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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've previously posted that the original ATF in my Allison was a dark purple from day one. A few others posted having the same color fluid and the thought was there was some bad dye in the ATF used by GM. At @15,000 miles, I drained the pan and refilled with 7 quarts of Transynd. Color remained the same. Now at 30,000 miles, the ATF is black...I'm talking as black as the engine oil after 5,000 miles. Doesn't smell burnt, but doesn't smell right either. Tranny has never seen above 190 on the gauge. I ran 28 quarts of Dex III through the tranny tonight and I still can't get the color back to red. The only "not so smart" thing I've done is run with the grill cover on this month. I installed it in December because it was one cold-a$$ month here. January has been a pretty mild month to date with some days reaching into the 50's. On those days, the engine temp runs about 205 and the tranny runs about 180 - 190 if I run on the highway. I didn't put a ton of miles on the truck running at these temps and they are no higher than what I see in the summer towing. Did I cook the fluid leaving the grill cover on at temps under 200??
 

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Sounds weird to me! I run the grill cover when the temp drops below 60, if I am going to run empty for a while. I really don't think you did anything by running with it. (just the grill cover, right? not the bumper cover?) The bumper cover blocks the lower openings and that will heat it up more. Still, not so much as to cause damage - empty. Might if you ran with both covers and towed heavy up a lot of hills.

Is it in warranty? If so, see the dealer. Better yet, how close are you to Eric at Merchant?

jb
 

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I have smoked my fluid but I seen the temperatures to know why.Transynd has no uniformity in coloring.I have seen it turn brownish for no reason ,not black.Perhaps I changed it out sooner and it was on it's way,I dunno.

Turning oil black is odd,your under warranty I would have the dealer look into it.
Maybe a bad converter clutch would be my only speculation.

Turning black is a sigh of burnt fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I was hoping the Transynd along with the purple fluid might have resulted in the black color, but that was just wishful thinking. Like I said, it doesn't smell bad burnt like some I've smelled, but it doesn't smell right either. Just can't believe it is burned with the tranny never going above 190 on the gauge. The heaviest I've towed is 10K and I've never limped the tranny. Looks like a trip to the stealer to see what is up. Hopefully the burnt fluid hasn't dorked up the frictions and steels.
 

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I'd get it in to the dealer for a flush. A major flush. Warranty should cover it. If its slipping at all, it SHOULD throw a code.

If i dont smell stinky nasty burnt, you might be ok
 

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I've previously posted that the original ATF in my Allison was a dark purple from day one. A few others posted having the same color fluid and the thought was there was some bad dye in the ATF used by GM. At @15,000 miles, I drained the pan and refilled with 7 quarts of Transynd. Color remained the same. Now at 30,000 miles, the ATF is black...I'm talking as black as the engine oil after 5,000 miles. Doesn't smell burnt, but doesn't smell right either. Tranny has never seen above 190 on the gauge. I ran 28 quarts of Dex III through the tranny tonight and I still can't get the color back to red. The only "not so smart" thing I've done is run with the grill cover on this month. I installed it in December because it was one cold-a$$ month here. January has been a pretty mild month to date with some days reaching into the 50's. On those days, the engine temp runs about 205 and the tranny runs about 180 - 190 if I run on the highway. I didn't put a ton of miles on the truck running at these temps and they are no higher than what I see in the summer towing. Did I cook the fluid leaving the grill cover on at temps under 200??
I had the same thing with mine @ 25K. Took it to the stealer they flushed it removed the pan and inspected it no metal everything tested fine. Replaced the fluid Dex and now at 40K it is still red. I tow a 15K 5ver in AZ during the summer and this past summer the tranny did fine..Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd get it in to the dealer for a flush. A major flush. Warranty should cover it. If its slipping at all, it SHOULD throw a code.

If i dont smell stinky nasty burnt, you might be ok
Eric, I wish you had "Sniffernet". :D Here's a couple of snapshots that might give an idea of just how black the fluid has turned. Again, tranny never over 190 on the gauge and never been limped or abused. I also have drained the pan and refilled once with Transynd. Filter has been changed religiously every 5K. Should I take a sample of what first came out of the pan to the dealer since I already ran 28 quarts of fresh Dex III through the system last week? The fluid that is in the pan now still is nowhere close to looking red on the dipstick.
 

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The fluid in mine looked to be a purpleish color from day one and is now darker also. Not quite as black as yours but not red like it should be. Let me know what your dealer has to say about. I have 23,000 on mine and have changed the spin on about evey 8,000 or so.
 

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I forgot I had these Transynd comparision.


Left to right

New Mobil Syn,Transynd I drained because it looked burnt,fresh Transynd
 

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Eric, I wish you had "Sniffernet". :D Here's a couple of snapshots that might give an idea of just how black the fluid has turned. Again, tranny never over 190 on the gauge and never been limped or abused. I also have drained the pan and refilled once with Transynd. Filter has been changed religiously every 5K. Should I take a sample of what first came out of the pan to the dealer since I already ran 28 quarts of fresh Dex III through the system last week? The fluid that is in the pan now still is nowhere close to looking red on the dipstick.
I would consider getting an oil analysis done. Possibly you can find a oil analysis service that is familiar with Allison transmissions. Failing that, I would get a sample kit from your local Caterpillar or an OTR truck dealer.
If it is still under warranty, I would be sure to take it in and get it in the system. That way if it grenades, you will have documentation that there was a problem developing while still under warranty.

Let us know what you find please.

Good Luck,

Britt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dealer refused to do anything about the tranny fluid being black. Stated if I wanted it flushed I would have to pay for it as they wouldn't cover it under warranty nor would they investigate the cause of the fluid turning black. Censored :mad: Censored
 

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Wow your dealer isn't the greatest.Either find a new dealer or go back to the same one and climb the ladder.

Speak with the shop Foreman to the service manager and get it in writing that the say black possibly over heated fluid as acceptable lubricant for your expensive Allison.As any transmission shop would say it isn't acceptable.

Let them know that you are going to call GM customer service and ask that a GM rep come in and sign off so if and when my tranny takes a dumper it's covered with out question.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow your dealer isn't the greatest.Either find a new dealer or go back to the same one and climb the ladder.

Speak with the shop Foreman to the service manager and get it in writing that the say black possibly over heated fluid as acceptable lubricant for your expensive Allison.As any transmission shop would say it isn't acceptable.

Let them know that you are going to call GM customer service and ask that a GM rep come in and sign off so if and when my tranny takes a dumper it's covered with out question.

Good luck
Exactly what I plan to do. They still have the truck and the service manager is supposed to call me this morning. I love the call I got in the afternoon from the service writer: "Exactly what do you want us to do about your transmission fluid being dirty?". Dirty??!!! Dealerships never cease to amaze me.
 

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Some on here might not like what I'm about to say, but you might NOT want them to investigate this further. I see in your signature that you are running the Predator turned up to 40 hp. The dark color is more than likely burned clutch material (probably C1 clutch) and it is not hard to cause that running the aftermarket "juice". The stock clutches are simply not designed for the additional torque that the aftermarket tuners add to the mix.

My opinion...flame away!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some on here might not like what I'm about to say, but you might NOT want them to investigate this further. I see in your signature that you are running the Predator turned up to 40 hp. The dark color is more than likely burned clutch material (probably C1 clutch) and it is not hard to cause that running the aftermarket "juice". The stock clutches are simply not designed for the additional torque that the aftermarket tuners add to the mix.

My opinion...flame away!
Truck hasn't seen more than 500 miles on it with the Predator and the fluid was discolored long before that. Also, I've never gotten on it hard with the tune installed. I use the truck for towing and hauling, not racing stop light to stop light. The LBZ is similiar in HP/Torque as my LLY with the 40HP tune.
 

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You may not have a problem at all with the fluid discoloration. I have seen a bunch of these and usually find nothing wrong. Usually it's the converter clutch that will discolor fluid and not the Ally frictions. C1 clutches will not fail unless you are doing boosted launches or have a cracked piston in which case you lose all forward gears. I think you should do a complete flush and see what happens.
mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
You may not have a problem at all with the fluid discoloration. I have seen a bunch of these and usually find nothing wrong. Usually it's the converter clutch that will discolor fluid and not the Ally frictions. C1 clutches will not fail unless you are doing boosted launches or have a cracked piston in which case you lose all forward gears. I think you should do a complete flush and see what happens.
mike
Thanks Mike. Just got off the phone with the service manager. Here's their position. Had I brought the truck in and had never serviced the transmission once, they would be flushing it under warranty and then have me come back in after another 5K miles and check for discoloration. If at that time they would see discolored fluid, they would investigate further. Since I was honest and gave them all the information I had concerning the transmission and informed them that I had changed the fluid out at 15K and did 4 consecutive flushes via the pan last week trying to get the nasty stuff out, they will not do anything under warranty at this time. There stance is GM says nothing needs to be done with the fluid until 50K and since I messed with it "prematurely" (their words), GM is "suspect" of the fluid condition. In other words, without coming out and saying it directly, they will blame me for messing up the transmission by changing the fluid if something is indeed wrong. So, here's where it stands at this point. I'm paying out of my pocket for a total fluid flush and fill ($129.95) and after 5K miles, I am to bring the truck back in for them to examine the fluid. If everything is OK, then I am to continue going about my merry way. If the fluid is discolored again, then they will continue forward with further investigation under warranty. At least everyting is now documented. I told the service manager I can't wait to have an engine problem and them tell me it's my fault since I changed the engine oil every 5K "prematurely" and not every 10K as the DIC would indicate.
 

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As most always Mike L is right on the money.

Dirt Dog I don't know where you are getting your information from but a mere 40 HP tune wont smoke C1 clutches.

Ask yourself and your information provider and Mike L what has changed in C1 since GM has upped the HP through the current generation HP/TQ increases.

C1 is one of the strongest clutch packs in the Allison.I really put the boots to my stock Allison and C1 was nearly perfect when disassembled.Way more than a mere 40 hp.

Toasting C3 C4 now that's a different story.You will Neutralize and Limp set codes way before any discoloration of the fluid.

Cheers
 

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At 60K my trans fluid is brownish purple also (have never changed it), I weekly tow 8 to 12,000lbs. Yes I do have the juice and have been to dragway 42 for 10 runs :) . Other than those 10 runs I only bump up to lvl5 for a little black smoke (the kids love it)):h . I normally drive in lvl2 and have changed my filter every 15K (I did it this time my mechanic normally does it). I guess I'll have to schedule an appt. with the allison dealer. (I don't want to insinuate anything ill towards the dealership techs, any allison issues with our freightliners and the alli dealer gets first crack.) We have had recalls on our transmissions and they have done the work for us. When I changed the filter and wiprd off the magnet it did have some "gunk" on it and was difficult to tell the color while mixed with fluid. It didn't smell burnt like my s-10 tranny fluid (after a night of plowing).:rolleyes:
 
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