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Previa Kick-down Cable Adjustment


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#1 JackD

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:19 PM

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....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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#2 propnut

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:30 PM

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.

#3 JackD

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 12:15 PM

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

#4 propnut

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:59 PM

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

#5 JackD

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 11:17 PM

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

#6 propnut

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 09:03 AM

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.

#7 JackD

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:41 PM

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

#8 propnut

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 09:21 PM

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.

#9 Robert B

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 10:11 AM

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.

#10 propnut

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 03:22 PM

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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