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Old 11-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

Profbrady - in all honesty I have absolutely zero information pertaining to your issue, but I just wanted to say Welcome, congrats on getting your bus and congrats on hitting your first bus snafu. May the rest of your journey be as easy as it was spending the money to get there!

Keeping the positivity alive will get you anywhere!
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:47 PM   #12
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

Bansil, I'm sure you're right.. it doesn't seem to fit that the transmission would go out in such a specific way from one day to the next. Sh*tbags, I gotta admit, I messed around with just about every switch and emergency door as I was hanging out in the bus that evening. An emergency door leaving a circuit open could certainly account for the bus going into a "safety mode." Not entirely sure whether I'd like that to be the answer, since it would confirm me as a complete jackass. I'm definitely the type to spend an hour looking for the sunglasses on my head though, so wouldn't be any big surprise. I'm back in CA now, but will make sure the plainly obvious electrical things are the first that get checked. I did have the RPMS up around 2600, pedal to the floor, with no shift.

Speaking of electrical, I checked out the forum you posted (thanks Motobus!) and there was a topic with a similar problem. Over there, the answer pointed toward wiring or bad solenoids as well, rather than mechanical.

So getting the transmission back to it's normal functioning state is probably a separate issue from the slippage. And while admittedly I'd never driven a school bus before... man, that transmission IS slippery as heck. I chalked it up to the AT545, but it did seem a bit excessive... on a 2% grade, the bus could just BARELY move enough to get going. The question will be whether or not just to replace the transmission in one fell swoop anyhow. It's pretty dang important that the bus be as roadworthy as possible before tour-time in February. In the long run, I'm hoping we'll be able to put a few tours on this bus, so maybe 50k+ miles. If it's an inevitability for the trans to crap out, might be better to take care of it preemptively to avoid surprises when the bus is loaded up with 5-6 people + gear.

Thanks for the warm welcome inkblots! If one can keep the snafus from breaking the bank, they're half the adventure, right? I traveled across Central Asia with a group of people driving Trabants a few years ago - it was seriously a traveling disaster, but one of the best times I've ever had.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:33 PM   #13
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

Trabants?? OMG!
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:36 AM   #14
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

YES they slip a lot

read this for my take on it and what I have learned so for....(your mileage may vary )

http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...?f=44&t=465463
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #15
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

Very informative post, thanks Bansil. I've gone through the forum extensively but hadn't read that one! Those sounds pretty close to the rpms/mphs I was getting before "the change."

Well, the story continues... curious what you guys think. Clarke Service Center just gave me a call - "bad news, the transmission pan's got metal in it. It's gonna need a new transmission. Best we can do is $3995." Uh, crap. I asked what happened to $2500, he said that was just off the top of his head, but this is the actual price. Dang, that seems really expensive.

I'm a little screwed, being that I'm now back in CA. Here's what I was thinking about doing: calling a Craigslist mechanic, one of these guys that works for themselves in the Nashville area. See if I can get someone to pick up the bus, I'll order a reman transmission online, have it shipped there, and get a mechanic to change it out in their backyard or whatever they do. It feels a bit risky, but I'm not having much luck coming up with contingencies! I probably would have been able to dig up $2500 to be fixed and fully roadworthy, but $4k, no can do!

What do you guys think, or any other ideas? I appreciate it... it's awesome to have a forum like this to get some perspective.

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Old 11-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #16
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

I still don't see why it would just stop working, isn't there an Allison dealer in Nashville?

I will ask on other sites....be back
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:59 PM   #17
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

posted on:

busconversions.com

and

busnut.com
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #18
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

if it goes into reverse it is the modulator valve!

if it doesn't than it's probably very bad internally

from Luvrbus on busnuts...he know his stuff
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #19
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

Bansil, you rock. I really appreciate you tracking down some info. It does go in reverse and neutral, and fairly smoothly at that. I have no doubt the transmission's days are numbered, but it's gotta be the modulator. Agreed, the "shot transmission" diagnosis doesn't seem to account for what happened. Unfortunately, Clarke Power Services is the Allison dealer. They suck. I think they're just set up to handle big corporate clients (14 bays and air conditioned waiting rooms, etc) and don't really give a crap about the little dude with a used school bus. But to say $2500 for a new transmission, then let a guy fly home and call him to say it's $4000 is just bad business.


Hmm, trying to figure out if I can buy the time away from work to get back out there and troubleshoot some more, or find a little shop that's willing to take the time to actually figure out what's wrong with it. My brain hurts. What is it, 2pm? Guess I'll go for more coffee rather than a beer quite yet.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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Re: Stuck in first, literally and figuratively

check my post and sign up and they have great info
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