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So a swivel socket wouldn't work on those hard to access bolts?
On my 06 'Avalon I used a Craftsman combination wrench with the box end. On the one that is in back of the bracket I could only turn it about 1/8 turn.

Once loosened I used the open end alternating sides to get the best angle purchase on the bolt flat.

I cleaned the bolts by chasing with a die as Sweeneyp but only need to chase one hole with a die.

To replace these three bolts, I used a hemostat and the tip of my finger to hold the bolt in place until I engaged a few threads. Then back to the open end finishing up with the box end.
 

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Now granted, my hands are smaller than most other men. So you might now be able to fit your finger to hold the bolt.

At times I think I should have been a surgeon rather than an engineer, but I find smaller hands are definitely an advantage when working on automobiles.
 

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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... 🤦 :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.
The outlet of the cooler is the driver side. I did sweeneyp did the color changed at 5 quarts so I stopped there.

I used Max life rather than WS and it is so light I am having a hard time actually seeing the level in the dipstick. So I feel confident the cooler is changed.

Excellent write up and photos Sweeneyp. Thanks helped out immensely!!
 

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2012 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER SE
2012 Highlander
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The outlet of the cooler is the driver side. I did sweeneyp did the color changed at 5 quarts so I stopped there.

I used Max life rather than WS and it is so light I am having a hard time actually seeing the level in the dipstick. So I feel confident the cooler is changed.

Excellent write up and photos Sweeneyp. Thanks helped out immensely!!
I did my drain and fill only at 30,000, 60,000 and just did my 90,000 mile drain and fill.
Fluid was nice and pink/red. Plan on doing the pan drop to replace filter screen and clean magnets at 120,000 miles. On a 1-10 scale how hard is it to do the 3 bolts that are hard to get to on the pan. I did buy the recommended socket at Lowes and have some closed end wrenches that were show on this post.
 

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Not that hard, with the right tool. You can check this by putting the socket or wrench onto each bolt before loosening them. That will give you an idea of which one may need extra attention when loosening/tightening.
 

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2012 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER SE
2012 Highlander
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Not that hard, with the right tool. You can check this by putting the socket or wrench onto each bolt before loosening them. That will give you an idea of which one may need extra attention when loosening/tightening.
I thought getting the hard to access bolts would not be to difficult to remove with the right tools, but was worried about getting the bolts started into the threads to reinstall. Sounds like from other posts a PITA.
 

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I did my drain and fill only at 30,000, 60,000 and just did my 90,000 mile drain and fill.
Fluid was nice and pink/red. Plan on doing the pan drop to replace filter screen and clean magnets at 120,000 miles. On a 1-10 scale how hard is it to do the 3 bolts that are hard to get to on the pan. I did buy the recommended socket at Lowes and have some closed end wrenches that were show on this post.
The Closed end wrenches I got at harbor Freight were no good at getting to these three bolts. I used a craftsman combination wrench with the closed end when I could and the open end when I could not. I could not get a torque wrench in so I put the closed end on a torqued bolt and pulled until it just started to move. Then used that as a guide to pull down on these three bolts.

The hardest part is getting the bolts started again so I could start using the open and closed ends (Moving at 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time.) I ended up using a hemostat and the tip of my finger to keep it steady until I had two threads engaged.

It is not particularly difficult, just time consuming. But now you know the real secrets so I should not take you as long.
 

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2012 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER SE
2012 Highlander
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The Closed end wrenches I got at harbor Freight were no good at getting to these three bolts. I used a craftsman combination wrench with the closed end when I could and the open end when I could not. I could not get a torque wrench in so I put the closed end on a torqued bolt and pulled until it just started to move. Then used that as a guide to pull down on these three bolts.

The hardest part is getting the bolts started again so I could start using the open and closed ends (Moving at 1/8 to 1/4 turn at a time.) I ended up using a hemostat and the tip of my finger to keep it steady until I had two threads engaged.

It is not particularly difficult, just time consuming. But now you know the real secrets so I should not take you as long.
ElectricalEngineer thanks for the tips, I will keep that in mind when it's time to drop the pan.
 

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'06 Avalon
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In the opening post of this thread, the OP mentions a socket that's designed to be turned with a 13mm closed end wrench. The URL in his thread no longer brings up this tool. Maybe it's still available.
I have a U151E transmission in an '06 Avalon that has the same accessibility issues as the 2nd Gen HL discussed here.
Sears makes a 3 socket cap set - 1/2" dr - 3/8" dr - 1/4" dr - and Harbor Freight has their version for less. URL to HF further down.
You slip the cap into the end of the socket and use a wrench to turn the cap.
I've done many pans drains on the Avalon, but may finally get around to doing a filter change as well soon.
If these cap sockets are of value, I'll update the thread.

 

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Yup, looks like the original Kobalt pass-through socket described by the OP is discontinued. I found a similar pass-through socket at Lowes which might be a good replacement. New style is a 6 point vs the 12 point "universal", so some folks might prefer that anyway.


I also own the Craftsman socket cap set so I'll try both, and post back when I get around to changing the fluid (no time soon...maybe a month or two).

285779
 

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Nov0798,
Thank you very much for taking to post that up. It helped me through the entire procedure and gave me a heads up to any potential snags that could have delayed the project.
I would like to clarifiy one thing.
You mentioned pulling the hose on the drivers side of the car and placing it in a jug to measure off 2 qts at a time before refilling.
Well, unless I somehow am interpreting that wrong when I started my car transmission fluid shot out of the transmission cooler and all over my transfer case.
I put that line back on and pulled the other line on the trans cooler (on the passenger side) and put it in the jug and all was well.
Maybe our cars are slightly different? Mine is a 2006 3.3L Highlander.
Anyways, heres a pic of the correct line to pull off. (from a couple different angles)

Also, I found a great way to make the "nasty hidden bolts" easy to get back in.
Lay the gasket on the pan, line up the holes, then stick several bolts in through the gasket. The gasket will hold them in place. Just dont push the flush with the bottom of the pan. Just enough that about 3/16" or so is protruding through the rubber gasket.
Then line the pan up and it is much easier to get them started in the hole.
Hope that make sense.

Again, appreciate your help with this.
Darin
 

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