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Old 08-29-2015, 10:37 AM   #15
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Low speed drive train shudder - update

Removed Spicer 1610 Series U-joints from shaft yesterday - both joints toast. Rear joint (parking brake flange) severe chatter marks in bearing post, needle bearings beginning to disintegrate, the more degraded of the two. Amazing that the amount of degradation presented so little symptoms when driving. Slip joint in perfect shape, no degrade to flange or joint nest. Replaced both joints (Spicer Part #5-279X flange, 5-674X pinion, for Dana Corp axle Part # 818681-0115, differential carrier Meritor Part #3200-H-1864) without problem. Spicer joints include all new mounting hardware including front straps, bolts ("pre-thread-locked"), plates at $180 for 2.
Now on to attempting to tighten pinion nut a few flats to see if lash among pinion yoke - pinion shaft (splines degraded?) caused by nut coming loose (55 mm, 2.125" socket, ~1000 ft-lbs torque for bearing pre-load). Meritor techs believe pinion yoke (Part #16TYS32-86) to be softer than pinion shaft, so maybe replacement of yoke (only) may be possible.
Thks everybody for help on starting with U-joints. OBTW - water intrusion due to inadequate lubrication the original culprit. However, no evidence of rubber seal failure at any of the eight seals.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:33 AM   #16
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Glad you found and corrected the problem.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:03 PM   #17
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Do you have this issue under heavy load, hard exceloeration as well as light exceloeration?
Just wondering if it might be the torque converter not sure if it should lock up or not?
My jeep acts funny under light throttle at slow speed. Fine if I give a little more juice.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:32 AM   #18
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Low speed drive train shudder

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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
Do you have this issue under heavy load, hard exceloeration as well as light exceloeration?
Just wondering if it might be the torque converter not sure if it should lock up or not?
My jeep acts funny under light throttle at slow speed. Fine if I give a little more juice.
Presence of shudder was not affected by load (w/o 6000 lb trailer or with), or rate of acceleration except - if I first touched throttle a little heavy and "coasted" through 3-4 mph, ever so slight less shudder than if keep foot on throttle.
Since shudder still there with little to no load, doubt a problem with torque converter. Pretty sure converter goes to "lock-up" until about 40 mph - do not know for fact for Allison 3000MH, but thought based on Dodge Cummins 2500 with 5.9 and Chrysler trans. Don't know if Allison uses concept of converter lock-up like other transmissions.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:07 AM   #19
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FYI, the Allison 3000 torque converter locks up at higher RPM's in 2nd gear (feels like a "mini-shift"). It is locked in all higher gears.

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Old 08-30-2015, 10:19 AM   #20
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Must admit that I am complusive, perhaps to a fault [AR] with greasing the drive train on my 03 [160k miles]--do it before every major trip. Being an old farm kid from Wis, I was "taught" to make sure a bit of new grease was always pushed passed the rubber seals on the u-joint when greasing. Based on the discolored grease present in your two pics, I probably would have resigned myself to new joints once I saw that color of grease being displaced??????
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:27 PM   #21
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Unfortunately, grease came out of old joints only at a rubber seal w/o deterioriated post/needle bearings so color not a clue in the beginning.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:00 PM   #22
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Low speed drive train shudder update

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I have the same issue on my Alpine. It's been like this since I purchased the coach new. Like yours it shudders when going 3 to 5 miles per hour. I checked and adjusted the ride height and checked pinion angle It's about 2 1/2 degrees. I have replaced the universal joints, changed fluid in rear differential, and changed fluid and filters in transmission. I had Henderson line up drive it and had a ride along with with an Allison tech. Henderson thought I was to sensitive. The Allison tech said it wasn't the transmission.
I have just been putting up with it the last couple of years.
If you discover anything I would be curious to know what it is.
The good news - new U-joints didn't make the condition worse.
The bad news - new U-joints didn't improve the shudder condition.
Additional good news - probably won't throw a drive shaft due to failed U-joints!
Bottom line - test drive showed exactly same symptoms as described previously. For sure, will lube every 3K miles to prevent any water intrusion. Back to the drawing board for a diagnosis...

In the OBTW column about doing the job:
1) Thread locker used by WRV on rear flange bolts (to parking brake) very effective - reco impact wrench to remove bolts since breakaway torque and running torque much greater than 55 ft-lb tightening torque for Grade 8 3/8-24 (NF) bolts.
2) Make sure all components marked to re-install exactly as removed.
3) For safety, reco a couple of blocks under shaft when dropping - it weighs about 75 pounds, which can be a surprise since only about 18" long.
4) For install, reco fabricating two 1.5" X 3/8-24 steel dowels (cut heads off bolts), with flat screwdriver slots in the cut off end. Install at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions of the parking brake drum to slide the drive-shaft flanged end onto the parking brake drum. Makes for easy installation of flange bolts, and removal of guidepins.
5) Reco having available a large C-clamp (6' or greater) to compress the U-joint cups on the differential end of the shaft for slipping the joint into the pinion yoke - compressing the cups (against grease pressure) permits seating in the yoke inside the ears cast in the yoke.

Any thots on additional things to check for the shudder phenomena greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2015, 01:32 PM   #23
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I got some info from another Alpine owner. He said that he had the same issue and took it to an Allison shop. After checking the trams they said they thought the drive shaft spline at slip joint was loose. They replaced the spline and it corrected the problem.
When my universal joints were replaced I asked them to check the spline. They said it was ok.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:13 PM   #24
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Most of my comments are about what others thought or told me. I may pull the drive shaft and check it my self.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:18 PM   #25
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Low speed drive train shudder (not resolved)

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Originally Posted by JLMunsil View Post
I got some info from another Alpine owner. He said that he had the same issue and took it to an Allison shop. After checking the trams they said they thought the drive shaft spline at slip joint was loose. They replaced the spline and it corrected the problem.
When my universal joints were replaced I asked them to check the spline. They said it was ok.
Thanks for additional idea, but..... When I replaced the U-joints, dis-assembled the shaft, cleaned the grease, inspected splines (negative adverse finding), put the splines together (nearly dry), and checked for playand/or wiggle - none.
So, with the shaft as tight as a drum head, moving on to the Allison. Trying to learn about the "torsional damper" (p. 14 Allision 3000/4000 Operator's Manual) and whether active/passive device that could fail. Starting with fluid sample to see if any transmission degrade - filled by WRV with TranSynd, so supposed to be good for 75K mi, but pail of new fluid and both filters on order to change out after fluid sample.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:28 PM   #26
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I just had my trans serviced due to age. Lube alone was $300. Ouch.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #27
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WOW--over $300 for fluid??????thats over $70 per gal [for 4 gal]...think I'd shop around next time----Curious, how much did you pay for the two filters?...and for labor?
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Old 09-04-2015, 02:00 PM   #28
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Most economical way to buy Transynd is the 5 gallon pail. That should leave you about one quart left over when you change both filters and let it drain as much as it will. Should be under $200 unless the price has gone up in the last couple of months.
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