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Old 06-28-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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Anti-sway always?

I'm making a trip in a few weeks. During part of this trip, I'm headed over a pretty steep (parts of it reach 20% for short distances; but probably average 12 to 15%) and crooked Forest Service road. Although paved, it's definitely not for the feint of heart.

I have two questions:

1. Since it is so crooked and I expect to be traveling slowly (35 mph max) should I unhook the anti-sway bar? I have friction clamp system. I believe that it will not contribute in a positive manner to the control and I expect it to get hot!

2. At the pass, I have an opportunity to take a longer, slightly gentler grade (although there is about a mile of 25%) graveled road. Taking this route I would use 4WHi in addition to the towing mode. Do I increase my engine breaking capacity this way?

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Old 06-28-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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Using 4WHi will not increase your engine braking capacity because it still uses all the same gear ratio, using a lower gear (which I am sure you are already planning) is what will increase the engine's capacity to slow your vehicle.

Your diesel engine inherently is not a great engine brake in and of itself as a diesel does not have a throttle plate, this being the reason semi-trucks have jake brakes and the newer diesels are installing exhaust brakes.

The advantage of using 4WHi while descending a grade is that all your tires are involved in traction control, where as when using 2WHi only your rear wheels are providing the braking traction. This being said, in 4WHi you reduce your chances of the trailer pushing the rear end around. You have a potential for the rear wheels to loose traction, you reduce that risk by locking your front end into the same gear ratio resistance in 4WHi.

A gasoline engine actually has a greater inherent braking action in low gears because it has a throttle plate.

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Old 06-29-2011, 02:01 AM   #3
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You wont need the anti sway at that speed it will just make for a lot of noise you can leave it on just loosen it up
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!

I knew that since I don't have "Jake" breaks, I wouldn't get as much engine breaking as a gas engine; but FlyRotor's comment confirmed my suspicions that low gear and 4WHi are good ideas.

Thanks Chevy02. I don't know why I was thinking it had to be "on or off." It's an easy thing to undo a turn or two on the pressure plate. (And I don't have to go hunting for cotter pins and other loose parts)
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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What is the benefit to removing the sway controller? Why not just leave it on, just in case?
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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Our last two trips have been up winding and steep forest service roads. I have a 2010 GMC diesel and ran it some in 4Hi. I kept it in tow/haul mode. Our toyhauler is about 28' long. I left our friction bar on and I don't think it hindered anything, but I can't say whether it "helped" much either.

I think the most important thing is to take your time and watch your speed. For a majority of the drive on these difficult roads, I doubt if I ever went 35 mph, more like 15-20 mph because of the blind turns. Of course, it was raining at one point, which added to the difficulty. I was more concerned about the washboard condition of the roads, which caused two of our light fixture covers to pop out during the bumpy ride.


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