Author Topic: New used truck, synchros not working well, wrong fluid in tranny?  (Read 991 times)

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  • Offline Dusty Trails
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Hey guys, just got my '89 3VZ-E pickup a month ago and have been having some trouble shifting. Ordering a shift seat and socket to fix the clunk and alignment issue going 1->2, however...

I have to double clutch to downshift into 2nd if I'm rolling >15mph, and always have to double clutch into 1st unless at a standstill. This is really annoying! The gears don't grind but it feels like there is a gate there, it will not go into gear unless I apply a ton of pressure to the shift lever (bad idea). Previous owners' log states 20k miles ago a Toyota dealer changed the tranny oil and put in 50/50 gear oil/ATF.

Now I'm the first to admit I know nothing about transmissions (no stranger to mechanics though) but that seems horribly wrong. Are my synchros just dead, or is it the wrong fluid and they won't spin up? Why would the dealer put in ATF or did the previous owner write something down wrong?

Thanks for any help


  • Offline The 1K Club
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I would pull the plug out of the upper fill hole and stick your finger in there to see what the fluid smells like.  If it smells like a burnt turd, it's most likely 80/90w which is the correct fluid.  If it is not a oil color or doesn't smell right, I'd change out the fluid to Penzoil Synchromesh.  I did that on my w series trans on my tacoma and it made a world of difference.  After you run it for a few hundred miles, the trans shifts like butter....
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  • Offline Rock Crawl'n
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I've got the same problem. Basically it feels like 2nd gear synchro bad. I was planning on rebuilding. Are you saying I could buy some time with this Pennzoil Synchromess? Is it an 80/90 also?


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I have heard friends using synchromesh gear oil in their Toyota's both said it pretty much 100% solved their problems.  One said to use royal purple and I think the other said they just used the wal mart brand.  Both 80/90W I believe, but I would put in whatever is recommended for your trans.


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No what he's saying is the proper gear oil is what is needed for proper operation and won't buy some time but will fix the issue. There is an even more important number for the syncro's and that is the associated GL number. You not only need the correct weight of oil but you also need the correct GL number for the syncro's to operate properly. You have GL number 1 through 6. You need to refer to your owners manual or service manual for the correct one. Non syncro transmissions will run MT or MIL specifications and if you put that in a unit with syncros forget shifting.
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in other words that dealership should be buying you a new transmission (if it has failed)  but are you sure your clutch is releasing completely??
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i dont think the dealership that the previous owner had the vehicle serviced by is going to do anything......

try the schncromesh.... if it works..... it's cheaper than a tranny...... if it doesn't work.... you needed a tranny anyways.....

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