1. Welcome to Tundras.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tundra discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other Tundra owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Transfer Case Actuator Problems - Poll

Discussion in '2.5 Gen Tundras (2014-2021)' started by mverkaik, Nov 22, 2022.

?

Actuator Problems? When?

  1. Yes, Never changed my fluid.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Yes, I use gear oil.

    4.3%
  3. Yes, I use non-Toyota 75W

    6.5%
  4. Yes, I used Toyota 75W transmission fluid

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Yes, I used Toyota 75W transfer case fluid

    4.3%
  6. No, Never had a problem (please let us know what oil you use)

    84.8%
  1. Nov 23, 2022 at 8:33 AM
    #31
    NyCSnEaK

    NyCSnEaK New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2021
    Member:
    #67260
    Messages:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Yaq
    Vehicle:
    Tundra AG CM TRD
    No dealership I’ve ever asked has said they use oem gear oil. All said the same thing about using a 75w90 synthetic. I even asked the Car Care Nut and he replied back that his dealership uses the aforementioned gear oil as well.

    I don’t believe it’s fluid change interval that causes the malfunction, but the frequency of actually using your 4wd system. The actuator needs to be lubricated, so it’s doesn’t stick or self destruct.

    A lot people I know with on the fly systems only use 4wd in the snow, so a couple months a year maybe? Then nothing for 8-10 months. Sounds like a recipe for eventual failure imo.
     
  2. Nov 23, 2022 at 8:36 AM
    #32
    AZBoatHauler

    AZBoatHauler ASCM#3 Elitist Douchebag

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2019
    Member:
    #34576
    Messages:
    4,302
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Adam
    So.Arizona
    Vehicle:
    2017 CM LTD TRD 4x4 MGM, 2017 LandCruiser
    6112 and 5160 w/ CB +2, JL Audio with Kenwood HU, DD 10" Exhaust, RC light bar BD fogs, Platinum LED headlights, RCI skids, WKOR sliders, BD ditch and chase lights, Rago fab mounts, 34” Nitto RGs
    So you’re saying it’s a coincidence that 75% of people having problems aren’t running the OEM oil?
     
    TRDFerguson likes this.
  3. Nov 23, 2022 at 9:20 AM
    #33
    mverkaik

    mverkaik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Member:
    #4368
    Messages:
    200
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Hamilton, MI
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD PRO CrewMax
    WeatherTech Floorliners Toyota Running Boards Reflex Liner Truxedo X15 Pro cover.
    The million mile Tundras were pre-2014 and used the old Asian T-case. These used 75w90 as a factory fill.
    Sadly many dealers are using 75w90 instead of the required 75w in the post 2014 trucks. Toyota usually requires things fro a reason. It very well may be this actuator mechanism? Oil may or may not make a difference. That is what I am looking to better understand.

    Fair statement. I am just curious as to how many of the failed units are using the Toyota recommended transfer case oil?
    Let the data talk.
     
    2mchfun likes this.
  4. Nov 23, 2022 at 9:48 AM
    #34
    agrestic1

    agrestic1 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Member:
    #14263
    Messages:
    132
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 CrewMax
    AMP Research PowerStep, AMP BedStep Bumper Step, BedRug Carpet Bed Mat, Bazooka Powered Subwoofer Tube
    Does anyone know what actually goes wrong with the actuator ??
     
  5. Nov 23, 2022 at 9:51 AM
    #35
    mverkaik

    mverkaik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Member:
    #4368
    Messages:
    200
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Hamilton, MI
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD PRO CrewMax
    WeatherTech Floorliners Toyota Running Boards Reflex Liner Truxedo X15 Pro cover.
    My understanding is that the actuator has difficulty turning the mechanism in the case. Now, is it a weak actuator or is it the mechanism getting sticky in the case? There has been some success removing the actuator, actuating the case manually and then reassembling. However, I don't know how long this holds up.
     
  6. Nov 23, 2022 at 10:28 AM
    #36
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2020
    Member:
    #56879
    Messages:
    3,840
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2021 White 4x4 CM Trail Ed.
    Seat covers, dash mat, ext. Trans. Cooler, sumo springs, oem pwr fld tow mirrors
    No, just saying that an accurate investigation or comparison needs to have controlled test specimens to obtain any useful data.
     
  7. Nov 23, 2022 at 9:34 PM
    #37
    WAtundra4x4

    WAtundra4x4 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Member:
    #12453
    Messages:
    476
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Den
    Glenmore Highlands, WA
    Vehicle:
    2018 Cement Tundra TRD crewmax limited
    Forward looking camera, Stub Antenna, 3M clearshield. A few other non lifted items.
    I pulled out the owners manual where it said to drive 10 miles minimum per month in 4 HI to keep the front mechanisms lubricated. I took my Tundra out for a drive and went thru 4 Hi and 4 low. It took a while for the 4 low to switch but glad it did. Did some slow forward and reverse on a flat and straight road with 4 low.
     
    Sierradevil and WILLINH like this.
  8. Nov 24, 2022 at 4:39 AM
    #38
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra R2R

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Member:
    #2715
    Messages:
    822
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Wyoming
    Vehicle:
    2014 Toyota Tundra TRD
    I had a similar problem with similar milage. I change my transfer and diff case oil every 30k miles with Mobil 1 75w90. The transfer case really struggled to come out of 4LO. What I ended up doing was driving around in 4HI for 30ish minutes to warm the transfer case up then shifted into 4LO, then back to 4HI and repeated this multiple times. Initially it was a pain trying to get it to come out of 4LO but after doing this several times though out a month or two I no longer have any issues shifting into or out of 4LO whether or not I've warmed up the transfer case and now I'm more diligent about exercising my 4x4 system.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
  9. Nov 24, 2022 at 7:21 AM
    #39
    BlueRibbon4x4

    BlueRibbon4x4 Let’s color match it

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Member:
    #18204
    Messages:
    2,149
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Geno
    Vehicle:
    2015 Blue Ribbon 4x4
    This is what I need to do I think. I drive in 4hi often, and have no issues, but 4lo is acting funky. It’s temperamental going in or out. I’ve tried recently while cold and 4lo is a no go at all. I’ll warm her up and try again.
     
    Sierradevil and FirstGenTundra like this.
  10. Nov 24, 2022 at 7:27 AM
    #40
    Terndrerrr

    Terndrerrr it's good to get lost once in a while

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2019
    Member:
    #32965
    Messages:
    3,594
    Gender:
    Male
    Music City
    Vehicle:
    Dual 5.7s
    TRD Fox, RAS, 285/75 DTs
    Correct weight oil but different brand? Highly doubt this is a problem.
    Wrong weight oil, say 75W90 when it calls for 75W? Maybe a problem.

    But my completely unscientific speculation is that not exercising the actuator according to the manual is probably the biggest problem. I’ve had Ravenol 75W in two of my Toyotas’ TCs (about to be 3 once I swap my LX’s fluids) for lots and lots of miles without a hitch. I’m also in 4wd regularly. Use it or lose it is my guess.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.
     
    Sierradevil and 2mchfun like this.
  11. Nov 24, 2022 at 10:12 AM
    #41
    BTBAKER

    BTBAKER New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Member:
    #11185
    Messages:
    5,038
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Brad
    Castle Rock
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tundra Limited
    Ravenol 75w. Transfer is smooth as glass.
     
    Terndrerrr likes this.
  12. Nov 24, 2022 at 2:26 PM
    #42
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra R2R

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Member:
    #2715
    Messages:
    822
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Wyoming
    Vehicle:
    2014 Toyota Tundra TRD
    Getting the transfer case warm was the key for me. It was still difficult but it was more willing to shift out of 4LO initially. I also drove in 4LO while attempting to free up the actuator. I would shift into and out of 4LO several times each time I did this and it did eventually free up.
     
    BlueRibbon4x4 likes this.
  13. Nov 24, 2022 at 2:43 PM
    #43
    BlueRibbon4x4

    BlueRibbon4x4 Let’s color match it

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Member:
    #18204
    Messages:
    2,149
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Geno
    Vehicle:
    2015 Blue Ribbon 4x4
    Ok sweet. Thanks for the tip. My other option is to buy the $1k part. But messing with it first makes way more sense to me.
     
    FirstGenTundra likes this.
  14. Nov 24, 2022 at 4:51 PM
    #44
    FirstGenTundra

    FirstGenTundra R2R

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2016
    Member:
    #2715
    Messages:
    822
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Daniel
    Wyoming
    Vehicle:
    2014 Toyota Tundra TRD
    I think you'll need to drop the transfer case and split it to I stall a new actuator. Just a heads up if that's what your referring to. I don't think it's a simple parts swap.
     
  15. Nov 24, 2022 at 6:51 PM
    #45
    BlueRibbon4x4

    BlueRibbon4x4 Let’s color match it

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Member:
    #18204
    Messages:
    2,149
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Geno
    Vehicle:
    2015 Blue Ribbon 4x4
    I’m not 100% sure either. I actually disassembled the unit while it was installed on the transfer case to look for corrosion inside. It’s super clean. Everything came right off, but I’m unsure about the main mount itself coming off. Looked like it would though, as I had everything disassembled.
     
  16. Nov 24, 2022 at 7:27 PM
    #46
    Joe333x

    Joe333x Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #28632
    Messages:
    918
    Boston
    Vehicle:
    2019 Tundra CrewMax Platinum
    No issues here, I've changed the fluid once, with Toyota 75w. Why is there an option for 75w transmission fluid lol?
     
  17. Nov 25, 2022 at 4:22 AM
    #47
    mverkaik

    mverkaik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Member:
    #4368
    Messages:
    200
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Hamilton, MI
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD PRO CrewMax
    WeatherTech Floorliners Toyota Running Boards Reflex Liner Truxedo X15 Pro cover.
    Toyota sells a 75W Transmission fluid. Some guys are using that because it is quite a bit cheaper. Different Toyota part number.
     
    AZBoatHauler likes this.
  18. Nov 25, 2022 at 5:55 AM
    #48
    agrestic1

    agrestic1 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2018
    Member:
    #14263
    Messages:
    132
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2016 CrewMax
    AMP Research PowerStep, AMP BedStep Bumper Step, BedRug Carpet Bed Mat, Bazooka Powered Subwoofer Tube
    I looked at videos of transfer case actuators.. electric motors, gear drives, that move shift forks in the case, similar to manual transmission,....My first assumption would be the actuator motor assy.
     
  19. Nov 25, 2022 at 5:35 PM
    #49
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2020
    Member:
    #56879
    Messages:
    3,840
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2021 White 4x4 CM Trail Ed.
    Seat covers, dash mat, ext. Trans. Cooler, sumo springs, oem pwr fld tow mirrors
    When does the data processing begin? Curious to see what you can determine.
     
  20. Nov 25, 2022 at 7:36 PM
    #50
    Joe333x

    Joe333x Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #28632
    Messages:
    918
    Boston
    Vehicle:
    2019 Tundra CrewMax Platinum
    Learn something new everyday. I did extensive research before deciding on using the Toyota 75w. I seen plenty of people using 75-90, or Ravenol 75w but never came across anyone suggesting Toyota 75w manual transmission oil, i did find the product, it also comes in a similar looking can as the Toyota transfer case oil and as you said it's about half the price. If i was price shopping though I'd probably just throw in 75w90, not a special Toyota manual transmission gear oil but to each thier own.
     
  21. Nov 25, 2022 at 8:00 PM
    #51
    DSTundra

    DSTundra New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Member:
    #14880
    Messages:
    196
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dave
    Albuquerque, NM
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tundra Platinum
    No issues... Used Toyota 75w.
     
  22. Nov 26, 2022 at 4:53 PM
    #52
    737fixer

    737fixer New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Member:
    #17209
    Messages:
    330
    Gender:
    Male
    This is literally the same fix as just using the actuator on a regular basis. In the million posts on a hundred different threads the main (9/10) culprit is simple non-use of the 4wd system. No, you do not have to go Dakar crazy every month to keep everything ship shape. Just activate the 4Hi once in awhile on a slow & straight piece of road and you will never have an issue with the actuator. Mistaking fluid choice for putting nice, brand new, fluid in a container and never using it is pointless. And Yes, though not as often, do the same for 4Lo.
     
    Joe333x likes this.
  23. Nov 26, 2022 at 5:24 PM
    #53
    Corrosivetendency

    Corrosivetendency New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2020
    Member:
    #54420
    Messages:
    137
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Nate
    Vehicle:
    2016 plain-jane d-cab
    Mine was replaced under warranty. As far as what oil they used....? Failed at 72k.
     
  24. Nov 26, 2022 at 5:35 PM
    #54
    Joe333x

    Joe333x Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #28632
    Messages:
    918
    Boston
    Vehicle:
    2019 Tundra CrewMax Platinum
    Completely agree, and it doesn't even have to be slow, you can put it in 4hi at up to 62mph on a nice straight piece of highway.
     
  25. Nov 27, 2022 at 4:04 PM
    #55
    mverkaik

    mverkaik [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2016
    Member:
    #4368
    Messages:
    200
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Mike
    Hamilton, MI
    Vehicle:
    2021 TRD PRO CrewMax
    WeatherTech Floorliners Toyota Running Boards Reflex Liner Truxedo X15 Pro cover.
    Thus far we have a whole six votes. They are equally spread over the "normal" fluids that people are using. That would suggest that the problem is not fluid related.
    However, there are a lot more people on this thread talking about problems than the 5 other than me that voted. People are not voting because they don't believe the fluid to be the culprit. Just vote and let the data speak.
    I will likely just use the Toyota fluid and continue to actuate my 4WD on a monthly basis...... thus I will probably never know how I fixed the problem.
     
    2mchfun likes this.
  26. Nov 27, 2022 at 4:16 PM
    #56
    2mchfun

    2mchfun Lead foot, left lane, loud stereo

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2020
    Member:
    #56879
    Messages:
    3,840
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Vehicle:
    2021 White 4x4 CM Trail Ed.
    Seat covers, dash mat, ext. Trans. Cooler, sumo springs, oem pwr fld tow mirrors
    Hmmm. I will also just use the Toyota 75w. Not sure why people worry about the cost so much. In my opinion, if you can afford the truck, insurance, tags, gasoline, mods, and all of the other things I see discussed here, then surely you can buy the Yota oil. Sometimes peeps is kinda silly!
     
    Joe333x and WAtundra4x4 like this.
  27. Nov 27, 2022 at 4:29 PM
    #57
    Clay J

    Clay J Yota Fan

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2020
    Member:
    #56606
    Messages:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Clay
    DFW, TX
    Vehicle:
    2021 CM 4x4 TSS
    Eibach Stage 1, Pro LED headlights, RCI engine skid plate, Retrax MX tonneau, Ranch Hand front bumper.
    No issues. 32k on the odometer. Changed factory fluid at 30k with 75w90gear oil.
     
  28. Nov 27, 2022 at 5:22 PM
    #58
    ZPhilip

    ZPhilip Custom title here

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Member:
    #36383
    Messages:
    512
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Philip
    West Chester, PA
    Vehicle:
    2015 Platinum Super White Crewmax
    Harrop supercharger, TRD Pro Fox suspension, CB +1 shackles, 295/70-18 Toyo ATIII, TRD Pro forged rims
    No issues. Been using the Ravenol 75 since 30k and I now have 66k. I have not been exercising the transfer case like I should be. Only the occasional 4HI for a few minutes, no 4LO.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top