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A540H valve body and solenoids

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Bear with me, I'm new to Rav4s so I'm trying to figure stuff out as I go. Hoping to get some pointers here from someone who knows more.

I picked up a 98 Rav4 at auction, the 4x4 auto which survey says is the a540h. It seems to run and drive ok, albeit a bit slow and rough going into reverse, so I go about changing all fluids and filters, but when I get to dropping the tranny pan I find this:
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I'm told it looks like a check valve, so I drop the valve body and sure enough:
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My first question is whether this is a big issue. Is this why reverse is slow to engage and sudden when it finally does? Aside from that, I tested my solenoids and found this guy to be DOA:
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Household hardware Wood Finger Thumb Gas

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Hand Fluid Finger Thumb Nail

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Finding a replacement for this solenoid has turned up nothing on Autozone or Rockauto, so I was wondering if anybody knew a better way to look it up and find it. None of the transmission solenoids I look at seem to match it
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yea get the oem part numbers for the parts then search those.
trans parts are by the serial numbers...
so make sure the dealer or online has the right vin.

this old on the rav... you might want a refresh on the seals and other parts as well if you are in to
trans repair...
you need a super lab clean shop to build a trans to perfect...
and lots of clean table space to lay lout all of the parts...

all trans parts are in there for a reason..
so yes all parts are needed.
 

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I think the solenoid pictured in the first post may be what the A540H service manual calls the "lock-up solenoid." Go to https://www.rav4world.com/attachments/a540h-pdf.149761/ . Proceed to pdf page 122 (document page AT-85).

I am not certain, but I think some sites also call this the:
"SLD solenoid"
"ST solenoid" (see A540H Solenoid Identification).
"shift solenoid valve SLD" (from service manual section 1996Rav4diag.pdf)

This photo adds more confusion:


[Edit: mistake about A540h trannies deleted]

These might be aftermarket replacements:
www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6087576&cc=1317533&pt=17903&jsn=421&jsn=421


KNote72, what are the wire colors on the electrical connector for the solenoid pictured?

Also, can you remove the bracket and look for a p/n on the solenoid?

Regarding reverse, from wikipedia and other sites: The A540H "has a weak reverse – prone to noise and failure – failure included problems with 1st brake."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
See if you can find the part here on parts.toyota.com:

If not then I would try a Toyota dealer parts counter.
I think I found the part as far as the broken valve, according to page 126 in the doc Elle linked its the B1 Control valve. I think I found the parts I'll need for that:
Plug
Spring
Valve

I did find the solenoid in the lower valve body diagram, the problem is all the solenoids come up as 85420 which doesn't help much

I think the solenoid pictured in the first post may be what the A540H service manual calls the "lock-up solenoid." Go to https://www.rav4world.com/attachments/a540h-pdf.149761/ . Proceed to pdf page 122 (document page AT-85).

I am not certain, but I think some sites also call this the:
"SLD solenoid"
"ST solenoid" (see A540H Solenoid Identification).
"shift solenoid valve SLD" (from service manual section 1996Rav4diag.pdf)

This photo adds more confusion:


I am trying to be mindful of A540H trannies where AWD is present vs. those without AWD.

These might be aftermarket replacements:
www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=6087576&cc=1317533&pt=17903&jsn=421&jsn=421


KNote72, what are the wire colors on the electrical connector for the solenoid pictured?

Also, can you remove the bracket and look for a p/n on the solenoid?

Regarding reverse, from wikipedia and other sites: The A540H "has a weak reverse – prone to noise and failure – failure included problems with 1st brake."
That first diagram really helped narrow it down, it actually looks like mine for once. Seeing some diagrams online supposedly for the A540H the valve bodies looked different so I was getting thrown off like something wasn't adding up. It's definitely the ST solenoid.

Mine doesn't have any 4x4 switch or button, only a "ECT PWR" shift mode selector, if that helps narrow down whether its AWD or 4x4. I wasn't aware there were different versions of the A540H, I thought the 540H was the AWD and the 540e was 2wd.

That specific part is out of stock but I did try this one which appears to be the same type of part TCC solenoid
It LOOKS like it fits at first glance, but the offset on the solenoid doesn't line up with the fluid port. If I can get the direct oem part thru toyota then that would be great, across a few different vehicles now I've been getting a string of non-oem parts that either don't fit or are faulty, I thought I escaped that when I quit stopping at Knechts and went with Rockauto.

I'll see about trying to get the bracket off, see if there's an actual p/n on it. Also the wire going to that solenoid is yellow (no 2nd wire since I'm assuming it's grounding thru the valve body).
 

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Knote72, my mistake regarding the A540H. Every A540H serves AWD (and not FWD). I corrected my post above.

Regarding the use of "AWD" and "4x4" on the first generation Rav4: See How to operate 4wd (rav4 1996) , post #3 by Mick Hatzo, and the links he provides. I play loose with the descriptor "AWD." Mick's links also address the ECT button.

After looking at a lot of Toyota parts sites and A540H sites, I am thinking the better bet is to maybe forget about getting the OEM part for now. Instead work with one of the many automatic tranny re-build shops on the net to get the right part. Your photos are excellent, and I bet the folks at the re-build shops can nail this down and tell you how to get the part.

I might also be digging through youtube for videos on re-builds of A540H transmissions. I have not had a chance to do this yet.

I checked my wiring diagram for the 1998-2000 Rav4. Just in case there is yet another name [wink] for that solenoid for which you provided multiple photos. If you want the wiring diagram, go to www.rav4world.com/threads/98-toyota-rav4-electrical-issues.292825/ , post #18 and download the attachment 1999Rav4wiringsearchable.pdf . The wiring diagram's pdf page 66, in the lower left, shows a yellow wire connecting a solenoid on the transmission to pin 17 of the engine computer's largest connector. On the wiring diagram pin 17's label is "S1". And because I would hate for today's post to be boring, pin 16 is labeled "ST".

For the archives: For the 1996-1997 Rav4, the computer pins and wiring colors for the auto tranny solenoids are somewhat different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Knote72, my mistake regarding the A540H. Every A540H serves AWD (and not FWD). I corrected my post above.

Regarding the use of "AWD" and "4x4" on the first generation Rav4: See How to operate 4wd (rav4 1996) , post #3 by Mick Hatzo, and the links he provides. I play loose with the descriptor "AWD." Mick's links also address the ECT button.

After looking at a lot of Toyota parts sites and A540H sites, I am thinking the better bet is to maybe forget about getting the OEM part for now. Instead work with one of the many automatic tranny re-build shops on the net to get the right part. Your photos are excellent, and I bet the folks at the re-build shops can nail this down and tell you how to get the part.

I might also be digging through youtube for videos on re-builds of A540H transmissions. I have not had a chance to do this yet.

I checked my wiring diagram for the 1998-2000 Rav4. Just in case there is yet another name [wink] for that solenoid for which you provided multiple photos. If you want the wiring diagram, go to www.rav4world.com/threads/98-toyota-rav4-electrical-issues.292825/ , post #18 and download the attachment 1999Rav4wiringsearchable.pdf . The wiring diagram's pdf page 66, in the lower left, shows a yellow wire connecting a solenoid on the transmission to pin 17 of the engine computer's largest connector. On the wiring diagram pin 17's label is "S1". And because I would hate for today's post to be boring, pin 16 is labeled "ST".

For the archives: For the 1996-1997 Rav4, the computer pins and wiring colors for the auto tranny solenoids are somewhat different.
I did manage to find this video on testing the solenoids
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

I notice at 12:20 on the box it says "Aisin 85420-32111" but can't find anything related to that. Would I call up a toyota dealer for that p/n?
 

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I notice at 12:20 on the box it says "Aisin 85420-32111" but can't find anything related to that. Would I call up a toyota dealer for that p/n?
I think you nailed it. One can google on just the p/n and see this is a Toyota OEM p/n. (I think you and I have the "85420" part of the p/n memorized at this point.) Aisin is a well-known OEM parts manufacturer for Toyota.

The toyodiy.com and jp-carparts.com site for the SXA11 frame (A540H transmission) call p/n 85420-32111 'transmission solenoid assembly no. 2.' I believe this is the same as solenoid valve SL, a.k.a. the lock-up solenoid. Toyotapartsdeal.com notes that
85420-32111 replaces {85420-32121, 85420-32120 and 85420-32110}.

Right next to this p/n the toyodiy.com and jp-carparts.com sites list 85420-32102 'transmission solenoid assembly No.1.' But this is kind of misleading: Googling the latter p/n shows two solenoid valves connected. I think 85420-32102 consists of the two solenoids connecting to the computer's S1 and S2 pins, as shown in the wiring diagrams.

Are you sure the wire connecting to the valve you want is yellow? Might it be yellow with a black stripe? If it is yellow with a black stripe, then this is solenoid valve SL, at least according to the 1996 diagnostics manual and 1996 and 1999 wiring diagrams.

Can you say which valve the attached drawing indicates your valve is?

The 1996 Rav4 service manual section for the A540h appears here: http://aelectrik.ru/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/A540H.pdf . I think this service manual section is quite helpful for finding the solenoids.

I see also that doing the following google search of the rockauto.com site can turn up some of the more commonly needed solenoids for the A540H :

"a540h" site:rockauto.com

I am putting this and more info on my web site, in the "Automatic Transmission Notes" guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think you nailed it. One can google on just the p/n and see this is a Toyota OEM p/n. (I think you and I have the "85420" part of the p/n memorized at this point.) Aisin is a well-known OEM parts manufacturer for Toyota.

The toyodiy.com and jp-carparts.com site for the SXA11 frame (A540H transmission) call p/n 85420-32111 'transmission solenoid assembly no. 2.' I believe this is the same as solenoid valve SL, a.k.a. the lock-up solenoid. Toyotapartsdeal.com notes that
85420-32111 replaces {85420-32121, 85420-32120 and 85420-32110}.

Right next to this p/n the toyodiy.com and jp-carparts.com sites list 85420-32102 'transmission solenoid assembly No.1.' But this is kind of misleading: Googling the latter p/n shows two solenoid valves connected. I think 85420-32102 consists of the two solenoids connecting to the computer's S1 and S2 pins, as shown in the wiring diagrams.

Are you sure the wire connecting to the valve you want is yellow? Might it be yellow with a black stripe? If it is yellow with a black stripe, then this is solenoid valve SL, at least according to the 1996 diagnostics manual and 1996 and 1999 wiring diagrams.

Can you say which valve the attached drawing indicates your valve is?

The 1996 Rav4 service manual section for the A540h appears here: http://aelectrik.ru/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/A540H.pdf . I think this service manual section is quite helpful for finding the solenoids.

I see also that doing the following google search of the rockauto.com site can turn up some of the more commonly needed solenoids for the A540H :

"a540h" site:rockauto.com

I am putting this and more info on my web site, in the "Automatic Transmission Notes" guide.
The wire connecting directly to the solenoid is just yellow, however on further inspection the wire on the wiring harness plugging into the trans is yellow +black stripe. Based on the diagram you attached it's in the location of the SL solenoid, however this contradicts one of the previous diagrams you linked which labeled it the ST solenoid. This is ones of the areas where I've been getting confused.

I originally did find the parts on rockauto namely the Pioneer 771015 which is SUPPOSED TO be the right part, the problem is it doesn't fit.
 

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This site indicates the failed solenoid valve shown in the video is the lock-up solenoid (a.k.a. solenoid SL): https://rostrapowertrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Manuals/Form4645C.pdf

I have seen enough in the various Toyota service manuals and other A540H guides to believe the Sonnax site's photo is wrong.

I cannot quite picture exactly why the fit is wrong. Can you swap brackets from the old solenoid to the new one?

Maybe consider trying to send GasDiesel Garage at youtube a message asking where he bought the Aisin part. Or call rostra or sonnax and ask if they have the Aisin part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This site indicates the failed solenoid valve shown in the video is the lock-up solenoid (a.k.a. solenoid SL): https://rostrapowertrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Manuals/Form4645C.pdf

I have seen enough in the various Toyota service manuals and other A540H guides to believe the Sonnax site's photo is wrong.

I cannot quite picture exactly why the fit is wrong. Can you swap brackets from the old solenoid to the new one?

Maybe consider trying to send GasDiesel Garage at youtube a message asking where he bought the Aisin part. Or call rostra or sonnax and ask if they have the Aisin part.
Been busy at work the past couple weeks, just now getting back to it

The problem with the aftermarket solenoid was the offset on the bracket for the solenoid was wrong, the solenoid didn't line up with the fluid port. I can't swap the bracket from the old one, not only cuz I can't get it off the solenoid but also cuz that aftermarket solenoid was larger than the original one.

In the meantime what I did was order valve body gaskets and parts for the busted valve off the toyota site, figured I'd replace that valve while I'm at it now that I have a complete diagram of the valve body layout. I'm having the parts shipped to the nearest toyota dealership, so I figured when I go pick em up I'll take in the old solenoid and talk to their service dept, see if I can find out if they have a new part number for that solenoid. If not then I'll just order another aftermarket solenoid, if that one doesn't fit then I'll use some of my tools on the bracket to "make it fit"
 

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For the archives, GasDiesel Garage (who made the video linked above) at the youtube site responded to a question about where to get the part as follows:

Unfortunately I don’t think you can get the part # off the old shift solenoid but you can call the dealer and get a part# but that would most likely be a pain in the but.....here’s a link to the right shift solenoid you need through Amazon ...that’s where I ended up getting it...hope this helps...
Unfortunately the link GasDiesel Garage provided above got me nowhere for a first generation Rav4. I searched Amazon's subsequent suggestions. Some parts turned up, but still nothing that clearly is the right part.

Like the OP says, going to the dealer seems best at this point. I might call some online or local tranny shops too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
For the archives, GasDiesel Garage (who made the video linked above) at the youtube site responded to a question about where to get the part as follows:

Unfortunately I don’t think you can get the part # off the old shift solenoid but you can call the dealer and get a part# but that would most likely be a pain in the but.....here’s a link to the right shift solenoid you need through Amazon ...that’s where I ended up getting it...hope this helps...
Unfortunately the link GasDiesel Garage provided above got me nowhere for a first generation Rav4. I searched Amazon's subsequent suggestions. Some parts turned up, but still nothing that clearly is the right part.

Like the OP says, going to the dealer seems best at this point. I might call some online or local tranny shops too.
So I got the valve parts from the dealership, and though they didnt have the solenoid, they pointed to another dealership that might have one in stock so I'll try calling tomorrow and see if they have it
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well no dice from that other dealership, no solenoids left. Guess we get to go to Plan B, use the aftermarket part and MAKE IT FIT.

In the meantime, thanks to the diagrams Elle shared I changed the valve body gaskets and replaced the busted valve
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I really hope it's fixed after this. I'm done and over messing with anything in the transmission
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok so I made a discovery today, that made me both angry and relieved

So I got the solenoid today and same case as the last one
Wood Engineering Auto part Machine Metal


But then I had an epiphany. I popped off the o-ring, pulled the bracket off the business end of the solenoid, and put it over the back end. Lo and behold.........
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They got some idiots on their assembly line, sticking the bracket on the wrong end in the first place. There's no mention of it in their shoddy instructions. I'll do a test of all solenoids before I slap it all back together
 

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KNote72, outstanding work.

Can you please post all part information for this new solenoid? Also from where did you purchase the solenoid? I do see the solenoid has "Rostra" and "A540" stamped on it. I will add your discovery and more of your photos to my web site, under the automatic transmission guide.
 

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Is this a crack, or just a casting mark? See yellow circled area…
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
She's all good to go (knock on wood), took her up and down the road. Was a pain getting the valve body seated, I can tell I didnt get it seated right last time cause I can see where the wires got in the way and got pinched. One thing I can say is its a thirsty trans, 6qts and still low. At $9 a quart this trans fluid aint cheap.

KNote72, outstanding work.

Can you please post all part information for this new solenoid? Also from where did you purchase the solenoid? I do see the solenoid has "Rostra" and "A540" stamped on it. I will add your discovery and more of your photos to my web site, under the automatic transmission guide.
All I know is that it was Pioneer brand, part #771015. It was on rockauto for $147

P.S. With the extra lead the solenoid gives the plug, it'll dangle down below the filter and the pan won't wanna go on with it in the way. When putting the pan back on best to just tuck it in the side up and over the lip of the filter.

Is this a crack, or just a casting mark? See yellow circled area…
That's just a dog hair. Black labs, they shed all over
 
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