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Old 12-08-2017, 06:48 AM   #1
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Transmission Slipping

A little history. I just had my Generac 5500 on-board generator rebuilt. Leaking oil and the belts just destroyed themselves. I have owned this unit for almost 2 years. Its a 1999 36ft Dolphin (with a Tag Axle) and have driven from North Florida to the Florida Keys just 4 months ago pulling a Jeep Wrangler (small 2-door) with no problems.
Also pulled this jeep to Memphis, Tn last spring with no problems.
I go to pick it up after the generator was re-built and the transmission was slipping pretty badly. I had to drive this unit 50 miles and the first 25 miles was bumper-to-bumper. Last 25 was normal.
Question I have: I know the people who worked on the generator did not drive it anywhere or actually moved it. (No proof)
Why would the transmission start slipping so badly after sitting level for 3 weeks?
I'm thinking the fluid level may be low enough (I haven't had a chance to check it - cold and rainy) to make it slip?
Then when I got it home and parked it, before I shut it down, the RPMs were revving higher than 2000 rpms.
Will low fluid also make the engine's RPMs run higher?

Thanks for any and all answers.
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Old 12-08-2017, 06:55 AM   #2
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Check that oil level.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:01 AM   #3
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Possibly the transmission was leaking a little and the fluid just got low enough now to become noticeable. it could just be coincidental that you noticed it now.

Or it could be that guys working on generator knocked a line (transmission cooler line) loose while working and caused transmission fluid level to drop. If that was the case, they should have noticed the leak on the shop floor and addressed it. Possibly the shift linkage at the transmission was bumped and it's not shifting fully into gear. Of course, first check is the fluid level.

Low transmission fluid (slipping transmission) will not cause idle speed to change.

Is the generator located near the engine on your motorhome? If yes, then their working on the generator may have bumped/broken something else on the engine (i.e. throttle cable/actuator, knocked to coolant temp sensor wire off, etc.).

If the genny is on the other end of the MH, then it is unlikely the mechanics did anything to cause the problem. It's just coincidental.
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:21 AM   #4
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There is a TSB issued for 1998 - 2001 F53s that relates to weird transmission shifting. Bad electrical grounds can cause the vehicle speed sensor to send noisy signal to the PCM. and confuses the transmission..

Before panicking about the transmission, I'd do two things..

1) Do the TSB. You can review the TSB and how I did mine on my web site.

F53 Transmission shifting weird in 1st and 2nd gear – 1999 Southwind 35S

2) Flush the transmission, install fresh Valvoline Synthetic. I used about 4 gallons with this "Flush-Fill" method..

Mirada – Ford F53 Transmission flush – 2001 Coachmen Mirada 300QB

..
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Old 12-08-2017, 07:57 AM   #5
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What Waiter21 said!!!!

NEVER assume anything until you VERIFY, VERIFY, VERIFY. Know exactly what you are dealing with before jumping to conclusions.

Obviously the first thing is the transmission fluid level. Then while checking that smell the fluid. If it was slipping as you said and not some thing else the fluid will smell awful. It will be an obvious burnt smell and the color will most likely be instead of pink somewhat brown or even closer to black depending on IF it was slipping and how much and how long the slippage was present.

I worked on one years ago and from the time it rebuilt the fluid turned BLACK within 30 miles. Internal holes in the case caused the leaks. Come to find out later that we were the third shop that rebuild the tranny. The only fix for that problem was to change the case.

Servicing the genny has nothing to do with the engines automatic transmission. They are not connected mechanically. Unless an errant elbow or slipped wrench caused something to happen. If it did I'd think fluid would pour out and they'd never send it out with that mistake. Yes I realize anything is possible but highly unlikely.

If the fluid is burnt from slippage rebuild is the only fix.

The TSB Waiter 21 mentioned would be my next item. I'm not familiar with that TSB and he is. I'd trust him as well.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:42 AM   #6
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Transmission Slipping

Thanks everyone. I will check fluid first. Check smell and look of the fluid.

2) I'll check for any obvious signs of leaks

3) call a transmission shop

If this doesn't work, I'll go on vacation!!!!!

Thank you all.
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Old 12-17-2017, 11:15 AM   #7
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Transmission slipping

Ok. So I just drove the rv for e first time since I noticed the transmission slipping. When it was cold it was changing gears as normal. When it warmed it started slipping again.
Fluid is ok and it is still red and smells ok. Not low on fluid.
Don't know what to do. Drain and fill?
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:08 PM   #8
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You said that you would check the fluid smell and fill level. I'll assume that it is OK but it is still slipping.

Unfortunately just changing the fluid is not a fix for a slipping transmission. If the TSB that Waiter21 mentioned had not been performed that's next and I'd get it to a transmission shop that you can trust.

We know it's a 1999 but how many miles on the (transmission) drive train????
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #9
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Sounds like it’s time for a service and pressure test. I’m thinking from my own experience, you have over heated this transmission in the past unknowingly, and now some of the seals are no longer hold pressure at operating temperature.

Bad news is only a rebuild will resolve this issue. Adding an extra or a higher capacity trans cooler is a must when doing a lot of towing.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:18 PM   #10
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R u equipped y doing a drain and replace fluid?
Never done it before.
Any places around pensacola?
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:29 PM   #11
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Has the transmission fluid and filter ever been changed in the past 17 years?
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:28 AM   #12
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When you say it is slipping could you describe the slipping event in more detail. The reason I ask is because my 1999 shifted slowly to the point I felt the trans was going to eat itself. It took about two seconds to change gears and I know that this was going to burn the clutch packs.
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:34 PM   #13
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Trans Slipping

The unit has 39,000 miles. It was operating fine. I just came back from around trip of about 900 miles pulling Jeep Wrangler. No problems.
I took it to have the GenSet rebuilt and it sat there for 3 weeks.
As soon as I started to drive off, it started slipping.
It has a hard time going back into first gear. Second to Third and third to fourth gears hits pretty hard.
I don't know if the trans has had any flush or any other thing to it done.
I have had this unit for almost 2 years and never a grunt from the trans.
This is all new to this unit as far as I can tell.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:26 PM   #14
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You shouldn't try to second guess these things. No it shouldn't have happened the way it did but according to you the driver you know how things are acting and now it's not the same as when you drove it in to have the genny serviced. Something is not right.

The one has nothing to do with the other and it just may be a coincidence it happened that way. I'm not sure about this but I do believe that transmission is set up for the shifting to be controlled by the computer. That means there may be some wires somewhere that could have been accidentally disconnected and then either not plugged in at all or incorrectly.

You have to get it to a transmission shop and have them check it.
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