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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i had my buddy keeping tension on a rope with my 03 tundra in reverse as i was chainsawing down a pine tree between houses. The tree started to go in wrong direction, so had him roll forward as i pulled rope in the other direction at which point my buddy said the oil temp light had come on. Focused on the tree, i had him pull the truck forward so i could attach rope to rear. Now tree falls to the ground in perfect location. However, 3 or 4 qts of ATF are on the ground and more is dripping from the front of the bell housing. We leave the truck.
My buddy goes to dealership and they say the tranny has a safety seal that in theory is designed to fail before blowing the tranny but both in most cases happen at same time.
After picking the truck up on a trailer and getting into my shop (woodwork/ cabinitry/ etc.), I drained and pulled the pan. To my amazement, no chucks, no pieces, less than a spit of shavings on magnets. So now what? I have read threw a number of threads here, read threw the pdf's but can not find how to remove the tranny, replace the seal and/ or anything else with the tranny removed and reinstall it. And what else could/ should i be checking do to the high heat in the engine and trannsmission?
 

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Sounds like you overheated the tranny and it puked some fluid out. Depending on how long you had your buddy holding the tree with the truck, it probably would have gotten extremely hot because with the truck not moving the turbine in the torque converter would have been stalled, which, under a load like that, would generate a tremendous amount of heat (Not good, as you now know) As for the "safety seal" thing, I never heard of such a thing. Most automatics have a breather somewhere on the case and that is where the fluid will usually puke out; that or out of the dipstick tube. I would refill the trans and start it up and see if there is still fluid coming out of the front of the bell housing. If there is, that would indicate a bad pump seal and the tranny will have to come out to fix that. If not, I'd drive it for a while and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I spent quite some time at the library today coping every precaution statement, diagram and instruction manual I could find and was going to start first thing in the morning. Your suggestion, if the seal is not shot, sounds like a great diagnostic test. Thank you again. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update; installed new filter & gasket, 11 QTS fluid, started, let warm up, shut it down, no leaks. Waited about 2 hours,still no leaks, started again this time went to R, N, D back to N, 4h, R,N 4l, R, N, 4h back to P. Seams to be quite a bit louder in the tranny or possibly transfer case. So I shut it back down and will go test drive tomorrow.
 

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If you ran it long enough to warm up and there are no leaks, then the front seal is fine, If that were bad, it would have leaked right away. As for it being "louder" , is there any kind of grinding or whining sounds? Take it for a drive and see what it sounds like. I have a feeling you're probably going to be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The truck drove fine, but the noise wasn't right. When engaged in 4 H the noise increased. So I blocked the truck all 4 wheels off the ground. Let it drive in 2, applied the brake and pressed 4H. Let off the brake, all 4 wheels spun, but then the driver side front quit spinning. Tried R, same thing. The front driver side started then stopped, yet all 3of the others continued to spin. So now what? I need to drop the front diff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, slightly. However the loud noise which kinda sounds like a humming in rotation if that makes sense. It did increase when I placed it in 4
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How does the pump inside the transmission work? Could I have over heated and caused that to fail? When I checked the transmission dip stick, the fluid is to high on it. Almost like all the fluid hasn't moved.
 

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How does the pump inside the transmission work? Could I have over heated and caused that to fail? When I checked the transmission dip stick, the fluid is to high on it. Almost like all the fluid hasn't moved.
If the pump wasn't pumping, it wouldn't even go into gear. You need the oil pressure the pump produces to make the tranny work. You are checking it in park with the engine running, right? If you filled it up to the full mark when it was cold, it'll be overfull when it heats up. If that is the case, drain some out until it is on the full mark when it is hot

As for the noise, without actually hearing it, its kind of hard to diagnose. You could possibly have done damage to the torque converter, which would come across as a buzzing or whining kind of sound. Does it make the noise only when the driveline is moving, but sounds pretty much normal in park or neutral? That would rule out the TC. TCs tend to be very noisy (if they're going bad) in gear and not moving because in that state, one of the members (turbine, which drives the trans input shaft) is stopped. If there's any kind of interference going on in the TC, you'll hear it then.

Or you could have blown the planetary gearset, which is a common issue in these trannies, although partway through the 03 production year, that problem was supposed to be fixed. If that is what is going on though, it's going to be a fairly loud grinding noise

As for the one wheel stopping, that is pretty much normal on an open diff, which the front diff most definitely is. One brake draggin more than the other could cause that. Most likely nothing to worry about.

Go under the truck and see if you can isolate the noise. One of those mechanics stethoscopes (can buy reasonably at Harbor Freight) is an excellent tool to have for that purpose.

Hope I've been some help
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, thank you, you have helped quite a bit. I will go by harbor freight today, always like having a reason to stop in. I understand the difficulty of reading a sound as I am unable to find the words to play an audible noise. By your description, my guess is the TC. The sound is constant, humming like an electric fan would as the bearings were begging to go out and not really a grinding noise. A friend of mine that I have been trying to come check it out is hopefully stopping by this afternoon, so I'll let you know what he says as well as were I isolate the cause of said noise
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, yes the truck has sat in my shop for a bit. The front seal, main seal was blown. This caused the TC to be flooded with the transmission fluid, thus causing the noise. So I decided to look for the whole transmission sense I was starting to feel slipage and sluggish response prior. I found a transmission using car-parts. com from a local junk yard. I first went to the closest yard and give them their part # because they " had no tunda parts". They found it and dropped the price to match another one I found that was an hour down the road. $450 + 50 core. Took a full Saturday, but swap complete. Still need to adjust shift cable slightly, however very pleased with how tight and responsive it is now. Thank you all for your input as well knowledge. Next, rear leaf springs, want to swap and add a leaf???
 
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