Questions?

If you have a question that is not listed below and you want it publicly answered ask away here.  I do not allow spam links, no person wanting to actually read comments wants to wade through those.  You can also email me directly through my contact form.  Comments or questions that are not according to the topic of transmission swaps will be deleted.

I reserve the right to keep some information to myself.  I can’t patent what I sell so I do need all the edge I can get to make a modest living- thanks for your understanding.

Can you give me some pointers to tune the transmission myself?

If you are using an aftermarket system, I can give pointers to some degree. Changing shift points is something that the end user can do without to much fear of causing damage. In the case of the Ford 4R100, most guys just need some help getting it set up right and once they are pointed in the right direction they can make final adjustments. The Ford 5R110 on the other hand requires shift quality tuning, and that is expertise that is too difficult to transfer.

Do I need to bring my truck to you?

No, the transmission is tuned best using recorded data of test drives, called data logs. Even if you brought the truck to me I would still use data logs to tune the trans. The only possible advantage of bringing the truck to me is that I can drive the truck exactly how I need to in order for me to see the data I need to see. This can be a disadvantage however, because I may not drive the truck like you do, so when tuning long distance I can give direction to the customer to drive in a certain way if needed.

Why do you charge by the hour?

Believe it or not, it’s in your best interests. Tuning is very variable in nature. There are a lot of tuners out there that make bold claims of sending you a perfect one time tune, but such a thing just doesn’t exist. The best tunes are developed from studying data logs that show how the tune is working with the truck and driver and adjusted accordingly. Some tunes can take a hour or so to build and others may only take 10 minutes. If I do a flat rate charge per tune hoping it will even out in the end, you may pay for a complicated tune when a simple tune is all you need. On my side of the coin, if I were charging the same per tune, I may need to spend a lot of time studying a poor shift that is intermittent, and be faced with a choice to rush through it, or do it right and not make any profit.

Whatever amount of time you need, you won’t be surprised with a big bill in the end since you pay for the service up front, and you won’t have to shell out a big amount if you just need a moderate amount of tuning.

I need to make a reasonable profit. If the services I provide aren’t profitable I can’t continue providing that service.

How can I trust you to be honest with the time you charge?

I understand it is difficult to trust service providers these days, and unfortunately trust takes time to build. I have made it a little easier with the following:

You only have to buy as many hours ahead of time as you are comfortable with- and I typically only sell an hour or so the first time anyway. A half hour is my minimum, so you can pay for that much and see how it goes. If you don’t feel I am being honest with my time you aren’t out a lot of money if you go elsewhere.

I track my time and provide the customer with that information.

I need your business and I have a reputation to build, so it would not be smart of me to rip you off. I am working hard to be the best at what I do and realize that my customers are my best advertising. Unfortunately many businesses these days don’t do business that way, intentionally or unintentionally, and that makes most understandably skeptical.

What happens if there is time left over?

If there is time that you paid for left over it can be saved as a credit for you to use in the future, or I can give you a refund. I try my best not to charge out for more time than I think is needed or wanted by the customer (I rarely sell more than an hour at a time) so chances are good that there will not be any time left over. If there is time left over, I can offer to build you an alternative tune for towing. I typically wait until we have a good normal tune, then build the tow tune if you want one.

If I buy an AutoCal and decide I want to use it with another tuner will you unlock it for me?

Absolutely- in fact I can do it remotely and it will not cost you a dime.

19 thoughts on “Questions?”

    1. I’m working with 3 customers that had 5 speeds already and when I have confirmed that what I supplied them with works and is tuneable, I will be officially offering it. I am fairly confident I can offer reprogramming, wiring harnesses and tuning already for customer supplied 3rd generation control modules and am working on using the smaller 4th gen controller as well, which would enable me to offer modules with warranties.

      Since I am waiting for those guys to finish their projects, it’s hard to say when I’ll know for sure. If you have a 5 speed already and don’t mind experimenting some give me a call or email and we can discuss how I can offer you something.

      1. i do have a 5 speed all ready, but like the rest of the guys it is in the project stage. i am trying to gather all the parts an knowledge to do it at one time an not have it drag on.

        1. Update: I have a few 5 speed customers now using the older all aluminum Gen 3 control module (TCM).

          My preference is for customers to source their own used TCM, and I can get those reprogrammed to work with an analog throttle position sensor (which works best for most “stand alone” applications).

          Still waiting on some proof of another alternative I have developed as well.

  1. I have an 03 Dodge 2500 with 24 valve Cummins and 48re. There are some mild upgrades to the engine in which I’m not totally familiar with beings I bought the truck with the mods already done. On a low note, due to the August flooding in Louisiana, I have lost my transmission. I found a used low mileage 68rfe along with a couple of reputable shops to rebuild my transmission ( one will even upgrade or bulletproof it). But as you’re well versed in these transmissions, none of these are cheap. But I did find another 48re that is almost robbery cheap. The problem is, this one is in an 06 Dodge 2500. By looking through your forum and a few other ones, I know that the 06 is different than the 03. My question is, with the differences between the two, can I still use the 06 transmission in my 03? If so, what do I need to do/use from 06 truck to make it work? Do I need a different control module or programming? My plan if I can use this transmission, is to install it to get my ride back on the road and put my transmission in the shop to be rebuilt and upgraded or buy the 68 and do the swap. Your advice is appreciated.

    1. I’m not the best resource on 47 or 48REs Ronald, but I’ll tell you a little of what I do know. Some early 03 trucks had 47s in them and as far as I know you could bolt a 03-04 48 right in. In 05, however they took the throttle valve cable off and put a TTVA on, (Transmission Throttle Valve Actuator). It’s a servo motor that does the same thing the cable did, only it doesn’t have to be directly related to throttle position and is electronically controlled according to the factory or custom transmission tune. I’m not sure if those can be removed off of the 05- early 07 48s and the cable stuff put back on without other parts being changed or not- but I’m sure guys that build them on a regular basis would know.

      As far as I know that is the only difference that would cause you issues putting it in your 03 truck.

      If you go through with it, post back and let us know how it went.

      1. Thanks Jason, I’m definitely gonna try it. For the price ( under $300 for anything and everything I can get off other truck), I can’t pass it up. The engine is bad or else I would get everything under hood (wiring included) in case I needed to do full swap. I will let you know how things go

  2. I have a IHC school bus with an AT545 transmission in it.. im looking to convert it to an Overdrive transmission, the bus has a GVWR of 17500 lbs and the engine is a 210 HP T-444E with the diamond logic (stock) computers (its not a ford Powerstroke 7.3).
    can I buy everything from you? full kit? transmission, TCM, harness, programming, trans tuner, etc?

    basically everything I need except the driveshaft which i’ll get shortened myself?

    1. Hi Chris,
      I could supply everything and mark it up to make a profit, but would rather just concentrate on what I do best, so I don’t typically supply transmissions or other parts customers can find on their own locally or close to them. Most customers like to get the best deal by finding it on their own. Others like yourself may not have the time to deal with all that and prefer to purchase it all at the same place, and I apologize that I do not have that option.

      I can help by giving you information on what to look for, part numbers, and reasonable prices you can expect to pay. In your case, you will want to look for a commercial medium duty 6 speed Allison. Although the bell housings are interchangeable, the Medium duty transmissions already have an SAE (round) bell housing vs the Chevy bell housing. Most if not all of the models I mention are SAE 3s, which is what you probably have, but I can send prospective customers more info so they can make sure. By the way, those that have the Powerstroke 7.3 can possibly use the adapter parts off of an engine like yours to swap an Allison in their Ford.

      Whenever shopping for a used trans, get the serial number and date code off of the tag on the transmission and check with me or an Allison Dealer to verify what the trans is. Some reman transmissions do not have any Allison tags left on them, so that can be a problem when the seller doesn’t really know what they have. The 2100, and 2300 models do not have a parking pawl and have the same ratios as the Chevy 1000 series. The 2200 and 2350 have parking pawls and same ratios. The 2500 does not have a parking pawl and is what they call a wide ratio. Except for 4th gear, these transmissions have slightly lower gear ratios, and actually have a slightly narrower 4th to 5th gear ratio spread which is better for towing and heavy vehicles, but also a lower 6th gear which isn’t quite as good for freeway cruising. I have been told that the medium duty transmissions all have straight cut planetaries which are likely a little stronger than the helical cut pickup versions, but even the 1000 series was designed to handle a vehicle at your GVW rating (19,500 max GVW, and 26,000 GCVW).

      As far as I know right now I can run all of these transmissions I mentioned with my system, but the proof has not been shown in a data log just yet. I do have a few customers finishing up projects that will supply that proof sometime in the near future. The commercial versions do require a slightly different wire harness connector that costs me a bit more so I charge a little more to cover that in the harness build.

      A used core transmission can be as cheap as $600 from a private person or as much as $1200 from a wrecking yard. Those are sold with the understanding that they will need a rebuild, and that can cost $2500 or more- maybe cheaper but beware!

      A used take out from a wrecking yard that has a 90 day warranty will be reasonably priced around $1600- but you will see lots priced around $1800 or higher. Generally, most junkyard takeouts were not behind the same engine you will be using it behind so you need to be aware that the converter stall ratio may not be ideal. If you get a transmission from a similar engine you can expect a fairly good stall, otherwise it may not be so ideal but if you aren’t too concerned about crawling over curbs or excellent acceleration away from a stop light it may not be something that bothers you. It is possible to lock up the converter in 2nd gear but that is not the best fix for a poorly matched converter stall ratio.

      Guys that are going to put more power to the transmission better not chance a junkyard take out and will spend more for a rebuild, with the biggest chunk going to an aftermarket converter with a more ideal stall ratio.

      The EFI Live AutoCal or V2 tuner is available from many fine vendors that offer them as part of their regular business at great prices, so I send my customers to them and can email them the base calibration and help them set up the device for their application.

      If you don’t want to adjust the tuning parameters yourself, the AutoCal is what you want and they are available for around $360.00 shipped to your door. The V2 is for guys that want to try to adjust things themselves (I don’t tutor those doing tuning on their own by the way). Both tools have the same diagnostic functions when used with a laptop, except the V2 can accept signals from aftermarket or third party sensors or devices (which has never been used by any of my customers for the transmission, EFI Live mainly includes that for use with engines, an Exhaust Gas Temperature sensor being an example).

      Thanks for sharing your question and let me know about any more you have.

    1. Tuning the 5R is complicated enough that it really varies, and that is why I charge by the hour. Most guys only spend about $120 or less with me because they are comfortable with how their trans shifts after a base tune and a few adjustments. Some of those transmissions are tuned fairly well and others still really need some work, but the owners are ok with them as is so they stop sending me logs.

      A few customers have spent $300 or more with me, those guys wanted a tow/haul tune in addition to a normal tune, were more difficult to tune for various reasons – like more than average high performance engines, were running something other than Mercon SP or LV fluid, or just had other abnormal issues.

      Typically the first few adjusted tunes only take me 15-20 minutes each because I don’t need to note out a log to see what needs adjustment. As the fine tuning progresses with a factory smooth but 1/2 second fast shift as the target, I have to note out the logs to see what intermittent poor shifts need and once in a great while it isn’t real apparent what it needs and I have to try a few different angles to get it right.

  3. I have a 98 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4 with the 8.0 liter gas engine. It is my understanding that this has the same bellhousing bolt pattern as the cummins? Would it be possible to swap the 68RFE into my truck?

    1. I have read that the bellhousings are the same as well, but have never proven it to be true myself. The other things that you would need to know is if the 6 bolt pattern 68 converter would bolt up to a V10 flexplate, and if the distance between the torque converter and the flexplate are the same. Since I don’t know for sure about those two important details either I would not recommend you try it unless you were ok taking the risk of buying a transmission and it not working out. If all of that was the same as a Cummins you would still have to deal with the converter pilot size difference, either by using my boring tool (another experiment because I don’t know if the V10 crank has enough meat for the bigger 68 converter pilot) or by having a custom converter built with the V10 pilot size, or by possibly getting a machine shop to cut the 68 converter pilot down. Otherwise you could bolt a 68 up with my spacer to the V10 engine.

  4. Hi, I am looking at swapping a late model 6-speed Allison behind my DT466 to replace the RTO6610. I’m getting tired of stirring through the gears. The DT466 is mechanical, but it is my understanding that your setup has a way to use a TPS mounted to the linkage??

    My biggest question is how to determine that the Allison is a 6-speed. I see many 2006 and later 2000 series that are “5-speed”. Is it just the year, or is there another way to tell? Running the serial numbes on “My Transmission” tells me gear group or control valve group; is there a way to be sure it is a 6-speed?

    Thanks for your help and I look forward to working with you on tuning this rig.

    1. You may end up missing the extra gears the 6610 has quite a bit if you pull heavy – but yes, I can set up a system that uses analog TPS signal from either an Allison TPS or other universal cable type for mechanical engines.

      The best way to see if it is a 5 or 6 speed is to drop the pan and look for two steel tubes connected to the bottom of the valve body. 5 speeds only have one tube. Early 5 speeds only have 6 solenoids, the “G” solenoid is only in the late model 5 speeds but can be retrofitted to the early 5 speeds if the controls are enabled for it. This solenoid cuts line pressure for lever shifts and low throttle shifts at normal operating temperatures.

      From my experience, 06-09 6 speeds have the 16-1818 control valve group number as seen on the “My Transmission” site. Late 5 speeds have the 16-1792 control valve group, and early 5 speeds have the 16-1751 control valve group.

  5. Hello,
    I was wondering if you have a kit for the Aision AS69RC to be installed on a 2006 Dodge Ram 5.9 Cummins.

    1. I get a few inquiries on the Aisin 68 and 69RCs. I built a base calibration for one with the PCS-2000, and actually have a potential customer that is planning to try it out eventually but I have no idea when he will be done with his project. He already has a transmission and is willing to risk trying it out.

      If you do not already have one of those transmissions, and can’t afford to wait for a while for that swap to be proven possible, I would recommend considering an Allison or 68RFE swap instead.

  6. Considering doing a Allison 1000 swap in a 2003 cummins. Currently has NV5600. I have a adapter plate, flywheel, wiring harness, controller(large aluminum case controller from a 2005 chevy truck), 2005 Allison transmission and full rebuild kit for the tranny. I bought all of this for another project that hasn’t gotten started yet. Thinking on still keeping this for the project I intended though and going with a 6 speed instead.

    Need to know if I would be better to stay with the 5 speed I currently have (I know that this would be the cheapest) or go with the 6 speed Allison or should I consider a 68rfe. I typically pull 10000+lbs on a regular basis in the fall months. Truck is also a daily driver and a plow truck in the winter when we get snow. I am a backyard mechanic but am not afraid of any challenge. I never take any of my vehicles to be worked on. I know that probably doesn’t tell you much on my abilities. I’m not going to tell you that money isn’t an issue because at some point money is an issue for everyone no matter how much they have lol.

    if you need any more information from me please just let me know.

    1. The following considerations should help you make your decision:

      If you get out on the freeway a lot the 6 speed is nicer. Even with 3.55 gears and 32″ tires, you can still tow some at light throttle in 6th and the trans can be tuned to go right down into lower gears if you need them without it hunting back and forth too much if you can keep the throttle fairly steady. 6th gear can also be cancelled with a switch if that works better for you. 6th gear is also nice for around town, but if you rarely get out on the freeway a 5 speed isn’t bad especially if you already have one.

      If your engine is stock or at least under 400 hp, the 68RFE tows better because the gear ratios are more evenly and closely spaced. If you are over 400 hp, the gear ratios of the 68 are still nice but I consider the Allison more durable and better proven for handling the extra power.

      Automatics can be great for plowing snow – it’s good that your 5 speed is an ’05, it will have the “G” solenoid that the ’00-’03 versions did not have. That solenoid helps lever shifts be a lot smoother. I can get your control module re-programmed to work with the 5 speed and build a new harness for you or modify the one you have.

      One of the challenges of an Allison swap is the transfer case – however, your 271 can be modified to bolt up to the Allison with a clocking ring, nothing super expensive is required and I’ll email you more information. It would bolt right up to a 68, and typically that swap is much cheaper.

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