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Old 01-13-2013, 10:08 AM   #29
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Wazbro perhaps nailed it for me as much as anyone -- he put into my head the image of me becoming frustrated, beads of sweat on my brow and my manual clutch smoking as I attempt to finagle a 28 (my intended final target) into a tight camp or outback site. Given that I already ride the clutch when backing up in any car to control speeds, etc. I can easily envision this scenario occurring.

So... to the point of automatics v automatics - can folks with a current-tech Ford and current-tech Dodge comment on how much control (if any) they have in setting the vehicle's computer towards a towing configuration. IS any of it manual (I envision a dumbed down towing version of the iDrive system) or is the capability of the computers such that they will sense a tow behind based on systems need and compensate other systems and controls immediately?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:20 AM   #30
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Dodge has a one button system for tow/haul,an integrated trailer brake controler and the trailer sway control is automatic and invisible with the ability to decrease/increase torque and apply any conbination of brakes on the tv or apply trailer brakes
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Bob4x4 View Post
First a Hello to Gary(I had no idea you were here)

That being said if you are a true driver who wants to be in charge of all aspects of the driving experience go manual.
I spoil myself,I have both so depending on the mood I swing both ways
Bob,

I think we'd both be surprised if all of the Airstream owners 'fessed up over there and said I'm Aluminum and proud. But there are a few nope, yer all wrong on that one bub RV x-purts that know it all and some days just don't want to hear their fertilizer.

I've read this one several times where comments are made on the negative on handshakers, and thats OK. But again with the opinion aspect, mine is as follows. That left pedal, center stick and my ear just work together and make it happen, its like thinking about walking, we don't think we just walk. So for me the handshaker combination is just second nature.

Braking, my observations. Yes I can downshift and sometimes I do downshift but for me its mostly in more of a traffic situation rather than coming down outa the Smokies. I think I'd be fooling myself 1st and anyone else next that downshifting was the best way to brake my rig, NOPE. I have 4 wheel really large disc brakes and 4 sets of 4 piston hydraulic disc brakes on the AS. That's the tool to use to slow it down. If I downshifted hard, I'm only using the rear wheels to decelerate vs. the brakes going for all 8 tires. No contest.

Braking via controller. Really my opinion, but I think I'm fooling myself if I think reaching for the slider down low on the dash is my best move. I have spent a significant number of days getting my disc brakes working like they are and with my Maxbrake its all in the brake pedal ready to use, all of it.

When I talk to someone on tech support I have to learn about you a bit, your truck, rig and so on. Some guys are convinced that what we call a ceramic button clutch (CB) disc is what they want because their smoke blowing good buddy has one and thats all there is to that. CB discs tend to engage quickly and potentially harshly, they don't like to be slipped. So I tell him what my worst case scenario is with a CB disc. Ok its 10PM you found your campsite its drizzling and you are backing in uphill on your blind side with a 2WD truck and a 5'er. Folks, get yer chairs and a cold one, this is gonna be good!

Clutches only create heat while they are being slipped by the driver or if they are failing and slipping under power. When you are cruising flat lands or pulling a hill, if its 2100 RPM in and 2100 RPM out, no heat is being made. If you can minimize the production of heat, the system lasts longer. Period.

To minimize heat:
1. Always launch in 1st gear.
2. Engage the clutch (pedal coming up) with the engine at idle. The Cummins just does not want to stall and it will fuel up a bit to hold idle and away you go. If you have a gas rig, just enough RPM to prevent stalling.
3. Spotting your rig. Got 4WD? can you use 4LO? it will just creep back so easy and slow, almost no heat being created because you are not slipping it. 2WD, engine at idle, just try to "bump clutch" get it moving, push pedal down, coast, bump clutch and repeat. You're just trying to keep it moving slowly by pushing it but not holding the clutch partially engaged in the friction zone and creating a lot of heat.

To extend service life:
1. Minimize slip time, save wear on the disc facings.
2. NEVER ever rest your foot on the pedal, causes excessive load on the release bearing and can actually reduce clampload = potential slippage.
3. Conditions permitting select N at traffic lights and take your foot completely off of the pedal.

Folks, todays clutch systems are similar but different from those of the 60's and 70's and we see it too many times where 60's and 70's methods and techniques are not correct for servicing todays systems.

Question for you.

The vehicle (mid 80's and up or so) is equipped with a hydraulic release system clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. Does it have freeplay at the clutch release bearing? Freeplay = an airgap between the face of the release bearing and the clutch diaphragm spring tips. Also freeplay means that the bearing is not turning while the engine is running and your foot is off of the pedal.

The above is a situation that using 70's technology and servicing can lead to a real challenge when it comes to correct service procedures.

It has been stated above that an AT creates heat and this heat must be dissipated via a cooler, common. The only manual transmission that I have ever personally worked on (installed clutch) that had an external oil cooler and circulation pump was on a '99 Ford 7.3L. Manuals just don't have the same heat issues that an AT does.

I sincerely enjoy a good exchange of viewpoints and I merely hope to offer a viewpoint from a 32 year veteran of the clutch industry.

And to our OP, 7 feet tall! You have had to adapt to a lot of stuff, vehicles, airplane seats and the ceiling height of the AS. Tip 'o the hat to you Big Guy.

Lets go camping!

Regards,

Gary
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:20 PM   #32
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Bob,

I think we'd both be surprised if all of the Airstream owners 'fessed up over there and said I'm Aluminum and proud. But there are a few nope, yer all wrong on that one bub RV x-purts that know it all and some days just don't want to hear their fertilizer.
Gary and Bob.....add one more from over there to the list. Joined here when I started looking for an Airstream. Still haven't found the one we want, but the search continues.

As far as the transmission question, we have two Cummins Rams, an '04.5 48re and an '07 G56 and a Ram 1500 auto. By far, the 48re has seen much more regular use, from commuting to wearing a plow and spreader. But for towing, we have always used the manual trans truck, the current '07 and my former '01 NV-4500 before that. I am just much more comfortable with that trans for controlling a load.

JG
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:29 PM   #33
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I have a manual. But the 6-speed auto behind the CTD the past few years convinced many that it was the way to go, old truck drivers included (as seen in comments above).

While I enjoy the manual in my truck (New Venture 5600) I think that for light loads like an A/S up to 11k the auto would be the way to go.

As to room, while I am no where near 7' (am 6'2"), I do scoot the seat fairly far forward so as to be able to depress the clutch pedal fully (both feet to firewall), with no pressure from the seat bottom on the thighs (36" inseam). Also keeps these long arms from ever having to "reach" while steering. Dodge isn't known for headroom, so I'd try them all out first. I can wear a hat in mine (not a kiddie cap) with a bit of room left over.

And I expect that we are seeing the last year or three of the manual transmission. Emissions, etc, may make it a thing of the past. Ironically we may none of us miss it (except at rebuild time).

Besides, I don't know how many times I have reached for seventh gear -- mystery seventh -- as I'd really like to have a pair of overdrive gears: one for towing, and one while solo. An Auto8 would be awesome.

In the meantime I do enjoy making all decisions about shifting. This time last year I completed 1,100-miles inside the city limits with my truck at around 7,400-lbs. And achieved an honest 23-mpg doing it (though I'm a long ways behind the guys who are serious about fuel economy). Shift points, knowing how to shift (not just when) are all fun in this kind of game. Even when "second nature" there will be a point soon reached where the auto is simply superior in all aspects (and it is very close now).

Good luck

.

.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #34
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Besides, I don't know how many times I have reached for seventh gear -- mystery seventh -- as I'd really like to have a pair of overdrive gears: one for towing, and one while solo.
REDNAX,

Uh, sorry to hear you didn't pony up for the 7 speed NV5600 option. It was only like $58 more over the 6 speed.

Gotcha!

Yeah, I've tried to slide it into 7th once or twice.

We had a dyno day at work back in '07 and a guy shows up with a "survivor" 1st Gen 5.9L and a TWIN STICK GEARBOX! The dyno guy had run em all, took a look at the twin sticks and had no clue what to do, had to get lessons from owner. That truck had RV'd all over and back and went back to get the missing bumper stickers, what a rig.

Your pedal position statement, the stock clutch in the NV5600 should have maybe 1 1/2" or more of reserve travel before the friction zone begins and the truck starts to move. If you have to floorboard it to get into gear and it starts to roll as soon as you bring the pedal up, that might need a little TLC to get the reserve travel back. I can advise you how to test and possible zero $ fix it. Let me know.

Gary
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:01 PM   #35
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I also prefer manual, but I have had an issue with the Cummins/G56 combo, mine is an 08 so not sure if it is the same setup today. My truck had the dual mass flywheel and the clutch started to slip under high load (towing uphill) at 35k miles, when we pulled it the clutch the disc had lots of lining left but the flywheel springs were rattling around loose and lots of fretting. I have heard this is a fairly common problem with this flywheel . I put in a Valair dual disc and while it is performing great it is really noisy and lots of $. Backing up, put it 4low and works great, especially with the hubs unlocked.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:03 PM   #36
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Clutch pedal is great . . driver just likes the "no effort" of easy leg/foot/toe extension via proper posture. (Don't get me started on mirrors).

Your posts are great, Gary. A service to the rest of us, here and on other forums.

And, you may have seen where at least one Cummins driver shoehorned a Baby 10 [speed] EATON into a light duty pickup . . if it weren't for the weight, internal friction, fabrication problems, etc, of such a trans yours truly could probably talk himself into floating those 250/rpm-step shifts solo and towing.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I "think" I've seen advertised a genuine engine brake (not exhaust brake) for the 6.7L Cummins.

But I draw the line at the 8" non-muffled chrome stack out of the bed.

But if it were a 4-53 DETROIT, well, . . . .

.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #37
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I also prefer manual, but I have had an issue with the Cummins/G56 combo, mine is an 08 so not sure if it is the same setup today. My truck had the dual mass flywheel and the clutch started to slip under high load (towing uphill) at 35k miles, when we pulled it the clutch the disc had lots of lining left but the flywheel springs were rattling around loose and lots of fretting. I have heard this is a fairly common problem with this flywheel . I put in a Valair dual disc and while it is performing great it is really noisy and lots of $. Backing up, put it 4low and works great, especially with the hubs unlocked.
Oh boy.

Dan at Valair and his tech support can best speak for their products, but I'll try to comment in a very general description.

The G56 clutch system is very sophisticated and feature packed. It did the best job of minimizing the creation of noise in the gearbox coming from engine pulsations, very rapid changes in RPM can excite the gearbox. This is continously happening at all engine speeds, intake, compression, power stroke, exhaust repeat and repeat. Even at idle it is happening.

The clutch industry in general has offered optional clutch systems for just about all of the diesel P/U's and by in large the customer has always wanted something tougher, higher torque capacity. One of the tools of choice has been various designs of old school 8 spring torsion dampened discs. VERY strong, VERY simple, but not as effective as in your case when you previously had a dual mass flywheel (DMF) and a torsion dampened disc. Sorta a belt and suspenders approach to minimizing the creation of gear noise. Enter a solid F/W and a robust, simple, basic disc and under certain loads, rpm, gear, temp etc. gear noise is a possible outcome. We offer the same style/type system but only in a single disc for the older Dodges and currently are not offering the 8 spring in the G56. The noise is part of the swap for the customers request for an HD version. And a dual disc system is very very strong on torque capacity.

Consulting with your supplier and getting thru to their tech support and getting "fitted" when options exist is a good way to try to match customer to clutch. One of the worst situations can occur when a clutch is installed incorrectly and in the act of trying to fix a just replaced clutch but not find the the problem, a HD clutch is deemed the only solution. First this does not diagnosis the cause for the 1st failure and like putting a 30A fuse where a 10A was may not give you the best results.

crisen, You can at least call your supplier and discuss with them to determine if it is operating as they expect.

Time to go camping?

Regards,

Gary
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:53 AM   #38
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Besides, I don't know how many times I have reached for seventh gear -- mystery seventh -- as I'd really like to have a pair of overdrive gears: one for towing, and one while solo. An Auto8 would be awesome.



.

.
I know what you're saying. After a couple of weeks on the road I would go for a ride in my 87 Ram 4 speed PU. It embarasses me to admit I not only hunted the higher gears but then I go to back up and turn the steering wheel the wrong way. Sal
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:07 PM   #39
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I know what you're saying. After a couple of weeks on the road I would go for a ride in my 87 Ram 4 speed PU. It embarasses me to admit I not only hunted the higher gears but then I go to back up and turn the steering wheel the wrong way. Sal
Yeah, Sal, I was rolling back down IH-35, bored to tears on a 400-mile drive, with the new-to-me TT a couple of weeks ago. Stopped for fuel at a LOVE's in Hillsboro, TX. Nothing like hitting Reverse when you really wanted "First" (Third on big truck; shift pattern differences between EATON in the big truck, and NEW VENTURE in the pickup) and it's a crowded, crowded pre-holiday Friday afternoon. Boredom erased . . now, did I hear something happen over that direction?

.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #40
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I consider myself a manual person as all our cars are manual- BMW 330ci, VW Jetta turbo and Mazda Miata. However my 08 Tundra is a six speed auto on the floor, with the manual shift feature, and the transmission is the second best feature of the truck next to the 5.7L motor. The auto 6 speed is a joy to drive, as it downshifts by itself when descending down the mountain and is easy to manually downshift especially with the shift on the floor. Two gears are overdrive. It has Tow/Haul, but I only use it in the mountains (light trailer also). I do not have one complaint about the transmission.

However, with you being 7 ft tall, I would buy whatever works best for you. I really think it comes down to preference. Either one will do the job nicely (if both are available (Dodge only)).

Good luck figuring it all out.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:01 PM   #41
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So...

An update on my reviews of the acceptable TVs out there in the half and three quarter category. It seems my choice is limited not by features or capabilities; but rather the ceiling liner of the vehicles.

In nearly all pickup trucks there is the standard ceiling liner which carries a dip about halfway back to run wires to the center lights, etc. time was the only pickup I could not fit into due to this dip was the Chevy - it was (and still is) too far forward. It seems Dodge (my former vehicle in this category) has joined the pack with a vengeance - its cab and a half and double cab models both carry a savage dip now in order to support not only lights, but ceiling speakers for the audio systems, etc.

I was hopeful that the F250 would do better. My late brothers widow's new husband has an 06 double cab 250 farm model with a good two inches of headroom left and no annoying ceiling dip - but alas ... The current year F250 actually has LESS headroom than the F150...

I've tried both electrical and manual adjust seats in all the four major brands now and the winners of the "still can fit a seven foot tall guy well" are the Ford F150 standard cab (and standard cab only with a manual adjust seat) and the ANY of the three cab lengths of the Toyota Tundra...

So finally I can start looking at the F150 (ecoboost) versus the Tundra in terms of capabilities, comfort in test driving and feature sets, reliabilities, etc...
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #42
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Tundra is changing the interior on the 2014 models for the first time in 7 years. You may want to look at a 2014 model before you make your decision.

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