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Old 05-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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Slow on hills

I live in SW Virginia and no matter where you go there are hills and mountains to climb. I have a 35 ft. Holiday Rambler with a Ford 460 engine but the best it will do is 45 mph going up the long grades. I suspect I have an insufficient rear end, but not sure. Are the slower climbs normal or is there a fix for it which will give me more pulling power and speed?
Randy1252
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #2
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Yeh, trade it for something with a 600 HP Cummins in it. Might not be any faster but it will make you smile.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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Why would you think a 10 to 15 ton vehicle will zip up hills like a 2 ton auto?
Horse power, weight, and wind drag has it's effect.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Other than trading (DP would do the trick), when was the 460 last tuned up? how much weight you pulling up the hill? I think most gassers are going to suffer on long grades, and 45 might be the top end given your terrain.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy1252 View Post
I suspect I have an insufficient rear end, but not sure.
A visit to your physician would perhaps tell if anything could be done.

Dragging your house with you is going to make it for slow going up hills. Be careful going down too! Watch temperatures going up, downshift, relax, watch the scenery!
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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Sounds pretty normal to me. If you believe lower gears will help, I would suggest you install a gear splitter. You will still have the gears you have now plus lower ones and in between. A lower gear ratio rear end will probably reduce fuel milage all the time. If you don't want to spend a bunch of money, pull over into the right lane and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks, everyone. I was used to dragging a 35ft horse trailer with my Chev. 454 dually with a 410 rear end, and fully loaded pulled the same hills at 55.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Other than trading (DP would do the trick),
Actually, just changing to a DP will not do the trick unless the engine is large enough. Except at high altitudes when non-turbo engines can't get enough air to maintain power, diesels and gas engines aren't all that different. The torque and horsepower curves are rather different and this makes diesels better for lugging up hills with heavy loads, but they won't go up hills fast unless they have enough HP.

Here's a good paper on this topic; it's written about diesels but the same concepts are valid for gas engines also. It all boils down to power: CAT fuel economy/performance paper
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:49 AM   #9
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Thanks, everyone. I was used to dragging a 35ft horse trailer with my Chev. 454 dually with a 410 rear end, and fully loaded pulled the same hills at 55.

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Old 05-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #10
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45 mph sounds to me like pretty good performance for that rig, but you can probably improve it with the Gear Vendors Over/Under Drive. That basically will give you some extra gears and should let the engine deliver its full power on the climb. Not cheap, though.

You already have something like a 5.38 rear axle in the coach. If you went higher, the mpg would suffer even more!
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:38 PM   #11
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That sounds about right... best thing you can do is just hang in the right lane, wind her up and accept that "it is what it is"......I was coming though Chattanooga one evening last summer, and got to chatting with truckers on the CB... and climbing that long grade out of Chattanooga going toward Cleveland on I 75, I was ahead of them the radio got quiet, and I popped on and said " up hill slow and downhill fast... if it ain't a Winnebago I'll kiss your @$$.." I got laughs and comments from all of them and the chatter started up again....
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #12
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Randy, not certain but I believe the Ford with the 460 had a 5:16 rear end. Have you considered installing headers along with a 4" exhaust & tail pipe and a free flow muffler i.e., Flowmaster, Magnaflow or Dynomax? Some folks we've met during our travels have done that with their 460, with some installing the Banks system.

They all tell me it really wakes up the 460 and allows it to run cooler. Just a though.

Good luck and safe travels
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:53 PM   #13
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45 sounds about right. When I had my gasser it had a 460 and that's about what it did, and it would do about the same whether I had my foot on the floor or backed out a little and go up the hill at 45.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:38 PM   #14
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Randy.......What year is your 460? There are a few inexpensive things you can do to increase power, like reworking your exhaust and improving air flow into your air cleaner.
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