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Links:
https://toyota.oemdtc.com/TSB/T-SB-0138-10.pdf
http://www.stevesalt.com/toyota-0138-10-tsb-transfer-case-inner-seal-highlander-sienna-rav4-2/
(this guy loosened all tranny bolts which would take a bit more effort)

Toyota TSB 0138-10 Transfer case gear oil or transmission fluid seepage from vent AWD

I replaced the transfer case on my 06 Sienna Limited AWD this past weekend with a used one that I preformed the TSB on. i had blown a seal a few years ago and damaged the tcase, i knew i would have to replace it and wanted to get all the life out of the one on the car.... I did. It is very doable for any home mechanic. I will outline the process and give you my take on the procedure.
Removing the Tcase:
- Get your van up in the air (the higher the better) and remove both front tires (remove axle nut first from PSGR side). I had the rear tires on ramps and the front on jack stands.
- On PSGR side Take off the 3 ball joint nuts, axle nut, one end of the sway bar link, and tie rod from the knuckle.
- Remove the exhaust section that goes across the T-case (unplug the O2 sensor near the front)
- Drain Tcase and transmission
- Remove PSGR side CV halfshaft ( I did both because I was replacing both with new)( I left strut to knuckle connected during the entire process) and the section of driveline going into Tcase (make alignment marks on shaft to shaft connection for reassembly) should pull right out I turned the knuckle and strut assbly 90 degrees towards the front of the car.
- Get your extension and swivels ready and start removing all the Tcase bolts – youll need to get creative with the extensions and swivels and wobble adapters – use a ½” breaker bar at the end of it to help you get leverage most of the hard bolts or nuts I got in each wheel well. I DID NOT NEED TO REMOVE AIRBOX OR BATTERY OR ANYTING UNDER HOOD
- Start removing the Tcase support nuts and bolts to the rear engine/Tcase mount(some of them you can only get once Tcase is loose and you need to pry the tcase away from the engine to get them.
- You need a 6PT closed end wrench to get the lower inner bolt loose on the engine block bracket( this is the bolt you will need to cut)
- Once everything is loose you will realize you need to cut the lower inner bolt on the engine block bracket unless you are willing to loosen all Tranny to engine bolts which I was not Or unless you know something I don’t
- I removed the counterweight on the end of the Tcase extension – will make it easier to get in and out – allegedly you don’t have to remove it ( I actually didn’t have to remove it because my case was blown up at the housing extension the whole housing extension removed itself HA
- You should be able to remove the Tcase and mounting bracket now
- Preform TSB on your or your used one (Below)
Installation:
- Installation is opposite of removal except you need to make a short bolt for the Lower inner engine block mount (~1/2” shorter) Test fit your tcase and engine mount before you actually do it (you only have 10 mins with the sealant) to make sure your bolt is short enough and will work.
-Apply never seize to all bolts and when youre ready apply the threebond to the Tcase
-IMPORTANT – Once the Tcase is in position you must install ALL 3 of the Engine block mounting bolts or you will not be able to once the Tcase is secured and gasket stuff is curing
-get genuine ATF T-IV from your local Toyota dealer ~6$ a Qt.
-Refill before you install exhaust pipe (easier)

TSB info:
Parts:
Get all of the parts listed on the TSB – Order from your Toyota dealer or TRDonlineshop
Toyota 90316-37001 = National 710807 (rockauto) ( I would just order the factory one personally)
There are 2 other seals you can change that are not listed in the TSB – I ordered them but did not end up changing them for my personal reasons. These are the housing Ext seals
90430-1003= transmission drain crush washer

Tools :
- Rent a Bearing and Seal driver kit and a good seal puller (must be wide enough)
-Depth Gauge in mm or caliper with depth gauge in mm
Procedure: Follow The TSB – you don’t need a bearing puller to remove the RH bearing retainer – just use a block of wood, a hammer, and a screwdriver --- work around it and it will pop free. Remove seals using a seal puller or CAREFULLY with a screwdriver as to not nick the sealing surfaces. Again a good seal puller is key. You must set most of the seals at a certain depth( on the TSB). Be careful through the whole procedure and read the TSB carefully and fully. Check bearing preload is something I was not able to do because I forgot to pickup a small tourque wrench with inch Lbf readings – need very low readings (1.3-2.7) this is to check the loading of the bearing which the outer race and washer can adjust – I reused my old race because I was not able to do this – I used a brass bar and hammer to remove that seal, outer race and retaining washer. You can use a hose clamp and some ingenuity to check the preload im sure there is other means….

I think that is most of it – atleast the important stuff - Good luck - it took me about 1 full day to do this., i broke it up in to an afternoon and morning . 8 hrs total which would have been less if i didnt make a few mistakes along the way.

pics of the carnage Tcase i blew up..... Enjoy

Dave
 

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Dave-
Thanks for the detailed write-up. I am in a similar situation. Bought '06 AWD with 160k, noticed seepage at transfer case. Checked it every month or so for the last year, but evidently let it run long. Started hearing a noise above 45 mph that changes tone based on whether accelerating or decelerating. Pulled the drain plug and NO fluid came out. Contemplating a transfer case swap this weekend. Your comment about ATF T-IV has me confused. The fill plug on my transfer case specifies 80W90 gear oil. What is the ATF for?
 

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Travis, when you remove that CV axle, there is no longer separation between the ATF and gear oil. Thus, the ATF (and the gear oil, for folks who still have gear oil in their t-case) has to be drained first.

- G
 

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Hi Dave and folks,
I am trying to to the transfer case swap over the Christmas holiday. Oh joy! Wondering if I could get some clarification... struggling getting the passenger side upper bolts on the transfer case. There are three, the rear most I have put, but the front two are blocked behind the engine bracket (which I can’t get off because I can’t get anything on the lower mount bolt closest to the transfer case. On the rebuilt one I I have sitting here it looks like maybe someone had ground off some of the passenger side axle cover plate. Clearly these aren’t the right terms sorry... so did you do some grinding or somehow get that engine bracket off first? Thanks for any help! My time is limited and I thought I had enough extensions to pull this off smoothly. My mistake! Thanks, Matt
 

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Hi Dave and folks,
I am trying to to the transfer case swap over the Christmas holiday. Oh joy! Wondering if I could get some clarification... struggling getting the passenger side upper bolts on the transfer case. There are three, the rear most I have put, but the front two are blocked behind the engine bracket (which I can’t get off because I can’t get anything on the lower mount bolt closest to the transfer case. On the rebuilt one I I have sitting here it looks like maybe someone had ground off some of the passenger side axle cover plate. Clearly these aren’t the right terms sorry... so did you do some grinding or somehow get that engine bracket off first? Thanks for any help! My time is limited and I thought I had enough extensions to pull this off smoothly. My mistake! Thanks, Matt
Haven’t done this myself, but you may find this useful: Toyota 0138-10 TSB – Transfer Case Inner Seal – Highlander Sienna Rav4 – Steve's Blog
 

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Hi Dave and folks,
I am trying to to the transfer case swap over the Christmas holiday. Oh joy! Wondering if I could get some clarification... struggling getting the passenger side upper bolts on the transfer case. There are three, the rear most I have put, but the front two are blocked behind the engine bracket (which I can’t get off because I can’t get anything on the lower mount bolt closest to the transfer case. On the rebuilt one I I have sitting here it looks like maybe someone had ground off some of the passenger side axle cover plate. Clearly these aren’t the right terms sorry... so did you do some grinding or somehow get that engine bracket off first? Thanks for any help! My time is limited and I thought I had enough extensions to pull this off smoothly. My mistake! Thanks, Matt
Yes, you will have to grind off one of those bolts as there is no space to remove it, or loosen the trans to move the tc so you can get it removed.
 

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I just did this job off the floor of my friend's shop. Background: I replaced the engine after overheating the original. During the engine replacement, I resealed the transfer case (it was leaking at the cover), and improperly inserted the differential carrier snout into the RH bearing carrier housing, folding over the driver's side lip of the RH oil seal #2 double seal. This resulted in a slow leak from the weep hole. Needless to say, I wish I had not done that. When Dave said, "read the TSB carefully," he meant it!

I'm a lifetime DIY mechanic, and I found this job to be very difficult, even with a helper. I don't know whether it's because our '08 has a 2GR engine instead of the 3MZ, but it was almost impossible for me to get a replacement stud threaded into the right depth to install the nut once the transfer case was in place. Maybe I'm just getting old; maybed I didn't spend enough time prying on the transfer case.

Regarding the 6 nuts and two bolts holding the xfer case to the transmission, one nut is removed from the driver side wheel well. We removed the two bolts from the top by using extensions and wobbles and a standard 17mm socket from the passenger wheel well. We had to remove the transfer case the tail shaft extension to access the top-most 17mm nut. We could only remove that nut using a 17mm flex ratcheting combination wrench from under the vehicle by reaching up. You can't see the nut; you have to feel for it. Of course, YMMV. Remember your FIPG for the housing extension.

Making the transfer case repair once it was out of the car was a piece of cake. I used channel locks to twist out the RH bearing carrier. Using my fingers, I turned the double seal sideways in the bore. Using a small HF pry bar, I was able to tap out the bearing race by placing the pry-bar tip curve out against the case washer up against the bore of the RH bearing carrier housing. Alternating blows on either side of the case washer.

The only seals I needed (although I bought the kit for $55) were the RH oil seal #2, big and little o-rings for the RH bearing carrier, and the gasket for the passenger side of the case where it mates to the transmission.

After pulling the RH oil seal #2 out, I just pressed a new lubricated seal into its place with my fingers. It turns out that the 1.5mm-2.5mm seal depth below the shoulder in the case corresponds with the chamfer on the corner of the bore, so you can measure one side or corner to depth, and then set the rest of the seal by eye using your fingers.

I pressed the bearing race back into place with a 46mm HF 3/4" drive socket which was the perfect size.

The key to getting the seal on the snout of the ring gear carrier without folding anything over was to support the transfer case driver's side input down, level on a work surface. This way, the ring gear carrier is vertical.

Using an inspection light, I could watch the snout of the ring gear carrier enter the seal to insure the seal seated correctly.

If you're attempting, this - good luck (I wish I'd had it)!

PS: in order to make more room for the stud and nut that replace the cut "evil bolt", I used a bench grinder to grind away the bracket where the stud and nut would be holding it. I took off maybe 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch, or about halfway through the webbing. It was the only way we could get the stud and nut in place. I held the corner of the bracket parallel to the side of the right grinder wheel (the bolt bore was normal to the face of the grinder wheel), and that worked nicely to take off just the right area. leaving a flat, even surface. Shoulda come that way from the factory ;)
 

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Links:
https://toyota.oemdtc.com/TSB/T-SB-0138-10.pdf
http://www.stevesalt.com/toyota-0138-10-tsb-transfer-case-inner-seal-highlander-sienna-rav4-2/
(this guy loosened all tranny bolts which would take a bit more effort)

Toyota TSB 0138-10 Transfer case gear oil or transmission fluid seepage from vent AWD

I replaced the transfer case on my 06 Sienna Limited AWD this past weekend with a used one that I preformed the TSB on. i had blown a seal a few years ago and damaged the tcase, i knew i would have to replace it and wanted to get all the life out of the one on the car.... I did. It is very doable for any home mechanic. I will outline the process and give you my take on the procedure.
Removing the Tcase:
  • Get your van up in the air (the higher the better) and remove both front tires (remove axle nut first from PSGR side). I had the rear tires on ramps and the front on jack stands.
  • On PSGR side Take off the 3 ball joint nuts, axle nut, one end of the sway bar link, and tie rod from the knuckle.
  • Remove the exhaust section that goes across the T-case (unplug the O2 sensor near the front)
  • Drain Tcase and transmission
  • Remove PSGR side CV halfshaft ( I did both because I was replacing both with new)( I left strut to knuckle connected during the entire process) and the section of driveline going into Tcase (make alignment marks on shaft to shaft connection for reassembly) should pull right out I turned the knuckle and strut assbly 90 degrees towards the front of the car.
  • Get your extension and swivels ready and start removing all the Tcase bolts – youll need to get creative with the extensions and swivels and wobble adapters – use a ½” breaker bar at the end of it to help you get leverage most of the hard bolts or nuts I got in each wheel well. I DID NOT NEED TO REMOVE AIRBOX OR BATTERY OR ANYTING UNDER HOOD
  • Start removing the Tcase support nuts and bolts to the rear engine/Tcase mount(some of them you can only get once Tcase is loose and you need to pry the tcase away from the engine to get them.
  • You need a 6PT closed end wrench to get the lower inner bolt loose on the engine block bracket( this is the bolt you will need to cut)
  • Once everything is loose you will realize you need to cut the lower inner bolt on the engine block bracket unless you are willing to loosen all Tranny to engine bolts which I was not Or unless you know something I don’t
  • I removed the counterweight on the end of the Tcase extension – will make it easier to get in and out – allegedly you don’t have to remove it ( I actually didn’t have to remove it because my case was blown up at the housing extension the whole housing extension removed itself HA
  • You should be able to remove the Tcase and mounting bracket now
  • Preform TSB on your or your used one (Below)
Installation:
- Installation is opposite of removal except you need to make a short bolt for the Lower inner engine block mount (~1/2” shorter) Test fit your tcase and engine mount before you actually do it (you only have 10 mins with the sealant) to make sure your bolt is short enough and will work.
-Apply never seize to all bolts and when youre ready apply the threebond to the Tcase
-IMPORTANT – Once the Tcase is in position you must install ALL 3 of the Engine block mounting bolts or you will not be able to once the Tcase is secured and gasket stuff is curing
-get genuine ATF T-IV from your local Toyota dealer ~6$ a Qt.
-Refill before you install exhaust pipe (easier)

TSB info:
Parts:
Get all of the parts listed on the TSB – Order from your Toyota dealer or TRDonlineshop
Toyota 90316-37001 = National 710807 (rockauto) ( I would just order the factory one personally)
There are 2 other seals you can change that are not listed in the TSB – I ordered them but did not end up changing them for my personal reasons. These are the housing Ext seals
90430-1003= transmission drain crush washer

Tools :
- Rent a Bearing and Seal driver kit and a good seal puller (must be wide enough)
-Depth Gauge in mm or caliper with depth gauge in mm
Procedure: Follow The TSB – you don’t need a bearing puller to remove the RH bearing retainer – just use a block of wood, a hammer, and a screwdriver --- work around it and it will pop free. Remove seals using a seal puller or CAREFULLY with a screwdriver as to not nick the sealing surfaces. Again a good seal puller is key. You must set most of the seals at a certain depth( on the TSB). Be careful through the whole procedure and read the TSB carefully and fully. Check bearing preload is something I was not able to do because I forgot to pickup a small tourque wrench with inch Lbf readings – need very low readings (1.3-2.7) this is to check the loading of the bearing which the outer race and washer can adjust – I reused my old race because I was not able to do this – I used a brass bar and hammer to remove that seal, outer race and retaining washer. You can use a hose clamp and some ingenuity to check the preload im sure there is other means….

I think that is most of it – atleast the important stuff - Good luck - it took me about 1 full day to do this., i broke it up in to an afternoon and morning . 8 hrs total which would have been less if i didnt make a few mistakes along the way.

pics of the carnage Tcase i blew up..... Enjoy

Dave

HI, Do you think a mechanic shop would be willing to do it this way? They are estimating 16 hrs. to remove engine, transmission, all just to replcace the transfer case? Is the short bolt to go into where the bolt got cut? Maureen
 

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I feel your pain. Having done it myself both ways, were I in your situation, I would want to find someone that can drop the transfer case without dropping the engine.

In your situation, I would go to google maps looking for repair shops (pref. specializing in Toyota) with 4+ (preferably 4.5+) starts with more than 50 reviews. I would call them and tell them my situation, and ask them if they would be able to drop the transfer case without dropping the engine cradle out of the car.

I would talk with a few shops, looking to get a certain comfort level. The good news is, this problem affects Highlander/Rav4/Sienna, so there should be some independent Toyota shops out there with experience doing this job without dropping the powertrain. The trick will be finding them.
 

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I just wish I could find a guy like that to do it and charge by the hour instead of the 16 hrs. toyota says it will take :oops:
They dont take 16 hours to do it, they still probably only take 2 hours. Pretty much all shops charge on book rate. So they look up the job and it says it takes 16 hours so thats what they charge. Yes, that sucks, but it also means even if they took 24 hours and had all kinds of problems getting it done, they cant come back and try to charge you more.

I agree with Dave. Make some calls and ask around. Not sure I would ask them not to drop the whole thing though. Shops can decide how they want to best tackle a repair, but you could get someone that will quote you less for the job.
 

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BTW, I've had GREAT luck with used parts from LKQ.

Looks like low-miles transfer cases are going for $800 or so... LKQ Online

LKQ will often ship for free to a local LKQ if you have one. My favorite LKQ parts are steering pumps and alternators - way cheaper than OEM, and low miles often better/more reliable than aftermarket.
 

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I feel your pain. Having done it myself both ways, were I in your situation, I would want to find someone that can drop the transfer case without dropping the engine.

In your situation, I would go to google maps looking for repair shops (pref. specializing in Toyota) with 4+ (preferably 4.5+) starts with more than 50 reviews. I would call them and tell them my situation, and ask them if they would be able to drop the transfer case without dropping the engine cradle out of the car.

I would talk with a few shops, looking to get a certain comfort level. The good news is, this problem affects Highlander/Rav4/Sienna, so there should be some independent Toyota shops out there with experience doing this job without dropping the powertrain. The trick will be finding them.
Would looking for transmission shops in particular be a better bet in this case? I feel like they primarily work with transmissions, but being they pull a lot of transmissions they may be a better bet for cheaper labor for this job? After all, if they are pulling a tranny for repair, the transfer case would be attached while they do it.
 

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Would looking for transmission shops in particular be a better bet in this case? I feel like they primarily work with transmissions, but being they pull a lot of transmissions they may be a better bet for cheaper labor for this job? After all, if they are pulling a tranny for repair, the transfer case would be attached while they do it.
Great question! I don't know the answer.
 

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Great question! I don't know the answer.
Would looking for transmission shops in particular be a better bet in this case? I feel like they primarily work with transmissions, but being they pull a lot of transmissions they may be a better bet for cheaper labor for this job? After all, if they are pulling a tranny for repair, the transfer case would be attached while they do it.
I like this idea of asking a transmission specific business to price the job out. Are you thinking something like AAMCO? I think it is worth a few calls at least. Thanks for the idea!
 

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I kind of like your strategy of just keeping the transfer case topped off (no long road trips), until it fails. Seems like the failure mode is the output bearing to the driveshaft (per the video). Then have a low-miles transfer case installed at your shop of choice. If there's no sign of leakage on the replacement tcase, I don't know that I'd have them perform it. When I called around to inquire as to having the TSB performed on my non-leaking transfer case, I was quoted $800 by Toyota dealerships. The TSB is only supposed to be performed on leaking tcases, and I suspect many never do. Besides, how many more miles are you going to drive the van? There's a good chance the replacement tcase will never leak.
 

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I kind of like your strategy of just keeping the transfer case topped off (no long road trips), until it fails. Seems like the failure mode is the output bearing to the driveshaft (per the video). Then have a low-miles transfer case installed at your shop of choice. If there's no sign of leakage on the replacement tcase, I don't know that I'd have them perform it. When I called around to inquire as to having the TSB performed on my non-leaking transfer case, I was quoted $800 by Toyota dealerships. The TSB is only supposed to be performed on leaking tcases, and I suspect many never do. Besides, how many more miles are you going to drive the van? There's a good chance the replacement tcase will never leak.
Thanks to this forum and great input, I think this is where I'm headed. I'll keep driving the vehicle around town, monitoring the transfer case closely. Then, I'll start by buying a low mileage transfer case- which I hope to find a local mechanic to first replace a few seals inside it prior to installation. Our county is extremely rural, so I'll go on NextDoor and ask folks if we still have some truly independant creative mechanics to work directly with. We used to have a few one person shows and they were great. If I can't find a person like that, I might have to take the van outside of the area to a shop like you mentioned earlier- one that works on Toyota's and has experience removing the transfer case and hopefully without dropping the engine. Fingers crossed!
 

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I kind of like your strategy of just keeping the transfer case topped off (no long road trips), until it fails. Seems like the failure mode is the output bearing to the driveshaft (per the video). Then have a low-miles transfer case installed at your shop of choice. If there's no sign of leakage on the replacement tcase, I don't know that I'd have them perform it. When I called around to inquire as to having the TSB performed on my non-leaking transfer case, I was quoted $800 by Toyota dealerships. The TSB is only supposed to be performed on leaking tcases, and I suspect many never do. Besides, how many more miles are you going to drive the van? There's a good chance the replacement tcase will never leak.
How will I know the low mileage replacement transfer case isn't leaking pre-install? Wouldn't it be smart to replace the seals before installing? Looks like none of them are very low mileage-all >100K. Also, how do I know if the used transfer cases weren't already "making metal" when pulled? Can I trust that they checked that before putting them on the market? MJ
 
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