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2000 4.7 w/ 210,000 miles blown tranny- what to do...

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Moloa, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. Sep 14, 2021 at 10:52 AM
    #1
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Short story long:
    I am the original owner of a 2000 4.7L Tundra Limited. 210,000 miles. Never a single problem. First new vehicle I ever bought... I was a kid. So many good memories in this truck, feels like 9 lives. It's lived in California. Shipped it to Maui- lived there 5 years, shipped to the Big Island of Hawaii. Wife's illness brought me back to the mainland for what I hoped would be months. That's turned to 3 years. Tundra was parked in a shipping container on my property the whole time. 2 weeks ago I returned home for the first time. Put in a battery, drained the fuel, put air in the tires- the Tundra literally fired right up. I drove it around town 3 or 4 days no issues- engine ran smooth- but the tires were toast- squared off from sitting so long. I drove it 1.5 hr w/ no issues into Hilo for new tires. Except... it seemed laggy.. was so minor that I thought it might be my imagination- like trans might be slipping. New tires on, I began the 80 mile drive back home- out of Hilo- up a long steep grade over the Mauna Kea saddle road- the tranny started slipping badly. I pulled over- it was bleeding trans fluid all over the road the road, wouldn't go into gear. I had it towed to a trans shop in Hilo. No word yet- but I kind of fear/assume the trans is smoked. What... to... do? Straight body, good paint w/ 2 dime sized pimples of rust on the roof. Never crashed. Do I put a new/rebuilt tranny in? Guessing what 4-5k? It's a 20 something year old truck w/ over 200k. Probably have another $800 to re-register it. Cut my losses- don't put good money after bad money or... take the hit.... see if I'm lucky and get another 100k out of it. I'm inclined to fix it and keep going- but all the time sitting has me worried what other issues there might be. Thanks in advance for any thoughts or feedback- would be greatly appreciated. Need to get my thoughts in order- a plan before the trans shop calls with the news. tundra2000.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  2. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:02 AM
    #2
    Lil Steve

    Lil Steve Living the dream

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    Looks like a clean truck, I'd be inclined to keep it, just my opinion. Hopefully the leak is what led to the slippage and all that needs to be done is find/repair the leak. If you had a catastrophic transmission failure that resulted in the leak, I'd believe you would have had some serious mechanical noises that you would have noticed while driving it. Fingers crossed for it being a simple fix.

    Oh, and welcome!
     
  3. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    #3
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I hope your wife is better now, that's hard on you as well when life is disrupted. Curious where the fluid leaked from, I'm guessing a hose to the cooler that may have rotted over the storage period and lead to transmission failure.

    I'm stupid and sentimental. I would look over the rest of the truck, mainly fluid condition and hoses. I would keep the truck and have another trans put in. As far as from what, whatever the budget and your location allows. A rebuilt is nice if not out of the budget but a working trans from a junkyard would be fine as well.

    These trucks can last a lifetime if rust doesn't kill them. Occasionally something big like a trans may be needed but otherwise they only need basic maintenance. I don't like the good money after bad idea because if you spend $3k to put a trans in and maybe $1500 on other maintenance, isn't that cheaper than buying a comparable vehicle? You know the truck well, another used one is a stranger to you and no guarantees that it will be trouble free. I have owned my 03 since 2008, if the trans goes out I'll put another in and keep going.

    You'll get plenty of people here saying dump it and buy a new one. Up to you, do the math, think of what fits your life.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:09 AM
    #4
    04DCTundraMan

    04DCTundraMan Crimedog McGriff

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    Just the tranny, I say keep it. Cars are insane expensive right now and being built with the cheapest available parts. Let her live on!!!
     
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  5. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:13 AM
    #5
    Teutonics

    Teutonics New Member

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    If it's just loss of fluid you may be okay... I'd hold out some hope and not come to any terminal conclusions yet. See what your mechanic has to say and go from there. :fingerscrossed:
     
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  6. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:15 AM
    #6
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

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    I'm with Luis, I bet something rotted out and after being pressurized it blew.
     
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  7. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:29 AM
    #7
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Thanks much for the responses... and kind thoughts about my ever smiling peaceful warrior wife.
    I am pretty inclined to keep it- but hesitate- worry that limited $ and for sure a bit of stupidity and sentimentality may be clouding my judgement. The truck has been so solid. And.. prior to that I owned a bullet-proof 1971 Toyota FJ Landcruiser that had 325k when I regretfully sold it. So Toyotas have definitely earned my loyalty. Yeah salvage over build is a good thought- maybe I should be on the phone trying to track down a salvaged trans. Being on a rock in the middle of the pacific- shipping / availability could be an issue.
     
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  8. Sep 14, 2021 at 11:41 AM
    #8
    Sirfive

    Sirfive Master Procrastinator

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    First rule of tundra club is check the quality of your bj’s and timing belt, but rule number 2 is: dont blow trannies. Thats not the kinda life you want for yourself.

    Perhaps the filter clogged and could be revived, maybe the clutch discs came apart and needs a simple rebuild. As long as the temp is kept in check, these trans arent too bad. (4 spd) there isnt as much expensive tech as new stuff so id expect a full r&r to be close to 1k. If you can r&r yourself, closer to $500, and to rebuild yourself closer to $200.
     
  9. Sep 14, 2021 at 12:19 PM
    #9
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I'm thinking when the fluid got low enough the trans acted up. May not even be damaged really. My trans wouldn't get above 3rd gear once, turned out to be about half a quarter low after a recent drain and fill. I topped off and it was fine. Fingers crossed for you.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2021 at 12:22 PM
    #10
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    I got an 80k transmission for my 2010 2wd for 1200. Hopefully yours won't be 4-5k

    Glad your wife is ok & good luck with the truck.
     
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  11. Sep 14, 2021 at 12:25 PM
    #11
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol The "Mangler"

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    Too many
    @Moloa If you still have a use for the truck I would be inclined to keep it. You've had it this long so you know the history and I'm only assuming you've taken care of it. Did you determine where the transmission was leaking from? Maybe one of the hoses rotted out while it was sitting? That could be an easy fix. Had you ever had the transmission serviced in the last 20 years?
     
  12. Sep 14, 2021 at 12:28 PM
    #12
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Yeah- that was my initial thought-hope- a bad seal or line from sitting- fluid loss- easy fix. Very much hoping for the very best- while trying to be pragmatic and prepare for the worst. Mahalo for the crossed fingers! Got all mine plus toes crossed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  13. Sep 14, 2021 at 12:49 PM
    #13
    dbittle

    dbittle New Member

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    The truck looks like it is in very good condition and those 4.7 liter engines are often good for 600K+ miles. Those 4 speed transmissions aren't that expensive in the grand scheme of things and you don't need one very often. At the same time, if you haven't refreshed the timing belt/lower ball joints, it might be a good time to go through the whole thing once and for all and put it on the road to success for the next 200K.
     
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  14. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:00 PM
    #14
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Thanks... solid advice... and I hope so! I replaced the timing belt 1x at around 100k- haven't touched the ball joints. Another 200k would be amazing... probably won't do that mileage before I croak here on the island.
     
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  15. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:01 PM
    #15
    shifty`

    shifty` sub-80k mile club

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    Low fluid will cause all the symptoms you mention. Chances are it was just a seal dry-rotted and you caught it quick enough.

    If you have two shops in town and the one you went to tries to say everything is shot, I'd have it towed to a dealer for diagnostics, or another transmission shop.

    I'll be shocked if you nuked the tranny, honestly.

    PS click the link in my signature. I've got your twin in 4WD format!!
     
  16. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:06 PM
    #16
    shifty`

    shifty` sub-80k mile club

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    The only thing that may kill him being out on the islands is availability and limited # of cars allowed and/or available. But there's always freighting something in...
     
  17. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:11 PM
    #17
    youp50

    youp50 New Member

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    If it was mine, and I decided to have it fixed, I would have the transmission cooler disconnected and an external one installed. I do not recall how many C notes that one cost. The mixing of coolant and tranny fluid is bad for both sides.

    If it was mine, and that rust free body stirs envy, I would shoot for 300k.
     
  18. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:12 PM
    #18
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  19. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:31 PM
    #19
    a_double

    a_double New Member

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    Are you able to manually shift into all the gears and drive on each?

    I had a 2000 and my tranny started acting up, wouldn't shift in the right spots, etc. But it did work if I manually shifted through the gears. I ended up dropping the tranny pan, and replacing all the shift solenoids. It ran perfect after.
     
  20. Sep 14, 2021 at 1:42 PM
    #20
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Thanks! Yeah- lots of Toyotas in Hawaii hope it doesn't come to that but think I should be able to come up w/ a salvage. That said...


    Just now got a call from the shop. They're saying the leak was line to the radiator/cooling gave out. Fluid looks dirty burnt. So recommend new radiator, trans service, filter replace... then go from there- hope for the best that everything checks out after that with function- no further damage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  21. Sep 14, 2021 at 3:05 PM
    #21
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    Fingers, toes & eyes crossed you are ok after that is done!
     
  22. Sep 14, 2021 at 5:04 PM
    #22
    Jack McCarthy

    Jack McCarthy New Member

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    Wow. Sat in a shipping container for 3 years? I'm wondering if that will be your only issue. Not the best environment to keep it. Good luck!

    I would definitely check over the rest of the truck in detail for anything like dry rot and leaks. Also, make sure your fluids are at the right level and clean.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
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  23. Sep 14, 2021 at 6:32 PM
    #23
    shifty`

    shifty` sub-80k mile club

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    Got fingers crossed for you! Glad to hear it was just a line - for now!
     
  24. Sep 14, 2021 at 6:41 PM
    #24
    FlyingWolfe

    FlyingWolfe Wolfie

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    My husband has a 2003 with the 4.7 that just hit 300k miles with zero issues. Id put a new tranny in her and run it if it were mine.
    Prices for vehicles are absolutely batshit crazy right now anyways as far as getting something even remotely close to what you have. Hopefully its an easy fix or something silly. Sending good vibes to you and wifey
     
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  25. Sep 14, 2021 at 6:50 PM
    #25
    Kfrog

    Kfrog New Member

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    A lot of good advice about truck and think the transmission could be an easy fix but due to sitting for so long would consider changing out all external hoses, belts, anti-freeze, brake fluid, power steering, differentials oils, etc. This should get you to the next 100k miles.
     
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  26. Sep 14, 2021 at 7:46 PM
    #26
    NickB_01TRD

    NickB_01TRD Member

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    Sounds like this truck has probably sat for a while since that timing belt service 110k miles ago. If it's already in the shop this seems like a great time to get that taken care of so you know it'll be in good shape. Every 90k or 7 years (or is it 9 years) is recommended interval. New OEM lower ball joints wouldn't hurt either. Parts and labor aren't too expensive on that. I was going to reccomend radiator replace but seems you're getting that done now anyway. Good luck to ya.
     
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  27. Sep 15, 2021 at 11:36 PM
    #27
    Moloa

    Moloa [OP] New Member

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    Transmission shop called me today. They replaced the radiator/flushed cooling system... serviced transmission, flushed with detergent, changed filter- filled transmission, then a long test drive.... with no problems with the transmission- say it runs, shifts smooth.... YES! So going to get her back home and give some love.- Looking to: change/check belts, hoses. Trans and cooling are now done as well as new tires so... rest of fluids- oil, power steering, brakes, diff. Buff / wax / detail. Next up: timing belt, ball joints, shocks. Hopefully many more miles and memories. Mahalo nui to everyone for all the great input and well wishes... it really helped.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  28. Sep 16, 2021 at 3:05 AM
    #28
    FlyingWolfe

    FlyingWolfe Wolfie

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  29. Sep 16, 2021 at 3:05 AM
    #29
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    Awesome! Congratulations!
     
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  30. Sep 16, 2021 at 4:43 AM
    #30
    bmf4069

    bmf4069 Yup, that's car parts in a dishwasher

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    Very nice! Keep us updated with pics. We like pics.
     
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