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Old 02-16-2015, 04:05 PM   #15
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I see many responses from non Ford V-10 owners so take their recommendations as such. I own 2 newer Ford V-10 powertrains. The transmission is designed to act as a brake, the fuel injectors will shut off while descending down a grade. This will allow the engines compression to transfer resistance to the wheels. With toad I use no brakes descending the 6% grade (Grapevine,ca.) at 45mph. Go slow....45mph should be the top speed going down a 8% grade.
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:05 PM   #16
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I've spoken to a Ford Rep as well as an actual Ford mechanic who works on the F53 Chassis, in addition to reading the manual. Basically they all say the same thing, when topping a grade put it into the towhaul mode, and go down the hill. When the engine recognizes it is not needing gas, the transmission will begin it's downshifting to maintain your desired speed. If you apply your brakes to reduce the speed it will downshift again. You will need to brake minimally to maintain your desired speed/rpms as previously described. Although I try to keep mine at 4500 rpm or less, they say you can run it up to 6000 RPM with no problems as that is how this engine/transmission combo is designed to work. Also you cannot over tach it as it has an automatic rpm limiter built in. The towhaul mode will not work as described if you downshift manually to go down the hill.


I have done it as they told me to and so far it has worked great maintaining the speed with little braking. We have been on downgrades as much as 10% for short distances and 6% for long distances. Many times on long straight downgrades the engine rpms have been around 3000-3500 maintaining a speed around 50-55 with no braking at all.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:12 AM   #17
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When you do the hard application of brakes be sure to warn your passengers!
Hopefully your passengers use their seat belts.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:39 AM   #18
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I did my first trip into mountains last year, and to be honest I was sweating bullets.
I did what people said about using the brakes intermittently and downshifting.
It worked with no problem and now it is almost second nature...
It's kinda like your first time.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:08 AM   #19
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Since the rpm limiter relies on cutting fuel off (I think), it won't be effective if your off the gas pedal and on the brakes. For anyone used to a 460 or a GM 454, seeing 4500 rpm on the tach is a bit disconcerting at first.

I spent a lot of time with motorcycles, and once rode a 3-cylinder Honda 50cc racing bike for a few laps. It had peak torque at 16,000 rpm and peak power at 26,000, so 4500 (even with 10 cylinders) didn't bother me much on my V-10.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:47 AM   #20
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Keep speed down before you start.

Be sure toad brakes are working as it will want to first if not.

Look for big trucks and get behind them so they get blame.

Others already posted good tips.

If still not sure contact Ford for best sequence of events to keep engine in happy place and brakes good.

They should have folks that reply to email so ask about specific grade and see wjat you get.
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Old 02-17-2015, 01:59 PM   #21
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Spinn, if your passenger is like mine, aka Dear Wife, than she is already gripping the fabric right off of her seat and at the same time offering me driving suggestions and where I can go when I tell her "I got it under control' LOL!
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:24 PM   #22
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Had a Class C pulling a Tahoe down a very steep grade. The steepest grade I have seen is 21.5%. The only thing that you can do is downshift and go slow. I let the tow haul mode and engine braking handle most of the braking with occasional application of the service brakes.
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:04 PM   #23
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I agree with Mike and Cha. Exactly how I drive our F53.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
I've spoken to a Ford Rep as well as an actual Ford mechanic who works on the F53 Chassis, in addition to reading the manual. Basically they all say the same thing, when topping a grade put it into the towhaul mode, ....
I agree, I just used the Tow/Haul mode this weekend descending from 8100 feet into the Anza Borrego Desert on the Montezuma Grade in Borrego Springs. My 35ft motorhome was towing a 2500lb car, and it came down smoothly at about 40-45mph, only applying brakes on some sharper turns.

Here is the description and instructions from the brochure for how to use the "feature" included with late model F53's.

TOW/HAUL MODE
The tough, durable TorqShift® transmission features an efficient 0.71 overdrive ratio, a high-mileage internal transmission filter and 36 months/60,000 miles service intervals.
The selectable Tow/Haul Mode helps reduce gear hunting, improves power delivery and uses engine braking to help control vehicle speed when descending hills.
The vehicle does not have to be towing for the driver to use and appreciate the capabilities of Tow/Haul Mode! Select Tow/ Haul Mode by pressing the round switch at the end of the shift lever whenever the terrain causes the transmission to frequently shift. Select Tow/Haul Mode when descending a hill. To decrease vehicle speed, firmly press on the brake pedal and release. The TorqShift® transmission will downshift one gear, which produces engine braking. Repeated pushing and releasing the brake pedal again will cause the transmission to downshift one gear each time until the vehicle is in first gear. Brake heating and wear are greatly reduced.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:18 PM   #25
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Does cruise control downshift on these?

We had a jeep rental that cruise control held speed both up AND DOWN the hills.

Took a bit to figure out what the heck was going on but the rascal downshifted to maintain selected speed which was a great feature.

If the ford does same set cruise while at slow speed and it should downshift...if it does that.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:14 PM   #26
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Does cruise control downshift on these?

We had a jeep rental that cruise control held speed both up AND DOWN the hills.

Took a bit to figure out what the heck was going on but the rascal downshifted to maintain selected speed which was a great feature.

If the ford does same set cruise while at slow speed and it should downshift...if it does that.
DW SUV uses the brakes on downhills to keep the speed at whatever has been set. I generally will kick it off when I am driving. It is an 09 so technolgy has changed I am sure.

Our 05 Ford will hold as long as possible when the downhill is greater than the engine will hold. At 4000 the transmission will shift up a gear.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:21 PM   #27
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The old chevys did that.

They would "governer shift" regardless of conditions if rpm hit the spot.

We have remote site that is extremely steep and one uses 4-low to keep speed low.

Without the 4-low the S10 would upshift at always at the tight curves and launch it...

Those were the days...
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:22 AM   #28
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Yes, the cruise control downshifts for you. I use Tow/Haul plus cruise control until the end of the hill is in sight. Works great!
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