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Old 03-24-2016, 06:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by norty1 View Post
Perhaps you missed my sig line. I'm driving a Ford Diesel which passes those blinking lights going uphill.
It's a blue oval oil burner thing
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:06 AM   #12
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Ahhhh, but we passed those blinking lights and the diesels... had one of the blinking light guys get a spot next to us at the CG and he was very impressed as we blew his doors off up the 7% grade. Down hill I did miss the extra 2 cylinders for engine braking...

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Old 03-25-2016, 07:43 AM   #13
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Rule of thumb for CDL drivers is descend a hill at the same speed and gear that you would use to climb it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:50 AM   #14
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Rule of thumb for CDL drivers is descend a hill at the same speed and gear that you would use to climb it.
Ex-CDL here... yes that is/was the rule of thumb, but with the V6 Twin Turbos the uphill climb is a lot easier (to do the rated limit (55mph) without overheating issues - engine/trans temps stayed normal) than with the normal V8 (last TT), but the down hill side of the equation is where you need to monitor the decent closely. I had no issues in Colorado, but had some of those 6% down grades been longer, I would have had to start using the brakes more often. We took it slow. The 9K lbs TT is about the max for the EcoBoost (w/3:73) in the mountains... up hill would not really be an issue it would be the engine braking. We enjoy the EcoBoost, but don't get me wrong... I STILL MISS MY GOOD OLD BIG BLOCK ENGINES for running local store runs.

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Old 03-25-2016, 09:41 AM   #15
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Haven't had the chance to try mine out yet, but my brother has used his. The newer Ram diesels have two settings on the exhaust brakes. One of those kicks in at whatever speed you were going when you take your foot off the pedal. He used it pulling his 5th wheel through mountains in Oregon. Said he almost never had to touch his brake pedal going downhill, because the exhaust brake kicked in whenever his speed started to climb.

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Old 03-25-2016, 09:43 AM   #16
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When I towed our toy hauler trailer (10k lbs fully loaded), I always drove by the engine and trans temp gauges. At least when climbing. The Duramax is a solid unit, but it does have its limits. Just don't get in a hurry, and don't lug the engine in too low of a rpm range. When descending, also gear down so the slope doesn't over-rev the engine, and so you don't have to constantly ride the brakes. Settle in for the big hills, and keep your eye on those temp gauges.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:58 AM   #17
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When I mentioned to someone that I was gearing down on long steep downgrades (to avoid using my brakes too much) his comment was "brakes are cheaper than a new transmission". ??? I'm interested in what you guys have to think about that. I guess my main concern is always worrying that suddenly the brakes won't be there! When I gear down I immediately feel a little less stressed. (I drive a 1999 F250 diesel and pull a 26.5 5th - 213K miles and still runs like a champ - hope I didn't just jinx myself!).
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:09 AM   #18
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Down shifting and letting you transmission work actually keeps it cooler then riding the brake and idling down the hill. At least that's what my experience has shown me, watching my temp gauge. And if you are heating your breaks they might not be there by the bottom.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:17 PM   #19
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We are from North Texas, and have been back and forth to Colorado a few times now, both sides of the state. I will tell you that the Raton pass on I-25 will be the most fun.
Luckily your 45 mph will still be faster that the big rigs!
I just watch my transmission temp and RPM. Let the engine doing the breaking.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MzLiz View Post
When I mentioned to someone that I was gearing down on long steep downgrades (to avoid using my brakes too much) his comment was "brakes are cheaper than a new transmission". ??? I'm interested in what you guys have to think about that. I guess my main concern is always worrying that suddenly the brakes won't be there! When I gear down I immediately feel a little less stressed. (I drive a 1999 F250 diesel and pull a 26.5 5th - 213K miles and still runs like a champ - hope I didn't just jinx myself!).
I've never read where downshifting a transmission (either to climb a grade or descend one) causes any damage.

I learned ('old school'?) that, when going down hill, the proper way to brake was to brake moderately so your speed drops and then release the brakes completely, not ride them. This allows the brakes to cool bit. This is especially important with drum brakes. My trailer has drum brakes so I still do it this way. The other benefit of doing it this way is that with each push on the brake pedal, you KNOW the brakes are 'still there'.
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