Climbing Hills on I64 in WV - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 02:13:PM Thread Starter
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Climbing Hills on I64 in WV

The other day I was traveling along I64 in West Virginia. I was loaded with 12 pax plus luggage. The cruise control was set at 73 in a 70 MPH zone. Without touching the accelerator, I started the climb on a 7% grade.

At the top of the 5 mile run (distance not change in elevation) the engine had smoothly downshifted twice and was still running at 63 MPH all without touching the accelerator & cruise control still engaged. I was still passing cars. I am impressed with the overall power of Ford's 'little' I5 diesel with 6 speed transmission, 3.73 limited slip rear end.

My 2003 F350 V10 gasser would have dropped off the cruise control and be huffing and puffing, even empty, on such a climb.

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Charles County, Maryland
2015 Transit 350-HD XL Wagon, HR, EL, DRW, 3.2L PS Diesel, 3.73 LS Rear Axle, 15 passenger, Tuxedo Black, Charcoal cloth seats
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 06:08:PM
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Thats pretty impressive. Were they 12 husky passengers? Even at 180lbs average, and luggage, you were probably hauling close to 3k lbs.

I think the 3.73/diesel combo is ideal. The 6-speed is a definite advantage over the old 4-speed that was probably in your V-10.

RIP Lemmy. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-08-2015, 06:34:PM
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I drive that road almost every weekend during Sept. and October. Most of the time I'm pulling my trailer. I usually cut across to Summersville/Fayettville via 60. The Transit loves that area.

2015 Transit Wagon 350 XLT, 3.5 Ecoboost, 3.31 limited slip, Medium height, Medium length, Tow package, dual batteries, 110 vlt, SYNC with CD, ...
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 06:34:AM
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i rode that area last may...i shifted many times, both up and down....much of it in triple digits. got to love a fast bike
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 10:43:PM
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Doesn't the V10 "gasser" have a lot more power than the I-5 diesel?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 07:24:AM
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
Doesn't the V10 "gasser" have a lot more power than the I-5 diesel?
I bet if you got them both on a dyno, there isn't a huge difference in wheel horsepower.

RIP Lemmy. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

Long tall cargo 250 3.2 3.73lsd
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 10:39:AM
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I bet if you got them both on a dyno, there isn't a huge difference in wheel horsepower.
Based on what? Why would Ford rate them so differently? I see nothing they would gain from such action.

Besides, the V10 is sold as an industrial engine with horsepower rating well above that of the I-5 diesel. And if the diesel can make 305 HP or more, why not advertise it?

Like MotorTrend said, diesels feel fast, gasoline "is" fast. Their objective instrumented tests on acceleration or pulling a trailer up a hill confirms this over and over. In a ProMaster 0-60 times were much slower in diesel yet people swear they pull harder -- whatever "pull" means to them.

And even the V6 diesel in RAM 1500 with greater power than Ford I-5 was blown away by 2.7 V6 EB or small Chevy V8.

Ford also installs V10s in 20,000-pound motorhomes that still have towing capacity. The I-5 would never function in a 25,000-pound GCWR combination.


I'm not saying the I-5 isn't a great engine (I don't know either way), but there is no need to compare it on power to the V10. The I-5 can't make 305 HP, hence it can't climb as fast as the V10 unless the elevation is so high that the V10 gets derated significantly. And hills in that area of the country are no where that high.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 03:53:PM
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I was passing people uphill going 75 mph in 4th gear no problem in the 3.7L. With two tons of cargo. Still had one more gear to drop. One thing the base motor has going for it is its flexibility. At 45 mph I can be anywhere between 2nd and 6th gear based on load.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 05:25:PM
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My argument on the TXAggie's comment about the V-10 huffing and puffing, I guess, is that the power that the Transit has, with any engine option, is more efficiently utilized than the old F350 with (correct me if i'm wrong) a 4 speed AOD transmission, and most likely, taller rear gears than the Transits 3.73 ratio.

So even with 120 more flywheel horsepower in the V-10, the engine is either lugging the tall overdriven 4th gear ratio, or jumping down to the 1:1 3rd gear, and maybe gasping for air at a higher RPM. Combine that with lacklustre aerodynamics, and a larger diameter wheel and tire combo, and maybe the little I-5 has the V-10 for breakfast going up that big hill. Or not, whatever.

RIP Lemmy. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.

Long tall cargo 250 3.2 3.73lsd
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 04:05:PM Thread Starter
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The point I was trying to make with my I5 diesel vs V10 gas on hills comparison is this -- The I5 was able to stay in cruise control the entire trip even though it downshifted twice. The V10 made it about a 1/3 of the way up a similar hill in Western PA, dropping down a gear just once before dropping out of cruise control. I'm sure the 6 speed xmission vs the 4 speed xmission played a part in that. If I had put my foot into the accelerator on the V10 I'm sure it would have kept up speed at the price of higher RPMs and sucking down the fuel.

Now to be fair, when I was running the hills of Western PA in the F350, I was also pulling a 34' gooseneck horse trailer (rated about 12,000#). Of course the Transit could never pull such a trailer, but then again the Tranist gets about 19 MPG vs the 6 MPG (or less) I would be getting in the F350 pulling the trailer. Engines and xmissions have changed between the 2003 F350 and the 2015 Transit 350HD.

It was not my intention to start a debate of diesel vs gas engines, but rather to report an observation I made in the abilities of the Transit with a diesel engine and what it was capable of.

TX Aggie
Charles County, Maryland
2015 Transit 350-HD XL Wagon, HR, EL, DRW, 3.2L PS Diesel, 3.73 LS Rear Axle, 15 passenger, Tuxedo Black, Charcoal cloth seats
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