Simple question. I have the 2013 XLT 4x4 EcoBoost with the big tow package (11300 lbs). I'm used to using manual locking hubs. I've been known to tow down some pretty steep asphalt grades to get home from the good camping areas.
In the past with other 4x4 trucks, I would simply not lock the manual hubs and run down 8% to 9% grades crawling in low range, usually in 3rd gear or so. I would barely even use the brakes and it kept it under control nicely.
I am considering doing the same thing, towing an 8000 to 9000 lb toy hauler with this truck down a long, narrow, steep grade. In all that I have learned from this thread, would it be possible to bypass the solenoid (connect the two vacuum lines together with a splicer piece) temporarily so that I can take advantage of the low range gears without locking the hubs and binding up the steering in those sharp asphalt turns? Do you see any issues with this truck doing this?
A special safety note about anyone trying this. Use your brakes and slow way down prior to approaching areas where lose gravel or slippery surfaces appear. The rear wheels on your truck are doing all of the work and can jackknife you quickly when you pass through slippery spots. Use caution and think about what you and your truck are doing. Its a long way down!