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Old 07-18-2015, 12:34 PM   #11
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Manually Shift an Automatic

OK, and I know I will take grief for this, but, using your manual shift control is necessary for some conditions.
I have the exact set up (2010 Ram 2500 with the diesel and automatic transmission). I tow a CC Silverback with a dry weight of 11K + lbs.
Where I live, in northern Arizona, there are numerous hills to climb. I should mention that I have both turbo and transmission sensors and closely monitor the temperature of both.
When going up these hills (3 to 6 % grades), I will generally shift down to 5th gear. This, I have found, drops both the turbo and transmission temperatures. I hear what others are saying ...let the automatic function do the work, however, in my experience, it want always drop into a lower gear, which results in the turbo getting above 1,000 degrees, which I try to avoid.
Bottom line, it want stress the transmission either way. I just like being in control of things I can.

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Old 07-18-2015, 12:43 PM   #12
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I have the 2015 Ram 3500 with 6.7L coupled with the Aisin tranny towing 18K I use tow haul and set the cruise. On rolling hills I thing it shifts to much but hay what do I know about the Aisin tranny shift patterns. I know it under warranty for 100K miles and it was a $2995 option. Let her roll and shift like she wants cause it doesn't slow down for any hills so works for me.

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Old 07-18-2015, 01:20 PM   #13
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I have a 2007 Ram 3500 with 6.7/auto and pull a 2013 Silverback 33RL. I always use the tow/haul and exhaust break, set the cruise at about 65 MPH and let the computers decide when to shift or slow down even on the I 15 Great Falls to Vegas and then to Phoenix. The only exceptions, I kick off the cruise on a long down grade where I like to start down hill at about 80 - 85 MPH. I rarely need to use the breaks! Even the "hole" between St. George & Vegas where the speed limit is reduced.

Central SK.
2007 Ram 3500 4x4 SRW 6.7, Air-Lift Air bags
2013 Silverback 33RL, TrailAir Hitch, 4K Onan at the rear
RV usage - 130+ nights per year

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Old 07-18-2015, 01:21 PM   #14
Join Date: Apr 2012
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With my duramax, I try to maintain 2000-2400 RPM on steeper/longer grades. I use manual to limit shifting to a higher gear and dropping the RPMs.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:09 PM   #15
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A 68RFE pulling a heavy load, in tow/haul, and in cruise will loose several mph before downshifting as it climbs long, steep hills. Then after downshifting it will burn a bunch of fuel as it recovers the lost speed. A manual downshift before beginning the climb will prevent that loss. And coming off a 10,000' pass without some manual intervention even with the exhaust brake activated will take a lot of foot-braking. I am very happy to have manual shift capability and use it a lot in mountains.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #16
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I have an F150 and it always runs in Tow/haul Mode. I have been through the Rockies twice and and go backwards across the Appalachians every year. Tow Haul mode with the electronic controls is a a major transmission and safety manager especially on the down hill stretches where it become basically feet off and let the controls manage the speed etc. No burning brakes phenomena!
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:36 PM   #17
Join Date: Oct 2014
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As a former truck/bus driver, I always shift my auto transmission to keep my RPMs in control. I have yet to see a computer that can shift my transmission in anticipation of a steep up or down grade. The computer will shift up/down when the RPMs get to high or low, I believe that keeping my 2013 Ram with a Cummins within it's normal operating limits will extend it's life just like my truck/bus Cummins motors. I do use the Tow/Haul Mode when I have a worthy load. Also, I live in a very steep mountain area and have followed to many RVs with out of control speeds for the terrain or I smell their brakes most of the way down the long grades. So I will continue shifting my auto and smiling while I drive past all of those repair shops... I hope. JH
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:30 AM   #18
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Just spent the last month pulling my Rockwood TT with my Tundra 5.7 through the mtns of Colorado. Being from Florida I have no experience with mtns. My research on-line told me to just trust the Tow-Haul mode but on the long grades I felt compelled to down shift to 3rd and even 2nd gear occasionally for fear of not gathering up too much speed downhill and not using the brakes too much for fear of "glazing". So if I just waited out the Tow-Haul mode will it have eventually slowed me down to a safe speed or was I right to downshift to avoid a runaway situation? Just trying to do the the right /safe thing. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:51 AM   #19
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Robbdrell, I believe you did the right thing, thanks. JH
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by atcla View Post
It sounded crazy to me, now I know it is!
Actually not so crazy. But less applicable for recent TV power plants that produce gobs of power and transmissions with more than six speeds. The logic has been touched on here and it is simply this: you can react faster to rising terrain than the PCM will because you can see it. Our Dodge pickmeup is pushing the envelope with our TT and sports the older 5-speed trans. While mountaineering, I can stay way ahead of the PCM on downshifts by manually performing same. That can translate into a 15-20 MPH top speed difference while ascending a 7 or 8 percent grade without pushing the engine into banzai mode. As for going down the other side, your brake controller should be commanding downshifts as required by simply giving the brake pedal a good jab.

Your mechanic is not entirely out to lunch.

Keith, Lori & the Wild Bunch
TT: 2011 Rockwood 8293RKSS
TV: 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 CC 4x4 (ya.. it's got a Hemi
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