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Hi.This is my first post, though I've been lurking for close to a year. The forum has helped me figure out of lot of things on my Toyhome, and I hope someone can answer this question or point me to how I can figure it out:

 

I have a 1986 Travelmaster, 22RE, A43D. The transmission is blown (previous owner clearly relied mostly on the aftermarket cruise, took a number of trips through the mountains, and the tranny cooler was installed backwards AFTER it had already started having problems on him. 56K miles and it's toast). Autozone sold me a reman for $2600 and 20 days later tells me (only because I finally demanded an update) the one they have has a bad core and they won't just reman mine. I can't get a shop to rebuild it--they all say the A43D is garbage, long story short. I refuse to trust a used one, this rig is too heavy and without careful operation even a rebuild might not stand it. My dad can do the rebuild, once he learns the transmission (he's a manual guy, really, but we're out of options).

So here it is: I've found the A43D rebuild manual I need. Except--I have to figure out which of two is the right one. One is for 82-85 and the other is for 86-89. As I said, the rig is an 86... but the door tag says the chassis was manufactured in August 85. So the tranny could be the 85 model. How do I know whether I need the 82-85 book or the 86-89? 

So far I've spent a year and about $5k working on this motorhome (and I'm living in it currently, stranded in a field in MI. hooray); its been one nightmare after another. Everything looked great when I bought it and to be fair it was in excellent cosmetic condition (stored indoors) and a lot of the appliances worked with no trouble. then we started getting into repairs and come to find out the fella who owned this before me clearly had not only very destructive driving habits but also no idea that the work he was having done on it at shops was not only swindling him but actually causing more problems. as it was put, he 'wasn't a car guy.' wiring cut for no reason, twisted and cloth taped back together, from the ICM to the distributor pickup. just left that way. grounds removed. rear wheel bearings packed with enough grease to fill a large peanut butter jar, but no lube anywhere it should have been. clamps on the leaf springs (which needed replaced. for $1500, yeah). that backwards tranny cooler was also attached with fuel line. Yep. The list goes on. Everything the guy had 'fixed' was left worse than it was probably found. 

Anyway, this transmission thing is the LAST repair, and at this point if I can't get it fixed I've dug myself a fair pit to drop all that money in. I've only made it out this cheaply so far because my dad IS a car guy and I've paid nothing for the extensive labor required. If anyone can tell me how to figure out which book I need to rebuild the tranny, I would be endlessly grateful.

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6 minutes ago, WandeRin said:

Hi.This is my first post, though I've been lurking for close to a year. The forum has helped me figure out of lot of things on my Toyhome, and I hope someone can answer this question or point me to how I can figure it out:

 

I have a 1986 Travelmaster, 22RE, A43D. The transmission is blown (previous owner clearly relied mostly on the aftermarket cruise, took a number of trips through the mountains, and the tranny cooler was installed backwards AFTER it had already started having problems on him. 56K miles and it's toast). Autozone sold me a reman for $2600 and 20 days later tells me (only because I finally demanded an update) the one they have has a bad core and they won't just reman mine. I can't get a shop to rebuild it--they all say the A43D is garbage, long story short. I refuse to trust a used one, this rig is too heavy and without careful operation even a rebuild might not stand it. My dad can do the rebuild, once he learns the transmission (he's a manual guy, really, but we're out of options).

So here it is: I've found the A43D rebuild manual I need. Except--I have to figure out which of two is the right one. One is for 82-85 and the other is for 86-89. As I said, the rig is an 86... but the door tag says the chassis was manufactured in August 85. So the tranny could be the 85 model. How do I know whether I need the 82-85 book or the 86-89? 

So far I've spent a year and about $5k working on this motorhome (and I'm living in it currently, stranded in a field in MI. hooray); its been one nightmare after another. Everything looked great when I bought it and to be fair it was in excellent cosmetic condition (stored indoors) and a lot of the appliances worked with no trouble. then we started getting into repairs and come to find out the fella who owned this before me clearly had not only very destructive driving habits but also no idea that the work he was having done on it at shops was not only swindling him but actually causing more problems. as it was put, he 'wasn't a car guy.' wiring cut for no reason, twisted and cloth taped back together, from the ICM to the distributor pickup. just left that way. grounds removed. rear wheel bearings packed with enough grease to fill a large peanut butter jar, but no lube anywhere it should have been. clamps on the leaf springs (which needed replaced. for $1500, yeah). that backwards tranny cooler was also attached with fuel line. Yep. The list goes on. Everything the guy had 'fixed' was left worse than it was probably found. 

Anyway, this transmission thing is the LAST repair, and at this point if I can't get it fixed I've dug myself a fair pit to drop all that money in. I've only made it out this cheaply so far because my dad IS a car guy and I've paid nothing for the extensive labor required. If anyone can tell me how to figure out which book I need to rebuild the tranny, I would be endlessly grateful.

Anything other than a electrically controlled lockup is pretty much the same. They are not a tough unit to rebuild I don't know why they are afraid of it. One thing that did happen to them was governor bore damage generally from slip joint failure but a shop worth it's  salt should have a kit and bushing to repair it it consists of a reamer to over size the case bore and a bushing that is installed in the case to bring it back to origional size. They are tough old transmissions and should be repairable. I'm pretty sure if you search the site some one did a writeup about the A43D. 

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1 minute ago, Maineah said:

Anything other than a electrically controlled lockup is pretty much the same. They are not a tough unit to rebuild I don't know why they are afraid of it. One thing that did happen to them was governor bore damage generally from slip joint failure but a shop worth it's  salt should have a kit and bushing to repair it it consists of a reamer to over size the case bore and a bushing that is installed in the case to bring it back to origional size. They are tough old transmissions and should be repairable. I'm pretty sure if you search the site some one did a writeup about the A43D. 

I appreciate the information, if I can at least get enough context on how specific to the unit the repair needs to be that really helps. Maybe my dad can trust that either book will be ok--although we've also read that there were a number of minor model changes over the years and since mine falls in the split he might nonetheless feel the $164 tag is too much to risk on the wrong book. 

I have read that post you're referring to. repeatedly. I majored in research in college (haha, anthropology actually, it's a joke) and have spent every waking moment of my unpaid hours for the last 12 months learning about this rig and what it was built with. It's been a major mission. From the slew of info and forum conversations I've found in re: the A43D, burnouts seem not to be a very common occurrence, even in the toyhomes This brick wall I've hit on getting a rebuild has been baffling. Most tell me they just won't do it. One wants $2k and the originally quoted lifetime/unlimited miles warranty suddenly became 6 months after the guy talked to someone else about it. They're all saying ' it never should have gone in those motorhomes.' Even the Toyota dealer we called about a rebuild said that.

Anyway, thanks again! 

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18 minutes ago, Maineah said:

Anything other than a electrically controlled lockup is pretty much the same. They are not a tough unit to rebuild I don't know why they are afraid of it. One thing that did happen to them was governor bore damage generally from slip joint failure but a shop worth it's  salt should have a kit and bushing to repair it it consists of a reamer to over size the case bore and a bushing that is installed in the case to bring it back to origional size. They are tough old transmissions and should be repairable. I'm pretty sure if you search the site some one did a writeup about the A43D. 

Question (direct from my dad): When you refer to the slip joint bushing, are you talking about the bushing in the tailshaft that supports the driveshsaft?

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13 minutes ago, Derek up North said:

This site offers 3 kits:- 1980-1987,  1987-1995 & 1995-2004.

https://www.transmissionpartsusa.com/Toyota_A43D_transmission_rebuild_kits_s/762.htm

Thanks very much! So either book is definitely going to work then. My dad's never rebuilt an automatic before, so knowing everything he needs to is important.

You guys are my heroes!

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1 hour ago, WandeRin said:

Hmmmmmm.......They're all saying ' it never should have gone in those motorhomes.' Even the Toyota dealer we called about a rebuild said that.

Can't be too bad. Many have gone over 100,000 miles and 26 odd years, and still going!!

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4 hours ago, WandeRin said:

Question (direct from my dad): When you refer to the slip joint bushing, are you talking about the bushing in the tailshaft that supports the driveshsaft?

Yes, it is the rear support for the output shaft when they go south the governor rests hard on the case.  Despite what some may say it is a damn good transmission that's why there a hundreds of overloaded Toy home still going strong. It was used in many different Toyota's

Edited by Maineah
because I could

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Don't spend $164  for a book...  Look on line:  both ATRA & ATSG manuals are available  for 20 to 30 bux..  In what city & state are you located ?  Or  how far are you from a fairly large city.?                         There are a lot of Good, Honest shops around the country.   I have contacts in most all states & can direct you to a reliable shop if you need one...  My shop has been closed for a few years as I am now retired, but still keep in touch with many old friends all over the country........tell your dad,  this trans is an EZ build..  if he has mechanical skills.  ..  he can do it.  ............donnie

I'm not quite sure now if you have the original trans from the truck or the one you bought at Auto zone??????

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44 minutes ago, linda s said:

Lots of info about the A43D trannie here in a pinned post on this site.

 

Linda S

That's a picture of the sealing rings on the output shaft for the governor if they cut into the case that's where the bushing repair kit goes.

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There are 88 posts in this thread, not just about that. Don't know why it came up like that but tons of pics and places where things got difficult and tricks that help

Linda S

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Apologies for this delayed response on all the suggestions provided, my internet is limited and since I'm resigned to being stranded for the indefinite future rechecking this thread had to be low priority. But I appreciate the time you've all taken to try to help. Allow me to reciprocate:

 

On 10/25/2017 at 4:13 PM, RVdaytrader said:

Can't be too bad. Many have gone over 100,000 miles and 26 odd years, and still going!!

Yes, from the dozens of hours of extensive reading I have done about toyhomes and the A43D, almost no one who owns one or has experience with them thinks they are bad at all. I did a great deal of reading on them before I bought this one, so i knew what I might be getting into, and nothing I read indicated I would run into this problem. I have no worries about a sufficiently executed rebuild/reman going for a good long time, but if I can't get one I'm SOL regardless, and I can't understand why no one wants to touch it.

 

On 10/25/2017 at 4:22 PM, Derek up North said:

Thank you for the link, I needed one of these :)

 

On 10/25/2017 at 7:02 PM, Maineah said:

Yes, it is the rear support for the output shaft when they go south the governor rests hard on the case.  Despite what some may say it is a damn good transmission that's why there a hundreds of overloaded Toy home still going strong. It was used in many different Toyota's

I will pass this answer along to my dad, thank you kindly. Indeed, from all I read, Toyota put this tranny in Celica Supra, Corsicas, most of their pickups, for over 20 years, and nowhere in my digging did I see any consistent reports from people which would indicate they are bad trannies. I absolutely believe they are more than up to the task pulling these mini monsters. Sadly, none of the rebuilders in the areas within reach of me agree. :(

 

On 10/26/2017 at 7:18 PM, Donnie said:

Don't spend $164  for a book...  Look on line:  both ATRA & ATSG manuals are available  for 20 to 30 bux..  In what city & state are you located ?  Or  how far are you from a fairly large city.?                         There are a lot of Good, Honest shops around the country.   I have contacts in most all states & can direct you to a reliable shop if you need one...  My shop has been closed for a few years as I am now retired, but still keep in touch with many old friends all over the country........tell your dad,  this trans is an EZ build..  if he has mechanical skills.  ..  he can do it.  ............donnie

I'm not quite sure now if you have the original trans from the truck or the one you bought at Auto zone??????

I appreciate the tip on the alternate rebuild manual--we already have and read the ATSG rebuild manual. It was inadequate for my dad (he is highly dyslexic, the instructions are vague, and the illustrations are simple drawings, all of which make him unwilling to use it). He is an incredibly fussy gotta-get-it-RIGHT person, got his living as a highly skilled tool & die man before computer operated machinery took over that field as well as being a certified mechanic, and he places a great deal of importance on ensuring he isn't making me a bigger mess by attempting the rebuild himself with instructions he can't make sense of--he really needs the detailed illustrations we expect to be in the official rebuild manual... He has rebuilt numerous manual transmissions (Pontiacs and Fords mostly) but never an automatic, and he was ready to tackle it until another retired tranny rebulder told him the A43D is not an automatic tranny to try  learn rebuilding automatic trannies on. Now he's spooked. I just tried looking and can't find an ATRA for the A43D :( ... Also looked into Chilton and Haynes, but all the reviews complain they are too broad. Per linda's prompt I took another read through the excellent post from spungo on his 1986 A43D rebuild and saw he recommended the 1993 OEM manual so I did a price check on that and it's for sale for about $30. Looked back at the 1986-1989 manual for $164 just to see if the price had gone down and if the pictures provided are for the actual item then it's a false listing anyway--it's actually offering the 1993 copy, lo and behold. Pretty scammy if you ask me, though he may not know he's made the error. I am going to purchase the 1993 and just work on convincing my dad it is the best option we have. Especially for only $30 vs. $164 when it wouldn't have even been the "right" book, hahaha.

I still need to explore as many backups as I can though. I am in MidWest MI. We've called numerous places as far away as Jasper Transmissions in Indiana and the only guy so far willing to touch it won't give us a quote without opening it up first for a fee, said it could take an indefinite amount of time because any parts needed outside a rebuild kit are special and hard to get, and said nothing to the effect of giving a warranty. He's also 100 miles away so I'm going to have to be absolutely desperate to pay him $200 just to tell me it could be a $4k deal with no guarantee. If you happen to know someone in this general vicinity you'd recommend I call, I would be grateful for a referral! I will pass along what you've said to my dad--if I can get him to trust the people on this forum who OWN them over some jerks who don't actually know this transmission it might make all the difference for him to try to do this himself.

Your information has been incredibly helpful, and any further assistance you can provide re: rebuilders will be greatly appreciated as well!

Oh, and I currently still only have my burnt up tranny, Autozone refused to fulfill my purchase from them and gave me a heck of a time even getting all my money back. They still have the tranny they sold me listed for sale on their website in fact, and at this point I've filed a complaint with the BBB to try to make them remove it or give me the darn thing if they do actually have it since I can't get anything but an unknown-condition used one anywhere else (plus all of those that are on offer have no warranties or the warranty is void if you don't have a certified tech at a licensed facility put it in, and I'm not paying what could be more thousands for installation when I don't need to, my dad has that part covered no problem if we don't go with rebuilding this one).

 

On 10/26/2017 at 7:26 PM, linda s said:

Lots of info about the A43D trannie here in a pinned post on this site.

 

Linda S

I can't tell if there was a link or photo embedded in your reply, but if you mean the old long post by spungo then I am very familiar with it--it was the first and most helpful information I have found online to try to do the rebuild, really awesome he took the time to put that up here for people like me in the same boat and I am grateful to everyone else who contributed to the extensive conversation there. Plus the photos are a godsend. At your prompt I did take another look through it and found his recommendation of the 1993 manual, and since his rig was also a 1986 and he said the 1993 manual was better than the 80s manuals I figured I could trust his judgment on that. So I just purchased a 1993 OEM A43D tranny repair guide for just under $30. Turns out the 1986-1989 manual for $164 is actually a 1993 anyway, mislisted and overpriced. Fancy that! So thank you very much, I have read way too much about this tranny now now to keep it all straight, and without your pointer here for me to go back to that post I would still be stuck on the repair guide problem.

 

You folks are all just lovely, I can't tell you how grateful I am for the time you've taken to offer me info and advice. I'd probably be way more lost than I currently am without this forum. <3

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