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Old 06-15-2017, 06:53 AM   #1
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The RedByrd TRANSformation.

Figured it was aboiut time I started a real thread for the Transmission swap on the RedByrd.

first, for the Newbies on the site: This is redByrd The Bus.



The Project:

the Allison AT545 transmission in the bus was run since i got the bus (and before), with a bad modulator.. a bad modulator on an Electronic AT545 will ruin the transmission over time, esp if you drive it on the highway alot or are towing, heavy bus, etc..

the Transmission started not wanting to downshift to first gear, it wanted to buck and shudder on the 2-3 shift.. sometimes would slide itself into 4th.. (this AFTER replacing the bad modulator)..

here is a Long and boring video of me rambling and pointing out how the bad transmission is acting like a bad transmission.




how to fix it?

well i couldve pulled the AT545, and sent it to a shop to be rebuilt, got a used AT545... or we could UPGRADE! I chose the path to Upgrade.

so the project is an allison AT545 to Allison 1000 series Swap.

whats the upgrade other than a higher number?

The allison 1000 is a stout 6 speed Overdrive automatic vs the 4 speed Non-Overdrive AT545.

some notable improvements of the 1000 over the AT545.

1. 2 overdrive gears.. I will have a .71 and a .60 Overdrive if I choose to.
2. Lockup Torque Converter.. the 1000 will Lock out the Torque converter fluid drive, this allows the engine's power to be sent to the wheels, not eaten up in heat like the AT545. (other allisons such as MT643, 3060,2000, etc also do this).

3. Electronic control. Allows me to reprogram how the transmission operates via computer programming as opposed to removing and reinstalling the pan, drilling valve body etc to achieve the characteristics I want.

4. Fringe benefit - Park. the new trans has the 'P' position.. with a park pawl capable of holding 30,000 lbs on a 15% grade.

5. Much Heavier duty - its visible when looking at both. I had mine built by a transmission shop that builds these for guys who really turn up their engines, while my engine is stock.. if I do decide to turn up the Smoke, I have the trans to handle it.. (mine is built for 500 HP capable).


Why did i choose the 1000 over other transmissions?
the AT545 to 1000 swap is a straightforward swap out, the 1000 could be built with the SAE3 bellhousing bolt pattern, the tailshaft installed could be set up to handle the drum parking brake that the AT545 had. the shift pattern is the same (with the addition of P if I choose to use it), the overall length once installed is only 3/4" Longer than the AT545. I may not have to shorten the driveshaft.

here we go!, I'll be creating posts to catch up on the progress!.

-Christopher
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:07 AM   #3
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Looking forward to following this one --- Given how tech savvy you are, this transplant will no doubt wind up far ahead of what any shop would do.

As you know, I did something similar, but my 2200MH turned out to be about three feet longer then the non-synchro 4 speed manual it replaced.

BTW...is your driveshaft a one piece or two?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:30 AM   #4
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Don't know if you plan to mention it or keep it all secret squirrel-like but there's no mention of cost.

New or used for the 1000?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
Don't know if you plan to mention it or keep it all secret squirrel-like but there's no mention of cost.

New or used for the 1000?
I typically dont post cost of custom packages just because its a negotiated thing with the suppliers involved..

I went with everything new,, i pretty much had to with the electronics as thered be no way to program the transmission computers.. they need a custom program for your vehicle.. OEM Transmission computers typically need a certain data stream from the Engine computer to work.. so Id have had to scour looking for TCM's (which are often Harvested for use by custom shops).. a TCM that would happen to be behind a 444E with the same version firmware as in my ECM..

I worked with Custom Automatic COnversions out of florida (formerly cummins allison conversions).. ther transmission itself was sourced by them from SunCoast performance.. my torque converter is a billet heavy duty style with an upgraded stator in it.. the trans is rated for way more HP than I put out... but that means if I reflash my computer for more HP or swap the engine for a monster 7.3 at some point im ready..

what i can say about price is that this thread isnt about being Cheap, its about getting the job done right with the least amount of physical pain...

being that im a little guy with virtually no body mass or muscle it meant that I wanted to have the correct parts ready to go as I didnt want to have to lift the transmission up into place only to find the converter bolts didnt match or bellhousing was wrong size, or wrong brackets for parking brake, etc.. ill gladly mess with the computers all week long, it was worth money to me to buy the known right pieces brand new and ready to put together..
-Christopher
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Looking forward to following this one --- Given how tech savvy you are, this transplant will no doubt wind up far ahead of what any shop would do.

As you know, I did something similar, but my 2200MH turned out to be about three feet longer then the non-synchro 4 speed manual it replaced.

BTW...is your driveshaft a one piece or two?
Holy Length!! will you even have a driveshaft or just bolt the yokes together and go? lol

I have a 2 piece driveshaft.. the total lengths with the parking brake installed (using super quick measurements). are very close.. not sure yet if I'll have to shorten the driveshaft. I had quite a bit of extra spline in mine.

the way my 2 piece is built is that its a hard U-joint yoke on the trans itself, going to the center carrier bearing.. that bearing is bolted to a bracket.. that front shaft has the female splines in it.. and the second shaft has the male splines.. I measured about 2.5" of extra splines before I took it apart.. I know im not nearly 2.5" longer.. the Specs state about 3/4" difference in length AT545 to 1000. 1000 being longer by 3/4".

when I test fit it I'll flatten the air suspension which will place the bus in the position where the splines would extend the longest from the rear shaft.

my carrier bearing bracket is perfectly symetrical and is mounted to the rear of a frame cross member.. if in fact i need extra movement in the carrier bearing, it appears i can just flip the carrier bearing bracket 180 degrees, which places the slotting toward the rear.. (for slightly longer driveline).. {makes me wonder if all that was done on purpose to handle various engine / trans combos}.

weight was a bit concerning.. im still not used to the medium duty ways of a transmission solely supported by the bell.. im still used to cars where you use cross members..

then I did the calculations on grade 5 3/8" bolts (12 of them) holding up the trans and realized technically 3 or 4 of them would hold the trans no issues.. and then some..

the 1000 setup from what i can see is about 100 lbs heavier than the AT545.

-Christopher
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:57 AM   #7
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That's all fair enough.

If/when mine ever goes, I'm swapping to the MT643 for a MD3060. Right after I pick your brains that is. Lincoln (I think) posted that he has a '99 w/ 8.3L and the MD3060 so whatever electronics are needed, existed as an option for my bus at the very least. I'll have to swap the rear end at the same time. Some .60 overdrive would be a lovely thing.

In the meantime, ... carry on.

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Old 06-15-2017, 10:04 AM   #8
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I've heard of fracturing issues with hanging the tranny on just the bell housing (especially if the engine mounts are in the forward position) so I added two mounts. Used Volvo engine mounts and fitted them too the carrier pads on the trans. Between that and having moved the engine mounts from the front (very common) to the center of the engine, there should be little if any load on the bell.

Oh yeah...my front shaft is now a "shorty" like the rest of the bus.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:06 AM   #9
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the electronics existed for mine too supposedly.. my bus was built 4 months after the release of the allison 2000... 6 speeds werent supported since they were only released as 5 speeds at the time.. (I have to be careful i got flamed in another thread for saying that they werent 6 speeds at all before 2005... LOLOL)..

MD3060's and cummins 8.3's were commonplace.. you might be able to just find the whole working set and transplant it to your bus. and then reprogram your engine computer. even if you had to buy a reman trans but could find the electronics.. the electronics cost as much as the transmission!
-Christopher
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I've heard of fracturing issues with hanging the tranny on just the bell housing (especially if the engine mounts are in the forward position) so I added two mounts. Used Volvo engine mounts and fitted them too the carrier pads on the trans. Between that and having moved the engine mounts from the front (very common) to the center of the engine, there should be little if any load on the bell.

Oh yeah...my front shaft is now a "shorty" like the rest of the bus.
my original AT545 hung on just the bell.. and when I looked up transmission removal and installation for the 444E with allison 2000;s in my On-COmmand service they showed no crossmember.. im still a bit apprehensive ..

I am interested to know what kind of setups they had and what broke. I saw a forum thread with a cummins and a 3000 series where the RV's front motormounts broke and trashed everything.

it doesnt look like it would be terribly hard to fashion something up to do as you did and use the rear support holes and maybe a cross member with some rubber body isolaters to "hang" the rear a little..
-Christopher
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