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Old 06-19-2017, 08:04 AM   #1
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AT1545 thread

Well as a few of you know, i went out and purchased an AT1545 to replace my AT545.

i just made it home from collecting the transmission and it was an interesting trip. the worst trip yet in my bus. i had multiple mechanical problems, some self inflicted, others just ghosts and course a couple of deal breakers.

I'm off to work this morning, and will post details of the trip tonight. the most important part is me, the bus and the new trans made it back to Colorado ok.

this is strapping down the transmission in Payson AZ.





today in Payson AZ, the temp should reach 118, the forecast for tomorrow... 120
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
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Nice on getting back wuth the 1545!! cant wait to see the swap begin!!!
-Christopher
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Hot ziggity! Another tranny swap thread. We are all gonna be transmission specialists before these end. Hope you record and post as well as Cadillac.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:22 AM   #4
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isnt there a 643 swap thread somewhere on here?

one I wish that did a thread here is Txstreetman (he is in Tango neck of the woods).. swapped in a 2-stick tranny and replaced a 7.3 with a DT-360.
-Christopher
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:27 AM   #5
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Wow, a bus and a tandem axle trailer to haul a transmission is kind of like swatting mosquitos with a 3 pound hammer.

I've also made my bus my only means of transportation on public roads for the time being because it causes me to deal with any gremlins.

Trips like that definitely work out the kinks in the bus. Glad you made it alright. Sounds like it was a learning experience to some degree.

I think everyone is very curious about your new transmission. I get excited about the idea of using the PTO for something cool, but I don't know what yet.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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grrrrr, i had a long reply typed out and lost it. grrrrrr

ok back the the trip. it was a trip from hell.
i broke the fan clutch and lots of overheating problems.
the alternator stopped working and never charged the truck batteries.
it was a 110 when i got to AZ, so i wasnt sure how out the ordinary the overheating was due the fact i had no fan clutch, but it kept getting worse.
my aklternator was failing too. mostly it didnt work, but for a brief few seconds a couple of times it would spring to life and charge. i have installed some extra cooling fans so i hope that is enough to keep going. because of the alternator broblema dn the high elelctric draw to keep the bus cool i was killing my batteries. i stopped at a walmart and bought a battery charger. at least this way when i stopped to cool down, i can keep the batteries charged and get started back up.

i finally stop at an autoparts store to see if i can fix a few things. first off was the alternator. they didnt have a replacement, but said they could test it. well, they were wrong, they werent able to test it either after i got it off the truck.
i also notice since the alternator is gone, that my new water pump pulley is flopping when you hit it. the bearings were gone. fortunately the autoparts store had the water pump and i reassembled everything and went on my way.

well it overheated in just a few minutes, i pulled over, cooled it down, and kept going. it overheated again. i turned back around to the autoparts store to see about a thermostat. well, they didn't have that either, but could get it in a few days. i let the engine cool off again, and dissembled the alternator and tstat housing. with no hope a new tstat, i punched some holes in the one i have and re-installed all the parts, antifreeze.....

one of the best things i've installed on my bus was a garden hose for outdoor water. i tell you when you are standing on the side of the road over heating, it could be worse if you don't have a garden hose with water handy. i went through 2 - 40 gallon tanks of water on the trip.

the modified tstat did the trick. no more overheating almost a good day.
i spent the day at the autoparts store working on the bus and now she's running. i grab a pizza and hit the road (4:30ish).

as i enjoy my dinner cruising back home, i remember my other problem of the alternator not working. i have minimal lights on the bus as the battery is not being charged. i did some quick math in my head and realized i got 5 hours of driving and 4 hours of sunlight. if i didn't hustle, i was going to get stuck only a few miles from home and not be able to see.

the sun set on time about 8:26. i was about 60 miles from home. 50 miles on the interstate, and 10 across 2 lane county roads. by the time i pulled off the freeway, the headlights were to dim to cast much light out front. i felt like a ghost ship. i crawled in pitch black for the last 10 miles, i could barely make out the weeds on the side of the road. i pulled in my drive about 9:30.

other random broken items
sight bubble on radiator- cracked when sprayed with water
temperature gauge - not sure if it shorted, but last worked when sight bubble crack started spaying on it.
most all the gauges - hard to say, but i expect that to all be the same electrical gremlin. as the battery faded, so did most gauges.

so my first night was good, a few hours at a rest stop. picked up the transmission late afternoon the next day, and spent the next night on the side of the road charging up my start batteries only 50ish miles from payson.
overheating/charging. the following morning i make some headway through new mexico only overheating a couple of times. i stopped for the night at a rest stop just shy of returning over raton pass (loss of sunlight).
i wanted to do the pass fresh and cool in the morning. well i did, and i overheated near the top again. coasted down into trinidad colorado and spent the rest of the day at the autoparts store and driving right up past sunset and back home.

1700 miles round trip, started thursday night, got home sunday night. i tracked the mileage in the bus. im getting 7.5 MPG, or 6.5 MPG when i run the generator. fingers crossed i get it all fixed up and get better mileage with the lockup trans.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:34 PM   #7
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yeoow!! what kind of fan clutch is on it? is it a viscous or electric?
a trick ive done with a busted fan clutch is drill a hole through it and put a bolt in it.. then the fan will spin full speed ahead.. did that on an old cadillac I had... for some odd reason no auto parts store in the south had the clutch for that car.. it was 100+ and with an 8.2 litre V-8 under the hood.. and a black convertinble top.. only way I didnt see the yellow and red temp lights was to turn off the A/C.. that wasnt happening.. so i borrowed a drill from a trucker.. and bolted my fan clutch solid and drove it the remaining 1100 miles.. man was my A/C nive N cold!..

good thing is you and the bus and the new tranny are back home!!!
-Christopher
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #8
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Tough trip but you got a lot of kinks worked out, and you were successful with the transmission. Congrats.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:36 AM   #9
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i started working on the transmission swap. so far so good. i found this online guide thats been very helpful
http://www.waghornswood.net.nz/Manua...nsmissions.pdf

i drained the transmission.



removed all brackets, gear selector and modulator






working on the removing the bolts that attach the flex plate. there is an access hole on the side on the passenger side to undo the bolts. i got 5 of 6. there is always one that slows you down. the last bolt has soft shoulders, we stopped before it did much damage and will retry tomorrow with a better bolt remover socket. this is looking through the access hole at the flexplate and the one remaining bolt.


i found you can turn the alternator backwards with a socket to turn the flywheel and expose the bolts one at a time.

here is a couple of pics of the new transmission going in.



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Old 07-09-2017, 04:57 AM   #10
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Converter bolts should be installed with loctite, if there's not much oil or fluid around you can heat it, I had a couple tough ones on mine. I used 6 point impact sockets which are heavy and fit good. He sure it's not metric or your socket might fit but not super snug. Then I used a mallet and tapped on the ratchet handle which busted the loctite loose.
Christopher
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