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Old 06-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #1
LEM
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2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

OK, first of all my Trooper has at least 162,000 on its current tranny fluid. Last night I noticed a little bit of hesitation in "D". I checked the fluid level and it's good, but the fluid is black.

So, I want to change the fluid and filter. I've read a few threads here, but nothing that gives me a good step-by-step procedure for doing this.

I think all i need to do is:
  1. Run the vehicle until it reaches normal operating temperature.
  2. Shut it off
  3. Jack up the vehicle, both front and back to keep it level so I can get under it easier.
  4. Drain the tranny fluid through the drain plug.
  5. Replace the plug with a new copper gasket; torque to 28 ft-lbs.
  6. Support the transmission with a floor jack
  7. Drop the transmission support bracket
  8. Drop the transmission pan
  9. Clean out the pan
  10. Replace the filter
  11. Fill the pan with new fluid
  12. Replace pan (may be tricky)
  13. Remove fill plug
  14. Pump in more fluid until it runs out.
  15. Replace the fill plug
  16. Start the engine and leave in "P"
  17. Remove fill plug
  18. Pump in some more fluid until it runs out of the fill port
  19. Replace the fill plug
  20. Cycle through the gears P-R-N-D-3-2-1-P
  21. Remove the fill plug
  22. Pump in more fluid until it runs out.
  23. Replace fill plug copper gasket and replace fill plug; torque to 28 ft-lbs.
  24. Run the vehicle for about 500 miles then repeat the process (replacing the filter again), but use Royal Purple Max ATF transmission fluid.

Couple of questions:
If my procedure is right, should I shut the engine off after running it in "P" before adding more fluid?

Can I incorporate one of the other fluid change procedures using the transmission cooling lines to drain and replce the fluid? If so, can someone give me the step-by-step procedure?

Any help would be greatly appreicated.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
Ramblin Fever
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

162k on original atf fluid??

Only problem now is, there is a possibility that once you start getting good clean fluid in there, your tranny may start to slip and just fall apart.

The fluid in these transmissions NEEDS to be changed every 30k at MOST; chances are you're probably not the original owner and the first owner probably never did the maintenance which could leave you hanging with a pricey bill.

It doesn't hurt to try it; I would definitely do a pan drop/filter replacement over flushing it; flushing it will most certaintly kill it almost immediately.

Your procedure is nearly accurate; except you do not need to fill the pan before reinstalling it. But you DO need to pump in about 3qts into the pan before restarting the truck, or it will suck nothing but air.

Once you have started the truck for proper fluid level check, do NOT shut off the engine until fluid level check is complete, or it will all dump right back out on you.

Also, I would not do another drain/refill within 500 miles, I would wait for at least 2-3k miles to make sure your tranny is shifting good/clear without slippage. You do NOT want too much new fluid in there at one time, remember it's probably this old fluid holding the transmission together at this point....once atf turns black, tranny time is limited basically and I know it sounds weird, but that black fluid is thicker, and although it does need to be changed out....you do not want to freak the transmission out.

Also, I don't know if I would be switching to an expensive atf right away. I would do this first pan drop/filter deal, wait 2-3k miles do it again; then do it again in 3k miles or so....depending on the color of the fluid, you're probably going to need to do it again after that too. You do not need to replace the filter every time though.

FWIW....I currently have 192k miles on the same auto transmission with fluid swaps every 10-15k miles, filter every 30-40k miles, my atf fluid comes out cherry pink to this day. You should always change out the atf before it turns colors....if it can be helped. Sounds like yours was used when you bought it.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:08 AM   #3
LEM
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Thanks for the response.

In order to drop the pan I had to remove the rear transmission cross support. I broke off two of the bolts on one side (M12X1.25); I tapped the one broken bolt with a hammer to try to loosen it up (after spraying copious amounts of penetrant on it) and the whole thing popped up into the bracket!

As you can see, the bracket is completely boxed in so I couldn't access the inside to remove and replace the loose nut. So I moved onto the transmission pan and filter. I was able to drop the pan and change the filter; I went ahead and filled the pan up before replacing it...even with a buddy helping it made a mess!

Last night I had to cut a hole in the side of the bracket in order to remove the loose nut and install a couple of homemade "nuts" (I knocked out the other broken bolt). I'm waiting on a M12 x 1.25 tap to chase the threads in the other holes and to thread my new homemade nuts, then I'll reinstall the cross member and top off the tranny fluid.

After that I'll start the engine and top off the fluid level with the tranny in Park. Do I need to cycle through the gears at this point and continue to add fluid as needed?

Thanks.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:24 AM   #4
Ramblin Fever
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

"Do I need to cycle through the gears at this point and continue to add fluid as needed? "

Yes..most definitely. If you do not cycle through the gears, you will be low on atf, I can guarantee it.
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2004 3.4L Tacoma TRD off-road 4x4 Double cab
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
LEM
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

OK, here's my revised checklist for a transmission fluid and filter change:
  1. Run the vehicle until it reaches normal operating temperature.
  2. Shut it off
  3. Jack up the vehicle, both front and back to keep it level so I can get under it easier.
  4. Drain the transmission fluid through the drain plug.
  5. Replace the plug with a new copper gasket; torque to 28 ft-lbs.
  6. Support the transmission with a floor jack
  7. Drop the transmission support bracket
  8. Drop the transmission pan
  9. Clean out the pan
  10. Remove the old transmission pan gasket and clean gasket surfaces on the pan and the transmission
  11. Remove and replace the transmission filter
  12. Attach the transmission pan gasket to the pan with gasket adhesive
  13. Replace the pan
  14. Torque the pan bolts to 11 ft-lbs.
  15. Re-install the transmission support bracket
  16. Remove fill plug
  17. Pump in transmission fluid until it runs out of the fill port.
  18. Replace the fill plug
  19. Start the engine and leave in "P"
  20. Remove fill plug
  21. Pump in some fluid until it runs out of the fill port
  22. Have someone cycle through the gears P-R-N-D-3-2-1-2-3-D-N-R-P while you add fluid until it runs out of the fill port.
  23. Replace fill plug copper gasket and replace fill plug; torque to 28 ft-lbs.
  24. Run the vehicle for about 2500 miles then change the fluid again.

Let me know what you think....
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-2005 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Custom
-2008 Toyota 4Runner Ltd 4.7L AWD
-2014 Subaru Forester (the wife's)

Last edited by LEM; 06-25-2009 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Left out a step.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:37 AM   #6
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Well I got the Trooper back on the road last night. Here's a little background:

183,000+ miles without a transmission fluid or filter change

A week ago it started bucking and shimmying at highway speeds (55-70 mph) and seemed to do so even more at lower sppeds (30-35 mph)

After we noticed the first signs of a tranny issue we drove it back to the house ~ 15 miles and parked it.

Checked the tranny fluid level; it was okay, but the fluid was dark brown.

This week I dropped the pan, changed the filter, filled the pan and replaced it.

Last night I finished the work by starting the vehicle and letting run in park for a couple of minutes, then I removed the fill plug. A lot of fluid came out at this point (about 1 quart if I had to guess).

I had my wife cycle through the gears while depressing the brakes; the fluid stopped. She cycled through the gears at least two or three times going from P-R-N-D-3-2-1-2-3-D-N-R-P each time.

She put it back in P and I pumped in more fluid until it it started to pour out again.

She then cycled through the gears and more fluid poured out.

I had her put it in P and let the fluid drain until it dribbled out, then I replaced the fill plug. Was this the right thing to do?

We drove it after that. At first there was no sign of any problems, but about 2 miles into the trip I noticed it shimmying again-slightly. It seems to do it going from 3 to D and at lower speeds (30-40 mph). On the way home it seemed to shimmy and buck a little harder at lower speeds (30-40 mph) in D going up a slight grade.

I drove it in to work this morning and didn't notice any bucking and only a bit of vibration (shimmying) on the county road going about 30-40 mph in D. On the highway it did fine going 55-70 mph, nice and smooth.

Do you think it will smooth out over time as the new fluid has a chance to mix in well and make its way throughout the tranny? Should I try another fluid change in the near future? If so, after how many miles? Ramblin Fever suggests,"I would wait for at least 2-3k miles to make sure your tranny is shifting good/clear without slippage. You do NOT want too much new fluid in there at one time, remember it's probably this old fluid holding the transmission together at this point....once atf turns black, tranny time is limited basically and I know it sounds weird, but that black fluid is thicker, and although it does need to be changed out....you do not want to freak the transmission out." I don't know if what it's doing can be called slipping or not. The tranny does seem to buck and jerk a bit (I'm not sure if I could call it slippage or not, it runs rough at certain speeds, usually lower speeds in 3 and D), but I don't know how to tell if it's slipping - I've never had a AT vehicle go bad on me before. With these symptoms should I go 2-3k miles or change it out after 500 or 1,000 miles?

Are there any fluid additives that might help? Finally, at what point should I take it into a tranny shop?

I appreciate your input and advice.
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-2005 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Custom
-2008 Toyota 4Runner Ltd 4.7L AWD
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Lem....not sure what to tell you.

When you rechecked the level of the ATF, are you SURE that the transmission wasn't already too warm??

You can't allow them to idle but maybe a minute or two, from a COLD start this time of year before cycling through the gears and double checking the level.

If you checked the final level after the transmission warmed up, the fluid expands and it will dump out on you. Leaving it under-filled.

I also have never had a transmission go out on me either, I'm not sure what it would feel like.

I DO know that allowing this transmission to go 180k on it's ORIGINAL ATF is almost always a death sentence; that fluid was long worn out and you may have toasted the transmission as a result of it.

What did the pan look like when you dropped it?

Also, have you tried lubricating your driveshaft...there is a zerk fitting under there somewhere....this could result in clunking.

And how old is your rear differential fluid? If that's original, that could be the problem too.
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2004 3.4L Tacoma TRD off-road 4x4 Double cab
32" Yoko's, Westin Bull-bar, KC Fogs 60K miles
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #8
LEM
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Well by the time we cycled through the gears I'd say the engine had run at least 4-5 minutes; the engine was up to normal operating temperature. An awfully lot of fluid did pour out the fill port. I'll check the level tonight immediately after starting the engine. If needed, I'll add fluid with the tranny in P.

I did not lube the driveshaft, but will also do this tonight as well.

I changed the differential and transfer case fluid a couple of years ago and put in synthetic (Royal Purple).

A local tranny shop (that was recommended to me) wants to run a diagnostic ($89) on the tranny and do a fluid exchange ($190) with no chemical flush, but with an anti-slip additive. We've got an appointment for July 10, unless what I do tonight fixes it...here's hoping.

Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:58 PM   #9
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Hey I have a 97 Acura slx same thing as a Isuzu trooper I'm doing a trans filter change and fluid change I bought lucus semi synthetic it meets gm specks is it ok and another question you fill the fluid tell it runs out of the huge hole in the side of the trans with a huge plug in it or do you fill threw the higher bolt on the trans pan fill tell it runs out need to know asap I'm doing it tomarrow ans does transfer case take trans fluid thanks
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:47 AM   #10
LEM
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Re: 2000 Trooper Transmission Fluid/Filter Change

Wish I could help you, but we traded the Trooper several years ago and I don't remember exactly where I added the fluid. I think it is through the higher of the two openings on the side of the transmission itself but you'd better verify that.
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