enquired about changing ATF and drew a blank!
They have never done it on one of these boxes, so asked the correct procedure for checking the level - another blank!!
"Book it in next week and we'll have a look". Have a LOOK :shock: Doesn't inspire much confidence. Me thinks I will feel much better figuring this out and doing it myself or else go to an AT specialist.

I'm going to start another thread on this as I think the outcome will be of interest to others.
Cheers for your input so far.
 
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