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  1. #1
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    Default Allison Transmission Programming Questions

    My little man woke me up in need of some assistance and I'm wide awake now, so I'm here with a question.

    I've been looking at Allisons website and it appears that there are some different programmable options for the transmission. One that they speak of is performance mode vs economy mode. Can someone explain this and if its something worth looking into on a fire apparatus?

    Another question I have is if there are programmable parameters in the upshifting (for more agility/pickup) as well as the downshifting schedule during pre-selected downshifting with engine brake use? Along with the engine brake, I also read about the ability to program a second downshift schedule via the mode button. I'd be interested in this, as highway driving is a bit rough with a 2nd gear preselect unit.

    Final question for the moment. What options do you have for the mode button? All that I knew it was capable of was 4th or 5th gear startup/cutoff programming.

    As usual, thanks in advance; I know some good info is on the way.

    Ours is a 2007 EVS3000 with T handle shifter.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    My little man woke me up in need of some assistance and I'm wide awake now, so I'm here with a question.

    I've been looking at Allisons website and it appears that there are some different programmable options for the transmission. One that they speak of is performance mode vs economy mode. Can someone explain this and if its something worth looking into on a fire apparatus?

    Another question I have is if there are programmable parameters in the upshifting (for more agility/pickup) as well as the downshifting schedule during pre-selected downshifting with engine brake use? Along with the engine brake, I also read about the ability to program a second downshift schedule via the mode button. I'd be interested in this, as highway driving is a bit rough with a 2nd gear preselect unit.

    Final question for the moment. What options do you have for the mode button? All that I knew it was capable of was 4th or 5th gear startup/cutoff programming.

    As usual, thanks in advance; I know some good info is on the way.

    Ours is a 2007 EVS3000 with T handle shifter.
    Try this, Mike. Call Penn DDA, 215 335 0500 in Phila. tomorrow morning. Ask for Bill Mahon. He had sort of retired several years ago, but used to come in on Mondays.

    Bill is/was in Allison sales, and knew more about them than just about anyone. If he's still there, he would be about as good a source of info as anyone you could get. We had him as a guest speaker at our county engineers' association meetings a couple of times. He always put on a good, informative presentation.

    I think I passed through your turf with the engine one day last week. I had taken it to 1st Priority in Manchester to show it them. They have now become the Toyne dealer for New Jersey and Delaware. I was on the way home but wanted to go by way of Bordentown to weigh the truck on a CAT scale at one of the truck stops.

    I missed a turnoff that would have taken me to I-195 and wound up who knows where. A local officer gave me directions that got me to 130 via 133, so I ran down 130 from Hightstown to Bordentown.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!
    Last edited by chiefengineer11; 03-29-2009 at 08:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Try this, Mike. Call Penn DDA, 215 335 0500 in Phila. tomorrow morning. Ask for Bill Mahon. He had sort of retired several years ago, but used to come in on Mondays.
    Don't know where you get your info from but Bill is still working! He's my Allison rep and he calls on me every month.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  4. #4
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    You're Toyne... would that be the "Sutphen on a Spartan Chassis?"

    lol - one of our guys works for First Priority and that's the first thing he thought seeing the stainless body with painted doors.

    If you were in Bordentown 2 more exits down would've gotten you to Westampton and we could've weighed your rig for you.

    Anywho - Mike, When I called Penn DDA about our transmission they said there was a ton of programming options they could do for us, but they were concerned about how the rig would act when locked up in fourth gear, or using the generator. Apparently the transmission detects different tourqe needs and if it runs dual programming it could easily get lost if you were driving with the generator engaged (our's is hydraulic) and they were worried about not keeping things simple. One of these days we're going to get ours programmed for the aggressive down shift option. Maybe you're will be a different story because they were also worried about our power to weight ratio since were "evenly matched" without much extra power to spare. (and it shows)
    FTM-PTB DTRT

    Everything I state on here is to support and aid my fellow firefighters. Everything I post is my opinion only, and in no way should be taken as an official opinion of any Company, Department, or Municipality I represent... oh and this includes Pierce Mfg, as so their legal department has advised me; since they apparently also invented the right to control "Free Speech".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by laddertruckgoes View Post
    You're Toyne... would that be the "Sutphen on a Spartan Chassis?"

    lol - one of our guys works for First Priority and that's the first thing he thought seeing the stainless body with painted doors.

    If you were in Bordentown 2 more exits down would've gotten you to Westampton and we could've weighed your rig for you.

    Anywho - Mike, When I called Penn DDA about our transmission they said there was a ton of programming options they could do for us, but they were concerned about how the rig would act when locked up in fourth gear, or using the generator. Apparently the transmission detects different tourqe needs and if it runs dual programming it could easily get lost if you were driving with the generator engaged (our's is hydraulic) and they were worried about not keeping things simple. One of these days we're going to get ours programmed for the aggressive down shift option. Maybe you're will be a different story because they were also worried about our power to weight ratio since were "evenly matched" without much extra power to spare. (and it shows)
    I don't know what would have prompted that unless he was working on the Sutphen tower that was a bay over from where I parked. Must have had Sutphen on his mind. Actually, we had the McSutphen demo in our station a few years back. It had a stainless body on it which we all thought quite highly of. They asked for and got a copy of our spec, but did not submit a bid. Had they done so and followed the spec it would have received the same serious consderation that the others did.

    I think I can still find your station and I did give it some serious thought. But between getting lost in Fort Dix and the Pine Barrens going down (another story), then again coming back, I was running out of time. Do you have an axle scale? If so, I'll come over there next time. It's $9.00 at the Petro.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfyre View Post
    Don't know where you get your info from but Bill is still working! He's my Allison rep and he calls on me every month.
    How about...from him. That was several years ago and circumstances may have changed. Maybe he unretired. I know he's usually good for an appearance in Harrisburg. But in any event, he would be my first go to source for Allison info.

    And I may, too. I'd also like to see about making the downshifts with the jake on less aggressive. Granted, with the passage of time and a few miles, it's not nearly as annoying as it was when new. But I think some improvements can be made, perhaps by slightly altering the shift points. In the meantime, Mike and/or Sean, please post any info that you get and can share.

  7. #7
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    Question Allison Programming

    I am under the impression that Allison has a "soft shift " programming mode for buses so that passengers that may be standing arn't thrown around so roughly and that this programming was commenly applied to fire trucks.
    Can anyone verify?

  8. #8
    Forum Member HSFDChief600's Avatar
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    On our Allison 3000 when we are just putting around the district we just use it normal (Just press "D"). When we get a call we press our "mode" button and the shift points are taller ( less lugging of the engine like economy mode).
    Forrest Gregg
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    Holtville/Slapout
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  9. #9
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    Something to keep in mind fellas,
    Close ratio transmissions were designed to keep an engine in it's most efficient or powerful operating RPM. And this is typically a narrow range with most diesels and tuned race car engines.

    The Allision 3000 & 4000 series (3060, 4060) are close ratio transmissions, designed to maximize efficiency.

    The 3500 & 4500 series, are wide ratio transmissions, with larger spacing between the gears. In some cases, the wide ratio transmission will provide better acceleration than close ratio ones.

    Take a look at the specs on page 4 of this document from Allison. It shows the ratios of all the models. In both the 3500 & 4500, they have lower ratios in gears 1-3 than their close ratio counterparts. Obviously, they'd come out of the hole much quicker because they have more mechanical advantage.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

  10. #10
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    Allison programs come in "packages". There are several availible for emergency vehicles. The differances in the packages are mainly, midship or PTO pump, PTO or no PTO with a midship pump, PTO pump and roll... The packages also define what input is to be used, switch or mode button. Things like the engine brake preselect can be changed by anybody with a laptop and Allison software with the programming feature enabled. You have to attend an Allison programming class to have this enabled on your laptop. Whoever services your vehicles should be able to do this for you. This info is good for WTEC III, I have only worked on a few of the GEN 4's.
    The A/C is not cold enough, the warning lights are not bright enough, siren is not loud enough, the C.D. player skips every time we jump a curb, cab doors only open to 89.5* and it's been like this since day one!!!!

  11. #11
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    We had some shifting issues on an International Chassis with an Allison. I spoke with our Allison shop and he explained to me that when a tranny is programed for the Fire service it is normally programed for performance mode . The way ours was programed in our tankerby pushing the "Mode" button it would switch the tranny between Performance and economy.

    The mode button can be programed to do many things, on our new ladder we are specing the trans to automaticly go into 4th gear when you push drive. Our first due response is in the Village we run in 4th to keep the tranny from shifting all the time. When we get a long run out of the Village we will hit the Mode button and the tranny will unlock 5th gear.

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