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Ultra Shift issues?


Pete Kildow

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Looking at a truck, 2005 model Kenworth. It has the 2 petal Ultra shift trans in it. it was listed as a auto shift, and wish it was. But it does not have the clutch. So Ultra Shift trans rather then the auto shift. It has a new X-Y shiftier and harness. So that's 2 things some people I have read have issues with. Anything else that may be an issue? My Mechanic told me there fleet most times. Had to have a new clutch every 350,000 miles. They owned 47 tractors, 10 of them being the Ultra Shifts. Then 21 of them the auto shifts. Then the rest manual trans. The auto shifts would need a new harness around 700,000 miles. And that was it for those. He does not like the Ultra Shifts for commercial use. But agreed it may be good with our low weights.

So asking how everyone here that has the Ultra Shift likes them? Along with issues to look for when buying a truck with that trans in it. OOHH yes he had just finished putting some kind of box on one in his shop. The truck was not shifting right. And it has 3 ball bearing inside the plate. Then it has disk plates next to that plate. The disk has warn down and let the bearings move to one side. When the truck came to a stop, it was like hitting the brakes. Truck ran and shifted good, but just had issues at low speeds and at stopping.

Other items that has been replaced on the truck within the last 4 years.

Replaced fan hub assembly
AC Compressor, dryer and expansion valve
Batteries
Rear-end sway bar link
All pins and bushings rearend
Sleeper shocks
Replaced brake pods
Replaced both turbos
Replaced all shocks
Replaced pitman arm
New alternator

Engine is a C15

Hardwood floors installed last year also.

Singled but would have to add my Air ride 5th wheel. Miles are around 675,000 on the whole truck. Also I have never driven a auto semi. Pull a few million on a standard shift.

Pete

 

 


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My truck is an Ultrashift.  No problems in seven years.  Takes some getting used to when backing softly into hitch. One foot on brake and other little bit of throttle.  Not hard to figure out.  Tends to jump some in backing.  On edit should note when engine and exhaust brake are on, downshifts are a little rough.  If going through town I just flip switch off until back on highway.  I would buy another truck with one.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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C15's are expensive to work on and that engine from what I read is a strong pulling motor. But expensive to keep up. Now, we mostly do low miles so may not be bad. Having both turbo replaced, you are ahead of the game. I love my UltraShift. Not cost my anything yet.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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We have a 2005 Freightliner Century with the Ultrashift. Truck has just over 500k on it and we have put about 54k on it ourselves. 

No repair issues yet. We have found that we cannot use R2 as the truck won't shift back out of that gear and we have to shut down and reset it to get back in Neutral. We now never even try and just use R1. 

Like Carl we use two feet to back up, one on brake and the other on the accelerator. Works fine for us and we have not had any clutch abuse warnings. It does not have hill start assist so we do the same on hills.

Other issue is it does not automatically skip gears, so it does take a little longer to get up to speed.

We would not want a 3 pedal truck.

Dave

2005 Freightliner Century S/T, Singled, Air ride ET Jr. hitch
2019 46'+ Dune Sport Man Cave custom 5th wheel toy hauler
Owner of the 1978 Custom Van "Star Dreamer" which might be seen at a local car show near you!

 

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for much more info on HDT's.

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7 hours ago, HERO Maker said:

I don't mind the 3 pedal truck.  I also use two feet, one on the clutch and one on the brake.  Works real fine and I can sneak up on the pin real easy.

I will agree with HERO Maker plus I prefer the clutch for backing also, seem to have more control.

2017 River Stone Legacy 38MB

2001 T2000 Kenworth

2009 Smart Passion

ET Junior hitch

 

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A KW is still a truck, so you heel-toe it just like you did in your truck in the 90s.  Take it in and have the Ultra updated and it'll run just like the EAPs did at the end of the DM's in 2010.  No it won't skip shift unless you really mess up, but then again you are an old truck driver and don't need to.  It'll progressive shift right along with you.  But it has to land shifts over 1000 rpm so it'll always be high.  It is the nature of the beast so look elsewhere if that is a problem.

But remember a DM is NOT for off pavement use.  So if that is the plan then again look elsewhere.  Only thing different in a gen 2 (2005) is they didn't get the integrated power harness (unless T2).  So you'll have power connections on the batteries and flying fuses.  Learn whete they are and keep a toothbrush in the glovebox.

New turbos is good.  Ask about interstage cooler work and VVA work.  Probably been done but it would be next.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Was sure I had answered this one. Guess I  shut down the PC before hitting Submit. Backed out on this truck. As we found a Factory Single axle. Its an older truck, but has the Detroit series 60 that I like. Put a lot of miles on those, and they always did well. 

Pete

 

 


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Pete;

Pretty hard to go wrong with the Series 60! 12.7 or 14L parts are everywhere and they are very tuneable to your needs! But I guess I'm biased! 

 

Curt

 

2001 Freightliner Century, 500hp Series 60, Gen 2 autoshift, 3.42 singled rear locker.

2004 Keystone Sprinter 299RLS (TT)

2 & 4 Wheelers!

2013 Polaris Ranger 800 midsize LE

Our motto "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!"

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On 7/28/2017 at 11:15 AM, Scrap said:

A KW is still a truck, so you heel-toe it just like you did in your truck in the 90s.  Take it in and have the Ultra updated and it'll run just like the EAPs did at the end of the DM's in 2010.  No it won't skip shift unless you really mess up, but then again you are an old truck driver and don't need to.  It'll progressive shift right along with you.  But it has to land shifts over 1000 rpm so it'll always be high.  It is the nature of the beast so look elsewhere if that is a problem.

But remember a DM is NOT for off pavement use.  So if that is the plan then again look elsewhere.  Only thing different in a gen 2 (2005) is they didn't get the integrated power harness (unless T2).  So you'll have power connections on the batteries and flying fuses.  Learn whete they are and keep a toothbrush in the glovebox.

New turbos is good.  Ask about interstage cooler work and VVA work.  Probably been done but it would be next.

Okay, I gotta ask, what does DM stand for in this post? 

Dan (Class of 2017) - 2012 Ram 3500 & 2005 Alpenlite Valhalla 29RK
Contact me at rvsolarconsulting.com or Two Wheel Ramblin

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On 8/16/2017 at 10:41 PM, CDR said:

Pete;

Pretty hard to go wrong with the Series 60! 12.7 or 14L parts are everywhere and they are very tuneable to your needs! But I guess I'm biased! 

 

Curt

 

I like the series 60's also. Ran my first one in a 1988 Freightliner. That was in 1999, it was the 11.1. But man it would run with the big boys after tuning it up. The truck i have now has the 11.1 in it. Reason behind going with small 11.1. Best fuel mileage around for what it will be doing. When I pulled bath tubs with one back in 1999. We were pulling drop deck van's. Big billboard of a trailer, and loaded down with tubs. It was under 20,000 lbs with the trailer. With that first 11.1, and it set up to run 87 MPH @1800 RMP's. It would still get 7.5 back then. While the other 39 trucks the guy owned. Were lucky to get 4 MPG. But all the rest were 425 cats.

I has the slowest truck in the fleet. But it made more money. And when we got into the hills. They did not leave me behind. But then again back then speed limits most places was 55 MPH.

This old 11.1 is turning 1800 and doing 79 at the 1800. Also has the DDEC-IV ECM on it. And it was replaced 3 years ago.

Pete

 

 


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