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Old 08-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Allison transmission

I know this thread will be moved but I wanted to make everyone aware of a problem. Some allison transmissions will not read more than 3 quarts low on the selector. When I had my transmission fluid changed it was improperly filled and left 5 quarts low. Some time later I checked it at the selector and registered 3 quarts low. I added 3 quarts and drove it 500 miles home and checked it, read 2 quarts low. Unaware of this problem I thought I had a major transmission leak somewhere. It was only a sharp Allison service manager at Clark Products in Cincinnati that told about this. He says he doesn't know why some do and some don't or the explanation of what is happening when it does. Thoroughly checked for leaks, none,added 2 more quarts and selector read OL OK. Downside cost me $200 to find this out.Thought I would mention it for what it's worth.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:14 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #3
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I know its after the fact--but guess I would have re-checked the OL indicator again before striking out on a trip. Its a pain but I usually double check the dip-stick to verify the OL indicator--just call me A-R. Interesting, over a gal low, I am surprised that it shifted properly--wow!
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:49 PM   #4
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The problem is not the oil level limits of the Allison selector, but the person who "improperly filled" the transmission at the service.

Being able to check the oil level from the comfort of the driver's seat without crawling under the vehicle, lifting a floor hatch, or extracting a long dipstick is a great feature. It is designed to pick up minor variations in oil level during driving, so has limits. A reading of 3qts low is more than would be expected in normal use. The cause of this low reading would need to be found. The oil level, and oil condition, should be confirmed by checking the dip stick (Oil level sensors can fail). The transmission, cooler, and hoses should be checked for signs of leaks. In your case it appears to have been human error, not mechanical failure.
The transmission would then be topped up with 3qts and rechecked as "Old Scout" said. Keep doing this until the display shows "oK". Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I would suggest that you recheck the oil level with the dipstick to confirm the accuracy of the selector.

Has there been any change in shift quality since the oil was replaced?
The ECU is a learning system, so the transmission clutch application rates may have been slightly compromised by having low oil level. Also the new oil may flow differently to the old oil. I would suggest that you take it to your Allison shop(Clark Products?) and get them to Reset Fast Adaptive. They may have already done this. Only takes a minute to do this with their laptop. This will allow the ECU to have a good look at all shifts and make any adjustments necessary.
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