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Toyota A541E Valve Body Check Ball and Vibrating Stopper Locations
This page contains information that
I could not find anywhere - period.

Why this page is here –
The short answer: Because I could not find any accurate, useful information on Toyota A541E valve body check balls and/or vibrating stopper locations and I thought others might need this information.

If that's all you want to know about "Why this page is here" you can skip the long answer and get right to the pictures and diagrams.

The long answer - for anyone interested:
I needed to replace a defective shift solenoid in an Avalon A541E transaxle, which requires removal of the valve body from the transaxle because the shift solenoids are mounted on top of the valve body.

The lower valve body gasket was damaged during removal. Disassembly of the valve body is required to replace this gasket, and it is usually a good idea to replace all valve body gaskets at the same time, so I ordered them from Toyota. Valve body gaskets for the A541E can be ordered separately only from Toyota - aftermarket gaskets are available only as part of a rebuild kit (much more expensive). It is interesting to note that both lower valve body gaskets are on nationwide back order as of September 2016, so I was lucky to find the gaskets I needed at a dealership 1,200 miles away. Gotta love the Internet...

During valve body disassembly several check balls and two "vibrating stoppers" (clips) fell out of the valve body. I expected the check balls but I did not expect the "vibrating stoppers". However, I had seven (7) different service manuals for the Toyota A541E transmission including three Toyota Factory Service Manuals, so I figured finding the correct position of the check balls and stoppers would be a simple matter of looking them up in a manual. That turned out to be a completely incorrect assumption.

None of my service manuals had the location of both "vibrating stoppers", and all these manuals seemed to disagree as to the correct location of the check balls. I could only find ONE of the stoppers pictured. The other clip/stopper seemed to only exist in MY transmission. No manual or online source that I could find had a picture of or even mentioned the other stopper. Wow!

I called a friend who has been an automatic transmission specialist for 40 years. He had no trouble deciding where the check balls belonged, but was not sure of the "vibrating stopper" locations and suggested we should go and see a couple of other transmission techs. No luck with these guys, either, even after looking through both paper and digital manuals at their transmission shops.

Even though we weren't sure of the correct location for the vibrating stoppers, I needed this car finished, so we combined my friend's knowledge of automatic transmissions with the information and illustrations from all seven manuals, installed new shift solenoids and assembled and installed the valve body.

HARSH shifts! The transaxle works but something's not right - every shift is very harsh, especially shifting from Park/Neutral to Reverse - only slightly less harsh when shifting from Park/Neutral to Drive. Upshifts are also very crisp - no, actually they're HARSH - even with almost no throttle applied.

A "whining" noise (like high pressure fluid flow) can be heard with the hood open and the engine idling - is line pressure too high? Guess it's back to the Internet to search for answers AGAIN.

This time I found an A541E transmission technical assistance document from Toyota that (sort of) shows the location of the vibrating stopper in the lower valve body. This is a PDF document named "TA1232 - Toyota and Lexus Reference - A541E transmission technical assistance" - if you want a copy it's here. This has charts, tables, and diagrams for vehicles with the 541E transmission.

I purchased a couple more manuals online, but most A541E manuals from aftermarket publishers are actually A540E manuals - and these are NOT the same transmission. They are very similar, but not the same. The upper valve body in particular is different. And I still don't have a manual showing the location of the vibrating stopper in the upper valve body.

I agree with the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I decided to track down another A541E and carefully disassemble the valve body, taking photos of the process. Many of these photographs appear below.

I discovered that the vibrating stopper in the upper valve body was in the wrong location and was holding the throttle valve partially open. That explained the harsh shift problems - line pressure was high!

After reassembling the transaxle with the vibrating stoppers (and everything else) in the correct locations this car shifts perfectly!

Yep, a picture is worth a thousand words! And you won't have to find and disassemble an A541E to get your pictures. They are right here -

Below are several pictures of the main sections of a Toyota A541E valve body showing check ball and vibrating stopper locations, fluid tubes, etc. I've included a few diagrams just for the heck of it. I hope these help you!

Click on photos below for larger images -
(some diagrams already shown full size)

Mystery Stopper
The vibrating stopper (clip)
that I could not find a picture
or diagram of - ANYWHERE!

Note - I did finally did find a diagram -
not a great diagram, but I found one...
the diagram and PHOTOS are below.

Upper VB Stopper
The vibrating stopper (clip)
from the upper valve body

This clip was the source of my shift problems.

A540E vs. A541E Upper VB
A540E vs. A541E upper valve body -
Most aftermarket manuals show A540E parts.

... maybe ALL aftermarket manuals?

A541E upper VB diagram
A541E upper VB diagram from a Toyota manual -
Notice there's NO vibrating stopper shown!

and this diagram shows only ONE check ball -
my transmission had TWO.

Upper VB Check Balls and Stopper
A541E Upper Valve Body -
check balls and vibrating stopper

(stopper partially removed to show detail)
This stopper's location does not appear
ANYWHERE that I could find.

Bottom of Lower Valve Body - diagram
Diagram from a Toyota manual -
Bottom Side of Lower Valve Body

not a very good illustration of the stopper location,
and the filter shown here was NOT in ANY
of the transmissions I looked at...

Bottom Side of Lower Valve Body
Bottom Side of Lower Valve Body
showing check balls and stopper

this is what the diagram above
is supposed to show -
Notice there is NO filter in this VB!

Bottom Side of Lower Valve Body Closeup
Another view showing the
Bottom Side of Lower Valve Body -
close-up and from another angle.

This view almost matches the diagram above.
The stopper is shown partially removed.

Top Side of Lower Valve Body
Top Side of Lower Valve Body
Check Ball and Filters (Screens)

only ONE check ball here -

Upper and Lower Side of Lower VB
Lower Valve Body Check Balls -
Diagram - Top and Bottom Sides

Another Diagram from Toyota
that does not show any
Vibrating Stoppers

Toyota A541E Lower Valve Body Cover Check Balls
Toyota A541E Lower Valve Body Cover
Check Balls Location Diagram

This is the plate (or section) between
the Upper and Lower Valve Bodies
I didn't photograph this - sorry.
This diagram is actually pretty good, though.

Accumulator Check Ball Location
I also forgot to photograph
the Accumulator Check Ball -

but it has a check ball
and this shows its location.

Toyota A541E Valve Body Bolt Lengths
Bolt Lengths for the
Toyota A541E Valve Body


Top View of Valve Body
Assembled A541E Valve Body
Top View


A541E Tube Locations
Toyota A541E Valve Body
Fluid Tube Locations


Valve Body from Below
Toyota A541E Valve Body
Filter, Wires, etc.

Shown from below with filter installed.

Here's a PDF document from Toyota
with charts, tables, and diagrams
for vehicles with the 541E transmission.
TA1232 - Toyota and Lexus Reference - A541E transmission technical assistance