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Offline rcampbell

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Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« on: September 29, 2015, 01:30:28 PM »
Hi all, with all the 6BT experience on here, I was wondering if there's consensus on what the best choice of transmission would be to go behind the cummins? Some sites would have you believe anything short of a Eaton transmission from a medium duty truck wouldn't suffice. I plan on keeping the motor at stock power levels, can the 47RE be made to be reliable behind this engine? I'm open to anything, auto or manual.

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 01:34:02 PM »
Hi all, with all the 6BT experience on here, I was wondering if there's consensus on what the best choice of transmission would be to go behind the cummins? Some sites would have you believe anything short of a Eaton transmission from a medium duty truck wouldn't suffice. I plan on keeping the motor at stock power levels, can the 47RE be made to be reliable behind this engine? I'm open to anything, auto or manual.
Did you read the transmission part of the SquareD build?
Built a hydraulically controlled 46RH instead of the lockup stuff
A lot stronger since it has solid shafts in lieu of hollow drilled shafts, and converter absorbs a lot of the sudden torque flashes instead of the drivetrain and trans gears with the lockup setup. Also much cheaper to build. Converter is about 1/3 the price of a lockup unit
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 01:49:30 PM »
Very interesting. I did read the SqD build, but it was a while back. I'll have to go back over it in more detail since I'm sure I could transfer a lot of that knowledge. The pro of using an auto trans is that the wife could drive it, the con is that the wife could drive it.

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 03:46:07 PM »
Very interesting. I did read the SqD build, but it was a while back. I'll have to go back over it in more detail since I'm sure I could transfer a lot of that knowledge. The pro of using an auto trans is that the wife could drive it, the con is that the wife could drive it.
My secret:

Lift it a bit too high.
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Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 05:00:29 PM »
I am waiting for the driving reports too. I have a 46 sitting here. It is supposed to be a working trans and it has a sheered flywheel. Even have a local shop who loves the dodge trannys.
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 07:24:36 PM »
I was hoping to use either the 4L80E I got free, or use the 47RE that is coming on the cummins I bought. Since I'm using a 24v cummins, I'll need some electronics either way. Might look into upgrades for valve body and torque converter etc?

Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 12:48:25 AM »
If your 4L80E is a 91, they are supposed to have a stand alone PCM.

Still have to check mine out since I have a 91 V2500 with that. Might make a few $$$ more that way. Don't want any PCM in my Burb though.
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2015, 07:19:23 AM »
I *think* my 4L80E is a '92, but I could be wrong. Is there a way to verify it by serial number, or can I tell just by looking at it?

Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2015, 07:55:42 AM »
Why not an Allison? We have a 97 FL60 freightliner with the same exact engine as our 97 dodge 3500. The Freightliner has a Allison. I don't know why you couldn't put that in a dodge. If you are even thinking about an a Eaton I would go Allison. I cant say from personal experience but people I know that have had both prefer the Allison.
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Offline cudakidd53

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2015, 09:19:01 AM »
I think the only trade-off, is the Allison requires lots of electronics........
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2015, 10:10:04 AM »
Why not an Allison? We have a 97 FL60 freightliner with the same exact engine as our 97 dodge 3500. The Freightliner has a Allison. I don't know why you couldn't put that in a dodge. If you are even thinking about an a Eaton I would go Allison. I cant say from personal experience but people I know that have had both prefer the Allison.
Which Allison? The one that comes in the vans like the bread trucks has a 4 speed Allison which I hear is bomb proof
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2015, 10:27:13 AM »
I think the Ally in my 5 ton is a 5 speed. Guess I need to drive it more often so that I'm better at responding with useless information.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2015, 10:38:22 AM »
I think the Ally in my 5 ton is a 5 speed. Guess I need to drive it more often so that I'm better at responding with useless information.
I think it might be Ken

Point is, there are a bunch of Allison transmissions other than the current 1000 series used in our trucks. And, of course, the others are viable as well
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2015, 10:48:31 AM »
Right. They've had Allys behind Cummins way longer than gm has put them in pickups.
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Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 02:16:42 PM »
I have read many threads on "other" allisons for swaps and such. They are strong, big and heavy. Most will not take a tcase so you have to run divorced. True, many don't need a PCM also. Most seem to stick with the ally, NV, gertrac or dodge trans. Some did the 4L80 but the PCM was as much as the tranny sometimes, same would go for an ally 1000 swap.

I drove a couple flatbeds and serviced many bobtails in my younger years, we never had an issue with them blowing a trans, but most were 366 gas or 4cylinder detriots. They shifted like tanks and mileage sucked. But, you may like that!

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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2015, 02:56:11 PM »
The one in the fl60 is a 4speed but yea if you wanted to put it in a 4x4 that would cause problems. I don't think it has any electronics but then I never looked for any either.
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Offline husker77c

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2015, 09:03:29 AM »
No manual tranny love?   The NV4500 and 5600 are known to perform well with the Cummins. Even with big torque numbers.  Plus they are easy to find adapters for because they were a factory option.  My ZF5 is also a good choice but that would depend on what it's going in as t wouldn't make sense to source out a ford tranny to put it into a non ford.  Clutch selection is key in a manual though.  Have to strike a balance between holding the power you have and easy engagement.  Luckily there are some top notch companies making clutches for street trucks.  South Bend Clutch and Valair are two of the best.  But it is a wear item obviously and you have to factor that into your equation.

Allisons are great but so are all the transmissions in late model diesels. The 68RFE in the various dodges I've owned has been great. As stated though they are heavy and require a bunch of electronic controls. 

I think going with an older auto built up like in Square D or a manual is the best choice for simplicity and durability behind the Cummins.

I did watch a video awhile back of a dodge with an Eaton 10 speed in it.  Pretty cool but super heavy and not necessary.  You need all the gears when driving a big truck but it's overkill in a light duty truck.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 09:06:49 AM by husker77c »

Offline rcampbell

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 12:22:25 PM »
As I did more research, I was also starting to think a manual transmission might be a good choice. I found a 1992 F350 with a 7.3 IDI and a 5 speed. I could likely reuse that transmission with some small changes I would think? Only problem is it's a 2wd truck, which is why I also started looking into the feasibility of converting it to 4x4. So many choices.

Offline husker77c

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2015, 01:03:37 PM »
I'm just guessing cause I haven't looked into it but it shouldn't be to hard to convert to 4x4. Hanging the axle is easy. Reverse shackle kit and some super duty springs and you're only in 5-600 for the parts not including the axle.   Can't say for sure if the tranny is different or not but I don't think it would be. May just have to find a new housing and transfer case.   That's a lot of work though.  You can find 4x4 OBS Fords all day long for cheap. Heck I paid $3750 for my crew cab long box 4x4.   Another awesome vehicle for this is an older suburban.  I kind of wished that's what I had looked for before I bought my Ford.   Heck you could even look for a 12 valve 1st or 2nd gen dodge and not have to do a swap.  Don has laid out the perfect template for those trucks.

Lots of good options for not a lot of money for good cheap trucks.


Another thing to consider with a manual is if there is ever an EMP and worst case scenario. All electrical things are destroyed. As long as you can turn the fuel on with a 12 valve you can bump start it.   Just make sure you park on a hill when you stop it.   Get it coasting in 2nd or 3rd gear and pop the clutch and you're in business.

And along those lines. Driving a manual is becoming a lost skill.  Most of the kids these days can't drive one so even if they do try to steal it chances are they cant get it going.



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Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2015, 02:11:50 PM »
I did mention the NVs up top and they are a valid option. Just remember if you are hanging it on a auto engine there is alot to swap.

As for EMP, I believe (Don correct me) that it destroys electronics such as chips, diodes and transistors. I think basic circuits are fine. EI: lights, starters, window motors, locks.
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Offline husker77c

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2015, 02:44:49 PM »

I did mention the NVs up top and they are a valid option. Just remember if you are hanging it on a auto engine there is alot to swap.

As for EMP, I believe (Don correct me) that it destroys electronics such as chips, diodes and transistors. I think basic circuits are fine. EI: lights, starters, window motors, locks.

Ahh yes you did mention them.  Sorry. And we should probably start a thread on EMPs. Ive read everything from only taking out the power grid to taking every last thing with wires attached to it.   


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Offline kiszka6911

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2015, 02:57:26 PM »
I have to vote for the Getrag G360, my 1993 Dodge has seen it all at 138K miles.  We have pulled 22K lbs, on our dual tandem goose neck & John Deere excavator.  Pulled high centered newer trucks off the trail.  Drag raced punks in various Asian cars.  I push near 40lbs of boost and the trans / clutch holds fine.  There are great pto ports on both side for accessories.  I have write up some where about the early failures in the transmissions giving them a bad name so Dodge switch to the NV4500 which ended up having an even worse 5th gear problem when pulling heavy loads.  Its cast iron heavy duty and reasonable to rebuild. 
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Offline kiszka6911

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2015, 03:35:28 PM »
Here is an old write up from Turbo Diesel Register on the history of the Getrag G360 problems and solutions.

Here is the excerpt from Terry aka Mysteryman that I cited, and the link to the forum for tdr members:
The bearing that fails is the rear main shaft bearing.....This happens due to some of the things I mentioned earlier in this thread....

What you have is a Timkin tapered roller bearing pressed onto the main shaft.....the race is then placed into the rear of the case partially sticking out. Then the tail shaft housing goes over the part of the race that sticks out pressing it down onto the cone....There are shims that go between the race and the tail shaft housing that adjust the bearing clearance..

The failure comes when the clearance is too tight (TOO MANY SHIMS)
This loads the bearing too tight.....When the trans heats up things expand...
This causes the race in the case to lock on the cone and rotate in the case...
This wears out the case and causes the trans to get real hot real fast...Then often times the case will crack between the main shaft and the countershaft bearing bores..... Party over !!!

The bearings in the Getrag are Timken tapered roller bearings just like the front wheel bearings. On front wheel bearings you adjust the clearance with the spindle nut....On a Getrag you stack thin shims.....For new bearings you want a +.006 preload . For used bearings you want .000 clearance.....

Back in the early 90's we were having problems with the remans getrag was sending us...I had about 20 or so that we tore down to find out what had happened...I found that all of them had +.030 to +.045 shim packs.....I thought that I was not calculating it correctly or that the failed units were too bad off to be accurate...
I went to the getrag reman plant way back when to get to the bottom of what the problem was..... I pulled 3 off of the line and tore them down to check the clearance....They all had +.030 to +.045 shim packs in them as well..... Oh sh** ! I called for the production manager ....We discussed my findings...He said that they set them up this way intentionally because they felt .006 was too lose and caused excess gear rattle during testing...OMG !!!

I promptly told him that he was to stick to the spec that WE told them to use and that I was going to write my report to my superiors that Getrag was the cause of the failures and should be back charged for the failures of the remans that Chrysler had had to eat in the previous 3 years!

For those of you that have had one of the Getrags apart . You may have noticed the the rear main shaft bearing race was excessively thick....
The reason for this was that when we were testing the very first Getrags we found that under excessive load that the standard race would split and crack the case...So we reduced the size of the cone and had Timkin make a special thick walled race....It worked and hence the reason for the strange heavy race...
The best thing to do is rebuild the Getrag PROPERLY and put it back in....
There is nothing wrong with the Getrag if you know how to build them !
I have written quite a bit on this subject in the past...Look up the posts...

I know that many think that the NV4500 is a better trans....But we did have the 4500 several years BEFORE the Getrags were used...The 4500 was only used for gas trucks originally....We used the Getrag because it was found to be a better trans during testing.....The 4500 was later used behind the diesels...It had a few small changes made to it before it was used in the diesels but that was it....
The 4500 replaced the Getrag for only one reason...cost !

Rebuilding the Getrag is not hard you just have to pay attention to details...
The Getrag's problems were few but vital... The things that made them fail were as follows...
1) OIL LEAKS
A) drain plug dripped , run out or run low on oil
B) No gaskets on early models , more leaks
C) pilot bushing failures,,, bronze was too soft
D) over loading , trailer too heavy
E) too much hp , turning up the fuel/air
F) overheating ruining the oil
G) wrong type of oil , no 90 weight in the Getrag ! !
H) not knowing how to shift , rattling the gears,, too high a gear at too low a speed

2) Poor assembly
A) setting shim packs too tight , Getrag even did this themselves at times
B) uneven shim packs between main shaft and countershaft causing tail shaft housing not to hit squarely
C) bell housing misalignment

In conclusion, I personally have never had a Getrag fail in any of my personal trucks nor have I ever had to rebuild one twice that I built,, I have seen them go hundreds of thousands of miles in fleet trucks without failures.....

If you still decide to replace it with some thing else I would be glad to buy whats left of your Getrag.. I could use the spare parts ...

Good luck and be sure to replace the pilot bushing. Preferably with a ball bearing... The flywheel will need to be bored out for this...I do my own but the guys at South Bend clutch do them all the time for people.....

As for the pilot bushing....Engineering knew it was not going to work before the first one left the plant...But if you did not haul trailers it would work long enough to get out of warrantee....Engineering wanted to use a ball bearing but . We were shot down due to cost ...
In 94 it was decided to go to a Torrington needle bearing...Great in theory but it just made matters worse....They ate the imputs alive....

As for the worn out ends on the imput shafts...What I do is put them in my cylinder grinder and make them round and back on center..Then I make a steel sleeve on the lathe and press it onto the shaft end.... Then I put them in my cylinder grinder again and finish them to the correct diameter for the ball bearing I am going to use ...The tolerance is .0001 ot centerline . And no your Craftsman engine lathe you got from dad is NOT going to do the job accurately enough !
Jackson, MI 1993 Dodge W350, BD Diesel+60 injectors, OSFP, 3200GS, EGT & boost guages. HTT Stage III, 16CM.  Parabolic springs, Billstein shocks; Buckstop bumpers, Military MTR's 37x12.5x16.5 on H1 rims, PIAA lights.

Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2015, 04:29:43 PM »
Yep, the Gertrac got a bad name for some time. But anything can be upgraded.

I think Don has gone over what EMP does in a few threads. You can also protect things from it, but not really while using it.

I think using the big non pcm allys would be a good option cept for the 4x4 issue.

Oh come on, many of the Craftsman lathes were made by big companies, when Sears was a real tool store,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Just don't try it on your Jet/grizzly,,,,,,,,,,,,,

« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 04:30:26 PM by JR »
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2015, 06:01:54 PM »
Well I do have the Eaton FS5205A transmission, that's out of a bus I believe. It will bolt right up to the cummins, but unfortunately the one I have doesn't have OD (ie. 5th gear ratio is 1.00, and first gear is 7.28 or some such thing!!!!) I do really like the idea of using a manual transmission. And as husker77c pointed out, it could be a neat idea to restore a 1st gen dodge, as long as no one called me a SquareD copy-catter! :)

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2015, 10:53:11 PM »
As for EMP, I believe (Don correct me) that it destroys electronics such as chips, diodes and transistors. I think basic circuits are fine. EI: lights, starters, window motors, locks.
Correct

Heavier wiring can handle the surge of electrons
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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2015, 12:28:50 AM »
EMP, as is a nuclear EMP is mainly a voltage spike, not amperage.  So non voltage sensitive items are essentially immune, e.g. starters, window motors, etc.  Most ECU/TCU and electronics in general operate at 5VDC, so they are very susceptible to nuclear EMP.  That could also include any circuits in voltage regulators or other electronics.

If you have a vulnerable piece of equipment then a replacement in a Faraday cage/box would allow quick replacement.  A simple TCU change might be acceptable but having a truck with a BCM/ECM/TCM all to replace might not.

FWIW
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Offline RobCarlton

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2017, 03:05:35 AM »
Well I do have the Eaton FS5205A transmission, that's out of a bus I believe. It will bolt right up to the cummins, but unfortunately the one I have doesn't have OD (ie. 5th gear ratio is 1.00, and here is bathmate gear is 7.28 or some such thing!!!!) I do really like the idea of using a manual transmission. And as husker77c pointed out, it could be a neat idea to restore a 1st gen dodge, as long as no one called me a SquareD copy-catter! :)

What's a nuclear emp then?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 12:37:24 PM by RobCarlton »

Offline JR

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2017, 03:43:29 AM »
What's a nuclear emp then?

Better than wikpedia (not hard to do)

http://futurescience.com/emp.html
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Offline cj7ox

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Re: Best transmission for 5.9 Cummins
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2017, 11:53:37 AM »
I've got an '06 Ram 3500 with the Gertrag G56 6 speed manual. That trans has worked flawlessly, with the only repair having to replace the clutch at 250k miles. I'm now approaching 270k, still no issues and pulling strong.
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