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Old 07-15-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Laramieskibum View Post
Not much for hills in Ontario (barely above sea level?), or even in between, but roads like you see in the Smokies are the norm for every trip in the mountain west. I'm am looking at a 1ton if further improvements to this truck don't pan out but not due to lack of braking power from the engine but overheating while towing at altitude our steep grades. Towing here starts at 4-6,000' and ends at 9,000' for us at the end of the climb, inside of a 2 hr drive, usually the last 30 minutes of the drive, every trip. Normally aspirated engines are pigs here compared to their sea level breathern and I cannot yet justify the $10,000 additonal cost in a diesel....yet...slowly wearing down as the heat issues with the ecoboost continue to surface and I"m not the only one, many of us in the mountain west with ecoboosts are having problems but not with transmissions breaking due to engine braking. See thread in 2011+ forum on this site. Forced induction is high on my list, and the options are limited - ecoboost, ecodiesel, or hd diesel....

I'm not willing to give up on the F-150, this truck pulls like a no other gasser in the high alt valley floors and even on the hills, just needs some help in the cooling department. If I can't solve it, cummins bound in a few years...

Not sure I understand how this is any harder on the tranny? 40mph down hill vs 40mph on the high way should be seeing the same loads and speeds inside the transmission? So long as it remains cool, which it does when engine braking like this. Maybe in tension rather than strain? If every person in the mountain west just used their brakes and did not engine brake there would be alot of work for the brake monkeys.

I do not agree that engine braking at below redline RPM's adds any statistical engine damage. In other words 10 minutes at an average of even 5,000rpm is probably nothing compared to the trucks lifetime damage from sitting idling in the drive way / stop lights / traffic / ect, or in my trucks case:

50,000miles of 80mph interstate driving
15,000 miles of 65mph highway towing
<500miles of steep grade towing, of which 250miles are engine breaking down hill, on the high side (assumes 4-5 steep trips per year)

So 1-2% of its miles are spent at high rpm, with no fuel being added, and sufficent cooling to keep temps down, all the while receiving good cool oil.
Yes, The EcoB is a great engine with all that low-end torque (and especially at elevation). And for that reason I'm just not used to running it at high rpms. Usually just cruise at 60mph when towing and rarely pass anybody.

All I remember is when I tried first gear on that slope, the tach went closer to the red than I'd seen it before, so went back to 2nd and the brakes. Maybe first gear for a little while to let the brakes cool would be fine, if noisy. But then, instead of slowing everybody else down (it's usually pretty crowded), might just as well pull over for a bit. We'll see how it goes next year. It's becoming an annual challenge.

Have spent a fair amount of time out west with this rig (picked it up in B.C.) and others, but mostly on the major roads and never had the problem. Probably the same as the Appalachians, if you stick to the main roads there's not much of a problem. It's the smaller, winding and steep back roads where it's more of an issue?

Didn't know the EcoB had an overheating problem out west. But I know it can get hot out there, and it sounds like you're pushing (or pulling) at the truck's limits on a regular basis, so I can see it. Hope you can work it out. I too have looked at the diesel alternatives, but they're either way too much truck (don't need 2x the torque of the EcoB) and too expensive, or not enough truck (RAM EcoD has low payload, low HP).
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:18 PM   #12
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The transmission won't shift into a gear if the revs are too high. I'll often shift down a gear below, and the truck will wait and make the shift once speed gets into the range for that gear.

I'm also curious to know what temperature related issues Laramie is seeing. Almost all of my towing is at higher altitudes next door in Utah, and I haven't seen any issues. Yeah, the needle will move up to 2/3 or so on the coolant temp, and the transmission will get up to 215* or 220*, but no hotter. On steeper, higher, but slower climbs (such as Mirror Lake in the Uintas, topping out at 10,500 ft), I actually see temps rise much less than if I'm towing up Parley's Canyon (7% grade on I80 topping out at about 7500 ft) at 70 mph. FWIW, my Duramax also got hot going up grades.

Edit -- Laramie, I read some of your other posts in a different thread. Got it ...
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:11 PM   #13
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I just leave tow/haul mode on and let the truck do it's thing.
Mine sees far higher RPM down hill than it ever sees going up...
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:20 PM   #14
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All I remember is when I tried first gear on that slope, the tach went closer to the red than I'd seen it before, so went back to 2nd and the brakes. Maybe first gear for a little while to let the brakes cool would be fine, if noisy. But then, instead of slowing everybody else down (it's usually pretty crowded), might just as well pull over for a bit. We'll see how it goes next year. It's becoming an annual challenge. Try 1st at <30mph. Pulling over is required in places here and also alaska. More than 3 or 4 behind than you pull over. I'd rather that than change warped rotors/pads every other trip.

Have spent a fair amount of time out west with this rig (picked it up in B.C.) and others, but mostly on the major roads and never had the problem. Probably the same as the Appalachians, if you stick to the main roads there's not much of a problem. It's the smaller, winding and steep back roads where it's more of an issue? yes exactly. I actually have to use 4x4 low on dirt on steep grades if I want to make it without chancing limp mode. Or marathon grades on interstate i80/i70 at speed will do it.

Didn't know the EcoB had an overheating problem out west. But I know it can get hot out there, and it sounds like you're pushing (or pulling) at the truck's limits on a regular basis, so I can see it. Hope you can work it out. I too have looked at the diesel alternatives, but they're either way too much truck (don't need 2x the torque of the EcoB) and too expensive, or not enough truck (RAM EcoD has low payload, low HP).
May not be all trucks, see other thread in 2011 engines. I'm not giving up, but there sure is a lot of us. Do a google search for ecoboost overheating. I hear you on the other options. I'd have a older dodge 5.9l if I didn't need crash and safety upgrades for family....

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Old 07-16-2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Out West may experience cooling issue do to lower humidity. Dryer air does not transfer heat as well from the radiator. You may want to try a water wetter additive. Water Wetter is a specific brand, however Prestone makes an aluminum leak preventor (stop leak that you can run as a preventative to coolant leaks and head gasket fisher as the engine ages) that has a wetter effect. The wetters make the water molecules have lest of a tendency to combine / group together there for with more individual molecules there is more surface in which to absorb heat. The basic idea is the a 5 gallon bucket of baseballs would have less surface area then a 5 gallon bucket or marbles if you are to take out each object and lay its surface area flat and add them together.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #16
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I just use Tow/Haul and let the truck figure it out, but 45-50 in 2nd is not uncommon. I use the Jcain braking method. These engines are red lined at 6000+ RPM so 4500-5000 engine braking is not going to hurt them.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #17
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I just use Tow/Haul and let the truck figure it out, but 45-50 in 2nd is not uncommon. I use the Jcain braking method. These engines are red lined at 6000+ RPM so 4500-5000 engine braking is not going to hurt them.
Usually Tow/haul works fine for me too.

But not on this one slope where the max speed is 35mph and the multiple hairpins are 20mph. You need first or second gear only. Tow/haul would go to 3rd gear and way over speed between the hairpins requiring much more braking.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:54 PM   #18
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This thread is very informative. I was going down a grade on my maiden voyage with just tow/haul on and felt like the engine braking lacked but I think because it was my very first pull ever, maybe I was just going too fast to begin with. I have a 23' hybrid TT with about 5500#s left from camping (if that) so I didn't think the weight would be an issue. Lesson learned to slow a lot more coming down a grade (even if it wasn't so steep such as this one). I'm going to try manual next time but I appreciate reading up on the tips and experiences you guys are posting. I think the steepest grades we'll be going down are around 6% so it's not too bad.
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Usually Tow/haul works fine for me too.

But not on this one slope where the max speed is 35mph and the multiple hairpins are 20mph. You need first or second gear only. Tow/haul would go to 3rd gear and way over speed between the hairpins requiring much more braking.
Yeah, I'm the same. T/H seems to do fine on the interstate grades and stuff like that. But the back roads steep and twisty stuff, I find I need to take matters into my own hands on the downshifting. After all, it can't see that hairpin turn coming up. And while my truck is quite eager to shift down to 3rd gear or so, it seems hesitant to shift to 2nd for grade braking and never downshifts to 1st as far as I can tell.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:43 PM   #20
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Thought Id share the kind of verticals we have to deal with in Western Canada. This is a snapshot from Google street view of the Kootenay Pass westbound on highway 3 near Creston (URL: https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll...293.9,,1,-0.44 .

This is one of several inclines of between 6% & 8% in that area.
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What gear do you use - downhill w/ trailer?-kootenay-pass-british-columbia.jpg  
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:43 PM
 
 
 
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