Monday, February 23, 2015

SC430 Engine mount replacement and transmission flush

I've been hearing a kind of clunking noise when I crank up the car in the morning. The more I paid attention to it I could kind of see the front of the car kind of lifting on one side followed by a clunk. I was also feeling vibrations at a stop light and slight intermittent vibrations at highway speeds. With all the other suspension components addressed, I had a strong feeling it was a mount related issue.

All new mounts were ordered, two engine and one transmission.

A buddy of mine Mark helped me with this one. With the car on the lift, a transmission jack was used at the edge of the oil pan to support the engine. 

Undo the two bolts holding the motor mount onto the sub-frame and the four bolts that hold the complete mount to the engine block. It was easier to remove the complete mount as opposed to trying to loosen the one bolt up top for the engine mount itself. Once loose you will have to use the transmission jack to lift the motor about an inch and a half so that the mounts can slide out.

The driver side mount was completely shot, as you can tell by the picture.

The passenger side mount was on it's way out, might not be visible in the picture but the top had a rip in it and was starting to separate.

Replaced the engine mounts and did the same for the transmission mount. Used the transmission jack to support the transmission. Undid the 4 bolts and removed the transmission bracket and the 4 bolts for that hod the mount to the transmission. 

The transmission mount didn't look bad on a visual inspection. There was some sort of coating that was flaking as you can see in the pic but didn't look torn, or see any stress cracks etc.

Replaced the transmission mount and then onto the transmission flush.

Drained the oil from the pan first, collected the oil in a measuring jar so that I could make a note of how much fluid was coming out. About 2 qts came out from the drain plug and then proceeded to take the pan off. 

Put the drain plug back in because there is still oil in the drain pan. I learnt from the last time a flush was done on my other car. With the pan off poured the oil in the pan into the measuring jar as well, there was about 1.5 quarts of oil in the pan. 

The oil was a dark brown and not the red it is supposed to be. Also two days prior to this I had put in 0.5 pints of Seafoam trans tune to help break down any build up etc in the transmission. 

The transmission pan is held in place by Toyota Fipg so it'll take a little yanking to get the pan off. Cleaned up all the fipg off including the 3 magnets in the pan along with the pan itself. I didn't use fipg to put the pan back, instead Felpro makes a transmission pan gasket for it and that's what I used. I've used this method before and have had no issues. Just make sure you don't go ham on the bolts, snug it up there to about 15-18ft/lb where you see the gasket just starting to squeeze away from the pan a little. 

Installed a new transmission filter as well.

Also adjusted the pressure regulator on the tranny so it shifts faster. The pic shows the factory setting but pressing it in and turning it clockwise to the third setting increases the pressure resulting in faster shifts. Firmer faster shifts result in longer tranny life and has been well documented on Club Lexus.

With the pan back in place filled fresh ATF through the dip stick. Just the 3.5 quarts that came out of the pan.

Once filled, hooked up the transmission flush machine to the transmission cooler lines, feed and return.

Switched the car on and the machine beeps to verify the right connections. If it doesn't beep then the lines are on backwards. With everything hooked up right initiating the flush on the machine drains the old oil out and replaces it with fresh ATF. I used Amsoil ATF for this. Went through 12.5 quarts on the machine till the old fluid coming out was cherry red as well. So a total of 16 quarts, 12.5 using the machine and 3.5 that was filled in the pan after it was drained and emptied. 

While we were there went ahead and changed the differential fluid out as well with the Amsoil 75W-90 Long Life Synthetic Gear Lube. 

Buttoned everything back up and took it for a spin.  The fresh tranny fluid always seem to smoothen out the shifts from previous experience, and it did so this time too even after increasing the pressure sensitivity. The tranny does shift faster but I don't feel it, I can tell more so by looking at the RPM dip as it changes gear.

I don't have the engine lift on start up nor the vibrations at stop lights etc. Even the intermittent vibrations at highway speeds are gone. 

I'll check on the transmission pan gasket in a couple of days to make sure everything is good and there are no leaks just to be on the safe side. 

Overall HAPPY HAPPY!! 

-AJ Abraham

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  1. What year is your Lexus, and where did you get tha grill w/o a logo? (My '06 looks like the logo is non-removeable, cast right into the crossbars.

  2. Not only replacing a machine in the car but also changing he oil, changing the brake pads and other maintenance need a better quality jack. Other information you will find in this Best Car Jack guide.

  3. Nice presentation. Just bought 2002 sc430. Gonna do the same. Many thanks.

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  5. Seen this many times, now my SC needs the same items replaced. I need to get my Lexus mechanic scheduled for these...time to spend some $$.

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