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JackD

Previa Kick-down Cable Adjustment

16 posts in this topic

A question about the kickdown cable on a 1995 Previa. In a post on another thread and also on the online manual at

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/09008...irInfoPages.htm

it says to ensure that the cable stopper (little metal ball) on the kickdown cable has no more than 1mm showing clear of the rubber boot when the accelerator is fully depressed. Mine is OK in this regard, but when the accelerator is released, the kickdown cable is very slack - in fact the garage has put a cable tie onto it to make sure it doesn't come off the quadrant.

My question is: is this normal? or is the cable not going back fully into the gearbox when the throttle is released. I tried oiling the cable (and got a load of rust out) and it seems a bit freer, but it made no difference to the throttle-released position. Pulling and releasing the cable by hand, it seems as if it's going back to a definite stop rather than just getting to a seized-up state.

The gearbox seems to be working OK, smooth changes up and down, and flooring the throttle gives a definite 'kick down', so I'm loth to fiddle with it unless there's a definite problem there (if it ain't broke...). It just 'looks' wrong.

Any comments anybody?

Jack D

PS Yes, I know it's strictly the gearbox throttle cable - but kickdown cable distinguishes it from the accelerator cable!

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If there is a lot of slack in the cable when you have released the throttle then you need to keep going at the cable with some WD40. Disconnect the cable from the throttle body and hold it vertically so that you can squirt WD40 down the sheath. Then pull and push on the cable, eventually it will free up and you will be able to feel the spring return on the gearbox returning it freely after you have pulled it all the way out. Once you have done this recheck the adjustment. You will find that your gear changes will be much smoother and you will no longer get a mighty kick when you first put it into gear in the morning whilst the idle is high.

After a few days of doing this drain and refill the gearbox oil. The WD40 will find its way into the transmission and pollute the ATF. Be very careful not to overfill.

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If there is a lot of slack in the cable when you have released the throttle then you need to keep going at the cable with some WD40. Disconnect the cable from the throttle body and hold it vertically so that you can squirt WD40 down the sheath. Then pull and push on the cable, eventually it will free up and you will be able to feel the spring return on the gearbox returning it freely after you have pulled it all the way out. Once you have done this recheck the adjustment. You will find that your gear changes will be much smoother and you will no longer get a mighty kick when you first put it into gear in the morning whilst the idle is high.

After a few days of doing this drain and refill the gearbox oil. The WD40 will find its way into the transmission and pollute the ATF. Be very careful not to overfill.

Thanks for that..... I've got the cable vertical and some WD40 soaking in at this very moment!

However, when I pull the cable, I can feel it pulling against a spring, and when I release it, it goes back freely then suddenly stops. I doesn't feel like it's seized and is gradually grinding to a halt, more like its being pulled by a spring and has reached a stop (or the spring has fully closed up again). What's at the other end of that cable? I can't find any information easily and I wonder whether there's a problem at the gearbox end.

Anyway, I'll keep plugging on with the WD40, and it all may free up wonderfully!

Jack D

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You need to push and pull, it will eventually free up totally such that it returns fully.

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Well, for the past few days I've been putting WD40 down the sheath and pulling and pushing the cable, spending a happy lunchtime eating sandwiches in the car whilst working on the cable (one advantage of having the engine accessible from inside the passenger compartment!).

Before I started, I measured the distance from the end of the cable sheath to the start of the cable stopper. After all this work, it remains unchanged at 30mm (I can pull it out an extra 12 mm, again unchanged).

It seems to me that it's not the cable that's seized, but the part that it's attached to that isn't moving as it should and the amount of 'push' transmitted by the flexible cable isn't enough to move it. Since I gather that getting at this involves delving into the innards of the gearbox, I'm going to leave well alone and get it looked at the next time it goes in for a service.

Thanks for your comments propnut. I'll post what the problem was after the service when (hopefully) the problem is all sorted.

Jack D

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Actually delving into this is not as hard as it may sound. I still believe it is the cable but assuming it is not to get to it you need to drop the gearbox sump. Now this in itself is not a bad idea as doing a full service on these actually involves replacing the wire mesh filter, which can along with the relevant gaskets be obtained from Toyota. So you could kill two birds with one stone. As I take it you are not comfortable with this then do yourself a favour, buy the filter and have your garage change it.

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I'll carry on working on the cable on and off just in case!

As you surmise propnut, I'm not comfortable taking gearboxes to pieces. In the past I've done clutches and had heads off minis. old Saab V4 95/96s and small Volvos, but the Previa is too big and too inaccessible for my liking. I don't mind doing the labour-intensive but easy things like working away at seized cables, but the old bones are getting a bit too creaky for crawling underneath cars and messing with oily bits these days!

I'll take your tip and get the bits before the service. My mechanic (it's a one-man outfit that I've used for many years) always comments that Toyota make good, reliable cars, but their parts departments are pathetic when it comes to getting the bits he needs for a service!

Jack D

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Jack

The ONLY parts I buy direct from Toyota are those (like this transmission filter) that I can't get from a normal auto factors. I never ever buy service parts with ONE exception, Cam Belts. With these it is simply not worth taking the chance on variation. Whilst Toyota belts are often made in the same factories as the non-branded ones their quality control ensures that only the right ones make it into Toyota badged boxes. Unfortunately the "B" grade ones occasionally make it to the auto factors shelves.

That said we don't have cam belts in our cars and therefore so what.

When you go to Toyota you must take your chassis number and ask them to pull up the auto transmission. You will see the filter at the bottom of the distributor plate. It is a flat metal structure with a wire gauze more or less in the centre. It has an oil seal and it is worth getting the cork gasket for the sump as well and a new sump plug washer.

I must say my local Toyota agent , Sandhurst Toyota, is absolutely superb. Not only are they extremely friendly and always willing to help, they get my parts in within a day or two and phone me once they have arrived. Even when I go and collect the staff there are extremely attentive. Of course never having had to take my car to any garage in my entire life I cannot comment on their workshop but have no doubt that they are good too.

The same cannot be said for my local Nissan agent whom I have the unfortunate occasion to have to visit every now and then for my Micra and Primera.

P.S. The Previa is actually a breeze to work on. Like you I am no longer a whipper snapper and it takes my back a few days to recover after a weekend over the bonnet. However the secret to the Previa is a set of ramps and a mechanics creeper.

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Hi,

I have just picked up a replacement kick-down cable and I found that the little metal stopper is not fitted, just supplied seperately in a little plastic bag.

It looks like I'll have to fit the cable, adjust it and finally fit the little metal stopper.

Can anyone give me any advice on the adjustment or setting up for a smooth kick-down.

Hope you can help, my family loves the 'BIG RED BUS'

Rob.

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At the very top of this thread is listed a link to an online workshop manual for this car. Read and learn ;)

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At the very top of this thread is listed a link to an online workshop manual for this car. Read and learn ;)

Hi,

I bought the cable after reading the link. My problem is the stopper isn't on the cable, it's in a little plastic bag selotaped to the cable outer :(

I have two options

1 - find out where the stopper is meant to be fitted (dimension from nipple on end of cable), crimp it onto cable, fit the cable on car and adjust cable till 1mm protrudes from rubber sleve.

or

2 - fit the cable to the car, adjust it for smooth kick-down, fit the stopper to cable with 1mm protruding from end of sleve.

For option 1, the old cable stopper is 77 mm from the end. Should I just crimp the stopper on the new cable the same distance as the old? What would be the effect is the new cable is slightly shorter or longer than the old one?

Ta,

Rob.

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Use the old cable as the template. Take it out, lay the two side by side and crimp accordingly. Obviously if your old one has snapped then do the best you can.

I must say it is rare for these cables to snap, mostly they just seize up in their sheath and some WD40 with elbow grease is all that is required to free them.

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Use the old cable as the template.

I must say it is rare for these cables to snap, mostly they just seize up in their sheath and some WD40 with elbow grease is all that is required to free them.

Hi,

thanks for the advice, I'll give it a go this weekend.

I was suprised to find it had snapped! It was a bit corroded though, boat towing & launching down slipways may have caused the corrosion. It may have got stuck and snapped when I planted my boot a bit heavily!

I'll let you know how I get on..

Rob

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Went along to my Toyota dealer yesterday to order up gearbox oil strainer, gaskets etc as per Propnut's advice of a few posts ago. The storesman asked me what the problem was as the general opinion there was to leave the auto box well alone unless there was a problem. When I explained about the kick-down cable, he called up the relevant bits to see where it was connected to, and from the parts diagram, it appears to be connected to various rods and levers, which, from the diagram seemed to be external to the gearbox. He reckoned that one of the joints there may have seized, giving my symptoms. However, he did stress that he (and the mechanics there) weren't that familiar with the auto box and the various gubbins hanging off them.

So, Rob, if you get round to fixing your cable, could you post what the cable is attached to at the gearbox end - some photo's would be nice if it can be arranged. My car's in Germany at the moment watching the GP so I can't crawl underneath it myself for another week or so.

JackD

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Understand that my suggestion to change that filter was based on the fact that to do the cable properly you should drop the sump and take off the inspection cover in order to work from both sides. Now if you are dropping the sump anyway surely to anyone with a bit of logic it makes sense that

1. You should change the cork gasket

2. If there is a filter there you should change it anyway as its primary job is to catch iron filings and other transient waste from the gearbox.

Robert if you send me a PM with your email I will email you in return a scanned copy of the relevant page from the OFFICIAL Toyota Previa workshop manual which shows how to do the cable job.

The process for servicing and changing the pan filter can be found here

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/09008...irInfoPages.htm

Others are welcome to follow Toyota's advice, who most of the time don't even know these things have a gearbox filter, if they so choose

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Understand that my suggestion to change that filter was based on the fact that to do the cable properly you should drop the sump and take off the inspection cover in order to work from both sides. Now if you are dropping the sump anyway surely to anyone with a bit of logic it makes sense that

1. You should change the cork gasket

2. If there is a filter there you should change it anyway as its primary job is to catch iron filings and other transient waste from the gearbox.

Robert if you send me a PM with your email I will email you in return a scanned copy of the relevant page from the OFFICIAL Toyota Previa workshop manual which shows how to do the cable job.

The process for servicing and changing the pan filter can be found here

http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/09008...irInfoPages.htm

Others are welcome to follow Toyota's advice, who most of the time don't even know these things have a gearbox filter, if they so choose

Propnut,

Don't get me wrong... I agree with you! My trip was to order up the bits needed to replace the strainer/gasket/drainplug when dropping the pan to examine and free the kickdown cable (or rather get it done at the next service). But if that job can be done without dropping the gearbox pan, then I'd rather not drop it.

However, looking at the pictures in the pan filter replacing section you linked to, it looks like the bits that the kickdown cable was attached to that looked external on the parts diagram at the dealer are actually inside the pan. Perhaps Rob can confirm this if/when he does his job - just trying to pick his brains!

Jack

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