LC 100 series auto transmission

Submitted: Monday, Jan 25, 2010 at 09:50
ThreadID: 126326 Views:9689 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Our first forum topic - hope not too long! Bought this 2002 model in 2005 with 72,000km on the clock but looked and drove well and had the once over by Robson Bros 4WD specialists (got a tick). Object was to get ready for the grey nomad phase post retirement. Have only done 30,000km since. From the beginning we noticed a rather distinct/abrupt change of gear in certain circumstances only, but nothing drastic and have lived comfortably with it, including periods towing hire caravans and our camper trailer. However, retirement is close, buying a van is also close and we thought we had better have it checked out. It has been serviced by Toyota in the interim but they never found any fault. The specialist auto trans guy thought it might be an electronic signal fault, so lots of tests, then dropped the oil pan to find loads of "wear material" in the filter and elsewhere. Result: major repair and rebuild and major cost (still to get hit with the final bill but expect > $4,000). Closer inspection revealed rust (yes, rust) in the transmission and torque converter as well as associated dirt (= the "wear material", probably) and other evidence of water in the trans (swollen friction materials) at some previous stage. No idea how it happened, as not during our ownership, and no evidence of loss of coolant into the auto trans fluid. ATF has always looked and smelled OK since purchase. And we thought LC transmissions were bullet proof! It may have been drowned at one stage by the original owner but has knocked our confidence a bit. Has anybody had a similar experience or know of one?
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 02:17

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 02:17
Maybe a previous owner took it through a creek while still hot and it sucked in water - assuming no tranny breathers are fitted. Nasty surprise but at least it will bet fixed. Suggest you fit breathers to your diffs as well if you intend crossing many creeks.

LLCool (Land Cruisers on-line is a great website for getting expert help LC issues)

I personally won't deal with Toyota dealerships, been burnt to many times and their charge out rate for labour and parts are outrageous. I always seek out specialist workshops or locals recommendations for general service - but do most of it myself
AnswerID: 579699

Follow Up By: Newbies - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 08:53

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 08:53
Thanks GB & D. I do my own basic servicing (oil, fuel and air filters, batteries, wheel rotations, etc) but am getting less inclined to slide under the car for the more extensive lube and transmission oil changes. I would much rather have a dip in the pool and a coldie, but the hourly rates for mechanics keep me interested! As to tranny breathers, are these standard (and only needing lengthening) or is a retro fit job?
FollowupID: 852183

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 03:14

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 03:14
Hi Mike, Just and extension as far as I know. I think the one on the top of the gearbox will be a bitch to get at. Check with LCOOL

AnswerID: 579700

Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:05

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2010 at 19:05
As far as i am aware some LCOOL Toyota owners have dealt with Rodney at

Wholesale Automatics

AnswerID: 579701

Reply By: Cargra - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 05:04

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 05:04
g'day Mike,

We have a similar story with our 2001 LC100 auto bought in 2004 with only 58K on the clock. Have towed our 4tonne BT since 03/05 with no apparent problems but decided to have the auto serviced by local specialist at 120K . Found the same residue in the sump as you had. Rebuild cost 5.8K using beefed up roller bearings, rebuilt torque convertor, new solenoid valves and clutches I think and changing to synthetic oil. By the way the specialist reckons you should have them serviced every 20K. Should I say OK so far??

all the best graham
AnswerID: 579702

Follow Up By: Newbies - Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:35

Thursday, Jan 28, 2010 at 10:35
Thanks guys. Appreciate your support and advice. The Tojo is now home and seems to move more freely - time will tell! The LLCOOL site was a good tip - looks as if I could spend many an hour trawling through the articles, including fitting extended breather hoses to the diffs and transmission . Happy touring to you all - can't wait to join you on (off?) the road!
FollowupID: 852184

Reply By: Searenity - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 08:23

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 08:23
Newbies - In late 2008 our LC100 TD 5 speed auto gearbox failed at 185k - pre-BT. Subsequent repairs included 2 X new torque converters, new 5 speed auto-box, new transfer case, new outer hubs and new main computer plus both diffs reconditioned [$16k+] - lesson learned is that despite exclusive Toyota maintenance [including 5k intervals for engine oil] auto-transmission oil should be changed every 20k - also, if your box started with Toyota type IV semi-synthetic, stay with it. Type IV oil is generally associated with dip-stick boxes and full synthetic with sealed boxes.

Now another lesson learned is that Toyota run their business like a medical practice - general practioners and specialists. Specialist gear like your computer managed 5 speed auto transmission should be serviced and tested by a specialist not a general practioner - trouble is most Toyota dealerships are general practioners and can easily miss things [to your disadvantage]. The dealers "licensed" by Toyota to service auto-transmissions are limited - NSW has Terry Shields and Qld has SCI Fleet - draw your own conclusions.

The final lesson learned is that Toyota warranty is questionable.


AnswerID: 579703

Reply By: Newbies - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:16

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 09:16
Thanks Searenity. I have long harboured the suspicion that most brand name dealerships are good at routine repairs and maintenance stuff. Hence, I took my dodgy transmission to a specialist recommended by the RAC of WA. I had asked Toyota to try to determine the cause of the 'niggles' on a couple of occasions, but they reported no faults found. To be fair, so did a well known WA 4WD specialist repairer. I hope not many Nissan owners are reading our exchanges - I'm hiding my own sad tale from my brother-in-law who is a Patrol fanatic! The classic rivalry...

Mike & Helen.
AnswerID: 579704

Reply By: Searenity - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 18:00

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 18:00
Mike and Helen,
Funny thing is that we also own a 2002 Nissan Patrol 3.0L TD Manual - it has done equal kilometers to our cruiser with one clutch replacement and a new steering damper - far more reliable however but it does not have the towing capacity of the cruiser - our BT is 20' with a tare of 2560kgs - We are eagerly awaiting the release of the new Patrol - hope Nissan provides a real competitor to the cruiser in the towing arena.

OR maybe we might have to go the F450 SWB route.



AnswerID: 579705

Follow Up By: Harry & Jan - Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 19:12

Sunday, Jan 31, 2010 at 19:12
I know this is off topic, but it never ceases to amaze me why there is so much variance in tare weights for similar vans. Our van is 18’0” and the tare weight is stated as 2580 kg. We have three solar panels, three batteries, four water tanks, TV, 1800wt inverter microwave etc. I know that overall weight is dependant on the add-ons, but I do not think that our van includes more than the usual found in most Bushtrackers today yet the various tare weights stated at times do not seem to be logical. I realise that these tare weights are provided by Bushtracker.
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