Looking for Allison build/install options near Virginia.

juddski88

Freedom Diesel
Jul 1, 2008
4,655
119
63
Chesterfield, Mass.
I'm in Lynchburg, VA. I doubt there's going to be anybody here. Richmond, Roanoke, and Greensboro NC, are equidistant. The truck has been doing this for awhile. I'd trust it to make an unloaded trip, which is the appeal of getting it done quickly at a builder/installer, perhaps even one that could have a core prepped before I make the drive. That said, I'd rather not drive to Ohio if there's a solid option closer. Maryland is not a bad drive.

Are there bad experiences from ATS? Corners cut?

It does appear a local "diesel performance" shop installs Suncoast and BD units.

The SDP webpage had me sold on their base 550 build until I saw WA. I guess they're still an option but it adds the cost/hassle of separate shipping, core return, and install. Keeping the cost reasonable would be nice but it is what it is. There will always be "next" thing on this truck, but it's rust free and lots of little things have been done. It seems worthy of a solid trans to keep it reliable as a family recreation workhorse.

I assume I'm a pretty basic stock+ build customer? Extra clutches and basic valve body mods, better converter, etc? I don't feel like I need a higher stall converter. Any reason to avoid a Goerend C? I assume opting for the Goerend oiler plate would help C3 have a long, happy life given the brunt of our towing work seeps to be done across 3/4/5? I'd like to do this and the transfer case and never worry about anything behind the flex plate again.

Call Evan at Inglewood Transmission and ask who his dealers/installers are in your area. I know of a few down there, but they are a few hours from you. Best just get the info from the source.
 

JoshH

Daggum farm truck
Staff member
Vendor/Sponsor
Feb 14, 2007
13,604
637
113
Texas!!!
For the 6sp, Milk L told me it was much more involved. Basically requiring the removal and opening of the transmission. Has this changed?
You might be getting the full transgo kit for the 5 speed mixed up with the jr kit for the 6 speed. I think a lot of people got away from installing anything other than the jr even on the 5 speed though. I know I quit a long time ago because it would cause a very harsh 4-5 shift.
 

BLACKMAX1

WAY2EVL
Jul 10, 2013
555
6
18
VA beach
Is Dustin Mintern @ Diesel Addiction in Wilmington still around?
Dustin doesnt have his shop anymore but I see him active on facebook and he's still in the game. I would hit up Inglewood as others have said, he shipped me a trans to VA Beach and I had a local shop install it. Rudys Diesel is in NC and could help you out as well. Maryland Performance diesel is a good shop too.
 

johnmyster

Member
Nov 6, 2023
56
22
8
Lynchburg, Virginia
It's been a bit, but thanks to those that gave pointers. I'll update on how it all turns out, but for anyone else looking for solid trans options between NC and MD:

1) George is very much in business and has been a pleasure to talk to. He sounds like a great option, 250 miles away. Sounds like he's setting up a new shop soon to better balance work/life.
2) Dustin was also a pleasure to talk to. Also sounds like a great option. Similar distance.
3) Randy at Maxxed Out (Mt. Solon, VA, 75 miles away) came highly reccommended. We didn't yet get too far into the details but it sounds like he builds a great transmission.

4) A local diesel/diesel performance shop quoted a Revmax R&R. Says that's the only Allison rebuild they would use. They are convenient, but price prohibitive. There is one other typical diesel performance shop I can ping but don't expect much different.
5) Another independent diesel mechanic (local) had a good conversation. Promised to call back. Never did. I guess not interested.
6) A local trans shop said he'd rebuilt a few Allisons, but was hesitant to discuss any upgrades over stock spec. He said they never break, so why would you? It was pretty clear I was out of his comfort zone.
7) A truck fleet shop next to my office is an Allison dealer and will quote a few rebuilt options. I have a feeling the warranty would be great but also cost prohibitive. (I drove 5000 miles last year. A two year warranty is just about meaningless to me.)

George, Dustin, and Randy all offer "stock plus" builds. Some of them offered al-la-carte upgrades if there were specific areas I wanted to strengthen for my application. All of them were willing to split the transfer case and address pump rub (with a kit, or a case half) while it was out of the truck.

On one hand, I could probably get away with putting a converter in the truck and continuing to drive it. On the other hand, it's got lots of miles on it and if we do it, it'll be done.
 
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johnmyster

Member
Nov 6, 2023
56
22
8
Lynchburg, Virginia
EDIT - if someone is looking at this in the future, Logan Lewis @ Diesels Unlimited (MD) also does transmissions. I haven't spoken with them, but someone else to add to the list for the region.
 
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ZeroGravity58

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2008
1,393
51
48
38
Maryland
Who did you settle on? George does build a stock plus build, I can tell you it is stout. I have it in my LBZ and I beat the piss out of it. When he first did the trans it was only getting a 100hp tow tune. Then it need head gaskets and got 60 overs, a 66mm VGT and a max effort tune with the same trans. Put 50k on it and multiple sets of tires so far 😂
 

N2BRK

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2009
1,911
238
63
That's the opposite of my experience with him; trans didn't last and nothing but problems with it and with him. I went to Diesels Unlimited for my most recent build and I am very happy. YMMV.
 

N2BRK

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2009
1,911
238
63
Absolutely. I praise who treats me right and let you know who doesn't. I'm balanced.
 

johnmyster

Member
Nov 6, 2023
56
22
8
Lynchburg, Virginia
As a follow up, two camping trips and about 1000 miles in, I'm happy with the trans. No converter slip, solid shifts, and mostly the confidence to drive it without having to babysit. Converter lockup can sometimes be abrupt but has gotten better since initially installed.

George recommended his "HD-Stock" build but let me talk him into going a little further. It's not a typical performance build - he used OE type clutches but raised clutch counts where appropriate. We splurged on the Goerend converter and George did an aluminum case half to address the unknown state of the transfer case.

Thanks to this forum pointing me towards George. The best part of the deal was interacting with him. There's a good bit of duramax history that he's been a part of. He spent a great deal of time talking through the options, didn't mind driving me to pickup a rental car, stayed in communication, etc. I had to bring our dog with me on my pickup and George welcomed having the pup at the shop for a bit. It was well worth the drive and his charges were fair vs other options I had quoted. It was good to discuss and make arrangements with the person that had his hands in it.
 
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Bdsankey

Vendor
Vendor/Sponsor
Feb 1, 2018
3,920
1,076
113
Neenah, Wisconsin
As a follow up, two camping trips and about 1000 miles in, I'm happy with the trans. No converter slip, solid shifts, and mostly the confidence to drive it without having to babysit. Converter lockup can sometimes be abrupt but has gotten better since initially installed.

George recommended his "HD-Stock" build but let me talk him into going a little further. It's not a typical performance build - he used OE type clutches but raised clutch counts where appropriate. We splurged on the Goerend converter and George did an aluminum case half to address the unknown state of the transfer case.

Thanks to this forum pointing me towards George. The best part of the deal was interacting with him. There's a good bit of duramax history that he's been a part of. He spent a great deal of time talking through the options, didn't mind driving me to pickup a rental car, stayed in communication, etc. I had to bring our dog with me on my pickup and George welcomed having the pup at the shop for a bit. It was well worth the drive and his charges were fair vs other options I had quoted. It was good to discuss and make arrangements with the person that had his hands in it.
This is what we do in our "OEM+" builds rated to 550whp as well (tune only/stock fuel/stock air) and it's done very respectably and held up much further than the 550whp it's rated for. You got a solid setup and George knows how to build an Allison that's for sure.