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Unread 12-02-2009, 08:18 PM   #21
weihj2001
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Smile transfer case leak - actuator replaced

vegas runner - here it is another defect unit that I own

my 04 V8 limited 4runner just got the transfer case actuator replaced by the dealer today for $1800 due to its leak. it has 81265 miles.

3-month ago - I had a yellow service from my dealer at 79000 miles but dealer did not find any leak. all fluids were checked and marked green on he report.

I have not driven the 4runner for about a week. it sits in the garage. until this past weekend -> I found the leak.

it is strange - how can this happen? I did not do off road driving for 2 years.

maybe i should go to buy a lottery
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Unread 01-15-2010, 11:08 PM   #22
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Thought I'd report back and let everyone know that I have had some success sealing up the leak using RTV without removing and disassembling the transfer case.

My leak had gotten pretty bad and was making a big mess of my driveway, but I was able to eliminate about 95% of the leakage with the RTV. I still have a small leak (it hasn't actually dripped on the driveway). There isn't much room between the actuator and the case on the driver's side - it looks like I must have missed a small area here.

Its been about 3 weeks now and the repair seems to be holding up - I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If it starts getting worse again I will pull the transfer case, take it apart and re-seal it.

Has anyone tried to find a new o-ring from somewhere besides the dealer? Seems like someone's got to have one that will work - I can't see myself buying a new actuator just because the dealer only sells the o-ring with the actuator.
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Unread 01-15-2010, 11:12 PM   #23
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I bought a transfer case seal kit for $30 from Brett in Vegas. Maybe check with him for a deal. I still havent done mine. I top it up every few weeks.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 10:48 PM   #24
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So I guess you can get the seal from Toyota then. Expat are you going to fix the seal yourself? If so, I'd be interested to hear how this works out for you.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 11:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottd View Post
So I guess you can get the seal from Toyota then. Expat are you going to fix the seal yourself? If so, I'd be interested to hear how this works out for you.
I have a spare case so Im going to swap them over. Fix my leaking one with new seals, and then just hang on to it for now. If/when the other case leaks I'll have another ready to go.

Short answer - yes I'll do it myself, but not in a hurry.
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Unread 12-28-2010, 02:33 PM   #26
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Default 4Runner Transfer Case Leakage

It appears obvious to me that Toyota has a design flaw in their transfer case that is causing leakage anywhere from 70k miles and beyond. Almost all other vehicles would allow you to unbolt the adapter to the transfer case and bolt in a new one or fix the o-ring and bolt in back in. Not the 4Runner and Tundra. You have to pull the whole assembly out and pull the transfer case apart to fix the $6 o-ring part. Labor is 12.7 hours. I am going to try the RVT temporary fix that everyone is talking about. But, more important, I am going to contact Toyota to ask them what theya re willing to do on this 'known' design defect they have. Has anyone else already contacted Toyota to see what they are willing to do?
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Unread 01-18-2011, 06:28 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat View Post
I have a spare case so Im going to swap them over. Fix my leaking one with new seals, and then just hang on to it for now. If/when the other case leaks I'll have another ready to go.

Short answer - yes I'll do it myself, but not in a hurry.
So it's a year later. Did you ever fix your leak or swap out your case?
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Unread 02-09-2011, 03:37 AM   #28
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Any other updates on this? I just developed a similar problem, really hope there's a better/cheaper solution out there than having the dealer replace the actuator.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 05:17 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARK_SWAMP_RIDER View Post
Any other updates on this? I just developed a similar problem, really hope there's a better/cheaper solution out there than having the dealer replace the actuator.
Someone posted a pretty nice write-up in the other 4Runner forum. It's fairly detailed, but no pictures.
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Unread 02-09-2011, 05:28 AM   #30
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I'll have to see if I can find it. Right now, I'm leaning towards the silicone fix just as a temporary measure. Some have reported finding the seal, but labor still runs over $1000 even with that. Can you pull the actuator and use silicone around the seal without pulling the t-case?
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Unread 02-10-2011, 10:44 PM   #31
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You can't pull the actuator out without disassembling the transfer case. I think you may be able to pull it back a fraction of an inch, but the shift forks inside the transfer case will prevent you from pulling it out any further.

I had somewhat decent luck draining the oil in the transfer case (I let it sit over night) and cleaning the area around the o-ring and then applying RTV to that area (without disassembling). This slowed down my leak considerably (it would only make a very small drip on my driveway if parked for a couple of days) and worked pretty well for about 8 months or so before the leak came back with a vengeance. The problem with this approach is that it is difficult to get the area clean enough to completely seal off the leak with RTV.

I recently (about a month and a half ago) pulled out the transfer case, disassembled it and cleaned all of the components really well, then resealed it with lots of RTV and put it back together (this was difficult because oil kept leaking out of the actuator - I had to stand the actuator up and set the back half of the transfer case down on top of it to prevent oil from leaking out). I just went out and looked under the truck and it looks like I may be developing a very slow seep near the actuator again (no runs or drips, but one small area looks a little wet ).

I agree with the post above about this actuator being a poor design and I think the problem with just replacing the o-ring is that there is a good chance of developing the exact same leak again down the road.

Sorry for the long post, but I needed to vent a little. I've been thinking about selling the truck and my frustration over this leak may be the last straw.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #32
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Thanks for the info, that definitely helps.
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Unread 02-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
Someone posted a pretty nice write-up in the other 4Runner forum. It's fairly detailed, but no pictures.
Can you please post that particular thread's link. My initial search did not find it but I did find other interesting related info. Apparently the Lexus GX version has an O-ring in the actuator that has been improved as the old one often leaked.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gx-f...se-leak-4.html

This thread is where a guy claims that the actuator can be removed without splitting the transfer case apart.
http://forum.ih8mud.com/120-series-t...case-leak.html
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Transfer_Case_O_Ring_Leak.pdf (467.1 KB, 103 views)
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Unread 02-12-2011, 11:02 PM   #34
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I read the posts about removing the actuator without taking the transfer case apart and I think that method sounds plausible. While I had the actuator out one of the shift rods fell out and I had to put it back in, so I think you might be able to work the actuator off of the rods and back on if you wiggle it around.

But if you try this method I would say be prepared to remove the transfer case and take it apart in case you can't get the actuator back onto the shift rods. If I had seen that method before I took the transfer case out I would have definitely tried that first.
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Unread 02-15-2011, 01:55 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teotwaki View Post
Can you please post that particular thread's link. My initial search did not find it but I did find other interesting related info. Apparently the Lexus GX version has an O-ring in the actuator that has been improved as the old one often leaked.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gx-f...se-leak-4.html

This thread is where a guy claims that the actuator can be removed without splitting the transfer case apart.
http://forum.ih8mud.com/120-series-t...case-leak.html
Go to this thread and then read post #35.

http://www.toyota-4runner.org/proble...-oil-leak.html
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Unread 02-15-2011, 10:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman View Post
Go to this thread and then read post #35.

http://www.toyota-4runner.org/proble...-oil-leak.html
Thanks! It is on the 3rd page
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/proble...il-leak-3.html

Or directly look at

Post 35
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/proble...tml#post698160

Post 36
http://www.toyota-4runner.org/proble...tml#post698161
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Unread 12-12-2011, 11:04 PM   #37
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Default actuator again...

UGH.... reviving an old post.

The actuator is leaking on my 03 V8 4Runner. I consider myself lucky, b/c we have over 160k miles on it and this is the first time I have seen the leak. Thanks for the tips and extra posts. Looks like I have some reading to do before I tackle it. I have yet to bring my truck to a mechanic.
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Unread 12-13-2011, 06:00 AM   #38
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I ended up using an additive made by white shepherd, so far no leaks. Its recommended to use this until the leak stops, then drain and put new fluid in. may be with a shot before paying a big repair bill.
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Unread 12-30-2011, 07:52 PM   #39
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Default Broke it!!

Well, I tried to fix the leaking o-ring on the actuator based on the IH8MUD post where they were able to removed the actuator separately without removing the transfer case. I tried it. Put it back together. Tried 4LO and all hell has broken loose. It wouldn't switch back to 4HI and then when it did, it made horrible grinding noises and all the lights came on: check engine light, VSC TRC, TRC OFF. I cleared the check engine light and it was code P1782 which sounds like "transfer case actuary jammed'. Not sure what to do now. I may need to get a new transfer case...

I am going to try and 'zero point calibrate' everything, but the transfer case makes a horrible grinding noise gong between 4LO and 4HI so even dong the calibration isn't going to fix it right now.

Beware of 'easy' fixes....
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Unread 12-30-2011, 10:42 PM   #40
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Default maybe not broken?

Not totally broken....

Just to follow-up, I started another post that has more details, but I took the actuator off again, put it back on and it seems to be working the second go around. I did jack up the shaft oil seals though, so it will have to come off again and the seals replaced. I only replaced the o-ring to try and stop the leak as the oil seals around the shafts looked great before I jacked them up.

I then did the 'zero point calibration' to get all the VSC/ABS lights off and the truck seems to be working now.
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