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Old 07-21-2021, 05:58 PM   #1
jasin1
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Towing at altitude with f150

Found this interesting…it was a test between a 3/4 ton Chevy vs f150 towing a mountain pass.
The f150 overheated …Ford said the max trailer weight needs to be reduced for every 1000 ft of elevation…and also Ford tests at 45 mph when deciding on how much a truck is rated to tow
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:51 AM   #2
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This wouldn’t be good scenario for anyone trying to tow through the mountains.
Just keep in mind if your shopping for tow vehicles and you plan on taking mountain routes.
Not trying to bash 1/2 ton trucks…I think they have there place as tow vehicles but they may not be the best option for mountain towing
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:08 AM   #3
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Altitude = Less horse power because of the less dense air carrying O2.

Under those circumstances only, the higher rater HP engine will win!
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:04 AM   #4
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In a normally aspirated engine (Not turbocharged or supercharged) the reduced air volume will cause the engine controls to deliver less fuel to maintain the air/fuel ratio. This lean fuel mix creats more heat. The anti knock sensors will reduce ipower even further to prevent detonation (us old folks remember engine "ping" under heavy load) from hlowing pistons apart.

Back before electronics, if you were too stupid to take your foot off the floorboard going up a long steep grade in high temps you went home in a tow truck and replaced the engine or vehichle. Today, the computer prevents people from the consequences of that action. Unfortunately people learn how to drive but do not learn how to operate a vehichle. IMHO these videos should not be surprising to anyone who "operates" and understands how their vehicles work. The "alarming information" will be news to those that beleive the sales pitch "it'll tow anything you hitch up to it".
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:26 AM   #5
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In a normally aspirated engine (Not turbocharged or supercharged) the reduced air volume will cause the engine controls to deliver less fuel to maintain the air/fuel ratio.
Yep, and even worse in those cases while under boost. ping, ping, ping boom .....
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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These videos support all the questions and doubts voiced on this and other forums about the continually escalating towing numbers for trucks that could/should be unrealistic. At the same time the manufacturers do their best to obfuscate the truth about what has been done to obtain/raise those numbers. As we seem to be seeing....nothing. They are just pulling numbers out of a hat to impress potential buyers and stay competitive with the other manufacturers to see who can pull out the biggest rabbit. Whether those numbers claims bear any resemblance to real life is immaterial to them and those that have no understanding of basic engine operations/requirements are going to get caught unaware, as we seem to see quite often. Hopefully tests such as these will generate pushback to the manufacturers and they can either straighten up their act or prove what they've done to substantiate the claimed numbers.
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Old 07-23-2021, 04:22 AM   #7
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Yep, and even worse in those cases while under boost. ping, ping, ping boom .....
Question, what is the reason that its worse with a turbocharged engine? Wife wants to take a trip "out west" .....whatever that means, and I will be changing tow vehicles in the near-er future so just trying to encapsulate all possibility's.

Are diesels with turbos any different than gassers in this regard?
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Old 07-23-2021, 04:47 AM   #8
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Question, what is the reason that its worse with a turbocharged engine? Wife wants to take a trip "out west" .....whatever that means, and I will be changing tow vehicles in the near-er future so just trying to encapsulate all possibility's.

Are diesels with turbos any different than gassers in this regard?
Well, I was referring more to "Detonation" (pinging) and the damage it can do to engines. Once you put that Cylinder under pressure (which is what a turbo/supercharger/NOS does), it increase the potential damage because it's under boost.

I never raced a Diesel before but I suspect they will take more because of it's longer stroke. Not entirely sure about that though.

All this being said, as earlier stated - with NEW trucks and the computers .... as soon as they hit the "Knock sensors", they change fuel and pull timing to prevent detonation. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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Old 07-23-2021, 05:41 AM   #9
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Well, I was referring more to "Detonation" (pinging) and the damage it can do to engines. Once you put that Cylinder under pressure (which is what a turbo/supercharger/NOS does), it increase the potential damage because it's under boost.

I never raced a Diesel before but I suspect they will take more because of it's longer stroke. Not entirely sure about that though.

All this being said, as earlier stated - with NEW trucks and the computers .... as soon as they hit the "Knock sensors", they change fuel and pull timing to prevent detonation. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Ok thank you. I tend to overthink things lol. This last trip we went though some mountains, but it was pigeon forge area, so probably not the same type of elevation thing. Of course the truck is the v8 not the turbo and I just set the cruise and let it do its thing and it was fine. I did see a number of people struggling with what I think were also v8 engines, most notably the gm products, but maybe they were v6 or something and they just look the same? They looked like newer trucks too, but I don't know exactly what weight they were trying to pull either. I just noticed them stopped with hoods up in rest areas and such.
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Old 07-23-2021, 05:55 AM   #10
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Yeah, it's weird how some vehicles unexpectedly perform better.

I spoke to guy last weekend who just moved full time into our park. He hauled his 30' travel trailer from Calgary to North of Toronto. He pulled it with a Ford f-150 Eco Boost. He use to pull it with an F250 and says the 6 cylinder pulls it better than the F250 did. I find it hard to believe but at the same time I don't think he was fibbing. He said it's rated for 9500 but that it will pull 12,500 comfortably - even through the mountains.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:30 AM   #11
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"it will pull 12,500 comfortably - even through the mountains."Did just a little doubt not tickle that back of your brain when he said this? The same kind of tickle that comes along after the third Labatt has disappeared and the guys are talking MPG around the campfire? I felt it and I wasn't even there.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:50 AM   #12
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"it will pull 12,500 comfortably - even through the mountains."Did just a little doubt not tickle that back of your brain when he said this? The same kind of tickle that comes along after the third Labatt has disappeared and the guys are talking MPG around the campfire? I felt it and I wasn't even there.
LOL, right? You have that eco boost outpowered by about 7000 pony expresses
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:52 AM   #13
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Yeah, it's weird how some vehicles unexpectedly perform better.

I spoke to guy last weekend who just moved full time into our park. He hauled his 30' travel trailer from Calgary to North of Toronto. He pulled it with a Ford f-150 Eco Boost. He use to pull it with an F250 and says the 6 cylinder pulls it better than the F250 did. I find it hard to believe but at the same time I don't think he was fibbing. He said it's rated for 9500 but that it will pull 12,500 comfortably - even through the mountains.
Without knowing anything about his F250, if it was a 2005-2009 with the "base engine/driveline" (5.4l with a 5 speed transmission) and a 3.55 or taller rear gearing, it's not surprising that it was anything but a "towing beast". Those trucks were typically "XL models with no options" and intended as "around town government response trucks" primarily used by road departments and the dog catcher.... Although there were a lot of people who got caught up in the salesman's pitch, who bought the same options believing "it's a towing beast 3/4 ton truck".....

So, depending on "his previous F250" and how it was optioned, it could be expected to barely tow itself, even without a trailer behind it..... On the other hand, if his "previous F250 was a diesel" and he's making that claim, there's something quite wrong with his old truck.....

It's impossible to judge "towing performance" from such a "generic vehicle" described as "he tried to pull it with a F250 and says the V-6 pulls better"...

In some situations, that would be the expected outcome.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:29 AM   #14
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I think the main difference is where the ecoboost makes its power at and where the v8 does. I'm just comparing 5.0 to 3.5 boost here. I think the 3.5 makes max power around 2900 rpms, whereas the 5.0 is around 4200? I think the torque is like 470 for a 3.5 and 400 for the 5.0.

Not sure what engine was in the 250 or its torque curves or anything like that, but it doesn't surprise me at all that it "pulled it better". It quite possibly is more of a seat of the pants feel however, but if you have the right setup in hitch and everything else, it works better than you would imagine.

The power just comes on faster, so when your hitting max torque in that boost, the engine isn't screaming at you like the v8 is, and with more torque as well. Of course longevity should also be in play here, i'm not sure what a lot of towing miles does to a twin turbo engine. I can imagine parts and labor is more expensive there.

I need to research more on the exact conditions of the OP video. I watched it, but need to rewatch it again. The load they were using was a pretty hefty one however.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:51 AM   #15
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That makes a lot of sense John!
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:57 AM   #16
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I tow throughout the summer in and around the Rockies and the only time I had an issue with heating on mine is when I used regular grade fuel instead of premium. While I could not hear pinging, I'm sure it was there as the heat increase was obvious when looking at the gauges. I usually use regular fuel in the winter when the trailer is in storage then switch to premium for the towing season. I forgot to fill up with premium for that trip and noticed it in the mountains as the engine and tranny temps increased. I reduced the speed and downshifted to keep the truck in the power band and keep moving air over the engine. Knowing where the power band is and driving the truck to keep it in the power band makes all the difference on the eco boost.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:53 AM   #17
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Just as a clarification, I was referring to the "12K and through the mountains" part of the claim, not so much that the turbo 6 wasn't better overall than the V8.
Keep in mind we once towed a 22 foot travel trailer from Memphis to Maryland and then to Charlotte with our E-250 Supervan, Windsor, 205 HP. You have never heard such screaming from an engine through West Virginia. Underpowered maybe? Do ya think?
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:17 AM   #18
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Just as a clarification, I was referring to the "12K and through the mountains" part of the claim, not so much that the turbo 6 wasn't better overall than the V8.
Keep in mind we once towed a 22 foot travel trailer from Memphis to Maryland and then to Charlotte with our E-250 Supervan, Windsor, 205 HP. You have never heard such screaming from an engine through West Virginia. Underpowered maybe? Do ya think?
That "12K" with any 1/2 ton would have garnered 1 of 2 or maybe both reponses. Either "What total BS" or "Your a dangerous idiot", irrespective of what's bolted to the transmission. JMHO

Very familiare with the paved "goat paths" in WV. It's not the altitude but the grades and swich backs to climb those mountains that make them difficult. Most with no shoulders and not much in the way of a guard rail. Most of those roads were built by the WPA in the late 1930's by hand and mule powered wagons with little to no improvement since.
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Old Yesterday, 04:14 AM   #19
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I tow throughout the summer in and around the Rockies and the only time I had an issue with heating on mine is when I used regular grade fuel instead of premium. While I could not hear pinging, I'm sure it was there as the heat increase was obvious when looking at the gauges. I usually use regular fuel in the winter when the trailer is in storage then switch to premium for the towing season. I forgot to fill up with premium for that trip and noticed it in the mountains as the engine and tranny temps increased. I reduced the speed and downshifted to keep the truck in the power band and keep moving air over the engine. Knowing where the power band is and driving the truck to keep it in the power band makes all the difference on the eco boost.
Yeah, I assume your vehicle calls for high octane. It burns slower and prevents detonation. The burning slower will drop your heat as well. Kinda makes sense why you saw your gauges spike. I'd pick up a couple cans of octane boost - in the event you forget or just can't get it. It least you can add it back that way.
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