Put the car off for a bit while I ordered a new gasket set for the valve body assembly (not necessary when changing the shift solenoids).
Here's some tips for anyone thinking of doing it:
1) Take pictures of the entire assembly after you remove the transmission filter so you know where everything goes when you're done, the FSM doesn't list each and every piece and the exact routing of all the solenoid wires. This includes;
- All 4 wires, how they are positioned and what side of the valve body the 2 upper solenoid wires are routed from (the 3rd wire is a solenoid on the side, and the 4th wire is the AT temperature sensor)
- The clamps that hold each wire
2) When handling the valve body, take extreme note, the black/green gasket is not metal or plastic, it is a paper gasket that has been compromised by the heat and fluid in the transmission, as it is very brittle, I was careless and broke off large pieces of the gasket that necessitated the valve body be disassembled
3) Besides using the online FSM, try and get a hold of the Toyota techinfo FSM (I ended up purchasing a 15 day subscription) which is much more specific about where each part of the valve body removal and installation. Alternatively, if you are very meticulous about your work, you don't really need this.
4) You WILL need 2 people minimum to attempt this procedure, the hardest part of the entire process is reinstalling the valve body into the transmission while you pull and insert a secondary throttle cable into a rotary cam on the valve body assembly (after several tries, I was able to perfect doing this by myself repeatedly)
5) The best way to reinstall the valve body is to do it on the workbench, but since we're upside down it's that much more difficult, another issue is keeping the upper o-ring in place while you install and screw the valve body assembly into position. I soaked the upper o-ring in AT fluid and that was able to keep it in place long enough for me to install the valve body assembly.
6) When torquing bolts down, the FSM from toyota mistakenly quotes wrong torque specs, but generally speaking, use 58-inch-lbs of force to torque m5 (8mm head) bolts and 8-ft-lb of force to torque m6 (10mm head) bolts.
7) Another note on bolts, there are 2 bolt types, m5 (8mm head) and m6 (10mm head) and there are 4 lengths of each bolt, so you should have someone take note where each bolt goes, you SHOULD only be removing the m6 bolts, the m5 bolts are for disassembling the valve body itself
(you will need to remove a couple m5 bolts to remove any brackets that might get crushed when you lay the assembly on a table). If you forgot which bolt goes where, see the picture diagram for ordering bolts at http://www.toyotapartszone.com
-> Valve Body and Strainer (ATM) -> Illustration 5 of 5 (bolt part numbers)
Note: I have an Aisin A541E transmission, I don't know how this differs from the Aisin A540E
BTW: Here is a picture of the valve body assembly (The single-red wire solenoid at the upper left is the shift SL solenoid (it's hold down bolt should be torqued down to 58-inch-lbs)
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