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Retired Allison Transmission Fluids Engineer


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24 replies to this topic

#1 hzjcm8

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:05 AM

Hi Folks,

My name is Tom Johnson. I was the former Transmission Fluids Engineer at Allison Transmission from 1990-2009 when I retired. Now, I'm here to help with any questions you might have about Allison transmission fluid recommendations, TranSynd, filtration, DEXRON-III, DEXRON-VI, engine oils, oil analysis, etc.

Let me know if you need my help.
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Thomas L. Johnson
Retired Transmission Fluids Engineer (Allison Transmission)
President/Owner at JG Lubricant Services, LLC
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#2 rrlowther

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:09 AM

Welcome to FMCA Thomas! I'm sure you've been inundated with questions. And not wanting to be left out, I have one too!

We purchased a 2000 Safari Zanzibar DP 40'. It currently has 39K miles on it. We did not get any maintenance records on the coach so we are trying to make sure we've got all the maintenance caught up.

What I need to know (I've been doing some research on the net, and have read the paperwork that came with the coach when it was new. I am unable to find exactly what fluid I need to us. Moreover, I haven't been able to find out how often I need to have the transmission serviced. We've had the coach since mid April and it's pretty much been in the shop for repairs since.

We just got the coach back on Wednesday and are preparing for a trip from Denver, CO to Las Vegas for a convention week after next.

Can you tell me what type of transmission fluid I need to use and how often I should have the transmission serviced?

Any information would be really appreciated!
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#3 hzjcm8

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 11:47 AM

rrlowther,
Based on the description, I'm guessing you have the Allison 3000MH Series transmission in your coach. My advise is to get an oil analysis done first on the transmission fluid. I can do it for you if you'll send me a private message since I can't advertise on the forum. If the fluid shows bad, I'll advise you on what to do next. If a fluid change is necessary, then you should switch to TranSynd (or one of the other TES-295 approved fluids) and change the filters to the new Allison "High Capacity" filters. Then, you'll be good for 300,000 miles before another transmission fluid change is needed unless it gets contaminated. It's pretty much "fill for life". I know that sounds astounding, but it's true. I developed that fluid and specification over many years and tested it in city transit buses and garbage trucks. It's "bullet proof".

After you switch to TranSynd (or a TES-295 approved fluid), you'll only need to change the High Capacity filters every 75,000 miles. Sample the transmission once a year to make sure it remains uncontaminated (cooler leak, dirt, water, etc.).

Hope this helps !!!
  • 0
Thomas L. Johnson
Retired Transmission Fluids Engineer (Allison Transmission)
President/Owner at JG Lubricant Services, LLC
Email me

#4 waynepeek

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:37 PM

Hi Tom
I have a 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor with 3000MH Allison Transmission. The dip stick on my transmission came loose from the cap and has disappeared down the tube and I can't retrieve it. 1: will this damage the transmission and 2: How can I get it out ?

The second thing I would like to ask is will your analysis tell me if I have TranSynd fluid?
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#5 wolfe10

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:01 PM

Wayne,

I can address the first question. Buy from any Allison dealer the o-ring(s) that seals the dip stick tube to the transmission. Clean that area of the transmission very well so no dirt will fall into the transmission when the dip stick tube is removed.

When I resealed the dipstick tube on my Allison, I noticed that the fluid level is quite a bit higher with the engine off-- high enough that fluid ran out the dip stick tube hole when I removed it from the transmission. So, I started the engine, transmission in neutral-- fluid level lower.

Gently remove the dip stick tube (only one bolt secures it). Push the dip stick up the tube and retrieve it (or have your assistant do it-- many will volunteer to do that part in exchange for an adult beverage). Slip on the new O ring(s) and reinstall.

As always when working under a coach, be sure you have safety stands in place before going under the coach. Driving the rear wheels up on leveling blocks gives more working room.

Brett
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#6 waynepeek

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 03:17 PM

Thanks Brett. That seems easy enough.
Wayne
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#7 hzjcm8

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 04:25 PM

Hi Tom
I have a 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor with 3000MH Allison Transmission. The dip stick on my transmission came loose from the cap and has disappeared down the tube and I can't retrieve it. 1: will this damage the transmission and 2: How can I get it out ?

The second thing I would like to ask is will your analysis tell me if I have TranSynd fluid?


Wayne,

Sorry but I had overlooked your question. Again, I apologize for that. The standard analysis can't tell the difference between TranSynd and standard DEXRON-III. Viscosity change is an indicator but we'd need to use some IR scans to look at specific wavelengths. It would cost more but we might be able to tell. You can call me to discuss if you'd like at 317-430-3029.
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Thomas L. Johnson
Retired Transmission Fluids Engineer (Allison Transmission)
President/Owner at JG Lubricant Services, LLC
Email me

#8 gdroke

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:36 AM

When I changed the spin-on filter on my 2008 Workhorse with Allison tranmission at 6000 miles, I went to a Workhorse recommended Chevy dealer for the fluid and filter. They did not have Transynd, but had the BP variant and said that is what they used in all Allison transmissions. I changed the filter and topped off the fluid (small amount lost in filter change) with the BP variant. Is that okay? Is the variant as good? Is there a problem mixing in this small amount with the original Transynd? This motorhome was too expensive to take any chances with, so I will gladly flush it if I need to.

Thanks in advance for the response.
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#9 hzjcm8

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:59 PM

Sorry Gdroke,

I think I missed this question. If it was the BP Autran 295 fluid then it's OK and fully mixable at any ratio.
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Thomas L. Johnson
Retired Transmission Fluids Engineer (Allison Transmission)
President/Owner at JG Lubricant Services, LLC
Email me

#10 BillO

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 02:04 PM

Hi Tom,

I posted this question in the Class A part of the forum, but you may not be monitoring that anymore so I'll repeat here.

Edited to delete as I noticed that you answered the question in the Class A Motorhome area.

Thanks,

Bill
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#11 RM1953

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

Hi Tom,
I have 2005 Holiday Rambler Imperial with a Cummins 400 ISL and a 3000MH Allison. It has an electronic fluid level check feature. There is a dipstick tube with a cap on it but no dipstck. Would it be possible to put a dipstick so that I have the option of either method of fluid level checking?
Thank you
RM1953
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#12 wolfe10

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Tom may have a different answer, but the electronic fluid level check is MORE ACCURATE than a dipstick. This would be particularly true until you calibrated a new dipstick.

Brett
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#13 tmmar

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

Hi Tom,
I have a 2008 motorhome with an Allison 2500 transmission filled with Transynd. I usually change the external filter every other year (I put on about 5000 mi/year) and top off with Transynd. How long is the Transynd fluid good for before I need to completely drain the fluid and is changing the filter every othe year sufficient?
Thanks,
Tom
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#14 310Diesel

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

Tom, I was wondering if you could tell me what the fluid capacity is on a 3000MH (shallow sump)
I am going to do a complete service on one in my shop, and (due to the price of Transynd) I only want to buy what I will need.

Thanks,
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#15 wolfe10

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:19 PM

Drain and refill capacity (inc filters changed) is approximately 19 qts. Allison sells a 20 gallon pail-- most economic way to buy it.

Brett
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#16 Serrano

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:39 PM

Tom:
I have a Class A motorhome with an Allison Transmission Series 1000/2000 with Park position, S/N 6310990949. Year 2011
I noticed the other day that fluid was leaking from the connection of one of the lines at the bottom of the radiator. I tightened the nut and stopped the leak.
I checked the level of the fluid and it was low. As I was on the road and the only available fluid was" Mobil ATF D/M Allison approved TES 389" I proceeded to refill. It took 2 pints to get to the operating level.

Question: Is that fluid OK? Should I change the fluid with the recommended one? Any problems with what I did?

Thanks for your help

Serrano
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#17 ranchmink

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:01 PM

Hello
I have a 97 Safari with a MD 3060 transmission. Have had some overheating of the radiator and transmission got over 220 degrees at the same time. I asssume if I can keep heat out of the radiator it will keep other components cooler also. I want to add a transmission cooler to system. I would like an idea of what would be a good cooler to add? I found a great place to put it in the right rear of the coach. I have seen units with a fan unit that I assume comes on with a temperature sensor. Where would be the best place to tie it in to the system? I read your idea on fluids. I use dextron VI in our hot rods for higher operation temps. Would it help here?
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#18 wolfe10

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:17 AM

Ranchmink,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Best advice is to clean the front of your CAC (Charge Air Cooler). That will clear up both engine and transmission overheating issues.

Yes, you could add an auxiliary transmission cooler, but remember if you run in very cold temperatures, the radiator helps WARM the transmission fluid. Too hot is bad, but too cold is not good either. If you do add a transmission cooler, I would install it before the in-radiator cooler and perhaps cover it in the winter.
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#19 ranchmink

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 01:16 PM

Thanks.
I will implement your advice. I had replaced our radiator last year since the previous owner never cleaned the residue from the slobber tube and it was clogged. I took it to our local cat dealer who was able to clean all the other components but radiator was to far gone

I plan on adding a cooler and new synethic fluid before my next trip. I agree a cover makes sense. I assume if I add a fan unit it will be switched by a sensor switch.
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#20 stuplich

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 05:45 PM

rrlowther,
Based on the description, I'm guessing you have the Allison 3000MH Series transmission in your coach. My advise is to get an oil analysis done first on the transmission fluid. I can do it for you if you'll send me a private message since I can't advertise on the forum. If the fluid shows bad, I'll advise you on what to do next. If a fluid change is necessary, then you should switch to TranSynd (or one of the other TES-295 approved fluids) and change the filters to the new Allison "High Capacity" filters. Then, you'll be good for 300,000 miles before another transmission fluid change is needed unless it gets contaminated. It's pretty much "fill for life". I know that sounds astounding, but it's true. I developed that fluid and specification over many years and tested it in city transit buses and garbage trucks. It's "bullet proof".

After you switch to TranSynd (or a TES-295 approved fluid), you'll only need to change the High Capacity filters every 75,000 miles. Sample the transmission once a year to make sure it remains uncontaminated (cooler leak, dirt, water, etc.).

Hope this helps !!!


Which is it?
I have been told that when converting to TranSynd (or a TES-295 approved fluid), the new fluid needs to be thrown away after 25,000 miles and replaced with more new TranSynd (or a TES-295 approved fluid), before it will "be good for 300,000 miles before another transmission fluid change is needed".

Is that TRUE?
Mel
'96 Sahara, M3060 Allison, 250 hp 3126 Cat,128,000 miles
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