1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue - YotaTech Forums



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1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue

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Old 10-26-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
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1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue

1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue

I need help figuring out what the problem is with the W59 transmission.
This problem has been happening for months.

It's very hard to describe but there are no grinding sounds at all.
I already replaced the fluid recently with Redline MT90, 3.7 quarts exactly.

I park in neutral overnight in the garage, with temps in the 50s & 60s.
I start the engine and back out of the garage & K-turn down the driveway.

When the RPM is low (especially when backing out of the garage in the morning to do a K-turn), the transmission is stuck in gear. No amount of force on the shift lever will unstick it. I have to shut down the engine, and then I can move it from reverse to neutral or vice versa.

Same with first to neutral, and vice versa. Even though reverse has no syncros, shifting in and out of reverse doesn't "feel" different than shifting in and out of first, as it gets stuck in either gear as much.

Once I get moving (or mybe the fluid warms up?), it shifts, sort of OK from there on in (for my 40 mile commute). Then it starts all over again at the end of the day.

The clutch may need to be replaced based on miles but the clutch is stalling the engine if I put it in the wrong gear and hold the brake pedal down. Likewise, letting out the clutch in gear while rolling downhill definitely raises the RPM, so the clutch is not slipping I don't think.

It's hard to describe but I don't think the clutch is working perfectly though as the pedal feel is really hard to describe. It's not right. It's not linear. It grabs in like one inch but it's really hard to describe. Sometimes it seems that it grabs one inch from the floorboards and other times it seems to grab at near the top of the pedal travel, but I think that's impossible so all I can reliably say is that the clutch feel is not linear.

Sometimes it feels better after I pump the clutch, but the fluid level isn't leaking as it's the right level. I don't know how to adjust the clutch pedal travel, and the clutch pedal return torsion spring was removed and replaced with a linear spring long ago.

Any idea what is going on here and how to debug to what parts are needed?
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Old 11-02-2017, 03:29 PM   #2
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Nobody?
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:11 AM   #3
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Could it be the shifter seat bushing? I know new ones dramatically improve older W56’s and are easy to change.


Depending on the miles if it needs a clutch go ahead and do it with a new slave and master as well. Might get lucky and have it solve the problem. I have zero experience with any Toyota manual other than the W-56A&C. My last A I got just over 200,000 on the clutch and she felt like they may have been a problem but kept “working” until it didn’t. My only C had around 180,000 when I ordered my marlin clutch and put a master and slave on it. Sold that one.

Are you comfortable pulling a manual transmission apart? If so I would pull it and inspect it the put it back together with a new clutch. .
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:34 PM   #4
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Could it be the shifter seat bushing? I know new ones dramatically improve older W56s and are easy to change.
Thanks for stopping in to offer help as I had given up on this forum being useful since the question was pretty basic.

I already replaced those with the Marlin Crawler shifter bushings. I did that when I replaced the transmission fluid with Redline MT-90.
I had replaced them also once before, with the Toyota OEM bushings. The lower one (the green and black one - not the white one) falls apart.

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Depending on the miles if it needs a clutch go ahead and do it with a new slave and master as well. Might get lucky and have it solve the problem. I have zero experience with any Toyota manual other than the W-56A&C
You were right that the shifting problem WAS the hydraulics.

I rebuilt the clutch master cylinder with Toyota parts (where they moved from metal to plastic for the piston and they gave me the wrong-sized boot).


And I rebuilt the clutch slave cylinder:


That seems to have solved the hard-to-get-out-of-gear problem in the morning but time will tell as it has only been a day of testing.

Apparently (I guess) the fluid was leaking past either the master or slave and therefore the throughout bearing wasn't going far enough, so the clutch wasn't disengaging fully (I am guessing).

One warning is that a Toyota rebuild kit does NOT come with the fragile paper gasket for the interface between the firewall and the clutch master cylinder, so caveat emptor.


My next big mistake was in not knowing I needed extra bleed screws so I had to make my own, none of which worked very well.


Bench bleeding the clutch master cylinder wasn't much of an issue because the reservoir makes it easy, but you do have to block the outlet port with a spare bleeder valve.


But bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder is something that you have to experience yourself, or you have to read up an a GOOD DIY (none of which exist, to my knowledge) in order to do it right the first, second, or third try.

It's hard to fill the clutch slave release cylinder with fluid because you it doesn't have a nice reservoir like the clutch master cylinder has:


And you have to somehow pre-fill the hose with fluid without losing that fluid when you connect it because the clutch slave cylinder just doesn't hold a lot of fluid.


Not pictured is the 15-minute washing of my eyes (clutch fluid hurts when it gets in your eyes, and do not ask me how I know that) because I didn't wear goggles and the first press of the clutch slave cylinder with a phillips screwdriver squirts far more powerfully than you might think it does!

So I took another fifteen minutes to fashion a catch jar out of a Costco gummibears vitamin jar where the hose was too short (because I had cut it to make the clutch master cylinder loop prior):


Where finally I got the job done by hooking the funnel on the end of the hose and just holding that up in the air with one hand and then pushing in the clutch slave cylinder piston with a phillips screwdriver (not pictured because I was using both hands at the time).

All that effort was wasted, because it's not easy getting the clutch slave cylinder back on the car without losing all that fluid anyway, so, in the end, it was a total waste of time to bench bleed the clutch slave cylinder because my technique was just all wrong.


So I have to ask for your advice on technique.

Given that bench bleeding the clutch master cylinder is a piece of cake compared to bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder, and given that reinstalling the clutch master cylinder is also a piece of cake compared to the clutch slave cylinder, and given that the clutch master cylinder reservoir handles a lot of drips but not the clutch slave cylinder.......

Would you ever recommend bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder?

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Originally Posted by thefishguy77 View Post
Are you comfortable pulling a manual transmission apart? If so I would pull it and inspect it the put it back together with a new clutch. .
I already bought the 850 pound transmission jack at HF (it was on sale last month) and 1/2 inch socket bar extensions to 3 feet for the upper bell housing bolts, so, I'm ready to change out the transmission clutch and associated parts when or if that's necessary (even though I've never done it before - I'm comfortable if I have a DIY and friends handy).

Right now, with the new shifter bushings, and the new Redline MT-90 fluid, and the new insides for the clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder, the shifting is back to normal, but, the clutch engages way late in the pedal uplift cycle.

If that indicate a worn clutch, I'll likely go for the Marlin Crawler 1200 foot pound clutch kit for about $310 but I don't know the implications of the difference between a 900 foot pound OEM clutch and a 1200 foot pound clutch for a 2WD vehicle that never even goes on the dirt shoulder, let alone off road.

Do you know what would change in the feel from a 900# to 1200# clutch?
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:01 PM   #5
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Don’t give up on the forum. Mentioning you had fluid leaking from your clutch hydronic system might have speed the reply’s up. Glad you got it figured out. I always just buy new aisin clutch slave and masters from flebay. Cool to see the rebuild process.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
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As to the bleeding of the slave I just open it up and let my vinyl tubing drain on to an old break fluid container. I just watch it to make sure the master doesn’t run out of fluid. When I have good solid consistent fluid coming out of the slave I close it and check the clutch. There are many different ways. Mine involves about 2 beers and a chair. Hasn’t let me down yet.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #7
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I figure I'd ad a little information to this. I had the same symptoms with my 4runner when I got it. A couple of things that can cause this are either air or water in the clutch fluid. As temperature changes fluids will either expand to shrink. Brake fluid, water and air all have different properties with this. Water and air both expand drastically with raising temperature. When it's cold, water and air will shrink and you'll have less throw on the throw out bearing. Less throw equals a not fully disengaged clutch. When the temperature of the fluid heats up (which is easy in these trucks with the exhaust crossover) it expands and gives you that little bit of extra throw.

Things to note air compresses and doesn't take much to make a change in the functionality of the hydraulics however it's hard to get in the hydraulics when its in good shape. Water takes a lot more to alter functionality but it's super easy to get in the brake fluid. Brake fluid naturally absorbs moisture from the air.

If anybody has symptoms like this it's a good idea to just give your fluid a good flush. Also, chances are your brakes have fluid just as old. If your clutch needs it your brakes do to. It's also good to do if your fluid is starting to get dark. The color change is from dirt and deteriorating hoses and seals. Of its super dark its could be good idea to go through hydraulics and replace wear components just as preventative maintenance.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:23 PM   #8
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Don't give up on the forum. Mentioning you had fluid leaking from your clutch hydronic system might have speed the replies up.
There wasn't a leak in that the fluid level was fine, but since rebuilding the clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder worked, in hindsight, I can assume fluid was leaking past the seals, but there is no way I knew that when I opened up this thread to ask the question of how to debug.
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Glad you got it figured out. I always just buy new aisin clutch slave and masters from flebay. Cool to see the rebuild process.
The bench bleeding issue would be exactly the same if you get the entire clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder, or if you rebuild them.
In 20:20 hindsight, all the DIYs I found for other vehicles were WRONG for this vehicle, since there's nothing whatsoever, it turns out, to be gained by bench bleeding on this vehicle.
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Originally Posted by thefishguy77 View Post
As to the bleeding of the slave I just open it up and let my vinyl tubing drain on to an old break fluid container. I just watch it to make sure the master doesn't run out of fluid. When I have good solid consistent fluid coming out of the slave I close it and check the clutch. There are many different ways. Mine involves about 2 beers and a chair. Hasn'tt let me down yet.
There are lots of DIYs on the net where they take the entire clutch, and piping out of the car and bench bleed by gravity, and others where they bench bleed in a vise, but all those cases are situations where either the clutch release cylinder is on the opposite side of the vehicle from the clutch master cylinder or when the clutch master cylinder or clutch release cylinder are tilted at an angle that traps air bubbles.

In 20:20 hindsight, bench bleeding the recently replaced clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder on this car is a complete waste of time, as it turns out.
There's no loss to bench bleeding the clutch master cylinder - but since it mounts horizontally anyway, there's no advantage either.
Worse, the clutch slave cylinder mounting is problematic as you'll lose your careful bleed anyway, and it mounts horizontally too.

So, nobody told me this, but I'm telling everyone else from my experience only - there is no reason whatsoever to waste your time and effort, like I did, bench bleeding on this vehicle.

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Originally Posted by Kolton5543 View Post
I figure I'd ad a little information to this. I had the same symptoms with my 4runner when I got it. A couple of things that can cause this are either air or water in the clutch fluid. As temperature changes fluids will either expand to shrink. Brake fluid, water and air all have different properties with this. Water and air both expand drastically with raising temperature. When it's cold, water and air will shrink and you'll have less throw on the throw out bearing. Less throw equals a not fully disengaged clutch. When the temperature of the fluid heats up (which is easy in these trucks with the exhaust crossover) it expands and gives you that little bit of extra throw.
I think, in this case, it was something like that, because the solution was to rebuild both the clutch master cylinder and the clutch slave cylinder and to replace the fluid and to bleed.
Since that solved the problem, something in that must have BEEN the problem.

So, it could be water. It could be air. Or, based on the condition of the slave cylinder seals, I'd say that fluid was leaking past the slave cylinder seals.
Thanks. This part of the problem is solved.

Now I have to solve the fact that the clutch engages late in the pedal release cycle...
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