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Old 06-28-2020, 02:14 PM #1
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P0770, Shift Solenoid E

Just did a transmission swap on my 1997 4Runner. The "new" transmission only has 50,000 miles or so. It was out of a 1996 Land Cruiser Prado. I am now getting a check engine light: P0770, Shift Solenoid E. I don't think I feel any symptoms. It shifts super smooth, up and down. No slipping or grinding noises. Feels brand new to me. It goes right into gear in less than a second just like it's supposed to. It might be lurching just a little bit when it's put into gear, but it isn't uncomfortable. You can't really feel it, you just hear the brakes resist movement for just a fraction of a second. I feel like I might be looking for a problem.

If I clear the code, it comes back on after the 3rd or 4th start. I can clear it, start it and drive for an unlimited number of miles it seems with the light not coming back on. After the 3rd or 4th trip though it will come back on within a couple of minutes of starting.

I have read some forums and everyone suggests fluid changes and the like, obviously it has brand new fluid, the swap was just completed. If it was something more important I feel like I would be noticing an issue rather than just the light. At this point I'm kind of thinking that the computer might disagree with the new tranny, but I'm making this post to see if anyone else has any ideas. I'm also considering taking it to my mechanic to see what their diagnosis would be. I don't think the solenoids or torque converter would be failing at 50,000 miles, and if they were wouldn't I be able to feel something abnormal? I don't know. Also just completed the valve cover gasket job, don't know what that could have messed up, just thought I would mention it. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:02 PM #2
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I'm going to go guess that the problem doesn't lie with the valve covers.

According to service manual:
P0770 - Malfunction (mechanical)
-Shift solenoid valve SL is stuck open or closed
-Valve body is blocked up or stuck
-Lock-up clutch

The code is mechanical, but I would still try to simplest thing first. Start by cleaning the solenoid connection (male and female) on the transmission located at the rear driver side. If no luck, ensure continuity between the two connections on the solenoid harness. If still no luck, test the applicable resistance on the ECM (I doubt the ECM is the issue based on the smooth-shifting). The next step--which honestly should be the first step, but who wants to drop the pan on a brand new transmission--would be to remove and test solenoid SL, located by itself towards the front. Hopefully, all you have to do is replace the solenoid.

Did the light immediately come on after installation? Can you pinpoint under what conditions it comes on? Below 50 mph, over 50, etc.? Are you 100% sure that the torque converter and all other components were installed within tolerance?

Keep us updated!
Attached Images
P0770, Shift Solenoid E-screen-shot-2020-06-29-8-27-49-pm-jpg  P0770, Shift Solenoid E-screen-shot-2020-06-29-8-28-39-pm-jpg  P0770, Shift Solenoid E-screen-shot-2020-06-29-8-30-14-pm-png  P0770, Shift Solenoid E-screen-shot-2020-06-29-8-57-23-pm-png  P0770, Shift Solenoid E-screen-shot-2020-06-29-8-57-33-pm-png 
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:06 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardizzy View Post
I'm going to go guess that the problem doesn't lie with the valve covers.



According to service manual:

P0770 - Malfunction (mechanical)

-Shift solenoid valve SL is stuck open or closed

-Valve body is blocked up or stuck

-Lock-up clutch



The code is mechanical, but I would still try to simplest thing first. Start by cleaning the solenoid connection (male and female) on the transmission located at the rear driver side. If no luck, ensure continuity between the two connections on the solenoid harness. If still no luck, test the applicable resistance on the ECM (I doubt the ECM is the issue based on the smooth-shifting). The next step--which honestly should be the first step, but who wants to drop the pan on a brand new transmission--would be to remove and test solenoid SL, located by itself towards the front. Hopefully, all you have to do is replace the solenoid.



Did the light immediately come on after installation? Can you pinpoint under what conditions it comes on? Below 50 mph, over 50, etc.? Are you 100% sure that the torque converter and all other components were installed within tolerance?



Keep us updated!
It comes on at highway speeds or close to it. Not sure what you mean by everything being installed to the right tolerances. There are no guarantees I installed everything correctly I guess, not sure what it would have been though since it drives fine. I still have the old transmission laying around so I just removed the solenoids from it and tried to test a few of them but didn't hear a click or anything, not sure I'm doing it right. I decided I was going to go ahead and drain the fluid from the transmission in the truck and go ahead and drop the pan. Fluid does not look good for only having a hundred miles, starting to get a little worried something more serious is wrong. Check it out here: Imgur: The magic of the Internet


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Old 06-30-2020, 02:46 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereww View Post
It comes on at highway speeds or close to it. Not sure what you mean by everything being installed to the right tolerances. There are no guarantees I installed everything correctly I guess, not sure what it would have been though since it drives fine. I still have the old transmission laying around so I just removed the solenoids from it and tried to test a few of them but didn't hear a click or anything, not sure I'm doing it right. I decided I was going to go ahead and drain the fluid from the transmission in the truck and go ahead and drop the pan. Fluid does not look good for only having a hundred miles, starting to get a little worried something more serious is wrong. Check it out here: Imgur: The magic of the Internet


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It's hard to tell the true color of the used fluid in the container. Can you post a pic of a couple drops of used trans fluid on a white piece of paper or a paper towel? How does it smell?
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:00 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
It's hard to tell the true color of the used fluid in the container. Can you post a pic of a couple drops of used trans fluid on a white piece of paper or a paper towel? How does it smell?
Smells pretty similar to brand new. I wouldn't describe it as burning either. Just surprised to see that big of color change in such a short amount of time. On a paper towel: Fluid 2 - Album on Imgur

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Old 06-30-2020, 04:25 PM #6
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Originally Posted by Stereww View Post
Smells pretty similar to brand new. I wouldn't describe it as burning either. Just surprised to see that big of color change in such a short amount of time. On a paper towel: Fluid 2 - Album on Imgur

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Thanks for the pic. That is a little darker than I would expect with so few miles on the fluid. What brand fluid did you use? Did you reuse your old torque converter or did the used trans come with a torque converter?
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:37 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
Thanks for the pic. That is a little darker than I would expect with so few miles on the fluid. What brand fluid did you use? Did you reuse your old torque converter or did the used trans come with a torque converter?
Valvoline fluid, not the full synthetic though. Used the torque converter that came with the transmission. That's what the company I bought it from recommended.

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Old 06-30-2020, 11:41 PM #8
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A 96 with 50k. Had the tranny sat for 10 years or more?

If the torque converter solenoid isnít locking up the TC I donít think it would effect shifting. It might feel like you have 4 speed rather than the normal 5 speed feel of the TC locking up in O/D at speed.
(Yes I know itís a 4 speed tranny)

You say the light comes on at highway speeds?? Thatís the point the TC should lock up.

Your probably not locking up your TC.
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:53 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereww View Post
Valvoline fluid, not the full synthetic though. Used the torque converter that came with the transmission. That's what the company I bought it from recommended.

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If they didn't drain the torque converter then that would explain the darker fluid. Old fluid leftover in the "new" torque converter would have been a darker color causing your new fluid to get diluted with the darker color.

I agree with dieselcheesy above
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:01 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselchessy View Post
A 96 with 50k. Had the tranny sat for 10 years or more?



If the torque converter solenoid isnít locking up the TC I donít think it would effect shifting. It might feel like you have 4 speed rather than the normal 5 speed feel of the TC locking up in O/D at speed.

(Yes I know itís a 4 speed tranny)



You say the light comes on at highway speeds?? Thatís the point the TC should lock up.



Your probably not locking up your TC.
That is making since to me, didn't know that is how it works. Thanks so much!

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Old 07-01-2020, 10:02 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
If they didn't drain the torque converter then that would explain the darker fluid. Old fluid leftover in the "new" torque converter would have been a darker color causing your new fluid to get diluted with the darker color.



I agree with dieselcheesy above
I didn't drain the fluid in the TC, and I do remember there being some in there. Makes sense to me!

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Old 07-02-2020, 02:52 AM #12
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50K on a 1996 seems odd but not entirely impossible. I replaced the transmission on my 2001 (w/257K) because of the same code. The transmissions have a tag with a VIN on it. When I bought the used transmission , I ran a CarFax to see how many miles it was last registered for vs the time I bought it. The place I bought from parts out 4Runners and was smart enough to log the miles from the vehicle it was pulled from. It had 187K and has not given me any issues or codes since installing it about 5K ago. The original transmission I pulled had a blue TC. My guess is the transmission suffered a milkshake death and was rebuilt sometime ago.

If you swap the solenoid, Iíd suggest Toyota parts only.
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:37 PM #13
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Iíve had decent luck with the blue eBay solenoids. They are easy to replace.

Unfortunately it may be other issues. But a solenoids an easy first go.

Iíve never performed the FSM tests cause I buy parts before I pull the pan, and at that point itís swaptronics.

Hopefully itís a solenoid and not the tc clutch.
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Old 07-03-2020, 08:57 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselchessy View Post
Iíve had decent luck with the blue eBay solenoids. They are easy to replace.



Unfortunately it may be other issues. But a solenoids an easy first go.



Iíve never performed the FSM tests cause I buy parts before I pull the pan, and at that point itís swaptronics.



Hopefully itís a solenoid and not the tc clutch.
Welp, not the solenoid. Installed it yesterday, code is back today. Still drives perfect. Not sure what else to do.

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Old 07-03-2020, 09:23 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6uam671_T4R View Post
50K on a 1996 seems odd but not entirely impossible. I replaced the transmission on my 2001 (w/257K) because of the same code. The transmissions have a tag with a VIN on it. When I bought the used transmission , I ran a CarFax to see how many miles it was last registered for vs the time I bought it. The place I bought from parts out 4Runners and was smart enough to log the miles from the vehicle it was pulled from. It had 187K and has not given me any issues or codes since installing it about 5K ago. The original transmission I pulled had a blue TC. My guess is the transmission suffered a milkshake death and was rebuilt sometime ago.

If you swap the solenoid, Iíd suggest Toyota parts only.
New solenoid, light is back on.
The "new" transmission was a transmission from Japan, they don't use the VIN system we do over there, so there is no way to verify the mileage. The reason they claim it has so few miles is because of the strict regulations on older cars over there, its called the Shaken Inspection. You can read about it here: Motor-vehicle inspection (Japan - Wikipedia)
I'm starting to think that it might be the difference in transmissions. The transmission I received was not out of a 4Runner. I discovered with the help of some others here on this forum that it was out of a Land Cruiser Prado II and has a slightly different model number. The different model was practically identical, but has a slightly different ratio in 4th gear. Could that be confusing my ECU enough to throw a code? I don't know.
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