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2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
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1,662 Posts
Just found the mod

It's seriously not technical. You twist a nut, pull the cable fairly taught, move the second nut to hold the cable where it is.
Maybe it's just a few turns with a wrench but it works. I was a bit skeptical but I'm here to tell you that the shifting is more positive, and the throttle seems a bit more responsive. Even though it's an old thread, I just found it and I'm glad I did.

The pics that were posted didn't apply to my 1MZ-FE, 6CYL, 2000 Camry, so I took some in case anybody want's to see what it looks like on that motor. Like your post the throttle is on the right, and the transmission is on the left, with a bit of a different placement.

I also put a mark on the lock nut (see insert) so I could keep track of what I was doing. Turned it one turn, went for a drive, then another turn, and then finally a third turn. That seemed to be the best for me. Shifts nice, and at WOT it upshifts fine. Thanks again Toysrme for the mod. :D

 

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A camry n00b
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390 Posts
Thanks a ton to Toysrme!!! Believe me this was the cheapest and the most beneficial mod I've done on my Camry till now!! Last week I seafoamed through brake booster line and cleaned my throttle body to get an amazingly responsive car. With this "Quick trans mod" I feel I am driving a brand new car.No kidding LOL
If possible the moderators should edit the original post to clear up the confusion. Toysrme has misstated to adjust the "Red Cable" when in fact the "Pink Cable " in his original post has to be adjusted! I actually fiddled with the Red cable that increased my RPMs at idle. Promptly undid the turns on the throttle accelerator cable.
But what a nice mod dude..you rock Toysrme.
What effect will this mod have on the transmission? Will it go out early? Can anybody share their experience?
 

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Banned
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56 Posts
Alright so this mod..

Increases the speed and smoothness of shifting, adds MPG and decreases transmission wear.

If I didn't know better I'd say if that was the case Toyota would've done this from the factory. :D

I hope this helps my overly-worn trans last a little longer.

I'll try this when I get home today, and let you guys know what it does to a slipping tranny.

EDIT:

I went home and adjusted it (not all the way) tighter, it did make the first two gear changes MUCH better, however.. the final gear change (3rd to 4th) thunks into gear, so I had to back off the pressure.
 

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17 Posts
Background:
We all know that the Automatic Transmissions in the Camry/ES 300 (both of the v6 4-speed automatics 2vz-fe & 3vz-fe A540E, 1mz-fe A541E are mechanically the same) are setup for comfort. The bad news is that they're slow shifting. The good news is that they don't hunt for gears under anything but highly spirited driving. The great news is that there is something we can do about it!

Theory:
Anyone that's looked into making serious power gains on any A/T Toyota engine will notice the second most important upgrade to the A/T is to upgrade the valve body. By raising the pressure in it, the shifts are much harder, and faster. This gives quicker shifts and also reduced wear on the transmission. (less heat is produced)

Most of you that poke around the engine bay will see two cables going to your throttle body. Obviously one is the throttle, but what is the other cable? A good guess would be cruise control, however that is incorrect.
The second cable is the "Throttle Kick-down Cable" and it's function is close to what the name says. It controls a valve in the transmission's valve body that can increase, and decrease the pressure in the valve body.
(A great example is the ECT button on the transmission. With it held down, the transmission shifts harder, and holds gear longer. The astute among you notice if you get on the throttle hard enough at the "right" RPM range the same thing is accomplished. This is because the cable is tighter the more the throttle is open.)

What we are going to do raise the pressure of the valve body, without sending it off to a transmission shop and spending $399 on a great upgrade.

Instructions:



The red cable is the throttle kick-down cable on *my* car in it's stock position (the nuts are in the middle). What we need to do is make the cable as tight as possible WITHOUT restricting wide open throttle. (If you crank it too tight, you can't open the throttle all the way.)

All you have to do is run the top nut in that picture all the way to the rubber stopper, then close the bottom nut on it. (as said above, this will probably restrict your WOT operation, so back off a little)

Your shifts will now be much quicker, and much firmer also. Possibly to the point of just being a really hard shift. Your car is not only quicker, but the transmission will go longer without burning fluid, and the clutches will last longer because they're not holding the planetary gear set as long.

*note*
Forewarning, the transmission will also shift into Drive and Reverse harder also. You can't have it both ways, everythings a compromise. If it's too much of a pain going into D & R back off.





*edit*
So many months later and so many still confused.




Just do that!



****************************************
Other Articles in the Series:
Part I Quicker Transmission Shifting
Part II Adding Airflow
Part III Taking Advantage of Intake/Exhaust Upgrades
Part IV Cheaply Monitoring the ECU & A/F
Part V How to pick up MPG, and sleep with her too!
Part VI Acing Aerodynamics
Part VII Cheap Water Injection
Part VIII Electronic Transmission Controller
****************************************
OK, I probably missed the answers to my following questions, but here goes: When you say it will shift 'harder,' what exactly do you mean? I'm very much new/novice to any of these modifications and much of the workings (the most complicated thing I have done is put on an Injen intake for my '98 4-cylinder Camry). My second question is..... how will this affect my gas mileage?
 

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Unofficial TN Member
Camry
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325 Posts
i'm not certain what kind of empirical testing has gone into this on how it would benefit/detriment the transmission's life...

i'd like my car to go 300k miles if at all possible, though, having a v6 it seems unlikely. i'd like to know if modding my car with the mod detailed on this thread will reduce overall mileage my engine will put out through the next 20 years.

should i leave it at factory settings?
 

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Unofficial TN Member
Camry
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325 Posts
Here is some data from my car and this mod; assuming I did it correctly. Please note that I've only tested this on 1 full tank of gas (18 gallons). Also consider the biases.



See the two black tubes on the right? Follow the one without the red tape; this one was adjusted. Cable attached to the red tape, if I pull on it, it revs the engine.

Modding notes: The left bolt is a pain in the ass to loosen because of the metal casing or whatever you wanna call it around it. I was able to get maybe .25" of it to unscrew, just enough to get it loose. Then, I just loosened the right bolt, pulled the cable out away from the divider, and rotated the left bolt all the way by hand, then I placed the cable back in its place, and then tightened the right bolt inwards by hand. Then used a wrench to tighten it into the left. I did not touch the left bolt after (no point, really). The cable was moved out approximately half an inch from factory.

Vehicle: 2000 Camry, V6
Miles: 110,016


Background: My car is completely stock except for this mod. Every time I fill up, I reset the trip odometer to see how far my car went with that tank of gas. If I notice that I lost MPG, I observe again with another tank of gas and if I still see I lost MPG, it indicates something is wrong with the car (dirty oil, leaks, etc). I usually burn 16-17 gallons before filling up again. I live in Los Angeles and don't do a lot of highway driving. If I do, it's in bumper-to-bumper traffic. My car goes 300 miles with 16-17 gallons. Lately, however, my car has been going 325-330 with each tank (this is still before the mod). The most I ever went with a full tank was 400 (again, before the mod) miles 100% highway driving, all by myself on a highway from Los Angeles to Sacramento going 75-80mph the entire way.

After modifying the cable as mentioned in the original post, I have noticed the engine idles at a slightly lower RPM, but this could be my imagination as I never paid attention to the idle RPM anyway, but it definitely seems like the gauge needle is hanging lower than usual.

I was expecting a hard shift as forewarned by Toysrme, the kind of shift that occurs when I gas the car immediately after moving the shifter into D, R, or whatever, even before engine has time to actually shift. (I don't do this often, only by complete accident, but I've probably done this twice in the 5 years I've had this car.) The kind of shift that makes the engine produce some noise like a rock was bouncing around inside. But, this wasn't the case. I have not noticed much difference in the shifts. It shifts the way my car was shifting already.

While driving, there definitely feels a subtle nudge during upshifts, but again, very subtle, my car's been doing this already anyway. Downshifts, I can't feel a thing unless I'm staring at the gauge needle bounce as it shifts. Well, not that I feel anything during downshifts, I just see what the needle is doing.

MPG. Today when I started driving I had half a tank of fuel and trip odometer read 151 miles (surface streets). I drove for 4 hours and went 230 miles on the remaining half tank of fuel. Total mileage with a full tank, 380. This is unheard of to me...this potentially means I've gained MPG, and could theoretically have gone 460 miles on a full tank. 230 of those miles were done on the highway going 70-75mph (30 of these miles, I was stuck in traffic going 25-40mph).

I cannot say with any honesty that this helped with acceleration or speed. My car is fickle. Sometimes (before mod) it accelerates really, really, I mean, REALLY, fast. While sometime it moves slower than icebergs. I was interested in this mod because I do a lot of driving on surface streets (heck, even on highways) my car sometimes stays in first gear for a long, LONG time. Sometimes I can go up to 4000RPM and still not have it upshift (I don't go to 4000RPM often. I try not to let it go past 3000.) I think this mod helped shift faster, but I cannot be certain since my car never changes gears consistently.

Summary:
  • I gained MPG
  • Shifts are not that hard
  • Cable was moved all the way to rubber stopper
  • Speed gains are uncertain

I'd still like to know whether this will affect the engines longterm life or not. But, how on earth could we possibly tell unless we get several cars of the same model, mod it the same, some complete stock, and just drive the engine until it dies. My goodness, that's nearly 30 years worth of an engine's life down the toilet for the sake of science! Hooray!
 

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Is there ANY way someone can tell me the correct amount to BACK-OFF the nut once I have it to the stopper? 1/4 turn, 1/2 turn, full turn.....? PLEASE???? Ugh, I'm driving myself up a wall here.

I have also taken a picture of my 4-cyl engine's throttle cable and such, just to make sure I am adjusting the correct part.... obviously, it is highlighted in red.

 

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Registered
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17 Posts
Is there ANY way someone can tell me the correct amount to BACK-OFF the nut once I have it to the stopper? 1/4 turn, 1/2 turn, full turn.....? PLEASE???? Ugh, I'm driving myself up a wall here.

I have also taken a picture of my 4-cyl engine's throttle cable and such, just to make sure I am adjusting the correct part.... obviously, it is highlighted in red.


And for some reason, I am not seeing my image.....
 

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Unofficial TN Member
Camry
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325 Posts
upload it again and copy/paste the "Direct Link" to the image. looks to me you copied it wrong.

and about the stopper, you can turn it all the way to the stopper and keep it there. you don't have to (unless you want to based on your own preferences) move it back.
 
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Unofficial TN Member
Camry
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325 Posts
that's fine. just leave it the way it is.
 
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