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Allison 4000 Trans Fluid Lo


rpasetto
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Checked fluid with the "arrow" method and it showed "LO 5".  Opened up the access cover and pulled dipstick, engine not running, and fluid was right on the mark.  I'm assuming the electronic 5qt low is more accurate so I added 2 1/2 qt fluid, not wanting to overfill.  I've heard that when trans is low, you should add less, then check again  I added 2 1/2qt, half the amount, with plan to check again\\.  Reading using arrows is now: LO 3 qt.  Is this method correct? eg should I "sneak up" on the full level?

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In the Allison Transmission Operators Manual starting on page 50 and thru to page 60 are the Allison Procedures for checking the fluid level and codes, Page 51 has the correct procedure for checking the Transmission fluid level using the Pushbutton or lever shift selector.

The transmission temp should be between 140dgF-220dgF, any temperature above or below will result in an Invalid for Display condition.

Procedure for checking Fluid level 3000/4000 Allison Transmission.

1. Park the coach on a level surface, shift to N (Neutral), and apply the parking brake.

Note; the Transmission fluid temperature must be above 140 degrees F and below 220 degrees F and the engine at idle and the vehicle has been stationary for approximately two minutes to allow the fluid to settle.

2. PUSHBUTTON SHIFT SELECTOR; Simultaneously press the (UP) and (DOWN) arrow buttons.

Note; A delayed fluid level check is indicated by a "--" in the display window followed by a numerical countdown starting at 8. This countdown will start if the coach has not been stationary for more than two minutes.

The correct fluid level - "o L" is displayed ("o L" represents "Fluid (OIL) level check mode, followed by "o K". The "o K" displays indicates the fluid is within the correct fluid level zone.

A "L o" represents "Low Oil Level" and the number of quarts the transmission fluid is low EXAMPLE: "o L L o O 2". This indicates that the transmission is 2 quarts low. The transmission will not display no more than 5 quarts low. Add transmission fluid to the transmission slowly until the display indicates "o L O k".

The Cummins REP in our seminars at the Gathering advised not to run the transmission low on fluid for any extended period of time because it may cause overheating, irregular shift patterns or damage to the transmission.

Cummins  states that using the shift pad fluid check method is much more accurate than checking with the Dip Stick.

More information is covered in your Allison Transmission Owners Operation manual.

 

 

 

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Rick P,

You may want to check past threads about an issue that has cropped up with some rigs of your vintage with the Allison 4000. Depending on the configuration, there may be a power take-off (“PTO”) on the transmission that drives the hydraulic (fan, steering) pump. In some cases, the internal seals in the hydraulic pump allow transmission fluid to flow into the hydraulic system. This yields a low reading on the transmission fluid level without any signs of external leaking, and a corresponding slow increase in the fluid level in the hydraulic reservoir. Eventually, the hydraulic system may overflow. You might want to check the hydraulic fluid level as you creep up to full on the transmission.

George C, 2005 Exec, Detroit-Allison 4000, leaking hydraulic pump seal project in the works

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Made it home, another 1100 miles.  Trans fluid still at the "LO 3" level it was when I added fluid back on Thursday.  Toad and back of coach covered with oily residue; engine coated with oil, especially on the passenger side.  Cleaned with simple-green and Dawn solution, twice, then rinsed and ran engine in place after most of the water dripping stopped.  Sheets of cardboard underneath don't show anything... yet.  I'll wait overnight and plan to run engine more tomorrow.

@George, thanks for the tip.  Hydraulic fluid is right at the full mark, same as when I started trip 2200 miles ago.    Plan is to remove that crazy engine cover in the bedroom to add more trans fluid.  (Cover is a floor section, held in with a dozen or so screws.  It was a pain to get hold of to lift.  But I guess that would be more appropriate in another thread.  I'm used to the ones with two deck latches-flip and lift.)

Thanks to all for your advice.

Another thing:  the car and back of coach don't have the "smell" of trans fluid, more like engine oil smell, and the color of the residue on the back of the coach when wiped off is black, no sign of red in it.  Car got most of the residue in the last half of the trip when the trans level stayed roughly the same.   I cannot estimate how much oil is in the residue I found; if a pint could be enough to make the thin coat I might not have noticed that change in the engine oil, for example.

Edited by rpasetto
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1 hour ago, rpasetto said:

Made it home, another 1100 miles.  Trans fluid still at the "LO 3" level it was when I added fluid back on Thursday.  Toad and back of coach covered with oily residue; engine coated with oil, especially on the passenger side.  Cleaned with simple-green and Dawn solution, twice, then rinsed and ran engine in place after most of the water dripping stopped.  Sheets of cardboard underneath don't show anything... yet.  I'll wait overnight and plan to run engine more tomorrow.

@George, thanks for the tip.  Hydraulic fluid is right at the full mark, same as when I started trip 2200 miles ago.    Plan is to remove that crazy engine cover in the bedroom to add more trans fluid.  (Cover is a floor section, held in with a dozen or so screws.  It was a pain to get hold of to lift.  But I guess that would be more appropriate in another thread.  I'm used to the ones with two deck latches-flip and lift.)

Thanks to all for your advice.

Another thing:  the car and back of coach don't have the "smell" of trans fluid, more like engine oil smell, and the color of the residue on the back of the coach when wiped off is black, no sign of red in it.  Car got most of the residue in the last half of the trip when the trans level stayed roughly the same.   I cannot estimate how much oil is in the residue I found; if a pint could be enough to make the thin coat I might not have noticed that change in the engine oil, for example.

Rick P,

The issue I'm tracking on mine is elusive. I've had a minor amount of residue on the toad but usually the symptom is a good pint+ of discharge from the hydraulic overflow. One theory is that the discharge happens after shutdown, not while driving. I've been monitoring that and found a 4-5 minute "cool down" period before shutting the engine off lessens the likelihood of discharge. From what you describe, it appears that you do NOT have the same issue. 

One additional thing I've done is put a "slobber bottle" on the hydraulic overflow. Gatorade bottles are my friend. I drilled a hole in the cap so the overflow hose would slide in (1/2" or 5/8") and a few smaller holes around that. Slid the cap on the hose and put a hose clamp about 3" up the hose end. This way, I can easily change the bottle whenever I need to; cap stays on the hose. Your 2005 Sig should have the same basic hydraulic overflow. This is a good way to keep things clean and stop "territory marking".

I did something similar for the engine oil breather tube. Cut a Gatorade bottle through he threads with shears, drilled a few holes at the shoulder, and hose clamped it to the breather tube. I generally change it whenever I change the oil. Mine is a Detroit; not sure how the breather on the Cummins works.

Sounds like you may need to get under and try to determine where that oily film is coming from. Should be leaving a trail somehow. Sorry your hatch is such a bother. Both of mine (in closet and right outside closet) have the deck latches.

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