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Old 08-03-2015, 02:26 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by DC Bruce View Post
The FLT video of the 6.4 Ram 2500 pulling the Ike gauntlet strongly suggests that this engine is electronically monitored to limit the amount of continuous time it spends over 4500 rpm at max power. You will notice in pickuptrucks.com's test of 3/4 ton gas pickups pulling max load up the same hill had the same result: the Ram was the slowest even though it achieved the hugest peak speed. What that says is that it is the most powerful of the 3, but that its ability to develop full power is time limited by the engine management system.
If you're thinking of a 27-foot AS and don't have a big family and lots of extra stuff to lug around, think about a 1/2 ton. For starters, the truck it self weighs 1000-1500 lbs. less than a 3/4 ton, so your engine power is already doing less work, everything else being equal. A 2014 f150 crew cab with max payload and Mexico trailer tow packages will give you a rated cargo capacity of 1720 lbs. and towing capacity of more than 10,000 lbs. The GVWR of my FC 27 is 7600 lbs. you can get more payload in the 2015 F150, over 2000 lbs. with the right package. The 3.5 liter Ecoboost engine is, by this time, a proven power plant and is a torque monster. Or the '15 Silverado/Sierra 1500 crew cab with max trailer tow package has a payload of 1960 lbs. You can get it with either the 5.3 or 6.2 liter direct injection V8. The 6.2 engine is rated at 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have cylinder deactivation but the 6.2 has an 8-speed. I own the 6.2 and use it to pull my FC 27. My experience is limited so far, but I can say in hauling the trailer from NJ to Virginia at 60 mph over rolling countryside, only one did the engine spin over 2000 rpm. Even driving in the Blue Ridge mountains, I don't think I ever caused the engine to spin over 3000 rpm to maintain the speed I wanted. I would add, having test driven all of the 3/4 ton trucks, that the 1/2 tons feel less massive. If you have a family of 4, are planning on taking a lot of "toys" or are thinking about a 30 foot airstream, then maybe the bigger truck is what you need. One downside, the GM 6.2 engine requires premium gas, which is more expensive than diesel. The Ram 6.4 specifies 89 octane (mid grade) which is priced the same as diesel around here. Finally, on any truck you consider, check out the payload sticker on the driver's side door frame, which is the payload for that truck with a full tank of fuel, equipped as it is. You'll notice that the payload on the 3/4 ton diesels is not as much as you would think because the engine is so heavy. Your trailers "tongue weight" is part of your vehicle's payload. Typically for a larger Airstream, that's 800-1000 lbs. a weight distributing hitch (required) will shift a few 100 lbs of that back to the trailer, but most of the weight re-distributed by the hitch will be shifted to the front axle of your tow vehicle. The idea is to keep the vehicle level.


Great info man!! Just what we seek.

Regarding TFL truck guys. Found this on another board. It's referencing a reply from Chrysler to TFL truck guys after the meager 6.4 Hemi run up Ike Gauntlet.



"We spoke with Ram and here's what they said about the slower Results of this Ike Gauntlet Run: "During the Silverado drive, you spoke negatively of the shift calibration. The tested Chevy was we assume hunting between 1st and 2nd, and ranged from 5300 rpm to around 2800 rpm, which you didn’t seem to like. The Chevy revved very high up the hill for extended periods of time, over 5000 rpm.

Ram Truck “invented” the first gear hold feature – and calibrated it – to avoid gear hunting and driving at excessively high rpm’s.
Ike is a variable grade and we worked hard to develop a calibration that appropriately manages torque on the run and other grades.

We don’t want the truck to rev high for extended periods of time and purposely hold 4,200 rpm.

Bottom line – our truck performed exactly as expected by delivering a more comfortable hauling experience, better vehicle longevity and improved fuel economy. Time to the top of the hill is only one small piece of the driving experience and our engineers take a number of variable into consideration. Ask yourself if just over one minute is worth other negative driver inputs."
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:33 PM   #86
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Found this quote online. Unknown original source. Dodge presumably....




6.4-L Hemi developed for truck duty...

Though it debuted in the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 (and is used in other Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep SRT8 models), the 6.4-L was originally designed as a truck engine, according to Mets. Its components were optimized to satisfy tough durability and market requirements.

“An active runner intake system [helps to] provide that low-end torque that is required in a heavy-duty truck, but without sacrificing that high-end power,” Mets said. “If you look at the torque curves between this engine and our competition as well as the 5.7-L Hemi, the 6.4-L generates as much torque as the others but at 800 to 1000 rpm less.”

Another truck-specific feature is an optional dual-alternator setup for chassis-cab applications. This marks the first time Chrysler has offered a gasoline application in the 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs, according to Mets.

“Designed as a truck engine, we were able to do things like packaging an optional dual alternator; so straight out of the factory, a dual alternator with 380-A [220 and 160 A] output…which is very significant for those electric applications [customers] put on the back of a chassis cab,” he said.

The 6.4-L Hemi shares the basic iron block/aluminum heads architecture of the 5.7-L Hemi, as well as its manufacturing process. It also borrows Chrysler’s fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation system, which shuts down four cylinders when in steady-state operation. This is Chrysler’s first application of cylinder deactivation to the heavy-duty pickup truck and chassis-cab markets, according to Gary Rogers, Chief Engineer for Engines.

While fuel-economy figures for the 6.4-L trucks are not yet available, engineers placed a great deal of emphasis during development on features to improve fuel economy, Rogers said.

“We’ve put a lot of hardware in the engine for that purpose, like the cylinder deactivation, the cooled EGR [exhaust gas recirculation], the active intake, variable valve timing, and the active thermostat—those are all fuel-economy features,” he said.

To better manage high temperatures and improve durability, engineers specified “premium" materials for the 6.4-L application, Mets shared. These include stainless steel exhaust manifolds, steel gaskets, and fasteners as well as sodium-filled exhaust valves and an upgraded valve-seat material.

“We also have a robust high-volume oil cooler and oil jets for cooling the pistons. These are all key things to keep this engine running at a good temperature for long engine durability and longevity,” he said."

"The 6.4-liter engine develops 410 horsepower and 429 foot-pounds of peak torque. Designed as a truck engine from the ground up, it features an active runner intake system that enables the block to generate as much torque as competitive models at 800- 1000 rpm lower engine speeds. As a result, engineers were able to add a cylinder deactivation feature that cuts out half the cylinders when engine loads are low to extend gas mileage.

Construction consists of a cast iron engine block with aluminum heads, a heavy-duty forged steel crankcase, stainless steel exhaust and sodium-filled exhaust valves. A positive crank ventilation valve integrated into the intake system and cool exhaust gas recirculation make these emissions components more efficient. Oil jets cool the pistons under extreme temperatures or when the engine is working hard hauling heavy loads."
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:20 PM   #87
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Glad you added these quotes.

It is not easy keeping up with Detroit tech any more (and I include all others in "Detroit).
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:23 PM   #88
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The latest fuel price info (July 2015) from EIA, the US Energy Information Administration, shows a continued drop in diesel fuel prices per gallon since January 2015 while gasoline prices have steadily risen in the same period. I really noticed that fact yesterday after passing quite a few stations where diesel was cheaper than regular. If this trend continues, or even holds steady, the whole "diesel costs so much more" argument will soon fade away. Looking at the next year or more, the market factors seem very positive for fuel costs to remain lower.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:37 PM   #89
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Does my intended usage warrant going with diesel?

The cost of fuel doesn't really matter since 2008 in gas vs diesel. It's more about work capacity and longer life, albeit at a higher expense. Emissions controls on diesel changed that.

Dollar to dollar, diesel tends to be one-third more efficient per gallon thus $3/gl gasoline = $4/gl diesel where other factors are the same. But they never quite are the same. And the gap narrowed after 2008.

Gas motors of today have closed the fuel economy gap drastically. The motivated gas motor operator can come closer than 30%, maybe even 20% under some conditions compared to lazy American drivers.

The latest emissions tuning brings back some of the diesel FE, but it's a substantially more expensive motor, now.

Diesel is down in price domestically because exports of diesel fuel are down.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:36 PM   #90
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If diesel remains close to the cost of regular gasoline per gallon then my point about the fuel cost differential being an excludable debate point remains valid as stated. Lifetime fuel expense as part of the cost of ownership (CoO) reduces this gap in this element of the comparison equation significantly. Now, if your gasser requires premium, the CoO equation may invert the outcome.

Excluding all other expenses and assuming merely fuel cost per mile, the difference is meaningful to some. Assuming 12 mile per gallon at $2.49 (yesterday's price), it costs slightly more than 20.8 cents a mile. At $2.99 a gallon (Jan 2015) the costs becomes 24.9 cents; a difference of $830 a year at 20,000 miles annually for fuel expense. That more than covers the higher cost of the fluid and filter changes a diesel demands each year.

The diminished diesel fuel export market appears to be a constant for quite a while as there are no signs that foreign oil sources will cut back production. If the domestic producers cut back, imports will enter the market unless defensive tariffs are imposed.

Of course there are other financial factors to include, each to his own judgement on who's repair frequency figures to use, which are part of the CoO. Add in drive-ability for each owner's application like ratio of short to long haul, miles with or without trailer, depreciation/resale, etc., and we arrive at the endless debates and preferences stated in the forum daily.

My point is the financial gap, however calculated, is closer than it has been for years and may just come down to " I want that one" without money being quite the issue it has traditionally been. What isn't debatable is the initial price tag of one over the other which may price some buyers out of the decision.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:14 PM   #91
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I think we agree, overall.

But I'd also point out that there are private and government fleets who would have chosen diesel pickups not so long ago. And are now changing back to gasoline. Even with a mix of heavier class diesel trucks among them. One fuel sounded great. And was. For a while.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:40 PM   #92
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"... chosen diesel pickups not so long ago... and now changing back to gasoline... one fuel sounded great. And was. For a while...

Ha! They missed the last shift by choosing diesel when it rose so history might say the bet is they missed the shift back to diesel by going to gas. I'd bet they are wrong, especially if its the 'government' decision.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:55 PM   #93
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The cost of the diesel option could be offset by not buying such blinged out trucks. I test drove today a 2015 Ram Crew Cab Cummins Tradesman trim. Just shy of 2300lbs payload on the load sticker. Has all the important necessities. Seats were comfortable, rear view camera, Bluetooth XM trailer tow mirrors, integrated brake controller, AC, 18" chrome wheels with LT tires under $45k before any negotiations. Will rely on 3rd party solutions for Nav. It was even silver. Only thing missing is the running boards.

The next trim level is over $5k more and still no running boards.

I'm going to take a 2nd test drive with the wife on Saturday so I can drive it to our AS in storage and verify or Classic 25fb EOH brakes are recognized by the brake controller.
I'd like to drive a GM Duramx but what little choice is around here the prices are $55k.

One thing strang about the Ram UConnect 5.0 center dash radio is there is no on/off for it. Checked online and many are asking the question how to turn off the radio. Many think it's to keep the BT active but my Tundra radio turns off and my phone pairs to receive and make calls.

One other gripe is the AC. It doesn't seem to blow out cold air as fast as I would like. I'll check this again on Saturday.

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Old 08-04-2015, 07:56 AM   #94
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After watching the video, I will stay with the diesel, I like the 1500 rpm
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:35 AM   #95
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Kelvin,

Be sure to compare it to the SLT. I test drove a 3500 Mega Cummins SLT last week. Very impressive, and while the Laramie was more plush, the SLT wasn't lacking in my opinion. SLT may be cloth only, but $2k at Katzkins will fix that. Better than factory leather I hear.

Saw three 2015 2500 SLT mega cabs 4x4 with 6.4 Hemi on Kernersville,NC Dodge website, suggested by BAB, for $41k. That's a lot of truck for $41k. I can't recall what radio was in the SLT, as I keep them off, or volume off at least.

But I know the Laramie 2500 I drove had a button that turned the entire main screen off (black). Seems the 3500 SLT I drove was the same, might want to compare SLT against Tradesman.



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Old 08-04-2015, 09:03 AM   #96
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The UConnect 5.0 had the off screen button but the radio still played. The SLTs come with UConnect 8.4, a larger screen and supports Nav. Online research shows many have the same question about the radio. Workarounds are turn the volume down, mute, switch to Aux. If you turn the volume down because you don't want to listen to the radio and you have a phone paired to BT and a call comes in will you hear the ringing on the speakers despite radio volume on 0?

I'm not sure about having a 2500 with 20" rims which the SLT example I could test drive has. Lower profile tires usually mean a rougher ride and supposedly less tire choice.

I'll play more with it on Saturday's 2nd test drive.

Of course, the salesperson was totally clueless on any feature of the truck.

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Old 08-04-2015, 10:41 AM   #97
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Well, Jeff, as the gobbledygook from the Chrysler guy says, what I described is exactly what happens. There's no mention of overheating or anything like that. They simply want to limit the engine's time running near the redline at max power. Another interesting feature of that Ram is that, even with the 4:10 rear axle, the transmission gear ratios are quite high and would seem not well matched to the torque characteristics of the engine, especially given the rpm/power limiting "feature." IIRC, TFLT's 2 tests show the truck hitting almost 70 mph in 2nd gear. When the EEM system limits power, the truck is running in first gear at 4300 rpm, doing about 30 mph. It would seem to me that a "lower" first, second and third gear would make better use of the engine's power. In other words, if the truck were geared such that 70 mph would require 3rd gear, the truck might have been able to pull the grade faster in second gear, even with the rpm limiter.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:20 AM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post

The UConnect 5.0 had the off screen button but the radio still played. The SLTs come with UConnect...

I'm not sure about having a 2500 with 20" rims which the SLT..

Of course, the salesperson was totally clueless on any feature of the truck.

Kelvin

Regarding radio, sounds odd man. I will have to check into that. It was actually the radio/computer required on all Ford trims above XLT, that turned me off to Ford.

SLT with 20" rims, 18" is standard on SLT, and other trims, if I recall. I'm ordering truck when time comes to avoid the up sell on the popular 20" rims and to get all options I want, including 4.10 rear diff if going gasser. I'm putting custom wider 18" wheels and tires on. 35x12.5x18 Cooper ST MAXX. Depending on 2500 or 3500 may need level or minor suspension lift to prevent rubbing at full turn.

Salesman being clueless? Hah. It's unreal man. Truly. I just replied to third email from a Ford salesman. All I asked, in response to his fishing email (after talking with him the other week) was if I wanted an F-350 XLT with leather could it be done. He replies I can get leather in King Ranch. ?? I was into the XLT as I can get regular radio, not big computer my touch screen computer I don't like. But it only comes in cloth. Otherwise, very attractive truck, especially if I wanted diesel. That 6.7 PS really impressed.



Dan
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