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Ultrashift starting gear?


jeffw

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We picked up the new-to-us Volvo 780 last night and drove from TX to Little Rock today.

 

The ultrashift transmission won't start in any gear other than first, which as you can imagine, is a whole lot of fun when bobtailing. Pressing the up buttons as the manuals say just gets a beep from the shifter console.

 

Is the fix as simple as having my mechanic connect to transmission and allow a higher starting gear?

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Try this.

At a stop in "D" tap the up arrow once to "2"

then tap again to "3".

Most fleet trucks will stop there as the highest starting gear.

The UltraShift will stay in the starting gear you select until you turn off the key. It will then go back to the default starting gear. If you are trying to manually select a gear and you get a "beep" it means you are not in the right rpm range to change gears.

The default starting gear can be reprogrammed on some models. Roadranger software is required to make any program changes. My truck was an ex fleet truck and it defaults to 2nd gear unless I change it at start out. I did reprogram mine to start out as high as 5 th gear when I'm bobtailing.

What model year of truck and engine do you have... That could make the programming different... Do not shut the truck down if you are not in neutral it can be a real bummer!

Some trucks are programmed to give you a warning beep on shut down if not in neutral... Mine does not do it and I learned the hard way!

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Sounds like a programing issue. Our Ultra shift defaults to 2nd gear upon start up and if we want to start in 3rd, we select that by shifting up while stopped. If we want to start in 1st, we shift down while stopped. (yes we did it once trying to get out of a deep hole and it worked!). Bobtail, we always use 3rd which is the highest starting gear we can select.

Dave

PS: Congradulations on the new truck.

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Did you have "low" selected on the keypad?

What happens if you put it into "manual" mode at start out?

 

I'll try starting out in manual today. I think I tried it and I couldn't select anything other than 1 while sitting.

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I have the d12 with ultra shift. When I reset my parameters it would only let me set up to 2nd as the default not 3rd. However, as Star Dreamer said, I can in manual start in 3rd or go to 1st. There are some good You Tube videos on the Ultrashift that may be worth watching. Sounds like you have some programming issues that I bet could be corrected for an hours worth of shop time. Word to the wise, make sure if you go to a shop to look at the parameters, that you already have your list ready because you are on the clock when they plug you in and the more time spent explaining each parameter, the more the $$.

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  • 1 month later...

I was at the dealer today and they looked at the programming.

 

They were able to set it to default to 2nd gear, but were not able to program it to allow 3rd as a starting gear.

 

So now, it defaults to starting in 2nd and I can change it to start in 1st.

 

I also discovered that in manual you can skip shift 2 gears if you allow the truck to rev closer to 2000 and then press 'up' twice. It seems much quicker getting going at the lower gears that way.

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As soon as you shift into second gear, do not release the clutch. Push the push oft button to put it in 3rd. Should default to 3rd u till you shut off the truck and restart. I can stop and start all day in 3rd as long as I don't shut down the truck.

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I was at the dealer today and they looked at the programming.

 

They were able to set it to default to 2nd gear, but were not able to program it to allow 3rd as a starting gear.

 

So now, it defaults to starting in 2nd and I can change it to start in 1st.

 

I also discovered that in manual you can skip shift 2 gears if you allow the truck to rev closer to 2000 and then press 'up' twice. It seems much quicker getting going at the lower gears that way.

Maybe you guys with the Volvo motor are limited by your programming to start in lower gears with your Ultrashift.

In normal driving at what RPM does the trans shift at?

All models of Ultrashift will " skip ship" as you describe when you are revving so high it's trying to protect itself

and the motor. Lousy for MPG and the whole drive train.

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Maybe you guys with the Volvo motor are limited by your programming to start in lower gears with your Ultrashift.

In normal driving at what RPM does the trans shift at?

All models of Ultrashift will " skip ship" as you describe when you are revving so high it's trying to protect itself

and the motor. Lousy for MPG and the whole drive train.

 

Normally the transmission shifts at 1600, but will sometimes run a little higher (1800).

 

The skip-shift I'm talking about is pressing the 'up arrow' twice. It seems like it won't shift up two gears if the RPM after the 2nd shift would be too low. My gearing seems to be 400rpm per gear, so running in manual to 2000 will let it drop to 1200.

 

I'm not looking to do this all the time, but trying to pull out into traffic or cross a busy intersection can be painful (and potentially dangerous) with the ultrashift (especially when it was starting in 1st gear).

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Something that I had to be teach myself when I started using a HDT to pull my 5er was I will never be the first one across the intersection and too give myself lots of extra room to pull out into traffic. As you have already noticed the automated manual transmissions shift completely different than what you may be used to and requires a different operational approach. I'm with you on the need to get thru the gears as fast as possible and starting off in a higher default gear is nice but you still won't win any drag races. I have a Cummins ISX in my truck and it shifts at 1500 rpm's but will shift at higher rpm's if I floor the pedal to the metal. Sometimes if the truck has sat for a period of time it needs to "relearn" it's shift point rpm's and will rev a bit higher than the 1500 it usually shifts at. When this happens for the first couple of shifts I manually shift it at 1500 to let it know what load I am pulling. This process is used to sense the weight you are carrying and is normal to set shift points for that weight.

My default start gear is second but I can select as high as fifth but I reprogrammed that myself using RoadRanger software I found online. I can only "guess" that a Cummins with the UltraShift has different parameters that can be reprogrammed than with a Volvo.

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Real basic, you can think of it as running on a 7 shift average. So it takes 7 shifts to figure itself out in the morning and it takes 7 shifts to get a weird piece of terrain or a mistake you made with the throttle out of its brain. Your clutch is centrifugal and it will not do a shift that has any chance of landing on an open clutch, so it dings until it has the revs to landback above 1000 rpm. If you have your foot deep in the throttle it is going to fudge that landback higher and if you have it light on the throttle it is going to fudge it lower. So like Mr Seas said above less is more. Use your pedal to get the revs up but the torque down, level it, manually force a shift, revs up, level, force shift, and on and on and it'll get up to speed quicker with the truck always pulling. It takes awhile to get the hang of and nobody is good at it on their first day of trucking. Eventually you'll slap yourself for making it skip shift and grin at yourself when it knocks off a shift just as you are reaching for the button. Then you've got it.

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Real basic, you can think of it as running on a 7 shift average. So it takes 7 shifts to figure itself out in the morning and it takes 7 shifts to get a weird piece of terrain or a mistake you made with the throttle out of its brain. Your clutch is centrifugal and it will not do a shift that has any chance of landing on an open clutch, so it dings until it has the revs to landback above 1000 rpm. If you have your foot deep in the throttle it is going to fudge that landback higher and if you have it light on the throttle it is going to fudge it lower. So like Mr Seas said above less is more. Use your pedal to get the revs up but the torque down, level it, manually force a shift, revs up, level, force shift, and on and on and it'll get up to speed quicker with the truck always pulling. It takes awhile to get the hang of and nobody is good at it on their first day of trucking. Eventually you'll slap yourself for making it skip shift and grin at yourself when it knocks off a shift just as you are reaching for the button. Then you've got it.

Scrap,

 

Is it likely that some of us old GEEZERS

Are just hopelessly simple minded that we are best floating the old manual Road-Rager and using a couple peddles at the stop light and that way what ever gear we are in is our fault.....me teaching a computer or a computer teaching me does not seem to fit my retirement pay grade...

 

Grumps used to say if you can't keep a 5 speed main and a 4 speed Browne in the correct holes then the truck is driving you......your not driving the truck...

 

Of course life was simpler back in the old days...but sometimes he would get pretty busy with a coffee cup in one hand and rolling a cig with the shift hand.....

 

Not to hijack the thread but it seems that a lot of autoshift truck owners do not have the control of their trannies that they desire, is this the lack of real loading with to RV driving style? Could the tranny companies be convinced to come up with a few RV specific software programs now that more HDT RV trucks are on the road ?

 

So far the old Road-Rager tranny only malfunctions......when I malfunction....

 

I drive a fair amount of twisty steep back roads and I derive a fair amount of satisfaction when setting to gear and power for a smooth drive.....after a life of riding heard on one engine, two engines, three engines ,and five engines at the same time and props,and electrical, and, and, and.....driving the old shaker with only ten gears seems like......retirement .....

 

Drive on......(OK wake up and ....drive)

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I can't seem to be able to write this without sounding like a complete pompous azz, but progressive shifting has been the basics of driving truck since 94 and the auto is going to assume you do that. It isn't going to force you into it but it is programmed to recognize you doing it and follow suit. If you are driving totally out of the torque curve it is going to hold gear assuming you've got something big coming up. There is, however, gear down protection and progressive shifting aid parameters that can be reloaded into the engine if you want some software to give you a push. That's usually the first thing taken out when you reprogram to 'oo specs'.

 

But remember we are talking about a 10spd DM trans - it isn't allowed off the pavement, isn't made for switchback roads, and was made for all day on the freeway. Again, it will not land a shift anywhere near an open clutch and they will never give you software to do it. 1650 shifts are going to be common.

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