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Old 05-22-2017, 10:22 AM   #1
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Transmission Mode Switch ?

The previous owner of my coach had no idea so I'm asking. What is the purpose of the mode switch on the transmission selector panel? It has no labeling or anything on it and my manuals make no mention of it that I can find. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:26 AM   #2
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It is for better economy as it changes the shift points
for lower RPM's. On hills, and when merging onto
interstates, you should not have it on, as it slows
your ability to accelerate quickly.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:37 AM   #3
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It may help on mpg's when your in stop and and go traffic. Watching my silver leaf on my 400 ISL with it on or off there is not much difference.
I always leave mine off.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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Thanks all. I had played with it some and didn't really notice any difference. Now that I know I will pay closer attention.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:55 AM   #5
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I was told when we bought our coach in 2003 with 400 ISL that the switch would change the shifting profile of the Allison for better mileage on long flat drives, but honestly don't ever use it. 87K so far and lots more to go. Safe travels.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:56 AM   #6
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Unless the default mode has been re-programmed , the trans controller will be in power mode ( indicator light off ) at each engine start up.
Power mode , requires higher RPM for up shifts , and down shifts sooner; to help keep engine in it's power band. I'll use power mode on some hills , but most times I'll shift manually to avoid some up shifting when the hill flattens out then gets steeper after a short distance.
Economy mode. ( light on) smoother , lower RPM up shifts & when using cruise control on rolling hills , will hold the higher gear longer to avoid " hunting " between gears.
JMHO: This is a personal observation ; and because my current coach is the only diesel pusher I've driven any distance ; I feel that my coach will actually get up to highway speeds ( freeway on ramp ) quicker in economy mode , than in power mode. Individual results may vary .
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
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Mode light on (red led) = economy mode on; When you start your engine, default is off (red led off); one has to hit the mode button once underway to activate economy mode. This is my understanding, 2005 Allison 4000.
I'm interested to hear negatives about economy mode. I use it on the flats, if we are in any hilly terrain, I turn it off. Still new to this, so I haven't really looked at any numbers on my Aladdin.
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macandphyl View Post
It is for better economy as it changes the shift points for lower RPM's. On hills, and when merging onto interstates, you should not have it on, as it slows your ability to accelerate quickly.
Maybe and maybe not, with my rig I really don't notice much difference but then I have 1950 lbs ft of torque from 1100 to 1700 rpm and 60 mph is 1350 rpm so I'm right in the middle of the torque curve.
It did make a difference with the last rig and it's ISC 350 with Banks kit.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:25 PM   #9
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On our 04 Allure 40' with Tag, an 03 CAPS era ISL370(ECM changed to ISL400 Spec) - I start our days travel with it off. (Which as mentioned is the default.) If traveling in heavy city traffic, it remains off. If in a region with many hills, it remains off, and I still manually control the transmission based upon what I see ahead of the windshield!

But, when in a region of no hills/mountains. But rolling up/down, say Kansas, Nebraska, parts of the Southwest - I'll engage Economy mode. I found in rolling low hills of say Kansas. That the Economy mode does really make a difference. W

But in regions with moderate hills, low mountains - I find that I do downshift in advance of any moderate grades.

Now, I suspect a coach that has a better Power to Weight Ratio then I do. Could find the Economy mode to really make a difference. Say an ISM, or BIG CAT, or Detroit - they have much more torque and HP then my ISL - so they can really handle the 'lower upshift points' and 'higher downshift points'. (Think I have that right. Upshifts at lower speeds/rpm's. And waits longer to 'downshifts'...).

In the overall usage of our coach, in the regions we travel out West - doubt it makes much of a difference of for us!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:30 PM   #10
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I noticed in my older Windsor, with the manual 8.3 Cummins, the Mode on, works best for me, as it holds the transmission in 6th gear longer, and it shifts up thru the gears faster too! My power to weight ratio is good, with no slide's, so, I think, it is going to depend on your coach. And also, when driving in the east coast mountains, i could hold 6th gear longer, which made all the difference getting up to the top with out it downshifting at the wrong time, ( just before the top ) (I would just roll out of the throttle a little bit) I also shift it manually when needed, when the hills get to steep for 6th, and dropping down grades.
I am a old retired trucker, and like keeping the motor in its optimum operating range, and the "Mode on" it does a really good job for me! With the mode off, mine would hold it in 4th, and 5th longer than it needed too, which was wasting fuel! My motor is not electronic, and the motor is the same HP and torque, Mode on or off, and all it does is change the shift points! Now i'm not sure, with the electronic motors, if selecting the Mode, if it changes your power or not? Something you will have to ask as how your ECM is programmed!
But with that said, you will have to drive yours, and see which way works the best for you! Rail!
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:00 PM   #11
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guardrail53 - Great point about how a coaches power to weight ratio could change how the Economy Mode is perceived by an owner.

Thanks!
Smitty
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Old 05-24-2017, 04:07 PM   #12
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Mine is on 99.5% of the time - the exception might be a very heavy grade, but that's it... it provides shorter shifting to keep you in lower RPM ranges, typically for better fuel mileage... similar to 'overdrive' on cars/trucks.

I will also comment that having the coach in 'Mode' has no bearing on my ability to 'speed up' when needed - the transmission will shift appropriately in those situations regardless.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:17 PM   #13
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The function of the mode switch has been explained above. An interesting issue is that on the Prevost, the mode switch is reversed-- the default is economy mode--you hit the button to go to performance mode. I use it for climbing hills--the transmission downshifts sooner.
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