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Old 12-02-2020, 04:30 PM   #1
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Help With Understanding Fluid Analysis

Hi folks,

First time DP coach purchaser here, in the home stretch of making a deal on a 2005 Newmar Dutch Star M4023, which rides on a Spartan chassis with a 370 h.p. ISL and Allison 3000 Trans.

Just completed a pre-purchase inspection by a NRVIA certified tech. I had 5 different fluid draws, sent to JG Lubricant Services for analysis. Trans fluid is thought to be 24 months in service with 10,000 miles.

I can post my trans fluid report later, but I'd like to pose a question about some specifics now. Most wear metal registered zero or a one digit number, but lead came back at 24 ppm, which is a "flag" in their system. But if I understand correctly, still falls in the normal range. Iron was at 73 ppm, but is in their low normal range and not a flag.

Also, in the "Fluid Properties" section, these flags were thrown:
1) Base No. D4739 mg KOH/g: 0.49 (2 on their 0-4 scale where 0 and 1 are normal, 2 to 3 = abnormal, 4=critical
2) Oxidation abs/cm: 55 (a 4/critical)
I'm hoping the fluid properties numbers will resolve with a change of fluid. Gen + main engine oils and coolants will be changed ASAP, along with trans fluid of course.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on the health of this transmission given these lab numbers. So far, the engine and gen oils look stellar. Still waiting on 2 coolant results.

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:43 PM   #2
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The first oil analysis I had done was through Cat for my diesel truck and it was very uninformative. I have since switched to Blackstone Labs and not only is the report more readable I can actually call them and talk to the lab guy that ran my test and ask questions, if needed. I highly recommend Blackstone.
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Old 12-02-2020, 04:54 PM   #3
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Zip...
I would query Tom at technical@jglubricatiobservices.com
Tom worked on Allison trans fluid spec and should be able to answer your question.
He may check in here but will respond quickly to tech questions.
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:09 PM   #4
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Your Total Base Number is just a measure of potassium hydroxide per gram in solution - an acid/base measurement. No measure of machinery wear, just a measure of fluid life remaining.

Oxidation absorbance measures remaining life of certain fluid additives.

Both of those are just markers of remaining trans fluid life. Neither indicates specific wear issues.

The lead seems . . . off. No idea, really. Usually comes from worn solid bearing material, or from gear marking compound used in reassembly of gears. I'm not familiar enough with specifics of transmission fluid testing to guess where it might be coming from. More familiar with straight gearboxes. I'd ask your tester.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winemaker2 View Post
Zip...
I would query Tom at technical@jglubricatiobservices.com
Tom worked on Allison trans fluid spec and should be able to answer your question.
He may check in here but will respond quickly to tech questions.
Winemaker, thanks for the steer to Tony at JG . I tried the email, but it bounced back as an invalid address. I did a copy and paste from your post, but I later noticed a "b" where I'd assume a "n" belongs. After making that correction, a second send attempt resulted in another fail. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-03-2020, 02:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippinbye View Post
Winemaker, thanks for the steer to Tony at JG . I tried the email, but it bounced back as an invalid address. I did a copy and paste from your post, but I later noticed a "b" where I'd assume a "n" belongs. After making that correction, a second send attempt resulted in another fail. Any suggestions?
Sorry about that. I thought I got it from a recent email
This is right from their website.

technical@jglubricantservices.com

Note Owners name is Tom and he may answer questions direct. I've contacted him a few times.
Their website has several technical articles that might be worth scanning before contacting him.
Good luck and be sure to report back w findings.., it may be of interest.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:33 PM   #7
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Tried to edit but too late.
This may be of interest. I just scanned but looked like it had some useful info but not much on specific elements, levels, etc.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...Oi-J4JP9-G3nKb

I have an Allison 3000 and live it. 2nd Allison and generally they are well regarded and "bullet proof"
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippinbye View Post
Winemaker, thanks for the steer to Tony at JG . I tried the email, but it bounced back as an invalid address. I did a copy and paste from your post, but I later noticed a "b" where I'd assume a "n" belongs. After making that correction, a second send attempt resulted in another fail. Any suggestions?
Call JG Lube. You can talk to Tom or one of the techs, they are very helpful. I send a sample every year.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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I know on marine diesels, the first analysis is not very informative unless some values are way off. The Cat people that do the analysis told me the first test is basically a baseline whether used or new. They need to see a trend to give accurate predictions. They are very good at identifying what components are suspect with this method.
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