Lost 3rd Allison in 20k

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Cat568

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Pretty sure this has never happened before. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Several months after radiation, I had to quit working. Due to reduced disability income, and Dr's advice to spend time with family, scattered in WA, my wife and I bought a used 2000 40' Monaco, that we and our grandchildren love. A 275 ISB and Allison MD3060 combination was something i was sure we'd never have to worry about. I was wrong. We're broke down, trans burned up again. For 6 mos this has been amazing. We need help. Allison said transmission is out of warranty. Replaced 5/2013 with 14k. The one before that made it 5k and had been replaced in10/2012 by Pacific Power in Ridgefield WA. We don't have the money to replace this. Tried to post receipts, says file too large
 

SeilerBird

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I have heard you need ten horsepower per foot of RV to be comfortable. You have a 40 footer with  275 hp meaning it is grossly underpowered. I don't have a solution other than to sell it and get a better equipped RV.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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10 hp/foot?  Haven't heard that one before.  Many pre-2008 coaches failed by that standard, as do most medium and heavy duty trucks.  Newer rigs are heavy enough that 10 hp/ft is reasonable, though.  The RV industry rule of thumb is to provide 1 hp for every 100 lbs of gross vehicle weight, so a 275 hp engine would adequately power a 27,500 lb GVWR.  That doesn't mean many of us would not wish for more, though.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Sorry to hear of your Allison woes, and it certainly isn't usual for an Allison product.  The MD3060 seemed somewhat less reliable than the rest of the 3000 family, but three failures is really extreme.  I see many reports of rear seal failures and also WTEC II TCM failures. I think the 3060 was a cost-reduced variation intended to handle the lower end of the medium duty truck application range, e.g. motorhomes and school buses and such.  I think it was used primarily where the lower torque Cummins ISB 5.9L and Cat 3126 were applicable.

TI have to wonder if there isn't something else wrong that is causing those failures, maybe poor cooling or contamination of the tranny fluid? 
 

Bill N

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My sincere sympathy for your situation.  I had an Allison 1000 tranny replaced in 2015.  The torque converter evidently started leaking and blew all the oil out. When I had it in an Allison shop they told me I had two choices - if the shop did an overhaul on it I had a one year warranty.  If I bought an Allison remanufactured tranny it would come with a 2 year unlimited mileage warranty.  I took the latter figuring a factory job would be better than the local mechanics.  Now this is probably a lot less complicated tranny than yours as it is in a gasser 35' Winnebago but if you do finally have it repaired you may want to consider the factory remanufactured model. IIRC it was only a few hundred more.  Good luck.

Bill
 

Bill N

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SeilerBird said:
I have heard you need ten horsepower per foot of RV to be comfortable. You have a 40 footer with  275 hp meaning it is grossly underpowered. I don't have a solution other than to sell it and get a better equipped RV.
Would really take a beating trying to sell a motorhome with no transmission.
 

Bill N

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Gary RV_Wizard said:
Sorry to hear of your Allison woes, and it certainly isn't usual.  The MD3060 seemed somewhat less reliable than the 3000 is it derived from, but three failures is really extreme. There must be something else wrong that is causing those failures, maybe poor cooling or contamination of the tranny fluid?
When they replaced mine Gary they did a complete flush of the system (and this was on a re-manufactured one). I remember that because the 'flush' oil cost me an additional $50.  But you are right. There is a problem especially since the last change was less than one year and that should have been warrantied (maybe it was).

Bill
 

PJ Stough

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To say that the transmission failed because the RV is under powered, is too say that the transmissions is ALL under powered RVs will fail, and I doubt that is the case.  Even if the RV is under powered, if the transmission is in the proper gear for conditions, there should be no negative effects on the transmission.

Just off the top of my head some of the reasons transmissions fail are, over heated fluid, incorrect fluid, contaminated fluid, or improper shifting.  There may be more.
 

Cat568

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A trans fluid change with 10k on old fluid 1 month ago at a VERY reputable and conscientious shop, reported no issues. And I've run heavy equipment all my life, starting in the Army at 17, it shifts perfectly as far as I can tell. Up and down. I watch temps very close. Very. Main trans killer is contamination and heat. I watch it closely. The shop that replaced the 3rd flushed the cooler. No reported contaminants in number 2. Just clutch debris.
 

Cat568

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An addendum; I am disabled with lung cancer and recently started recieving disability. Last year my Dr's recommended that I spend time with family. We sold our house (we could no longer afford it easily), and purchased this home to visit and stay near our children and grandchildren who all reside in WA thankfully. It had a Cummins/Allison. I had no worries about those. It did have a new trans. I was certain it would far outlast us. We love, and need this home.  Our grandchildren love it too. I just talked to Allison, Ridgefield WA, and they said "out of warranty, we will not help." It is in fact, next door at Western Star. Since the instructions say ask anything, can my family and I ask if some of you could contact Allison on FB, or email and ask if there isn't some way to help us with this? If this failure is my fault, I accept that and would ask for no help. Never had to ask for help before...
Thank you All
Most Sincerely
John and Anna Smallwood
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Since there are no new 3060's and haven't been for many a year, presumably the replacements were rebuilts?  Purchased from Allison itself, or just at an Allison shop?  If shop built, the warranty is whatever is on your purchase invoice.  The official Allison brand ReTrans (re-manufactured transmission) has a 24 month warranty.  But if I read your original message right, that was purchased in 2012?  After 6 years, not surprising they aren't willing to help with the cost.

https://www.allisontransmission.com/parts-service/remanufactured-transmissions
 

99dart

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John, I'm really sorry to hear about your lose of health! I am gonna suggest something different than fixing the trans right away. What part of the state do your kids live? Close to where you are broken down? Would it work to tow the motorhome to a near by RV park? That way you have your "home" setup to live in. Once the place to live is solved, then figure out how to finance a trans rebuild. Hopefully in the mean time you are close enough to the kids/grand kids to visit while saving up for the transmission.
Good luck and God Bless,
Pat
 

Irover

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  So it only lasted 6 months  and 6,000 miles from the 2nd replacement on 10/12 :mad: Oh, Id' be very upset also! Is it Allison who did the last repair-replacement on it; if so your out of luck! if it as local transmission shop you may have recourse depending if its a mileage warranty or time period! I believe 99 Dart has the right answer for you though! if relatives have property and zoning is allowed RVs maybe an option to park it there until you can save to get it repaired.
 

Cat568

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So, thank you all for your time, and concern. We got a bank loan to cover cost. G kids in 4 towns across WA, from Long Beach, to Spokane. We will replace with Allison reman (I still believe it's an excellent product) and continue to travel from one to the other,  usually 7-10 days with each. I will make sure the cooler lines are uunobstructed, and have a new temp sending installed. I will also continue to research completely all avenues of why this could happen. We may never know. If we ever cross paths, I will probably start our discussion with, "you'll never believe this..." I dont want to live in fear of breakdown and stop travelling. My illness will bring that about soon enough. 2 years of warrenty safety will be enough. And, I've already been to heaven, for the last 6 months that we've owned it, and done the g kid thing one to the next. I  got a list of county fairs last summer, and we took them all to several. Camped right by them. Some caught their first fish, with me. Bucket list, complete.
Again, Thank You All
John and Anna Smallwood and Family
Unlucky perhaps, but very happy.
 

Bill N

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PJ Stough said:
Has the torque converter been replaced each time the transmission was replaced?
PJ, tell me more.  My tranny went bad in 2015 when the torque converter started leaking or I think they may have said 'blow by'.  I discovered this while on the road and between Allison dealers and, despite my efforts to keep putting in fluid, I made only within 50 miles of the Allison shop.  I had assumed that the torque converter was part of the transmission but, from your post, I am led to believe that it is a separate part - is that true?

Bill
 

PJ Stough

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Bill N said:
PJ, tell me more.  My tranny went bad in 2015 when the torque converter started leaking or I think they may have said 'blow by'.  I discovered this while on the road and between Allison dealers and, despite my efforts to keep putting in fluid, I made only within 50 miles of the Allison shop.  I had assumed that the torque converter was part of the transmission but, from your post, I am led to believe that it is a separate part - is that true?

Bill

The Allison transmission has a torque converter, but I am not sure if it comes as a separate part when you purchase a rebuilt transmission.  I am just looking for a common problem that would kill three transmissions in a relatively short time.

Here is what I have found the torque converter looks like.

https://revmaxconverters.com/product/allison-1000-2001-2004-stage-3-torque-converter/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6fvdBRCbARIsABGZ-vQ-tBNnh7HESw78R1bWmI7p0SeK6KErmRD8gFuLiYpflQgKpljUlr8aAsaiEALw_wcB
 

Bill N

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PJ Stough said:
The Allison transmission has a torque converter, but I am not sure if it comes as a separate part when you purchase a rebuilt transmission.  I am just looking for a common problem that would kill three transmissions in a relatively short time.

Here is what I have found the torque converter looks like.

https://revmaxconverters.com/product/allison-1000-2001-2004-stage-3-torque-converter/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6fvdBRCbARIsABGZ-vQ-tBNnh7HESw78R1bWmI7p0SeK6KErmRD8gFuLiYpflQgKpljUlr8aAsaiEALw_wcB

Thanks PJ.  That was a real fast education on Torque Converters.  I have a remanufactured Allison so I don't know if that included a TC or not - it cost about $3500 total.  Now I am wondering how a torque converter could result in a massive loss of tranny fluid unless it is something that uses tranny  oil.  As you can tell I am a very old geezer who has zero knowledge of automatic transmissions.......lol

Bill
 

PJ Stough

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Bill N said:
Thanks PJ.  That was a real fast education on Torque Converters.  I have a remanufactured Allison so I don't know if that included a TC or not - it cost about $3500 total.  Now I am wondering how a torque converter could result in a massive loss of tranny fluid unless it is something that uses tranny  oil.  As you can tell I am a very old geezer who has zero knowledge of automatic transmissions.......lol

Bill

I am sure there is a seal in the transmission where the torque converter fits into the transmission.  If this seal fails, the transmission would leak fluid.
 
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