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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Shifting An Automatic when towing.

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mbopp

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Posted: 08/01/20 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Towing with my F250 6.2, I use tow-haul but lock out 6th gear because it hunts too much.


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time2roll

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Posted: 08/01/20 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JustSomeOldDud wrote:

Greetings all. New tow-er here.
Does anyone have a link to some comprehensive yet easy to understand directions for manual shifting an automatic when towing.
I mean, im guessing that's why we have "L" option
Thanks in advance.
Would help to know what vehicle you are driving, engine, transmission speeds etc.

If your only options are D & L you may not have many options to manually shift. Or is L the low range on your transfer case?

Otherwise let the automatic do its thing unless it starts hunting gears up and down.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 08/01/20 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I can do a hell of a better job of up and down shifting/down hill braking than the computer.“

Plus it’s more fun to do it manually.


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Posted: 08/01/20 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My tv is a 2500 Ram/Cummins. 95% of the time I let the computer do all the work. If I get on serious long grades I will sometimes use the manual to hold the speed and rpm to what I want for climbing or descending. If you have most any kind of later model vehicle it will take care of it. Put it in t/h and go.

Cummins12V98

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Posted: 08/01/20 09:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

Welcome to the forum. You don't say what tow vehicle you have. When asking a question about your vehicle, a complete description of it would help to get more accurate answers.

Jerry


Now don't you think you're getting a bit picky asking for info to give an accurate answer???


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Cummins12V98

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Posted: 08/01/20 09:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Transmissions can't see the big grade ahead. Best to drop a gear before hitting the grade.

kellem

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Posted: 08/01/20 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Towing in the mountains of WV, I've often manually shifted my autos but never yanking down to low at speeds.....common sense goes a long ways.

rexlion

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Posted: 08/01/20 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One thing to know is that your max HP and torque will be at a relatively high rpm, like maybe 5000, on non-turbo gas engines. A lot of the 4, 5, and 6 speed trannys have an overdrive gear that lets the engine lope along at about 2000 rpm. A hill will cause the torque converter to unlock, and the engine will gain about 500 rpm and some HP and torque. A steep enough hill will make the trans shift down and the gain will be more like 1000 rpm or so... again, more HP and torque are supplied. But when you tow a trailer, that torque converter unlocks much too frequently, causing friction and heat buildup that can damage the transmission. Therefore, people lock out overdrive (via a lockout button on some models, tow-haul mode on others, and still others by moving the shift lever). This prevents the torque converter from doing a bunch of unlocking-locking-unlocking.

Climbing a long, steep grade in the Rockies or someplace similar, shifting down even further can be advantageous for the extra HP and torque gain. Running at a slower speed but at 4000-5000 rpm is easier on the drive train. And when descending, always downshift similarly so the engine helps hold you back and you don't have to hit the brakes as often. Never ride the brakes down the hill, they'll overheat and you may become a runaway!


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ssthrd

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Posted: 08/01/20 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cummins12V98 wrote:

Transmissions can't see the big grade ahead. Best to drop a gear before hitting the grade.


X2. Just before going up or just before going down.


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ppine

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Posted: 08/01/20 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was going over Sonora Pass last week. Trailers are discouraged. There was one section that was 26% and I was in first gear with my one ton Ford. I shift into second once in awhile on steep sections. First gear is unusual but it was very handy when the roads are that steep.

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