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Old 05-13-2013, 01:12 AM   #1
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I have 2011 Ram 2500 with CTD and 4.10 rear end and trans 68RFE with 14,000 miles. I tow in tow/haul mode with exhaust brake on. While towing my 5ver in 6th gear which is around 1700rpms I get a shudder when going up an over pass or incline in the road or strong head wind. Is this normal and has anyone else experienced this same thing. My question is shouldn't the trans shift to a lower gear before this shudder starts or do you have to put the trans in 5th gear. I had a Ram mechanic ride with me while towing and he thought the 5th wheel was too much for 6th gear when going up any type of hill. My 5ver only weighs around 10,000lbs and I would think the trans should shift on its own.

Just looking to see what you other Ram owners have experienced while towing, thanks for you info.



Edited by: longhauler
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:40 AM   #2
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Next time you are in your truck look at the shift point. I think that 1700 rpm is rifgt ast the shift point. if thsat is the case than I would tow in fifth gear. Keep in mind the the tow mode has a different shift point than the standard shift points
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:00 AM   #3
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I don't think you should tow a heavy trailer in anything more than 5th gear. I think 6th is kind of an overdrive -- better mileage, not as much power.

We always put our Ram in tow/haul mode, then we use the plus/minus button on the gear shift lever to set the transmission so it won't go into 6th gear. To do that, when you have the truck in DRIVE, with foot on brake, hit the minus part of the button til you see 5 or 4 or whatever gear you want, in your display in the instrument cluster. That tells the tranny not to shift to any higher gear than 5th or whatever you choose. It will then shift only through the first five gears without ever going into 6th. It cancels automatically when you turn off the ignition.

I was told that towing in 6th gear is generally not a great idea.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuster

I don't think you should tow a heavy trailer in anything more than 5th gear. I think 6th is kind of an overdrive -- better mileage, not as much power.

We always put our Ram in tow/haul mode, then we use the plus/minus button on the gear shift lever to set the transmission so it won't go into 6th gear. To do that, when you have the truck in DRIVE, with foot on brake, hit the minus part of the button til you see 5 or 4 or whatever gear you want, in your display in the instrument cluster. That tells the tranny not to shift to any higher gear than 5th or whatever you choose. It will then shift only through the first five gears without ever going into 6th. It cancels automatically when you turn off the ignition.

I was told that towing in 6th gear is generally not a great idea.
dbuster, thanks for the info, I haven't been told not to tow in 6th before, I figured as long as I was in tow/haul mode I would be good. The Ram mechanic did show me about the +/- on the gear shift. He said I could change it at anytime and to go back to normal hold down the plus and the trans would go back to normal or it would reset when you turned the truck off. I guess Im just use to the older Rams when you turned over drive off you didn't have to worry about it and thought the tow/haul mode worked the same way on these new ones, thanks again
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:55 AM   #5
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I have the same setup as you (68rfe and 4.10s). I've never noticed a shudder in 6th. I tow in 6th all the time with tow/haul and exhaust brake on. I know that on these transmissions both 5th and 6th gear are overdrives (0.8:1 and 0.6:1). When we first got our 5er I didn't think overdrive was a good idea. After one trip I couldn't afford the fuel driving in 4th all the time. Even in 6th I only get about 11-12mpg with 11,000lb trailer. I went in to a local transmission shop and asked what I should do. His response was to put it in drive with t/h and go. He also said that these new transmissions (and TCMs) are smarter than most drivers. Its never had an issue finding the right gear. Occasionally, when there are lots of hills ahead I will manually drop it to 5th. I've also used the manual mode for long down grades with the exhaust brake.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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I checked today, my 2007 has the 373 gears in it in tow haul it shifted at 1900 rpm I would think that with you 410 your shift point would be about that 1700 range. Like others I will put in drive in the tow haul mode and just go no sixth gear shudder at all


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Old 05-14-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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I have a Smarty Jr. programmer that I had on the towing setting which is 70 more horses. So I backed it down to the mileage setting which is 40 horses and if it still does it I will put it on stock and see if that fixes the problem.

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Old 05-14-2013, 01:44 AM   #8
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Chris,
I don't have 6 speed so I can't comment on your "shudder" but it would bother me. I have an F-250 and pull a 5er and when we got to NY on I-88 we hit a stretch of hill West ofCobleskill, NY that was 2.5 miles @ 6%. I use a Bully Dog and the thing I noticed on Tow Setting (25 add'l HP) was that when I got to any hills of any size...my RPM's never changed, the boost rating on the BD would. On normal 4 and 5% grades the boost would go to 4 or 5, which is minimal. When I got to the 6% grade it got to 10-11%, but maintained a steady speed of 57MPH. I noticed nothing at all either in the transmission or otherwise...but I do tow with the OD off. Normal running temps on I-80/90 through flat lands was oil @ 190 and transmission at 170 or so. When I got to the top of the largest grade my oil temp was 212 and transmission was at 202. These both came down almost immediately as we went down the other side of the grade. I hope others can weigh in more...I hope some of this helps. See you in July I hope.

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:44 AM   #9
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Jim, thanks for the info, I understand the whole OD thing, but I would think when you but it in the T/H mode I would think the trans would know it's towing, but I'm finding out from some I shouldn't tow in 6th, but others are saying they do and have no problems. Hopefully its the programmer and this will fix this issue by lowing the horse power. I love the Dodge truck and Cummins, but I have never been a fan of their trans. If they could only put an Allison in it, then you would have a towing machine.

Thanks again and travel safe

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:39 AM   #10
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Longhauler, I don't have a Dodge or a diesel. I asked the question of O/D or no O/D while pulling. The most popular response I received was watch your trans temp and go from there. like you i got tired of watching the dollars bills fly out of the tailpipe not pulling in O/D. But after pulling in O/D several times I noticed the trans temp did not go up and when I hit a slight incline (very slight) the trans would shift out of O/D. As someone mentioned earlier these things are very smart, if 6th gear cannot pull it, it will shift back a gear. If it doesn't and you see your trans temp start to rise then shift it manually. Good luck!!!
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