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Possible Towing/Power Issues on steep grades

 
  #1  
Old 07-26-2014, 12:04 PM
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Possible Towing/Power Issues on steep grades

Just looking for some advice or thoughts. I have a 2013 crew short bed with the 3.73 gears and 2WD. I tow a lance travel trailer that weight around 5,000lbs. On flat ground the truck does awesome. With all our gear travelling no faster than 65 MPH I have seen anywhere from 9.5 to 10.3 MPG's. My issue is on steep grades. As I write this I am camping up a June Lake which is about at 7,000 feet elevation. For those of you that know the area I specifically referring to the long grade from Bishop into mammoth. Now granted it was 102 degrees and I had the air on but in order to maintain a decent speed, which in this case was 40 MPH the tranny dropped into 2nd and RPM's hit close to 5K. Engine fans came on for the first time and tranny temp showed 210 degrees. My concern is that my wife and I are about to pull the trigger on a fifth wheel that will be double the weight of my current TT. If my truck struggles with my current TT then I hate to see how it will fail with the fiver. I've seen numerous posts here about guys pulling over 10k and think the engine is a rockstar but I'm just not seeing it. I want to keep this truck but now I thinking a diesel. I know a 5 star tune will help but would it really make a huge difference if I had 4.30's installed? Just not sure it would give me what I want at the end of the day. Otherwise the truck is great. It just doesn't like steep grades.

Thanks in advance for comments/thoughts on my situation.

P.S. While I was struggling in the slow lane with my wife asking why the engine was making a lot of noise a newer dodge rma diesel pulling a fiver that was probably in the 13k-14k range passed me like I was stopped. He was probably doing 70+ MPH
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:10 PM
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I'm guessing something isn't right there. I've done way better then that with my 5.4 and the 6.2 should run circles around my truck.
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:28 PM
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I Purchased a 2014 F-250 King Ranch, crew cab, 4x4, 6.2L, 3.73 rear in January of this year. I have a 35 foot, 9,400Lb bumper pull travel trailer that the truck was to pull. I took a 2500 mile trip the first 2 weeks of July going through the Ozark and Appalachian mountains. Only got 8 mpg and struggled on the hills the whole way. Traded the truck in 2 days ago and got a 6.7 diesel. Lesson learned, if you are pulling any weight, you need a diesel.
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jim01250 View Post
I Purchased a 2014 F-250 King Ranch, crew cab, 4x4, 6.2L, 3.73 rear in January of this year. I have a 35 foot, 9,400Lb bumper pull travel trailer that the truck was to pull. I took a 2500 mile trip the first 2 weeks of July going through the Ozark and Appalachian mountains. Only got 8 mpg and struggled on the hills the whole way. Traded the truck in 2 days ago and got a 6.7 diesel. Lesson learned, if you are pulling any weight, you need a diesel.
Not familiar with that part of the country. How steep are the grades? 8%? Appreciate your reply. While I love the 6.2l for most situations it sure doesn't seem to like steep long grades in hot weather. We go camping every 4-5 weeks all year round out here and cover about 6,000-7,000 miles per season towing.
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:23 PM
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The worst grade I had to climb was 7%. But even driving on lesser grades or long rolling hills, I was totally unimpressed with the power. When your vehicle is dropping all the way down to second gear and still loses most of it's speed climbing a hill you know its time for a change. I purchased this vehicle to replace a 2001 7.3 PSD and expected much better performance than I got. The torque #'s weren't much lower than my old PSD, but it became a white knuckle trip for me every time I had to merge onto the highway or climb a hill. Just wasn't worth the money savings IMO.
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 10:30 PM
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You can install any gears you like to help the power for way cheaper then the raping you will take trading it in on a diesel. 4.30 definitely tow better but maybe a 4.56 would be better
 
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:22 PM
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I will say that I had a tag toy box that was shorter (length & width wise) & weighed less than my current 5ver, but towed TWICE as hard as my fiver does (with the same tow vehicle). I can pull some passes an entire gear higher & I get an average of 2mpg better pulling the 5ver. Weird but true.

Also, in the early 2000's I used to tow a small tag toy box with my 1/2 ton 2WD Dodge, with the trailer weighing in around 7,000lbs. I pulled that bad boy all over Utah at elevations up to 10,000'. Chugged over some hills like you're describing but what I had was 1/2 the truck you have. It was slow at times but it was a cheap truck & most importantly, it never broke. I then switched to a Dodge Cummins & it was constantly broken. Worst vehicle I ever owned bar none in terms of the shear # of problems it had.

Bottom line: Seems like there's no way your rig is running right & maybe a good shop could figure out why. Also, since it's a 2wd you could change your gearing fairly easily & way cheaper than getting another new truck. Good luck to you moving forward
 

Last edited by rblomquist; 07-26-2014 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Confused multiple posts with each other
  #8  
Old 07-27-2014, 08:57 AM
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Your transmission temps are no problem it's where Ford likes to run it, when the clutch fan comes on it will rob a lot of power from the motor and at 102 I'm sure it needed the extra cooling. If you aren't already doing it use the manual mode when pulling grades, I like to keep it between 3000 to 4500 to keep it in its power range. I don't like to race up grades I just find a good rpm and let the it pull, you will always find someone that will want to beat you to the top of a hill I don't care how fast you are going.

You didn't say what size tires you have 17, 18 or 20" but that will make a difference on how it will pull on grades because it affects the final ratio. Now for the 3.73 gears they are great for flat ground and moderate grades or a diesel but they wouldn't be my first choice for a gas truck pulling grades. I've never driven a 6.2 with 3.73 but I'm guessing that it would be similar to the difference between a V10 with 3.73 to one the had 4.30 gears, big difference. You can do a lot of modifications but when it comes down to it a gear change will give you the biggest gain in the end. You will lose some mpg empty running down the hwy with 4.30s but in the end you have decide between pulling performance and running empty mileage.

If it was my truck I would have changed the gears a long time ago.

Denny
 
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:20 AM
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I have a stock 2014 6.2 and tow a 9,000 lb to hauler. We recently went to the Ozarks and Boston mountains and had no issues on any of the hills. I put it in tow mode and let it do the shifting. Maybe something is wrong.
 
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:17 AM
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I would manually shift when I get the "second gear windout."
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:18 PM
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So on the way back from the camping trip I described in my initial post yesterday I had a catastrophic failure with one of the wheels on the trailer that broke the stubs right off the hub. First time I've ever seen a tire of my trailer passing me on the freeway. Anyways I was able to tow the trailer to safety on three wheels and parked it in the small town of Lone Pine, CA. local tire place will fix it and should be ready for pickup this Saturday. My father in law heard about my dissatisfaction with the performance of my truck on this trip so offered me his new 2014 superduty diesel to go retrieve the trailer. This way I will be able to tell how well the diesel will perform with my trailer on a freeway I travel very often. I know the diesel will be a beast but will be interesting to see just how well it does in this heat on these grades. My wife noted on the way back that the grade I struggled with was a 6% grade over 8 miles...
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:59 PM
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I find that if I use drive with tow haul the truck always wants second gear. Using manual mode I can run a more appropriate gear and put my foot into it without worry of second gear wind out. Around here we have some hills and manual is a huge improvement over letting it shift on its own. Hills and head wind his when you remember your in a gas truck but so far I'm satisfied with mine. However you need more driver input then when towing with a diesel.
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:05 PM
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Maybe your truck de-powered itself sensing too high engine temp.?
Don't know. What I do know is all gas trucks will struggle on certain hills/grades under very specific conditions. I used to have a 2008 f-550 psd w/tuner(500 hp) and could not be beaten to the top of the hill(period).
Not Dodge,not Chevy. The steeper and longer the hill, the further they were left behind. If you want to be king of the hill, then you need to upgrade to a 2015 PSD Super Duty. If not, you will need to heed the advice of others here who will help you use the transmission to help you maintain a constant speed,uphill and down. I am not saying it is a driver problem but I load up my 350 with heavy stuff(up to 8000 lbs) on the bed and have learned how to work the tranny to my advantage. How does it go?........Give me a lever long enough and I can move the world.
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Flatbed Ed View Post
Maybe your truck de-powered itself sensing too high engine temp.?
Don't know. What I do know is all gas trucks will struggle on certain hills/grades under very specific conditions. I used to have a 2008 f-550 psd w/tuner(500 hp) and could not be beaten to the top of the hill(period).
Not Dodge,not Chevy. The steeper and longer the hill, the further they were left behind. If you want to be king of the hill, then you need to upgrade to a 2015 PSD Super Duty. If not, you will need to heed the advice of others here who will help you use the transmission to help you maintain a constant speed,uphill and down. I am not saying it is a driver problem but I load up my 350 with heavy stuff(up to 8000 lbs) on the bed and have learned how to work the tranny to my advantage. How does it go?........Give me a lever long enough and I can move the world.
What gears do you have? I always use tow/haul mode and almost always have 6th gear locked out. I haven't tried towing in manual mode and if that will help I'm not opposed to trying it.
 
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:06 PM
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I can't speak for the 6.2 but with my 5.4 I can manually select 1-2-3 gears. on Some steep hills the truck will want to use second and stay in the upper rpms but I will manually put it in third. The rpms will drop and bring me back into my torque band and am able to use less throttle to accomplish the same task.
 

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