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Premium Member
2015 Sienna / 2018 RAV4
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1,076 Posts
Your drawing makes sense. I'll have to crawl under there in the coming week and see if I have the same situation. Visually it looked good, but I don't want to get all geared up to go and have to quit for want of another tool. Thanks.
 

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181 Posts
Thanks for the write up and suggestion for the Kolbolt socket.

Just did it today with other things at 120k miles. Only did the pan fluid and filter. Added 5 quarts, will check tomorrow.

I bought the whole Kolbolt 1/4" set. Man it is my new favorite tool. Used it a lot doing the other maintenance on the vehicle: replacing the oil cooler line, spark plugs, etc. Thinking about maybe buying the 3/8" set now.
 

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Resident Nutcase
'08 Highlander Limtd
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12,155 Posts
Words can not describe how much I wanted to take a hacksaw to that frame member...That thing was such a PITA to work around :lol: Those 4 that are under that frame, that took forever to get on/off. It took even long to get the freaking screw threads to catch to put them back in....lets just say there was a lot of cussing/cursing/yelling/whatever..I think I got my point through, needed to vent :lol:


ANYWAY, here are a few pics I took along the way:

I just thought this was funny, the parts guy gave me a weird look when I told him I needed 12qts of ATF WS, it ended up being an entire box. Another thing I found funny. Online retailers wouldn't ship me WS because their shipping company (Which was Fedex) considers it hazardous. Well label on that box, it was delivered to the dealership from a distrubution hub BY FEDEX.....wtf :lol:



And now, the color difference, obvious which side is new. It look like muddy water...



On to the magnets, mine didn't look anything like yours, mine shows the 100k miles. Dark fluid (I did a 3.5qt drain/fill 35k miles ago), COVERED magnets, I cringed a little bit. The magnets were absolutely covered with a magnetic sludge. I wiped most of it away, and there were still some metal filings, but it was more than I'd like to see...

(The picture above, the sludge is twice the thickness of the actual magnet)

(post wiping away the magnetic sludge)


Anyway, buttoning it up, all nice and shiny...

(and I just realized thats a pic of the old filter... :facepalm: :lol:)


The way i ended up doing it, I drained the fluid, swapped the filter, put in 5 qts, remove the line on the transmission cooler, drained 2qts, filled 2qts, drained 2 qts, filled 2 qts, drained 1 qt, filled 1 qt, that left me with 2 qts to get the level right. Took a whole qt to get it back up to where it should be. Now I have a spare qt.
 

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T-Weeder
2011 Highlander, V6
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9 Posts
So a swivel socket wouldn't work on those hard to access bolts?
I am just about to do this on my wife's HL.
I wanted to check to see if I could get to all the transmission pan bolts and ran into the same problem with a couple of bolts covered by the frame.
I had a set of Craftsman Double Box End, Deep Off-Set wrenches, and they were my salvation. The 10mm / 11mm box wrench with the deep off-set was able to get to that bolt (and a few others) without a problem.
I will only be able to turn it about ¼ turn at a time, but it will work. I think I paid under $30 for the entire set of 6-wrenches.
I'm wondering how hard it is going to be to get that bolt back in and get it started on re-assembly!
 

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Catanzaro
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181 Posts
What year is your Highlander? I was told by the dealer that they no longer use gaskets, but a silicone? It appears you have a gasket, unless I missed something.
 

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T-Weeder
2011 Highlander, V6
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9 Posts
What year is your Highlander? I was told by the dealer that they no longer use gaskets, but a silicone? It appears you have a gasket, unless I missed something.
Mine is a 2011. It had a gasket on when I dropped the transmission pan, and the new filter I ordered for it came with a gasket.

When I did the Transmission Fluid & Filter replacement and the front Transfer Case and Rear Differential Fluid replacement, I video'd the process.
You can see it on YouTube at this URL:
 

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T-Weeder
2011 Highlander, V6
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9 Posts
Coming up on 50k on my 2009 Highlander (never towed anything). I plan on doing a flush of the entire system, do you think replacing the ATF filter is overkill?
Personally, with only 50k and no towing, I would just do a drain and fill and call it good for another 30k. Then, I would drain and fill every 30k after that. I think if you followed that protocol there would be very little build up or contamination remaining the the system.

My Highlander, with 90k miles, no record of a previous transmission drain and fill, and not knowing the towing history for the vehicle, I decided to play it safe and drop the pan and change the filter while I was at it. The dealer also had commented on mine that the transmission fluid was a little dark and had just a "slight" burnt odor to it.

Just my opinion though.
 

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2,414 Posts
I've pulled the ATF drain plug at least 10x without changing the filter. Filter is a useless joke anyway. If you want filtration, either use a Magnefine or a remotely mounted filter kit.

The U660 bearing failure grinds up the case and that metal debris goes right past the filter mucking up the rest of the trans. Toyota's fix for the u760 is adding couple more magnets to the pan to help catch what passes the filter.

There is no relationship between your hygiene and transmissions.
 

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Catanzaro
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181 Posts
Can you please elaborate on what Toyota has done by adding more magnets? Which year of the highlander are you referring to (when this change occurred)? I am already at 100,000 miles on my 2012 Highlander and have been contemplating on whether I continue to change the fluid every 20,000 miles and completely skip the filter change. There are many mechanics that recommend notchanging the fluid at all. I have also seen people never change the fluid and have transmissions last until 250,000 miles without problems. Then some people have problems at 50,000 miles, so you never know.

My fluid changes were at 60K, 80K, and 100K. All Toyota MS Fluid. I have read posts that the filter was clean. What risks are involved or is it definitely recommended to change the filter as well. Toyota recommends the first change at 100,000 miles, if you are not towing with the vehicle.
 

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It wasn't a Highlander transmission. But, it was a typical Toyota transmission with typical Toyota pan filters with typical Toyota transmission issues.

Useless U660E pan filter that can't catch some aluminum shavings/grindings. I have two of these in the driveway, one with a warranty and another without.
https://automediaregistry.org/wp-content/uploads/gravity_forms/2-694dce5ea65b144a60afbff07d00f5ce/2015/05/GEARS_SM_0514.pdf

Here's the U760E issue:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/jaxrs/download/doc/UCM509289/SB-10056821-7378.pdf

Magnafine'd 3 out of 4 in the driveway. Don't want the dealer to see it on the '16. So, its getting more magnets where no one will notice.

I'm glad I have a 5-speed/V6 combo in the '08. The 6-speed was still a shift flaring nightmare, and took enough years before it was 'tough' enough for the Highlander V6. And, soon the common consumer will be doing the R&D on the 8-speed ;-)
 
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