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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Heading out this afternoon for a race weekend at Carolina MotorSports Park, a track near Columbia, SC.

Trailer is loaded a little heavier than usual, because I'm taking the kid's kart, and a set of tires that are going to a buddy. Call it 7600lbs.



Truck is a Laramie 2WD with 3.55 rear end. I chose 3.55 because the SE is pretty flat. Tow capacity 7900lbs, cargo capacity ~1250lbs. My tongue weight is ~850lbs and I've 200lbs of tires and aux fuel tank in the bed.

Towing info. Background here http://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/...ow-thread-spring-droop-mpg-power-cooling.html
-Airlift 1000 air bags @ 45psi.
-I drilled another hole in the hitch shank in order to put the ball 2" closer to the truck's rear wheels. This reduces lever arm the trailer has to move the truck around. Drilling a hole thru 2" of solid steel was non-trivial.
-Weight distribution hitch is nice and tight.
 

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I can't wait to hear the results!! Do you plan on using tow/haul mode this time?

Here's hoping you have good racing weather this weekend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't wait to hear the results!! Do you plan on using tow/haul mode this time?
On the hills yes. On the flats, I'll play with it and see if can detect any difference behavior in Tow Mode when the truck isn't near a shift point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Ranger - is that the 'deep cherry red' color? sigh... i want my truck. /cry
Yes indeed it is. I was torn between the cherry red and the dark metallic gray, whatever they called it. I'm still torn on that, but it's a little late now. I've always liked dark red's and dark silvers.
 

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Can't wait to hear the results. BTW, have a good time at the track! ..... Rubberside down...rubber side down ; )
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really suck at this track. The most important turn on the track is an uphill right hander. You have to go into it at certain death speed or you'll bleed away 2secs on the straightaway that follows. Most of the traction in the turn is in the first half where the track surface pitches up. If you don't get the first part of the turn exactly right, there isn't enough traction left to fix things in the last half of the turn. This is made significantly more difficult by the fact that at turn-entry you can't see the 2nd half of the turn.

I've done that turn a thousand times and it always seems like I'm going in at certain death speed, only to come out of the turn 2-3mph slower than the fastest guys, as usual. So basically I've got to go into the turn well past certain death speed. I don't know what to call that. Maniacal axe-murderer speed,maybe, then get the first part of the turn, where the traction is, exactly right while my hair is standing straight up in terror. And then somehow avoid being ejected off the track as I run out of traction at turn exit. Woohoo!

Our BMW race cars are so exactly matched that we're often inches apart. Losing 2secs on a straightaway can mean 4 guys passing you.
 

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What year is that car? Maybe 90's? I only ask because I used to have an '84 325e. No real power, but handling and shifting were incredible.
 

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Interested in the towing info. I have a 6500lb trailer/tractor load that I have to pull in a while over a similar distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What year is that car? Maybe 90's? I only ask because I used to have an '84 325e. No real power, but handling and shifting were incredible.
Mine is an '87 325i. The class allows all '87-'91 325i's, which is the period the "i" motor was in the 3 series. I've some experience in 325e's also, to include racing in them. The "e" motor is a little rpm limited with a redline at 3750? but it's a fine torquey motor. No normal person revs up a daily driver much beyond 3750 anyways so the 325e can be perfectly workable daily driver. Treated well these cars last forever because there isn't a bunch of plastic engine management and emissions crap under the hood to fail. We have engines being raced with >200k miles on them that are only a couple hp down on freshly built engines. Consider that....a 200k engine 2-3% down on power vs. new. Give it a head job, new cam, and rockers, call it $700 if you can do the head R/R yourself, and full power is restored. These days on a modern car $700 will buy you a water pump, spark plugs + shop labor. Can't do it yourself because it's too damned complicated.
 

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Heh man ... have fun. I'm heading out in the morning also to go to a raceway in Land-o-Lakes,. Will be there until early Sunday morning. Flat track motorcycle racing. No heavy tow like you.

Bring back a good handling and mileage report along with some exciting racing experiences.
 

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Heading out this afternoon for a race weekend at Carolina MotorSports Park, a track near Columbia, SC.

Trailer is loaded a little heavier than usual, because I'm taking the kid's kart, and a set of tires that are going to a buddy. Call it 7600lbs.



Truck is a Laramie 2WD with 3.55 rear end. I chose 3.55 because the SE is pretty flat. Tow capacity 7900lbs, cargo capacity ~1250lbs. My tongue weight is ~850lbs and I've 200lbs of tires and aux fuel tank in the bed.

Towing info. Background here http://www.ram1500diesel.com/forum/...ow-thread-spring-droop-mpg-power-cooling.html
-Airlift 1000 air bags @ 45psi.
-I drilled another hole in the hitch shank in order to put the ball 2" closer to the truck's rear wheels. This reduces lever arm the trailer has to move the truck around. Drilling a hole thru 2" of solid steel was non-trivial.
-Weight distribution hitch is nice and tight.
Keep us posted on the experience, 24ft of trailer is a lot of trailer for a 1/2 ton. If you can try to get a mpg figure for both ways. For some reason I get a couple mpgs better going 95southbound vs 95 northbound... Good luck at the race!!
 

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Mine is an '87 325i. The class allows all '87-'91 325i's, which is the period the "i" motor was in the 3 series. I've some experience in 325e's also, to include racing in them. The "e" motor is a little rpm limited with a redline at 3750? but it's a fine torquey motor. No normal person revs up a daily driver much beyond 3750 anyways so the 325e can be perfectly workable daily driver. Treated well these cars last forever because there isn't a bunch of plastic engine management and emissions crap under the hood to fail. We have engines being raced with >200k miles on them that are only a couple hp down on freshly built engines. Consider that....a 200k engine 2-3% down on power vs. new. Give it a head job, new cam, and rockers, call it $700 if you can do the head R/R yourself, and full power is restored. These days on a modern car $700 will buy you a water pump, spark plugs + shop labor. Can't do it yourself because it's too damned complicated.
I had a track bike, the engine held up great. The real sticker shock was racing tires.

I hope you get some good towing fuel economy #'s.
 

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Mine is an '87 325i. The class allows all '87-'91 325i's, which is the period the "i" motor was in the 3 series. I've some experience in 325e's also, to include racing in them. The "e" motor is a little rpm limited with a redline at 3750? but it's a fine torquey motor. No normal person revs up a daily driver much beyond 3750 anyways so the 325e can be perfectly workable daily driver. Treated well these cars last forever because there isn't a bunch of plastic engine management and emissions crap under the hood to fail. We have engines being raced with >200k miles on them that are only a couple hp down on freshly built engines. Consider that....a 200k engine 2-3% down on power vs. new. Give it a head job, new cam, and rockers, call it $700 if you can do the head R/R yourself, and full power is restored. These days on a modern car $700 will buy you a water pump, spark plugs + shop labor. Can't do it yourself because it's too damned complicated.
Yup, a good torquey engine, but what was with the blasting the intake valves with walnut shells? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Am back from the race weekend.
Friday, 220mi.
MPG 14.1 @ 64mph. 2/3rds pretty flat, 1/3rd rolling hills. One stop.
Ambient temp mid 80's. Coolant temp peak 221deg. Oil temp peak 240deg.

Sunday coming home. 220mi.
Mpg 14.6 @64mph. Total mpg for trip 14.4. One stop.
Ambient temp 72deg. Coolant temp 209-219. Oil temp 229-239.

I was careful to not do any drafting on semi's so it would be a good mpg test.

The truck really did well. My history of buying and selling cars is not a history of great success. This truck may be a break from that tradition tho. The way it rides like a sedan, and it's quiet, luxurious and sophisticated interior just kick's ass.

My previous tow vehicle was an 2000 F-250 so that's my measuring stick. I'm not sure if I could sense that the 1500 was moved around more by sway because it's lighter than my F-250. I figure that when I made the hitch shank 2" shorter, that probably made up significantly for the weight delta. That is to say, sure, the 1500 is lighter but the lever arm to move the truck is now shorter. So lower weight is somewhat compensated for by shorter hitch shank.

For mpg context, that F-250 would have gotten 13mpg, 13.5 at best. The engine in the 2000 F-250 was one of the last of the greats, the 7.3l "Powerstroke." I've lots of buddies with various 3/4 ton diesel trucks that tow the same size/weight trailers on the same route at the same speed. None of them get better mileage than that "pre-emissions controls" 7.3l Powerstroke. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the Ecodiesel got better mpg then I'd have gotten in a 2014 Ram 2500 diesel.

I'd guess, however, that if my load was 50% more, a bigger diesel would start getting better mpg than a little Ecodiesel trying to provide 3/4 of it's rated power for a sustained pull. I need about 140ftlbs to cruise at 64mph on flat terrain.

Power. The Ecodiesel truck was fabulous.

Transmission. No erratic shifting, no problems finding the right gear, all good.

Tow mode. I played around with it a bit. It seems to change shifting behavior, but since there wasn' t much shifting, it didn't seem to play much of a role.
 

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I will be towing a similar trailer next month with my ecodiesel Ram... last year I was towing with 2013 Ram 1500 with a Hemi and the 8 spd... I would get between 9-10 MPG under similar conditions... This is a dramatic improvement!
 

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+14mpg is pretty good for that heavy trailer. Although... I would have thought it would have been a few MPG higher.


I've noticed that the tow mode will hold the shifts longer... and won't put you into 8th gear until your are well over 60 mpg.
 

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Thanks for the report.

We all want more fuel mileage but facts are facts. My old Cummins was a good tow vehicle. It would tow that load at about 11-12 mpg overall and do it well. To get an additional 15 - 20% better towing mileage is good. Compared to gas it's almost 100% better. These are "real-world" figures, not hopes based on ego.

That 64 mph is a little bit slow but right in line with real-world towing speeds. It's tough to run much less than 66-68 mph on our interstates today without being a bit of a hazard and having to deal with lots of traffic contacts. That's one thing I like about this little 1500 Eco. It's comfortable pace puts it better in line with traffic speeds than other pulling trucks.

How was the racing?
 
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