Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-15-2021, 02:05 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Allison MD3060 Filter Bolts Stripped

I changed my fluid and filters on my MD3060 today, which by the way, is doable for a normal person, though not for the faint of heart, it's a bit more than car. I am a big proponent of fresh high quality synthetic lubricants in everything.

So I got the fluid drained, filters out, new O-rings, new filters on, and went to bolt everything back in the bottom of the transmission housing, and behold, three of the filter bolts are completely stripped out. I noticed when putting one of the bolts in by hand, that it didn't want to go, so I pulled it out and inspected it only to find aluminum threads on it. Tried again, same thing happened, tried again, it went in smoothly, only to strip out when torqued. So it seems obvious that the tech who did this last time screwed it up and either didn't notice, didn't torque it properly, or just left it for someone else to deal with.

All the other nine bolts torqued up to spec, which by the instructions, I think was 35 ft-lbs, or whatever it was, I always do the lowest on the spec range, unless something is leaking. I have found that's generally the best rule for aluminum, only tight enough to not leak.

Has anyone here ever had this happen?

Off hand, the fix is generally Heli-coils for this sort of thing. But it is a deep hole and a lot of drilling in a new machine is not always advisable. I'm going to do some more research. Surely this is not the first MD3060 to have threads stripped, and if it's a decent machine, it should be designed to be repaired.

WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 07:05 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
All the information I can find seems to indicate that the pro kit is simply a Time-sert kit with the 24mm inserts and with an extra drill guide.

Considering that is around $1700, it looks like I'm going with the Time-sert kit and the 24mm inserts for $120.

If I can manage not to screw it up too badly, this should work and be reasonably professional.

It does seem to use shallower bolts, which is not really mentioned anywhere in the literature. So I'll buy new shorter bolts to match.

Didn't get any replies on this, so it seems this is a rare problem, or one people throw money at at the stealership. I will report back when the repair is complete.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2021, 08:55 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,194
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
thread inserts arent bad.. ive used them before.. just make sure you drill absolutely straight and with a high quality drill bit.. I usually drill pretty slow in aluminum..



you want to make sure you extract ALL metal shavings.. even a single metal shaving stuck in a valve or in a check-ball cavity will wreak havok a shaving or two in the pan isnt so bad as the filters take care of those.. but since you are working in an area around the filter housing presumabley with the filters out you need to clean up well.
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 09:35 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 572
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Blue Bird All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 adults and two pigeons
Curious, do you have any pictures? I've reached the point of my life where oil changes are preferably left to a "professional" shop to deal with. Been there done that and have all the merit badges! That said, if someone stripped the bolts in the past, I would be left with a large bill I'm sure.
__________________
--Simon


Found my Bus at AAAbus in Phx!
Bus'n it is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 03:56 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus'n it View Post
Curious, do you have any pictures? I've reached the point of my life where oil changes are preferably left to a "professional" shop to deal with. Been there done that and have all the merit badges! That said, if someone stripped the bolts in the past, I would be left with a large bill I'm sure.
I don't have any pictures, nothing to see really, I mean unless you want to see a picture of a perfect set of aluminum threads sheered off and removed from a hole.

I like to do my own maintenance, it's much cheaper and I seem to have ridiculously bad luck with stealerships.

Just last week, they had my work truck for three days and DIDN'T DO THE RECALL! Plus, they changed out my brand new expensive synthetic oil and filter for whatever the Ford factory garbage is. I am still angry.

Nobody cares about my stuff like I do.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2021, 10:10 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Okay, I'm not paying attention.

The first instruction is to remove the control module, which is the whole bottom of the transmission.

So I might as well do all of them while I'm in there, or maybe have Allison do it. I at least need to get a price.

My main concern at this point is getting the inserts less than straight.

Also, I'll need a new gasket. Probably.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2021, 03:32 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
I just talked to my local Allison shop, they quoted me $2400, which is effing ridiculous. Well, never say no without a price.

So I got the Time-certs in today, and Allison has the gasket, or what they think is the gasket. Just need to go get the gasket and buy a transmission jack from Harbor Freight, and we can get this thing moving.

Maybe I will also get some heavy duty jack stands so I can get this thing up a little to work on. Because I'm big boneded.

I'm just going to do all 12 of them and be done with it. Though the kit I bought only has 10, so I bought another one which will be here Saturday.

Anyone have any tips for drilling straight in? Some sort of sleeve? I guess I could make a guide with the drill press. That would help.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2021, 11:22 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Update: Allison MD3060 filter bolt holes stripped

Got the control unit off. I had thought that it was only 3-4 bolt holes that were stripped. But all of them showed at least some damage, some well into stripping out. I was planning on putting inserts in all of them anyway because I didn't want to do the job again in case another one stripped out. All the bolts including the control unit bolts had red Lock-tite.

Also discovered that the external plug for the internal wire harness was broken. This isn't a fatal problem. Can be worked around as it was, they had it zip-tied together. I will check how easy it is to get a new one first thing Monday morning because conveniently neither of the Allison qualified people work in the parts department in the evenings.

I'm documenting this in case something like this happens to someone else in the future, since I was unable to find much help on the forums about it.

Changing the filters is a doable job for anyone who can change oil, and can use a torque wrench. And I recommend doing that according to Allison's schedule, 3-4 years, 75k miles or whatever, I don't remember off hand. Just change it every 4 years and call it good. Don't screw up the bolt holes, 38-42 ft-lb of torque. I recommend sticking to the 38 end. There are multiple YouTube videos on how to do this. Get the Allison kit, it includes filters, gaskets, and O-rings.

Fixing the bolt holes involves pulling off the control module which weighs 60 lbs. A transmission jack is suggested, but I did it with just a floor jack. Power wash everything first, you're not going to miss the grime. I would have, but I didn't feel like laying in a puddle all afternoon since I can't move the bus, and I need this done this weekend because it's blocking my driveway, which also cripples my business.

You have to pull the safety clip on the top of the harness and pull the whole rest of the harness through the hole, which is a dumb design, but it is what it is.

This YouTube video will show you which bolts to pull, pay close attention, he removes one more right at the end. Then you have to drill out the holes. I made a guide with a thick piece of high quality epoxy plywood I had laying around and a drill press, so the holes would be as straight as possible. This was to avoid the need to buy the $1700 kit to do the same.

Then I tapped the holes with the included tap in the $100 Time-sert kit you can get on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xsuhvm (affiliate link).

Then you'll need two of the 24mm insert kits, which cost $21 each: https://amzn.to/3gEmzJ5 (affiliate link). You will also need the gasket which you can get at your local Allison parts supplier for around $30. Also available online, just search for "Allison MD3060 Control Unit Gasket."

Other than some issues with the wiring harness (remember to remove the safety clip) everything has gone more or less smoothly, though lots of grime got into the control unit from the dumb wiring harness configuration, I'll have to clean it out really well. I have done six of the holes so far. The kit works as promised. Just get the holes straight. The drill bit does bite too hard, it just goes straight in like a screw, leaves the hole a little jagged, but the tap works properly, and the inserts do also, leaving a nice clean steel threaded hole.

Though the official kit is a Time-sert kit, an enterprising person could use Heli-coils instead. They're not as pretty, but the pull-out strength is slightly better for the same depth. And they are much cheaper. In this case, you'd probably have to put three coils in each hole for the same thread depth. I used WD-40 for thread cutting oil.

So, all told, it's probably going to be 10 hours, same as the shop, but $170 (plus some of your own tools) instead of $2400. I recommend doing it on concrete instead of gravel. It will make everything so much easier.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2021, 01:16 AM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 943
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
what size bolts?

35 ft-lbs is pretty good sized bolt... most of the automatic transmissions I have worked with, filter and valve bodies were more in the area of 35 in lbs......I do not have the allison books to work with but I ask this so that you might look at the numbers again and non allison reference charts so as to make certain correct torques are being used. factory manuals have mistakes sometimes....


william
magnakansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2021, 02:03 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
35 ft-lbs is pretty good sized bolt... most of the automatic transmissions I have worked with, filter and valve bodies were more in the area of 35 in lbs......I do not have the allison books to work with but I ask this so that you might look at the numbers again and non allison reference charts so as to make certain correct torques are being used. factory manuals have mistakes sometimes....
It's actually 38-42, and that's the standard Allison spec, as confirmed by every source I have found. It does seem high, but that may be due to the length of the threaded portion, about an inch. I have found varying numbers from 28-55 depending on the bolt, lubrication, etc.

Interesting new thing I just learned, the first thread takes about 35% of the force, and after the 6th thread, nothing. So the stronger the bolt, the less stretch, more force is shared between more threads.

That intuitively leads me to believe that these are pretty stiff bolts by the design, long threads, large heads.

Coincidentally, all the bolts that hold on the control module are about the same construction, though of different lengths.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2021, 02:05 AM   #11
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Thought I'd share some pics.

My new phone produces massively large images and this site doesn't handle them, but if I upload them to Facebook first, then re-save them, it makes it easier to post them here.

In the second picture, you can see the threads in various states of stripped out, bottom left is completely stripped out, smooth like it was drilled.

Note the darkish but still red ATF dripping out of the transmission, but sitting in the sun, it turned purple.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Purple ATF.jpg (634.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 131440727_10165419124770192_6797667235120915333_n.jpg (297.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 200803259_10165419125310192_290087916528378595_n.jpg (212.7 KB, 7 views)
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2021, 07:04 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
joeblack5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,172
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
How much extra depth is in the hole? Can you tap deeper and use a longer bolt?
Are these M12*1.5. Can you go up to a standard size bolt like a 1/2" ?

You also could thread and glue a stud in and use a nut on the other side..

All maybe unconventional..but then..converting buses is as well.

Good luck
Johan
joeblack5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2021, 11:17 AM   #13
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
How much extra depth is in the hole? Can you tap deeper and use a longer bolt?
Are these M12*1.5. Can you go up to a standard size bolt like a 1/2" ?

You also could thread and glue a stud in and use a nut on the other side..

All maybe unconventional..but then..converting buses is as well.
These are M10x1.5. The inserts may be M12, but I don't know.

There is not much extra depth in the hole, maybe a few millimeters, so I don't know if there is enough space for the next size up.

According to the official instructions, if the hole is too wallered out for an insert, the transmission case must be replaced.

And let's be honest, a used MD3060 is well cheaper than either the $1700 kit or the $2400 repair bill.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 02:05 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Update

The transmission is back together as of late last night.

I am a little gun shy about tightening all the way up to 38 ft-lbs, so it's only at 35 presently. You never know when they are lubricated and whatnot. My rule for aluminum is only as tight enough so that it doesn't leak.

Interesting, thing, one of the bolts was missing from the factory. Empty threaded hole, never been used.

I also consulted the maintenance log, and it appears that the only things that have ever been done to this transmission since the factory was the 10k mile service which was done at 92k, and the 50k service which was done at 145k. As far as the fluid, all it said was "ATF HEAVY DUTY" so take that for what it's worth.

Everything looked nice. The fluid was still nice and red, with just a hint of brown, no evidence of water intrusion or clutch failure. Only a dusting of metal on the drain plug magnet.

This afternoon, I'll be refilling it and getting on with the next thing.

So if anybody needs help with this fix in the future, or anything I can offer experience on, just leave a message here or in PMs. It's not easy, but it's not bad. Do change your fluid and filters every 4 years minimum or according to fluid analysis, do not over torque your bolts, do not use an impact.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 02:59 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,194
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
nice work!!! taking down the valve body of a trans isnt for the faint of heart.. im assuming that is what you dropped was the valve body.. the seals and any check-balls are the most important part, howerver on that trans if I remember right the valve body can come down as a unit so you dont have check-balls to deal with.



I just went through the bolts in aluminum thing swapping the HPOP in my T444E... the engine front cover is aluminum and the HPOP and its reservoire bolt into it.. the one thing I note is when I thread a bolt in how many turns did it make.. in my case even though the torques are fairly stout.. the bolts thread far into the mating cover.. it was a lot like 12 turns of a fine thread bolt.. if I only have a few turns I get leery of pulling a lot of torque on it.. most of the transmissions ive worked on, the bolts thread pretty deep ..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 05:31 PM   #16
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
nice work!!! taking down the valve body of a trans isnt for the faint of heart.. im assuming that is what you dropped was the valve body.. the seals and any check-balls are the most important part, howerver on that trans if I remember right the valve body can come down as a unit so you dont have check-balls to deal with.
It's called the "control unit." It includes all the valves with their solenoids or whatever actuates them and two sensors, all of which connect to a wiring harness which exits through an upward facing surface on the turbo side (this is a pusher bus). It is quite nice and well designed (except for the plug) with the fluid passages even labelled in the casting as to which clutch they belong. So that was neato.

Coincidentally, for those of you with an Allison with 6th gear locked out, that means your #4 clutch is only used on second gear, IIRC. Or one of them is, only used on second gear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I just went through the bolts in aluminum thing swapping the HPOP in my T444E... the engine front cover is aluminum and the HPOP and its reservoire bolt into it.. the one thing I note is when I thread a bolt in how many turns did it make.. in my case even though the torques are fairly stout.. the bolts thread far into the mating cover.. it was a lot like 12 turns of a fine thread bolt.. if I only have a few turns I get leery of pulling a lot of torque on it.. most of the transmissions ive worked on, the bolts thread pretty deep ..
I never had to do anything to the HPOP on my 7.3. I did replace the injectors and glow plugs, as well as one of the wiring harnesses under the valve covers. Also the water pump. From what I understand of the 444, the HPOP is bolted to the back side of the front cover, the front side of which is where the water pump lives.

This lesson I have learned about how bolts stretch and put pressure on threads has been tickling my brain. With a long enough thread, you can have the 1st thread completely stripped and the last thread properly torqued. I wonder if there is a wear component.

Obviously, the proper way of doing it is with steel inserts. My family motto is "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing."
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 06:05 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,194
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
C4 is only used in 2nd and 6th.. the C4 clutch typically takes a beating ,the C4 clutch is the one people tend to try and tighten up in a 1-2 shift to get that "hard shift" feeling so they run the Trim up high which makes C4 come on faster and stronger.. dangerous game it is trying to make an allison shift hard.. (guys like that hard-shift hot rod feel thats so easy to achieve in a 4L60E.... in that trans you just put in a corvette server, turn up the TV pressure, and block the 1-2 accumulator.. so you bring the 2nd gear band on instantly.. allisons dont have any bands.. bands are a lot of times the failure points in other trannies so allison doesnt use them.. I miss building TH350/700/4L60(E) variants.. the days of tire screeching hard shifts!! yeah!! no way ill do it n an allison or even try!


then again those were days of stripping out sun-gear shells and scattering planet gears on the track too!!
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 09:17 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Gold Hill, OR
Posts: 172
Year: 2004
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 2002 ISC / MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 ft, 36,200 GVW
I don't have any need for any sort of hard shift.

I want whatever makes it last the longest so I don't have to deal with it. That's why I use synthetic lubricants and stuff like bypass filters.
WiredForStereo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.