On Sun, 27 May 2007 01:25:54 -0600, "Nathan W. Collier"
solution here because engine strain aside, it adds transmission strain
too and that is not the strongest trany stock but it should hold up
well behind a non chipped engine. Chipping it will overload tranny. A
4.10 should help a lot and if you tow in mountains a lot you might
even consider a 4.56. Your engine is turbo charged but it still sees
some power loss at high altitude and deeper gears would help a lot
here. When you tow a big load with a automatic you should have 4.10
anyway by default. Deep gears would help you all the way across the
board too, starting out and backing up as well and will likely improve
MPG towing as well. Your truck has a AAM 11.5 rear axle the same as GM
uses and aftermarket gears for it are widely avaible (GM has used it
since 2001 and Dodge since 2003) so you do not have to buy the gears
at a dealer and get skinned on them as they will likely be 700 or more
at dealer for rear axle and less than 300 for quality after market
ones. If it is a 4x4 you need to change front axle gears too and it
also uses GM 9.25 IFS gear in front in its AAM 9.25 solid front axle
and gears can be had for it for about 200 buck or less. You could buy
gears and shop around for best instalation price. Just think of gears
as using a newer bigger longer pry bar to move same load rather than
trying to pull even harder on the same small pry bar.
Deeper gears makes a lot of sense. I also saw an episode of "Two Guys
Garage" in which they visited a transmission improvement shop (I think it
was in Montana, but the show was several years ago, so I really don't know).
The shop put in different valving, torque converter, lockup clutch,
addressed all the points which built up heat, and a few other things to make
it capable of withstanding the extra power generated by chipped or otherwise
improved engines. As I recall it cost about $2,000, but when they were
finished the chances the transmission would fail were very slim.
Tom Lawrence probably has the best idea on what ya need to do here. IMO,
that trailer needs something more like the Navistar "pickup" just for the
weight that truck would bring. However, the Dodge is more than able to move
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Moving it and moving it effectly is a different matter and you need
more that 3.73 gears to move a GCWR of around 12 ton effectively
through mountains even with a CTD. That is why they have made
different axle ratios for many many years. YOu can move a lot of
weight with eninge a old 6 cylinder in a dump truck if you have the
right gears. Your drive axles are the strongest reduction units in
your truck and when geared properly can exert a lot of force. All
things being equal you will get about 11 to 12% more pulling power in
every gear with 4.10's with no added engine or tranny strain like you
get from chipping it to gain same boost in towwing power. There is a
reason that 400 HP OTR rigs have 900 cu inch and bigger engines so
they do not have to be "chipped" and can last a very long time even at
max power. There are some out there though that equate a CTD, PS or
Dmax to a OTR engine but it is not and they will suffer when run at
OTR HP power levels for extended periods of time. This is not a Dodge,
Ford, GM thing but rather a common sense thing and it requires
regearing for a proper long term solution. It is lot different to tow
in rockies than it is in the flat lands and what may work in the flats
does not always work in mountains but some seem to forget that. How I
would configure a low altitude flat land tower vs one that is at high
altitude and in mountains is a completely different matter. Detriot
does not tell you this either because it might hurt sales image of top
end trucks. If you elect to chip it to solve problem, save some money
for when stock tranny gives up the ghost on a long hard pull. It is
not a bad tranny but it will suffer for boosted torque on long hard
pulls and shorten its life. Many avid "chippers" do not even consider
this. Manuals are a little more tolerant of this.
On Sun, 27 May 2007 14:38:37 -0600, "Nathan W. Collier"
The tranny in your truck was beefed up in 05 but it is no Allison and
chipped will increase strain on it and it has little reserve capacity.
Automatic are funny it that they can to a certain load well but go
beyond that and they can start hurting from it. If you dicide to try
to chip, do get a EGT gauge and watch tranny temps.
Chipping increase the injection cycle lencth to increasepower but
efficecy can drop off and it also raise EGT which is the weakness of
any chipping. YOu can chip and over EGT for a bit on a breif birst or
pull and be okay but on a long hard pull the EGT can riase and damage
engine if you do not watch it carefully. On a non chipped engine, it
is not a cocern even WOT for long hard pulls.
Actually you would be better off to reager then consider if you want
to do a aux tranny. ALso the only gears availble for your rear axle is
4.11, 4.56, 4.88, 5.13 and 5.38. 4.30 is not a option with your axle
style. Back in 05 I drove several trucks for extened periods from GM,
Ford and Dodge with a CTD and with a auotmatic we both (my freind was
looking to buy a truck) felt that the 4.10 was a better match towing
or no in a dualie with CTD as it played better with CTD. With a 6
speed we leaned toward the 3.73. My friend would have bought the Dodge
if they would have talked turkey on price with him but got truck with
same equipment from GM for 5 grand less at the time (he wanted the CTD
but not for 5 g's over a Dmax 1 ton at the time) Below is a link for
a axle ratio calculator if you want to play with some number on what
your RPM will be doing with different gearing.
Well, it's a combination of high HP/torque levels, combined with a hot-rod
approach to driving, that's not really "towing-compatible". For instance,
with 16K hanging off the back, and the engine's power dialed up to say 500HP
at the wheels, it would be bad to mash the pedal at take-off.... parts are
probably going to fly out from under the truck.
I wouldn't go more than 4.10 (as was stated earlier, 4.30 gears aren't
available - the next lower gear is a 4.56). With a 4.56 gear, you're
red-lining the engine at 60MPH with overdrive locked out.... not good.
In my previous post, I outlined a possible upgrade path. If the truck still
doesn't perform as well as you'd like, you can always change gears then.
You're not losing anything (as you'd most likely want the power-adder
anyway, because the 9% mech. advantage of the lower gears alone probably
won't cut it), and you may be saving the cost of two sets of gears in the
You already have 610, going beyond 720-750 ftlbs would be more than "light".
Due to the huge amounts of fuel pushed by the higher stages of the chips,
you risk a melt down to internal componants because of load and EGT temps
that do not stay at acceptable levels. These levels work fine if the engine
can move enough air to keep the "cool" air flowing, thus lowering EGT's. But
slow the RPM's, and EGT's go up, and risk of catastrophic failure follows.
You'll find that talking with the more reputable purveyors of these products
can steer you to thier model of choice for towing, rather than drag racing.
Tom Lawarence has a twin turbo setup that is fairly radical, but IIRC, could
be compatible with towing. If and when he chimes in, he'd be the guy to talk
to, since I'm sure he did a bunch of research.
Personally, I'd go with the 4.10's or 4.30's. 4.56 would be overkill and a
PITA when not pulling the trailer. The PCM should be able to be flashed to
deal with the tire diameter and gear ratio combination, so the speedo will
be correct. The decisive factor in choosing the gears would be the RPM you
were turning going up the hills, I'd think with the ISBe, you would want to
be in the 1900-2300 range. The rest is math. Keep one thing in mind
though... more gear isn't necessarily going to make you faster up the hill,
but it will make it easier for the engine, and perhaps you'll gain some MPH
in the process. The only way to be sure you will go faster up a hill is to
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Okay - several things here. Yes, pulling power is a good thing - so is
stopping power. The 3rd gen Rams have some great brakes - however, I'd
definitely want an exhaust brake when pulling that kind of load. Your
truck's computer isn't exhaust-brake-aware, and an upgrade (though promised
by DC) isn't available yet. Since you asked about turning up the engine's
power, we can assume you're cool with throwing caution to the wind, and
assuming warranty responsibilities.
With that, I'd suggest some mild tranny upgrades. I'm an ATS guy when it
comes to transmissions (others have their preferences, but I've flogged the
ever-lovin' crap out of mine, without much of a problem). If you go with
their torque converter (IMO, the only "weak link" left in the factory 48RE
setup) and valve body, along with their ATS Commander (may have changed the
name of that - the electronic controller), you'll have what you need to run
an exhaust brake. Their box can talk to your exhaust brake controller, and
make sure the brake disengages if/when the TCC unlocks (though, with their
control box, you can maintain lockup all the way down to 4MPH, if you so
desired - it's adjustable). In the ATS world, that's their "Stage 3" (or
Option 3) selection, for about $2,700. Add another $1,000 for an exhaust
brake. I'd also throw in a few hundred $$$ for the Mag-Hytec double-deep
tranny pan. It provides better cooling, and more fluid capacity (which is
also better for cooling).
For the power side, I still think TST is the best in the business. Their
latest revision of their Powermax box has plenty of bells and whistles...
two user adjustable fueling curves (both low-RPM and high-RPM curves),
user-adjustable fuel pressure (I don't recommend going too much over stock
pressure, if at all - but the option's there), user-adjustable timing
(really only useful if using it in conjunction with other boxes, but hey -
it's there), and built-in protection (defueling) based on EGT's and boost
pressure. There's also a built-in cool-down timer (you can turn the
ignition off and lock up the truck - it'll continue to idle until a preset
temp. or time limit, then shut the truck off). It gives you digital EGT and
boost gauges, a rail pressure gauge (useful if you're going to muck with
fuel pressure), and comes with four different base programs (three
performance programs, one fuel economy program). For $900, it's all you'll
ever need in the way of boxes or programmers - good for anywhere from stock
to 600HP at the wheels (and I got the dyno sheets to prove it! :) Now, you
can't get that kind of power just by throwing this box on there (well, you
could, but without a better intake, bigger/free-flow exhaust, and larger
turbo, you'd melt the engine in short order), but the point is it's got the
ability to deliver.
With the added power, I don't think a gear swap would be necessary. With a
manual, I might think differently, but the auto gives you a little more
flexibility in that area.
In addition, I'd definitely recommend a trans temp gauge. They go for
about $55. I also recommend installing the sensor in the return line from
the cooler. If you've got a flaring tool and get some AN fittings, you can
do this yourself - otherwise, I recommend a $75 replacement cooler line from
Mass Diesel that has the port already installed.
So, for about $5K, you can set your truck up to pull (and stop) your trailer
comfortably. Yeah, a 6spd auto would be nice... the 6.7L engine would be
nice... but I don't think you're going to do better than $5K on a trade-in.
when i set the cruise control for 70 mph for example, and start down a grade
with the 16,000# camper in tow the truck starts to speed up. when it
reaches about 5 mph or so above the cruise set point the truck downshifts to
slow itself until it gets back down to the set point. i know this isnt the
same thing as a real engine brake, but it was somewhat effective. the
camper has excellent brakes and my prodigy does a great job controlling it,
although dialing it in is proving difficult. i would like to add engine
braking, but if i keep this truck i would probably wait until chrysler
releases their upgrade. any ideas on when that might be?
actually, im hoping to keep this truck as close to stock as possible for
longevity. im so dang tired of eating wrap-around and planned on keeping
this truck indefinately....unless i end up trading it on an '07.
gotta link by chance?
Nathan In Montana
Don't hold your breath.... they have zero incentive to do so. Those who
wanted/needed exhaust braking have turned to the aftermarket.
To be fair, you should also check out the other big Dodge transmission shop,
Note that ATS uses a 5-clutch setup in their torque converter. DTT still
swears by a single disc in their converters, and cranks up line pressure to
get the extra holding power.
thanks for all the help. my local dealer has a 6.7 bighorn edition 6 speed
auto with the exhaust brake that i can buy for $37,000. after wrap around
from trading my '05 im looking at financing $39,992 and if i can grow to
live with the new headlights i might just grab it up. any opininions on
this setup (6.7/6 speed auto/OEM engine brake)?
Nathan In Montana
Hmmm... so you're going to toss all you've already paid on your '05, plus
an extra $3K, to buy a $37K truck, just to get an extra in-between gear in
your transmission (the 6spd has two overdrive gears) with an engine brake?
Just questioning the financial end here...
As for the new truck itself, it's still pretty new, so not a lot of time to
form any opinions on it. I'm sure the engine is solid - but it's too soon
to tell about things like particulate filters, cats, fuel economy (since
it's gotta constantly use more fuel to burn out the residue that builds up
in the DPF), etc.
With regard to your warranty concerns, you'd be tearing up your new truck's
warranty the minute you hook up that toy hauler... DC only rates them at
15,350 (and that's with 4.10's).
Given that, my vote would be to spend the money setting up your current
truck to do what you want it to do. In the end, I think you'll be saving
money, and getting a better-performing truck out of it.
I've a question.
Regarding the sensor placment. Why not put it in the line out of the
transmissinon? I would think that would give a true reading as to the temp.
Wouldn't putting it in the return line give you the temp of the cooled
fluid. Might as well put it in the pan imo.
Gotta have that double deep, pulled about 10 degrees off of my temp.
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