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Old 03-31-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
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Blown AT 545

Okay so I finally dug my bus out of the snow on Saturday and wanted to take it out for a cruise. About 20 miles later. Bus no go up hill and a cloud of white smoke. The fluid boiled over and blew out the fill tube. I let it cool down and drove it to a parking lot where it still is. Changed the fluid, or about 4 gallons worth, and it seemed to be not bad. After a loop around the lot I looked under the bus and could see tranny fluid leaking a lot out of the bell housing. It;s and '89BB TC 2000 with an Allison AT545. Can any one tell me what I should do? I do have access to a full on bus meintanence garage. Trouble is finding a way to fix this situation for about the $900 I have.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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Re: Blown AT 545

There is an overhaul listed on Ebay right now for 199.95 + 20 shipping

Craigs list add for AT 5XX SERIES REBILD KITS & PARTS- $49.95-285

http://miami.craigslist.org/pts/608835175.html

Another 545 Rebuild Kit 49.95

http://base.google.com/base/a/2312793/D ... 8924405431

I was reassured before I bought mine when I saw that you buy a rebuilt AT545 for $1200+freight on Ebay
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:39 PM   #3
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Re: Blown AT 545

If it's just dumping out the front I would maybe look into the torque converter or the front pump seal. Both are cheap and relatively easy (nothing is easy at this size) to replace. A rebuild kit mihgt not be bad if you have the tranny out anyway, but I don't like doing more work than I have to.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Blown AT 545

Sounds like the front pump seal is out, problem is usually the front pump goes first then the seal. Are you sure you had correct antifreeze in you radiator. If it was marginal then the tranny cooler couldn't do it's job from freezing antifreeze and you cooked the tranny. Any way you look at it the tranny has to come out. Might as well do a rebuild while it's out or find a good used one. I wonder how much work it would be to upgrade to a 600 series? sportyrick
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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Allison trans fix or replace

There are many considerations to be made. First determine reason for trans failure. Repairing a big Allison AT543 is an expensive task. Removing the trans is not an easy task with out the proper tools and jack. I have changed many trans and have found buying a good used trans is my method. Even the bad trans has a value to a trans shop. One trans shop installed a used trans for the bad trans. Ford E4OD trans are mostly junk so parts are in demand. I'm changing my Ford E4OD to an Allison AT543. Using a divorced trans cooler is the best method of keeping trans cool. The trans fluid color will tell trans condition. I have gotten Allison trans for $450-1200 used. Any Allison can be made to operate in about any vehicle, but changes cost money. A diesel trans can be installed into a gas engine rig but changes cost money and visa versa. The Allison is the best auto trans ever made. For long life, cooling and filtration are the secret. Frank
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:25 PM   #6
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Re: Blown AT 545

Okay so luckily, the bus is parked across from one of the ski resorts bus mientanence facilities. I have all of the resources I could need probably. Any special tools needed for the rebuild. Will it be close to the same rebuild that a trans shop would do? I got a quote from the Allison dealer in Denver for $2K after core deposit. You guys think I could do better than that then huh. Is there a way to reference the serial numbers to check compatability?
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: Blown AT 545

The cooler in your radiator also brings the tranny UP TO TEMPERATURE as well as keeping it DOWN. If you didn't have the cooler in the radiator your transmission would not get up to temperature in the winter or on short trips and acid and moisture would develop and problems would occur. An AUXILIARY oil cooler is good to have but never run without your radiator cooler unless you are in warm weather all the time. Been there done that! If you are concerned about your transmission temperature then put a temp guage in and monitor it. If it gets over 240 then it's running too hot. sportyrick
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:48 PM   #8
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Re: Blown AT 545

http://unitedtruckbody.com/new_page_2.htm

Shipping might be a killer, but that's proof positive that deals can be had. $350 is cheaper than you can get a set of seals, steels, frictions, pump, and torque converter for by a long shot. Is it new? No, but neither was the transmission in the bus when you bought it.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: Blown AT 545

Has anyone ever rebuilt a tranny themselves?
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #10
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Re: Blown AT 545

I have not rebuilt an AT545, but yes, I have rebuilt an automatic transmission or two. It really isn't all that hard and there aren't all that many specialized tools that are needed (though some make the job go way faster). The key is to just go slow, pay attention, keep things clean, make careful measurements, and lube that sucker up really well as you assemble it.
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