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Old 05-13-2019, 09:23 PM   #1
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Tranny Shifting Oddly

Stressful 500 miles behind the wheel today. A little background, drove 500 miles to Florida panhandle 2 weeks ago and the mh ran smooth as silk towing a 2700 lb Honda Fit. Was at the same campsite for 2 weeks. Started the mh a couple times to add some stuff the my new Scangauge 2. Added tranny temp and air/fuel ratio.

Left the campground this morning and noticed right off the bat my Allison 1000 was shifting at approx 300-500 rpms higher. Also noticed the tranny temp was running at ~185 degrees and my fans were kicking on a lot more. I was expecting tranny temps of ~160 degrees based on what I had read. Pulled over after a few miles and couldn't find any obvious problems. After about 20 miles I noticed the trans temp starting to drop, fans quit kicking on so often, and the trans started shifting normally. Trans temp settled in at ~163. After about 70 miles the road was closed by a fallen tree. Turned the mh off for about 15 minutes and when I got going again it started shifting like earlier. Trans temp back to ~185 and fans coming on more frequently. After ~120 miles mh seemed to be losing power. Finally stopped for a bathroom break and when I got back on the road all was good again. Trans temp back to ~163 and got as low as 159 and fans not kicking on much. Everything was smooth as silk for 200 miles and I got home.

I know that was kind of wordy, but wanted to get the scenario across. During this I talked to a guy at W W Williams in Montgomery (Allison dealer). He said the 185 degree temp wasn't a huge concern and thought the tranny would have lit up a warning light if it was the tranny. He thought it sounded more like a low power issue and the trans was having to work harder.

All that said, anybody got any clues as to what is going on? I was so stressed listening for every little sound and trying everything I could to figure it out I about had a stroke. And yes, I will be sleeping on the couch tonight!
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:16 PM   #2
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How many times has the transmission fluid been changed?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:16 AM   #3
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Try it without the ScanGauge plugged in. That's the only change you made.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
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How many times has the transmission fluid been changed?
Thanks for the reply Arch. I switched it to Transynd in 2017 at 12k miles. Drained the old and filled. Drove ~1k miles and drained and filled again. It has ~10k miles on it.

I did check the trans fluid about 100 miles into yesterday's adventure. It was just a little below the range so I added some. It didn't change things.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:31 AM   #5
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Try it without the ScanGauge plugged in. That's the only change you made.
Thanks for the reply twinboat. I did disconnect the scangauge for about 50 miles while it was acting up. Didn't have any positive impact on it so I reconnected it to monitor temps. For what it's worth, the scangauge was attached on the trip down to Florida.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:49 AM   #6
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When the temperature was at its increased temperature, did you notice whether or not it was locked up? It almost sounds like the torque converter was in play more when the temperature was high, which will increase the temperature.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:20 AM   #7
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When the temperature was at its increased temperature, did you notice whether or not it was locked up? It almost sounds like the torque converter was in play more when the temperature was high, which will increase the temperature.
Thanks for the reply vettenuts. I'm not very knowledgeable about torque converters so to answer your question, I don't know. What I can tell you is that when the temp was increased and I was in 5th gear (overdrive) the throttle seemed more responsive than when the temp was lower and running at what I would call normal. When running normally and in override, the mh is somewhat slow to respond. It lugs a little bit when I call for a downshift or on flat roads it accelerates somewhat slowly. This may seem contradictory to my comment about it losing power at times, but that's what it seemed to do. The loss of power was most noticeable on the hills versus flat road.
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Old 05-15-2019, 08:49 AM   #8
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Talked to an actual Allison service tech today. Described what was going on and he suspected the torque converted was not locking up. Vettenuts may be on to something.

So assuming it is the torque converter, are there sensors or something to tell it when to lock up or not? I'm assuming it will be very expensive to fix or replace?
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:49 AM   #9
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Tranny Shifting Oddly

Not sure if there is a switch or a solenoid that controls the lockup, might try investigating that. Based on your description, sounds like the lockup is intermittent. A solenoid is likely in the valve body. Is there an Allison shop nearby?

Interesting video on the connectors, however note he is working on a truck. Might be worth a look though and doesn’t cost anything.

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Old 05-15-2019, 01:07 PM   #10
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Not sure if there is a switch or a solenoid that controls the lockup, might try investigating that. Based on your description, sounds like the lockup is intermittent. A solenoid is likely in the valve body. Is there an Allison shop nearby?
Thanks again vettenuts. My next question was going to be "is there a switch/sensor that controls lockup or is it mechanical.". There is an Allison shop nearby. That's where I talked to an actual tech that works on them, not just a service writer. It's 2 hrs labor ($150 per) and an additional $75 just for the diagnostic. I watched the video and am going to see if I can find the connector now. Will post later what I find.
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:37 PM   #11
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Checked the pins in the 2 connectors going into the tcm. Didn't see any pins that looked out of whack, but the red connector is a little tougher to see through. Access was through the dog house. Not a lot of slack in the cables to work with.
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Old 05-15-2019, 04:54 PM   #12
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I suspect it’s a solenoid in the valve body that controls the lockup. If so, two hours labor seems pretty reasonable but you will need new fluid since the pan is dropped. Might want to also replace the big in-pan filter since it will be out as well.

Hope you get it sorted out, report back what it take to fix.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:37 PM   #13
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Will do vettenuts. It may be a week or 2 before I can get it into a shop. I will definitely report back.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:04 AM   #14
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I suspect it’s a solenoid in the valve body that controls the lockup. If so, two hours labor seems pretty reasonable but you will need new fluid since the pan is dropped. Might want to also replace the big in-pan filter since it will be out as well.

Hope you get it sorted out, report back what it take to fix.
Does the O/D switch on the dash have anything to do with locking up the TC?
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