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Engine/trans preference


Oldnavywife

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Ok, talked to the spouse about hdt'ing. She's kind of onboard. May try to get to the rally to totally convince her (or not). Question is: which engine transmission combination do many of you prefer and for what reason? I'll be looking for automatic if and when time comes, but will be staying tandem to accommodate jeep style vehicle. I know Bluenose has his for sale, but I'm not ready yet.

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We have an 10 speed Ultrashift in ours, and we test drove an auto-shift (3-pedal auto) before, so I can only comment on those.

The Ultrashift is a pretty 'dumb' transmission. Mine can only start in 1st or 2nd gear (I understand some others can start higher). It won't automatically skip-shift at all. If I recall correctly, 7th gear is 20MPH, so it takes a lot of shifting to get up to speed.

 

It sometimes downshifts too 'low' when coming to a stop, so it can be a little rough (i'd rather it went into Neutral instead).

 

I don't have any problem creeping with it, or backing up. I do left foot brake in those situations, or when I'm stopped on a hill.

 

I suspect on later trucks, the I-Shift is the thing to have, but then you're likely into trucks with emissions.

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The Eaton Ultrashift Plus, Volvo I Shift and the Detroit DT12 are all good, smooth shifting transmissions. The newer trucks will start in higher gears, skip shift, have hill holding capabilities and communicate well with the engine. The trade off is the emissions equipment they have installed. You need to figure out what you are wanting in a truck and then find the best solution for your needs.

 

In my case, I wanted a 13 speed to keep the engine in its power band on long hills and have a direct drive 11th gear and overdrive in the top two for economy.

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Question is: which engine transmission combination do many of you prefer and for what reason?

You do understand that you just asked the "Which do you think is better, Ford, Dodge or Chevy?" question, don't you?

You will get 47 answers with 49 opinions...or is itr 49 answers with 47 opinions? Oh hell, it really doesn't matter which it is because basically there is no real answer...only multiple different opinions. You might as well have asked "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"

 

But to answer your question, the engine transmission combo that I prefer is a diesel engine with a transmission that has forward and reverse gears. I happen to have a Volvo VED12 and a Freedomline automated transmission (no clutch pedal). It is the one that came in the truck I purchased, therefore that is the one I prefer.

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You do understand that you just asked the "Which do you think is better, Ford, Dodge or Chevy?" question, don't you?

You will get 47 answers with 49 opinions...or is itr 49 answers with 47 opinions? Oh hell, it really doesn't matter which it is because basically there is no real answer...only multiple different opinions. You might as well have asked "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"

 

But to answer your question, the engine transmission combo that I prefer is a diesel engine with a transmission that has forward and reverse gears. I happen to have a Volvo VED12 and a Freedomline automated transmission (no clutch pedal). It is the one that came in the truck I purchased, therefore that is the one I prefer.

 

is the Freedomline a 12-speed?

 

I drove a friend's toterhome that one and it seemed nice, especially having the gearshift on the steering wheel stalk.

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I will be odd ball in this. I would stay away from a Cat. There is a reason they left the OTR truck engine. Now this is trucks with Accert engines. Last several years. My Ultrashift won't skip shift. I would prefer it to but not at the added cost of dpfs, etc. Takes longer to get up to speed but really not in that much of a hurry. Do believe an Autoshift will give more control backing. Have to rev to 800ish rpm for Ultrashift to engage. Really don't see a need in R2. Too fast in R1. I got the Ultrashift so my DW will drive it. She short with bad knees.

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I understand the opinion ( Chevy ford or dodge), but based on the various engine availability, which parts are more readily available, cost of said parts, etc.? What year did the emissions stuff get crazy? Should. I be looking at model years before 2007 / 2008, later, earlier? Just trying to get a handle on all of this stuff.

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Well mine is 06 and it has egr. Do believe all got egr in 02. Egr's are bad for diesels. Puts all that crap back in intake. You have to get an older truck to get no emissions. Don't believe you will find an autoshift or freedomline either. Know 09 is dpfs. Detroits are less money to work on. The 12.7 is the best in a Detroit. I agree with everyone else though. Get the truck you want with the tranny you want. Not a lot of worthwhile diff in motors except for later Cats. Jack got an 09. He allowed a greater repair allowance for it over his prior truck due to emissions costs. Don't recall him having any problems yet though. He has a very nice truck too. The newer the truck is the nicer it will be. Sorta a catch 22. My truck is rust free. It is clean. It runs good. I got it cheap enough to do some repairs and not be in the hole with it. And I will tell you it could use and in frame. That is what egr does for us. 750k miles.

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While I would have preferred an American made engine, my Volvo D13 with I shift seems to be a good fit. The Volvo engine limits repairs and some servicing to the dealers, as does the I shift transmission. The truck is a 2010 model, so I have a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). They are to be avoided if possible, but to get the newer goodies on the trucks you have to accept them. The DPF shut me down last year when the regeneration sensor failed. Expensive and, quite possibly, ineffective. California is testing regeneration to determine if it is releasing as many or more particulates as the trucks would without them.

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The 1.6-million-square-foot New River Valley assembly plant, located on nearly 300 acres in Dublin, Virginia, is the largest Volvo truck manufacturing facility in the world. The plant is certified under the ISO 9001 quality, ISO 14001 environmental, and ISO 50001 energy standards. The New River Valley plant produces all Volvo trucks sold in North America, including the VNM, VNL, VNX, VHD and VAH models.

 

New River Valley Plant

4881 Cougar Trail Road

P.O. Box 1126

Dublin, VA 24084 U.S.A.

Phone: (540) 674-4181

Fax: (540) 674-7391

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is the Freedomline a 12-speed?

 

I drove a friend's toterhome that one and it seemed nice, especially having the gearshift on the steering wheel stalk.

Yes, it is a 12 speed. But it is no longer sold in the US due to a lawsuit between Meritor (Freedomline) and Eaton (Ultrashift). Some will say that this will result in a shortage of trained techs. But I still like it. I had an issue with it a few years ago and had no problems getting it fixed. Surprisingly the problem part was made by a company owned by Eaton.

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Two things to add.

 

1. Although the emissions equipment can have issues and need sensors that need to be replaced I much prefer not to be spewing black smoke all over everything. There are millions of DEF, DPF equipped trucks on the road running without issues. Do not let a few peoples bad luck keep you from getting a clean running truck with less miles and modern features.

 

2. As a truck driver I have experience with many of the engine/transmission combos out there and I will tell you that I will be purchasing A Volvo D13/i-shift truck. The benefits of brand A vs B could be debated endlessly but I will tell you that more HDT'ers pick that combo as well as the truck it comes in for a reason. Comfort, ride, ease of singling, I-shit are some of the bigger reasons. I did not want a "auto" trans in a truck ( hence my username) until a job I had a year and a half ago had me pulling 53's all over Portland for 6 months in a 2013 Volvo with a D13/i-shift. I will never go back after that. While I find shifting a manual 13 speed fun and love the control it gives me the 12 speed i-shift is just to easy and too good for me to go any other way.

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I have been getting adjusted to my Ultrashift fast R1 but does the Ishit only engage above 800 rpms also?

I don't believe so. The i-shift does not have the sluggish feeling of the Eaton's. It does not have the harsh downshifts as well.

 

Another thing about the i-shift is that you can select the starting gear with in reason as well as have full manual control if you like. The truck I drove had the E/P mode button and I loved it in the P mode. It is similar to "tow haul" on a pick up truck. The only annoying thing was that it would go back to E when it decided you did not need P anymore such as climbing a hill and then cresting and letting off the throttle. I was told by the Volvo western USA VP that this can be reprogramed by a Volvo dealer to stay in which ever mode you select.

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Please keep in mind that all of these afore mentioned transmissions are really "automated" manuals and each has a different " method" of engaging/disengaging the clutch. In the case of the earlier UltraShift it uses a

"centrifugal" type clutch so the engaging/disengaging is different than the others. They do need a bit of getting used to and are not as "smart" as the newer transmissions. Earlier UltraShifts do not skip shift and can usually be reprogrammed to start in any gear up to fifth. UltraShifts started showing up around the 2004-2005 model year and as mentioned is a "two-pedal" transmission with no clutch pedal. I have a 2005 Cummins ISX with an UltraShift and I am happy with that combo.

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I can give you both sides of the ford Chevy, IMO anyway.

My Own truck for towing and in my signature is a

1997 peterbilt 377A with

N14 Cummings

10 speed manual transmission.

It has just enough electronics to make it reliable and the tranny is built prof.

BUT IT'S A TRUCK DRIVERS TRUCK and I love it.

 

My work truck is a 2015 Volvo

I-shift

D13

And I love it also.

The Volvo I -shift is very easy to drive and much more user friendly. If your not a truck driver or really into having to drive the truck, I would recommend the newer l-shift.

The trade off IMO is my older truck is clean burning and very reliable.

The Volvo or any new truck seems to come with a lot more repairs. Just my opinion.

 

Also my son worked for a kenworth dealer in parts. And he said the Cat motor parts are very expensive and a lot harder to get sence Cat stopped making over the road trucks.

Charlie

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As an "outsider", I'm partial to the iShift as it's made from the start to be automated, and made from the start to be a 12-speed. The classic 10-speeds were made to be 10s, but the 9s/13s/18s just don't make sense to me: they're a 5-speed with a 2-speed range and a 2-speed splitter, with 1st gear "disabled" in high range. Why not reuse 1st in high range? Why sell it with the splitter disabled (9) or only enabled in the top half (13) or enabled top to bottom (18)? To me, the gear spacing on the iShift just makes more sense (it's a 3-speed with 2-speed range and 2-speed splitter, everything gets used twice, and it doesn't need to be lined up to accommodate a manual shift handle).

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The new Freightliner was designed as an automated manual as was the IShift. Both of them are 12 speeds. The 13 and 18 speed Eaton's have been around forever and the new Ultrashift Plus uses a standard clutch to eliminate a lot of the issues they had.

 

All of the newer transmissions are good performers as are the engines. It is mainly what you would like to have on a truck.

 

I happen to like the newer trucks and the performance and options they have available. One thing to remember though, the 2013 EPA engines will soon be transitioning over to the 2017 EPA engines.

 

I prefer an engine that was produced near the end of a development cycle instead of one that is not as proven, others like the latest and greatest.

 

One thing to remember, the Eaton Ultrashift and the Ultrashift Plus are completely different in the way they engage and in many cases, perform. Make sure you know which one you have.

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I can give you both sides of the ford Chevy, IMO anyway.

My Own truck for towing and in my signature is a

1997 peterbilt 377A with

N14 Cummings

10 speed manual transmission.

It has just enough electronics to make it reliable and the tranny is built prof.

BUT IT'S A TRUCK DRIVERS TRUCK and I love it.

 

My work truck is a 2015 Volvo

I-shift

D13

And I love it also.

The Volvo I -shift is very easy to drive and much more user friendly. If your not a truck driver or really into having to drive the truck, I would recommend the newer l-shift.

The trade off IMO is my older truck is clean burning and very reliable.

The Volvo or any new truck seems to come with a lot more repairs. Just my opinion.

 

Also my son worked for a kenworth dealer in parts. And he said the Cat motor parts are very expensive and a lot harder to get sence Cat stopped making over the road trucks.

Charlie

Its a CUMMINS for god's sake man!!!!!!!!.....And you call your self a trucker :rolleyes: shame, shame, shame :lol:

 

 

reading 13speed's post ... I sez a what kinda trans? :)

 

I seem to be involved in a funny that I am just not understanding.......

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