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Old 08-27-2021, 05:24 PM #1
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3rd gen transmission replacement?

Having a 5th gen I know nothing about 3rd gens.

Neighbors 3rd gen had coolant and transmission fluid mix. Local shop quote is $4500 for a new transmission. Is this the going rate? Can the transmission be rebuilt? Are junkyard transmissions ok? They bought it 6 months ago.
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:49 PM #2
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How long did he drive it after they mixed? The term is called ďpink or strawberry milkshakeĒ in these here parts. I recently had it happen to mine but as soon as I noticed, had it towed and then put in a new radiator and exchanged new coolant and transmission fluid. Itís been good up to this point and that happened in may and itís my daily driver and I recently got back on a 1,500 mile trip up through Montana. Point is the transmissions are notoriously strong aside from this happening and your neighbor might be able to save it. If itís toast then Iím not sure about prices for a new one though that seems about right. I was planning on doing a manual swap if mine was toast which I figured would have been around $1500-$2000 total with me doing all the work. If moneys and issue for them I would snag an auto transmission from the junkyard and swap it in along with a new radiator and you should be good. It wouldnít be hard to do themselves with some help.


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Old 08-27-2021, 06:48 PM #3
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Should be able to find a used auto pretty cheap, I saw one on my local Craigslist listed for $300 and it sat there for months without selling, and when I manual swapped mine I sold the working auto trans for $75 to another forum member.

Post an ad in the classifieds, Iím sure someone has a parts rig or spare transmission laying around that they would let go for a reasonable price. If you canít find one here a junkyard transmission is probably fine, many of them come with a short warrantee
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Old 08-27-2021, 07:19 PM #4
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I mean I wouldn't doubt it if it's including the cost of a new trans. Sounds about right to me; where shops usually get you is the labor cost, and replacing a trans is a very tedious job. Not necessarily hard, just a lot of wrenching. And with shops usually charging $100-200/hour for labor it adds up very fast. Cheapest way to go about it would be to pull one from a junkyard and install it yourself, but that's not always possible for everyone. Should cut costs to a fraction though. Just something to think about
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Old 08-27-2021, 07:35 PM #5
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Salvage yard transmission would save him half of that quote if not more. Make sure to get the right one they changed for 99 2000 models and then again for 2001-2 no kick down cable.
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Old 08-28-2021, 01:48 AM #6
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They noticed a drop of fluid on the ground. Immediately sent to a shop. First shop recognized probable transmission problems. It was towed to a transmission specific shop.

Is it best to have a separate transmission cooler separate from the radiator?
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Old 08-28-2021, 02:58 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcjeep View Post
They noticed a drop of fluid on the ground. Immediately sent to a shop. First shop recognized probable transmission problems. It was towed to a transmission specific shop.

Is it best to have a separate transmission cooler separate from the radiator?
You aren't going to get a simple yes or no answer to that question. It's really going to depend on location, use, and what you are more concerned about. Because the radiator also cools the ATF, in colder conditions it actually helps to warm up the ATF more quickly which is good for the transmission. If you are in warmer conditions, having a separate trans cooler can help with heat especially when going up hill or towing. Many people actually run a separate trans cooler in series with the cooler in the radiator rather than bypassing the radiator for extra cooling capacity. Some people are more concerned about potential problems and bypass the radiator and run a separate loop. It just comes down to what your biggest worry is.

As far as the diagnosis of pink milkshake goes, it seems strange that your neighbor didn't notice a drivability issue which is how that would present, and instead noticed a drip on the ground which wouldn't have anything to do with pink milkshake. I'm not saying the shop is wrong, just that the reason it was sent to the shop isn't connected in any way to the shops diagnosis which makes me wary or trusting them on it. That said, the mixture of ATF and coolant is pretty easy to identify.
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:11 AM #8
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As long as the mix didnít cause a drivability issue you should be able to flush the trans fluid and continue driving.

The antifreeze if in too long brakes down the glue on the friction plates. Usually the problem is only discovered when the clutch plates start loosing their material and slipping.


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Old 08-28-2021, 10:28 AM #9
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I pulled a trans and tcase from a yard a little over a year ago for $900 went home and did the swap. If the labor portion isn't in their wheel house I know a friends shop will charge $700-$800 for an RR on a 4x4 trans and tcase if the customer brings the trans and such with em. Most yards will even ship/deliver trans to a shop for a nominal fee. So I'd say $900-$2000 depending on how much work they want to do vs paying others to do...

I've had no issues with my trans or tcase from a yard. Gets plenty of road trips, mountain passes, and trail time.
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:39 AM #10
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The only way that trans can be saved is flushing it with tons of ATF. When I say tons, I mean like 36 quarts to try to get every trace of water and coolant out of it. This works for some and fails for others but it's worth a shot.

This video will help you with the flush:




If the trans is not salvageable, I wouldn't try taking it to a shop to get it rebuilt unless you know of a really competent local shop with great reviews for their work.

As for putting a used one in, that's a serious roll of the dice that you got a good one and not one that's on it's last legs. If you're going to do the work yourselves, maybe take the risk on a used one. If you're going to pay a shop to replace the trans, that's a whole lot of labor you're going to be paying for that might have to be repeated if the used trans ends up being a piece of junk.

If your neighbor is planning on keeping the rig for a very long time, I would suggest buying a remanufactured transmission from Toyota. It's going to be expensive but it's going to be the best option for longevity.

Here's a video series you guys can use to swap out the trans:





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Old 08-30-2021, 12:08 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wcjeep View Post
Having a 5th gen I know nothing about 3rd gens.

Neighbors 3rd gen had coolant and transmission fluid mix. Local shop quote is $4500 for a new transmission. Is this the going rate? Can the transmission be rebuilt? Are junkyard transmissions ok? They bought it 6 months ago.
You can try to flush the transmission with about 5 gallons of fluid. It may have been caught quick enough. Make sure you replace the radiator as well.
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Old 08-30-2021, 03:31 PM #12
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Quote:
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They noticed a drop of fluid on the ground. Immediately sent to a shop. First shop recognized probable transmission problems. It was towed to a transmission specific shop.

Is it best to have a separate transmission cooler separate from the radiator?
Ah, the biggest item of debate ever on this forum. Do what seems best, is all I can say. Maybe that's just having a new radiator (new radiators don't mix the fluids), maybe that's a cooler if you live in a warm climate. Up to your neighbors.

Just don't let them pay $4500 for a transmission replacement. That's absurd. They will probably try and rebuild the current one, also a waste of money. It's possible that the fluid can be flushed and the transmission 'saved' but there's many documented cases on here where the transmission still fails in a year or two as the damage has already been done. If they are on a tight budget though, you can flush it in your driveway with about $100-$200 of transmission fluid.
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