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Old 09-29-2018, 03:45 AM   #101
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I owned a 2002 Thomas HDX rear engine nearly 2 years ago that Thomas approved to have 6th unlocked. They sent me a letter and it also allowed the governed speed to be increased from 65 to 75 MPH. It was an ISB engine with a 6.XX rear end. I since sold that bus before I converted it; started looking for another afterwards.

Before I bought the second bus I tried to find out from BlueBird what the deal was. It turns out they have some sort of system that won't allow you to contact the company more than once, it blocks your communication. For that reason I avoided BlueBirds and bought another Thomas.

Ricky from Thomas currently has my request in for the 6th unlock and says he does them quarterly so I won't hear back till December. There's currently no governor on my bus so I'm hoping they won't make me put one on

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Old 10-01-2018, 09:30 AM   #102
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So I'm trying to go through the process. Have been through 3 Allison service centers who had no clue. They sent me to W.W. Williams trcuk repair in Atl. They knew I would have to get the technical letter sent to Allison from Navistar to okay the procedure. I called a couple of navistar dealers that had no clue and ended up at Lee Smith Commercial Trucks in Chattanooga, Tn. I spoke to Dwayne who also had no clue and hadn't done one in over 20 years. He researched while on the phone and found the form needed to start the process. We made a point of requesting the unlock for fuel economy, not at all to increase speed. They asked what the maximum speed of my bus was? I don't know, I didn't push it past 85, but it had more. We put 80mph. Other than that all that was asked was mileage, hours, and tire info. I asked Dwayne if I could direct others to him for this process as now he is in the know. He agreed. Didn't get his last name, but his name is Dwayne at 800-701-5377.
He also told me there were still 5 active recalls on my bus that could still be performed.
Let us know your progress. I tried through a dealer in Fort Wayne and got declined by Navistar. But if the dealer you work with has success in getting the approval I'd like to give it another shot to get mine unlocked.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:40 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by rensch26 View Post
Let us know your progress. I tried through a dealer in Fort Wayne and got declined by Navistar. But if the dealer you work with has success in getting the approval I'd like to give it another shot to get mine unlocked.
They called me this morning to tell me Navistar declined my request also.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:14 PM   #104
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Dwayne called me this morning after a follow up with Allison for a reason to tell his customer. Allisons reply was that the bus was too old to authorize the unlock.
Does Allison have any liability in what happens with my personal bus?
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:06 PM   #105
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That's essentially what I have been told as well. I'll have to have an outside company perform the 6th gear unlock if I want it done.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:44 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Dwayne called me this morning after a follow up with Allison for a reason to tell his customer. Allisons reply was that the bus was too old to authorize the unlock.
Does Allison have any liability in what happens with my personal bus?
How old is yours?
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:47 PM   #107
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How old is yours?
Ummm........1999
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:13 PM   #108
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How old is yours?
Navistar also declined my Ď96 IH 4900 based on age. The dealer is (almost) irrelevant, itís all up to Navistar (or Thomas, or BB...); if the manufacturer wonít give approval Allison wonít budge. Period. If your TCM is WTEC2 or older an outside company canít do it. WTEC3 and newer they can work with but it seems it costs >$800. Another option for the WTEC2 (like mine) is to find a TCM with 6 speed programming, but it will have to be for the same style tranny (I.e.ómy md3060 has a PTO) and similar engine (electronic control vs mechanical, similar rpm limit).
This is a possible loophole: Allison will reprogram TCMs to an OEM spec, so we could take in a TCM and have it reprogrammed to match another TCM with 6 speed programming, as long as we had the numbers off the 6 speed one (and it would need to be compatible with our tranny and engine, as stated above). Allison doesnít need OEM approval if itís already an OEM number. Iím still looking for the right TCM...
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:17 PM   #109
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Having PCM unlock for $400 seems like the way to go. I think the chances of finding a correct replacement at a lower cost is slim.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:09 AM   #110
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We can see in Tango's '46 Chevy Shorty build that it's possible to get an Allison set up to the owner's spec with little fuss and certainly no consultation with the OEM or balking about the age of the vehicle. What's the difference in his and ours, I wonder? The following come to mind:
  • his bus wasn't originally equipped with an Allison automatic
  • he bought a new tranny
  • he bought a new controller
Can't do much about the fact that my bus was originally equipped with an Allison automatic. I could hide it by claiming that the vehicle I have now is an entirely different vehicle merely built with parts from a Blue Bird, which actually is true if you consider what I've done to the body.. My state has a process for this; it results in the vehicle being legally assigned a new VIN and I suppose this could remove the link of Allison looking for OEM approval. It could cause insurance headaches though.


I'm not too interested in buying a new tranny -- I could sell my present tranny, but there's still a gap of several thousand dollars to overcome. That buys a lot of fuel to feed 5th gear.



Buying only a new controller might not be so bad, but I'm not certain that Allison wouldn't just want to program the new unit with the same calibration the old one had!


I like the idea of getting the existing controller programmed with an existing calibration for a similar vehicle. What about, say, a Thomas bus that has successfully crossed the 6th-gear chasm?
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:25 AM   #111
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You can buy a new controller from a 3rd party and have it programmed by a 3rd partynot affilated with Allison.

Like tango I had a trans built for me and a controller from a 3rd party. In fact I can program my own controller as I wish. You don’t need a new trans or any significant mods to it unless you are a pre year 2006 Allison 1000/2000 then you need a valve body upgrade kit. The 3060 all years is 6 speed capable.

Allison likely obsoleted the gen 1 and gen 2 TCM and many navistar dealers may not have the software anymore to program them.

Get the serial number from your TCM and contact a 3rd party like CAC in Florida or Jason at transmissiontuner dot com.

For my red bus I spent the extra $$ to get a custom trans and fully programmable TCM to avoid these kind of things.

Christopher
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:23 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
You can buy a new controller from a 3rd party and have it programmed by a 3rd partynot affilated with Allison.

Like tango I had a trans built for me and a controller from a 3rd party. In fact I can program my own controller as I wish. You don’t need a new trans or any significant mods to it unless you are a pre year 2006 Allison 1000/2000 then you need a valve body upgrade kit. The 3060 all years is 6 speed capable.

Allison likely obsoleted the gen 1 and gen 2 TCM and many navistar dealers may not have the software anymore to program them.

Get the serial number from your TCM and contact a 3rd party like CAC in Florida or Jason at transmissiontuner dot com.

For my red bus I spent the extra $$ to get a custom trans and fully programmable TCM to avoid these kind of things.

Christopher
How straightforward is upgrading from WTEC2 to a later module? Presumably a matching harness is necessary? What pros/cons with WTEC3/4/5... Any ballpark on cost? And thanks for sharing actual first hand knowledge!
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:28 PM   #113
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I apologize if this is a stupid question, but no one that Iíve seen has commented on shifter compatibility. Mine is a T-handle 5-speed, does that factor into the equation?
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:03 PM   #114
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I owned a 2002 Thomas HDX rear engine nearly 2 years ago that Thomas approved to have 6th unlocked. They sent me a letter and it also allowed the governed speed to be increased from 65 to 75 MPH. It was an ISB engine with a 6.XX rear end. I since sold that bus before I converted it; started looking for another afterwards.

Before I bought the second bus I tried to find out from BlueBird what the deal was. It turns out they have some sort of system that won't allow you to contact the company more than once, it blocks your communication. For that reason I avoided BlueBirds and bought another Thomas.

Ricky from Thomas currently has my request in for the 6th unlock and says he does them quarterly so I won't hear back till December. There's currently no governor on my bus so I'm hoping they won't make me put one on
I have a 02 HDX as well.

Called Thomas and they took my vin and gave me a reference number. Told me they would submit that to the engineering department for approval and would hear back in December as well.

Was there anything additional you had to do when they got back to you?
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:23 PM   #115
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I apologize if this is a stupid question, but no one that Iíve seen has commented on shifter compatibility. Mine is a T-handle 5-speed, does that factor into the equation?
Iíd guess youíd need to replace it. Are you sure yours is an md3060? As I was under the impression all md3060ís had a push button control.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:28 PM   #116
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I have a 02 HDX as well.

Called Thomas and they took my vin and gave me a reference number. Told me they would submit that to the engineering department for approval and would hear back in December as well.

Was there anything additional you had to do when they got back to you?
No just sit and wait... They email the letter if itís approved and you then take it to an Allison dealer/service center for the next step.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:29 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concrete View Post
I apologize if this is a stupid question, but no one that Iíve seen has commented on shifter compatibility. Mine is a T-handle 5-speed, does that factor into the equation?

its not an MD-3060 with a T-handle shifter... its likely a 2000 series.. pre-2006 the 2000 series doesnt have an uinlockable 6th gear..



the 3000 series dont have a physical shift linkage (thus why you cant use a T handle).. they use the push button electronic shifter..
-Christopher
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:31 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
its not an MD-3060 with a T-handle shifter... its likely a 2000 series.. pre-2006 the 2000 series doesnt have an uinlockable 6th gear..



the 3000 series dont have a physical shift linkage (thus why you cant use a T handle).. they use the push button electronic shifter..
-Christopher
Some schools ordered 3060's with T-shifters. They're rare but it happened.
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:36 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Some schools ordered 3060's with T-shifters. They're rare but it happened.

Never have seen one.. was it an electronic T-shifter with a display?



I stand corrected if that was offered because the 3000 transmission has no provisions for a mechanical linkage..
-Christopher
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Old 10-22-2018, 02:42 PM   #120
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Does the 2500 have a mechanical shift cable or is it electronic?
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