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Old 05-03-2014, 06:00 AM   #1
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Overdrive on or off?

When pulling the TT, should the "Overdrive" be on or off? Thank you!

FYI....2003 Ford Expedition
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:58 AM   #2
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Off. OD does not allow enough torque to be used to pull your trailer. You will put a lot of strain on the transmission and engine and over heating them resulting in premature failures. OD is for everyday driving not towing. If your transmission is searching for the right gear, then you need to manually downshift and limit the use of the top gears.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Meadows11 View Post
When pulling the TT, should the "Overdrive" be on or off? Thank you!

FYI....2003 Ford Expedition
If your Expedition has the tow/haul feature I would suggest using that. If not, no OD except on flat terrain with the wind at your back. The 6 speed transmission in my F-250 will shift into 6th gear on flat terrain while in tow/haul above 60mph.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:27 PM   #4
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It depends on the vehicle, there really isn't a clear cut answer.

Since you have a gas engine, I'd have to say at least leave the OD off in hilly terrain. If you are driving on flatter terrain, you may be able to use OD. The truck will tell you to use a lower gear by wanting to 'hunt' between a lower gear and OD. If it wants to hunt, then hold it to the lower gear manually.


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Originally Posted by TCNASHVILLE View Post
If your Expedition has the tow/haul feature I would suggest using that. If not, no OD except on flat terrain with the wind at your back. The 6 speed transmission in my F-250 will shift into 6th gear on flat terrain while in tow/haul above 60mph.
The 6 speed Allison in my 2011 GMC Duramax also will not shift to and stay in 6th gear OD while in tow mode until 60 mph or so. But it will hold 6th gear OD below 60 mph while not on tow mode.

What I do is get the rig rolling in tow mode. Towing mode on my truck locks the torque converter sooner than normal. Once my Edge Insight CTS tells me the torque converter is locked (about 20 mph), I take it out of tow mode so the gears shift sooner. The engine makes gobs o' torque and has no problem pulling my 8000ish lbs loaded trailer. The Edge Insight also will monitor trans fluid temp and instantaneous mpg. The trans fluid temps stay low and the mph is better when I drop out of tow mode and use 6th gear OD at highway speed. If I encounter a uphill grade where the transmission does want to downshift or hunt between 5th & 6th, I can manually hold it in 5th gear which also is an OD gear.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #5
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The bottom line is, you must be in a gear which allows the engine to be turning at sufficient RPM to avoid "lugging" or laboring the engine. Lugging will blow up your engine real quick. The tow-haul mode keeps the engine in this slightly higher rpm range. If you don't have tow-haul, then yes avoid OD.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:02 AM   #6
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My Dodge will tow in 6th gear with tow/haul engaged. I usually tow in 5th which is also an OD gear. I get better fuel mileage in 5th gear and the engine runs cooler on the pyrometer. When towing I always use tow/haul. Unless I am going down hill, 6th gear just seems to make the engine work harder. I have 3:73 gears.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:59 AM   #7
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Mine is off unless in the flatlands.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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No overdrive. Ever. The little bit of fuel you save isn't going to pay for a rebuilt transmission. If your TV has a trans temp gauge keep an eye on it. If not, its a cheap mod that may save you money in the future.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:28 AM   #9
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If you have a tow haul put it there and forget about it. That's what it is there for. If you don't have a tow/haul mode then no OD.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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There is no reason you can't tow in overdrive, unless it is frequently shifting in and out of overdrive.

Ford says you can tow in overdrive. It's in the owner's manual for the 99-03 4r100 tranny, others use tow/haul if available
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