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Old 06-26-2015, 08:11 AM   #621
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Gain control makes me think of a story.. When I was buying my Tundra the sales rep who knew nothing about Tundras, told me the brake controller was built in, and you controlled it with the up and down motion of what is actually the transmission gear selector when you are in "S". I told him that I thought it actually changed what gear you were in. He was shocked, he'd been telling all his customers it was the brake controller. Every time I see it now it makes me chuckle.
So, SO common for a customer who's done halfway-decent research to know way more about the vehicle they're buying than the salesman does. I've had them swear that FWD cars were RWD, etc.
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:28 AM   #622
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The Tundra is designed to downshift automatically when going downhill, but you can shift before it does and gain more engine braking.

Gene
How do you get that to work? I was in tow haul and despite braking it never shifted down. Do you have to be in D? I normally drive in S and keep 6th locked out. I was manually shifting down as needed from the console shifter.

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Old 06-26-2015, 01:42 PM   #623
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Leave it D and don't worry about it. The transmission will downshift, but not always as quickly as I want it to-


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Old 06-27-2015, 12:20 PM   #624
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It will downshift in D if you're off the gas and tap the brakes. If you're using cruise control, it will downshift when you reach 5 mph over your setting, again at 8 over. Mine will downshift on its own as far as 3rd gear. Then if you tap the brakes, of course the cruise disengages, and it upshifts. Manually downshifting is more predictable.

The gain on my P3 controller doesn't change trailer brake timing, it changes the voltage applied to the brakes. I also use the "booster" feature when on the open road, on setting #2. The booster does seem to apply the trailer brakes sooner, as well as boosting the gain.

I very seldom seem to be overloading the Tundra's brakes, even on steep downgrades. I downshift manually, and when I use the brakes (sparingly) the booster setting on the P3 seems to work well. I always feel in control; it never feels like the trailer is pushing me. On the rare occasion when I've had to hit the brakes long and hard on a downgrade, I too have gotten pulsation, but it's rare. I feel it in the wheel; it's certainly coming from the front rotors. And I still seem to stay in control, with the trailer brakes keeping everything lined up.

I turn the booster off when driving in traffic, stopping for lights, etc. It's very jerky at low speeds, applying the trailer brakes as soon as I merely touch the pedal. The controller gets booster input from the truck's brake light circuit.

I have set the gain on the P3, with the booster off, by rolling gently at about 15mph on flat ground and applying the manual lever on the controller. I don't want to lock the trailer brakes, but I want the trailer to aggressively slow me.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:49 PM   #625
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Also, regarding the brake pulsation issue.

A few years ago, I did a front brake upgrade on my Lexus SC400. The tech who did the work for me had Lexus factory training, and he now works as a tech at a Toyota dealer. He had a number of good pointers about front brake pulsation, all of which seem to make sense.

First, he said he always, always takes a thin skin cut on brand-new rotors, even the OEM ones, and he does it in a lathe, not on the vehicle.

He took me on his test drive after he installed the new (larger) rotors and calipers. He said that the new parts would feel spongy and weird until he got up to speed (with no traffic) and applied the brakes *hard* - just short of locking up and activating the abs - but not coming to a complete stop. He would slow aggressively from 60 to 15, then get back up to 60 and do it again, then maybe a third time if needed. This aggressive braking mates the surfaces of the pads to the rotors.

He also said that front brake pulsation is not a result of warped rotors, and people's faulty assumption lines the pockets of many brake shops, selling rotor refacing and replacement when it's not needed.

He said that a warped rotor won't cause pulsation because as the pads ride the warped surface, one piston moves out as the opposing one moves in, and the pedal pressure feedback remains the same. He said that pulsation is caused by "glazed" spots on the rotors. The glaze is deposited on the rotor surface by the pads, if they are hot when the vehicle comes to a stop and the rotor stops turning while the pads are still under pressure against the rotor.

For instance, you descend a steep hill (with or without the trailer behind you) and ride the brakes all the way down the hill, At the bottom, you have to come to a stop at a traffic light. Even if the light is on level ground, if your vehicle has an automatic transmission, your foot will remain on the brake when you come to a stop. Hot pads under pressure against a hot rotor will "cook" some of the binder out of the pads, which will produce a glaze on the rotor, just where the pads were in contact.

At some point, he said, you will end up noticing pulsation, usually on light braking, like when exiting the freeway and slowing down. It's the glazed spot on the rotor passing under the pads that you feel.

He says you can often "scrub" the glaze off the rotors using his break-in procedure, which I mentioned above.

Try it - at your own risk. It's worked for me.
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Old 06-27-2015, 12:58 PM   #626
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Another bit of trivia, sort of.

Yesterday, the VP of sales for Airstream spoke here at the WBCCI annual rally. He said the #1 tow vehicle chosen by new Airstream buyers is Ford.

The #2 choice is Toyota. "People love their Tundras," he said.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:50 PM   #627
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How in the world did they gather that information?
I agree with people loving their Tundras, but around here there are many GM and Ram fans, too.
I would say in this geographic area, Ford and GM are about the same in popularity. Then Ram, Tundra, and Titan.


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Old 06-28-2015, 06:23 AM   #628
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Hey Gnorts, I had not heard that about the glazing of the rotors. That's interesting.
We've got a bit of brake pulsing with my wife's Landcruiser. We pulled the 23FB with it for a few years. Now the Tundra gets that job. I'll try the brake scrub procedure and see if it helps. If I can find a lonely stretch of road for 60 to 15 slowdowns.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #629
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How in the world did they gather that information?
The factory gets the data from the dealers. It applies to new trailer purchases only. So, it just points to current trends, not to the whole picture of who's towing Airstreams with which brand of TV.

The sales VP also said that the buyers of the smaller trailers are increasingly interested in towing them with SUV's, minivans and smaller TV's.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:15 PM   #630
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There are a lot of Tundras pulling Airstreams and other brands.
Maybe people who formerly drove GM or Ram bought Tundras?


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Old 06-30-2015, 11:12 AM   #631
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There are a lot of Tundras pulling Airstreams and other brands.
Maybe people who formerly drove GM or Ram bought Tundras?


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gee, i went the other way. having had two Tundra's and not feeling comfortable, more a glorified SUV as opposed to a truck, with all of my towing duties, 10k boat and trailer, i decided going 'minimal' on a tow vehicle was not a good idea. i prefer to have some head room on capacity with my tow vehicle knowing i am not pushing the manufacturers stated limits.

now back to Ford and in this case my first 1 ton. great truck with plenty of head room on capacity and a wonderful rig on the highway. no, it does not shake your guts out and these are probably the most comfortable captains seats i have ever experienced. good mileage on top of all of that makes me a happy camper with a rig that can perform all the duties i have at the moment. don't think i would go back to a 1/2 ton of any brand in the future now having experienced what this is like. BTW, this is either PU 9 or 10, lost count, so i have decades of experience towing in all sorts of weather with trucks of various configurations.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:54 AM   #632
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So far as I can tell, the automatic downshift is so smooth I can't feel it. I asked a dealer to check that years ago and they said it worked. I never noticed any difference in rpm's either, but didn't pay much attention to that, so I may have missed it. I downshift manually anyway and whether automatic downshift works or not is of no consequence. The need to tap the brakes before it works is not something I remember reading in the Owner's Manual (I am old enough to not feel unmanned by reading instructions).

Gnort, interesting information about glazing the rotors. While I understand how it could happen, how does glazing affect the feel of pulsating? Do the pads grab the unglazed surfaces only? I only notice it when towing, but that could be because I have to press on the brakes more with 3 1/2 tons added.

I have a P2 and I set it at 6 when I got it and never changed it. I know the trailer brakes engage because as I leave my house or any campground, I check them manually. I think the biggest problem with them are they aren't very good brakes—they are relatively cheap and that's why they are used. You don't see electric drum brakes on cars or trucks and haven't seen even hydraulic drum brakes on them for generations. As for feeling pushed, I feel that when I am rolling and slowing down without braking—seems pretty natural when you have all that weight behind you. When you double the weight of your rig, momentum is going to carry you farther and you will feel pushed.

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Old 06-30-2015, 01:40 PM   #633
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gee, i went the other way. having had two Tundra's and not feeling comfortable, more a glorified SUV as opposed to a truck, with all of my towing duties, 10k boat and trailer, i decided going 'minimal' on a tow vehicle was not a good idea. i prefer to have some head room on capacity with my tow vehicle knowing i am not pushing the manufacturers stated limits.



now back to Ford and in this case my first 1 ton. great truck with plenty of head room on capacity and a wonderful rig on the highway. no, it does not shake your guts out and these are probably the most comfortable captains seats i have ever experienced. good mileage on top of all of that makes me a happy camper with a rig that can perform all the duties i have at the moment. don't think i would go back to a 1/2 ton of any brand in the future now having experienced what this is like. BTW, this is either PU 9 or 10, lost count, so i have decades of experience towing in all sorts of weather with trucks of various configurations.

After 2 bad experiences with Ford cars and countless bad experiences with Fords in the company fleet, I will never buy a Ford. In fact, I will never drive anything but Toyotas.
In the fleet, the Fords are toast at 350,000 miles. The GM trucks keep on going after 500,000 miles with less money spent in maintenance and upkeep.
Toyotas are the best vehicles I've ever owned.
The Tundra pulls (and stops) my Classic 30 effortlessly, but I drive slow always leaving 6-7 seconds following distance and never exceed the posted speed limit or 65 mph.


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Old 06-30-2015, 01:42 PM   #634
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So far as I can tell, the automatic downshift is so smooth I can't feel it. I asked a dealer to check that years ago and they said it worked. I never noticed any difference in rpm's either, but didn't pay much attention to that, so I may have missed it. I downshift manually anyway and whether automatic downshift works or not is of no consequence. The need to tap the brakes before it works is not something I remember reading in the Owner's Manual (I am old enough to not feel unmanned by reading instructions).

Gnort, interesting information about glazing the rotors. While I understand how it could happen, how does glazing affect the feel of pulsating? Do the pads grab the unglazed surfaces only? I only notice it when towing, but that could be because I have to press on the brakes more with 3 1/2 tons added.

I have a P2 and I set it at 6 when I got it and never changed it. I know the trailer brakes engage because as I leave my house or any campground, I check them manually. I think the biggest problem with them are they aren't very good brakes—they are relatively cheap and that's why they are used. You don't see electric drum brakes on cars or trucks and haven't seen even hydraulic drum brakes on them for generations. As for feeling pushed, I feel that when I am rolling and slowing down without braking—seems pretty natural when you have all that weight behind you. When you double the weight of your rig, momentum is going to carry you farther and you will feel pushed.

Gene

I don't feel it, but I see the rpm's increase and hear it. It sounds great.
I sometimes shift in manual mode, and sometimes I'm too lazy. Sometimes letting off the accelerator or touching the brake will cause it to downshift sooner.


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Old 06-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #635
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gee, i went the other way. having had two Tundra's and not feeling comfortable, more a glorified SUV as opposed to a truck, with all of my towing duties, 10k boat and trailer, i decided going 'minimal' on a tow vehicle was not a good idea. i prefer to have some head room on capacity with my tow vehicle knowing i am not pushing the manufacturers stated limits.



now back to Ford and in this case my first 1 ton. great truck with plenty of head room on capacity and a wonderful rig on the highway. no, it does not shake your guts out and these are probably the most comfortable captains seats i have ever experienced. good mileage on top of all of that makes me a happy camper with a rig that can perform all the duties i have at the moment. don't think i would go back to a 1/2 ton of any brand in the future now having experienced what this is like. BTW, this is either PU 9 or 10, lost count, so i have decades of experience towing in all sorts of weather with trucks of various configurations.

People say the Tundra drives like a big ole Camry. They mean it as a criticism, but I think that's a good thing. No other truck has a bigger back seat or bigger rear doors, not even a Ram Mega Cab.
Hard Core Toyota till I die!


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Old 06-30-2015, 01:58 PM   #636
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People say the Tundra drives like a big ole Camry. They mean it as a criticism, but I think that's a good thing. No other truck has a bigger back seat or bigger rear doors, not even a Ram Mega Cab.
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i have had 3 over stuffed family members in the back seat of the Ford, all of them well over 6' tall and in various stages of girth enhancement. easily fit all of them with plenty of elbow room to spare. full sized doors make loading and unloading quite easy on everyone.

with the two Tundra's i owned, i immediately had to add air bags in the rear as the 'truck' squatted with the boat and trailer, no WDH on that setup. this new Ford, no worries, suspension is there for no matter what the tow happens to be.

top that with this newer 6.7 diesel, an engine, finally, from Ford that was worth the expense, and i am a happy camper. here is hoping your vehicle performs equally for you.
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:44 AM   #637
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We all like our trucks. I went through three explorers and an expedition before I gave up. I'd guess a lot of Tundra drivers are former GM, Ford, or Dodge drivers. I'm glad there's enough difference between them to provide a choice. Just wouldn't be as interesting if they were all the same. My son has Fords. He got burned very badly with the 2nd generation diesel, but he's liking his new F150 (without ecoboost.) Heck, if I could make my Tundra ride even smoother, I'd go for it.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:27 AM   #638
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Heck, if I could make my Tundra ride even smoother, I'd go for it.
Well, here's your chance!

Our Tundra does the job just fine hauling stuff and towing the AS, but I found its unladen ride a bit unpleasant. It would respond to large surface changes OK, but it didn't do well with the small bumps, like expansion joints, broken pavement, etc. With 4WD it has quite a bit of unsprung weight, and it just felt a bit "disconnected" in those circumstances. Also, it exhibited more body roll than I liked on turns.

On the recommendation of many owners on TundraForums, I installed a set of Bilstein 4600 series shocks and a TRD rear sway bar.

Night and day! I don't notice much difference when loaded and towing, but the improvement is substantial when unladen. Now this big beast rides like a limousine! I'm *very* glad I did the suspension upgrade.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:53 AM   #639
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I'm still running stock shocks. Were you able to install them yourself. I'm not sure how the front shocks attach.

What about brakes. When it comes to replace the pads do you just get OEM or go for a different pad?

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Old 07-01-2015, 01:44 PM   #640
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Everything about my truck is stock except the stereo and window tint.


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