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Old 01-03-2019, 01:20 PM   #1
truckster
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Question Any Allison Experts?

I know this is not a MH board, but all the smart engine/transmission people I know are on this board, so here goes:

I have an Allison AT542 behind a Cummins 5.9 in a 97 MH with a Freightliner chassis. The transmission is kind of a dog. Because it doesn't have a locking torque converter and final drive is 1:1, I have a hard time keeping it at 70-72 MPH on the freeway. The slippage in the converter is really obvious as soon as I hit even a minor grade. I don't need to go 85 MPH, but it would be nice to hold a steady 75. I've done a lot of research, and here are some options I've come up with, and I'd appreciate any input:

1. Replace the torque convertor with a BD-Power torque converter part # 1060200X. It promises 130 to 140% more torque transfer and better shifts with less heat. Cost $760 plus $300 core (refundable) plus fluid.

2. Replace the transmission with a used MT643. They're not too hard to find and the swap looks to be pretty straightforward, as long as I get the right bellhousing and flex plate. The advantage is a locking torque converter. Cost would be $800 - $1200.

3. Replace the transmission with a used 6 speed Allison. This gets into electronic controls, which can get expensive. The obvious advantages are the locking torque converter and overdrive. I would have to do wiring and computer for this one, so it would take more of an investment in time. Cost would be $2500 - $3500.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:40 AM   #2
andyh1956
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Re: Any Allison Experts?

The 540 series of transmissions were nothing more than a 4 speed Turbo 400, same size clutches, governor & other parts.
The 600 series is later model & much the same only physically larger.
As you are finding out, overdrives can get Expen$ive...
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:39 PM   #3
YoungPup1977
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Re: Any Allison Experts?

Are you using this MH on long trips across the states or you just using it to go to your local state park. The 6 speed allison would be my choice but the cost into a 1997 MH most likely would not justify the cost and efforts to camp in a state park 6 times a year...
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:48 AM   #4
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Re: Any Allison Experts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungPup1977 View Post
Are you using this MH on long trips across the states or you just using it to go to your local state park. The 6 speed allison would be my choice but the cost into a 1997 MH most likely would not justify the cost and efforts to camp in a state park 6 times a year...
I drive it cross-country every year. This year my projected travel plans will put about 8,000 miles on it.
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