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Old 02-26-2023, 01:26 PM   #1
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At545 and hills?

I'm currently driving a 1996 bluebird across country I was not sure how to treat it on hills I know it has the non lockup torque converter and the at545
but I don't know what that means for going up and down grades what's the best way to drive it so as to keep not blow it up?

The trans temp is usually 160 and the engine temp about halfway between 100 and 210 both rise slightly when I see a lot of hills maybe 180-190 at most for either
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Old 02-26-2023, 03:51 PM   #2
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Year: 1993
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don't be a lead foot.

when i put in my egt gauge, i learned how hot that manifold gets on long sustained climbs. just backing the pedal off the floor and modulating it makes a huge difference on egts.

little hills are fine modulating the pedal, on big hills like the continental divide, i turn on my flashers and go about half pedal of keeping the gear that lets me climb. (usually 3rd gear about 40mph-ish)
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Old 02-26-2023, 07:27 PM   #3
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That dash looks familiar. I used to have a 97 bluebird tc2000 40ft, Allison 545 and Cummins 12v 5.9. You could floor that thing going up and down the hills on each side of the Mississippi here in Iowa and the temp wouldn't budge. That stock 12v couldn't output enough power to overheat the 545 going up any incline... Traffic behind me would get mad as we did it at 25 mph though, haha. Even on the flat ground of I-80 between Davenport and Iowa City it'd max out at 57 mph... 59 with a tail wind.

Once I actually got somewhat stuck in Port Byron, IL. Coming out of "downtown" on the riverfront you've got a straight shot up the hill to the highway, where there's a stop sign. If you stop at the sign, the slope is tall enough you can't get the wheels turning, so you have to blow the stop sign. But it's a busy highway so if you hit the top and there's traffic, you have to stop, back about about a mile down the hill, and hit it again. I did that for half an hour once...

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Old 02-27-2023, 08:18 AM   #4
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With a trans temp gauge installed you're head and shoulders above the average at545 owner.

I assume the sensor is in the pan, and if that's the case, allison says no higher then 250, with 160-200F being average operating temps. I personally wouldn't go higher then 220 or so, because if you hit that while you're at full throttle and in the power, your converter out will likely be cooking. If you do hit that, pull over somewhere safe and let it idle to cool off, or downshift a gear and watch that temp like a hawk.

Now that you have a trans temp gauge, the only other thing you have to concern yourself with is making sure that the modulator is functioning correctly.
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Old 02-28-2023, 05:55 AM   #5
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Just what Booyah45828 said. Allison also gave converter out temps of 300 max. I have triple gauged mine reading converter out, retarder out and pan temperature. If you run at a converter out temp of 275 long enough you will still over heat the unit even though Allison says that it is under the max. Same with the retarder. An auxiliary cooler is another wise investment that will pay off in big dividends.
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