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Old 12-19-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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SLOW GO--going up steep hills?

HELP! 2001 HR Endever 330 cummins - If I turn on to a steep grade going up hill from a stop, I have little or no power to make the clime up the hill. I run with the trans in the econo mode most of the time.I Have tried turning that off and can't feel any affect. (6) is still showing on display. Holding the pedal to the floor and crawling to the top. Should I try to move gears manually with buttons ( ccan this be done?) or just suffer a sloooow clime? MH runs great going down the road and can clime hills rather well with running start. But if I have to start from a stop and clime a hill it is a slooow go. Sorry for such dume question. This is my first MH still new to all of this. Thanks to all that post with such helpful info for the rest of us still learning.

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Old 12-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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It's a 330HP. Your about 70HP short of a hill climbing engine.

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Old 12-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #3
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It's not the HP as much as it's the torque... You have what - 650 lbs of torque??? The combination of both is a killer...

I have 1,000 lbs of torque with 360hp and I really move up a hill from a dead start...
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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Actually you're short on both HP and torque, especially if you have a Cummins 5.9. If it's an 8.3 or ISC it's still short of both.
Our ISC was 350/1050 and is now 435/1200 due to the Banks kit. MUCH better as the power band is far longer and higher than stock. The longer power band is what really makes the difference though.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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A good Horsepower to coach weight is 1 Horsepower per every 100 lb. Your engine is 330 HP. That means it should move a 33,000 lb coach up a hill quite well. I looked up your engine's torque. At 950lb, that's quite impressive. I looked up your coach's weight. 30,000lb. I think that a 330HP engine with 950lb of torque should be able to make your coach fly up most hills.

I think something is wrong.

Does your transmission shift down as you go up the hill? Or is it staying in 6th gear and pulling the engine rpm's down too low to have any power?

What is your turbo boost reading when you're climbing the hill? I'm not familiar with your particular setup, but in general you should be looking at the mid 20s for turbo boost.

How long has it been since your fuel filters were changed?

Your coach weight and engine horsepower come fairly close to the same as mine, and I can assure you that your engine has enough horsepower to make your coach show a lot of the other guys how to climb a hill.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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I would suggest that you focus on the rpm's, you would normally expect
optimal rpm at 75% of governed, which is around 1800-1900. At this rpm,
you should see around 40-45 mph and be in 4th gear. And yes, you
can manually shift to this, on steep hills, I get out of econ mode.
From a dead stop on a steep hill, you should only be concerned
with rpms, not speed, and shift to whatever gear you need.
Without momentum, you'll have a hard slog, but it's OK.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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Daffy, bringing a MH to a stop on a steep grade is hard on any motor to get going again but not impossible but should be avoided. It is easy to maintain speed but if it drops off or you come to a stand still and want to get going again you have to lots of patience. You guessed the answer in your post. You need to manually shift that transmission to get the RPM up to the horsepower peak then hit the shift arrow to the next gear so the RPM will not drop down to far. This way in the next gear it can climb back up to the peak HP rpm. You are going to have to keep doing that until you get to the speed you want then keep it in a gear that will keep that motor at the RPm close or at peak HP. Look up the specs for your motor and find out what RPM you make your most horsepower at and that is your target. Also find out what the RPM limit is and stay away from that. Do not overrev it.

I have 525 hp and 1650 ft/lbs of torque and weigh 46,000 lbs and let me tell you if I stop on a steep hill then I have to do that. (that is 1.14 hp per 100 lbs) My peak horsepower is made at 1800 rpm and my RPM limit is 2100 and it is horsepower that is going to move you up that steep hill. See how far you get keeping it at the RPM for peak torque (no way). I have tried letting the transmission do it automatically but it will end up getting close to the speed I want then it will shift and the rpm will drop and I am out of the power band and I am not going anywhere. I manually shift by taking it up to 1800 rpm and push the button then up to 1800 again and keep going again. If it is a 6% or greater grade I like to maintain 1800 rpm in 4th gear which is 48 mph and I can climb all day. If I go to 5th gear the rpm will drop and I will start loosing my speed so I have to downshift again so it is easier to keep it in 4th at 1800 rpm. Your MH and motor is the same way. Trucks climb the same way and have to keep those RPMs up where they make horsepower. You are not going to hurt that motor keeping those RPMs up for peak HP. When I do this my turbo boost gauge is pegged but I am software protected in the engine ECU. It use to make me nervous until I talked to several truck drivers. The other problem is the higher the altitude the less power your motor is going to make. Above 6000 ft I can really tell the difference in power. The other trick is to not worry about those cars behind you and if you are blocking them. They can just wait since they can zip by you at anytime. So don't get worried if you are blocking the road for a while. Also watch for those slow moving trucks in that right lane and plan ahead and move over so you don't get caught behind one and have to slow down. Like I said don't worry about that SUV on your behind with the young girl with one foot up on the dash, talking on the cellphone, with a diet cola in her hand. She will get over it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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JIm, The boost guage flutters alot so it is hard to read the LBS. You can see that it is going up or showing more boost as you try to accelerate-about 2/3 of the guage say from the 7 oclock position over to a 3 to 4 oclock position, and then back down when you let off the pedal. MY trans shows (6) all the time but you can fill it shift ever so slow. Sometime with the exhaust brake on; it will shift down hard and show a (2), but all other time it shows (6) no matter what the trans is actually in. The full filters are new, I've had to change them often due to algea in fuel tank. Have treated the fuel hope to be done with fuel problems soon. The MH runs down the road great no problems. I'm just not sure how to use the Trans to be most efficient in climbing hills from stop.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:17 PM   #9
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Mike, Thanks for the info--I'll try the manual shifting as soon as I can. was not sure if it would damage auto trans to work it that way. I'm still not used to having people stack-up behind me. Part of the reason I wanted the MH was to take it slow and see the view. I'll run 57 to 60 in right lane if possible, but at 40' plus Z71 in tow rig is so long I try not to shift lanes if I don"t have to. Then on 2 lane mountain roads I form the best cogo line in the south. Hard to find spots to pull over, can't back up with toad. Thanks again for the info from everyone.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:12 PM   #10
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Econo mode is for the flat lands. It effects shifts from 3-4, 4-5 & 5-6 and 6-5, 5-4 & 4-3. It is designed to minimize shift to improve fuel economy. Best when used on flat lands or rolling hills, but not steep hills
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:52 AM   #11
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Daffy manually shift whenever you want. Feel free to play with it up and down hills to help you get the speed up, maintain it or slow it down. Your Allison is not going to let you hurt it.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:43 AM   #12
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All great responses
Can I add
Forget about how fast you are going just make sure you select the right gear that will give you 1800- 2000 rpm and if the temps climb at that ease the foot off but maintain 1800 rpm by shifting to a lower gear.
The engine doesn't care about the hill it only needs to stay below about 205 deg
If you can't climb a hill on the above parameters the hill was too steep
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:50 AM   #13
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My coach is 36,000 lbs and behind me is a 30 foot trailer with 10-11,000 lbs. The Cummins engine in my coach is the ISC 350HP. I have climbed grades from Alaska to Florida with that combination and it doesn't matter how fast you get to the top. What does matter is that you DO get there safely. I don't need to manually downshift as the Allison is one of the smartest transmissions built today. It does all the thinking for you. All I do is watch my tach making sure the rpm's are between 2000-2200 when climbing grades. I also watch my exhaust manifold temperatures.

Two important parts of climbing grades, when your speed is reaching 40 mph, turn your 4-way flashers on as a warning to traffic following you. ALWAYS stay to the right and if there is a extra wide shoulder built for slow moving vehicles, move over and use it.

There have been many times where I have used my 4-ways on downhill grades because they have been so steep that I will maintain a speed slower than 40 mph while going downhill.

Safety is the most important while driving these rigs, speed is not. If you rig is NOT in your control 100% of the time then you are a danger to everyone around you and are risking not only your life but others too.

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Old 12-20-2011, 06:33 AM   #14
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Just so everybody understands Daffy Duck's original question because it wasn't about climbing a steep hill with a running start it was about stopping then starting out from a standstill on a steep grade. That makes a big difference. I don't know how many RVers have stopped or slowed way down because of some reason or another but it is a whole different story on building up your speed/momentum. If I get stuck behind a sloooow moving truck on a 6% grade then pull out to pass it requires a different technique than just keeping up your speed on a steep hill.

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