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1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue

Discussion in 'Other Toyota Vehicles' started by SodiumFlouride, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Oct 26, 2017 at 9:33 PM
    #1
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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    1997 Toyota 4-runner 3RZFE 2WD 5speed manual W59 transmission shifting issue

    I need help figuring out what the problem is with the W59 transmission.
    This problem has been happening for months.

    It's very hard to describe but there are no grinding sounds at all.
    I already replaced the fluid recently with Redline MT90, 3.7 quarts exactly.

    I park in neutral overnight in the garage, with temps in the 50s & 60s.
    I start the engine and back out of the garage & K-turn down the driveway.

    When the RPM is low (especially when backing out of the garage in the morning to do a K-turn), the transmission is stuck in gear. No amount of force on the shift lever will unstick it. I have to shut down the engine, and then I can move it from reverse to neutral or vice versa.

    Same with first to neutral, and vice versa. Even though reverse has no syncros, shifting in and out of reverse doesn't "feel" different than shifting in and out of first, as it gets stuck in either gear as much.

    Once I get moving (or mybe the fluid warms up?), it shifts, sort of OK from there on in (for my 40 mile commute). Then it starts all over again at the end of the day.

    The clutch may need to be replaced based on miles but the clutch is stalling the engine if I put it in the wrong gear and hold the brake pedal down. Likewise, letting out the clutch in gear while rolling downhill definitely raises the RPM, so the clutch is not slipping I don't think.

    It's hard to describe but I don't think the clutch is working perfectly though as the pedal feel is really hard to describe. It's not right. It's not linear. It grabs in like one inch but it's really hard to describe. Sometimes it seems that it grabs one inch from the floorboards and other times it seems to grab at near the top of the pedal travel, but I think that's impossible so all I can reliably say is that the clutch feel is not linear.

    Sometimes it feels better after I pump the clutch, but the fluid level isn't leaking as it's the right level. I don't know how to adjust the clutch pedal travel, and the clutch pedal return torsion spring was removed and replaced with a linear spring long ago.

    Any idea what is going on here and how to debug to what parts are needed?
     
  2. Nov 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM
    #2
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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  3. Nov 2, 2017 at 4:21 PM
    #3
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    Either your slave cylinder or the clutch master cylinder. Both cheap and easy fixes.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2017 at 5:44 PM
    #4
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for that reply as I think I scared people with the long original post! :)

    I looked at the fluid today and it was pitch black (so you don't have to tell me that it's supposed to be amber!).

    I ordered the rebuild kit for both the master and the slave cylinder and I picked up a liter of DOT4 (even though Toyota specifies DOT 3, I think that's OK).

    I've bled brakes before but I've never 'bench bled' which is what I think I may have to do based on some of the videos I looked up.

    If it's not the hydraulics, I think I'll have to remove the transmission so I picked up an 800 pound transmission jack from HF just in case, but I'm hoping I don't have to go there just yet so I'll try your suggestion first.

    In the end, if I get this Marlin Crawler $310 clutch kit, can you tell me what might be different about a 1200 foot pound clutch versus what Marlin Crawler says is a 900 foot pound stock clutch?

    Is it just harder to press?
    Does it just last longer?
    Does it engage at slower speeds on hills better?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  5. Nov 2, 2017 at 6:02 PM
    #5
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    For street driving that clutch will engage "hard". There is no slipping with that clutch. Great for off-road applications, it's fine for street use, it just takes some getting use to it.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2017 at 6:28 PM
    #6
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the advice that it will engage "hard" as I'm trying to fix my sister's 4Runner so I need to think how it will feel to her.

    She is pretty brutal on the pedal (no finesse) where she just lets the pedal up, and I've already replaced the double-coil torsion clutch-pedal-return spring with a linear brake-pedal return spring from Toyota, so the feel is mostly from the clutch mechanics and not from the pedal.

    She's not an off roader, so I will call Marlin Crawler tomorrow (they closed already) to ask if they even sell the normal 900 foot pound clutch, which I have to assume Toyota put in for a reason. Sometimes OEM stuff is just cheap. Other times it's what "most people like".

    Since most 2WD 4Runners probably are used only on the road, I will need to defer to what most people like.
    If the on-roaders like 1200, that's what I'll get; but if they like the 900 pounder better - that's what I'll get.

    If the 1200 pounder only engages hard, she'll probably get used to it though...
     
  7. Nov 2, 2017 at 6:40 PM
    #7
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    If she just, basically dumps the clutch, it will slam really hard, and she'll think something broke. Lol. I would go with a more forgiving clutch.
     
  8. Nov 12, 2017 at 6:26 PM
    #8
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice from everyone.
    The shifting problem WAS the hydraulics.

    I rebuilt the clutch master cylinder with Toyota parts (where they moved from metal to plastic for the piston and they gave me the wrong-sized boot).
    [​IMG]

    And I rebuilt the clutch slave cylinder:
    [​IMG]

    That seems to have solved the hard-to-get-out-of-gear problem in the morning but time will tell as it has only been a day of testing.

    Apparently (I guess) the fluid was leaking past either the master or slave and therefore the throughout bearing wasn't going far enough, so the clutch wasn't disengaging fully (I am guessing).

    One warning is that a Toyota rebuild kit does NOT come with the fragile paper gasket for the interface between the firewall and the clutch master cylinder, so caveat emptor.
    [​IMG]

    My next big mistake was in not knowing I needed extra bleed screws so I had to make my own, none of which worked very well.
    [​IMG]

    Bench bleeding the clutch master cylinder wasn't much of an issue because the reservoir makes it easy, but you do have to block the outlet port with a spare bleeder valve.
    [​IMG]

    But bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder is something that you have to experience yourself, or you have to read up an a GOOD DIY (none of which exist, to my knowledge) in order to do it right the first, second, or third try.

    It's hard to fill the clutch slave release cylinder with fluid because you it doesn't have a nice reservoir like the clutch master cylinder has:
    [​IMG]

    And you have to somehow pre-fill the hose with fluid without losing that fluid when you connect it because the clutch slave cylinder just doesn't hold a lot of fluid.
    [​IMG]

    Not pictured is the 15-minute washing of my eyes (clutch fluid hurts when it gets in your eyes, and do not ask me how I know that) because I didn't wear goggles and the first press of the clutch slave cylinder with a phillips screwdriver squirts far more powerfully than you might think it does!

    So I took another fifteen minutes to fashion a catch jar out of a Costco gummibears vitamin jar where the hose was too short (because I had cut it to make the clutch master cylinder loop prior):
    [​IMG]

    Where finally I got the job done by hooking the funnel on the end of the hose and just holding that up in the air with one hand and then pushing in the clutch slave cylinder piston with a phillips screwdriver (not pictured because I was using both hands at the time).

    All that effort was wasted, because it's not easy getting the clutch slave cylinder back on the car without losing all that fluid anyway, so, in the end, it was a total waste of time to bench bleed the clutch slave cylinder because my technique was just all wrong.
    [​IMG]

    So I have to ask for your advice on technique.

    Given that bench bleeding the clutch master cylinder is a piece of cake compared to bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder, and given that reinstalling the clutch master cylinder is also a piece of cake compared to the clutch slave cylinder, and given that the clutch master cylinder reservoir handles a lot of drips but not the clutch slave cylinder.......

    Would you ever recommend bench bleeding the clutch slave cylinder?
     
  9. Nov 12, 2017 at 7:16 PM
    #9
    easleycrawler

    easleycrawler TOYOTA ADDICT- SSEM #78

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    Glad you got it fixed. As far as bench bleeding, I've never done it. I've replaced several brake master cylinder's, and several clutch hydraulics, I've yet to bench bleed any of them and never had any problems out of them. And, I've never rebuilt the hydraulic systems, I just replaced with new aisin parts.
     
    SodiumFlouride [OP] likes this.
  10. Nov 13, 2017 at 6:15 PM
    #10
    SodiumFlouride

    SodiumFlouride [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for sticking with me in my time of need.

    I've asked about and my current tentative conclusion is that all the DIYs on the net are wrong when it comes to this vehicle because there is nothing to be gained by bench bleeding, it seems.

    The reason, I think, that bench bleeding it a total waste of time (in hindsight) is that the clutch master cylinder is level, so bench bleeding won't be any different than bleeding on the vehicle. It's even more obvious, after the fact, in 20:20 hindsight that bench bleeding of the slave cylinder is also a total waste of time.

    The slave cylinder is far hard to bench bleed, and you'll lose all the fluid anyway when you mount it, and when it mounts, it too is level (so no bubbles stick in one end of the chamber).

    All in all, the reason I made so many mistakes is that there isn't a single DIY on the entire Internet for the clutch repair and cylinder rebuilding of the of the less-common 3RZ-FE with the W59 transmission - so I had to be the one to make all the mistakes! :)

    I'm going to do the clutch next, so I'm doing my homework now.
     
    easleycrawler likes this.

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