Mike Brown
The UA80E: A Closer Look at the 8-Speed Front-Wheel Drive for Toyota and Lexus
The UA80E first showed up in 2017. It was used from 2017 through 2022 in the Toyota Highlander with 2.5L and 3.5L engines. From 2018 through 2022, it came in the Toyota Camry 3.5L and Rav 4 with a 2.5L all-wheel-drive model. From 2019 through 2022, it came in the Toyota Avalon 3.5L and the […]

A Dead Stop! A Typical Dodge 47RE Problem With an Unexpected Solution
The age-old problem of the torque converter clutch killing the engine at a stop in gear seems never to go away. It has been a problem that we’ve been fighting for several decades in different makes and models. But, unfortunately, even on the vehicles we are familiar with, we get bit in a way that […]

Meet the Jetsons
Does anybody remember the Jetsons? How everyone cruised around in flying cars that folded up into a suitcase? Pushing buttons and voilà, dinner was served! The Jetsons debuted on September 23, 1962, and, believe it or not, every kid watching thought we’d be in flying cars by the year 2000. Recently there was a debut […]

Toyota A340 Valve Bodies - In the Hunt for Fuel Milage...
The Toyota A340E transmission has been around since 1985. The transmission was used behind four- and six-cylinder engines. It is not uncommon for this transmission to go well over 150,000 miles without any problems. So it might be years later that you get the opportunity to see one in the shop. The most common problems […]

General Motors 6L Family: Is it Normal or Do I Have a Problem?
Both “displacement on demand” (DOD), and “active fuel management” (AFM) systems have been around for some time. These systems control two cylinders on V-6 applications and four cylinders on a V-8. They worked by either turning the fuel injectors on or off or controlling the engine valve lifters through an engine valve lifter oil manifold […]

A Closer Look at the Lexus 8-Speed Transmission
The first of the 8-speeds was the AA80E, which appeared in the Lexus GS 460 2008-11, Lexus IS F 2008-14, and Lexus LS 460 2007-14. That was followed by the AA81E, which showed up in the Lexus GS 350 2011-14, Lexus IS350/350C, and Lexus IS250/250C 2014-up. These transmissions use two planetary gear sets to achieve […]

Toyota Trouble - Builders Beware!
Over 30 years ago, back in the day when I was being taught the ins and outs of rebuilding, I was working for my brother Ken “Racer” Brown at Brown’s Transmission. His head builder, Bobby Phelps, was keeping a close eye on me. I was building an A540E and had everything on my bench clean […]

Nightmare on Lexus Drive
The Harsh 2-1 Down Shift With Lexus… It’s The ECM Over the last two years I’ve been keeping track of this harsh 2-1 downshift complaint on Lexus model ranges from 2004 – 2006: LS430, GS300 & GS430, transmission A650E, A761E & A960E. You might hear of this complaint; harsh down shift and a chatter on […]

48RE/68RFE/AS68RC Transmission Overheating
Why is my transmission suddenly overheating? In this case the dodge truck is a 2008, 6.7 R3500 with a 68RFE. That should be perfectly fine to tow a small bass fishing boat. So why is my transmission suddenly overheating? Here are the top six reasons why your transmission could be overheating are: Plugged cooler Lines […]

Generation Gap: 6T40 Gen v3
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The 6T40 generation 3 upgrade is mainly aimed at improving fuel economy. The gearbox features changes to the line pressure control system, oil level control system, pump, and lubrication system (figure 1). Designed for FWD and AWD applications, it can be found in 2013- 2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2.5L and the 2016 Buick Encore Sport Touring […]

Performance Codes: Knowing Where to Start
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A Toyota Tundra, equipped with a 5.7L engine and an AB60E transmission, was dropped off with a complaint of no 5th and 6th gears. A road test revealed the costumer was right: no 5th or 6th. So the next step was to scan the truck for codes. We find codes P2714 and P0776: both performance […]

A Closer Look at GM's AF50 Transmission
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In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the basic diagnostic and repair procedures for GM’s AF50 transmission. As always, having the right information makes things easier. A clutch-and-solenoid chart is a good start (figure 1); with it, you’ll be able to see what clutch is coming on and off and […]

GM's AF50 8-Speed vs. Toyota's U880 8-Speed: The Same But Different!
Let’s take a look at some of the changes GM made with the Aisin 8-speed FWD. One of the first things that’s different is GM integrated the park neutral switch into the TCM (figure 1). With the integrated position sensor, we now have the following advantages: Reduced number of parts Simplified wiring harness Enhanced reliability […]

GM's AF50 8-Speed Transmission Fluid Level and Condition Check
Remember the good old day’s when you just opened the hood pulled out the dipstick, wiped it off, stuck it back in, and pulled it out? Just like that, you knew if the fluid was low or not. You could look at the fluid on the stick and tell a lot by its condition. Was […]

Toyota/Lexus U880E: Beyond the Valve Body, Part 2
Welcome back for part 2 of beyond the valve body for the U880E. In the January/ February issue, we disassembled this unit down to the C-1 clutch. One piece of information that I left out was servo identification and servo travel. It’s important to be aware of what the servo travel should be (figures 1A, […]

Toyota/Lexus U880E: Beyond the Valve Body
The Toyota/Lexus U880E was first introduced in the 2013 Lexus RX350 sport. Since then it’s become quite popular; BMW began using it in 2015 under the name GA8F22AW. GM started using in 2016 as the 8F45. And it started showing up in Volvo in 2014 as their TG-81SC. These transaxles have been on the road […]

A Closer Look at the Toyota/Lexus U880 Valve Body
The Toyota/Lexus U880E was first introduced in the 2013 Lexus RX350 Sport. Since then, it’s become quite popular: It’s currently being used by BMW since 2015 under the designation GA8F22AW; GM started using it in 2016, calling it the 8F45; and Volvo began using it in 2014, renaming it the TG-81SC. These transaxles have been […]

6T40/45 Diagnosis and Fixes
One of the first you need to know when diagnosing and fixing any transmission is to understand how it works. Once you understand what does what and when it’s supposed to do it, you’re more likely to know what to check first and what you don’t need to check at all. It’s never any fun […]

Toyota/Lexus Adds Eight Speeds to the U881E
Each year we see manufacturers adding more gears to familiar transmissions, all in an effort to coax more miles out of each gallon of gas. In 2013, Toyota/Lexus created the U881E transaxle: the first front wheel drive, 8-speed, transverse-mounted transaxle, which began showing up in the Lexus RX350 vehicles. Today, you’ll find this unit in […]

Ford Torqshift/5R110: A Shot in the Dark
The Ford Torqshift came out in 2003 and over the years has exhibited its share of problems. The original solenoid body may have one or five pressure switches, depending on model year. The computer on these vehicles was never programmed to monitor the pressure switches. Ford removed them in late 2004. The later solenoid body […]