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Author Topic: Synthetic Transmission Fluid?  (Read 5963 times)
Lin
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« on: January 20, 2010, 11:05:41 AM »

It looks like we are soon to be finished with installing my Allison 647.  Are there any opinions (silly question) regarding whether to go with standard of synthetic fluid.  Is Amsoil the equal of Transynd?
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johns4104s
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 11:26:06 AM »

Lin,

I was having hard changes from 1st to 2nd and back down to 1st. I fellow bus nut recommended I change to Hyrotech from Dallas Texas. It cost me $300 to change. But the shifting is 90% better. They test a sample annually and tell you wen to change it. They specialise in School bus fleets were they are getting 500.000 to 750,000 miles between changes.

Let me know if you need any more information

John
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luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 11:33:56 AM »

John, better check your Allison manual on oil change intervals using synthetics no 500,000 miles 

Lin, a good C-4 15/40 oil makes the Allison shift smooth also but it's your dime



good luck
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Lin
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 11:39:14 AM »

Clifford,

Were it only a dime!  You must have a great supplier.
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johns4104s
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 01:44:11 PM »

Clifford,

I hope my Allison tranny See's me out and it won't be 500.000 miles 60 or 70 maybe?
The Hyrotech oil I used just took a lot of the thud out of the 1st to 2ND change.

John


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bottomacher
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 04:02:26 PM »

Do Allison transmissions have a torque converter drain plug? I have always been told not to mix synthyetic and regular transmission fluid, so I always have to wait until I can remove the converter.















i
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luvrbus
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 04:11:19 PM »

No they do not have a drain on the converter you need to change the synthetic oil twice unless starting with fresh transmission 800 bucks worth of fluid ?
I use Cat Power Shift oil in mine 12 bucks a gallon and if it is good enough for a 30,000 dollar Cat transmission a 3,000 dollar Allison is a strole in the park.



good luck
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Lin
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 04:37:39 PM »

Here is a link to Allison approved C4 oils.

https://fdlrd.swri.org/Allison/ApprovedFluidsList.aspx?Id=1

Clifford--There is a Powershift transmission oil that is a synthetic made by Amsoil.  I don't think that is the one you refer to.  I assume it is one specifically recommended by Caterpillar for the Power Shift Transmission.  Do you know the brand name and manufacturer?
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buswarrior
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 05:31:15 PM »

Busnuts report that their transmissions run somewhere 10 degrees cooler with Synthetic versus regular tranny fluid.

There is also a bit of a conspiracy regarding Transynd.

As I understand it, the test rig to prove any other fluid to the standards was destroyed, and the specs to build one are secret...

So, sole supplier, no possible future competitors can test to show equivalency...

A friend of mine is an Amsoil dealer, and when the time comes, I'll convert to theirs.

happy coaching!
buswarrior


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edroelle
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 05:39:27 PM »

Since the 647 is lighter duty than the 740, and probably at its limit, you aught to use the Transynd.  Good insurance.

The same recommendation holds for the B500.  

The Transynd can take higher loads and temperatures without the fluid breaking down and losing lubricity.  

Ed Roelle
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Lin
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 06:36:46 PM »

By the way, how much oil does the 647 take?
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 06:46:24 PM »

I know that you cannot mix synthetic brake fluids with normal brake fluid but I am not aware that mixing dyno with synthetic tranny fluid is of any concern. You can buy 50/50 mixtures of engine oil right off the shelf. I doubt anyone would recover their initial expense by going to synthetic but I do know that going to synthetic in my motorcycles made a very noticeable difference in shifting. Also I have a MC 7 that is marginal in the cooling department with the Allison. Any step that helps with the cooling is of interest to me!!
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 07:07:30 PM »

transynd has friction modifier additives that reduce clutch plate shutter.maybe something to consider? also many shops now have total flush systems that will remove all trans fliud and replace with new.besure however that it is a non pressured machine.
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2010, 07:52:01 PM »

The reason I converted my B500 to Transynd is because it can stay in the tranny for 4 years.  Allison recommends the dino stuff be changed every year or 25,000 miles.

I have yet to find any of the TES 295 fluids that are also approved for 4 years, but I haven't looked real hard yet.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Lin
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 08:19:09 PM »

I Allison says to change standard fluid at 25000 miles/12 months, Transynd at 50000 miles/24 months, and a mixture of both at 50000/24 months.  They define mixture as the quantity of oil left while changing to Transynd.  Could be they just want to encourage you to buy their stuff, I guess.
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Lin
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2010, 12:19:18 PM »

For those interested, I did a little searching and found that Valvoline Maxlife ATF meets Allison's TES 295 spec for synthetic ATF.  It seems it can be gotten for about $20./gal (maybe quart bottles though).  The cost is really close enough to C4.
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belfert
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2010, 01:10:20 PM »

For those interested, I did a little searching and found that Valvoline Maxlife ATF meets Allison's TES 295 spec for synthetic ATF.  It seems it can be gotten for about $20./gal (maybe quart bottles though).  The cost is really close enough to C4.


No Valvooline products are on Allison's list of TES 295 approved fluids.  Does Valvoline have an approval number from Allison?  The PDF on Valvoline's website only lists the fluid as "suitable for use in Allison TES-295 and TES-389 applications".

Per http://www.allisontransmission.com/servlet/DownloadOnDemand?ApplicationID=155&DownloadID=5, for the B500 Allison recommends fluid change (with Transynd) at 48 months or 300,000 miles general or 150,000 miles severe service, whichever comes first.  The filter is to be changed at 36 months or 75,000 miles.  For the HT 700 series Allison recommends changing the fluid (With Transynd) at 48 months or 100,000 miles general duty or 24 months or 50,000 miles for severe duty.  Filter change intervals for the HT 700 series are all over the map depending on what filter you have.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2010, 01:13:24 PM »

I Allison says to change standard fluid at 25000 miles/12 months, Transynd at 50000 miles/24 months, and a mixture of both at 50000/24 months.  They define mixture as the quantity of oil left while changing to Transynd.  Could be they just want to encourage you to buy their stuff, I guess.

You're correct for the HT 700 series when using the severe duty schedule.  The B500 can go 48 months on Transynd fluid for general or severe usage.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Lin
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2010, 07:15:00 PM »

Brian,

You bring up an interesting issue.  Allison has about 5 manufacturers that they approve for TES 295.  However, there are many others that list TES 295 as one of the specs they meet.  An oil distributor I spoke to claimed that the various manufacturers must by law comply with whatever specs they list on the container.  As I understand it, the manufacturers would have to pay Allison to be added to their TES 295 list, so many just state that they meet that spec instead.  Amsoil is not Allison approved, but they list the specs of their product as compared to Transynd to show there is really no difference:

PHYSICAL DATA
AMSOIL Torque-DriveŽ Synthetic Transmission Fluid (ATD)
&
Castrol/Allison TransyndŽ Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid
Physical Data
   Torque-Drive™    TranSyndŽ
Kinematic Viscosity @ 100°C, cSt (ASTM D-445)
   7.41    7.36
Kinematic Viscosity @ 40°C, cSt (ASTM D-445)
   37.14    37.29
Brookfield Viscosity @ -40°C (cP)
   8411    8400
Density @ 60°F (lb/gal)
   7.038    7.047
Flash Point °C (°F) (ASTM D 92)
   230 (446)    232 (450)
Pour Point °C (°F) (ASTM D 97)
   -55 (-67)    -55 (-67)
Four Ball Wear Test
(ASTM D-4172B: 40 kg, 75°C, 1200 rpm, 1 hr) mm
   0.45    0.45
Copper Corrosion (150°C, 3 hr)
   1B    1B
Spectrographic Analysis
      
Boron (ppm)
   133    136
Calcium (ppm)
   28    29
Phosphorous (ppm)
   230    235

I am not an expert on this, but find it reasonable that if companies like Valvoline list their product as TES 295 compliant, it probably is.  However, I would really appreciate being set straight if I'm wrong.  Thanks


Overview

MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF contains a blend of superior base oils and a unique additive package to help extend the life of transmissions with over 75,000 miles. It is formulated to maximize transmission performance, reduce transmission wear, and improve and maintain smooth shifting longer than conventional fluids. MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF is compatible with new and rebuilt transmissions and will not void new car warranties.

Recommended for use where DEXRON, DEXRON II, III and VI, Toyota T-IV and WS, MERCONŽ, MERCONŽ SP and LV, Allison TES 295 and 389, Nissan Matic-D, Matic-J and Matic-K, Honda Z-1 (except CVT), Mercedes NAG-1, Mitsubishi Diamond SP-II and SP-III and many others are required.

   

 

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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2010, 10:31:10 PM »

The Amsoil fluid is priced at $43 a gallon so as I might as well use Transynd for the price.

I found a letter from Valvoline that specifically says they have not submitted Maxlife ATF to any manufacturer for testing.  That doesn't mean it is not TES 295 compliant.  They just haven't paid for the testing.  Since my Allison isn't under warranty there is no requirement to use a TES 295 fluid.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2010, 03:19:33 AM »

I have amsoil in my 740. It works great and as said before tranny runs cooler. Marc
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luvrbus
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2010, 06:10:06 AM »

Heat should never be a problem with a Allison anyway if everthing is according to Hoyle mine runs within + or- 5 degrees of the engine temperature.
If I had a newer electronic transmission synthetic would be my choice but for the old HT transmission naw waste of money.



good luck
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 06:20:40 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2010, 09:48:05 PM »

I did some calling around today for TES 295 approved fluids.  Neither International truck dealer I called had Fleetrite synthetic ATF.  They both had Transynd.  The local Mobil distributor had the Mobil Delvac synthetic ATF, but it is $38 a gallon.  The John Deere dealer sells the HD Syntran for $55 a gallon!  The John Deere stuff is listed as made by Castrol.

I forgot to call the Freightliner dealer for a price on Transynd, but last time I bought a gallon it was like $35.  Transynd seems to be as cheap as the alternatives.

I really should change out my Transynd this summer, but I am not looking forward to the cost.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Lin
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« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2010, 10:07:31 PM »

Brian,

I spoke to the rebuilder I got the transmission from.  He felt the Maxlife would be fine but said he does not prefer synthetics.  He said that regular ATF can give signs of a problem by color and smell while the synthetics may not.  Further, he claimed that he has found that lots of motorhome users prefer C4 motor oil because they say it runs cooler then ATF, which is the main thing I want.  Of course, changing fluid more frequently is not an issue for him since he runs a transmission shop.  I guess at this point I am not sure what to do, but might just use the C4.  It is also possible that oil change intervals can be extended by periodically testing the oil and changing it only when it needs it rather than by a particular schedule.  Anyway, my concerns are going to be slightly different than yours since I am dealing with an ancient 647 instead of one of those new fangled machines.
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« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2010, 10:53:27 PM »

Since I have a B500 I really want to run synthetic since everyone says they don't last as long as the old HT 700 series.  I see a lot of coaches with B500s advertised with rebuilt or replaced transmissions, but the motor is still original.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2010, 05:22:30 AM »

Lin, ask your rebuilder how those motorhome owners knew the transmissions was running cooler.

I'd be thinking rare is the motorhome that has a transmission temp gauge?

It may be that the C4 doesn't come out of the sump smelling burned the way that the other tranny juice does, but that is no indication of a lower temp.

Beware the unsubstantiated words of a tradesman.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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Lin
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« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2010, 08:49:11 AM »

BW,

I'm sure that you are right about not taking unsubstantiated information as gospel.  In many things, all one can do is collect whatever is available and make a choice.  However, although the engineering and professional information would seem to be the primary source, anecdotal information can be just as important.  Experience may trump theory.  In many things, I keep looking until I am thoroughly confused, then flip a coin.
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