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Old 04-05-2021, 03:40 PM #1
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Transmission replacement - options?

Hi all - I've had my 4runner for 21 years now, only 140k miles on it. Was driving down the freeway the other day and after some serious metallic grinding it just dropped out of gear and wouldn't go back. Got it towed to a transmission shop and they're saying the transmission is definitely done, but there's also metal in the transfer case, so that may or may not need to be replaced.

Wondering what my best options are & if it's even worth getting her running again. Not going to be able to do this job myself. I'm in Austin, TX if that makes a difference.

Dealerships in the area are quoting $3500+tax for a toyota remanufactured transmission (+$1k core charge). Transmission shop is saying they can drop and replace for $900. I found a salvage yard that is selling a used one w/ approx 140k miles on it for $600 w/ a 3 month warranty.

Currently leaning towards the used one and having the shop do the install...and then hoping the transfer case isn't the next domino.


Thanks!

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Old 04-05-2021, 04:21 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurkVU View Post
Hi all - I've had my 4runner for 21 years now, only 140k miles on it. Was driving down the freeway the other day and after some serious metallic grinding it just dropped out of gear and wouldn't go back. Got it towed to a transmission shop and they're saying the transmission is definitely done, but there's also metal in the transfer case, so that may or may not need to be replaced.

Wondering what my best options are & if it's even worth getting her running again. Not going to be able to do this job myself. I'm in Austin, TX if that makes a difference.

Dealerships in the area are quoting $3500+tax for a toyota remanufactured transmission (+$1k core charge). Transmission shop is saying they can drop and replace for $900. I found a salvage yard that is selling a used one w/ approx 140k miles on it for $600 w/ a 3 month warranty.

Currently leaning towards the used one and having the shop do the install...and then hoping the transfer case isn't the next domino.


Thanks!
Salvage yard Transmission should work fine. Drain and fill the transfer case also.
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Old 04-05-2021, 08:31 PM #3
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wait....i thought the transfer case and the tranny were basically 2 different units..they dont share fluids...then why if a tranny is bad and throwing metal shavings is it showing up in the transfer case.
scam ????
are you throwing any codes ?
super fine metal dust is common on the magnets.....maybe you just need shift solenoids , well forget that , you said you had grinding noise right?
A transmission shop you knew or one the towing company is friends with ?
2nd opinion ?
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:36 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurkVU View Post
Hi all - I've had my 4runner for 21 years now, only 140k miles on it. Was driving down the freeway the other day and after some serious metallic grinding it just dropped out of gear and wouldn't go back. Got it towed to a transmission shop and they're saying the transmission is definitely done, but there's also metal in the transfer case, so that may or may not need to be replaced.

Wondering what my best options are & if it's even worth getting her running again. Not going to be able to do this job myself. I'm in Austin, TX if that makes a difference.

Dealerships in the area are quoting $3500+tax for a toyota remanufactured transmission (+$1k core charge). Transmission shop is saying they can drop and replace for $900. I found a salvage yard that is selling a used one w/ approx 140k miles on it for $600 w/ a 3 month warranty.

Currently leaning towards the used one and having the shop do the install...and then hoping the transfer case isn't the next domino.


Thanks!
I had a pretty similar situation a couple years ago with my 4Runner. I had a complication in that my rig is supercharged so none of the aftermarket shops would warranty a reman transmission. I ended up going with a Toyota transmission from Ft Worth Toyota. Looking back it was expensive but the 1 year/ unlimited mileage warranty was worth it since the supercharger complicated it. The peace of mind now is still worth it.

Root question is how much longer to do you plan to keep the rig? Do you want confidence the problem is resolved the whole time?
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:20 AM #5
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I think you have a problem with the transfer case and not with the transmission. Even if it is manual, transmission and transfer case are TWO things and are NOT related. Nothing can get exchanged between the two, not even fluid.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:26 AM #6
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I've actually brought it to 2 shops - the first is one I've been to many times and I trust. They said transmission - I then had it towed over to a transmission shop that the first shop works with often and they are the ones that said definitely transmission but also maybe transfer case. They didn't claim that one corrupted the other, just that there was metal in both.

I actually have a new vehicle ordered, but not likely to take delivery until sometime late this year...so basically I'm looking for fix that will get me through the next 6+ months. After that, I was hoping to keep my runner around, but she'll no longer be my daily driver.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:06 PM #7
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Salvage yards will often mark transmission as '2WD' or '4WD' versions. The '4WD' versions often will come with the transfer case attached so you're actually getting both.
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:50 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamefreakgc View Post
Salvage yards will often mark transmission as '2WD' or '4WD' versions. The '4WD' versions often will come with the transfer case attached so you're actually getting both.
Really wishing I'd read this before I drove out there! The transmission did indeed have the transfer case attached, they said they'd remove the transfer case...but instead of saying 'no, it should come with it', I said 'no, how much more for the case'. Cost me an extra $200.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:12 PM #9
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If you are only needing a 6 month fix then a salvage trans/transfer setup is a good option.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:45 PM #10
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Really wishing I'd read this before I drove out there! The transmission did indeed have the transfer case attached, they said they'd remove the transfer case...but instead of saying 'no, it should come with it', I said 'no, how much more for the case'. Cost me an extra $200.
Well, you're still way ahead than if your went with a Toyota reman'd transmission anyway.
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:52 AM #11
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Got a call from the shop yesterday and apparently the transmission from the salvage yard isn't the right one...so back to the drawing board.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:41 AM #12
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I would get a rebuilt from the dealership if it were me and I think you need to shop around a bit more. When we shot our transmission replacement video, @infamousRNR was able to find a dealer in the California Bay Area willing to sell one for $2500. I can't imagine prices have gone up that much over the last few years.

I'm guessing you have an 01 or 02 model. The transmissions in these rigs are known to have an Overdrive Planetary Gear Bearing failure. When you drop the pan, you're going to see a whole lot of metal debris.

Whatever way you go, the video series we made will help you out with the swap. If you can do the work yourself, it's worth the risk to put a used one in. If you're going to have to pay someone to do the work for you, I recommend you drop the coin on a quality rebuild. Paying a shop twice for this job would be very expensive because your used one might be junk or not last you as long as you would have hoped. If you have the time, tools and space to the do the job yourself, I highly recommend you go that route. If you don't have a good set of tools, invest in some. They will pay for themselves very quickly. Shop labor rates are expensive. My local dealer now charges $200/hour. I don't know about you, but I don't make anywhere close to $200/hour. It's worth it to me to do my own work to save money and make sure the job was done right.

Here's Part 1 or our 3 Part Series:

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Old 04-14-2021, 02:31 PM #13
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Got a call from the shop yesterday and apparently the transmission from the salvage yard isn't the right one...so back to the drawing board.
What year is your 4Runner?
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:10 PM #14
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What year is your 4Runner?
2000 SR5, 3.4L 4wd, automatic
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:15 PM #15
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2000 SR5, 3.4L 4wd, automatic
You'll need a transmission from a 96-2000 4Runner. 2001/2002 automatic transmission don't have an external transmission line pressure cable. I'm not sure what years tacoma will interchange.
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