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Old 03-28-2016, 05:23 PM   #1
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Overdrive or NO Overdrive

I've heard a lot of different opinions on whether to tow with the overdrive on or off. With so many different types of transmissions out there it might be possible to tow in overdrive. I have a 4 speed auto with overdrive and I find myself turning off the overdrive and just traveling slower, around 65mph.

How do your guys tow? Are the new transmissions today stronger and capable of towing in overdrive?
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:40 PM   #2
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Back when I had a 3+OD in my 2000 F350, I would take it out of OD in the mountains, but otherwise I used it on the highway. I had 4.10 gears so it was just hard not to use OD at 65.

I will say, it was the transmission that let go first in that truck, but I was beyond it's actual tow rating.

I think all of the big three new ones are a 6 sp tow haul type transmission that just does it's own thing. I don't really have an overdrive that I can pick or choose anymore.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:54 PM   #3
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I have the 3.73 gears, wishing they were the 4.10's. On the flat and not bucking a head wind I can us OD but most of the time the OD is off. Sure bumps the RPM's up though.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:12 PM   #4
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I think the key is to take it out of OD if it starts shifting in and out of OD continuously. As I understand it is the shifting that creates the heat and wear.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:23 PM   #5
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Is overdrive the same as pressing the towing button on my government built GMC?
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:28 PM   #6
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On our F450 the tow mode only changes the shift points for up shifting and down shifting still runs through all gears no OD. As I understand it that is how the newer transmissions work. My previous 2005 F350 you put it D when towing and it only used the lower gears use to drive me crazy to hear the engine reved higher all the time. But then I like to be 68-72MPH on the interstate.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:32 PM   #7
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Which button do I press or gear to use to get 12MPG like everyone else?
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:38 PM   #8
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I have the 3.73 gears, wishing they were the 4.10's. On the flat and not bucking a head wind I can us OD but most of the time the OD is off. Sure bumps the RPM's up though.

I have the 6 spd with 3.73 on my 2011 RAM. I will town in OD up to the point where the hills start causing the transmission to be shifting up and down. Then I will shift down into 5th gear and leave it there until the road levels out again. I actually find no difference in fuel consumption while driving in 5th gear.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:21 PM   #9
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I run in 6th on the level and when starting to climb in the mountains I drop to 5th. Seems to help keep rpm stabler. I use tow haul when loaded. With 373 I run around 1750 rpm at 68mph
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:35 PM   #10
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I think the new transmissions can handle the load. As Brad said, if the transmission wants to shift too much, you should lock over drive out. I used to set my cruise and let the the transmission and diesel work together unless I was descending a long steep grade. In my F350 I found more of an issue at slow speeds while towing and having third and second gear shifting back and fourth too much
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:26 AM   #11
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I have had three GMCs and now a Ram 3500. All have been with 3.73 rear ratio. Mileage has been around 8.5 to 10.5 towing. The 10.5 is the Ram. All the trucks I would use cruise control as much as possible and let the truck do what it was designed to do. If the transmission starts searching, then you should manually down shift and hold until upshifting allows. This has always worked for me without any transmission heatup. Tom
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:59 AM   #12
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My GMC gets 8.5-11 mpg at 68-72mph depending on terrain with it set in tow/haul with cruise & exhaust brake set. I set the cruise & let the truck do the work. Yes I could probably get 12+mpg if I wanted to drive 50-55mph, but I don't & the truck has a sweet spot at about 1700rpm which is 68-72mph.
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:10 AM   #13
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Which button do I press or gear to use to get 12MPG like everyone else?
There is a very small button to the left of your AC vent that says "Wishful Thinking"

Steve
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:31 AM   #14
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65mph seems to be the right speed for performance , mileage. andnd comfort. The rpm s around 1700 to 1800. Tom
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:26 AM   #15
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65mph seems to be the right speed for performance , mileage. andnd comfort. The rpm s around 1700 to 1800. Tom

Yea, I like 65mph too. Just a comfortable speed for me.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:46 AM   #16
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Start the Truck, engage Exhaust Brake and Tow Haul Mode, place in "D" and go.
These new truck are smarter than me so I let it do it's thing.
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:48 AM   #17
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There is a very small button to the left of your AC vent that says "Wishful Thinking"

Steve
The only button by the AC says "Flux Capacitor Engage" but I'll keep looking.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:50 AM   #18
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I personally wouldn't worry a whole bunch about 1 or 2 mpg. If that was going to bite into the budget too much you shouldn't be pulling a 16000 lb trailer.

Remember the old days where we had 454 gas motors and 4 barrel carburetors. Without pulling the trailers we'd get 11 mpg if the spark plugs were clean and the points were filed. Once we hooked up to a trailer, we couldn't pass a gas station on a bet. I had a nick name for my truck that was less than lady like, because it backed up to every gas pump it could find
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:32 AM   #19
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I personally wouldn't worry a whole bunch about 1 or 2 mpg. If that was going to bite into the budget too much you shouldn't be pulling a 16000 lb trailer.

Remember the old days where we had 454 gas motors and 4 barrel carburetors. Without pulling the trailers we'd get 11 mpg if the spark plugs were clean and the points were filed. Once we hooked up to a trailer, we couldn't pass a gas station on a bet. I had a nick name for my truck that was less than lady like, because it backed up to every gas pump it could find
None of my vehicles in the past ever got much better the 15. I like big engines. Also, Oil and Gas is a big part of my business so I do try to do my part and use as much as possible.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:34 AM   #20
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I personally wouldn't worry a whole bunch about 1 or 2 mpg. If that was going to bite into the budget too much you shouldn't be pulling a 16000 lb trailer.

Remember the old days where we had 454 gas motors and 4 barrel carburetors. Without pulling the trailers we'd get 11 mpg if the spark plugs were clean and the points were filed. Once we hooked up to a trailer, we couldn't pass a gas station on a bet. I had a nick name for my truck that was less than lady like, because it backed up to every gas pump it could find
Man that GM Camper Special with the 454 and 4.10s I had never really saw better than 6 - without or without anything on the back. That was before overdrive, but was still in the 55 mph days.
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