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Old 02-01-2013, 11:13 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 54
4 speed vs. 6 speed

Howdy All,
We're shopping for a "new to us" diesel pusher, and for a number of reasons, have narrowed things down to an early nineties Monaco Crown Royale, Signature, or (slightly later) Executive. There seems to be some variation in which transmission was used in these coaches. I've seen 4 speed, 4 speed with dual speed rear end, 5 speed, and 6 speed (all Allison of course, though it seem sometimes different models) used with both 8.3 and 10 liter Cummins engines.
I'm hoping that someone out there has had experience with the various ones and can tell me which they preferred, and which gave better fuel economy.
Also, if there was a specific date, when did they switch from 4 to 6? Were different rear end ratios offered with the same trannys?
Any and all information is greatly appreciated!

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Old 02-01-2013, 02:38 PM   #2
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wa8yxm's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 24,023
Basically it works like this,, Every engine made has a "Sweet spot" where you get the best comprimise between performance and MPG, This sweet spot is between X and Y RPM (X and y vary from make and model to make and model, also vary with adjustments and such, and for this discussion you do NOT need to know what they are)

The more speeds you have, the better the transmission system is able to keep the engine in the "Sweet Spot", and thus improve your MPG without sacraficing performance.

NOTE speeds is transmission TIMES gear splitters TIMES rear end so a 5 speed trans with a 2 speed rear end is 10 speeds.

My bicycle has a 3 speed crank with a 6 speed rear end so it's 18 speed. (I know, not a motor vehicle but hey, Serves to illistrate)

Home is where I park it!
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Roseville MN sum / La Feria Tx winter
Posts: 790
My 03 dynasty is an ISL 400 with Allison 3000 six speed good combo it is before all the polution junk that cost a lot of fuel mileage. It really is what floor plan can your sig other love to spend time in. My dynasty has every option that they put in the Executive top of the line and we love it. I have changed all lights to led put in samsung refer .

My partner has Foretravel with the 4000 six speed and that is top of line but a lot more bucks.
good luck
Sheri & Don 2003 Dynasty 42" regal ISL 400
2007 Goldwing Trike Gmc 4X4 w/ autoloader for trike
Lets go we got it all loaded.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: On the road
Posts: 1,697
The two speed rear and five gives the most options, it also has more stuff to go wrong, and probably will get a lot of head $cratching if you need $ervice. For all around and easiest driving try to find the six speed. It is pretty much the top of the heap in 90's coaches.

Enjoy the hunt...always fun.
Happy Trails,
06 Dynasty Countess III ISL//3060
07 Hummer H3
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #5
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Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 19,924
Look on Allison web site to find out about various transmissions.

Allison Transmission

The Allison AT542 is a 4 speed found in a lot of '90s DP. It is a good, strong trans. but it doesn't leave much room for increasing HP and torque. It also doesn't have a lock up torque converter, so you can't have engine braking. Just a few things to consider when shopping for a DP.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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