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Old 07-27-2021, 02:26 PM   #1
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2003 Workhorse 8.1 with Allison

We just returned from a short Vacation in our 2003 Winnebago adventurer 38G with 8.1 workhorse and Allison transmission. 120 mile trip one way and everything ran fine on the trip down stayed for three days and came home today to Transmission problems from the moment I started the rig. Hard shifts and slipping having to let up on gas to feather it into gear. One one point was stuck in 3 or OD never down shifted had to pull over and turn engine off and back on when this happened I attempted to down shift manually and transmission did not respond stayed in top gear. Engine off started again and started in 1st. Got to turnpike and got into OD and kept her throttled up and momentum for 100 miles until we exited turnpike. She down shifted real hard and was stuck in first gear now. Luckily we were only 2 miles
From house so drive 10mph at 2000 rpm those two miles home. Checked fluid and its perfect and does not smell burn. Seems very sensor or TCM or electric signal related. Any help or where to start would be great
Thanks
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:39 PM   #2
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Welcome to IRV2.. when was last time you had trans oil changed or you did it yourself. An filter too .? Or if you got rv.. did you get any maintenance records.. ?sounds like your auto part brake is dragging.. there is a large brake drum on back of trans.. use all safety precautions.. climb under and look at drum.. look for signs of heating.. get back to us with info and this will next members with recommendations.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:47 PM   #3
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Okay we just got RV two months ago drove it 4 hours home no issues I have no idea on fluid change record but I’m a car guy and check and changed all fluids I thought needed it. This fluid is almost clear and smells clean never seen a transmission fluid like this but asked a buddy and he said it’s a high end fluid and the leave it. As for park brake o will have to look o do remember seeing something like that under there when I did my crawl around under chassis. I’ve had transmissions go out before and this just seems like a shifting signal issue. Had a 94 chevy truck that had Simler issues and was shifting selnoids just inside the pan that fixed it. I have bo idea on these Allison first one I’ve ever owned
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:02 PM   #4
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No signs of heat of the drum I can reach in there and the shoes look like new and are free as in they have about 1/6- 1/8 gap between shoe and ID of drum. I have attached the data tag off the transmission
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:20 PM   #5
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Some of us have had shift cables that were routed too close to the exhaust, resulting in the melting of the inner sleeve and binding the cable up. Take a look at that.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:57 PM   #6
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So if you think a/p is ok.. when is last time switches and relay changed on auto park , a/p? Did you inspect the a/p system have you checked a/p oil.? And changed that? .. you have to take cover off if it's under pass side of coach.. some yrs it's moved under hood.. as a car guy you know that Chevy used same eng and trans in their pickups .. so hit big box auto parts store and grab a book for trucks Chevy c2500 same yr and same eng and trans.. that will really get you started... but as a car guy.. you know the cheapest thing first.. oil and filter.. some members here.. talk about grounds.. they get very corroded over time and need cleaning.. then there is the harnesses.. they to get very corroded over time and need cleaning.. that is the cheapest.. if you are going to change sensors and servos then you are going to change oil and filter.. I admit I don't own one.. what I read they are bullet proof.. but need good maintenance.. now I am a car guy.. but work on everything.. I have seen first hand.. and I bet you to.. people putting wrong fluids in wrong places.. I have seen.. coolant in brake fluid.. brake fluid in trans oil.. and of course the wrong fluids used.. so just saying..... hold on there will be more opinions.. also there is a complete separate section on Allison trans.. try that.. post there a see if you get better feed back.. a lot of members hang out in the Allison trans section.. keep us posted.. and good luck.. oh.. question.. does rv have trailer hitch on it? Does it look like used? Maybe hard? That will help you get more opinions..
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:22 PM   #7
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UPDATE
I removed all three batteries and cleaned all connections , then found ground block welded to frame and it was a rusty mess rushed and sanded all connections and reattached everything. Started rig up and she drives like new zero issues and I drove it for about 20 minutes both mile to mile back roads and also opened her up and turned on OD and shifts so smooth you can hardly notice it. Hope this info helps someone else on down the road .
Thanks to everyone for the discussion, comments and advise

Take care
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donr103 View Post
Welcome to IRV2.. sounds like your auto part brake is dragging.. there is a large brake drum on back of trans.. use all safety precautions.. climb under and look at drum.. look for signs of heating...
donr: Just so you'll know, not all Workhorse chassis have the "auto park brake".

NONE of the W-22 series chassis have one, and all of them have the Allison 1000 series tranny. The 2004-2005 model year W-24 series also have Allison and an AAPB, but the newer ones don't have the AAPB.

None of the P32 chassis have an Allison tranny, but "many" of them do have the J71 AAPB system to which you alluded, depending on GVWR.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Camcues View Post
UPDATE
I removed all three batteries and cleaned all connections , then found ground block welded to frame and it was a rusty mess rushed and sanded all connections and reattached everything. Started rig up and she drives like new zero issues and I drove it for about 20 minutes both mile to mile back roads and also opened her up and turned on OD and shifts so smooth you can hardly notice it. Hope this info helps someone else on down the road .
Thanks to everyone for the discussion, comments and advise

Take care
Great that you found your problem. As a further PM job, I would pull the connector at the transmission and clean and replace with some dielctric grease.

If you get corrosion in there, you can end up with lots of strange things happening.
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Old 09-03-2021, 05:40 AM   #10
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I would be suspect of any Allison with clear fluid, should be Transynd and red. Just my 2 cents
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