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International Medium Duties Tranny selection

Discussion in 'Trucks' started by redneckracin, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    Fellas,

    I have been lurking on here for a little while now gathering some info and questions.

    I currently have a one ton diesel that I need to upgrade. Im flirting with my max gcwr of my truck and I need to upgrade trucks. I have already rulled out a tandem tractor because its to big for what I need right now. I may upgrade later but its off the table for this thread sake.

    I have sort of settled on a M/D international because they seem to be almost bullet proof and simple. They are also availabe in a crew cab which is something I very much would like to have coming from a crew cab pick up. Anyways, Im pretty much sold on the DT530E for a motor unless I can find a cummins in a crew cab which would be like finding a hen's tooth. This would hopefully start me out at over 250hp. Air ride is mandatory. Right now I just have a 20+5 GN but may be upgrading.

    the actual question is what tranny should I be leaning towards and away from? Im looking at 1990-2003/2004 which ever year switched to the new body with the cooling issues. I have seen alot of 6, 7 and 10 speeds and also some allisons. The autos I have already figured out I want O/D so that rules out the MT trannies and the 2000 series are just not a big enough step up from my current truck. That pretty much leaves me with the 3000 series for an auto. Are they pretty reliable?

    One thing to consider is that my wife wants to learn how to drive a standard but does not yet and she is willing to throw some cash in if she can pull a bigger horse trailer with the truck. My truck now is currently a 6-speed with a very touchy dual disk clutch and is not friendly to drive. I dont have any experience with 2-speed rears but I'm sure I can catch on quickly. We also get a fair amount of snow during the winter months and if she takes the trucks to a show, most of the parking lots are not paved and can be as primitive as a field. (boy that was alot of rambling :Banghead)




    Summary:Medium Duty truck trans selection, Auto vs. manual Which manual trannies to avoid? Are the 3000 series allisons reliable? Should I be looking for a 2-speed rear or a hi-lo tranny? Fuel mileage on the interstate would be nice! I appreciate any feedback and thanks in advance for the help. Would you prefer an eaton-fuller or a spicer? (sort of know the answer to this already)

    Also:No need to discuss CDL requirements, Im already in the process of getting it.
     
  2. johndeere123

    johndeere123 Well-Known Member

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    We have a few trucks with Allison 3000 series in them, and the only thing I found bad about them is the engine seems to over rev between shifts and on the highway. They will also get jammed in first gear the odd time if you try and pull while it is still cold. They have all been reliable so far. I would recommend the ten speed, the more gears you have, the better the chances of finding a good gear for the speed you want to go. With that being said, you can get a 6 speed with synchronized gears that will be easier to catch onto at first. But I find these lead to a high RPM at highway speed. I had to change a 7 speed Spicer out after 250 000 km. That one may have been the drivers fault though. They are awkward to shift where they have so many gears so close together on the stick.
     
  3. tireman

    tireman Senior Member

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    Definitely a hi-lo tranny over a two speed rear end. Can't speak for automatics-never drove one.Eaton/Fuller for me,thanks.I've always been partial to the 13 speed, but that's me. Nothing wrong with a 9 or 10 for what you want, or even an 8LL(be good for those parking fields)
     
  4. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I think with your specs, a 3000 series is all you'll find. I don't think a 2000 or anything lighter can handle a 530 engine.

    The 3000 series is stone reliable. I have never heard of a failure of one of them though I have seen far fewer than have been built. But in my experience they fail less often than Fuller transmissions in the same truck, but failures are bound to be more expensive if they do happen.

    Manuals, you have your choice of synchro or non synchro. Synchro require less training to drive but more muscle and they are limited in torque to the smaller power motors. Non synchro are physically easier to shift but you have to do the RPM matching for them or else the gears just grind. I'd stay away from split rear ends and instead go with the 9 or 8LL as the previous person said. I am not a real fan of the 10 speeds as they are a bit trickier to get into the various gears due to a different design. (FR/FRO is the 10 speed vs RT/RTO/RTX for the 9 speed and 8LL) That is a very minor issue though and I would not pass up a truck that was otherwise right because of it.
     
  5. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    Thanks for the opinions fellas. Any reviews of the spicers? I have heard that they are not nearly as reliable as the eaton fullers. I guess my question would be since I am limiting my GCW to 54,000lbs (fuel tax kicks in right around that weight, also figures into why Im not intertested into a HD truck right now) Would I be further ahead to look at an auto or a standard? I found one of each ironically enough both have 110k or less on them. The standard is from a dealer who is willing to take my truck on trade and the auto is from a private owner who wants cash. I guess I was curious how much easier would it be jumping in an auto vs a 10sp standard? Which one would get better highway mileage? I believ the rears were 3.90 in the auto (6 speed but 6th is locked out from the factory but its still an O/D tranny) or I believe it was 4.10 for the 10spd.


    I appreciate all of the feedback!
     
  6. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    First off, we don't know what the tire sizes are. We don't know what the model number and hence ratios on the 10 speed are. Some are OD, some are not.

    Assuming tire size of 265/70R19.5 and the Allison OD ratio of .75 (5th gear in an Allison is always .75) we get a cruise speed of 67 MPH at 2000 RPM. If it has 11R22.5 tires then it will be 65 MPH at 1600 RPM. If you take it to an Allison shop and unlock 6th gear it will be 1733 on the 19.5s and the RPM would be too low on the 22.5s to bother with.
     
  7. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    Well the tires are the 19.5 Lo Pro's and Im assuming worst case of 225/70/19.5 I think i have pretty much given up on the 10speed for the simple fact that I dont wanna listen to the clutch crying for its life while my wife learns how to drive it.


    Assuming I actually get ahold of the truck with the allison, does anyone have any reccomendations for aggressive drive tires? My selection has been EXTREMELY limited due to the 19.5's and I have found very few that even peak my interest. I'm not so much concerned with mileage as I am with not getting pulled out of the wet grass all of the time. I also plan on doing some winter driving so not having to park the truck when snow flakes are blowing around sure would be nice. Or would it be worth looking around to see if I could get the 22.5" rims?
     
  8. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

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    Firestone makes drive tires that are aggresive tread. put them on my little service truck back in the spring. havent had to get pulled out yet. goodyear also has a mud/snow tire. i like the firestones so far held up good for my "overweight" service truck lol
     
  9. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    AT&T around here uses a huge blocky retread on their 19.5s that have such big tread blocks, there are only two rows across the width of the tires. Usually the selection is better in retreads. Get them balanced and you won't notice a difference. Anything in between is also available new and retread.

    With the smaller tires the RPM will be 2000 with the .75 5th gear and 1750 with the .65 6th so you might need to take it to Allison.
     
  10. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    So the recaps seem like they are alot more aggressive but there is very little selection in the 19.5" rims. Are there any brands to run away from? Any to lean towards? Would it be worth looking to upsize to a 22.5"?

    Thanks for all of the replies fellas.
     
  11. tireman

    tireman Senior Member

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    Best bet for quality and performance as well as best value for your dollar-Michelin-hands down. BFG, Bridgestone,Firestone-all good.I personally would not own a tire made by Goodyear.I'd steer clear of changing to taller tires.
     
  12. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    I'm not sure what you meant by this but you can get any recap you want from a dealer if you are willing to wait for it to be done to your specification. A couple of weeks at most. Here there is no casing required nor casing charge for 19.5s because usually they are used up once and thrown away so the retreaders have all the casings that they want.
     
  13. Bubba

    Bubba Well-Known Member

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    I had a 81 S1754 with a 9 liter diesel (8 cyl) with a 5 speed Clark transmission. The previous owner had a 12 ft twin cylinder with Godwin hoist. He had to rebuild the transmission. After I bought it I put a heavy load of dirt on it and was pulling out of my driveway with an busted the transmission. Prior to this truck being a dump truck it was a bread truck. The clark wasn't big enough. I put a 5 speed Spicer in it which was much bigger. Everything fitted except for the Chelsea PTO so I had to have it re-configured to adapt to the transmission. The 9 liter was a strong Engine. It served me well. I traded it for a 1999 International with a DT466 with 5 speed Allison with a Heil 14 ft twin cylinder with Electric over Air Dump. It has 52000 miles with A/C and Cruise. GREAT TRUCK. BE CAREFUL if you have a CLARK Transmission. It is not heavy enough for a dump truck unless you limit your load. GOOD LUCK.