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Old 03-07-2020, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
KBYounger
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Mountain Driving while towing

First, I realize there may be no absolute answers for my questions. I am looking thoughts from person past experiences.

Last April we pulled our travel trailer (7000 pounds plus several hundred extra pounds of equipment) to Fayetteville, AR. We tow with an 06, crew cab, 8 ft.bed, 4 wheel drive, with around 350,000 miles on it now. The towing capacity for this truck is listed at 12,000 pounds.

Towing through mountains on interstate highways, the truck would slow down to 45 - 40 mph - if I did not force it to run harder. We were being pasted by other trucks (gas / diesels) pulling similar size rv's.

I watched the tranny temps go just above 200, and engine temps go just above 210. Of course things cooled off downhill. Since then I have pulled the pan off the tranny to change the internal filter and found the bottom of the pan fairly clean - there were no large, if any, build ups of materials in the bottom of the pan.

So, my question is, did I need to go so slowly? Would it have damaged the truck / tranny to "force" it to go faster? Is the tranny geared to handle such weights at higher speeds? How high can the tranny / engine temps run when pulling loads?

We are contemplating another trip to AR, but not under the above conditions. Sorry this is to long, just trying to provide as much info as possible. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks much - Kip

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Old 03-07-2020, 03:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thread relocated over to "Towing" for more appropriate answers to your questions



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Old 03-07-2020, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
davester
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If you haven't done it recently, given the mileage on the truck, you may want to clean the cooling stack, to improve it's ability to cool everything down.
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Old 03-07-2020, 11:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Davester may be on to something

The short version is that leaves, pine needles and all kinds of other stuff that you expect to find on the shore of a river can get stuck between the intercooler and the radiator, and it blocks air flow to everything. That's what's considered the cooling stack. If you can get them apart and clean all the gunk out you may have a lot better air flow, which will allow the tranny cooler to function better, the radiator to function better, and your intercooler to function better. you can search 'cleaning the cooling stack' on here and find a couple good threads about how to do it.

Do you park the truck outside?

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Old 03-09-2020, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the help thus far. I did clean the cooling stack prior to our trip. I sprayed diluted Purple Power into the front of the stack, waited and rinsed. It did clean out a lot of dirt. I removed the front grill and top piece to do this.

Yes, the truck sets outside, so I am mindful of falling leaves and such...

My greatest concern was it's slowing to about 45 up inclines. I was reluctant to "force" it to go faster, for concern of over doing it, and causing some type of damage, that would leave me on the side of the road.

Several YouTube people have mentioned dropping the truck into the next lowest gear. I use the tow mode of course, and have always left it in Drive - dropping it into a lower gear doesn't seem to make sense. Seems the tranny should know what to do on its own. Thanks - Kip
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Old 03-09-2020, 12:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your truck has self-protect mode. If anything gets too hot it'll derate the power output and restrict the transmission to lower gears. IIRC, the fan doesn't even come on until 225*. Use tow-haul. Let the truck do it's thing. If you don't like the tranny temps, get an auxiliary transmission cooler. Tons on here about that.

Allison 1000:

The*2004.5-2010 LLY, LBZ, & LMM:*These transmission will run a higher normal operating temperature than the LB7 models. Normal operating temps will range from 180-200 approx. 100 degrees above ambient air temps. These transmissions will run from 200-230 in the summer months when towing in hilly areas. These temps are normal and will not hurt the transmission. If you are seeing temps above 235 degrees on a regular basis you should check your fluid level. Fluid levels to high may cause excessive temperature. Higher mileage transmissions or trucks using aftermarket tuners with increased power may be experiencing converter slippage and will see increased heat.

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Old 03-10-2020, 11:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can see in my signature that I've addressed a similar issue. Run the deep pan and extra fluid. It's not just the extra fluid, but you can run the fluid lower and keep it out of the moving parts, where it additionally heats up. Get a Mike L cooler. Run a TES 285 fluid, which will allow you to run at 220 all day. But 210 is not hot. Make sure license plat is not positioned to block air intake. You can also invert trans fluid cooler. Search DP for these issues. A lot has been written. BTW, running too slow (below about 30 mph) prevents trans lock up and makes for fluid heating. Newer Allisons have addressed the heating issue. And Roswell is correct, fluid level too high will cause heating.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When checking the tranny fluid, make sure its at operating temp in gear and near the bottom of the hash marks.
Check the radiator inlet line connection from the tranny. See if any debris is blocking the inlet. Take an infrared laser gun and check the temps on the tranny cooler pre and post.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
KBYounger
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Thanks so much for the help. I'll check the fluid level in the tranny - I am pretty sure it is higher than the bottom hash marks. I'll clean out the cooling stack again and look into an extra tranny cooler. Thanks again - Kip
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBYounger View Post
Thanks so much for the help. I'll check the fluid level in the tranny - I am pretty sure it is higher than the bottom hash marks. I'll clean out the cooling stack again and look into an extra tranny cooler. Thanks again - Kip
If I actually towed more I'd have the Mike L cooler, the deep pan, and maybe a Transgo Jr. Known commodities.

Best of luck,

Roswell

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