***ECM Adapts Reset Restores 100% Shifting!***
Ok, thankfully after lots of prodding, the local dealership was willing to play along and reset the ECM adapts for me after hearing that I repaired the ECM on my own with mostly good success, except for the 2-3 shift.
I should note that on the way to the dealership, I did find that the shift from 2-3 was pretty crisp as long as I was climbing up a slight incline. I noticed this on the way to the dealership and this gave me some hope. Continuing on...
The Toyota Tech that came out with his laptop scan tool was still convinced that the 2-3 shift problem was a common symptom of the ECM problems and I don't think he nor the Service Manager was convinced this would fix anything but they were at least willing to humor me. Thank goodness.
So, after the Service Manager jokingly told the Tech to, "Hurry up!" to which the Tech responded, "Hey, it takes 45 seconds to complete!" the adapts were reset and it looked like the computer may have showed instructions to drive the car for 15 minutes in stop and go traffic to reset the learn values (but I was reading over his shoulder and couldn't get a good look). This is what the Tech told me to do as well.
I left the dealership lot and 1-2 was smooth, but sadly the 2-3 was just as jerky as before and I was almost going to give up hope but decided to give the ECM time to "learn." I made steady accelerations, traffic permitting, holding the gas pedal with gentle pressure and letting the transmission shift as it pleased.
About 7-8 minutes into it, I started to question if it felt a little bit better. No joke, by 15 minutes, the 2nd-to-3rd gear shift was very smooth. A few minutes later, the transmission felt as smooth as ever.
The Service Manager wants a call back in a week since I think the's still skeptical of all this "fixing" since it's not what Toyota-on-high recommends to them but I'm confident!
Cliff's Notes/Final thoughts:
I recommend that if you choose to have your ECM fixed, or choose to fix it yourself, please be sure to have the ECM adapts reset. I hope you have better luck getting this done at your Dealership than I did at mine but try to speak directly to the Operations/Service Manager and explain your situation. It truly won't take them more than 5 minutes to plug in and perform the reset for you but good luck convincing them of that, ask them to confirm with a Tech. I know they'll try to tell you all about liability issues and other non-sense but be persistent and don't give up.
Would the ECM have learned around the 2-3 jerky shift, given enough time? Maybe so, but it sure didn't feel good for the transmission and maybe it could damage it? Do yourself a favor and reset the adapts. Please note that you can't reset "just the transmission adapts table" like some repair service postings make it out to seem. To my knowledge and the whole ECM has to be reset. The Toyota technician balked at the "low idle" warning that some people note after resetting the adapts stating that you'd only have low idle if the throttle body was gummed up so take that worth a grain of salt (I was looking for the low idle to be a true indication of a reset and I don't think it is a good indicator is what I'm saying). Please also note that you may also be told as you call around that you can reset the ECM by pulling the negative battery cable. I did not find this to be true at all. The adapts appear to be on non-volatile memory and neither pulling the ECM out of the car nor using the "erase" feature on my OBDII scan tool reset the adapts.
I truly hope this helps at least one other poor, unfortunate soul that experiences this whole ECM/Transmission snafu and Toyota refuses to help. Don't give up on "the solder fix" until you reset the adapts (or choose a repair service where you are confident they reset the ECM)!