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Old 12-18-2005, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 93 corolla differential problem

I have a 1993 Toyota Corolla (204,000 miles) with a 3 spd automatic transmission. My daughter drives this car daily to school and work. I drove it recently and noticed that it had a lot of vibration when moving forward, especially at speeds above 25 MPH. I put the car up in the air on a lift and found that the passenger side inner CV axle joint is very loose in the side of the differential. The joint is so loose that I can rock it up and down about 1/4" in the side of the differential. I stongly suspect that the differential is very low on oil and is terribly worn. Can this differential be repaired or rebuilt with the unit in the car, or must it be removed to repair? Where can I find a repair manual to learn more on fixing this problem or is it cheaper to swap out the trans?
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Old 12-28-2005, 07:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know if this answers your question exactly but girlfriend's 93 Corolla 3 speed's differential lost all its fluid from a bad seal. The transmission shop replaced the trans and diff. Since they are separate units I assume you can replace one w/out the other. I think the difference in costs between replacing one or both was such that we had both done.
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply. As I check more into this locally, it seems it's best to replace the trans with another one. I found one at a local salvage yard for $450 and I'll likely put it in myself.

Any other thoughts on dealing with this issue??
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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differentiel info=

1994 geo prizm,3 speed a/t with 165,000 miles. i bought it recently. it has a loud humming noise at highway speeds. 2 mechanics didn,t know. today aamco says where the c/v goes into differential it is leaking. there is play indicating worn out differential. the same guy doesn,t know that a corolla/prizm differentaial is a seperate gear box. i beleieve the loss a a/t fluid in the differential caused the damage.
somewhere on the internet i read that when alot onf mechanics change c/v,s on these corolla,s they lose a/t from the differentail and cause it be be damaged about 1000 miles down the road. on the a/t fluid dip stick on my prizm it says to check the differential fluid according to repair manual. that tells a story.i,m considering buying a used low milage imported from japan a/t. do you know of such. there,s alot of companys offering such on the internet. if you have any luck repairing your corolla please keep me posted. i,ll do the same for you. thanks. e-mail = jamesmetairie@yahoo.com
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmetairie
1994 geo prizm,3 speed a/t with 165,000 miles. i bought it recently. it has a loud humming noise at highway speeds. 2 mechanics didn,t know. today aamco says where the c/v goes into differential it is leaking. there is play indicating worn out differential. the same guy doesn,t know that a corolla/prizm differentaial is a seperate gear box. i beleieve the loss a a/t fluid in the differential caused the damage.
somewhere on the internet i read that when alot onf mechanics change c/v,s on these corolla,s they lose a/t from the differentail and cause it be be damaged about 1000 miles down the road. on the a/t fluid dip stick on my prizm it says to check the differential fluid according to repair manual. that tells a story.i,m considering buying a used low milage imported from japan a/t. do you know of such. there,s alot of companys offering such on the internet. if you have any luck repairing your corolla please keep me posted. i,ll do the same for you. thanks. e-mail = jamesmetairie@yahoo.com
I haven't looked into picking up a Japan version of the trans. Sometimes, there are differences between the US and Japanese versions that may cause an installation or operational problem(s). Besides, what's the shipping cost for getting that trans across the pond to my door and what's my recourse if the trans is bad or isn't a match for what I need? The $450 unit is at a Toyota salvage yard less than 50 miles from me and I can check it out to insure that the inner joints are tight before I buy it and that the fluid doesn't smell burnt or looks dis-colored. Any other thoughts??
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The procedure for replacing the automatic transmission on an a 89-92 Corolla requires removing the engine from the car with the atuotmatic transmission attached. Then the transmission is removed from the engine. It wouldn't surprise me if the '94 requires the same procedure.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tashirosgt
The procedure for replacing the automatic transmission on an a 89-92 Corolla requires removing the engine from the car with the atuotmatic transmission attached. Then the transmission is removed from the engine. It wouldn't surprise me if the '94 requires the same procedure.
I don't believe that the '94 Corolla will require engine removal to remove the transmission/differential unit. I've seen several transmissions removed at self-service salvage yards here, with the motor still in the car. Besides, I'll be working on a lift with a two-stage trans jack and air tools.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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jap parts in VA.=

jdm parts = japan domestic market. there,s alot of companys all over the usa importing used motors and transmissions from japan.i spent several years in and out of japan on business and pleasure.friends there tell me when a car is 4 or 5 years old in japan the property tax gets very high. most japs don,t really need a car anyway.they have excellent transit system. most jap cars sit at the house all week long. most are low mileage.i know someone in new orleans that runs used corolla,s down to central america to sell. he bought several jdm engines already and is pleased with the deal.i noticed there is a company in virginia that sells and also installs jdm. if your interested i,ll try to look it up again.in your case maybe i would stick to a local salvage yard. but if it was the engine i,d look for a jdm low mileage engine. i see replacement jdm corolla engines for as low as $250. on the net. corolla transmissions are built strong. one a/t shop guy today told me that 99% of the time it is because of fluid loss in the differential that does them in.
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Old 12-29-2005, 04:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmetairie
jdm parts = japan domestic market. there,s alot of companys all over the usa importing used motors and transmissions from japan.i spent several years in and out of japan on business and pleasure.friends there tell me when a car is 4 or 5 years old in japan the property tax gets very high. most japs don,t really need a car anyway.they have excellent transit system. most jap cars sit at the house all week long. most are low mileage.i know someone in new orleans that runs used corolla,s down to central america to sell. he bought several jdm engines already and is pleased with the deal.i noticed there is a company in virginia that sells and also installs jdm. if your interested i,ll try to look it up again.in your case maybe i would stick to a local salvage yard. but if it was the engine i,d look for a jdm low mileage engine. i see replacement jdm corolla engines for as low as $250. on the net. corolla transmissions are built strong. one a/t shop guy today told me that 99% of the time it is because of fluid loss in the differential that does them in.
Thanks for the enlightening info. Really informative. If you have some VA/MD or DC import sources for JDM transmissions, please let me know where they are, if you have listings for them. I'm in central VA, not too far from Washington, DC.
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Old 12-29-2005, 09:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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in manassas,Va.=

the largest east coast supplier of jdm stuff is Noyan. i called them today. i could not get their web site correct tonight. try this =1-800-877-2352 or local =703 #365-7590 or noyan usa,inc. 9128 eucid ct.,manassas,va. or e-mail = sales@noyanusa.com

noyan quoted $400. ?? and $450. labor?? ain,t sure.

i found a tranny shop here in new orleans area that will charge $250. to install. i plan on buying mine from "asap motors" in houston for less. if you get one keep us posted on the results.i,ll do the same. good luck and happy motoring.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't remember which forum I read it on but you can swap in the 4sp o/d tranny from the same vintage car. I have a 90 corolla and had the same problem and had it rebuilt by a well respected shop in my town and have had nothing but trouble with it. This is a very common problem with this trans and so any used unit you get will be likely to do the same thing. You could swap in a 5spd manual for less money if you can do the work yourself.
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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maintain it,maintain it.

learn how to check the differential fluid level and keep it topped off. also if you see any leakage on the driveway floor take action .a/t shop guy today told me that 99% of the time it,s differential fluid loss that kills these a/t,s. i would switch to manual if i find a good one in area salvage yard.
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of the interesting feedback.

I'll check out Noyan tommorrow (Friday) and see what they're about. Manassas, VA isn't too far from me and I'm very familiar with that area. I may compare both the US and JDM parts to see how they compare, but the bottom line for me is quality, price and compatability to what is currently in the car. I don't want this swap to be a major ordeal by installing a 4spd auto or manual tranny. The car has 204,600 miles on it and I just want the car to last a couple more years to get my daughter through college. Once the trans is done, I may have to do a valve/valve seal job on the head, as it smokes a bit on initial startup, then clears up. For me, it beats a car payment!!
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