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Old 05-15-2014, 11:23 AM   #1
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advice- fishbowl with Allison 2 speed in the mountains

Hey guys. I'v been watching this board for awhile now. I found a '79 fishbowl with an Allison 2spd automatic and I live in mountains of NC. The owner said it reaches 65mph. The bus is fully built out and pretty sweet. Im really curious as to how this transmission performs in the hills. I going to look it at it on monday and would really appreciate any insights or pointer to some links where this topic might be covered.

thanks guys,


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Old 05-18-2014, 12:31 AM   #2
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Re: advice- fishbowl with Allison 2 speed in the mountains

I drove a few of those back in the 80's in upstate NY. A 2 speed automatic is not going to be conducive to mountainous driving. It may well hit 65 on the interstate as long as it's relatively level but as soon as you try steep grades it will bog down, shift into first and speed will drop significantly.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: advice- fishbowl with Allison 2 speed in the mountains

Go here and search. You'll find more:
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Old 05-22-2014, 10:15 PM   #4
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Re: advice- fishbowl with Allison 2 speed in the mountains

I don't know if it's the same or not, but I had one experience riding in an old GM with a 2-speed automatic in high school. It was an away track meet, and for some reason they hired a city bus instead of one of the town's skoolie contractors.

It was the late '60s, and the bus was one of the "round-cornered' ones from the 1950s. (Sorry GM fans, I don't know those model numbers.)

It would be more accurate to call the drive train a torque converter with two ranges rather than a transmission. I'm sure in city line service they never shifted, just slushed their way from one stop to the next in city range.

On the highway trip, it went like this: The driver would start out with his foot to the floor. I wouldn't say the bus really accelerated, I would better describe it as "accumulating speed." We would be going faster and faster, and the noise level from behind the back seat was reaching a crescendo that sounded like we were seconds away from riding a fireball to Mars. Then, at somewhere around 40 miles per hour, there would be a lurch as the city range dropped out and the highway range kicked in. The engine dropped to about an idle as it continued to gradually "accumulate speed" up to match the highway speed of the other traffic.

In re-reading your post, the seller says it "reaches" 65 miles per hour. I will bet that is on level ground with no wind.

I love the look of the old GMs, and if I were in the market for an antique transit, I would look for a stick shift and not go with the slushpot. With the price of fuel today, if I had one of these antiques with a two-speed for nostalgia value, I would probably trailer it to wherever I wanted it to be. Of course, Publishers Clearinghouse would have to change my life to make any of that possible.

I can't say the '79 is similar to the old 50's bus, but my story is free and worth what you paid me for it.
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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