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Old 08-07-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 21
Diesel driving tips wanted

Hi everyone,

My coach is a 1993 Winnebago Vectra diesel pusher with the Cumins 5.9b and Allison 6 speed trans.

My situation is the: when driving around town or on hills, the trans shifts to maintain rpm at about 1400-1500 rpm. If I need to accelerate for traffic or a hill, a little pressure on the fuel pedal results in black smoke unless I floor the pedal and cause the tranny to downshift, raising the rpm and getting the turbo to kick in. To counter this, I have been manually selecting 3rd or 4th gear in order to keep my rpm above 1600. This seems to make the engine more responsive to slight increases in pedal pressure and eliminates the smoke.

Is this the correct way for me to drive?

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Old 08-07-2014, 07:59 PM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Posts: 828
I am not an expert, but 1400-1500 is highway cruising rpm. O'wise she is in 1-4 gear range and 1800rpm and up. Mind you I am probably the only one to time Disco 0-60! 34 sec vs m ZL1 3.6!

Brian & Nicola
2013 Discovery 40E "DISCO"
TOAD 2014 Wrangler
Xeena(German Shepard)
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
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Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Western WA
Posts: 1,073
Find the peak torque RPM for your engine, make maximum use of your tachometer and try to drive 200 to 300 RPM or more above peak torque. Don't lug the engine at or below peak torque, manually down shift to maintain RPM. The black smoke you see when you "floor it" to down shift indicates you have been lugging the engine. 2000 RPM is approximately 62 to 63 MPH on our rig, I try to keep it there on the open road and I will manually down shift on the hills to maintain speed, RPM and engine cooling. No, I don't go up the hills out west at 62 MPH but I do try to keep my hill climbing engine speed in the 2300 to 2500 RPM range.
'07 Winnebago Journey 34H, ISB-02, MH2500
Toad - '08 Ford Taurus X
Blue Ox, Aventa
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 17,869
When you need to speed up or climb a hill, push the pedal to the metal. That will cause a downshift and prevent lugging the engine. Gentle pedal pressure results in staying in the wrong gear. As FleetMan said, look up your torque vs RPM curve and keep it in mind when climbing hills.
Gentle pedal pressure is actually worse for engine and transmission, be a little more demanding. I bet your MPG will go up!

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 15,579
From your smoke description, if the air filter is in good shape , a previous owner may have changed the injectors to allow more fuel delivery, and power. Annoying because of the smoke but if your happy with the mileage and power, I'd chose to live with it.
Other wise, FleetMan has given you a complete rundown.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
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