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Transmission Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's transmission.

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  #1  
Old 12-22-2007
gcyeaw's Avatar
gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Default Low mileage

I put up a question about low mileage engines, but I would believe that transmissions may also be a concern in a very low mileage mid 80's coach. I did actually take a course on rebuilding automatic transmissions back in my youth, but they were not big industrial units.

My concern would be the clutches and seals drying out under long idle periods. A coach that averages 1800 miles a year would be standing still about 360 days a year; Unless, of course, they normaly drive to a site 100 miles away 9 times a year!

What do you think?
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2007
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i think it depends on the coach,some coachs while never driven much get the best of care,started often,maybe taken for a spin around the block.
and very often garage kept.
someones "toy" in other words.
my father in law had a big old hatteras boat with 2 V12 detroits in it.
he took it out maybe once a year and the rest of the year it was parked at the club,lots of booze was consumed on the boat while tied to the dock,but the boat was perfect,his baby,he ran it often and it was cleaner than his house.
talking to the owner will clue you in!
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2010
LONDONJACK LONDONJACK is offline
'83 FC35 SB in Gary, IN
 
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My 1983 FC35 has under 140,000 miles on her - so probably she is a prime candidate for Allison transmission problems that come as much or more from lack of use as from wear and tear. While I have absolutely no other experience driving Allison automatics, this unit seems to me to shift somewhat sluggishly and not at the time when I would upshift manually.

She stays in FIRST far too long, for example; similar for SECOND. Once it hits THIRD things seem to be great, but this ends far too soon, and it hits FOURTH prematurely, giving me that lugging feeling and sound, more often than not. Not enough power in a 3208 (no turbo 250)? Or a bad shift point going into 4th gear?

QUESTIONS:
Do we all agree that I need to either rebuild or replace this trannie?

If not, what's the program, what needs to be done to it, and where in Chicagoland should I take it?

What's the range of expense to rebuild? To replace with REBUILD? NEW?

Wouldn't another gear be the best answer to unsatisfactory timing of shifts, or are my problems usually resolved by repairs?

How big a deal is it to "adjust shifting points"?

I appreciated all of your responses to my query about steering and control issues, and have lined up expert help to start with the PS belt, then moving on to shop stuff, if the belt is not the main problem.
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2010
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I wouldn't jump to a replace just yet, Jack. Has it been serviced by a good shop? these units last a very long time if they are cared for. They also seem to go down very fast when all done, like in a mile from when it starts to act up. I would start at an Allison capable shop for a service and take it from there.
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  #5  
Old 02-23-2010
LONDONJACK LONDONJACK is offline
'83 FC35 SB in Gary, IN
 
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I took it to the local Allison shop, and they had no clue what springs should control the accelerator-transmission linkage, or why it was slapping when going into first (let alone know why shift points were apparently off).

How do you find "qualified" Allison shops, if the franchise, itself doesn't assure you of that?
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  #6  
Old 02-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LONDONJACK View Post
I took it to the local Allison shop, and they had no clue what springs should control the accelerator-transmission linkage, or why it was slapping when going into first (let alone know why shift points were apparently off).

How do you find "qualified" Allison shops, if the franchise, itself doesn't assure you of that?

You can find that information by going through this link found here on the forum;

Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Transmission > Allison Transmissions

Once you are at the Allison web site click on the Sales and Service Locater link. This appears to be the closest to you, I hope they were not the ones that you went to.

Inland Power Group, Inc. Allison Distributor Branch
2601 E. 15th Avenue
Gary, IN 46402
http://www.inlandpowergroup.com
Phone: 219-883-0421
Fax: 219-883-0441
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2010
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Jack,

I had my Allison overhauled 3 years ago... I had it done mostly as an insurance policy or peace of mind. I am not recommending that for you per se. A few things about the shop I used, Heller Transmission, Clearwater, Florida;

They work on many of the local municipality trucks, BIG trucks that is. They also worked on Waste Management garbage trucks, the local fire trucks, dump trucks etc.

They have been in business for 30 plus years...

All they work on is... Allison transmissions...by and large that is.

Very important to me, they had a transmission dyno.

Most important to me, their shop was impeccably clean, everywhere.

Hope this helps
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LONDONJACK View Post
I took it to the local Allison shop, and they had no clue what springs should control the accelerator-transmission linkage, or why it was slapping when going into first (let alone know why shift points were apparently off).

How do you find "qualified" Allison shops, if the franchise, itself doesn't assure you of that?
If this shop could not adjust the kick down or the shift points then you sure as heck don't want them to rebuild the tranny.
Its the fine tuning that makes the tranny "happy''.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2010
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Allison has several ratings for shops, and in my experience it is not based on a a periodic review of a shops qualified employees. I went to a shop that was qualified to rebuild a tranny, and they replaced mine with another companies reman, but that is another story. I suspect the original transmission guy they had when they were qualified left long ago.

My rebuilt (second one) works fine. It does do the 3-4 shift early in my opinion, but I believe it is within the spec. (40 mph pedal to the floor on level road) (my tach has a mind of it's own, can't be sure of the RPM)

On the hilly back roads running 30 to 40+ MPH I often shift to 3rd just to minimise the constant up and down shifting.

You may just have a mis-adjusted throttle position cable, which could result in hard shifting at higher rpm's with light throttle pressure. The throttle position is used to adjust the shift points and the hydraulic pressure, so if you are at low throttle it will shift softer, and at high throttle it will shift harder to reduce slippage.
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  #10  
Old 02-23-2010
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I had my trany serviced at power plus in puyallup washington The owner tried to convince me my trany service life was up. He said it was leaking all over his shop floor and wanted 3,000 to replace it. All I took it in for was a trany sevice and filter. I took the bus home checked the trany to find the drain plug about to fall out and a loose cooler line, some thing that was played with will in there shop. 140,000 miles never had a problem with it. You can have you're trany lock op presher tested and get a idea of the trany condition
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