Compatible transmissions for the M35a3 with the cat 3116

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hornetfan

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Gear Venders makes a planetary geared 0.78:1 overdrive which is pretty short, 12.5" I think, that might work pretty well with a bobbed 4x4 A3 if the wheelbase is 140-150". http://www.gearvendors.com If you're bobber's rear axle is in the same position as the intermediate tandem axle of a 6x6 I think you'll have prop shaft problems even with CV joints. The Gear Venders box is rated for 1200 hp and 30,000 GVW so should be okay with a deuce. Pricey though.
 

SsgLattig

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i guess i'll be changing mine to atf according to what ive read on here. i was just going by the manual i had for this truck. didnt know you could change to a different fluid. thanks
I don't know if this has been answered since you posted this but I don't have the time to sit here and read all the posts on this thing, I have a job man! Anyway, the military uses 15w40 in the Allison autos because of the operational environment (combat) doesn't always allow for all different POL (Petrolium, Oil, Lubricants) products to be carried along in case you need it. Also, they don't last that long through military use either. Do yourselves a favor and drain the 15w40, flush it with ATF, and refill it with clean ATF. Allison has its own "ATF" called Transynd, that to the best of my memory the fluid properties of Synthetic ATF & Transynd are similar from when I was a Cat Tech & bumper to bumper diesel tech. Allison dealers will answer questions for you guys if you ask them, so don't be afraid, walk in & pick their brains. Also, good luck with all of your ingenuity!
 

duttoer1959

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Im new on here but am interested in the allison overdrive transmission. I have read that the transmission itself is programmable. They do not make a non electronic overdrive transmission. It has it's own control module that reads rpm and is not dependent on the ecm of the engine. So a newer allison could be used and as an added bonus you could also have park wich you dont have now.
 

trukhead

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There is a HUGE aftermarket for all variety of things automotive. There are a lot of forums which discuss upgrades using aftermarket parts to go faster in antique vehicles using stock drivetrains or stock suspensions. None of these forums are as paranoid as SS.
A huge percentage of those aftermarket parts are created and sold for professionally designed, current or recent-engineered vehicles or at least corporate created vehicles with the resources of an engineering department that created and had the government endorse these vehicles. Somebody takes on the liability of those aftermarket items. In contrast, We are a tiny bunch of individuals with an interest in an ex-military, special use vehicle that really never was intended for our pleasure. When we modify these vehicles, we assume the responsibility of mechanical integrity for the parts we create and operation of said parts on what is basically a 60 year old deuce or 5 ton, basically an old farm lumber wagon. There are talented creative people out there that create safe vehicles and then there are other vehicles.

I don't confuse paranoia with the sentiment of WTF is that piece of $h!T doing on the road as a result of viewing it and having a reaction of thinking abut said vehicle as: it is an obvious disaster waiting to happen. It is just the misfortunes of a few that we do not have access to some military vehicles such as the 151, and for whatever reasons, the ability to have purchased the goat and the now, the HMMWV.
,
It is by tradition and habit from an older generation that we have access to what we can purchase.
Imagine returning from WWII to an Air Force air field and plopping down $5,000 and having an aircraft gassed up and you are now the proud new owner of it and if you can fly it, off you go. I don't remember who I heard this from but I have no reason to doubt it because it is one of those "in the credible memories" categories.

I see modifing recent current or antique, corporate vehicles as a different animal that modifing the deuces and 5 tons as treading different waters.
 

simp5782

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Does any know is the housing to a 1545 an a 545 the same
Yes. There is a front pump difference and torque converter differences is it. They also have the kit to convert one to the other

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tobyS

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Wow, this is an interesting thread with a lot of branches. Maybe all parties have found their answers. Seems the consensus is to change axle gearing or use the manual 3053.

My friend Matt and I have rebuilt one A3 AT 1545 with a melted fourth/reverse clutch pack that will go into the A3 4x4 project I have going. Matt (was) a certified Allison and GM tranny man but is on his own in a small shop now, kinda eccentric.

Joe brought his tranny up to Matt and again, we have a burned up set of frictions and steels and a ground away aluminum piston on fourth/reverse. This one got metal into the governor and made it turn like it has gravel in the bearing. That had to come from the locking torque converter, given the oil flow path.

The tranny that is presently in my A3 will be replaced soon with my rebuilt one, so I will have a third 1545 to rebuild (and sell or have to trade).

Back to the subject of the OP. Matt noticed that almost the guts to an Allison 1545 (and 545) will fit and are the same size as the GM 4L80E and specifically the fourth/reverse clutch is what is called the "direct clutch" of the 4L80E tranny. Matt told me many times that the steel piston with vulcanized seal in the 4L80E had much tighter sealing and better pressure than the Allison Aluminum piston, resulting in greater clamping pressure. Also, the 4L80E has much improved frictions and steels and spring.

The 4L80E "direct drive" clutch pack is vastly improved and has 40% more clutch surface area....and goes into the fourth/reverse of the Alison that is a major weak link ESPECIALLY FOR HIGHWAY SPEED and more so with higher gears.

That raises the question I have....is the 4L80E GM with overdrive, a similar and perhaps interchangeably option behind the 3116? I don't know the answer but never saw it mentioned in this thread.

Think about it....the goal here (of the thread) is more speed and a reduction of rpm, perhaps with an auto or as discussed, the 3053. I want to go 65 and be around 2500 or slightly less. If I keep the 1/1 ratio of the Alison, I have the option of sticking with the 1545 with locking torque converter or change to the 545 relatively easy.

Now we also have the option of having our locking torque converters upgraded from one to two or three clutch plates, further strengthening what has been viewed as the weak link.

While my rebuilt 1545 is going into my 4x4 project, the tranny that is in it will be rebuilt next and I will put the 4L80E upgraded steels, frictions, spring and vulcanized piston in it for 40% more clutch area and (guess) 25% more clamp pressure.

If you are going to get speed by buying Overson gears...this fourth clutch pack upgrade to the Allison is a must in my opinion....and wealthy can that multi clutch torque converter rebuild.

Plan for the A3 4x4 will add the 2 sets of Overson gears, air locker (rear) and lock out fronts. That's why I call it "money pit".

Here is one supplier link for the high performance clutch parts

https://www.transmissioncenter.com/s...rect-hp-64-95/

https://www.transmissioncenter.com/s...bonded-piston/
 

m-35tom

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It was long ago decided that the 3053 was the only trans that would fit and that the OD kit I made was the only option to get what you want. There was very little interest in my kit even though I gave them away at cost so they are no longer available.
 

tobyS

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Hi Tom. I read the thread and admit to getting confused about who was doing what. I could use an overdrive in my 4x4, I have the length. No doubt I could use an OD.

Since I committed to the Allison with 1:1, a pinion gear change at the same time as putting in air locker is going on my wish list.

I was just posting to this thread so a future reader would know that all hope is not lost for the AT 1545 because the trouble clutch pack has frictions and steels that have 40% more area and about 25% more clamp pressure available....USING PARTS FROM HIGH PERFORMANCE 4l80 DIRECT CLUTCH to replace the Allison clutch pack, springs and piston.

And I was suggesting that a 4L80 or a 4L85 might be a possible replacement.
 
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rustystud

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Hi Tom. I read the thread and admit to getting confused about who was doing what. I could use an overdrive in my 4x4, I have the length. No doubt I could use an OD.

Since I committed to the Allison with 1:1, a pinion gear change at the same time as putting in air locker is going on my wish list.

I was just posting to this thread so a future reader would know that all hope is not lost for the AT 1545 because the trouble clutch pack has frictions and steels that have 40% more area and about 25% more clamp pressure available....USING PARTS FROM HIGH PERFORMANCE 4l80 DIRECT CLUTCH to replace the Allison clutch pack, springs and piston.

And I was suggesting that a 4L80 or a 4L85 might be a possible replacement.
Actually the 4L80E would be a good choice for the deuce if you rebuilt it with the high performance parts the racers use. They are using engines that produce over 2000HP with this transmission ! I'm pretty sure the deuce doesn't even come close to that ! So that being said, rebuilding a 4L80E to take that kind of power will cost you around $2000.00 to $3000.00 in parts alone. You will need the 6 pinion planetary's along with the "300M" or better steel mainshafts and drive hubs.
Also "Blue Alto" clutches and "Kolene" steels are mandatory. Of course you can rebuild a 4L80E to take 800HP for under $1000.00. I have done it. Used to build transmissions for the local racers here. That's how I knew the parts suppliers I gave you Toby.
Of course no one has even mentioned the newer 1000/2000 series Allison's. Six speed overdrive units that can take tremendous power in small neat little packages. My new Chevy 3500 4X4 runs great with this transmission. You can find them at the junk yards for under $1500.00 if you look around. The average price is around $2500.00 though.
This would make a great Deuce transmission ! In fact just transplant the DuraMax and Allison power unit straight into the Deuce. You would be driving down the Freeway at 80 MPH no problem !
 

tobyS

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Rusty, what is the Ford alternative? I have an 2003 E450 mini bus with (I think) the 7.3. It has a broken rod. Not sure of tranny. My friend had a lot of miles on his in his PU.
 

cwc

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The automatic behind a 7.3 is a 4R100, a derivative of a C6/E4OD. It is full electronic shift; they are pretty long, and have an integral bell housing which would require an adapter plate at least to mate it up. They are not bad to work on; I went through one over the winter that had a smoked forward clutch, and used an upgraded Alto clutch pack for the forward. Doesn't seem like the best candidate to swap in...

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tobyS

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Thanks cwc. I was thinking the entire engine tranny assembly. It seems there are controllers that have improved and might not be too cost prohibitive. I'm not sure if I could use the van brain....that might be tooo complicated.

After reading this thread and thinking about it's great info, my wish list is for lower pinon gears + air lockers and lock out's and stay with the Allison.

I'm glad to find what I think is a fix for the weak point, the 4th clutch and piston failure.
 

rustystud

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Rusty, what is the Ford alternative? I have an 2003 E450 mini bus with (I think) the 7.3. It has a broken rod. Not sure of tranny. My friend had a lot of miles on his in his PU.
The Ford and Chrysler transmissions are not in the same class as the Allison's at this time. The Ford "E4OD" was the next evolution of the good old "C-6" which was a pretty decent transmission. I rebuilt plenty in my time, but you could "modify" them to hold up to a lot of power. The transit department had several 1.5 ton Fords with the "E4OD" transmissions behind the IHC 6.9 diesel. They got rebuilt after 40,000 miles. Couldn't make them last longer. Same problem with the Chrysler transmissions behind the Cummins. They could not handle the power for very long. Ford then came out with the 4R100, then later the 6R140.
Now Ford has come out with a new transmission in conjunction with GM called the
"Torqshift 10 speed" . It replaces the "6R140" that was used in the 1 tons. The 6R140 could not handle the power of the IHC Power Stroke Diesels for very long either. We will see how this unit holds up. Sounds very promising though.
Chrysler has also come up with a new transmission for their 1 tons too. They basically dumped their old line of "TorqueFlites" and are using the "AISIN" 6 speed now. I never liked the "AISIN" transmission, but we will see how this holds up. I heard this is just a "stop gap" measure until Chrysler comes out with their new 8 speed truck transmission.
Time will tell.
So like I said earlier. I did not like any transmission options in any 1 ton truck except the "Allison" . That is the sole reason I went with Chevrolet.
 
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tobyS

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Rusty, just to let you know, I contacted Coan first because they are in Kokomo, about 40 miles from me. They were less than helpful. While they stock the 4L80 fourth clutch pack for high performance, they knew absolutely nothing about Allison and were not willing to let me compare parts, even if I brought them down. If I had a racing vehicle, I would not do business with them.

On the other hand transmissioncenter.com was very helpful. They had me talk directly to the man that does most rebuilds and he verified that the parts would interchange. First he found the steels were the same part number and then we decided the difference in numbers of the frictions was their thickness. He also has some ideas for the cage to go on the spring. We will talk this coming week, he is looking to see if he can find an OEM caged spring and he knows of someone making a HDPE cage....thus very helpful.
 

rustystud

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Rusty, just to let you know, I contacted Coan first because they are in Kokomo, about 40 miles from me. They were less than helpful. While they stock the 4L80 fourth clutch pack for high performance, they knew absolutely nothing about Allison and were not willing to let me compare parts, even if I brought them down. If I had a racing vehicle, I would not do business with them.

On the other hand transmissioncenter.com was very helpful. They had me talk directly to the man that does most rebuilds and he verified that the parts would interchange. First he found the steels were the same part number and then we decided the difference in numbers of the frictions was their thickness. He also has some ideas for the cage to go on the spring. We will talk this coming week, he is looking to see if he can find an OEM caged spring and he knows of someone making a HDPE cage....thus very helpful.
I understand "Coan Racing's" position. They are a "racers' only site. I'm glad to hear PATC let you talk to a tech though. I found out all this information years ago due to my having a foot in the heavy truck world and the racing world. Back in those days guys where looking at all angles to find advantages for their racing vehicles. No one was making off the shelf performance parts for transmissions then. You did it yourself or it didn't happen. Since I was rebuilding Allison's along with TH400's I soon found out the similarities. "You know this clutch plate looks just like that clutch plate ! This pump bushing is the same diameter as that one but it's wider ! " . That was how it happened.
 
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