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Best Temps & RPM range for driving up mountains with 8 speed tranny? (Read 506 times)
May 12th, 2018 at 3:40am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Two questions?

1.  What is the best RPM range for driving in the mountains with an 8 speed tranny with 5.7 Hemi?  I'm going to Mt Rainier Paradise around noon today and it's fairly steep and I've read where a 8 speed tranny can overheat going back n forth too much, so I think manually shifting would be best, so what is a good RPM range for that, like what is too low/lugging and what is too high/rpms? I want to get use to driving this before towing my 6,000 lb trailer this summer. Or is it OK to just let the auto shift itself?

2. Are these temps normal? When I drove on the flat stretch I-5 to Salem two weeks ago in 62 degrees rainy weather, I got these readings? Is that normal for a 2014 Ram with 8 speed tranny with a 395 hp / 410 torque 5.7 Hemi?
« Last Edit: May 12th, 2018 at 3:55am by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #1 - May 12th, 2018 at 7:19am

68-73-77   Offline
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All the temps look normal to me. My Ava has a towing mode which increase line pressure in the trans & raises the shift points. You can do the same thing by installing a PERFORMANCE CHIP & PROGRAMMER.  I have used these since 2003...it does increase hp & tq plus takes the slippage out of the trans shifting. Just take it easy & keep an eye on your trans temp..I would also suggest flushing your trans when you get back & change the trans filter. They have flushing systems that get all the old fluid out & replace with new right from the radiator. takes about 1 hr & is much better than draining because on almost all cars you can't get all the old oil out of the converter.
Have a good time, don't forget to take your camera Roll Eyes
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #2 - May 14th, 2018 at 4:55am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Well, I manually shifted the tranny going up to Mt Rainier Paradise. I kept the gears in the 3,000-4,000 RPM range and the cooling temps were actually a bit lower than when I let the auto do in on the flat I-5 freeway. I didn't take pics of the gauges this time as I wanted to keep my eyes on the road going up that steep windy road to Paradise. LOL.

I will do the tranny flush and add a performance chip before I tow my trailer.

Thanks Alan for reminding me to take my camera.  Grin
Here are some pics. We took Iryn's niece up with us.
« Last Edit: May 14th, 2018 at 5:06am by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #3 - May 15th, 2018 at 6:15pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Alan, over on the Keystone forum in the towing section I got a lot of responses such as these two:

Didn't know about this feature, the "Tow/Haul". I may not need to manually shift:
Quote:
Pulled our TT (loaded at 7000#) with 5.7 hemi/8 speed 1500 for several thousand miles over many mountains and flat land and the trans temp never went over 170 degrees. Always towed in tow/haul mode. Only used manual shift on long downhill stretches. Never used cruise for towing. Truck had 60,000 miles on it when traded in and no issues. The 8 speed trans will find it's sweet spot. YMMV


TOW/HAUL
Quote:
When to Use TOW/HAUL Mode
When driving in hilly areas, towing a trailer, carrying a heavy load, etc., and frequent transmission shifting occurs, press the TOW/HAUL switch to activate TOW/HAUL mode.

This will improve performance and reduce the potential for transmission overheating or failure due to excessive shifting.


.
« Last Edit: May 15th, 2018 at 6:22pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #4 - May 16th, 2018 at 4:06am

68-73-77   Offline
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I have the tow button on my AVA but wasn't sure about the Dodge. This does increase the line pressure & change the shift points. I use it on hills or traffic. But a performance tune increases hp & tq around 10-15% & ups the trans line pressure so the trans doesn't slip when it shifts..sorts bangs into gear like the old shift kit did.
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #5 - May 18th, 2018 at 6:07am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Also got this from a member:
Quote:
On a diesel engines tuners/programmers can make ridulous amounts of up/torque & most of the engines can handle it, not so much the transmissions. On gas engines I seriously doubt you would notice enough difference to justify the price. Yes you can add cold air intakes, free flowing exhaust for fun, but again won't notice much if any benefit. Personally WOULD NOT tune my diesel or gasser.
As for a tranny flush, NO, drop the pan change the internal filter if it needs it (check manual for trans filter change intervals) at a Dodge dealer or transmission shop, not some quick oil change place, flushing just moves the crap around.
These are my opinions! Been doing my own maintenance forever, now to old to crawl around under them & don't enjoy it as much as when younger.


If I'm reading the manual correctly, it says not to do a chemical flush. Maybe the Rams 8 speeds are different? See page 709:
https://www.ramtrucks.com/download/pdf/manuals/2014-RAM_15_25_35-OM-3rd.pdf
Quote:
Do not use chemical flushes in your transmission as
the chemicals can damage your transmission components.
Such damage is not covered by the New
Vehicle Limited Warranty.


and page 712:
Quote:
Fluid And Filter Changes — Eight-Speed
Transmission
Under normal operating conditions, the fluid installed at
the factory will provide satisfactory lubrication for the
life of the vehicle.
Routine fluid and filter changes are not required. However
change the fluid and filter if the fluid becomes
contaminated (with water, etc.), or if the transmission is
disassembled for any reason.


Says same thing on page 755 for maintenance schedules
 

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Reply #6 - May 18th, 2018 at 8:11am

68-73-77   Offline
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I'd ask some good local mechanics what they think because in my mind when you tow it puts a big strain on the trans & heat is the number one destroyer of transmissions. Manufactures today don't make anything to last everything has a life cycle & is designed to ware out.  Look at your trans oil & do the sniff test & compare it to new oil.
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #7 - May 28th, 2018 at 4:25am

yellowjacket   Offline
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I'm ordering this today:
https://www.amazon.com/Equal-i-zer-4-point-Control-90-00-1000-rating/dp/B004TR8B...

Gonna try installing it myself and save $500 the RV place would charge me to install it, plus the 2 week waiting period. Hope I'm not making a mistake...

.
« Last Edit: May 28th, 2018 at 4:28am by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #8 - May 28th, 2018 at 5:30am

68-73-77   Offline
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Smart move, take  your time on level ground. You'll have it right when the bars are level & the trailer is level. You won't be sorry.
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #9 - May 28th, 2018 at 12:03pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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I'll be doing this on a huge flat Church lot that is empty durring the week. When done, I'll be practicing backing up as I'm not very good at it. That's because I've tent camped all my life until two years ago when I got the popup trailer. Only went camping maybe 8 times with that before deciding to upgrade to bigger trailer. So still lousy at backing up. The RV guy who brought our trailer to our house, (since I didn't have the truck yet) said the bigger trailer is easier to park than the shorter popup trailer. I don't see how, but hope it's true. I've got four orange cones, so I'll practice till I get it right.
 

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Reply #10 - May 28th, 2018 at 12:14pm

68-73-77   Offline
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He was correct dual axle trailers do not react as fast as a single axle trailer. Good way to learn is put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel & which ever way your hand goes so does the trailer.  Go slow & if the angle is wrong pull forward & do it again.  A trick I still use to back up in spaces or pull the cars on the trailer is to paint a 1" line where I want the outside of the trailer tire to be on the drivers side. This helped me back my boat into a garage with 1" to spare on either side. If you can't see to good use your bride  & hand signals. Veda was a big help many times when I had to back in when I was blind on one side like when you have to make a hard turn.
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #11 - May 30th, 2018 at 5:26am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Thanks for the tips Alan. Smiley I'll be installing the Equalizer 4 point WDH/sway system and practicing backing up the trailer in the big Church parking lot near our place June 10th. Will stay the night there too to test and use the trailer like we're camping too. We already have four different mountain lakes spots reserved for the summer. Can't wait for the Mt Adams/Takhlakh Lake weeklong vacation on our 20th anniversary vacation. After three years of trying I managed to get the BEST campsite of the place with best view of the lake/mountain. The first day I could reserve it, (six months out) I did like you do eBay, right at midnight to the second on Feb 11th nabbed it. I lost it the previous three years and settled for second best spot. Happy Days are here again!

This was last year there and the forest service bought many of those pics too:
http://1-4u-computer-graphics.com/MtAdams-TakhlakhLake-2017.htm
 

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Reply #12 - Jun 2nd, 2018 at 4:59am

yellowjacket   Offline
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Well, the Equalizer 4 point WDH/sway system came via UPS yesterday. Free shipping. Good thing as the two boxes were heavy, one weighed 94 lbs! Isn't that more added weight to the trailer? Anyways, like I said in previous post, I will install it next Saturday.
« Last Edit: Jun 2nd, 2018 at 6:33pm by yellowjacket »  

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Reply #13 - Jun 2nd, 2018 at 5:55am

68-73-77   Offline
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Most of the weight is the hitch & the bars...not on the trailer.
Alan Smiley
 
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Reply #14 - Jun 22nd, 2018 at 1:06pm

yellowjacket   Offline
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Going down in a few minutes to have a pro shop, best in town install my sway suspension. Might as well have it done right and bed safe, peace of mind. I didn't have big enough sockets for torquing the three big bolts anyways.
 

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