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Posted (edited)

Yesterday I had gone to pull it off the ramps for its first drive, no reverse, or forward (it had been flatbed home).  Checked fluid, nothing on the stick.  Added a quart, still nothing.  Dropped pan, changed filter, new fluid.  I took out half a gallon on fluid, and put in a whole gallon.  The old filter gasket wasn't on correctly.  And the fluid was darker then midnight.  Looked like there were stars in it too...  32k and it really should not need a rebuild though...  

Alright so if I rev it up high enough, I get a shuddering and quaking reverse.  Kinda weak, but it is sorta there.  

I have not messed around with auto transmissions any beyond basic flushes and filter services.  I did notice that the two tubes I had to fish the filter out from under, looked like somebody had smacked the pan and dimpled them slightly, or smacked them.  The pan was fine (although it obviously could have been changed too).  One of those tubes was a bit loose.  I suspect that is my issue???

I think I could have made a (VERY SHORT) trip happen, but I felt a bit uncomfortable doing so, again not knowing auto transmissions.  I wouldn't flinch at doing a head gasket on the side of the road, or tearing apart and reassembling a manual transmission in the middle of the desert (don't ask, been there lol).  But this one I simply don't know.

I went through the A43D thread, but didn't find anything I really understood, or seemed to apply here.  

Ohhhh and I swear this locked in park.  Now for some reason, it isn't.  I am not sure if this is related, or a whole different issue?  

 

Edited by thewanderlustking

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The tubes are tight fit friction is the only thing that holds them in it is not unusual for them to have dents usually after someone has removed them. It is an all clutch trans it has no bands if there is no reverse it's probably a toes up clutch pack. The darkness is clutch  parts.

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Okay so if one of the tubes is loose, could that be my reverse issue?  One of them I could wiggle up and down at least an eight of an inch.  

I realized that earlier in the day, I DID back it up and it did so without any issues.   

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Is a trip to "Pick a Part" in your future?

Toyota A43D was used in Toyota pickups 1982-1995

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Hopefully not.  I did grab a pretty extensive parts interchange list though.  Seems it was also in a Kia.

I ordered a digital download and a paper service manual for the transmission.  Just finished reading through the digital manual, skimming through mostly.  I could rebuild this one.  It would suck.  Especially since ATF and I don't get along.  But I am thinking a rebuild might be better than a higher mileage used one.  

The digital download didn't have any troubleshooting flowcharts.  I am hoping the paper one does, but I also suspect this will be fixed before that gets here.  I just HOPE/PRAY the clutch pack is okay...

After Maineah's comment I got to thinking.  So I dug through the A43D service manual.  I could not figure out the specific purpose of those tubes, but they need to be hammered in snuggly with a plastic mallet.  That they most defiantly are NOT snug.  At least one, if not both, were loose.  

And I remembered, I HAD backed it up earlier today to pressure was he the driveway where I made a big mess night before.  It worked fine.  This combined with the if I rev it hight enough I get a shuddering reverse, leads me to believe my problem is super simple.  I just need to snug those tubes back in.  

I also think I know why it isn't starting with the ignition.  Probably something going on with the neutral safety switch.  And there were some good details on the park lock lever.  So I am going to have a good look at all that.         

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Not a KIA, but in most Volvo's 1982-1990.

I have the Factory service manual for the 1986 PU. If the paper book doesn't have the flow chart give me a PM and we'll talk

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Ok here is the deal the forward clutch pack is released and the reverse clutch pack is engaged along with 1. Losing reverse was not uncommon it these units. In a Toy home they are overworked and did an amazing job despite the abuse but if you got metal and brown gook the pack is toast the valve body will be full the gook and metal and every clutch pack the same, it has to be clean enough to eat off of or it will fail again this really is not a backyard job.

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15 hours ago, WME said:

Not a KIA, but in most Volvo's 1982-1990.

I have the Factory service manual for the 1986 PU. If the paper book doesn't have the flow chart give me a PM and we'll talk

https://www.roadkillcustoms.com/transmission-cross-reference/?Transmission=A43D

That is the reference I found mentioning Kia as having them.  Most of the other reference charts mentioned the Volvos.  Looks like the Kia has a different version of it.  Whatever the case.  Might at least be worth a peak underneath that Kia in the junkyard to take a closer look.

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4 hours ago, Maineah said:

... it has to be clean enough to eat off of or it will fail again this really is not a backyard job.

I am an ASE certified mechanic and have been wrenching for 25yrs.  While automatic transmissions are not my specialty, I have done countless filter jobs and flushes on them.  And a couple times gone slightly deeper into them replacing valve bodies/solenoids etc.  Only thing being is I simply changed what I was told, and didn't diagnose those.    

So why wouldn't I do this in my driveway?  Let me tell you, I am being much cleaner and more careful about the job that most shops would be.  Obviously, whoever did it last couldn't even put the filter and gasket on correctly, amongst other things.  I went through three cans of brake cleaner and about ten pairs of gloves, just changing the filter.    

So sure, I can pay $700 to have it towed to a local shop (Or risk doing MORE damage and just drive it for free), $150 for a service, wait it is an RV so likely that goes up to $300 cause only the local RV place would work on it...  And if the transmission has to come out and get rebuilt, add another $300 minimum labor (it is an easy one to pull) and easily another $2000 for the transmission itself.  There is some wiggle room but I am not getting it fixed, even if I am LUCKY and it is a basic issue, for less than a grand.  If it needs a transmission I would be out $2-3k, or more.  

Or for $27 in fluid I can drop the pan again, bump those pipes back in correctly, and see what happens (Actually scratch the $27, I picked up a gallon from work).  If that doesn't fix it then I can pull the transmission out, in my driveway, and figure it out from there.  When the replacement internals are only about $200, it would be really hard to justify spending more than $500 to have somebody else do it.  

Yeah, I might have to spend a day cleaning up my garage, but I guarantee my parts will be just as clean if not cleaner than most churn and burn transmission shops.  Only reason I would pay to have them do it is so I don't have to play in ATF.  I am actually mildly allergic to it.   

Smart money though is on dropping the pan and fixing the KNOWN issue first.  At least one of those crossover feed pipes is loose.  Then if I get a couple trips in on it and the transmission fails, hey cool hopefully I will have recovered from the purchase price and the grand or so that has gone into it this week.  At that point paying $1600-1800 for a remanufactured transmission becomes more tolerable.

Right now my absolute budget limit to put into the transmission is about $100.  So if sorting the pipes out don't solve it, it will sit until my bank account recovers from this vacation.  Lol...     

  

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1 hour ago, thewanderlustking said:

I am an ASE certified mechanic and have been wrenching for 25yrs.  While automatic transmissions are not my specialty, I have done countless filter jobs and flushes on them.  And a couple times gone slightly deeper into them replacing valve bodies/solenoids etc.  Only thing being is I simply changed what I was told, and didn't diagnose those.    

So why wouldn't I do this in my driveway?  Let me tell you, I am being much cleaner and more careful about the job that most shops would be.  Obviously, whoever did it last couldn't even put the filter and gasket on correctly, amongst other things.  I went through three cans of brake cleaner and about ten pairs of gloves, just changing the filter.    

So sure, I can pay $700 to have it towed to a local shop (Or risk doing MORE damage and just drive it for free), $150 for a service, wait it is an RV so likely that goes up to $300 cause only the local RV place would work on it...  And if the transmission has to come out and get rebuilt, add another $300 minimum labor (it is an easy one to pull) and easily another $2000 for the transmission itself.  There is some wiggle room but I am not getting it fixed, even if I am LUCKY and it is a basic issue, for less than a grand.  If it needs a transmission I would be out $2-3k, or more.  

Or for $27 in fluid I can drop the pan again, bump those pipes back in correctly, and see what happens (Actually scratch the $27, I picked up a gallon from work).  If that doesn't fix it then I can pull the transmission out, in my driveway, and figure it out from there.  When the replacement internals are only about $200, it would be really hard to justify spending more than $500 to have somebody else do it.  

Yeah, I might have to spend a day cleaning up my garage, but I guarantee my parts will be just as clean if not cleaner than most churn and burn transmission shops.  Only reason I would pay to have them do it is so I don't have to play in ATF.  I am actually mildly allergic to it.   

Smart money though is on dropping the pan and fixing the KNOWN issue first.  At least one of those crossover feed pipes is loose.  Then if I get a couple trips in on it and the transmission fails, hey cool hopefully I will have recovered from the purchase price and the grand or so that has gone into it this week.  At that point paying $1600-1800 for a remanufactured transmission becomes more tolerable.

Right now my absolute budget limit to put into the transmission is about $100.  So if sorting the pipes out don't solve it, it will sit until my bank account recovers from this vacation.  Lol...     

  

I'm long retired from the car repair stuff but I did spend 40 year dealing with nothing but foreign cars before switching to a clean job  and several years as as a shop foreman for a transmission shop and as machinist if the pipes are in place they will work if they are laying in the pan they won't. Ever had a valve body apart? The dead give away is the yuck in the pan it needs an overhaul pipes or not but have at it.

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Well the pan was pretty clean.  The usual thin black carbon like layer was barely there (just in the corners).  Only faint stripes on the magnet.  No metal chunks in the pan itself.  But, the fluid was dark and smelled burnt.  No surprise as it had been partially bypassing the filter, and was low.  

I took the old fluid to work and slowly dumped it into the black drain pan.  This time I didn't see any large sparkles in the fluid.  Perhaps a few hints of brass shimmer.  Nothing too unusual.  I had better overhead light and not a spotlight sideways underneath the side of the truck.  

Yeah the fluid was definitely smelly and dark.  It is cleaner now.  And it is about to get dumped again.  Hopefully it is a simple matter of that pipe that I KNOW is loose and hopefully I am back to dealing with more fun stuff, like repairing a leaky ceiling and renovating from that water damage.  Ugh.  Something HAS to start going right on this beast!      

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Small bits of brass is normal wear shiny metal is not. Past experience with high mileage dark/black fluid, flushing the fluid and filling with new fluid usually does not end well. You are in the fix it business call up an ATRA affiliated transmission shop and have a chat with them no need to listen to someone on the web.     

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I tackled this problem myself for two reasons.  1)  I don't know much about automatic transmissions other than basic throes and wanted to learn more and I have the skills, mindset, and tools to accomplish this.  And 2)  I am too cheap/broke to pay exorbitant prices to have a transmission shop handle it, or even just to look at it..  There was a transmission section here and I figured it was a better and more specific resource to utilize, than my shop connections.  I figured the forum members here share a philosophy of tackling it themselves, even if it is a daunting project and had likely seen this very specific issue. 

Seems I was right about that too!  And Maineah you have been one of the biggest helps in that regard.  Ironically your info in your posts keeps telling me I don't have a problem, then you turn around and say I probably do.

Lets review things.  The rig has 32,000 miles on it.  So not high mileage.  It has already been serviced at least once.  Dark, burnt/stinky fluid, but otherwise no big cause for concern.  Loose feed pipe or pipes that we know are NOT supposed to be loose.  

I have nothing to loose by attempting to snug up the pipes, except the new fluid I just put in.  At the moment, that is all I can even afford to do.  It is a simple fix to try out.  And as much as I hate ATF, dealing with this myself is more appealing than any of the alternatives.

This isn't a transmission with over 100k on it and no service history.  

So as soon as I get half an hour that it isn't pouring down rain, I will get it lifted back up and give the simple, free repair a chance first.  Well almost free, I will need to grab more brake clean.  If the transmission is junk, I have only lost half an hour and $10 in materials.  If not and it gets me down the road for a couple camping excursions, sweet!  Until this vehicle is well proven, it won't be taken outside of my towing area range.  

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When I got my Escaper I did a slow flush used 16 qt of fluid. The fluid looked like Mocha at the beginning. The upside for you is the transmission had 45K mi and recovered nicely and was running just fine when I sold it 25K later.

I looked in the factory book, they refer to the pipes as "oil tubes" with no mention of function. Just don't dent or bend.

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I just got my rig, and It suffers from the exact same problem. I, too, am also a factory trained mechanic, but I don't work on cars for a living anymore. I could easily order up whatever special tools I need and dig into this transmission. But I'm choosing to go the other route. I'm letting the reputable transmission shop down the street rebuild my unit. These units need valve body overhauls and tail shaft bushing updates, may be a cable update, also? My machine shop is redoing my long block. I don't want to do this twice. We'll see how things turn out in a couple weeks. Good luck to us all!

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Well I had planned to tackle this in the evening when I got home, but the missus dragged me out to be sociable and nice to people...  Hopefully I get to this after work tomorrow.  When the transmission filter is serviced, I suspect sometimes those "oil fed" tubes get tugged on or bumped and loosened up.  Let me get my pan off and we will see what happens.  If tapping that tube back into place fixes it, I suspect yours is suffering from the same and it might not need a shop!  Although I could easily understand still taking it somewhere.  If mine wasn't pulled nose first into the driveway, I would drive it the half mile to work and put it up on a lift...    

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Well the oil tube was loose for sure.  But fixing it, didn't fix my lack of reverse.  At the moment there is a car behind the RV so I wasn't able to rev it up like I did before and see if the shuddering reverse still comes on.  I will experiment with that tomorrow.    

WME I tried to message you and it said you can't receive messages.  I would love that troubleshooting flowchart!    

Mpanzar, I didn't check exit shaft play.  I didn't make it very deep into that thread.  I will probably have another go at it.  

So, I am probably going to have to find a transmission for this thing...  While I am sure I could tackle this myself, I have to weigh that against the misery it causes me.  My arms itched for days where I got the ATF on them the last go at this.  It kinds sucks being allergic to ATF.  Still, if whatever repair needed can be done with transmission still in the vehicle, I will tackle it.

My thought on repairing this transmission is simple.  While it has something cooked inside, it is pretty likely to be in better overall condition for things like bearings, due to its low mileage.  But whatever the case, more investigation is needed first.  Hopefully, this issue isn't a deal breaker.  My local yard has a 1982 Pickup listed in inventory.  But can't tell if it is an automatic.  I see one on eBay, but it is a good bit more than I would like to pay for a used transmission and it is for a 2.8 anyways.  Does this bolt up to the 2.4?

I think my local yard is a better choice.  Good chance they have more than one choice for this...  Also hunting for a rebuilt one. 

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Posted (edited)

Okay...  I found a new valve body for $194.  This is a price I could live with.  Especially if it is the "most likely" fix and I can do it without pulling the transmission.  Any thoughts?  

I am contemplating doing the trial of "Just Answer" for $5.  But I am hesitant and honestly a call to a local shop from another local shop might do it for free.  

Also I found another rebuild manual online with a troubleshooting section.  Everything mentioned there, except no reverse.  

Edited by thewanderlustking

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JFYI,

I have a good transmission for sale that I took out of my 1992 ITASCA when I upgraded to 4.2L motor.

115K miles for $100 and could possibly deliver depending where you are located. 30 day warranty

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On 7/31/2019 at 9:04 PM, thewanderlustking said:

 

WME I tried to message you and it said you can't receive messages.  I would love that troubleshooting flowchart!    

 

Did the PM and flow chart make the trip?

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On 7/23/2019 at 8:21 PM, mpanzar said:

I assume you mean this A43D thread? http://toyotamotorhome.org/forums/index.php?/topic/268-the-a43d-automatic-transmission/

 

Have you checked the play on the shaft that exits the extension housing?

 

That only applies to forward issues same with the governor bore issues has no effect on reverse.

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On 7/23/2019 at 1:08 AM, thewanderlustking said:

I tackled this problem myself for two reasons.  1)  I don't know much about automatic transmissions other than basic throes and wanted to learn more and I have the skills, mindset, and tools to accomplish this.  And 2)  I am too cheap/broke to pay exorbitant prices to have a transmission shop handle it, or even just to look at it..  There was a transmission section here and I figured it was a better and more specific resource to utilize, than my shop connections.  I figured the forum members here share a philosophy of tackling it themselves, even if it is a daunting project and had likely seen this very specific issue. 

Seems I was right about that too!  And Maineah you have been one of the biggest helps in that regard.  Ironically your info in your posts keeps telling me I don't have a problem, then you turn around and say I probably do.

Lets review things.  The rig has 32,000 miles on it.  So not high mileage.  It has already been serviced at least once.  Dark, burnt/stinky fluid, but otherwise no big cause for concern.  Loose feed pipe or pipes that we know are NOT supposed to be loose.  

I have nothing to loose by attempting to snug up the pipes, except the new fluid I just put in.  At the moment, that is all I can even afford to do.  It is a simple fix to try out.  And as much as I hate ATF, dealing with this myself is more appealing than any of the alternatives.

This isn't a transmission with over 100k on it and no service history.  

So as soon as I get half an hour that it isn't pouring down rain, I will get it lifted back up and give the simple, free repair a chance first.  Well almost free, I will need to grab more brake clean.  If the transmission is junk, I have only lost half an hour and $10 in materials.  If not and it gets me down the road for a couple camping excursions, sweet!  Until this vehicle is well proven, it won't be taken outside of my towing area range.  

You are not listening you do have a problem reverse is high clutch pack and reverse clutch pack applied no forward pack. The reduction is in the reverse planetary. Because it works in forward high range (not OD) the only answer is reverse clutch pack. Either the pack is toast or the reverse clutch is not fully applied. I don't remember what all the tubes do but it is unlikely they supply oil to the reverse clutch pack because it is the highest demand of oil pressure. The dead give away is yuck in the pan it is clutch material nothing else. These things will stall a converter because of the weight if someone is backing up a long steep hill or is stuck it likely will cook the reverse clutch pack. Think about it it is intermittent duty and not something that is used often or for very long.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2019 at 8:19 PM, WME said:

Did the PM and flow chart make the trip?

Yes thank you!  They came through, but due to image pixilation, none of the fine print descriptions can be made out.  Let's not worry about if for now.  It kinda looks like we may already have a solid diag.    

4 hours ago, Maineah said:

You are not listening you do have a problem reverse is high clutch pack and reverse clutch pack applied no forward pack. The reduction is in the reverse planetary. Because it works in forward high range (not OD) the only answer is reverse clutch pack. Either the pack is toast or the reverse clutch is not fully applied. I don't remember what all the tubes do but it is unlikely they supply oil to the reverse clutch pack because it is the highest demand of oil pressure. The dead give away is yuck in the pan it is clutch material nothing else. These things will stall a converter because of the weight if someone is backing up a long steep hill or is stuck it likely will cook the reverse clutch pack. Think about it it is intermittent duty and not something that is used often or for very long.

I am listening.  Just trying to wrap my brain around a complete comprehension of the issue.  I tend to be, over focused (ok fine, stubborn), until I understand a problem fully.  Your explanation above, gets me the rest of the way there.  Well mostly haha.  

Maineah, PLEASE humor me one last time!!!   

I was trying to remain optimistic.  I have seen icky fluid come out of many transmissions I serviced over the years, and that not mean they are bad.  Still with only 32k on the odo, I was suspicious.  Now I was working in the dark with a spotlight backlighting me and thought I saw sparkles.  Yet when I poured that fluid back out of the transport container in normal daylight, I didn't see them.  Just dark smelly fluid.  

The transmission shudders like it is going in and out of reverse, but it only did this at the higher revs.  I would have to try again to get an exact number, or to see if it goes solid if I rev it up a little higher.  To my uneducated automatic transmission comprehension, this felt like an oil pressure issue, and hence I remembered the oddities of the feed tubes.  And no, fixing that did NOT fix the reverse.    

There are some other oddities going on too.  I noticed sometimes the park lock engages, sometimes not.  There seems to be a specific pattern that makes it work.  I always thought this was a pure mechanical thing, but it acted kinda like a pressure or rpm related issue.  I didn't figure out the pattern that makes it work yet.  Or if there is a specific one even.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Also earlier that Saturday morning I DID back it up with zero issues.  While my driveway does have a slight downhill angle on it, I noticed it wasn't backing up later.  I think it would have registered the first time if it had just been rolling down that initial backup.  

So, is there ANY other explanation than bad reverse clutch, rebuild or replace transmission?  I haven't driven it far, or long enough to determine if the transmission does everything else it should.  Or heck, if it behaves once it is warmed up.  Or slips...  I only got it up to maybe 30-35mph through the neighborhood.   

Edited by thewanderlustking

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4 hours ago, Maineah said:

Either the pack is toast or the reverse clutch is not fully applied....

Okay, this is what it was feeling like to me and I was trying poorly to express.  What would cause it to not be fully applied, or to kick in and out?

Unless we can brainstorm up a solid plan, or good way for me to diagnose this, I am probably going to call Monday and try and get an appointment at our local transmission specialist for a diag.  

The woman has said we will fix this once I told her the worst case price for a reman trans.  But that price will put getting to use this 5-6 months out.  I wanted at least one short excursion in for motivation before tearing into it and taking it off the road for a few weeks to months for the renovations.  I wanted to actually use it, to get a feel for how or if I want to redo the layout inside.  

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Lip seals get hard over time for instance then they leak pressure and don't fully apply then the clutches slip there are all kinds of scenarios. Because the rest of this thing works it is doubtful there is any pressure issue and because reverse has no effect on anything other than reverse the direct clutch pack is working or you would have no 3rd range those are the two things that have to work or there is no or slipping reverse. In order to get to the rev. pack it involves a pretty much a total dismantle read overhaul. Park is purely machancanical now it would be a good ideal to deal with park to make sure the linkage is correctly adjusted but that should not have any bearing on reverse issue because all of the ranges would be somewhat wacko if it was maladjusted.

 

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The book says to adjust park linkage and neutral start switch before proceeding with advanced trouble shooting. There is a beautiful flow chart for the A340E transmission and a crummy 2 page "guide" for the A43D.

Here's the guide...http://htftp.offroadsz.com/marinhaker/programi/toyota/Automatic%20Transmission/A43D/4generalt.pdf

Also there is a pressure check. The pressure port is just below the O/D solenoid. 

Idle pressure in D 65-77 psi, full throttle stall pressure is 144-169 psi. In R the idle pressure is 100-117 psi and at stall it is 213-270 psi. Low pressure in R evaluation, " range circuit fluid leakage, rear clutch defective, Brake #3 defective or OD clutch defective". Sorry not much real help

 

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Thank you guys!  I will do some reading up then!  

Honestly, I am not 100% sure all the ranges work.  I have not driven it far or fast enough to get it into 3rd and OD.  It also doesn't start with the ignition switch.  For a brief moment I had it working on the switch, then it stopped.  Everything "felt" okay on the initial tests.  So that actually kinda correlates with the oddities going on with the parking sometimes working and sometimes not.  I would feel pretty silly if it was just linkages out of adjustment...  So I will start there, then contemplate getting a pressure gauge on it, or taking it to the tranny shop.  I need to see how high the oil gauge at the shop goes to...  

WME that was actually SUPER helpful!  So the shop gauge doesn't go high enough.  It is intended for engine oil.  So I will dig around and see if I can come up with one.  

I just went out and fiddled with the truck for a few minutes.  If I rev it up in drive and then quickly pop it back all the way into park, it seems to always hold the park lock.  I don't get the forward "jump" until right out of N into D.  So it "seems" like that is okay.  I get only the slightest nudge into R from N, and it isn't enough to let the vehicle move.    This time I couldn't get ANY shuddering movment roving the truck up in reverse.  

Well I am going to try and see if it is a silly adjustment issue.  It probably isn't.  But hey gotta start there in the diagnostics tree eh?         

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Well the plot thickens!  So today I fired it up to run a bit and had a clear driveway, so I decided to try backing it up again.  And it did so!  I had to rev it up a little it, then use the brakes to kinda control it.  But it was much smoother than it was before. 

WTH gives?!  It was the first time I started it in a week or so (and it fired right up too with zero hesitation).  I can repeatedly get it to lock into park now too.  Seems it mostly just requires a quick and deliberate pull back into park from drive.  

But I am really wondering why it did so much better today, than it did last week?  Not sure if my attempts have just been inconsistent, or if the problem itself is inconsistent?  It didn't seem to care or change any after I let it run for half an hour or so.  Obviously transmission fluid probably isn't super hot sitting there not doing any true work.  

 

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I know you dislike ATF, but change it again. Maybe clean fluid is flushing things out. The filter in the A43d is a bug screen and the small stuff goes right through.

Did you do a linkage and neutral switch adjustment?

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My 1986 Sunrader transmission didn't like to shift when I first got it and sometimes it would slip some. I changed the fluid several times and added Lucas transmission fix at the end. That was 14 years ago. I don't baby it either. Live near the Sierra's and have run roads only a 4x4 should take. They are pretty darn tough little trannies. 

Linda S

Oh I have changed it since then. Have only added Lucas again a couple of times

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