tow/haul - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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tow/haul

Not sure what or when the tow/haul button should be used when towing. Some explanation would help. I have a GVWR 10K 5ver I pull and have not used the button yet and haven't experienced any difficulty. I previously had a 96 F250 with 7.5L gasser and did use the tow button when facing a big hill so the truck would not drop in and out of its top gear (guess it was overdrive / automatic transmission). Should this tow/haul button be used all the time when towing? I got 12 mpg with a 50hp canned SCT X4 tow tune last time out.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by wiredgeorge View Post
Not sure what or when the tow/haul button should be used when towing. Some explanation would help. I have a GVWR 10K 5ver I pull and have not used the button yet and haven't experienced any difficulty. I previously had a 96 F250 with 7.5L gasser and did use the tow button when facing a big hill so the truck would not drop in and out of its top gear (guess it was overdrive / automatic transmission). Should this tow/haul button be used all the time when towing? I got 12 mpg with a 50hp canned SCT X4 tow tune last time out.
I have a custom SCT tow tune and using the tow switch causes the truck to do stupid shiit...hard out range shifts. I never use it unless in traffic with alot of stop lights to help with braking

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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I didn't set the jake brake option when setting up the tune. I used to drive a firetruck for the Mico VFD and the jake brake always kind of scared me with the noise hehe Too old for firefighting thankfully.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 07:17 AM
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I like the tow haul. Along with the php 40 hp tow tune, it let's the rpms go higher before shifting keeping the engine in the rpm band. Also gives additional engine braking for slowing thing down. It helps getting up to speed on the highway and climbing hills.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 07:38 AM
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I didn't set the jake brake option when setting up the tune. I used to drive a firetruck for the Mico VFD and the jake brake always kind of scared me with the noise hehe Too old for firefighting thankfully.
These trucks don't have jake brakes. Just basic exhaust braking like any other engine. Jake brakes hold the exhaust valves closed a little longer, the loud popping is the pressure of the exhaust gas leaving the cylinders - that system does not exist on these trucks.

That said, I use tow/haul a lot - it just makes the shifting more "aggressive" and firmer - It more mimics the way I would shift it if I had manual control of it.

Towing or not towing, who cares, its just a modified shifting strategy

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post #6 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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These trucks don't have jake brakes. Just basic exhaust braking like any other engine. Jake brakes hold the exhaust valves closed a little longer, the loud popping is the pressure of the exhaust gas leaving the cylinders - that system does not exist on these trucks.

That said, I use tow/haul a lot - it just makes the shifting more "aggressive" and firmer - It more mimics the way I would shift it if I had manual control of it.

Towing or not towing, who cares, its just a modified shifting strategy
The 50HP tow tune supplied by SCT X4 has a jake brake option... must be a software thing? It has been awhile since I applied the tow tune but I definitely remember that as an option along with a zillion other things; mostly tire size and a tranny shifting option for a more aggressive shifting set up in conjunction with the tow tune. There were other options I can't recall. Here you go:

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 05:01 PM
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You are confusing a jake brake with exhaust braking. Its an understandable mix up, common to be honest, but not able to be added with a tune. "Jake" is short for Jacobs Engine Brake.

Explanation; There is a significant difference in the "exhasut" braking of a gas engine, "that you feel" because a gas engine has a throttle plate to prevent air from being sucked into the engine in off throttle conditions. A diesel does not. I know there are some 6.0 PSD's that do have a plate which is part of the EGR system that could be utilized, but the engine brakes that are being added today are actually on the exhaust line, a baffle that holds air in the engine in off throttle conditions.

A jake brake is a completely different system. Its a mechanical addition to the valvetrain which opens valves in off throttle conditions right before the compressed air of a stroke would spring the piston back (ignition stroke). I've heard it explained that it will hold exhaust valve closed for the exhaust stoke and open right before springing the piston back. Honestly, either way has the popping effect. The system was designed because there are not throttle plates to prevent a diesel from building compression, and even with minimal fuel, the compression still pushes the piston back, not offering any great braking force, and actually introduce some momentum. Allowing the compression (resistance) and releasing it right before it springs the piston back, thus you've created a resistance or braking effect. This can only be achieved by altering the valves/cam.

Jacobs is a brand name, and the systems or not installed on SuperDuty engines (or any pickups really that I've ever heard). Its not to be confused with exhaust braking, they are different functions trying to achieve a similar goal. The Jacobs system is a valvetrain mechanical system, highly effective. You cannot add it with a tune. Exhaust braking is minimally effective when compared to a jake brake.
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Last edited by SixStringMadness; 08-07-2019 at 05:21 PM. Reason: added clarification
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Best tell SCT that they should quit calling the option "jake brake" then. Just pointing out that it IS an option when setting up using their tuner and tunes.

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-07-2019, 10:04 PM
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From my experience (and what I've read) in addition to changing the shift points, it also down shifts when you tap on the brake pedal. Very helpful when towing downhill.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-08-2019, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Original question was how tow/haul was used by folks pulling, in my case a 10K lbs 5ver. Thoughts on tow/haul?

2006 Ford F-350 6.0L Auto CC 4WD LB
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