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Old 03-18-2014, 03:57 AM   #11
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Hi Brian, thought I might hear from someone on my last post. This is a topic of learning for me.

I warped the rotors in my Ridgeline while towing a Casita. I started my descents on some long steep runs way too fast and used only the brakes to control the speed. After replacing my brakes I've tackled much longer and steeper descents, starting slower and using a lower gear, with great success.

I spoke to Reace about his Ford and his towing experience. He's had both the 5.0L and the EcoBoost. He traded the 5.0L, less than a year old, for the EcoBoost for it's climbing ability. He wasn't sure what the rear end was on the 5.0L, but the EcoBoost was a max-tow. It's hard to compare since he didn't know the gear ratio, but the EcoBoost climbed much better while the 5.0L controlled the descent speed much better. While driving the EcoBoost, he actually had to pull over descending into Death Valley to allow the brakes to cool down so they wouldn't warp. He wasn't sure he would've had to if driving the 5.0L. I guess, since I'v already warped one set of brakes, I'm a little sensitive to their care.

So, with the economy being virtually the same, the better control during descents, the complexity of the EcoBoost and the systems to support it, along with the premium being assessed for the EcoBoost, the 5.0L is still the one I lean towards. Of course the aluminum F150 hasn't hit the streets yet, and it has two different EcoBoost engines.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:12 AM   #12
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The Ford F150 build site shows both trucks have the same "options" for rear ends, have the same tranny and the same brakes, why would one be better on down hills then the other?
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:08 PM   #13
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I used too little engine braking on one descent which was not long but was up to 12% grade, with switchbacks. No warped rotors or ruined pads resulted, but it caught my attention. The van's brakes were hot enough to clearly smell at the bottom, and I have since been careful to use engine braking for the continuous task of maintaining desired descent speed, and brakes only for the intermittent task of changing speed, such as to slow down for corners. I don't start down any slower than my desired speed, but I am careful to not let the speed build up.

Reace's experience with engine braking with the 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L conventional engines is interesting. Just as with people's reports of grade climbing, I have to ask: what engine speeds were used? The 3.5L would obviously need to turn substantially faster for the same braking than the 5.0L, or conversely would brake less at the same engine speed. The ability to easily manage engine speed can depend on automatic transmission behaviour - I have a Ford SuperDuty transmission in my motorhome which usually allows the desired degree of engine braking (of a ten-ton rig with 6.8L engine, so more demanding than 4 tons and either F-150 engine), but it's an old 4-speed; although the behaviour of the current transmissions should be better, you never know until you try one.

I am not questioning the logic of choosing the 5.0L conventional V8 over the 3.6L V6 EcoBoost. I just chose a conventional manual transmission for my car over any form of automatic in part for simplicity and thus long-term reliability. I just think that the way any candidate engine works should be understood, if decisions are to be made based on design features. Similarly, the operating conditions (such as engine speeds used) should be understood if decisions are made based on driving experience.

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The Ford F150 build site shows both trucks have the same "options" for rear ends, have the same tranny and the same brakes, why would one be better on down hills then the other?
Simply because they have substantially different sizes of engines - when you are engine braking, you are forcing the engine to run as an air pump, and a bigger pump puts up more resistance to turning. Also, even the same transmission paired with two different engines will likely have different programs... they are all computer-controlled now.
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Old 03-18-2014, 03:40 PM   #14
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Thanks Brian, I sort of get it. Not much out there on how gas engine braking works. Sounds like the cyl's trying to pull air is the friction. So the more and the bigger the cyl's the more the friction or vacuum.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #15
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I went to the F150 forum in search of Ecoboost braking and found that the statements ranged from seems to work fine, to there is no engine braking provided by an Ecoboost engine.

One statement was interesting though. This person works at a place where he has to drive over the Santa Curse mountains every week. He drives three different Ford trucks; one with a 5.4L, one with a 5.0L, and one with an Ecoboost, and they all have 3.55 rear ends. He states that the 5.4L provides the most braking with the 5.0L a close second and the Ecoboost coming in last. He uses the tow/haul mode on all the trucks. He says that the 5.4L is OK in 4th gear on the steepest descents while the 5.0L and Ecoboost drop to 3rd and sometimes lower.

Another person with experience with both the 5.0L and Ecoboost stated that the Ecoboost has to spin at a much higher speed then the 5.0L to provide the same braking assistance.

So, If I'm reading this right, these two are agreeing with you Brian?
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #16
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That does it! I'm only going to drive where it's FLAT.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:12 PM   #17
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Yes, Tom, the reported comparisons between engines in the same truck are consistent with what I have been trying to say. Thanks for digging those out.

The engine or road speed in the example in which the EcoBoost 3.5 required third gear is not mentioned. If using third does not result in excessive engine speed, and it engine brakes suitably, then it just confirms that the expected behaviour and does not imply an issue.

On the other hand, this (with my emphasis):
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAfraser View Post
I went to the F150 forum in search of Ecoboost braking and found that the statements ranged from seems to work fine, to there is no engine braking provided by an Ecoboost engine.
... demonstrates that it is unwise to blindly accept a statement in any forum without understanding it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:07 PM   #18
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What Donna said...
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
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What Donna said...
Okay, so there's two of us... but, why(?) do we have trailer brakes if we expect our tugs to slow us down... no matter the gears in the pumpkin?

I'm lost in this discussion, and I'm looking to buy a new truck... and it will come with a "mortgage" OMG.

I'm swear moving to the FLATS
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:38 AM   #20
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I have high hopes for our Tundra's towing ability. DH practiced towing with our neighbor's horse trailer and I was impressed with his driving, backing, etc. Of course, I was REALLY impressed with our tug when I realized that the horse trailer weighed 12,000 lbs and had a tongue weight of 1,200 lbs!! Sheesh! Our 19' will be a piece of cake!
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