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Old 09-28-2008, 05:47 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dicktater:
Iam on a trip in my 2003 35 ft dolphin with work horse engine pulling a crv. I had the Brazels full Ultra power installed Sept.2006. This is the first time since installation that we have traveled in Mountains at over 6000 ft. Traveling from Canyonlands thru Moab crossing mts. to Taos of over 8000 feet, we barely made it up the hills at 20 to 25 MPH with rpm up to 4500 rpm. Friends with larger motorhome with with 300 diesel had no problem. Other reports on Ultra power mt performance were positive. Looking for comments. Seems to run good on hills at lower elevations. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I have driven through this area without the power reduction you have noted. I would suggest having your engine checked out.

The only places where I have had trouble holding 35+ is on high passes above 11,000 in the Colo Rockies (Wolf Creek, Monarch, Hoosier & Red Mountain).
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:58 AM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dicktater:
Driver I am still concerned the poor performance of the Ultra powered 8.1. It is scary when you are in lowest gear and going 20 to 25 MPH. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>dicktater, I can't speak to the performance of your Ford however regarding your Workhorse what you are sharing is not totally without merritt.

The 8.1L engine loves to pull grades in my opinion and a great many of us will share their experiences with you as well.

The key to approaching any grade is to have a sufficient amount of energy spun up in the engine. For instance when approaching the West bound grade on the Blue Diamond Highway out of Vegas it took me by surprise as it came at us from around a right hand turn. I did not anticipate the grade and it took me down to 27 mph in first gear at a high amount of RPM and we crawled up the grade. Had I anticipated the grade I would have spun up the RPM and I certainly would have climbed it much more easily.

There have also been a number of very steep grades that no amount of energy can overcome because of the gradient. It will just pull you down and a V-10 will fare no better and most often not as well

Approaching a grade you want to be in the power band of the engine somewhere in between 3800 and 4200 RPM by the time it downshifts to 2nd gear. A V10 on the other hand would probably be spinning up close to 1000 more RPM to do the same job as the 8.1. Failing to spin up the engine will no doubt cause a downshift all the way to first gear and you will scrub off too much speed.

Get in the throttle early and keep your energy up. Do not allow your cruise control to assume the lead role in achieving a decent rate of climb because it won't be able to keep up.
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:16 AM   #17
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Dicktater,

If you have the time to wait a few days, pull your ECM and send it to us to see if there are any GM or UltraPower updates we can load onto it.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:05 AM   #18
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Bob,
Have you experienced any change positive/negative since the latest UltraPower upgrade to your coach?
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:05 AM   #19
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ETHANOL will kill your power. I just had a terrible time with ethanol on my last trip west
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:23 AM   #20
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If you're having trouble @ 6 or 8000', you might not want to cross the Rockies til you get it fixed.
I normaly manually downshift when approaching a long steep pull. Once you lose speed, you won't get a 2nd chance til you summitt.
The good news is 'what goes up, gets to come down'
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:27 AM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Steve Brazel...Have you experienced any change positive/negative since the latest UltraPower upgrade to your coach? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yes, since that last upgrade I have noticed via butt dyno it seems to have a bit more power. Even my wife thought it's doing better on the hills. Also, if you recall we replaced the fan clutch with a new one. It doesn't come on nearly as often, or as soon, as it did before the change. The mileage hasn't changed for the better or worse. But I'm not complaining about that, I'd rather have the power.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:38 AM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by max49:
I normally manually downshift when approaching a long steep pull. Once you lose speed, you won't get a 2nd chance til you summit. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Max, I know what you are talking about and I agree.

All I can say is, get your gas on early, gear-up right and hammer down and you should be able to climb the grade at an acceptable rate of speed. Don't be surprised at all if you start scrubbing speed just keep the coals burning!
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:16 AM   #23
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Consider the following:

On a stock 8.1L engine you will lose 20% to 25% via the drive train (Trans/drive shaft/rear end/tire friction). That means out of the 340HP (measured at the crankshaft) you see somewhere between 255hp to 270hp at the rear wheels. Now take off 2% per 1,000 ft of altitude and see what you have left. Add in Ethanol and you take another hit.

One of my customers had his rig tuned by Steve at the Brazel's shop. The dyno showed 344HP at the rear wheel. This is on a 39' Gulf Stream W24. He was pulling a Saturn Vue. He said 6,000' and the coach weight was a point at which he really began to lose power. But, at least with UltraPower you are back to stock rear wheel HP at high altitude.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:25 AM   #24
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Our first trip from Denver to Glenwood Springs and back on I-70 in our Dolphin was last year with no toad, and the performance coming up Vail Pass and Eisenhower Tunnel approach eastbound was acceptable. This year with our HHR toad, it was slooow, and I got the transmission overheat warning before I got to the tunnel. Can't afford the Ultrapower upgrade now, so will just disconnect the toad on the high steep passes. The diesels have the advantage of turbocharging to retain most of their sea-level performance. I expect the U/P would help, but you can't compensate for the lack of oxygen except with a blower.
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Old 09-29-2008, 07:28 AM   #25
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I want to thank every body for their responses. I am now leaving high country and heading for
lower elevations and better performance. Since my engine clutch does engage with very slight increase in temperature, and does not easily disengage when temp does go back to normal, I will have it replaced. Will also look at how to manually turn on the electric fans when approaching small hills. I also want to thank Brazil,s for their offer to reprogram the Ultra eom.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:08 AM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dicktater:
Since my engine clutch does engage with very slight increase in temperature, and does not easily disengage when temp does go back to normal, I will have it replaced. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Do you have a scan guage to monitor the temperatures or are you going by intuition?

My problem with my original clutch is that it would not come on at all. This I understand is the more common concern rather than a clutch that does cycle on and off. You may not need to replace your clutch. I would look at that again if I were you.
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