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Old 04-19-2021, 11:36 PM #1
whyzee125 whyzee125 is offline
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'96 4Runner P0770 and tq not locking up

Hey guys,

I recently purchased a super clean 96 4Runner while on vacation. The seller recently bought it from the original owner with what he thought was a bad trans and lost interest. It came with a spare trans but I'm not sure if I need it.

I drove it home almost 1,000 miles with no issues but I noted the following.

- P0770
- Shifts are crisp and timely, nothing wrong there
- Torque converter does not lock up at 50mph like it should so it feels sloppy
- Very sight humming noise (like an alternator whine) that seems to be coming from the trans at idle
- Noise is the same in p,r,n,d
- No delay from R to D, etc
- Trans bell housing and trans pan are a little wet with fluid but no active drips or anything
- Fluid looked used but not horrible. No signs of a milkshake
- Drain & fill did nothing
- If you really baby it and feather the throttle around 50mph, SOMETIMES you can get it to lock up but it usually has a shudder for a few seconds as it tries to
- On a recent freeway trip, I got an a/t temp light


What do you all think? Worth dropping the pan and trying solenoids? Bad torque converter? Bad fluid pump? Should i just replace the trans with the spare one?

I had it locking up fairly regularly albeit with a little help one day. The next day it was back to not locking up. It was never firm and crisp like it should be, you'd have to hover the rpms around where they normally drop for a few minutes and eventually it would catch after a brief shudder. Im a little stumped and would love to save this trans if possible but I don't want to waste too much time on it if it's likely to need replaced
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Originally Posted by LittleCaesar View Post
At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.

Last edited by whyzee125; 04-19-2021 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:29 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
Hey guys,

I recently purchased a super clean 96 4Runner while on vacation. The seller recently bought it from the original owner with what he thought was a bad trans and lost interest. It came with a spare trans but I'm not sure if I need it.

I drove it home almost 1,000 miles with no issues but I noted the following.

- P0770
- Shifts are crisp and timely, nothing wrong there
- Torque converter does not lock up at 50mph like it should so it feels sloppy
- Very sight humming noise (like an alternator whine) that seems to be coming from the trans at idle
- Noise is the same in p,r,n,d
- No delay from R to D, etc
- Trans bell housing and trans pan are a little wet with fluid but no active drips or anything
- Fluid looked used but not horrible. No signs of a milkshake
- Drain & fill did nothing
- If you really baby it and feather the throttle around 50mph, SOMETIMES you can get it to lock up but it usually has a shudder for a few seconds as it tries to
- On a recent freeway trip, I got an a/t temp light


What do you all think? Worth dropping the pan and trying solenoids? Bad torque converter? Bad fluid pump? Should i just replace the trans with the spare one?

I had it locking up fairly regularly albeit with a little help one day. The next day it was back to not locking up. It was never firm and crisp like it should be, you'd have to hover the rpms around where they normally drop for a few minutes and eventually it would catch after a brief shudder. Im a little stumped and would love to save this trans if possible but I don't want to waste too much time on it if it's likely to need replaced
Most people with that code have fixed it with shift solenoids, but you have a whining noise which indicates torque converter failure. Did the old fluid smell burnt? Any debris in the pan?
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:34 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
Most people with that code have fixed it with shift solenoids, but you have a whining noise which indicates torque converter failure. Did the old fluid smell burnt? Any debris in the pan?
Cool, thanks for the reply. No shavings and the fluid didn't smell burnt. I think the guy I got it from had probably tried to change the fluid to see if he got lucky lol. I did another fluid change just to be sure and it looked decent with no debris but it was dark.
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:16 PM #4
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Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
Cool, thanks for the reply. No shavings and the fluid didn't smell burnt. I think the guy I got it from had probably tried to change the fluid to see if he got lucky lol. I did another fluid change just to be sure and it looked decent with no debris but it was dark.
Did you drop the transmission pan or just empty it with the drain?
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:22 PM #5
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Why don't you want to use the transmission that came with it?
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:41 PM #6
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I agree with Badluck on this one. A TC that doesn't lock up will mostly have a whine to it as well.

Another thing to check is to drop the pan and make for sure your transmission filter is clean and been replaced.

The magnets get dirty and in time the transmission pan filter can get plugged. As if you have a plugged transmission pan filter as well. You will not get proper fluid flow and thus have TC issue..

Mostly though.. and Bad luck can confirm, if the TC will not lock up then it maybe need replaced as the TC damage is already done. :-(
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:57 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
Did you drop the transmission pan or just empty it with the drain?
I didn't drop the pan yet, but I'm willing if there's a chance of saving this trans. i just drained it from the plug.
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:58 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
Why don't you want to use the transmission that came with it?
I will if I need to, I just figured if I can save the one that's in there, I could do it myself and thus save on labor.
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:59 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
I agree with Badluck on this one. A TC that doesn't lock up will mostly have a whine to it as well.

Another thing to check is to drop the pan and make for sure your transmission filter is clean and been replaced.

The magnets get dirty and in time the transmission pan filter can get plugged. As if you have a plugged transmission pan filter as well. You will not get proper fluid flow and thus have TC issue..

Mostly though.. and Bad luck can confirm, if the TC will not lock up then it maybe need replaced as the TC damage is already done. :-(
Cool, this is helpful, thank you! So it's looking like the solenoids are not likely my issue but the tq probably is. I still may drop the pan and replace the filter in this case but I didn't think of the whine as much before and now it's seeming like everything is pointing to a bad torque converter.

i appreciate all the help guys!
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Originally Posted by LittleCaesar View Post
At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:57 PM #10
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Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
I didn't drop the pan yet, but I'm willing if there's a chance of saving this trans. i just drained it from the plug.
You won't be able to tell if there is any debris on the magnets in the pan unless you drop the pan. The amount and size of material on the magnet could be helpful.
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Old 04-21-2021, 02:23 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
You won't be able to tell if there is any debris on the magnets in the pan unless you drop the pan. The amount and size of material on the magnet could be helpful.
I appreciate it! I'll drop the pan and check on that, and test the solenoids as well. I'll keep you guys posted!
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:55 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
I agree with Badluck on this one. A TC that doesn't lock up will mostly have a whine to it as well.

Another thing to check is to drop the pan and make for sure your transmission filter is clean and been replaced.

The magnets get dirty and in time the transmission pan filter can get plugged. As if you have a plugged transmission pan filter as well. You will not get proper fluid flow and thus have TC issue..

Mostly though.. and Bad luck can confirm, if the TC will not lock up then it maybe need replaced as the TC damage is already done. :-(
My buddy is looking to get this '96 4Runner with the same code and the soft brake issue. Clean otherwise as his first impression. We'll just finish installing the suspension and dick cepek tires on the truck this week before we can take a closer look, especially the TC.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:55 PM #13
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Originally Posted by revox92 View Post
My buddy is looking to get this '96 4Runner with the same code and the soft brake issue. Clean otherwise as his first impression. We'll just finish installing the suspension and dick cepek tires on the truck this week before we can take a closer look, especially the TC.
Mine has the soft brake issue too LOL. Haven't started to investigate that yet. Good luck to you and let me know what you find on the trans! I'll keep you all updated as well.
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At 5'7", I'd need a rocket up the wazoo to get in it.

But it looks good. I can't wait to see it being driven.
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