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Author Topic: Allison transmission troubles:  (Read 205 times)

Cooperhawk

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Allison transmission troubles:
« on: October 16, 2018, 09:03:40 AM »
We were traveling on Mo13 to Branson, Mo. last Sunday when the coach started to lose power and slow down.  First thing I thought of was a dirty fuel filter, but then I noticed the transmission indicator showed 5th gear.  What the heck!  Things continued to worsen until I was down to showing 3rd gear.  By now I was creeping on the shoulder and looking for someplace to pull off.  It was raining and blowing pretty badly as well. I finally stopped right on the shoulder with traffic zooming by.

Called my go to mechanic and asked what the heck could be wrong. He replied that it sounded like the transmission was low on fluid.  Why now?  It had been full when I checked it a couple days ago.  Went back and checked and sure enough it was low.  I had a couple quarts so I added them.  Success.  Just like the submarine in Das Boot that was stuck in the mud on the bottom we were again sailing along, for a while anyway.  Another hundred miles and it happened again.  Had to pull into a stop and purchase more fluid.  This time I got underneath and found the leak.  One of the lines running to the oil cooler had a pin hole spray coming out of it.  I poured in several quarts and we made it to the campground in Branson.

The next morning I started a search to find someone to repair it.  Found only one place in Springfield, Mo. would work on it.  Took it up Wednesday morning.  42 miles and I made it OK.  Then the search for parts began.  The parts department at this repair shop was deplorable.  Finally the General Manager got involved and by Thursday noon I was back underway to Branson where we had tickets to a show as soon as I got back there.

What I learned.  The transmission will protect itself by down shifting.  It will also start shifting with hard jerks when low.  It holds several gallons of fluid and I never really got it full.  In fact, since it takes so long for the fluid to clear off the dip stick it takes a long time to just check it.  The fill tube has so much fluid in it it can literally take hours to fill and check.  Both lines had to be replaced and they had to be fabricated at another location.  The cost when it was all done was over $1600.00.  I will now always carry a couple quarts of fluid with me.

Fortunately my cousin and his Wife were camped next to us and we used his pick up to run back and forth and keep the Wife's cat in their fifth wheel.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Rene T

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 09:09:03 AM »
$1600 for 2 lines???  They knew you were from out of town and probably wouldn't be back again.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 09:39:30 AM »
$1600 for 2 lines???  They knew you were from out of town and probably wouldn't be back again.

I got that same feeling, but there was no one else to work on it.  BTW, their labor rate was $185.00 an  hour.

The problem was I had no place to work on it myself or fabricate the lines.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Bill N

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2018, 11:18:36 AM »
$1600 for 2 lines???  They knew you were from out of town and probably wouldn't be back again.

Nah.  I live in the area and that is pretty common.  RV people are rich - don't you know that? And the bigger the coach the richer they are - regardless of age of the coach or the person.  Sounds like he went to Reliable RV in Springfield.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2018, 11:19:53 AM »
No, it was an outfit called Power Source.  They are the Allison reps in the area I guess.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 01:41:56 PM »
Several gallons of Transynd alone would add over $400 at shop prices.  Maybe even $500+.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 03:24:29 PM »
Got the name wrong, it was Central Power on Kearney St. in Springfield.  I guess no one else will do RVs so they get all the business.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Bill N

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2018, 07:28:49 AM »
Got the name wrong, it was Central Power on Kearney St. in Springfield.  I guess no one else will do RVs so they get all the business.
WOW, that  is the same Allison dealer that put in a reman Allison for me in 2015.  No problems and they did the job in only two days but my tranny didn't require any of those lines you mentioned.  Funny how you can get different opinions on one company from different customers.  Still it would be hard for me to stomach that $1600 for two lines too.  Others work on RVs but they are the Allison dealer in the area so they usually get all that business I guess.  When my coach was in their shop it was a very large place with mostly semi tractors being worked on.  At the time mine was the only RV.  I was happy that it was only $3500 but that sure set back the repair fund for a while.
Bill
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 07:32:10 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 07:46:05 AM »
They also replaced a battery cable that they said was sparking.  Nothing I asked them to do.
But that was all.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Bill N

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 08:29:57 AM »
Jim, did you happen to stop at Lamberts Cafe, home of the throwed rolls, in Ozark on your travels between Branson and Springfield?  We live on a couple of miles away yet only go there when we feel the need to gain a couple of pounds and when the line isn't too long.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 08:47:26 AM »
We have in the past and planned to do again on this trip, but with all the running back and forth from Branson to Springfield we didn't have time.  We have been to two of the Lamberts in the past.  We did have dinner at Landry's which I thought in the past wasn't so good, but this time was excellent.

I got back with the coach on Thursday just a half hour before our tickets for Daly and Vincent.  Just made it in time.  Saw the Duttons, Presleys, Daly and Vincent, and The Showboat Dinner Cruise.  Also lots of other points of interest.  The old dime store in the old town was a great treat for my cousins and the Military Museum took two afternoons.  Spent one afternoon at Bootdaddy in Springfield.

Then we had more cousins come in for the weekend and had a cookout with drinks and lots of lies and laughter.

Never enough time.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2018, 09:02:05 AM »
To get back to the Transmission Oil Cooler Lines, after a day my cousin who is a retired AF Major, who previously had red hair, (white now), was getting hot under the collar because of all the delays and what sounded like lame excuses for getting parts.  He was ready to raise hell.  I figured that would get me absolutely nowhere and suggested he go sit in his F350 and listen to music and nap.  He did.

On the second day I made it my job to befriend the Service Writers who it turned out were ex military.  We talked helicopters and other Army stuff until they were on my side.  By that time the problem was clearly the Parts Department.  The Service Writers got hot under the collar over the delays getting parts, and went up the chain of command.  Next thing I knew the General Manager himself was shaking my hand and apologizing.  He stayed right there with me until the job got done and had the final bill dropped $900.00.  That still was pretty darn high.  Their effort was appreciated.  He spent a good three hours with me.

The moral of the story is you get more flies with honey than vinegar.
Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Bill N

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #12 on: Today at 08:35:59 AM »

I got back with the coach on Thursday just a half hour before our tickets for Daly and Vincent.  Just made it in time.  Saw the Duttons, Presleys, Daly and Vincent, and The Showboat Dinner Cruise.   
Never enough time.

Sounds like a great trip other than the tranny woes.  We love Daly & Vincent and have seen them three times but we usually get comp tickets as our son works at one of the major theaters and he seems to have good connections with several others.  Daly and Vincent would have been at the Mansion this time and that is a nice theater that is now specializing in one day shows instead of repeating acts.  The Showboat is another favorite of ours but we were really disappointed this year because they have drastically changed the show into a more 'pop' oriented thing and did away with the best MC/Magician/Comedian that we have ever seen - Christopher James.
Anyway, glad you enjoyed that part of the trip.  Just winterized our coach yesterday as the nights are getting pretty cool now (35 yesterday)

Just a tip:  The best show at the best theater in Branson is Samson at the Sight & Sound Theater.

Bill
« Last Edit: Today at 08:42:02 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Cooperhawk

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #13 on: Today at 08:48:47 AM »
The Showboat is another favorite of ours but we were really disappointed this year because they have drastically changed the show into a more 'pop' oriented thing and did away with the best MC/Magician/Comedian that we have ever seen - Christopher James.

The show we saw was Christopher James.  He was hilarious.

Just a tip:  The best show at the best theater in Branson is Samson at the Sight & Sound Theater.

Heard about Samson after we got back home.  Next time.

Jim and Carol Cooper with Oreo the Kitty
FAA ATC ret, VFW, AL, VVA, NRA
2002 Journey DL 36, 3126 Cat 330hp
2015 Ford Explorer Blue Ox tow bar, AF1

Bill N

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Re: Allison transmission troubles:
« Reply #14 on: Today at 02:20:31 PM »
Now I am really bummed.  I asked for a Christopher James show and the tickets we got did not have Christopher James on the show.  I thought they were down to one show this late in the season but I guess they got to me - again.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos