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Old 01-08-2020, 12:16 AM   #1
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Finally feel like real Skoolie members:D

We’re so pleased we picked up our new bus yesterday, though it feels like longer! She turns out to be not as suited for highway driving as we thought...really runs around 55, 60 tops unless downhill. We have a long way to go to get her home. Started in Georgia and driving to Corvallis Co the long way round. We don’t have snow chains and would like to get to know her before we hit the Rockies!

She’s an FS 65 Bluebird on a Thomas chassis. We were super happy to find out she’s got about 140,000 miles on Cat 3126B engine rebuild and then two years after that a tranny rebuild on the Allison 2000. 6’4” roof, 23 foot, good tires, air seat (leaks will need to be fixed) air brakes (light on but working :/, air suspension in back,(super happy about that on the rough southern roads!). Tired tonight as we touch down in Shreveport LA. 13 hours on the road today. My back molar cracked apart this am so we will be hunting a dentist in the am to fix it...shredding my tongue. Other than the tranny heating a bit this afternoon (we stopped to let her cool a bit...never redlined), we moved on and kept the rpms a bit lower...she hummed along quite happily. We’re happy she’s happy because we have 2129 miles to go! We’ve decided we’ll slow down a bit tomorrow. Just travel 6 hours. Decided to name her Peachy Dreams in a tip of the hat to the state we bought her in!

http://imgur.com/JOfkdP3
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http://imgur.com/fdEjWoU
http://imgur.com/4KzeSdF
http://imgur.com/pTrm2DZ
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http://imgur.com/j4lSAaW

Looking forward to the build!
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:17 AM   #2
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That transmission gauge going to the hot side would worry me. Happened to marc on his way from Ky with it too.
I have a 99 Thomas fs65 with the same engine only I have a 545 transmission and mine doesn't even get hot even with the non locking torque converter.
Check the fluid. Make sure its not overfilled or underfilled.
Hopefully its not a worn TC.
https://allisonparts.net/Allison-Tra...n-Parts-H.html
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:19 AM   #3
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I might be concerned about that trans temp gauge.. as you are driving along at 55 what are your engine RPMs.. do they Vary much on the highway with slightly letting off the gas pedal and then pushing down again? not full let off and floor but just slight pressure changes on the pedal shouldnt change the RPM more than a little..


-Christopher
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the heads up ya’ll. 13 hours running at 55 to 60. Keeping it to 3500 rpm. Temp staying 200. Tried that slight release on gas pedal and pushing again...only 4000rpm fluctuation. Temp steady at 189 -190.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:47 PM   #5
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Thought I’d post our dash as we’re running to if you all spot something we’re missing.
https://share.icloud.com/photos/05IT...Z5vDnE2UG2ec1g
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:00 PM   #6
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your RPM varied 400 RPM whole letting on / off the pedal? did your speed vary much when you did that or stay generally steady?
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
That transmission gauge going to the hot side would worry me. Happened to marc on his way from Ky with it too.
I have a 99 Thomas fs65 with the same engine only I have a 545 transmission and mine doesn't even get hot even with the non locking torque converter.
Check the fluid. Make sure its not overfilled or underfilled.
Hopefully its not a worn TC.
https://allisonparts.net/Allison-Tra...n-Parts-H.html



with such a slow max speed and hot trans.. my concern is he is never reachlng Lockup Over-drive.. or the converter isnt locking..



obviously his slow speed could be gear-limited but that doesnt account for hot trans..



the ABS light is on for some reason.. which shouldnt affect trans temp unless the issue is that the J1939 data link is broken then the trans will never lock up..
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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While the issue raised itself during the 1st 100 miles it did drop back to normal for the next 300 miles. When that gauge goes up, none of the others vary. One would think if the trans is that hot that it would heat the coolant and the water temp would rise some also. Water temp never really varies from 180. We drove the bus here for about 1/2 hour and it didn't rise then. I believe the bus is gear governed at 2600rpm. I've had it to 65 down hill, but revs don't rise. When on the highway it is definitely a stand on the pedal the whole time, any lift immediately reduces speed.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:26 PM   #9
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While the issue raised itself during the 1st 100 miles it did drop back to normal for the next 300 miles. When that gauge goes up, none of the others vary. One would think if the trans is that hot that it would heat the coolant and the water temp would rise some also. Water temp never really varies from 180. We drove the bus here for about 1/2 hour and it didn't rise then. I believe the bus is gear governed at 2600rpm. I've had it to 65 down hill, but revs don't rise. When on the highway it is definitely a stand on the pedal the whole time, any lift immediately reduces speed.

I ran an AT540 up to 345 degrees in my Superior on a mountain.. my coolant temp never went above 200....

the trans very can be hot.. my theory is that the lockup isnt engaging correctly...either because of an electrical data-comm issue or from an internal issue in the trans...



the fact your speed went to 65 down a hill and your RPM didnt go any higher that it was at 55-60 indicates this very thing.. an AD2000 series is a Locked up trans so if you "coast" down a hill the converter stays locked and the bus would either not speed up or it would pull the RPMs higher... if the speed can vary at the same RPM.. either one of the clutch packs is slipping or the converter isnt locking... pick your choice..
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I ran an AT540 up to 345 degrees in my Superior on a mountain.. my coolant temp never went above 200....

the trans very can be hot.. my theory is that the lockup isnt engaging correctly...either because of an electrical data-comm issue or from an internal issue in the trans...



the fact your speed went to 65 down a hill and your RPM didnt go any higher that it was at 55-60 indicates this very thing.. an AD2000 series is a Locked up trans so if you "coast" down a hill the converter stays locked and the bus would either not speed up or it would pull the RPMs higher... if the speed can vary at the same RPM.. either one of the clutch packs is slipping or the converter isnt locking... pick your choice..
The strange thing was it gets near the red line, but never actually rises to the red line. Does anyone know if there is a warning buzzer or light with these models.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:35 PM   #11
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ive not seen one with a warning buzzer for the transmission... the hotter it gets the higher differential there is between the coolant and the fluid which means heat will be removed faster..if you were driving in the hot summer it might very well run off the scale..


again the ABS light being on is a concern as in that year the ABS module is usually on the J1939 data bus... without pulling the transmission codes its hard to tell what its thinking.. but something surely seems off with it..
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:49 PM   #12
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Our experience is same as Marc described. We we were running up and down hills yesterday for about 6 before heated up. We were running it at 2600rpm. After that kept it 2500 and a bit lower speed. Didn’t heat up again. Let off pedal a little as instructed, had a 500 rpm drop, not much discernible drop in speed, went from 60mph to 50. Temp running at 190 today.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:49 PM   #13
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Thanks for the heads up ya’ll. 13 hours running at 55 to 60. Keeping it to 3500 rpm. Temp staying 200. Tried that slight release on gas pedal and pushing again...only 4000rpm fluctuation. Temp steady at 189 -190.
a 3126 shouldn't ever be spinning 3500 rpm. It shouldn't ever exceed 2600.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:52 PM   #14
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Thought I’d post our dash as we’re running to if you all spot something we’re missing.
https://share.icloud.com/photos/05IT...Z5vDnE2UG2ec1g
Here's what my gauges are doing going down the interstate. The only difference is I have 3.42 rear gears and a 545 trans.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:52 PM   #15
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a 3126 shouldn't ever be spinning 3500 rpm. It shouldn't ever exceed 2600.
There's a mistake in there, the bus won't turn 3500rpm. it won't turn 2700rpm.

This is normal operation on all gauges.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:55 PM   #16
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There's a mistake in there, the bus won't turn 3500rpm. it won't turn 2700rpm.
I didn't think so.
Most won't go past 2400. That's what mine's limited to.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:24 PM   #17
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Great to hear she’s running smooth. Sorry about typo! Louisiana highway 20 rough as heck!!! Hard to type and see what’s been typed:P Texas highways today much smoother.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:47 PM   #18
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Well, in Big Springs Texas. Transmission heated heated up to 280 so we pulled in and found a diesel mechanic. We’re surprised and disappointed to find out we don’t have an Allison 2000, we have a 545. They found a leaky seal between transmission and drive shaft. Not able to pinpoint heating issue. Dropped us off at La Quinta. Can’t get parts until am. Going to check radiator though our water temp has held steady, change the transmission filter just in case not flowing that well. Said gearing is really rated for 55 and we’re pushing her to the top end performance and taking her from low speed stop and go travel to flat out cross country travel...almost like skipping breaking her in. He said he ran his diesels at 45 for first 1500 miles to break them in. We’re not mechanical folks so have little understanding of that process.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:54 PM   #19
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Now it makes sense.. so the seller listed the bus as an allison 2000 and you have A 545????

Right back to the seller for money back plus fuel and plane fare is what I would do!! That’s totally BS.. and that trans is likely to always heat up on you that’s what 545s do...
Christopher
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleth2 View Post
Well, in Big Springs Texas. Transmission heated heated up to 280 so we pulled in and found a diesel mechanic. We’re surprised and disappointed to find out we don’t have an Allison 2000, we have a 545. They found a leaky seal between transmission and drive shaft. Not able to pinpoint heating issue. Dropped us off at La Quinta. Can’t get parts until am. Going to check radiator though our water temp has held steady, change the transmission filter just in case not flowing that well. Said gearing is really rated for 55 and we’re pushing her to the top end performance and taking her from low speed stop and go travel to flat out cross country travel...almost like skipping breaking her in. He said he ran his diesels at 45 for first 1500 miles to break them in. We’re not mechanical folks so have little understanding of that process.
The listing I bought it from clearly stated it's a 2000. Don't know what they are talking about with break in, trans clearly has more than 1500 miles on it. I just spoke with the gargage and he said all the 2002 and up were electronic transmissions. When he asked what bus number it was , 0106, he says the 01 means it's a 2001 and would be a 545.
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