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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to disassemble gear box again..but there's a switch that may need an adjustment that will tighten up my shift bar. How can I remove the leather part of gear?
 

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You might want to attack this at the other end -- the shifter cable can be adjusted on the transmission. It's usually where adjustments have to be made.

It's not 100% clear from the write-up above. The actual adjustment is done in the engine compartment, at the end of the shift cable on the transmission. You don't actually have to remove the shift cable from the neutral safety switch, which is what that vaguely triangular thing is -- the assembly out of which comes the arm that you have to move in the adjustment steps. You just loosen the nut (black arrow in 1st pic) to free up the cable end from the lever.

Step 3 means that after you push the arm all the way down, you lift it UP 2 clicks.

You then put your shift lever (inside the car) at N.

You need a bit of pressure (pushing / edging it toward R) against the shifter in the car, but only a little, not enough to move it off N. You can probably do this with a book or some other relatively heavy object if you don't have anyone to help you.

Finally, you tighten the nut (black arrow in the first picture).

If this doesn't solve your problem, post here and I'll give you a second adjustment to make. This second adjustment is also on the transmission in the engine compartment.

Meanwhile...
As for the shifter in the car -- what "leather part" do you mean? There's a leather-like boot at the base of the shifter and a leather-like head to the shifter that contains the overdrive switch.
 

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2002 Avalon Factory Service Manual. I found one with the basic 2-volume set (1, diagnostics and 2, engine/body/chassis) for $35 on eBay...

but....

I wouldn't buy one. The setup is sparse and doesn't cover much about the design ideas or inner workings of things (these can be very useful in diagnostics) and it has the worst index I've ever experienced.

The online Toyota Information System (TIS) is much better and you can get a limited subscription (I think it's 2 days) for $20. https://techinfo.snapon.com/TIS/Register.aspx

PM (private message) me if you have questions about it.

Good luck with your Avalon. I was impressed by your honesty in prepping the car for sale, that you didn't want to pass it along to someone else with a shift problem hanging over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you...seems natural that the issue is at one end or the other.. I've watched so many videos & grateful for what I'm learning. My sister says, "dad would be so proud of you".... he was a curious mechanic & back in those days, cars seemed simpler & he would just listen to the engine or follow the problem. I can see a switch & think.. there's no way I could possibly reach that & if I take all the "stuff" off around it, I'll not get it back on. But this issue, i will tackle this morning. Thanks for this info. I bought an '05 Camry so all of this book learnin' will serve me well. Now for the hands on part.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
re: the leather head / knob of shift lever - I was assuming I would need to remove it to remove the gear box.. I watched this video & it seemed a logical adjustment.. The challenge is that I watch these videos on OTHER cars that are different enough. Mind you, I have no idea what I'm doing.
This is the video that shows a "minor" adjustment to a switch down in the stripped away gear box.
 

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Yeah, I had forgotten about listening to the engine to set the timing... that's a long time ago.

Your phone and/or camera is your friend when removing assemblies. Make sure you get all the hoses, wire colors and at least one "landmark" (some part that will remains on the car and that you can use to orient and re-locate an assembly.)

RE: the Altima shifter... I really STRONGLY recommend adjusting at the transmission, in the engine compartment first. That's the easy operation and may fix your problem.

The floor shift in every car is designed differently, even different models within the Toyota range. In the Avalon, you don't have to remove the shifter knob, but you do have to remove many bits and pieces from the dashboard including pretty much the whole console outer bits, and the radio trim and radio (at least, according to the factory service manual).

The shifter cable is connected via a clip, so not much could be wrong there.

There are a BUNCH of parts to the floor shifter, including the position indicator plate and indicator housing and the shift lever plate (the main bit), the shift lock control unit, the shift level itself and more.

Are you dis-assembling it because it's loose in some way? Does the shift knob move loosely right to left or up and down? The floor shift level assembly looks like it might be a bunch of plastic stuff.

The only pictures I can dredge up are for a 2000-2001 Lexus ES300 (which is the same car as the 2000-2001 Avalon): https://www.ebay.com/itm/2000-2001-LEXUS-ES300-FLOOR-SHIFTER-GEAR-SHIFT-ASSEMBLY/202739465511?hash=item2f3436bd27:g:MUsAAOSwupRdNThD

That's of course, a used one, so no guarantee it's any better than the (used) one you have.

Assuming this part number is correct, the OEM part is $254: https://parts.sparkstoyota.com/p/Toyota_2002_Avalon/PLATE-SUB-ASSEMBLY---SHIFT-LEVER/63099062/3352107030.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Aloha.. I have a friend here - up under the car - he's seeing a boot type part - cannot access from above or below - which means other parts would need to be removed. Seems I learned enough to know this is beyond my scope of action. My friend, Peter is a car guy but only worked on OLDER, manual transmissions. I appreciate your help & will give full disclosure to a buyer or wait until my mechanic has completed the large engine jobs lined up at his shop. Sherri
 

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Discussion Starter #9
CONTINUING SAGA OF 2002 Avalon. Friend Peter's wise advice: get the c-clamp & make sure it's tight. That really helps. Before that, I put him through the ringer.. we found where the cable connects to the transmission. We could "see" it.. neither from below nor above could we access it. THAT'S GREAT INFORMATION BECAUSE I KNOW I CAN'T DO IT. RULED out, brake switch, solenoid, loose cable. so with the .39 fix as good as it will get, I moved on to the next issue.. the radiator fan. It has a broken spoke & makes a loud noise. Peter says.. Leave it alone & sell it as is with this information revealed (well, it's obvious when the a/c is turned on. I've learned a lot about the Avalon that could be helpful with my 05 Camry. I look forward to selling this Avalon ASAP. Thanks for all the feedback !!
 

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Wait - wait - it's not all that hard. (There IS a common issue at the other end of the cable, more at the end of this post).

Basically, you remove the battery, remove the bolts from the cruise control box (so you can slide the box to the right), and possibly, the battery tray itself. The safety switch is pretty much straight down between the radiator hose and the (moved-over) cruise control box.

At that point it's relatively easy to adjust the cable in the engine compartment.

Meanwhile, inside...
The common issue inside the car is a plastic bushing at the other end of the shifter cable. You do have to remove some trim panels but apparently NOT the radio or a/c - heater controls. That's evident (as is the bushing) in this video:

There is a bushing repair piece available.

I can't track down the Avalon bushing part number. Maybe someone else can chime it. I think the OEM bushing costs less than the aftermarket one that's advertised in the bushing fix video. If you have a large Toyota dealer near you, check with the parts department.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for this. I can't imagine that an OEM will snug the collar of the gear arm any tighter than it is with the 3/8" E-clamp.. yet will pass this info along to new owner (when that happens). Ok.. if still slopping gear shifting, will look further at other end as suggested. I LOVE this forum and opportunity to exchange ideas with other owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
(inside car) I put the E-clamp (referred to as bushing).. in gear box - the collar of cable slides on post & clamp adheres collar tightly. I have to drive it today to see how it's working. It was "too simple" to think this solved it entirely..Off to Sunday market to see how it does. Although because the radiator fan spoke is broken, I cannot use a/c. I may break down & attempt that as a next project. $65 part & do I really want to learn more? Tempting... but it includes lots of hoses & I have to record everything I do to ensure I remember where they go.. OR, do I want to go to the beach?
 

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The fan has electrical wires going to it, not hoses, though you might have to remove the fat radiator hose going over top of the a/c condenser fan. The condenser fan is the one on the passenger side, and it's the one that turns on when you turn on the a/c.

Now, removing the radiator hose can be tricky because the plastic radiator tank might be brittle from age and heat. The molded-in connector on the top of the radiator, the stub where the radiator hose clamps, might be easy to snap off.

But for the fan itself, the two bolts on the top are all that have to come out (along with disconnecting the electrical connectors and popping out the wiring guides). There are two (sometimes one) tab at the bottom of the fan that has to come up maybe 3/4 inch. Then the whole thing can be wiggled out.

New fans are around $50-65 with shipping. Don't buy the Dorman brand one.

Or, enjoy the beach and knock $150 off the sale price to cover the new owner's fan and labor.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mau'u Mai beach was lovely.. it's in mid 80's.. the waves created a fun kiddie ride...
I haven't driven the car a lot yet should so I know if there's anything else going on. Yes, it's the fan on passenger side; I guess a blade was brittle & broke off & makes racket. I agree, knocking off $150 sounds like a stellar idea.
OK to drive if I don't use a/c ? Is it also needed to cool the engine? I don't need more challenges here.
Thanks for above info !
 
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