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Old 07-06-2013, 07:04 AM   #1
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Towing with a stick shift

I'm towing with a '97 Powerstroke 5 speed with 3.73 gears. My fifth wheel weighs around 7500 lbs loaded. On the highway, do you guys think its better to drive in 4th, keep rpm's high and have more power or drive in fifth and feel like its losing some power? Max tow weight for my setup is 10,000 lbs.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:50 AM   #2
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IMO as long as the Rpm's are not much above 2000, 4th. They seem to use almost as much fuel when they are lugging in a higher gear,and will run higher egt,when lugging,at low (1100-1400) rpm. If the terrain will allow 4th at 1800-2300 then 4th would be my choice.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:26 AM   #3
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Although mine is an automatic, if I run it much above 2000 rpm, the fuel mileage plummets. If you are on flat terrain, you have more than enough power to cruise in 5th gear. If you are running in hilly terrain, and you find it lugging down up the hills, then I would use 4th, if you don't like shifting.
If we take care of these old girls, they will outlast a lot of these fancy new units!
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakken View Post
Although mine is an automatic, if I run it much above 2000 rpm, the fuel mileage plummets. If you are on flat terrain, you have more than enough power to cruise in 5th gear. If you are running in hilly terrain, and you find it lugging down up the hills, then I would use 4th, if you don't like shifting.
If we take care of these old girls, they will outlast a lot of these fancy new units!
That is the truth !
The 03 f350 I left out in WY,was a 6.0 if it were the 7.3 I would still have it ! If I had a 7.3 that was still in relatively good shape,you would have to pry it from my cold dead hands ! So far the Ram with the cummins is as close as I will get to that longevity,we'll see !
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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People offer to buy my Powerstroke all the time. I always tell them I'd sell them my wife before I sold that truck.

I guess I need to slow my speed down a few mph and I would be more comfortable in 4th gear. I was averaging about 73 mph on my last trip from Atlanta to Chattanooga.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:54 AM   #6
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I like my 2012 F250 6.7 diesel. It has the Tow/haul mode and searchs for the correct gear on its own..if towing on flat roads.... it will go into 6th gear.. and.. i have got 15-16 mpg while towing a 10,300 lb 5th wheel
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:16 AM   #7
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7.3L was a damn good engine. Very reliable and proven to go a million miles with regular maintenance. I had an IDI 7.3 non-turbo in my '94 F350, and according to the owners manual, I could run 1/2 tank GASOLINE if need be. That's perty incredible but shows the durability of these engines. As the OP stated, use 4th gear if it's dogging, other than that 5th will be fine.
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