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Old 05-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
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Fluid and Filter Service

I realize this post will raise questions from people that have paid too much for an Allison transmission fluid and filter service. I was nearly one of those people.

I bought my Alpine Coach in January, 2014. I've been going through the normal maintenance items to be sure things are up to snuff. I bought it from a dealer and I don't trust their claims on the maintenance.

We full-time and are currently in Grand Junction, Colorado. I saw a shop nearby called Cummins Rocky Mountain. I went there to purchase air and fuel filters for my Onan generator. While I was there I inquired about having my Allison 3000 MH serviced.

They told me a fluid change and new filters runs $499, it would be $599 if I wanted synthetic ATF. I asked if the fluid was TranSynd. They told me they use Valvoline SynGard, because the Castrol TranSynd was too expensive. I told them I needed to think it over before setting an appointment.

Back at the Junction West RV park, I told my wife about the tranmission service. She said I should walk across the street and inquire at the shop there. She said she saw trucks and motorhomes rolling in and out of there all day.

I took her advice. I walked over to Diesel Services, Inc (DSI) on the corner of H and 22 Road. I talked to the drive-in service manager, Dave.

He told me they use Allison high capacity filters and Allison - Castrol TranSynd fluid. He said the service on my motorhome with a 3000 MH and ISL engine would cost about $300!

I was obviously stunned by this estimate. He said "Look, it isn't rocket science. Four gallons of TranSynd at $42/gallon, Allison filter set @ $40, and an hour of shop time."

I let you know how it works on in Tuesday, because I said sign me up!
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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Good info we like to keep money in our pocket
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Old 05-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #3
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I had the service performed this morning at DSI in Grand Junction, Colorado. It ended taking longer than David told me it would take, but I don't mind. The mechanic, Andrew, took his time and was very thorough. He didn't mind me watching and talking to him. I didn't want to rush the job.

Instead of an hour and half, it was closer to two and half hours. The Allison high capacity filter kit was $51, a little higher than David originally expected. The kit included two filters, gaskets for the filter plates and all new O-rings.

The refill took about 18 quarts (4.5 gallons) of TranSynd. Bottom line, instead of the $300 David told me to expect, we were at $338 with tax out the door. I'm very satisfied.

Andrew told me, in his opinion, the previous fill was TranSynd. He based his opinion on the color and feel of the fluid. The old filters looked good, no visible debris. Now that I have a baseline to work from, I"ll do annual analysis to monitor contaminates.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:22 PM   #4
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Way to go Koop,
Now that's all down to earth service. I used to do the Allison trans services all the time as a military contract MRAP tech. The cost of services performed by some of these shops I would call criminal. I do my own since I have the means, but I hate it for those who can't.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:42 AM   #5
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Hi Koop, Glad you were able to get the Job done.
I just did the same job on my 2001 Dynasty. I bought the Mobil Delvac Synthetic Fluid TES at Amazon cost me $221.61 for 5 gallons and $45. for the Allison 3 filter kit total $266.. I did the fluid change myself 19 qts. I wish I was able to get the change done for $338 total. I still have to dispose of the old fluid. I would have paid $338. in a heartbeat. OH WELL! Joys of living in NY.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:40 PM   #6
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If you have a friend who has a diesel engine with the mechanical fuel pump in any of his or her vehicles you can recycle the used transmission oil by using it as fuel mixed with the diesel. As long as you have no contaminates like dirt from your drain pan, or visible particles from a burned trans mixed in it, you can use it directly from the drained transmission. The mixture rate is not that critical, and it's accually good for your injector system as it helps to add in lubricant the new fuels no longer have. I would not however, us it in a system that has the new EPA standards and exhaust system that requires DEF. The reason is the exhaust system my be damaged, not your engine or injection system. It still can be used in certain mixture ratios, but I have no info on what that ratio may be. This has been a long standing industry standard for dealing with waste oil for decades, and with the new use of bio diesel fuel has sort of taken a back step due to EPA fuel standards for on high way diesel engines. Normally, the oil would have been double filtered before used as fuel. You transmission filters are of the same or similar to the double filtering specs. I'm sure some one will chime in and add the legal issues in to this note, and that is worth considering. But I'm just submitting this info to the group as a whole just to bring these facts to light. Just a general fact for thought, In one of my past employment endeavors, we used the trans oil drained from our MRAP's to help fight the non-lubrication issue we have with the new fuel our military is using JP8. We found a marked difference in injector life and down time due to injector failure improving our readiness rate, and improved performance of the equipment. Take note, these vehicles don't use the DEF dependent exhaust system we use on our MH, or road trucks. So hence my comment pertaining using caution if considering using the waste trans fluid with this system. Cutting this short now and hope this info helps.
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