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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I have read all the pages and pages on how to service the transmission on the 6 speed Tundra and Sequoia's with tow packages and was prepared to do some precise measuring to make sure what amount comes out, goes back in. I have the PDF that lists the detailed instructions, but I was looking to simplify this servicing of the transmission. Toyota has got to understand that these "low end" service shops aren't going to be able to do all that is listed within the PDF, so I was optimistic that there was a simpler way to comply with this drain and service. Listed below is what I did and what I learned.

Drove my 2008 Sequoia home from work, parked it in a level position and let it sit for about 30 minutes while I got all the tools ready to perform the drain and reservice (not full system flush). I knew I was above the operating temperatures of what the PDF lists, but I went ahead and complied with drain to see how it would differ from others who have followed the directions.

I didn't bother with all the Laptops, temperature measuring, locking the thermostatic valve open, etc. All I did was break the service plug on top driver's side of tranny open and pulled the overflow tube drain plug with allen head out and let fluid drain. About one quart or more drained out (probably because temperature of fluid was around 150 degrees vs. the 115-133 as listed). As we all know fluid expands when it is hot. I then pulled the tranny 14 mm drain plug and let the remaining fluid from drain pan drain out for about 15 minutes. I then measured all the fluid that was removed from the above listed steps and I found that I had drained exactly 4 quarts and 8 ounces. I reinstalled overflow tube drain plug and the main drain plug on the drain pan. I then opened hood of Sequoia and slipped a 1/2 diameter clear hose down the driver side manifold and right into the driver side service port. I then ty-wraped the hose so it would not slip out of tranny while servicing. I opened 4 quarts of 90 degrees Toyota WS fluid ($10 per quart) and poured the 4 quarts into the tranny via 1/2 inch clear hose and small funnel. All 4 quarts poured right into tranny with no problems. I measured out the last remaining 8 ounces and proceeded to pour the 8 ounces into the tranny. I got to 4 ounces and the fluid started draining out of the service plug. I stopped and let the remaining 4 ounces drain into drain pan below car.

This is what I gather from this drain and service of the 6 speed tranny. I believe the reason the remaining 4 ounces wouldn't go into the tranny is because the fluid that was drained out was about 55 degrees hotter than the fluid that i was pouring back in. I think it is posible to underservice this tranny which can bring horrible results, but this tranny service appears to be fool proof in regards to over servicing in my opinion and from what I have seen tonight. Maybe all the directions and steps is just a big smoke screen to intimidate the general public so they will not service their tranny themselves. I may be wrong, but after complying with my test drive I found that the tranny shifted and operated normally at all speeds.

I serviced the fluid because I have 40,000 miles on this Sequoia and I tow a 8200 pound travel trailer with this thing twice a month. I didn't want to wait for service interval as listed by Toyota. Note: The fluid that drained out was very dark, but didn't smell burnt. I'm still glad that I drained out the 4 quarts and plan to do it again very shortly so I can work towards getting the old fluid out and the new fluid in.

I do not wish to make this post a recommendation to any other reader, just wanted to share my observations here for others to think about.

Revision #1: Just to be safe 3 hours later I ran out and complied with the PDF instructions for proper fluid level service. I found that the above listed procedure will over-service this transmission by exactly 20 ounces (approximately 1/2 a quart). Hope this information helps somebody.

Revision #2: Last night I drained the tranny pan once again the same way as listed above and measured amount that came out. It was exactly 4 quarts. As a reminder the first time I did this I drained out 4 quarts and 8 ounces. Point being is that my tranny was "over-serviced" from the factory and has worked flawlessly for 40,000 miles with heavy towing. The factory had the trannys serviced to the level that the fluid was just below top service port on drivers side of tranny. To clarify this entire process I will say that I do feel that each of us can run into problems if this tranny is under-serviced, but I don't see having any issues with this tranny being slightly over-serviced. I have learned that a fluid level between the proper meathods via PDF using correct temperatures and equipment (dealer), to a level that is serviced until fluid runs out of the service plug on driver side of tranny (DIYer) will not cause any problems in operation. Note: the difference from dealer directions in servicing; to the meathod of servicing tranny until it runs out service port is only about 3/4 of a quart. Both fluid levels have proven to provide safe, consistant operation.
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