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Old 08-04-2006, 11:29 PM   #1
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82 Thomas Saf-T-Liner Transmission Slippage

Well, I made it out to Texas and went to turn the bus over tongiht... fired right up and ran smooth. However, the bus did not want to move from the spot without a bit of coaxing. I pulled the transmission dipstick out of the tube and it was bone dry and there was a fair puddle on the ground where it sat up for the last 3 months. The plan is to buy some Dexron III tomorrow and fill her up and look for visible leaks. Any particular suggestions for brand/type of fluid on this beast? Sorry to sound like a clueless newb... but to quote Popeye, I ams what I ams.

Thanks,
zim
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:12 AM   #2
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From reading my Allison manual along with stuff on Allison's website, it occurs to me that those transmissions will work with anything in them . However, using something that says it meets Allison C-4 specs would be preferential. Basically any Dexron III will be fine, regardless of brand. This is especially true since it sounds like it won't be spending much time in there anyway.
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Old 08-05-2006, 03:53 AM   #3
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I know absolutely nothing about the tranny you have, but if it's anything like most car transmission, letting them sit for long periods of time can cause the torque converter to drain out. My racecar does it some winters.
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tip. After reading the posts this morning, I found some Dexron III we had on hand and I crawled underneath and found the leak. The dipstick tube has small crack at the last bend before it goes into the pan. A little one inch rubber hose and a couple of hose clamps and it's all patched. I certainly feel beter about starting out tonight on an 1100 mile trip. Anyway, full of fluid, old number 32 is purring along just fine. I must have blown half a pound of soot from the air filter, hopefully that will help with the milieage.

More updates from the road.
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Old 08-06-2006, 07:55 PM   #5
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Good luck on your trip - just a word, when they sold those busses on ebay they were listed as having 80 gallon fuel tanks, they have 60 gallon tanks.
I measured my tank size the hard way - ran it out of fuel, road service put in 2 five gallon cans, I drove 5 miles and put in 48 gallons to fill it up.
The gauge had a mind of it's own.
Oh, by the way, you have a TransitLiner.
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:22 AM   #6
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Oh, by the way, you have a TransitLiner.
Cool beans. I'm learning something new about the beast every day.

The trip is going well. I had one coolant leak in the 3/8 hose that feeds a big white WIX coolant filter that I repaired by bypassing the filter for the duration of the trip. It seems I had 1/2 and 5/8 hose in my 'kit', but not 3/8. So much for my carefully calibrated eyeball!

I was surprised to see that the bus did 60MPH on the highway after being told not to expect much more than 50. I kept it around 55 all the way just to keep the RPMs near 3k and because there were some places in the road where the pavement was just too rough. What a blast to drive! The noise is pretty rough on chewed up roads, but when I found smooth asphalt, I was amazed at how quiet old #32 was.

Finally, I concur on the 60 gallon tank. Fuel stops seem to be about 300 miles apart and I'm estimating 6.5MPG so far.

That's enough for this post, time to get back on the road after a good night's sleep in Pensacola.
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w1bmw

I was surprised to see that the bus did 60MPH on the highway after being told not to expect much more than 50. I kept it around 55 all the way just to keep the RPMs near 3k and because there were some places in the road where the pavement was just too rough.
So if letting off leads to 3k engines speeds, just how high does that thing willingly rev? Mine has a tough time getting above 2500 RPM.
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:11 AM   #8
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So if letting off leads to 3k engines speeds, just how high does that thing willingly rev? Mine has a tough time getting above 2500 RPM.
I saw it get as high as 3500 RPM on a downhill and tried hard not to let it happen again. Max RPM/MPH on flat and level seemed to be about 3200/58
The fuel cost for 1050 miles was about $500 at about 6MPG. It's a guesstimate since I was unable to fill the tank at beginning and end. A lot of the places limit pay at the pump transactions to 100$. I'll head out later and check the dipstick to see how much oil she used.

Anyway, I made it home safe and sound at about 7:00 PM last night, putting my avarage speed for the trip to 43 MPH overall, 55 MPH if I took out the time not on the road. As much as I had feared the drive across the gulf states during the summer months, it wasn't bad. In fact, I probably spent most of the trip thinking about where we're going when this thing gets finished.

I did have one encounter with law enforcement on the way. An FDOT officer saw the paper tag and wanted to make sure I wasn't carrying passengers illegally. Apparently, that's a big problem with the migrant farm workers in the area. I invited him inside and showed him the bill of sale, insurance, title, and most importantly, a lack of seats, and he wished me a safe trip home (I had about 30 miles left to go)

The wife inspected the ship upon arrival and while she's still aprehensive about full timing for the next 18 months or so, she was happy to see me home in one piece and was impressed at the overall size and condition of ol' 32. Since I took the day off work as an extra driving day in the event of an emergency, I think I'm going to head to the building materials place and buy a wire wheel for the drill and some primer and attack the inside so I can start hanging insulation and blocking out windows this weekend.

I'm grinning ear to ear, though... I HAVE A SKOOLIE!!!
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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Congratulations

I remember that feeling of pulling into the driveway for the first time well....
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:31 PM   #10
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Glad to hear you and "baby" made it home safe & sound! Hope you and Momma enjoy your new bundle of joy!
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