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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to post anew, but I’ve trawled through the posts on SMT issues, without finding what I need.

We have a 2001 MR2 MK3, imported from Japan to UK in 2005. 54,000 miles on clock.

Slight jerkiness when starting off from rest in 1st or reverse developed quickly to losing all drive sometimes when accelerating from a rolling start in 1st or 2nd. Pretty scary when you have a truck up your a?&e

Our local garage, not MR2 specialists, but have seen a few SMTs go through there declared the SMT unit dead, and a replacement cost of around £4500. No overhaul or repair possible. The car’s worth £2000 in good running order.

My wife loves the car, so I’ve been looking into the option of converting to a manual, finding Damo’s post on how he did it an inspiration. But, having read in more depth the posts on SMT problems, I’m not sure the SMT unit should be written off yet. Converting to manual will still be costly, and quite time consuming, so if the car can be repaired that is by far the best option.

I’m technically competent. I see references to people connecting their laptop to run diagnostics etc. Is there a reference document that I could follow to diagnose exactly what the problem might be with the car? Could our garage have put the wrong type of fluid in without realising it needed special fluid? Are there some basic tests I can run, visual or otherwise, that I can do and then post them back here for more advice? How do you interface between the car and a laptop?

Grateful for any help or advice.
 

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...Slight jerkiness when starting off from rest in 1st or reverse developed quickly to losing all drive sometimes when accelerating from a rolling start in 1st or 2nd. Pretty scary when you have a truck up your a?&e. ...Our local garage, not MR2 specialists, but have seen a few SMTs go through there declared the SMT unit dead, and a replacement cost of around £4500. No overhaul or repair possible. The car’s worth £2000 in good running order...
Is there a reference document that I could follow to diagnose exactly what the problem might be with the car? Could our garage have put the wrong type of fluid in without realising it needed special fluid? Are there some basic tests I can run, visual or otherwise, that I can do and then post them back here for more advice? How do you interface between the car and a laptop?
Q: Slight jerkiness when starting off from rest in 1st or reverse developed quickly to losing all drive sometimes when accelerating from a rolling start in 1st or 2nd. Pretty scary when you have a truck up your a?&e.
A: It sounds to me like two things. You need to do the “clutch engagement” relearn. It’s a free procedure. Revving freely in 1st and Reverse sounds like a worn-out clutch; but try the relearn first.
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Q: ...Our local garage… declared the SMT unit dead, and a replacement cost of around £4500. No overhaul or repair possible.
A: Toyota dealers who follow their failure diagnosis flow chart inevitably conclude that the transmission control computer is failed. Tribal knowledge here is that they are always wrong.
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Q: Is there a reference document that I could follow to diagnose exactly what the problem might be with the car?
A: Read Spyderchat archives and buy “the big green book” ( the BGB ) factory repair manual available on-line for about $70.
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Q: Could our garage have put the wrong type of fluid in without realising it needed special fluid?
A: Yes, shops pour all kinds of junk in the SMT reservoir from heavy gear oil to automatic transmission fluid. It is not a common system on other cars. The proper fluid is Toyota part number 08880-02206 (yes I have memorized it), costs about $130/liter. Folks here have used DOT4 brake fluid with success – so far.
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Q:Are there some basic tests I can run, visual or otherwise, that I can do and then post them back here for more advice?
A: Yes. Start with the clutch engagement relearn. Post results here.

Q: How do you interface between the car and a laptop?
A: Via OnBoard Diagnostics (OBD) port under drivers side of the dashboard. (Big fat multi-pin connector) Buy an OBD reader (anywhere from $50 to $300) to retrieve any engine computer error codes. Buy Chinese “techstream” software (About $65) to see transmission computer codes & diagnostics. The “techstream” software runs on your laptop. OBD readers are available in hand-held, and laptop USB connection versions. I bought the Laptop version for about $100.
 

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declared the SMT unit dead, and a replacement cost of around £4500. No overhaul or repair possible. .
That is quite a statment.. as the SMT is an accumilation of 3 basic systems, so how can the entire unit be Not Repairable..

I call Bull$hit on that Statment..

Cyclehead has done a great job answering your post.. Figure out if you want to tackle this project.. it'll cost a little to get the Software and Interface.. and you'll have to do some reading and figuring.. I think it's salavagable.. likely a pissed off sensor.. not to big of a deal.. but finding the little bastard can be a chore..

Here is a post that has a good link in the first few lines.. then some pictures and stuff to read..

http://spyderchat.com/forums/showthread.php?38752-How-does-the-SMT-Work&highlight=



Post what you find..

Cap
 

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quick check to definitely know if your SMT is completely dead is find this part at the front side of the transmission.



If it doesn't move when you turn the car on and off in "S" it's dead. HPU or GSA failure.

If it does move there are several possibilities.

1) Clutch. Engine would rev up while pressing the gas.

2) Gear box. Engine would rev up while pressing the gas, usually accompanied with some sort of horrific noise.

3) Input revolution sensor. Located on the underneath side of the gear box. This can cause a lot of odd things depending on how it's sending bad signals. Gets fouled very easily.

4) Clutch Stroke Sensor. Located on the GSU. This is what the SMT uses to tell how far the clutch is engaged. Bad and it wouldn't find the correct level of 'clutching'.

5) You just need a relearn. You're local garage probably wouldn't be able to do this, a toyota dealership would. Take pages 19 and 20 of this to them, as most dealerships aren't very familiar with the SMT, and might not know where to find the relearn process, or even know what a relearn process is. It sounds like you lost your clutch contact point, so this sounds like a good possibility. Shouldn't cost more than a computer diagnostic by toyota.

6) TCU/ECU. Highly unlikely, but could be a possibility if your car doesn't have the updated version. I believe in Japan there was a recall, in the U.S. it was replaced automatically during the warranty period. I don't know what the European market did about it. The problem was incomplete engaging/disengaging of the clutch, causing the car to creep forward when the gas wasn't pushed at a stop (it's a manual, so if the car moved forward like an automatic when you let off the gas, it's been messing up since it started that). It would also cause premature wear on the clutch (see #1).

I'd start with 4, then check 3 with a gear oil change.

Come back with any error codes you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to everyone who's replied to my post. Nice to find a forum with such a high level of knowledge, and members willing to share it freely.

I'll be running the visual checks suggested by plebian first, and then if all looks/works as it should I'll go down the clutch relearn route plus diagnosing codes from an OBD reader.

OBD readers over here seem to be quite cheap on ebay - USB types being around £20 ($30). They say they're OBD2 with loads of different protocols. Am I missing something here ? If you know of a specific type that's good, and bullet proof, let me know the model details and I'll look specifically for one of those.

Also I've had zero luck with finding a BGB on ebay or any forums. If any of you know of a link I could follow that would be great. Or is this the same thing ? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TOYOTA-MR2-SPYDER-MK3-Service-Repair-Technical-Workshop-Manual-1999-2007-/260980930730?pt=UK_CarParts_Vehicles_Manuals_Litterature_ET&hash=item3cc3acf8aa#ht_3180wt_952

I'll post everything back here as the project progresses,.
 

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I can't see your ebay link (firewall at work).
Here is where I bought my BGB.
http://www.helminc.com/helm/Result.asp?Style=helm&Mfg=TMS&Make=TOY&Model=MR2+&Year=2002&Category=&Keyword=&Module=&selected%5Fmedia=

Repair Manual $70
Wiring Diagram Manual $60

A cheap OBD reader will read check-engine light codes from the engine ECU. I don't think it can interrogate the Transmission Control Computer though. To poke around the TCU, you need the "techstream" software and cable. Available here for $65.
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/513859740-Lowest-Price-mongoose-mfc-vim-j2534-toyota-wholesalers.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi everyone. Right - I've managed to get my hands on the car for the first time. It's not garaged and today is the first day we've had here without significant rain for 34 days !

So far I've taken the air cleaner assembly off, and the cover to the SMT HPU reservoir to check the fluid, which is at the right level and looks nice and clear - no sign of external leaks. Plebian suggests some basic visual checks of the clutch actuating mechanism, however at the moment I'm unable to find it. How much of the rest of the gubbins (battery, battery tray and a pile of hoses) do I need to remove in order to be able to see the clutch and gear actuating mechanism? Or is it visible if the car is on ramps?

As usual grateful for your advice. Awaiting the arrival from China by DHL of a code reader and laptop software to enable me to do diagnostics etc. My local garage have already said they'll buy it off me for 2/3 of the purchase price when I'm done with it.
 

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if you have it on ramps it's easy to see from the bottom if you have the diaper off, look up right behind the drivers seat in the engine compartment, at that angle you'll be able to see the little brass prism shaped deal that works the clutch. It's also visible from the top but you'll have to squeeze your head under the hood from the drivers side. It's on the front side of the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Techstream etc

Hello everyone.

OK weather's improved enough for me to get at the MR2. Got my Mongoose OBD USB thingy along with the Techstream software from China, but I don't know if I'm being dim, however it seems to demand a license key before I can move on. It invites me to click on the Software Registration button, however I'm not confident that's going to lead me to a good place. The version of Techstream that I have is 6.01.021.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance
 
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