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Old 10-21-2009, 02:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 09KingRanch View Post
Thanks for all of the responses and insights on the 6 speed tranny. Maybe mine is still learning my driving style. Not quite sure how to change my driving style going over an overpass at 65MPG though. I plan on getting the TSB done on my first service to see if that improves some of the hard shifting in the lower gears and low speeds. Fortunately it is a smooth and quiet drivetrain so all of the shifting at highway speeds isn't too bothersome, I'm just not used to an auto downshifting on such slight inclines. My hunch is that 6th gear was added to improve the MPG rating. They must do that test running on perfectly flat highways!
Now I'm wondering how it is going to do when it is loaded up and towing the boat? For those of you who tow, do you just use the tow/haul switch and let the tranny do the work on it's own? When towing I like to use the transmission to slow me down on downgrades and lay off the brakes. I've tried tapping the brakes on deceleration and I can't get mine to do any downshifting. Is there something I am missing here?
towing my set up on flat hwy about 60-65 mph exhibits similar transmission characteristics as when i'm not towing, even with the tow/haul mode turned on. i mean i totally hear you when you describe the frequency of downshifting even on the slightest of inclines at hwy speeds! with my trailer hooked up and tow/haul ON, the transmission isnt any worse or better with no trailer.

when climbing larger inclines, i find myself moving the shifter to 3rd and just motoring up until things flatten out. transmission seems to hunt or think, for what seems to be an eternity, esp pulling a trailer up a windy hill with traffic stacking up behind me. i take matters in to my own hands and just stick her in 3rd.

i think with the tow/haul mode ON, to get that downshift you speak of you need to tap the brakes twice and be at certain low speeds. for instance, if i tap the brakes 2 consecutive times at freeway speed, its not going to downshift for that compression braking feature. however, when i tap the brakes at slower speeds (esp when decending down a hill) the transmission definitely downshifts as per the tow/haul feature.

overall i'm impressed with the new 150's towing ability, tows like a 3/2 ton. but as we all know it aint a 3/4 truck! but i'm definitely impressed with its stopping power, stoutness, smoothness, and stability. the transmission does need work (hopefully aftermarket programmer) and the engine could use more torque but what do you expect from a gasser. now if someone could "teach" my transmission how to shift i'd shut my mouth and complain no more!!

Last edited by ex10psi; 10-21-2009 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:55 AM   #12
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towing my set up on flat hwy about 60-65 mph exhibits similar transmission characteristics as when i'm not towing, even with the tow/haul mode turned on. i mean i totally hear you when you describe the frequency of downshifting even on the slightest of inclines at hwy speeds! with my trailer hooked up and tow/haul ON, the transmission isnt any worse or better with no trailer.

when climbing larger inclines, i find myself moving the shifter to 3rd and just motoring up until things flatten out. transmission seems to hunt or think, for what seems to be an eternity, esp pulling a trailer up a windy hill with traffic stacking up behind me. i take matters in to my own hands and just stick her in 3rd.

i think with the tow/haul mode ON, to get that downshift you speak of you need to tap the brakes twice and be at certain low speeds. for instance, if i tap the brakes 2 consecutive times at freeway speed, its not going to downshift for that compression braking feature. however, when i tap the brakes at slower speeds (esp when decending down a hill) the transmission definitely downshifts as per the tow/haul feature.

overall i'm impressed with the new 150's towing ability, tows like a 3/2 ton. but as we all know it aint a 3/4 truck! but i'm definitely impressed with its stopping power, stoutness, smoothness, and stability. the transmission does need work (hopefully aftermarket programmer) and the engine could use more torque but what do you expect from a gasser. now if someone could "teach" my transmission how to shift i'd shut my mouth and complain no more!!
lllll
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:29 AM   #13
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"the 6 spd is horrible in my truck, plain and simple, horrid. i feel like the damn thing shifts ALL DAY long, no matter what. has a hard time shifting quickly for uphill climbs, hunts for gears, and simply put, the stupid thing is "confused". in general i dont understand 6 spd automatic transmissions. we had an 07 audi A4 with a 6 spd and that thing was pretty horrendous too. lots of bogging of engine because the computer wouldnt shift it out of 6. at least it had that "tip tronic" mode where you could control the shifts. the ford goes from D, 3,2,1. where the hell is 4, 5, 6? at least give me 4th!! or a damn OD buttom for christ sakes!!!!!"

I had a Dakota with six speeds. I also HATED it! The fuel you save using OD you
just ate up when the 'computer' (and there is your MAIN problem) *thinks* the
engine is working too hard so it shifts you into a lower gear. Is the 5.4 V8 that weak,
that is can't handle any turque (stress)? Guess I'll find out when my 2010 gets here.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:39 AM   #14
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I'm just curious if you guys that are coming from other vehicle brands are comparing apples to apples here. I'm not saying that you're not... just wondering if there are other things to consider.

You say that you now have the "max tow" 3.73 read end. What rear end did you have in your prior truck? Was it a 3.73 also, or something a little tamer?

Again... not meaning to throw rocks, or trying to defend anything here... just asking.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:49 AM   #15
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I'm just curious if you guys that are coming from other vehicle brands are comparing apples to apples here. I'm not saying that you're not... just wondering if there are other things to consider.

You say that you now have the "max tow" 3.73 read end. What rear end did you have in your prior truck? Was it a 3.73 also, or something a little tamer?

Again... not meaning to throw rocks, or trying to defend anything here... just asking.

Sorry, don't recall what rear end it had but I'm sure that it was "tamer" since it was an SUV. Don't get me wrong, I love this truck just not used to this transmission shifting all of the time at the slightest incline and just wondering if others transmissions do the same thing or if mine is unique. I'm also hoping to get some insight on how people tow with this transmission and if the TSB reset has had any improvement in this regards.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:02 PM   #16
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6 spds. are supposed to shift alot! The idea is to keep the engine in its "sweet spot" as much as possible. Perhaps unfortunately its skewed to the mpg side of that spot which is where tow/haul comes in to play. It raises the rpm shift points to get the engine deeper into its power band. Even at 75 mph my FX4 still isn't close to peak torque. I only pull a large utility trailer with from 3000 to (just once!) over 9000 lbs. The tranny does GREAT! Yea, it shifts a lot, but it is so smooth I don't even notice anymore. Did the truck slow on the hills with that big load behind it? Yes, but not overly so, and with that much weight it should have slowed some. The best part was that I didn't have to listen to that engine roar because the tranny chose the proper gear to keep the engine (and me) in it's happy spot. My only quible is that while it will continually downshift thru the gears as you slow, it will jump to 6th as soon as you touch the gas when it would be nice to go up one gear. Overall, I coudn't be happier with a half-ton truck.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:55 AM   #17
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I don't know what gears where in my Dakota either. All I
know it had factory tow.

I always thought that when you're towing a heavy load
such as a 28' travel trailer, you disable your truck from
going into OD. When I ordered my new 2010 I asked that
question. I was told just to let it go into OD if it wants to.

What do you guys think? I *think* the sales person is wrong.
I never let the Dakota go into OD when pulling a heavy travel
trailer load. But it also didn't have a large V8 either. I'm
also trying to save ware and tear on the tranny.

Your thoughts please...
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by RadioMan View Post
I don't know what gears where in my Dakota either. All I
know it had factory tow.

I always thought that when you're towing a heavy load
such as a 28' travel trailer, you disable your truck from
going into OD. When I ordered my new 2010 I asked that
question. I was told just to let it go into OD if it wants to.

What do you guys think? I *think* the sales person is wrong.
I never let the Dakota go into OD when pulling a heavy travel
trailer load. But it also didn't have a large V8 either. I'm
also trying to save ware and tear on the tranny.

Your thoughts please...
My '97 F150 (5.4L with 4 speed transmission) blocks out the OD when you push the tow/haul button. My Nissan Armada didn't block out the OD when you pushed the tow/haul button, but you had the ability to move the selector to block out the 5th gear if desired, which I usually did when towing to keep it from shifting in and out of 5th gear all of the time. I believe that was also recommended in my manual. It just seems odd that there is no way to block out those higher gears when towing in hilly areas. What were they thinking when they designed this transmission? I think the 6 speed is a great idea for fuel economy, but I wonder how user friendly it is going to be when towing in hilly areas???

Last edited by 09KingRanch; 10-22-2009 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:10 PM   #19
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My 6 speed also seems to hesitate when I'm going around 60 and heading up a hill. I spoke to the service rep yesterday at my Ford dealer and he said at that speed there are two things that are happening which makes it seem like hesitation .. the first is that its changing from a direct drive to a hydrolic torque converter and then its also trying to downshift. The two events happening together is why it feels like hesitation. I find the feel to be unnerving but once it ****s the power is there. I have had the TSB performed on my truck so that doesn't affect this problem but it did change it so I don't have the jerky shifts in low gears when I'm coming to a stop.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:49 PM   #20
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I have a 09 4x4 with 5.4 3v, 6spd auto, and 3.50 posi rear end. The first time I towed my travel trailer the truck had 600 miles on it. I towed up into the hills of Vermont. The truck hunted for the proper gear the whole way. When I got back from the trip the truck went to the dealer about an overdrive issue. I was thinking that when you push the tow/haul button the overdrive was shut off. Not so. On the new 6spd's the only thing that changes is the shifting parameters. All speeds are still available in the tow/haul mode. I didn't like this setup to begin with but I've done some long distance towing since then (1000+ miles) and now the truck has 5k on the odometer and the tranny is perfect. Both for towing and my everyday commute to work. It doesn't hunt anymore and it down shifts and up shifts perfectlly. It will take some miles to get the tranny to learn it's " lesson".
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