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Old 11-21-2004, 06:19 PM   #1
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Would appreciate comments on pros and cons of this "auto" (no clutch) transmission from anyone having experience with it.
I only have one leg (amputee), so no clutch is a big plus, but have been told that this transmission "takes some getting accustomed to", especially when manuvering in tight quarters.
It seems that compared to the Allison six-speed auto, it would be much better having the extra gears when needed, yet reportedly will skip shifts when appropriate so that you don't have to go thru all the gears each time.
Thanks in advance for your comments
Tom Riley
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Old 11-21-2004, 07:28 PM   #2
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Tom, I have experience with this transmission. I think that you would really like it. As far as tight quarters manuvering, you can't go from drive to reverse in a split second, but I don't do that normally. The 12 gears are nice when you need them, the transmission and engine brake work great together, barely needing the brakes for even the steepest grades. I am amazed how the transmission selects the proper gear either uphill or downhill.

You would have to get used to the sound of an experienced over the road driver shifting, while both your hands are on the wheel. Remember that the transmission controller will perform a perfect shift every time- minimum clutch wear, better fuel economy.

The only problems I've had are with codes coming up on the screen. The only code that needed attention was for a shifter, which is a Freightliner part, not Meritor, the Freightliner dealer replaced it. Any other codes erase easily. The only time a code needs attention, according to the Meritor trans tech, would be if the "SM" (system malfunction) fault also displayed.

Link to Meritor site: http://www.arvinmeritor.com/products...reedomline.asp

Another trans that we will be getting with the next Columbia chassis will be the Eaton 10 speed Ultrashift. I do not have experience with this trans but I predict it will be the same experience. Link to Ultrashift site:

http://www.roadranger.com/products/t...shift_10sp.htm

If you are in the northern Illinois area, I would be happy to let you try out one of ours for a couple hours.

You can call me any time for additional input-
(847)812-2972
Bob Dill
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Old 11-22-2004, 02:33 PM   #3
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Hey Bob.

Have you driven the 6 Speed Allison Auto in one of these? And if so how smooth is it over the Meritor?

I have driven the Eaton 10 speed Autoshift and it was not much smoother than me shifting my manual 10 speed (although it was much easier as far as not having to move the lever) The tranny just seemed pretty jerky, not a big deal for the driver, but for passengers who get car sick easy, it would be.

Just curious

Bill
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:08 PM   #4
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We have the Meritor, find it very smooth, it skips up and usually starts us out in third and moves quickly. A little weird to get used to after shifting yourself for so long, it's nice to have no cluth for stopping and starting. The paddle shift is smooth as well, but we don't use it that much, seems like a waste when it shifts so nice oin it's own
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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Bill, I have driven the Allison in the M2 with a 30' coach close to yours, but only unloaded or not pulling a trailer. It is very smooth, you will enjoy it. The Freedom trans can be a little jerky when trying to accelerate hard, at least in the lower gears, you really feel the torque of the big horsepower.

Bob Dill
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:16 PM   #6
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.....how long is the warranty on these transmissions in our Rv usage and any exceptions listed?....geof
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Old 11-24-2004, 08:17 AM   #7
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I am fairly sure that the warranty is 3 years/300,000 miles with extended coverage available. I will double check when I get back in town.

Bob Dill
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:56 PM   #8
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I have the 12 spd FreedomLine in our Kingsley. We just got back from a 2255 mile round trip with it. I would not order a truck with any other tranny!! I drove the Eaton AutoShift and it is MUCH better than a regular clutch and the Freedom is 10x better than that. Just north of Chattanogga, TN there is a 8 mile section of 6% grade. Hit it at 10pm on the way down. With the exhaust-brake set at position 2 (of 3) the tranny kept downshifting to keep the coach at 45 mph. On the way back I had the cruise set at 75 and it held it all the way up the hill. I passed every truck and most cars without even breaking a sweat. When I hit IN/IL border this afternoon I was faced with bumper to bumper holiday crawl. It is so nice not to have to worry about changing gears. You can also place the tranny in a "manual" mode that allows you to change gears without a clutch.

I did have 2 issues where "SM" came up on the screen. The first was due to the ABS wires being accidentally cut during the conversion. This just places the tranny into a "limp home" mode that requires you to manually shift it. The second was due to a loose wire in in the connection plug.

I will pull out my paperwork and check the warranty.
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Old 11-28-2004, 03:56 PM   #9
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.....I also popped a code while on vacation overniting in Tenn. this weekend...it was a low coolant and a 5 min. shut-down.....dog lost a qt. of drinking water and off we went....the girls-when they treated my coolant-discarded the extra cooolant and didn't replace it... with a little evaporation or whatever the coolant lite/buzzer started the first thing in the A.M.....I get to yell at them Monday....do y ou think they will care?.....geof
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