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

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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Transimssion won't go into reverse!!

Hello all,

I just returned from a 300 mile road trip to the sand dunes hauling a 1500lb trailer and a good 700lbs in the bed. This was my first time and my trucks first time towing anything. I'm in CO so I was towing up and over a couple of mountain passes. My truck has almost 120k on her and in preparation for this trip, I had the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, all drive belts, plugs and plug wires replaced. I also ran lucas oil fuel system cleaner and upper cylinder lube through one tank of gas before the trip. The only think I thought might be a problem on the trip was I knew that my coolant/water mix was heavy on the coolant, but I figured it wouldn't be a huge deal.

An hour into the trip I'm zipping up the mountains. The truck pulled great(its supercharged) but I noticed the coolant temp gauge was bouncing around. When I would accelerate it would bounce up and then come back down to about half way(normal). And sometimes it would bounce around without me even touching the gas. So I toned down my driving and turned on the heater and it was still bouncing around mostly when climbing up hills. The tranny never slipped and there was never a loss of power. So I assumed this was due to the coolant/water mix. When we got to the dunes the truck ran fine. It was drivin fairly hard in the dunes. You need lots of skinny pedal to get up the hills. No overheating problems at all.

On the way back it ran just fine for the first 80miles(mostly rolling hills and flat). But as soon as we started climbing the first pass it started with the dancing temp gauge again. This time it was even worse. It was dancing all the way to the red. By the top of the pass it was dancing around in the top third of the gauge and I wasn't going over 30mph to keep the rpms at about 2k. It seemed the higher the rpms the higher the gauge would dance.

After the second major climb(again limited to about 30mph) it seemed the tranny didn't want to shift out of 3rd gear. It did this for a minute regardless if O/D was on or not. But it finally shifted and the tranny didn't act up again for the rest of the trip. When I got home and turned the truck off the temp gauge went all the way to the top and the heater stayed on even though the keys were out of the ignition. I thought that was very weird but I assumed the truck knew it was hot as hell and it was a safety thing to let the heater still work when the truck was off. After I unloaded the camping , I started the truck to pull it in the garage and it seemed to have cooled off. But when I went to put it in reverse nothing happened. The reverse lights came on but it didn't feel like the tranny did anything. It goes into D,2, and L just like normal. WTF? I let it sit outside overnight hoping that the tranny was just hot and thats why it didn't want to go in reverse. The next morning I go start it and it starts but idles kinda rough and the check engine light comes on. I try putting it in reverse and it doesn't work. So I turn off the motor for a second and try and restart it and it won't start. WTF??? Things are going from bad to worse.

After doing some research I learned to never tow with O/D on. Doh!!! I did put the ECT button to pwr which I usually never do. I knew the motor was running hot but I figure my trans temp light would come on if the tranny was overheating. After several hours researching and then writing this post I decided I try and start it one more time before I hit "submit new thread". I cranked and cranked and it finally started. The check engine light was still on but it was at least running(a little rough but not bad). So I put it in reverse and boom it in works. Now I'm really confused. Why would it not work 3 hours ago and its fine now? I'm gonna go have the codes pulled tomorrow and I'll post an update.

I'm hoping I don't need a new trans but its not looking good. Any help is much appreciated.

Here is the stats of my truck:
'99 taco ext cab 4x4
trd supercharger
trd air filter
120,00 miles

Thanks,
Joe
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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the thing that comes to mind is that the automatics use solenoids to shift, and just like a starter solenoid these have electrical components that will pull the intermittent thing before they go...

Really guessing here some body will chime in on this one!!
but yeah solenoids are like that and when they are it is frustrating however at the same time you thank the heavens they are because they actually work intermittently and not just go kaput and you are stuck ESPECIALLY the starter solenoid in an auto
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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Yeah, sounds like a solenoid. Check your tranny fluid too, and keep your fingers crossed that you don't have the milkshake. Otherwise it's time to start pinching pennies, cuz the tranny is done.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:45 AM   #4
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So here is an update:

I was going to have the codes pulled for the check engine light today and when I started it up there was no check engine light.

The tranny wouldn't go into reverse the first time. But after several attempts it finally went into reverse. I tried several more times going from D to P back to R. It went into reverse about 3 out of ten times. Also when I was backing up the driveway when I started going to fast the reverse speed limiter engaged and the ruck came out of reverse.

I checked the tranny fluid and it looks fine. Doesn't smell burnt or anything. The dip stick is a pain in the ass to get back in though. Not sure if thats normal.

So I'm assuming I need to change the solenoids in the tranny? Should I change all of them? Or is it a better idea to take it to a tranny shop and have them give it a once over and then try and rape my bank account?
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:02 PM   #5
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Yeah, that is normal - try to put it back in following the bend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maguills View Post
The dip stick is a pain in the ass to get back in though. Not sure if thats normal.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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If I was going to hedge a guess, it would be one of two things:

1. Electrical, such as the temperature sensor (more than likely) or TPS could be faulty. Without the code, however, it is armchair quarterbacking.

2. Reverse is toast, meaning your transmission will need some serious attention. Drain the transmission fluid warm to hot in a pan, take a magent, and place it in the fluid to see if you get alot of metal shavings. Refill with new ATF, and the tranny stick can be a PITA to get back in......
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:21 PM   #7
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So I had the codes or should I say code pulled today and this is what I got:

P1300
Manufacturer Control Ignition System or Misfire

That explains the rough idle. But now the truck idles fine and no check engine light is on.

It still intermittently will not go into revers,e but it also seems to not down shift into first every time I come to a stop. It also didn't want to shift out of second gear for a about 30 seconds when I was getting on the highway.

She's goin into the tranny shop in the a.m. I'll keep the thread updated when I know more.

Thanks for all the help so far.

J
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks Fellas for all the help!

The problem has been solved!!!! The main ground for the ECU was loose and therefore causing all kinds of problems. The grounds tight now and the truck purrrs like a kitten.

Thanks again!
Joe
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maguills View Post
Thanks Fellas for all the help!

The problem has been solved!!!! The main ground for the ECU was loose and therefore causing all kinds of problems. The grounds tight now and the truck purrrs like a kitten.

Thanks again!
Joe
Holy damn that's crazy - crazy lucky! I've seen bad grounds do all kinds of weird crap.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:31 AM   #10
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Wow, you did get lucky there! Now take that 2k you would've spent on a tranny rebuild and buy yourself a S/C
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:31 AM
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4runner, check, engageing, engine, gear, hot, idles, light, reverse, reversse, shift, shifting, transmission, truck, wont

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