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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Car: 1998 Toyota Camry, 5SFE 2.2L, Automatic Transmission
Odometer: 230,000 miles .........

Swapped in a new JDM motor this past weekend, which started and sounds fine. Now experiencing transmission issues.

Took transmission out with old motor. Unbolted it (put on its side and maybe upside down). Drained fluid and replaced transmission filter. Bolted up to new engine and dropped it in. After test drive, discovered two issues:

NO REVERSE- engine will not go backwards when put in the Reverse gear. When in Reverse gear and push accelerator, the car just revs. No movement. About one out of twenty times it will move in the reverse direction after shifting into Reverse gear and letting off the brake. Still not responsive to accelerator.

NO OVER DRIVE- I can count the transmission shifts until 3rd gear, going from a dead stop. Anything around 60mph and up, results in 3,250 RPM and up. May be related, when I am cruising and let off the accelerator the RPMs drop to barely 1,000 RPM. When I push on the accelerator again, there is no response until it seems that the RPM dial meets back up to the engine speed and then it begins to accelerate.

Trans drained, new filter inspected and checked placement, mild debris in dark/dirty trans fluid. Filled back up.

Trans drained again, old filter put back on, trans fluid only slightly darker tint.

Put in a pint of Trans-Tune by Seafoam to hopefully clear up sticky valve. Also checked hard linkages/cables and also electrical connectors.

ANY INPUT IS GREATLY DESIRED AND APPRECIATED. I have already searched and found nothing pertaining to my circumstances except to replace transmission.
 

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VVT-1MZ + ES5spd
Toyota Corolla
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2,017 Posts
assuming everything worked fine pre-engine swap, you toasted your trans by draining the fluid. Draining the fluid takes out some of the worn clutch material with it. and since you've loss two gears (two different clutch packs btw) best bet is a new trans.
 

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VVT-1MZ + ES5spd
Toyota Corolla
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2,017 Posts
So that is a second for my only known fix. Getting a new transmission
Try some B&M trick shift. From what I've been told it makes the clutches very sticky so they can grab but it's expensive(8-9 bucks a qt) temporary, and not guaranteed to work if your clutches are so far gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Taking the previous advice of two clutch packs being done for, I went ahead and picked up a junk yard transmisison. I couldn't pass up the deal driving around with no reverse or over drive. $317 after tax for a transmission out of a 2000 camry with 130k miles on it.

Now i'm just dreading taking the engine back out and swapping transmissions, which I just did LAST weekend.

Thank you for the comments.
 

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A camry n00b
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390 Posts
Thanks for updating us back and sorry to hear your issues.
-Have you tried a complete transmission flush yet? I was observing a slight hesitation in reverse when I tried the transmission flush. There is an excellent DIY in the Gen3-Gen4 sticky section by user dz63.
-It takes 3 gallons ~30 bucks of SuperTech Dex/Merc gallon jugs to complete the above procedure.
My car drives like new after I did the above.
-Have another ~50 to invest in the trans? Go for a B&M auxiliary transmission cooler.
If you can not do this to your old transmission at least do the above for your new transmission.
You will certainly not regret the ~100 investment in the longeivity of your trans.
Also be light on the gas. No machine part is designed to take infinite abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The camry is my wife's car, I drive a 96 Toyota 4runner. I've been driving her camry around with NO reverse for the past week. I've been picking my parking spots like a professional surveyor, mapping elevation changes seeing if I can roll backwards. Often I have to Fred Flinstone it to go backwards or hope I have a buddy with me.

I have not done a machine flush if that is what you meant. In the first post it describes that I did several drain and refills. After draining the brand new fluid and seeing the materials suspended in the fluid, it made sense that it could be the worn clutch material(and what not) that was first talked about. Two gears gone = two clutch packs. That is at least what I gathered.

In hindsight, if you are getting a new engine go ahead and get a new transmission also. I had the chance to add a tranny to my JDM engine order but declined. I figured I would just service my current tranny since there were no pre-existing problems prior to engine swap.


I guess at 230,000 miles everything is a crap shoot. Oh yeah, my 1996 Toyota 4runner 3.4L Automatic has 250,000 miles on it....original engine and tranny. FML. Wouldn't trade the two for anything else at this point in my life.
 
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