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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a couple threads on this but not sure to trust them yet.

The Haynes makes no distinction between which vehicles require changing differential fluid separate from transmission fluid. Which is about the stupidest things Haynes must have done in the whole manual.

My 98 V6 definitely needs trans fluid changed, and I really want to do it myself, but not if I have to go through the whole business of differential fluid as well.

I saw a post that said that the 4-cyl had a separate differential tank but the V6 did not. Is that right?

And then the million dollar question - why would some Camrys have separate differentials and others not?

Many Thanks
 

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This is what I did.

I have a 2000 v6 LE. Like you, I was confused by the conflicting information I got from different sources. First look at your differential and see if there are both a drain plug and a fill plug. Mine did not have a fill plug, just a relief in the casting where it would be drilled and tapped if required. You will want to drain and fill more than once anyway, so what I did will not hurt you. I drained the hot transmission and filled it up. Then I drove around for a couple of days and repeated. After the second tranny fluid drain and fill, I cracked the drain plug on the differential just to confirm the shape of the fluid in there. It came out looking very clean (almost like new). It was much too clean to have 80,000 Miles on it. I am sure mine is shared.

If your differential does have a fill plug, it isn't much more trouble to drain and fill that as well. MAKE SURE YOU LOOSEN THE FILL PLUG BEFORE YOU DRAIN. There are ways spelled out in the threads to fill from the top. Or you can just pick up a little pump at AZ for $9.99 that fits either quarts or gallons of fluid. That way filling is easy. :naughty:
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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as far as v6 1mz-fe goes along with its A541E transmission, the differential chamber is shared with transmission. however differential has its own separate drain plug you won't find a fill plug on it (at least i didn't).

on these cars best to drain old fluid from both, then close them and fill up through tranny dipstick. differential will get filled together with tranny.

5s-fe along with its A140E tranny has a completely separate differential chamber with separate both drain and fill plug and fluid is NOT internally shared with the tranny (unless the gasket between them is blown).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
as far as v6 1mz-fe goes along with its A541E transmission, the differential chamber is shared with transmission. however differential has its own separate drain plug you won't find a fill plug on it (at least i didn't).

5s-fe along with its A140E tranny has a completely separate differential chamber with separate both drain and fill plug and fluid is NOT internally shared with the tranny (unless the gasket between them is blown).
So, are you saying that a 98 Camry V6 might have either type of engine? This just seems overly confusing.
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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So, are you saying that a 98 Camry V6 might have either type of engine? This just seems overly confusing.
no, 98 Camry V6 can be only an 1mz-fe 3.0L engine, so most likely tranny is A541E (read above, you're OK).

however a 98 Camry 4cylinder (5s-fe is a 2.2L engine) will need a separate drain & refill on differential as tranny/diff design on A140E requires it.
 

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as far as v6 1mz-fe goes along with its A541E transmission, the differential chamber is shared with transmission. however differential has its own separate drain plug you won't find a fill plug on it (at least i didn't).

on these cars best to drain old fluid from both, then close them and fill up through tranny dipstick. differential will get filled together with tranny.
how many qt. of tranny fluid will be need to pour down into both differential and transmission through the dipstick hole?
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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it shouldn't take more than 5qts IIRC ... was doing it a month ago...
best idea is to get more bottles than you need and measure whatever you drain out, then pour in the same amount (if fluid level on dipstick was correct before).

the rest you can either return to store or use it for e.g. P/S flush.

i think i bought 8qts "Castrol Import MV ATF" blend and did also a power steering flush at same time, on the end I still had over one bottle left or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
no, 98 Camry V6 can be only an 1mz-fe 3.0L engine, so most likely tranny is A541E (read above, you're OK).

however a 98 Camry 4cylinder (5s-fe is a 2.2L engine) will need a separate drain & refill on differential as tranny/diff design on A140E requires it.
I see, that sounds like good news, but where is the drain plug for the differential on the A541E? Can you access it without putting the car up? Basically I only want to do the job myself if I can do it by just crawling under the car the way you would to change the oil. I can see the drain plug on the trans fluid pan, thats easy enough, but I don't see any other drain plug for the differential fluid.

Or, is it still somewhat beneficial to drain only from the trans fluid pan and refill whatever comes out of there, without draining the diff fluid? If the tranny and diff share fluid, I could probably just do the procedure twice and the new fluid would mix pretty decently into both chambers, right?

thanks again
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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I see, that sounds like good news, but where is the drain plug for the differential on the A541E? Can you access it without putting the car up? Basically I only want to do the job myself if I can do it by just crawling under the car the way you would to change the oil. I can see the drain plug on the trans fluid pan, thats easy enough, but I don't see any other drain plug for the differential fluid.

Or, is it still somewhat beneficial to drain only from the trans fluid pan and refill whatever comes out of there, without draining the diff fluid? If the tranny and diff share fluid, I could probably just do the procedure twice and the new fluid would mix pretty decently into both chambers, right?

thanks again
the drain plug on A541E is on the back of differential body (at bottom), hard to access without jack stands. I guess a few drain & refills will suffice.
 

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95.5 Tacoma
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I just wanted to jump in here and say GREAT info on the differential and transmission differences between cars. I am doing the trans and diff on my parents Avalon soon and this post is very helpfull THANKS TOYOTA NATION AND IT'S CONTRIBUTERS!!
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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glad you enjoying the info, i hope it helps others too if they have any doubts about the differential fluid drain & refill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
glad you enjoying the info, i hope it helps others too if they have any doubts about the differential fluid drain & refill.
I too appreciate the info, but I'm a little confused again, because the Haynes manual has a diagram of the V6 engine showing a drain and refill plug for the differential. So...do you think the Haynes manual is wrong there?
 

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I too appreciate the info, but I'm a little confused again, because the Haynes manual has a diagram of the V6 engine showing a drain and refill plug for the differential. So...do you think the Haynes manual is wrong there?
 

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I too appreciate the info, but I'm a little confused again, because the Haynes manual has a diagram of the V6 engine showing a drain and refill plug for the differential. So...do you think the Haynes manual is wrong there?
I can say 100% for sure that on my 2000 V6 LE the differential casing does not have a filler plug as shown in the Haynes manual on page 1-24. It does have a boss region in the casting that looks like on some models or when used in different applications, it could be drilled and tapped for a filler plug.
 

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2002 Solara SLE V6
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I can say 100% for sure that on my 2000 V6 LE the differential casing does not have a filler plug as shown in the Haynes manual on page 1-24. It does have a boss region in the casting that looks like on some models or when used in different applications, it could be drilled and tapped for a filler plug.
agreed.

toyota transmission diagrams for A541E show only a drain plug at the rear bottom, no filler. there is also no filler plug or gasket for it in parts listing on this model.



there is really no filler plug on differential body. maybe some models had it, but anyways, it's useless as diff gets filled together with tranny (on V6 models).
 

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Ok, understood. If I drain the diff and the tranny on a 1999 Camry, how many quarts are needed to replace the drained fluid?
And what is the fluid spec. ie Dex 111?
Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok, understood. If I drain the diff and the tranny on a 1999 Camry, how many quarts are needed to replace the drained fluid?
And what is the fluid spec. ie Dex 111?
Thank you
I saw an answer to this earlier which seemed logical - replace as much as you drain!! You just need to have something to measure whatever you drain. A lot of fluid remains after draining the tranny apparently, so it would be easy to overfill. I'm planning to drain once, replace the same amount, run the car about 5 miles or so, then drain again and replace. From what I've gathered, that sounds like the best DIY solution. And it would save far more $$ than a DIY oil change.

I am curious about quick lube shops however...what is included in your typical $80 trans fluid change? Merely what I described above, or would a garage actually remove the tranny pan, clean the filter, and all that as well? I suppose that could make $80 worth it, otherwise its a total ripoff.
 

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What I do is buy a $9.65 4-quart jug of Wal-mart ATF and do a quick drain and refill when changing the oil. Most of the time.
The first time your doing this measure what comes out and use that same amount as a reference of how much to refill every time. It has worked for me to get a perfect level on my dipstick the first try.
It only takes a 3 or 4 extra minutes to drain and refill a couple more quarts. Your down there changing your oil anyway. It costs me a extra $5 or $6 each time(2.25 qt for me) but that ends up being cheaper than having a shop do a transmission service every 30,000 miles.



Also my tranny dipstick has a warning label on it saying to check the differential fluid level. That's how I found out my differential and transmission were separate.
 
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