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Old 03-27-2016, 10:44 AM   #11
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I do remember that sound! ;)
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
So far so good, we pull up to near 5000lbs often. The squeal is a feature of the 545, lets you know what gear you're in.

RE: AC mounting, our 5.9 has 2 compressors hanging low. To tighten/replace the belts I just lie on my back and there they are. Each has a separate belt.

personally I always loved the 545 whistle... which pulley groove does the A/C run in? I wont know till I see the bus in person but looks Like I have 1 unused groove on the main damper pulley ... trying to find who makes that dual compressor bracket... single bracket kits are easy to find since all the trucks used the setup.. I dont think I'll have the capacity even if I run closed-loop evaporators and extra condensor along the skirt to cool a whole bus on one compressor... doing the design I cant make the numbers work the way I need them to.. well not and have a decent driver compartment cool-down.. in a 7 row a single unit rear high mounted will cool the passengers nicely.. a sanden 7 series will do that..

MAYBE I could run a small second coil.... but the design numbers are close doing that..
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:56 PM   #13
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The 545 has been a solid workhorse for decades and when properly maintained can last for decades more. It was never a great tranny, but it was reliable. The fact that it only has four gears, no OD, shifts hard, lacks lockup and is renowned as a fuel guzzler make it a dinosaur these days when compared to the new gen Allisons.
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:18 PM   #14
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Mine shifts so smooth you probably wouldn't know it was shifting if you couldn't hear it.

What would the the top couple replacement transmissions for the 545?

I've heard of the 1545 with the lockup, but honestly I'd like more gears. This bus seems to be pretty good on the highway, but oddly enough I bought it for the logging roads here in Oregon. Go figure. I've got no low speed power. It gets up to highway speeds but takes off like a loaded semi. It's embarrassing on hills, even on the highway. I'd be in good shape if I lived in the great planes of the mid-west.

For those of us with 545s, what transmission or transmissions could we probably acquire over time that would basically bolt up in place of the 545?
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #15
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these posts are great, sounds like exactly what im looking for ,i realize there are newer better things out there.. I have to learn with the original first then update.. im just glad to hear that it appears the 545 when taken care of will run a long time.. the advantage is its pretty cheap (in commercial vehicle speak) to rebuild if I bust it..

since I havent yet driven the bus I have picked out I dont know how it will act.. I still have the option of a different bus.. I just happen to like the industrial-interior feel of the older units.. as opposed to the car-like dashboards of the newer stuff... easier to take apart for repairs and custom updates too...

as far as more gears.. every bus i ever drove could use more gears it seemed.. I dont plan on doing anything crazy like turning the screw way up on the DT360 (though I have no idea if its been done).. my bus will drive on the freeway.. and ive been told it drives at 65 nicely... its a bus and im not a driver with 10s of 1000s of hours under my belt so to me 65 is as fast as I'll ever want to drive a bus...

some of the newer electronic transmissions look really nice and im sure I could build controllers for them like I did the 4L80-E I ran in my chevy hotrod car..

im glad to hear that the 545 doesnt seem to be the equivalent in the bus world to what the THM-Metric 200C was in the classic car world...
-Christopher
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Old 03-27-2016, 10:41 PM   #16
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Like others have said, the 545 is alright. It's not a desirable option by any means but I wouldn't avoid it.
Those with shifting problems, I'd check your tv cable and make sure it's adjusted properly. Mine is on the throttle pedal but you might also find it on the side of the injection pump.
A large majority of the shifting issues I've seen in these old mechanical transmissions are related to fluid condition, TV cable adjustment, or mismatched applications after a swap.
You should be able to easily hear and feel it shift, but not so hard that it breaks your neck.
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
is the Herpes THAT bad?
I don't know. You tell me.

The non-lockup converter is enough of a deal breaker for me. Plus, in many applications, they are being used at their gross weight spec while the 643 is speced at double the maximum weight of any school bus.
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:04 AM   #18
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it doesnt take much of a reason to dislike a transmission. slipping, funny noises, and the lack of the lock up are all good reasons to dislike the the at545.

i looked hard at swapping my at545 to the mt643, but even with a free transmission,the labor to install one and fabricate the mounts is probably more than the bus is worth.

they are not a direct swap. the mt643 version has different cross members on the bus frame and fits differently. its not as easy as unbolting one and bolting up the other. likely the bell housings are also different.

when i toast my 545, i'll get a rebuilt one or a used low mileage one. if i was going to throw stupid money at the bus, i'd go after a low drive ratio rear end.

65 can be slow on an 80mph interstate, but on a 2 lane road with no shoulder and the sun in your eyes, 65 is as fast as i need to go.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:33 AM   #19
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I don't think I'd bother swapping out the 545. I just think if one is bus shopping, why not get the good stuff?
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:12 AM   #20
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For anyone so interested...

FREE Allison AT545 Transmission

Came with my Cummins 4BTAA but has been replaced with a 6 speed. Was told it was operating fine when removed from the P30 it was originally in. Has driveline park brake.

Located in Houston, TX

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