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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 03-21-2007, 09:21 AM   #1
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Alternative to IPT or Level 10 VB mod?

I am getting ready to install a used TRD supercharger and URD fuel upgrade kit that I just picked up for my 3.4 4Runner with an auto trans.

I am looking at the valve body mod for the tranny, but I have a question. Has anyone come up with a less expensive alternative to the IPT of Level 10 VB mod?

It looks like I can pick up a used transmission for the 4Runner for about the same price as the VB mod. So I while I want to "do it right", it feels a little like putting a $200 car alarm on a $200 car. Looking at a cost/benefit analysis, if I do the VB mod I have to pull the trans and it's going to cost around $600. If I don't do the mod and eventually wear out my tranny, what is the cost? I have to pull my tranny and spend about $600. Or, will I wear out the transmissions so fast with the s/c that I would be continually replacing them? (FWIW - I take baby my toys and properly maintain them. I'm also planning on adding a tru-cool trans cooler, hopefully so I can use overdrive more often while towing.)

So I guess the next question is - What is the typical failure mode for the auto tranny with a s/c? Is is premature wear, or sudden and catastophic failure?

Thanks to all!
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Last edited by motuman; 03-21-2007 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #2
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If you get the Hayden transmission cooler, you'll extend the life of the tranny significantly.

A member by the sn Speedy posts here and on customtacos. He may have found an alternative that basically does a very similar modification, if not the same modification to the VB as IPT/L10. It will be interesting to see what information he gathers.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motuman View Post
What is the typical failure mode for the auto tranny with a s/c? Is is premature wear, or sudden and catastophic failure?

Thanks to all!
I think it depends on your driving style, ie are you going to do a lot full throttle shifts? I seem to remember Gadget blowing through his 2nd gear clutch pack that way.

Yeah here it is: http://www.gadgetonline.com/Transmission.htm
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motuman View Post
I am getting ready to install a used TRD supercharger and URD fuel upgrade kit that I just picked up for my 3.4 4Runner with an auto trans.

I am looking at the valve body mod for the tranny, but I have a question. Has anyone come up with a less expensive alternative to the IPT of Level 10 VB mod?

No, there have not been any alternatives to this yet because no one wants to really be the R&D guinnea pig and get left holding the bag when things don't work out right. If you want to trail blaze, then by all means, be my guest and help everyone out.

It looks like I can pick up a used transmission for the 4Runner for about the same price as the VB mod. So I while I want to "do it right", it feels a little like putting a $200 car alarm on a $200 car. Looking at a cost/benefit analysis, if I do the VB mod I have to pull the trans and it's going to cost around $600. If I don't do the mod and eventually wear out my tranny, what is the cost? I have to pull my tranny and spend about $600. Or, will I wear out the transmissions so fast with the s/c that I would be continually replacing them? (FWIW - I take baby my toys and properly maintain them. I'm also planning on adding a tru-cool trans cooler, hopefully so I can use overdrive more often while towing.)

The answer is that with a S/C, you'll be going through transmissions like toilet paper if you don't upgrade the VB to stop the slipping that gives you smoother shifts in stock form. If you do the upgrade and put on a decent size tranny cooler, there's no reason why you couldn't see 100k or more out of a tranny with regular maintenance.

So I guess the next question is - What is the typical failure mode for the auto tranny with a s/c? Is is premature wear, or sudden and catastophic failure?

Clutch packs overheat.....not catastophic, but definately time for a rebuild.
Just ask Mark (Midiwall) about why you should upgrade your VB.


Thanks to all!

See in red above.
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Last edited by MTL_4runner; 03-21-2007 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:51 AM   #5
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I have been looking into this. A local transmission shop SWEARS this is a no brainer and that it amounts to nothing more than a shift kit which is basically drilling holes in certain places in the VB, and adding some washers and springs. The local shop that I spoke with does all the post office's mail jeeps which use the nearly the same transmission as the 4Runner. They said they'd do the work for $200 - $300, including taking out and re-installing the VB. The guy told me to bring my 4Runner by after the SC was installed and he could tell me if I even needed it or not. He said if it shifts soft it'll be apparent.

I think it also comes down to how you drive. If you stomp on it all the time, you'll obviously have issues. However I have seen a few post back that they didn't do anything to the transmission after having the SC installed and haven't had any issues in 60K miles. These folks did state that they don't floor it all the time either though.
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:51 AM
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