EPDM Coatings
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems Sponsored by RV Upgrades width= Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Allison Transmission failure  (Read 1821 times)

dpickard

  • ---
  • Posts: 47
Allison Transmission failure
« on: December 04, 2006, 09:35:06 PM »
Hello everyone!

Unfortunately, our coach has been sidelined with a very interesting predicament. We recently drove to Flying J in Haw River, NC and got some propane. On the way back to Reidsville, we decided to stop in Greensboro and get some stuff from Sams Club. When we got out of the coach, we noticed pink fluid had blown all over the back of the RV. We checked the transmission fluid and sure enough, that was the problem. It was frothy in consistency and looked like a pink milkshake!

We hastily called Allison and within 30 seconds (no exaggeration) they diagnosed the trouble as "cooling unit failure." They said the transmission cooler had ruptured and had sent glycol all through the transmission. Even though we had only driven the RV 35 miles, they said there was NO hope for the transmission. It would have to be replaced or rebuilt.

The folks at Covington Detroit Diesel-Allison in Greensboro said it would be about $6,500.00 for a rebuilt unit with our old one as an exchange, and the rebuilt replacement unit would carry a two year warranty from Allison.

When we had it towed in there, however, it was a different story! We were told our unit was the "old" type core and Allison wouldn't want it. Unless we wanted to pay a $3,700.00 core charge, our only option was to have them rebuild the existing transmission and that would only carry a 6 months parts warranty. (For the same price as a rebuilt from Allison...$6,500.00)

Naturally we were disappointed, but we love our coach and dont want to trade, (or have any motorhome payments) so we had no choice but to have what we already had rebuilt.

For convenience sake, I asked them to have the radiator boiled out, too, since we already had the unit in the shop. They sent it out to a radiator shop and called me with the sad news that the "air to air cooler" was shot and needed replacement and the radiator core had so many holes in it that the core would have to be replaced. This added an additional $2,600.00 to the bill. The only leak I had ever noticed was a very tiny pin hole type leak on occasion.

We are supposed to get the coach back tomorrow. I hope everything is going to be ok. I wondered if any of you had ever had this issue occur with the failure of the transmission cooler. They told me this happens fairly often and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from happening again. This is turning out to be a very expensive repair bill.


Dianne











Gil and Dianne Pickard
FMCA members  F119574
Eden, NC
1993 Pace Arrow Vision Turbo Diesel   Model 36C

Jeff

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 8276
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 10:14:01 PM »
The pin holes you mentioned were very likely from corrosion that occurs from not maintaining the cooling system. They were the first indication of the failure you experienced.

I am sorry you have had problems.

Ron from Big D

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 1709
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2006, 11:52:03 PM »
I have a friend in the DFW area that recently had this failure on a 1996 Bluebird Wanderlodge.  Most of the time, these failures are caused from improper radiator maintenance, improper coolant or lack of SCA's and last but not least, a simple failure in a core joint.  Very unfortunate and very expensive.  I wish I had known of your problem before you had it overhauled.  Industrial Automatic Transmission in Irving, TX probably could have gotten you a re-built unit.  You never said what year or make your coach was.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Ron from Big D
Staff
Artist/Photographer
http://picasaweb.google.com/remarabito

dpickard

  • ---
  • Posts: 47
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 06:31:13 AM »
The coach is a 1993 Pace Arrow Vision Turbo Diesel Model 36C with an 8.3 Cummins (250hp) and an MD-3060 Allison World Transmission.
Gil and Dianne Pickard
FMCA members  F119574
Eden, NC
1993 Pace Arrow Vision Turbo Diesel   Model 36C

fredethomas

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 407
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2006, 07:23:22 PM »
It is a good reason to have an extended warranty.  But most warranty companies would find some reason for not honoring that massive of a failure.
FRED E. THOMAS

Chet18013

  • ---
  • Posts: 1449
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2006, 07:37:06 PM »
Fred, if you recall, Roger Potie had the same failure in Canada in 2001. He had the extended warranty. All they would cover was the transmission oil cooler. The introduction of the antifreeze into the transmission was "consequential damage" which was specifically excluded. His insurance paid several hundred dollors and he had to pay in excess of $10,000 to get the transmission rebuilt.

Chet18013
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

dpickard

  • ---
  • Posts: 47
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2006, 08:22:05 PM »
Transmission update:

Got the unit back yesterday (Friday December 8th). The final cost was $9,100.00. They did a very fine job...drives great and shifts smoothly, just as it did before. Thank you, JESUS!!!
Gil and Dianne Pickard
FMCA members  F119574
Eden, NC
1993 Pace Arrow Vision Turbo Diesel   Model 36C

fredethomas

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 407
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2006, 08:02:30 PM »
A subject that results in the most letters to motorhome magazines is warranties.  If a seal fails and causes other failures - the replacement of the seal is covered - not the "other" failure.  All kinds of stuff like that.  So many people make the mistake of starting the diagnostic procedure before calling the warranty agency.  That almost always causes a rejection.  DFS was good.  They had a weekend/holiday number that connected to the agent at his home.  They sure treated me good and I wish I could have got them again.  Perhaps it might be good to come to some understanding with the mechanic?? Don't know as there are probably lots of spies around.
FRED E. THOMAS

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 38422
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2006, 08:17:29 PM »
So many people make the mistake of starting the diagnostic procedure before calling the warranty agency.  That almost always causes a rejection.

Fred, could you please explain that a bit more. Thanks.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

dpickard

  • ---
  • Posts: 47
Re: Allison Transmission failure
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 08:41:59 PM »
Oh no, not again!!!   This is what I was thinking when I got the call yesterday from Cummins Atlantic in Greensboro. I had taken the coach in to have the engine serviced in preparation for holiday travel after having the transmission repaired. I got a call saying there was transmission fluid in the radiator. I thought my heart was going to stop! As it turns out, the people at Covington Detroit Diesel Allison had forgotten to flush the heater lines. Thankfully the transmission does not have any issues, although there were some tense moments as we waited for the representative from Covington to arrive at the Cummins shop.
The Covington people stepped up to the plate and willingly offered to take care of the charges to flush everything again.
Whew!
Gil and Dianne Pickard
FMCA members  F119574
Eden, NC
1993 Pace Arrow Vision Turbo Diesel   Model 36C