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Old 08-29-2019, 10:16 AM   #1
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Pedal operated Allison Retarders still available?

Several of the forestry fire engines, on which I was crew not the driver, had Allison transmissions with a pedal operated retarder. That was in the late 1970s. Does anyone know if those are still offered by Allison? The only reason that I ask is that all of the Fire Apparatus Engineers (FAEs) I worked with loved them. Fire engines are driven hard nearly every time they go out the garage door. RVs not so much. Is that a reason to have a pedal operated hydraulic retarder?

Are transmission fluid coolers used on regular transmissions like they were used on the fire engines? The engine on a fire truck has to be used as a stationary pumping engine and that may have had something to do with the use of the transmission cooler. I was a seasonal firefighter so the then California Division of Forestry had no reason to train me on these kind of details.

I would really appreciate help with my education!
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:02 AM   #2
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The Allison transmissions with hydraulic retarder were used in some high end class A motor homes ; Foretravel come to mind but there are probably others .
Cost over a regular trans and extra cooling requirements kept them rare.
When the retarder is in use the fluid heats up in a hurry .

All automatic transmissions have oil coolers , some oil to water , others oil to air , occasionally vehicles will have both .

I have a July 2013 Allison motor home trans brochure , and don't see the same " R " for retarder attached to any of series trans in the paper work ; where the Allison manual that came with my coach ( 99 ) lists the R series . Could be there wasn't enough demand in motor homes for Allison to keep making them.

Could not say if there is an R series still available in Firetrucks or Highway rigs.

EDIT: Found an older brochure July 2010 , for Truck R/V Allison TRV series that lists retarder function . These brochures are too large for me to attach here in the forums . When I have a chance I'll look for some info that's current.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:41 AM   #3
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Allison still makes retarder model transmissions. It's available for most vocations.

In the late 1970s the MT and HT series transmissions had the retarder option also.
The MT was an output retarder. The HT had both input and output retarder options.
Before that, the MT 30/40 and the HT70 had input retarder options.
The OEM determined if the retarder was operated with a foot pedal or a hand lever, or if the retarder was auto applied when off the throttle....just like today except the foot pedal option is not common with the world transmissions that are produced today.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:20 AM   #4
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The only retarders in coaches I have ever seen have a 4" stick on the drivers left hand console that you pull back to engage the retarder. The farther back you pull it the more stopping power applied. I wonder if the OP's thoughts were about a foot peddle activated Jake brake. My coach has a foot peddle and a switch with High and Low settings for stopping. On High it is like dropping anchor...….

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Old 09-04-2019, 05:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djhinds View Post
The only retarders in coaches I have ever seen have a 4" stick on the drivers left hand console that you pull back to engage the retarder. The farther back you pull it the more stopping power applied. I wonder if the OP's thoughts were about a foot peddle activated Jake brake. My coach has a foot peddle and a switch with High and Low settings for stopping. On High it is like dropping anchor...….

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He's referring to trucks he used to be around not coaches. There used to be pedal activated retarders in some of those.
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