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Before you begin there is a pdf file on this and other sites that shows the proper Toyota method of checking the fluid level. This will obviously have to be completed after you have changed the fluid.

First you will drain the fluid in the transmission that is collected in the pan using the rear most drain plug, I believe it's a 12mm. I used a 4 gal bucket to catch the fluid. I marked a line on the bucket that shows the 1 gal mark. As it turned out the pan holds just a bit more than 1 gal.

After draining the fluid in the pan put the plug back in. ON the drivers side of the tranny there is a fill plug, 24mm. Take that plug off and snake a hose down the engine bay into this plug. Attach a suitable funnel onto the top of the hose. Put 1 gal of new fluid into the tranny to replace the fluid you just took out.

Referring to the Toyota fluid check instructions you will see that there is a thermostat that controls the fluid to the tranny cooler. Push the end in and insert a pin to lock the thermostat in the open position. You want the fluid to circulate through the cooler so it is flushed also. You have to do this to check the fluid later anyway. if your truck has no cooler just follow the instructions from Toyota.

The return line is the line that is on the bottom as it feeds into the thermostat housing. I disconnected the hose on the end opposite the thermostat toward the cooler there is a hard line. You can see it on the picture. I used an old Toyota tranny cooler line i had laying around. Place the open end in the bucket and have someone start the truck. Fluid will flow from the line into the bucket filling a gal in about 40 seconds or so. I just watched till it was close then yell to turn the truck off. Put another gal of fluid in the tranny. Repeat two more times. The last gal you put in won't require all of it, I put in all but a pint or so. if theres a bit too much it's not a huge issue.

Now you will want to warm the fluid to the check range of 115 to 133 degs F. I have a Scan Gauge that shows tranny fluid temp, so i used that. I included a picture of the Scan Gauge and the stock tranny temp gauge so you can judge where the stock gauge will be for you. There is a procedure on the Toyota instructions where the dash will start blinking a light when the proper temp has been reached. Use whatever works for you.

At this point, remove the level plug from the tranny pan, 4MM allen I believe and let the fluid drain to a trickle then replace the plug. If you just get a splash of fluid then nothing, you need to add more fluid and try again. It should flow then slow to a trickle. I did this while the temp was just at 115F. There you have it. Be sure to remember to remove the pin from the thermostat and replace the fill plug.

Not hard at all, and you have 100% new fluid in your tranny without doing the power flush, which many believe can cause issues. I bought my truck with 100K miles on it and tow quite a bit at 8000+ lbs. In the future I'll likely just do a drain of 1 gal then replace it every other oil change to keep things fresh.

Best Regards
 

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How much fluid did you use in total? Just shy of 4 gallons is how I'm reading this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
How much fluid did you use in total? Just shy of 4 gallons is how I'm reading this.
When I bought the tranny fluid (Valvoline MaxLife) I confused the tranny capacity with the cooling system capacity. Offhand I think the tranny is about 12 quarts so 3 gals would work fine. Originally I put 3.3 gals (which is about what I took out) in but I was about 12oz low so I had to add a bit. If you get 4 gals you will have a bit to spare at the end, even if you flush out every drop of the old stuff.
 

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Thanks for the post man.
 

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Ive been wanting to do this myself and think i will give it a go now. Your explanation makes more sense to me then the pdf. Gone are the simple drain and refill im used to in my other cars. I paid the dealer to do it last time but not really confident that they followed process.
 

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Ive been wanting to do this myself and think i will give it a go now. Your explanation makes more sense to me then the pdf. Gone are the simple drain and refill im used to in my other cars. I paid the dealer to do it last time but not really confident that they followed process.
Nothing to it really. Hardest thing is to get the clamp off the return hose from the cooler. The fluid comes out nice and smooth and you'll have plenty of time to get the truck shut off to add more. If you have the factory tranny temp gauge anywhere between the third and seventh dot is good for checking the fluid. I'd go with the third or fourth dot. The gauges are actually quite sensitive in that range, should be accurate. I'd never pay the dealership to do it, there are independent shops I would trust though.

I believe the truck shifts just a bit smoother now. Having clean fluid has to be good for solenoid performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OP...how many miles do you have on your truck?
It had 106K mikes when I changed it out. I bought the truck with 101K miles on it, the first owner used it like a car more than a truck. I use it like a truck and tow quite a bit, so I wanted to start off with new fluid. The old stuff was a bit dark but there was no oxidatation to speak of. I didn't drop the pan though thats an option for those who want to do it.
 

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thanks for the info and pics. really helped me do 12 quarts of Amsoil today.
 

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Before you begin there is a pdf file on this and other sites that shows the proper Toyota method of checking the fluid level. This will obviously have to be completed after you have changed the fluid.

First you will drain the fluid in the transmission that is collected in the pan using the rear most drain plug, I believe it's a 12mm. I used a 4 gal bucket to catch the fluid. I marked a line on the bucket that shows the 1 gal mark. As it turned out the pan holds just a bit more than 1 gal.

After draining the fluid in the pan put the plug back in. ON the drivers side of the tranny there is a fill plug, 24mm. Take that plug off and snake a hose down the engine bay into this plug. Attach a suitable funnel onto the top of the hose. Put 1 gal of new fluid into the tranny to replace the fluid you just took out.

Referring to the Toyota fluid check instructions you will see that there is a thermostat that controls the fluid to the tranny cooler. Push the end in and insert a pin to lock the thermostat in the open position. You want the fluid to circulate through the cooler so it is flushed also. You have to do this to check the fluid later anyway. if your truck has no cooler just follow the instructions from Toyota.

The return line is the line that is on the bottom as it feeds into the thermostat housing. I disconnected the hose on the end opposite the thermostat toward the cooler there is a hard line. You can see it on the picture. I used an old Toyota tranny cooler line i had laying around. Place the open end in the bucket and have someone start the truck. Fluid will flow from the line into the bucket filling a gal in about 40 seconds or so. I just watched till it was close then yell to turn the truck off. Put another gal of fluid in the tranny. Repeat two more times. The last gal you put in won't require all of it, I put in all but a pint or so. if theres a bit too much it's not a huge issue.

Now you will want to warm the fluid to the check range of 115 to 133 degs F. I have a Scan Gauge that shows tranny fluid temp, so i used that. I included a picture of the Scan Gauge and the stock tranny temp gauge so you can judge where the stock gauge will be for you. There is a procedure on the Toyota instructions where the dash will start blinking a light when the proper temp has been reached. Use whatever works for you.

At this point, remove the level plug from the tranny pan, 4MM allen I believe and let the fluid drain to a trickle then replace the plug. If you just get a splash of fluid then nothing, you need to add more fluid and try again. It should flow then slow to a trickle. I did this while the temp was just at 115F. There you have it. Be sure to remember to remove the pin from the thermostat and replace the fill plug.

Not hard at all, and you have 100% new fluid in your tranny without doing the power flush, which many believe can cause issues. I bought my truck with 100K miles on it and tow quite a bit at 8000+ lbs. In the future I'll likely just do a drain of 1 gal then replace it every other oil change to keep things fresh.

Best Regards
Great write up!

Now all I need is a write up on how to program my scan gauge to read tranny temps.

KO
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great write up!

Now all I need is a write up on how to program my scan gauge to read tranny temps.

KO
I believe there is a code on this site, I may have posted it somewhere. Or possibly the other Tundra site. There are codes for things also.

Creig
 

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Next is trying amsoil motor oil. Will probably do it this weekend. I hope the 0w-20 is good for the truck. Will do an analysis after 5k. It's only amsoil oe so we will see how far I can go on it. Then maybe get some comparison with xl and signature. We could really use some more UOAs around here. Different oils.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Discussion Starter #17
DOes this procedure also flush the torque converter, too?
Yes, the fluid that comes out will flow from the TC to the cooler, to the bucket. Normal flow is maintained throughout so any "stuff" in the system willl not be disloged to cause issues later. If you want to be very complete, drop the pan and replace the filter. Be sure to measure the amount of fluid you collect when you drop the pan, so you can replace it with the same amount of fresh fluid.
 

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No worries if you add too much fluid because you can check fluid level as a last step.


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Awesome thanks
 

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hey toyturbodiesel,

thanks for posting the DIY. I did drain & fill my tranny back when the truck was at around 30K miles...but again, that was just the drain & fill. I didn't do the flush like you did.

I'm having difficulty visualizing the return hose that you disconnect to flush it out. Can you snap another picture from a little further out and maybe point to it for better frame of reference to help locate it? Thanks..
 
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