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Old 02-25-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
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How to go uphill

Hi,

Sorry...may seem like a silly question, but we're new to this. Just bought a 2008 Ford F350 Super Duty Diesel Dually...and a 2010 Open Range 37' 5th Wheel. Checked the weights and they're all easily within towing capacity of the truck.

We were going up a hill yesterday and the truck really seemed to be struggling...and mostly stayed around 25 mph...is that normal?

Which gear should we start in when going up a hill...do we change 1/2 way...any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Barbara and Jim
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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Put it in tow-haul and let the computer do the work. If you bogged down to 25, I would suspect something with the turbo is amiss.

Ken
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AloraDanin View Post
Hi,

Sorry...may seem like a silly question, but we're new to this. Just bought a 2008 Ford F350 Super Duty Diesel Dually...and a 2010 Open Range 37' 5th Wheel. Checked the weights and they're all easily within towing capacity of the truck.

We were going up a hill yesterday and the truck really seemed to be struggling...and mostly stayed around 25 mph...is that normal?

Which gear should we start in when going up a hill...do we change 1/2 way...any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Barbara and Jim
What was the percentage of the slop that you were going up?

I would also buy a code reader and read any codes that are present in the ECM. This may tell you what is wrong with the truck. Take this information to a competent dealer who can resolve your towing issue.

When I tow in the mountains, 6 to 7% grades I am in tow/haul mode and I am watching my EGT's (exhaust gas temperature), I have gages installed. I will down shift to 5Th gear if the EGT's are above 1100F to provide more air flow through the turbo as the engine speeds up. Thus keeping the EGT's cooler then 1100F deg's.

The only time you may have a problem is on I70, at the Eisenhower Tunnel and pass. You might be doing 45 MPH by the time you get to the top.

Also whatever gear you go up in this is the same gear you go down in with the exhaust brake on.
Jim W.

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Old 02-25-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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Slope

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What was the percentage of the slop that you were going up?

I would also buy a code reader and read any codes that are present in the ECM. This may tell you what is wrong with the truck. Take this information to a competent dealer who can resolve your towing issue.

When I tow in the mountains, 6 to 7% grades I am in tow/haul mode and I am watching my EGT's (exhaust gas temperature), I have gages installed. I will down shift to 5Th gear if the EGT's are above 1100F to provide more air flow through the turbo as the engine speeds up. Thus keeping the EGT's cooler then 1100F deg's.

The only time you may have a problem is on I70, at the Eisenhower Tunnel and pass. You might be doing 45 MPH by the time you get to the top.

Also whatever gear you go up in this is the same gear you go down in with the exhaust brake on.
Jim W.

HI,

It has a 7% slope.

Barbara
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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Were you in Over Drive? We make sure to shift out of overdrive before the truck bogs down going up hill.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
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Up a Hill

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Were you in Over Drive? We make sure to shift out of overdrive before the truck bogs down going up hill.
We were in drive...don't think we have overdrive.

Barbara
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Barbara,
You have a 5-speed transmission--D on the dash is overdrive (5th), there is no indicator for Drive (4th) and 1, 2 and 3 are First, Second and Third.
Ford is unique in that there is no way to get to Drive (4th) with the shift lever--the truck will drop out of Overdrive (5th) by itself when it needs to.
Also, if you start out in any gear but D (1,2 or 3) the truck STARTS moving in that gear and will stay in that gear. The transmission model is the Ford
5R100, if anyone asks.
Using the Tow Haul option should help you in climbing hills and going down.
It changes the shift points when in use--your truck should have no problem pulling a 7% grade, but I don't know for sure which rear end gear ratio you have, but it should be a 4.10, maybe a 4.30--and your trailer is not large enough to cause such a slowdown.
Next time you are towing, be sure to utilize the TowHaul button (there will be a TH light on the dash--this should cause the truck to downshift out of D (5th) to 4th (no letter on dash) and help pull the hill when the computer senses the need.

Have you tried the shift lever to pull it into 3? You can try this--the engine rpms should jump to around 2800-3100 (might scare you with noise, but perfectly ok) and pull the hill. Also, on long hills, the fan should kick in with a horribly loud roar as the coolant temp rises--the dash gauge may or may not show any movement, but the fan should come on.

If you are starting a hill climb at 60 +/- the truck should not slow to less than about 40--if it is dropping to 25, than the transmission has not shifted down or the trailer weighs more than an Open Range of that length should, or something is not right in the computer system. However, 7% is a tough grade if it is a long one, and not having enough speed starting up may cause the problem you are seeing. There are several areas of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that I can get only to about 20-30, but I am pulling at least 3000lbs more than you are.

When you say "checked the weights" does this mean you actually weighed both the truck and trailer separately and together, or you using some figures you read?

I sometimes have to use the shift lever to drop a gear if not using TH, but you should always have it in TH in the hills/mountains.

Going down is an entirely different situation--never start down a 7% grade without the TH in use, but you may get annoyed by it downshifting to 3rd or 2nd and causing the rpms to rise past 3500--at that point, you have to momentarily kick TH out and back in and it will start the sequence again.

You will have to get used to the quirks of this transmission, but once you understand it you should have no trouble with hills unless it is in need of some work.

Joe
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #8
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Thank you so much for the info.

The rear-end gear ratio is 3.73...but it does say in the manual even with that it should be able to tow a much heavier trailer than we have...and it was empty at the time.

Barbara
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Oh, on the Chevy if you push the tow haul button on the shifter, it puts it in tow mode. If you hold that button in for a couple of seconds, it locks out overdrive so it stays in drive.....
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #10
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Barbara,
Are you SURE you have the 3.73? If so, that is the reason for the slower uphill speed. However, I would think you have a 4.10 at least--but maybe I am not up on that for the '08 duallys. My '07 had the 4.10.
If you do have the 3.73s, not much you can do about it except plan for the hill as best you can with a speed buildup before starting up, and using the shift lever to go to a lower gear before the computer thinks about it. The engine will handle 3000-3300rpm easily for short periods, but is much more suitable around 2700 for long pulls.
Joe
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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Sorry to high jack this post but I also have a similar question on our old 83 Pace Arrow P-30 with 454 with banks exhaust we too slow down to 25 mph when trying to climb a steep hill, and of course we do not have any of the fancy add on that handle the climb electronically, so beside shifting into a lower gear does anyone have any feed back on what else we can do? The Chevy engine and transmission a 400 turbo, is almost new with approx 5k miles on each.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:26 PM   #12
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You are very limited with the setup you describe--exhaust headers would have been one of my recommendations.
The only item I can think of to help, that would not hurt cruising mpg, would be an underdrive that would change the gear ratios available.
The 454 has been hot-rodded for years, maybe you could consider some engine mods?
Usually, the big-block gassers respond very well to intake-exhaust changes and probably Banks would be the place to begin looking.
Joe
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