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Old 08-18-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
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One of those people lol...towing with a 12 valver cummins

OK so we were one of those people that listened to the dealer man selling us a 5th wheel that I think is too heavy for our rig. We have a 2000 crossroads all american with a empty weight of 9400 lbs. Our rig is a 97 Dodge dually one ton with automatic tranny. When I got the truck I put a fuel plate, air flow kit and exhaust with 175k miles. Other than that its stock. When traveling with no load there is no problems. However while hauling the 5th wheel I feel the slipping. So bad that we only got 6 mpg on this last trip compared to 10 previously. With no load I usually average around 19. So the question is where to go from here. Getting a new rig is not an option; and neither is getting rid of the 5th wheel. So it comes down to transmission and power.

1. Are we way out of line with a 12 valver pulling 9-11 k
2. What is a good tranny that will hold its own not raking me over the coals
3. Are there any other mods you can do for a 12 valver to increase power and if so what are the downfalls and benefits

We would like to eventually hit the road for a year and are also wondering if there is a site that advertises camp hosts openings or jobs. Both of us are in good shape and I was a maintenance guy for 8 years after retiring from the military. Any input would be helpful and appreciated.

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Old 08-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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The truck you have is more than capable of handling a load of that size and I've seen them towing a lot more weight than that.

From what you describe, I think a new torque converter and some other transmission upgrades are in order.

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Old 08-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Torque converter and tranny rebuild with upgrades is a lor cheaper than a new truck.

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Old 08-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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I don't know what the stock gear ratio is but lowering it (higher number) might be a consideration.

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Old 08-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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According to some on the forum you should get at least 20 mpg when towing!!

Sounds like you need to follow the advice already given: new torque converter, rebuilt trans (heavy duty rebuild) and maybe a different rear end ratio.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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goerend transmissions,, check them out
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:37 PM   #7
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As I remember that truck has a 47RE automatic, Which was never noted for being the strongest transmission when the motor is more than stock. So I would guess your transmission is toast. Go shopping for a rebuild. Suncoast is one that does a lot of upgrades. Don't forget a torque converter, and while you are at it check out your rear end ratio.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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On another forum there used to be a poster who's sig included the phrase "There's No Replacement for Displacement" And a photo of his tow vehicle... A Peterbuilt as I recall.

Your rig has the HP to do the job.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. Been checking out the local power tranny shops and will see who makes me feel comfortable about their work. Then its off into the sunset
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
As I remember that truck has a 47RE automatic, Which was never noted for being the strongest transmission when the motor is more than stock. So I would guess your transmission is toast. Go shopping for a rebuild. Suncoast is one that does a lot of upgrades. Don't forget a torque converter, and while you are at it check out your rear end ratio.
I've been there. I had a 96, increased HP by 30. Then it destroyed the A/T when towing our 5er. Dodge de-rated the Cummins B5.9 to avoid having to upgrade their drivetrain in the mid-ninties. You may read all about this at dodgeram.org
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:23 PM   #11
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Transmission was always the weak point; once rebuilt with upgrades we routinely hauled bigger loads (vintage farm equipment) over the Rockies without issue.

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Old 08-21-2011, 03:40 AM   #12
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Ranger Bob, take some time to investigate some of the "Bomber" forums for your Dodge, there are many good options available to you. There are members in our local NW club who put 600-800 Hp to the ground and tow their trailers with ease. The NW board for us is Northwest Bombers These are a great bunch of fellas... and a couple of fe-fellas who would happily point you in the rite direction.
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http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/white/ not far from home...
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:51 AM   #13
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When I bought my 97, 12 valve, I had to go out of town to find a stick shift. No way was I going to pull my 5er with an auto.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:46 PM   #14
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We pull a 33 foot 13K pound 5er with our 1998 auto trans cummins 12 valve. We haven't done any mods yet. Pulling in the mountains it tops out at 45 mph. The trans isn't slipping, but pretty sure the torque converter is dying a slow death.
Look around to see if you can get a good rebuild for about $2500 including TC...goerend and suncoast will cost close to $3500.

Go to www.workamper.com for job listings for camp hosts and other opportunities.

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