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'99 Transmission Pan Nightmare


Lexusdream
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I have a 99 LS400. Trying to get the transmission change - gasket and fluid. It was really hard to get the pan off. I used a 4x4 wood bar and a hamer to get it off. It was off completly but it was stuck between the bracket which connects the two exhausted. For about 4 hours working but the pan is still in there. I was trying to take the bracket off but those two bolts are dead-WD40 did not help. I wish I had not done it. By the way, the old seal sticked to the pan like hell, I still have no idea how to get it off. Can I use a razor to get it off without damaging the pan? Pleas help!!!

I took some pictures but don't know how to post them in here :cries:

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Well, at last I got it done after using some force to the area where the bracket and the pan meet. I still believe there is another way to get the pan off. I know Toyota engineers, they don't trick (if you ask someone who owns Infinity Q45, you'll know those engineers don't want YOU to fix their cars easily).

Now, the pan is in its place with a new gasket and with one screw was over tightened (Oops!). I am crossing my fingers. I hope not seeing any leaks. Wish me luck. By the way, when you place the pan back, make sure that the filling tubes are one inside another before you tighten the bolts.

I did change my fuel filter too. This time, I'm so glad that I did. Gasoline came out looked like mud. I thank you for those people who work hard to make this forum so educated. I don't even know who they are but I learn and enjoy a lot getting all the knowledge about my Lexus.

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Just a note on the gasket - There is no gasket.

Lexus uses special sealant that comes out of a tube. This is one of the reason why it is so hard to remove that pan.

I advise to find a straight edge to knock the indentations around the holes for the screws flat prior to reinstalling the pan.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Just a note on the gasket - There is no gasket.

Lexus uses special sealant that comes out of a tube. This is one of the reason why it is so hard to remove that pan.

I advise to find a straight edge to knock the indentations around the holes for the screws flat prior to reinstalling the pan.

Toyota sells the gasket called FIPG (form in place gasket) comes in a tube and costs around $25 (US). It works very well and is extremely reliable.

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  • 2 years later...

I just got done removing the tranny pan from my 98 LS and thought I would share my experience. Maybe offer some sage advice?

First off, think longgggggg and hard before removing the pan. I wish I had. Everything turned out fine but in hindsight,

I wish I had just left the pan alone and did the 2 qt at-a-time drain thing. Why? Glad you asked! ;)

Well, I figured the pan removal was no big deal and I *had* to get all of that "gunk" out of the pan, clean the magnets, etc.

A man's gotta know whats in his tranny pan, nicht wahr?! Turns out that at 92k miles there was almost no gunk, the magnets were incredibly clean and

the filter was clean(its just a fine mesh screen).

The tranny fluid was brownish red so it was definitely time for a change. The first change was at the dealer at 60k and it was the 2 qt change.

I consider myself a fair mechanic having rolled in the grease at a young age, however this *simple* job had several evils lurking. Now, first I drained what was

in the pan by removing the 14mm drain bolt. Next, I proceeded to remove 19 x 10mm bolts from the pan. The next step proved to be a wee bit

more of a challenge...pry the pan off the transmission which is stuck on with a bunch of RTV goo. Whoa. Not so easy. That baby is STUCK. But I pryed anyway and

got the pan to pull away in one corner (the back corner). I used a pry bar and just brute-forced it...not really what I would recommend, although you do have to be

persuasive. Doing it again, I would buy a long, thin, putty knife and work it around the lip of the pan, then gently pry. You can easily bend the edge of the pan by prying

so make sure you have it somewhat loosened before you try.

So, now the pan is loose, just remove it right? Not so fast, not so fast. The fill tube is welded into the side of the pan and that presents somewhat of a problem. The fill tube is actually two adjoining pieces and you have to get them disconnected. I pulled down hard and wiggled them and they finally seperated but it took some choice words. :angry:

Whew, pans off, now what? Clean the old FIPG (ie: RTV junk) off the pan surface...Fun, fun, fun! Hey, I could have been watching a football game but NO, I had to know what was in that tranny pan. Took me 1 1/2 hours to clean the old RTV gasket off of the pan. Believe me, you want to thoroughly clean that old gasket material off because ANY little bit of that getting loose in the tranny innards could spell disaster. I took my time, obviously.

I dont much care for RTV FIPG(Form In Place Gasket) material so I went to Advance Auto and bought an aftermarket pan gasket. It is actually a pretty nice neoprene-like gasket. Made by "Pro-King". Lexus does not have a gasket, just RTV.

I put the pan back in place and dang it, I cant get the two-piece filler tube to reconnect, hard as I try. So, I bite the bullet and remove a 12 mm bolt holding the upper half of the tube to the engine block(just below the valve cover). This proves harder than you might think. The bolt is hidden away from sight and I have to use a swivel socket to get it loose. BIG pain. Bigger pain getting it back on.

Anyway, all's fine now. The Tranny is shifting smooth as silk. But it is not because I dropped the pan. It is because I changed the fluid. Which would have taken all of 30 minutes instead of 6 hours. Live and learn. Now, if you suspect really bad things about your tranny and want to change the filter, you have to drop the pan. But if its been doing relatively well, just do the 2 qt shuffle and go have a beer!

Lan

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I used the gasket that came with the filter kit when I did mine, and the gasket disintegrated completely in 2 days. Bolts were torqued to spec. At least I was practiced for the 2nd removal. The sealer alone worked fine. Removing the exhaust bracket makes the removal and installation much easier. It took a long breaker bar and a 6 pt socket to loosen the exhaust bolts.

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Wow, that sounded like fun Landar! I had to drop the pan on my '99 to change a solenoid, and luckily, it went very quickly and smoothly -- maybe 2 hours to drop the pan, clean it, change the solenoid, and put it back together. I let the the new FIPG dry overnight (yes, overkill, but it has sealed perfectly.) before refilling with T-IV.

Although this job went very smoothly for me, I certainly wouldn't do it for the heck of it. There are better ways of killing time than scraping FIPG off of the pan!

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I used the gasket that came with the filter kit when I did mine, and the gasket disintegrated completely in 2 days. Bolts were torqued to spec. At least I was practiced for the 2nd removal. The sealer alone worked fine. Removing the exhaust bracket makes the removal and installation much easier. It took a long breaker bar and a 6 pt socket to loosen the exhaust bolts.

Been one week and no disintegration thus far (knock on wooden steering wheel).

Yes, good point about the exhaust bracket. Soak the bolts with PB blaster beforehand. Can be rusty from the exhaust heat.

I did not remove mine and it was much harder to manipulate the pan although it can be done. Removal highly recommended.

Also helps to remove the exhaust damper thingy(round) that can get in the way of the filler tube.

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