Aggressive downshifts in tow haul

thevol

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Towing my 8k camper in the mountains and my 7.3 gets really agressive with downshifting in tow haul on steep downhills. I appreciate the engine braking but dont need 4k+ rpms when im easing on the brakes. Any way to adjust this? I went to manual mode to keep it under control and all was well, just wish it would be a little milder with the engine braking. Maybe 8k is too light for tow haul and need to just run normal mode. It did excellent otherwise, plenty of power coming from a 5.9 cummins 24v.
 
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thevol

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Ok so on the way home from camping I just used normal mode for descending the mountain and locked out the upper gears to control the engine braking. That worked fine but wish I could figure out this tow haul engine braking issue, its just way too aggressive. I tried it again just to make sure and it scared me on a downshift, almost redlining the motor, just no reason for that. I do think I had the gain on the trailer brakes a little high so I dropped that down after I got off the mountain, not sure if that would have helped or not. Has no one with a 7.3 had this experience in tow/haul? Seems like a borderline safety issue to me. I assumed tow haul would be better for the transmission but not if this is how its programmed.
 

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Ok so on the way home from camping I just used normal mode for descending the mountain and locked out the upper gears to control the engine braking. That worked fine but wish I could figure out this tow haul engine braking issue, its just way too aggressive. I tried it again just to make sure and it scared me on a downshift, almost redlining the motor, just no reason for that. I do think I had the gain on the trailer brakes a little high so I dropped that down after I got off the mountain, not sure if that would have helped or not. Has no one with a 7.3 had this experience in tow/haul? Seems like a borderline safety issue to me. I assumed tow haul would be better for the transmission but not if this is how its programmed.
I thought the trucks were designed to operate near redline...I saw TFL doing a video where they drove it near redline, although going uphill. Apparently it's just how it is it?
 
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thevol

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I thought the trucks were designed to operate near redline...I saw TFL doing a video where they drove it near redline, although going uphill. Apparently it's just how it is it?
Yeah maybe it wont hurt it but it sounds like its about to throw a rod. Ive never had the truck much over 4k rpm as it tows so good at low rpms there is just no need. Dunno, just want to make sure this is what its supposed to do and if there is any way to tame it down. I will say other than that I was very impressed with everything about the truck, well except mpg, but that is expected towing in the mountains. I would say this trip takes about 25% more fuel in my 7.3 Tremor than my 5.9 Cummins Ram did, but that is about the difference in price between gas and diesel so its a wash. The 10 speed is incredible pulling in the hills, always seems to have the right gear to keep it in the sweet spot.
 

Grabber

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Perfectly normal. Today's modern engines are designed to rev, so you should not have a problem. Just make sure you change the oil and maintain it and it will last a long time.
 

TxTremor

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Yeah maybe it wont hurt it but it sounds like its about to throw a rod. Ive never had the truck much over 4k rpm as it tows so good at low rpms there is just no need. Dunno, just want to make sure this is what its supposed to do and if there is any way to tame it down. I will say other than that I was very impressed with everything about the truck, well except mpg, but that is expected towing in the mountains. I would say this trip takes about 25% more fuel in my 7.3 Tremor than my 5.9 Cummins Ram did, but that is about the difference in price between gas and diesel so its a wash. The 10 speed is incredible pulling in the hills, always seems to have the right gear to keep it in the sweet spot.
I am currently waiting for my Tremor to be built but wondering, how was the mileage towing your trailer? I also went with the 7.3 and will be occasionally towing around 7K so curious how yours did. Thanks
 
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thevol

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I am currently waiting for my Tremor to be built but wondering, how was the mileage towing your trailer? I also went with the 7.3 and will be occasionally towing around 7K so curious how yours did. Thanks
Computer said 7.5mpg. This was 100 mile roundtrip climbing around 2500ft and back down, very curvy road 25-40mph with no straightaways, basically a death blow to mpg. I also have 1k miles on the truck so still breaking in. I think on flat ground to beach or something it will be 10-11mpg.
 

bo1966

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8 k is pretty light to have it in tow/haul mode. I haven't pulled wirh mine yet but went to Colorado to do some fishing with a friend. His trailer is 10k and he left it in normal or ECO and it was just fine. I actually drove back so they could sleep and did the same thing he did. It eats gas but never needed tow mode and we went up and down some pretty steep grades
 
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thevol

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8 k is pretty light to have it in tow/haul mode. I haven't pulled wirh mine yet but went to Colorado to do some fishing with a friend. His trailer is 10k and he left it in normal or ECO and it was just fine. I actually drove back so they could sleep and did the same thing he did. It eats gas but never needed tow mode and we went up and down some pretty steep grades
I think you are right. Tow haul must be meant for 15k or something the way it acts. It seems to work fine on level or moderate rolling hills but not useable on steep grades with under 10k, at least for me. I am not sure if the trailer brake gain setting affects engine braking, will experiment with that next trip on labor day weekend.
 

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Were you using the Exhaust Brake function as well?? EB and TH used together tend to be really aggressive. Try using the EB alone next time out.
 
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thevol

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Were you using the Exhaust Brake function as well?? EB and TH used together tend to be really aggressive. Try using the EB alone next time out.
This is a 7.3 gasser, no EB
 

2020Tremor

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Towing my 8k camper in the mountains and my 7.3 gets really agressive with downshifting in tow haul on steep downhills. I appreciate the engine braking but dont need 4k+ rpms when im easing on the brakes. Any way to adjust this? I went to manual mode to keep it under control and all was well, just wish it would be a little milder with the engine braking. Maybe 8k is too light for tow haul and need to just run normal mode. It did excellent otherwise, plenty of power coming from a 5.9 cummins 24v.
It will be a little adjustment for you coming from a Diesel, gas engines rev a lot more. Ford lists max HP # at 5500 RPM and peak torque is at 4000. Gas engines are designed to run higher RPM and are not hurting it. I am coming from a 8.1L GM that’s over 4K a lot and has 160K miles and still running strong. I just got back from a camping trip and liked the tow haul mode for my 7500 LB cargo. The down shifting was to my liking and didn’t get more aggressive until pressing harder on the breaks. It did a great job keeping the trailer under check at 50 to 70 MPH coming down the steep grades, 8% was the worst I saw. My climb was also around a 2500 Ft elevation gain. Quite a bit of up and down with a big pass at the beginning of the trip. I was shocked at the mileage the other way according to the computer got 7.8 up in very high head winds and a very long idle time. Got much better on the way home at 9.5 on the way back. The 8.1L with the same load was only getting 6.5. Very happy with a 2mpg gain. Was not expecting diesel mileage but surprised at how close it was to my friends old 14 6.7L Which if lucky pulling my cargo would break 10.
 

2020Rona

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It will be a little adjustment for you coming from a Diesel, gas engines rev a lot more. Ford lists max HP # at 5500 RPM and peak torque is at 4000. Gas engines are designed to run higher RPM and are not hurting it. I am coming from a 8.1L GM that’s over 4K a lot and has 160K miles and still running strong. I just got back from a camping trip and liked the tow haul mode for my 7500 LB cargo. The down shifting was to my liking and didn’t get more aggressive until pressing harder on the breaks. It did a great job keeping the trailer under check at 50 to 70 MPH coming down the steep grades, 8% was the worst I saw. My climb was also around a 2500 Ft elevation gain. Quite a bit of up and down with a big pass at the beginning of the trip. I was shocked at the mileage the other way according to the computer got 7.8 up in very high head winds and a very long idle time. Got much better on the way home at 9.5 on the way back. The 8.1L with the same load was only getting 6.5. Very happy with a 2mpg gain. Was not expecting diesel mileage but surprised at how close it was to my friends old 14 6.7L Which if lucky pulling my cargo would break 10.
I miss my 8.1 with the Alison trans, but my new 7.3 sound great, and seems to compare pretty good.
 
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thevol

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It will be a little adjustment for you coming from a Diesel, gas engines rev a lot more. Ford lists max HP # at 5500 RPM and peak torque is at 4000. Gas engines are designed to run higher RPM and are not hurting it. I am coming from a 8.1L GM that’s over 4K a lot and has 160K miles and still running strong. I just got back from a camping trip and liked the tow haul mode for my 7500 LB cargo. The down shifting was to my liking and didn’t get more aggressive until pressing harder on the breaks. It did a great job keeping the trailer under check at 50 to 70 MPH coming down the steep grades, 8% was the worst I saw. My climb was also around a 2500 Ft elevation gain. Quite a bit of up and down with a big pass at the beginning of the trip. I was shocked at the mileage the other way according to the computer got 7.8 up in very high head winds and a very long idle time. Got much better on the way home at 9.5 on the way back. The 8.1L with the same load was only getting 6.5. Very happy with a 2mpg gain. Was not expecting diesel mileage but surprised at how close it was to my friends old 14 6.7L Which if lucky pulling my cargo would break 10.
Thank you this is good info. What did you have the trailer brake gain set to, mine was at 7 initially and I dropped it to 5. Your load is very similar to mine it sounds like. On the steep downhills what RPM were you seeing when it was trying to slow you down with engine braking? I am trying to figure out how it determines when to engine brake and maybe I can adjust my driving style. Does it count the number of brake applications or how far you press the brake pedal, accelerometer maybe? I guess my biggest issue is that I could do a much better job in manual or normal w/lockout without a hi revving engine and basically never using the brakes. When I let tow haul do its thing it would almost immediately goto 4-5k rpm after pressing the brake 1 time and not want to upshift even when I tried to accelerate making the motor scream for no reason. My wife was even asking what is wrong with the truck...
 

2020Tremor

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Thank you this is good info. What did you have the trailer brake gain set to, mine was at 7 initially and I dropped it to 5. Your load is very similar to mine it sounds like. On the steep downhills what RPM were you seeing when it was trying to slow you down with engine braking? I am trying to figure out how it determines when to engine brake and maybe I can adjust my driving style. Does it count the number of brake applications or how far you press the brake pedal, accelerometer maybe? I guess my biggest issue is that I could do a much better job in manual or normal w/lockout without a hi revving engine and basically never using the brakes. When I let tow haul do its thing it would almost immediately goto 4-5k rpm after pressing the brake 1 time and not want to upshift even when I tried to accelerate making the motor scream for no reason. My wife was even asking what is wrong with the truck...
My gain was at 7 but am probably due to check trailer break adjustment. I would ease on the breaks when picking up too much speed and would down shift and rev to 4000 or less. Hit 4500 on the steepest grades where more breaking was required but no issues with it up shifting at high RPM when accelerating after the corners going down hill. I was going to try manual but tow haul was working well for me so just let it do it’s thing.

That is a good question on how it decides its shift strategies, not sure but curious now. I wonder if speed has something to do with it as well since I was running faster between 50 and 70 depending on the corners.
 

bo1966

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I think you are right. Tow haul must be meant for 15k or something the way it acts. It seems to work fine on level or moderate rolling hills but not useable on steep grades with under 10k, at least for me. I am not sure if the trailer brake gain setting affects engine braking, will experiment with that next trip on labor day weekend.
It doesn't. It only effects the amount of brake applied to the trailer itself
 

bo1966

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been reading all this info. I stated in one thread that you're not pulling enough to justify using tow mode. Everything I've read keeps verifying this.
 
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thevol

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been reading all this info. I stated in one thread that you're not pulling enough to justify using tow mode. Everything I've read keeps verifying this.
Maybe so, you would think the system would be smart enough to detect that but guess not. The trailer brake gain may not directly affect the engine braking programming but it may indirectly affect it by how quickly it slows the combined weight with a given pedal input, but I will experiment with it and see next trip. I have always heard tow/haul is easier on the clutch packs in the trans by shifting quicker thats why I want to use it.
 

jhblaze1

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Perfectly normal. Today's modern engines are designed to rev, so you should not have a problem. Just make sure you change the oil and maintain it and it will last a long time.
this, plus they have rev limiters....the computer isn't going to let the truck rev till the engine falls apart.
 

Jman1428

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mine downshifted to redline a couple times when towing 10k-11k, it seemed to happen when I pressed the brake pedal farther down and also more sharply. It suprised me and like you, I did not like the rpm's up near redline. my solution was to just drop the gears down manually and be easy on the brake pedal, staying in tow/haul mode. I would also give the brakes a jab when I wanted the transmission to drop a couple gears ( so I wasnt mr. brake happy.)

maybe easing onto the brakes more may keep from the aggresive downshifts, I'd assume that stomping on the brakes with any weight trailer in tow/haul mode would take it up to redline?
 
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