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Old 07-19-2013, 11:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JFScheck View Post
Peeps - my humble opinon, if you have to go through all that to tow in the mountains then you have either too much trailer or not enough of a tow vehicle....
OR, your a "gear head" like myself and thoroughly enjoy driving. I get a perverted pleasure out of "working" my tow vehicle. As a retired lubrication engineer who has dealt with a myriad of industrial matters, when I'm driving down the road my mind's eye can transparently see the entire drive train functioning; this understanding benefits my assembly's longevity and economy.

Most drive to get from A to B, I drive to enjoy that which is between A and B.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:53 PM   #22
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned... something I learned from our old Master Mechanics: the engine itself will tell you what it's happiest in doing. Some like to rev up and just pull, others like to take it a bit easier. One of the biggest telltales is your oil consumption. If your oil consumption suddenly goes way up, then you're being too hard on the vehicle.

For my experience with an SOB and my particular tow vehicle, it's happiest if I let the Tow Mode and the automatic transmission do the work; I just go to Manual Mode if the transmission is 'hunting' for a gear. I allow my speed to drop by 5-10 MPH on the long hills; that's what the right lane is for.

The proof for me is going from using 1-1/2 quart between changes to none. Gas mileage has gone from a little better than 8 to a solid 10+ MPG. And where I live, you can't get anywhere without going over long hills...
For what it's worth, my X5 V8 4.4i consumes ~1 pint of oil between 6,500 mile oil changes (crankcase contains 8.5 quarts). A high viscosity oil offers the best protection for a heavily loaded engine and thus I use 15W-50 Mobil 1, and since I live in Houston I don't have to switch to a lower viscosity during winter.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:49 AM   #23
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The bulk of my towing involves the Colorado mountains and mountain passes. I tow a 21 GT with a 99 5.2 litre 4X4 Dakota with 150K miles. I never tow in Overdrive in the mountains, down hill is to fast and uphill the trans can't make up its mind. I drive the tachometer when going uphill regardless of which gear that I manually shift the trans into. My trans is a 3 speed overdrive so there are times on the steep long high altitude climbs I am in second. My power curve is in the 3000 to 3500 rpm range and everything is happy there on the long uphill climbs. The two gauges I watch the most is RPM and Water Temp. I do have to turn off the Air conditioning most times.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #24
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Gear down - slow down - then climb the hill at a speed that feels comfortable for both you and the truck.

In addition to a tachometer a Scanguage is very helpful - makes it easy to monitor the temperature and engine load.

And has been said - go down the hill in the same gear and at the same speed you'd climb it.


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Old 07-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #25
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As some have said, I just keep mine in "tow/haul" mode and let it do its thing - performs great.

I especially appreciate the way it knows how to downshift when it senses me braking coming down the other side!

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Old 07-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #26
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The best way to charge up a hill is DON'T do it.

Follow instead the good advice given by RangerJay just above.

I too drive to the SCANGAUGE ll, constantly monitoring Percentage of Load.

I have also installed gauges to monitor the transmission temperature and the exhaust gases from the turbo charger in the SPRINTER. Less chance of harming things when you know these factors.

Full details, if you are interested, in post #686 on my main thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f227...ml#post1178010



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Old 07-25-2013, 01:53 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
OR, your a "gear head" like myself and thoroughly enjoy driving. .
Absolutely nothing wrong with that!
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:42 PM   #28
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You have a modern TV with state of the art (close anyway) computer controlled transmission - why not use it? Stick it in "drive" and go the speed you want. If you want to save gas then slow down. Manually shifting a modern transmission is gratifying only if you think you're better at shifting than the computer system in your TV -"(you're not). You don't own a manual transmission, you own an automatic.
If that's a response to ROBERTSUNRUS posting about manually shifting out of OD and later into 2nd as needed, you're a bit off-base. The 4-speed auto in his '00 Navigator is about the same transmission as the 4R75 in my '07 F150... and let me tell you, it ain't too smart.

I can often get smoother operation, maintain lower trans temps and keep things moving along better by watching ahead and kicking off the OD, or adding power early even when on cruise than by letting the transmission just do what it wants.

The newer 6+ speed transmissions that are better integrated into the engine-management systems are lightyears better, but my older 4-speed still hauls things along pretty well if I help out from time to time.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #29
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Best way to charge up a hill
I find both Visa & Mastercard work just fine...

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Old 07-25-2013, 05:30 PM   #30
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Back around 1920 my mother was taken on a road trip in the family Buick. It was a big family and the car had trouble getting up the hills in upstate NY. The older kids got out to reduce the weight and push if necessary.

Those days are over. No need to charge up the hill or for anyone to get out. Automatic transmissions are computer operated and know what is best for the engine. Just drive up. You can let it slow down to save gas. Use tow mode to prevent the engine from laboring.

While the rule to go down in the same gear you came up is good advice, it works best for stick shifts. With an automatic, I don't count which gear I'm in going up, and although the transmission automatically downshifts going downhill, I downshift lower. Saves brakes and is safer. I prefer a stick (if you can get one anymore; they are victims of cellphones—can't talk and shift at the same time), today's automatics are more efficient.

Gene
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