Towing: how hard is too hard to drive it? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:09 PM
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Towing: how hard is too hard to drive it?

being new to Diesels in general i don't really know what these engines can take.

I come from high reving GM gassers as a past, so bear with me.

When towing a week or two ago, my bone stock 7.3 towed great except on hills. (2000 7.3 with 6 speed) i was towing my off road blazer, which at a guess is around 6k, plus trailer so probably around 7500-8k total weight. On the hills here in KY, running interstate speeds (70) 6th gear did not have the balls to keep speed, but 5th gear put me over 3k RPMS. but allowed me to at least hold my speed. The question is, can she take? would a good towing tune allow me to keep speed towing this weight in 6th?

i am used to driving gassers, and knew i could hold my old 5.3 near redline without issue, but don't want to drive my diesel that hard if it will harm it. i mean, towing the same weight i could hold speed with my old half ton truck, granted it would downshift to 3rd, sometimes even 2nd, but still would do it. I was just expecting more oomph from the truck than what i am getting i guess.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:02 PM
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Probably could run 3k and be ok. I would add some power though. I also have a 6sp and there is a big gap from 5th to 6th. I just got an edge evolution that has 3 power levels, 60,80 and 100 hp. It also is a set of gauges including pyrometer and comes with a dash pod. All for 360 from extreme diesel. I installed the 80 tune and it really woke the truck up. The next items on the list are the new WW2 and a turbo master waste gate controller from Dieselsite. For under $800 I think I'll have a pretty good towing truck.

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:09 PM
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yeah, there is a huge (28%) change from 5th to 6th.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:10 PM
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Another option would be a set of 35" tires to lower rpm's in 5th but could tender 6th useless in hilly terrain or go smaller to help with 6th. But I think you will still want some additional power.

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Old 04-20-2013, 07:22 PM
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In mine, 7.3, 2000, 4.10 rear diff, dually, 4speed auto, I could run 70-75MPH (2250-2500RPM) pulling a 11.5k fifth wheel with no issues at all. Not super hilly though.
You want 2000-2500RPM or so. After that, your torque drops off all due to fuel pressure, injector control pressure, and turbo exhaust housing size.
If you're having to do 3000RPM you might have boost/pre turbo exhaust leaks, or other problems.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
In mine, 7.3, 2000, 4.10 rear diff, dually, 4speed auto, I could run 70-75MPH (2250-2500RPM) pulling a 11.5k fifth wheel with no issues at all. Not super hilly though.
You want 2000-2500RPM or so. After that, your torque drops off all due to fuel pressure, injector control pressure, and turbo exhaust housing size.
If you're having to do 3000RPM you might have boost/pre turbo exhaust leaks, or other problems.
mine is a 2000 dually with 4.10 gears. in 6th i am just over 2000 RPM at 70. most of the time it will hack it, but on some hills here is when it either lost speed on the hills or i had to down shift to maintain speed. It is pretty hilly in this area.

there may be an issue with the truck, but i can't say for sure. i don't know how it should drive, to know whether it is correct or not. as far as i know it runs great but being it is the only 7.3 i have ever driven, i have nothing to compare it with.

the only comparison i have is to my friends 2001 cummins HO, towing a similar load on the same interstate never required a down shift, but it could not hold 70 either, but did not loose quite as much speed as i did.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:13 AM
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In stock form the 7.3 is a slug. You're going to have to tweak it.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:51 AM
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the issue with the truck is 6th gear is a highway crusing gear...not a pulling gear. I would not blink a eye if u need to drop a gear on a hill. Heck my 2005 drops a gear pullin its own weight up some of our passes around here.
Even the big rigs gotta drop gears.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:11 AM
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The biggest question is why are you attempting to pull an incline in 6th gear. The manual equivalent of overdrive
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
The biggest question is why are you attempting to pull an incline in 6th gear. The manual equivalent of overdrive
i am fully aware it is an over drive gear. the question is will it take the higher RPM's in 5th? if so, and i have nothing to worry about then great, i just did want to damage anything by running high RPM's for a somewhat extended period of time. i'm not afraid to drop a gear, but the 7.3 is an unfamiliar engine to me. as i said before, i would not think twice at running my old gas engine chevy near redline, i knew it could handle it and it did often.

It is my thought process it has a rev limiter for a reason, i;m not afraid to use it but i know some engines simply won't take it.

so basic consensus is, the 7l.3 will take 3k RPMs while towing like a champ? if so, great. that is all i needed to hear.
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