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Slowing Down!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by jorth, Sep 18, 2000.

  1. jorth

    jorth Registered Member

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    Yikes! My '88 automatic comes down hill a little too fast. I'm dying to run it along Kelly Flats, but that last hill scare the **** out of me. I don't want to rely on brakes to control my downhill speed, aside from skidding. I'll just leave this question open as to what everyone else does. Do I re-gear the transmission, try a differnt torque converter, with a lower stall speed?
     
  2. fredd

    fredd 1/2 ton status

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    Change down a gear, or if needed two gears.

    fredd

    SEC Inc, 4x4 Armor for your K5
     
  3. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    PRND21 Ever wonder what the 2 and the 1 are for?

    I'll use 2 when I need to slow down on a steep slope, or 1 when it's a very scary slope. Just don't engage them all of a sudden or your U-joints will suffer. Also, there's a limit of the speed you can be traveling at before downshifting or you'll hear a big bang. I usually go from D to 2 at about 40mph, and 2 to 1 at about 25mph. You'll have to experiment yourself, since you might have a different setup (larger tires, speedo not corrected, etc.)

    Start braking and while doing that do the downshift. Then release the brake to see how well the gears are holding you. If you need more "compression braking", repeat the process and shift to 1.

    The whole idea is to use your brakes as little as possible on long slopes so they don't overheat. If that happens, your braking power will be reduced drastically, besides wearing the components much more. When you downshift, you'll be mostly using your brakes to reduce the screaming RPMs of your engine. You'll notice how much easier it is to stop in a lower gear. If you're towing something heavy, you could even shift your transfer case in to LOW position before starting the slope, but that is rarely necesary.

    BTW, can a transmission be re-geared?

    <font color=blue>//////
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  4. jorth

    jorth Registered Member

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    I don't know if a transmission can be re-geared. I just assumed it could. Tranny's a big mystery to me. I have been downshifting and braking like you described, however I'm still decending quickly. When I come down a skree slope, using brakes is about the last thing on my mind. Perhaps I'm not gutsy enough but I fear getting side ways and rolling down the hill. The comment about changing down a gear or two, is that in regards to the shift lever, or are you refering to something internal in the transmission. If it's inside the tranny, know anywhere that deals with parts like this?
     
  5. sosamantx

    sosamantx 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>They are referring to shifting the transmission to a lower gear</font color=blue> "PRND21 Ever wonder what the 2 and the 1 are for?"<font color=blue>, that is if your is an automatic, and I assume it is if you are talking about the torque convertor. And I am pretty sure that you can't regear an automatic transmission. - Steve</font color=blue>

    <font color=blue>Steve Sosa a.k.a. "sosaman"</font color=blue>
    http://sosaman.home.texas.net/carpics.html
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Slowing Down!!! Give it some gas!!!

    Bet that caught your attention! First the tranny question.
    Yes there are lower gearset available for auto trannys but it's not cheap. Try TransGo. I was lucky on my 75 and 79 and they have the lower gearset. one because of a towing package and the other because of 3.08 gears. There is also some other changes that can be made with the way they shift. Many autos even if in 1st will shift up if the speed exceeds a certain point. Most autos can have a manual conversion made. meaning that it will go to the gear you selct and hold it even if it's going to blow. This works down shifting as well as up.
    Now how to give it some gas to keep it slow.
    When I decend a hill that low on the case and 1st cant keep under control by what compression braking it has I take another approch. I lock the brakes before I even start the decent. Now I do it just enough to hold the truck. Then I throttle the truck to overcome the brakes so that I can keep control of the speed of the decent. It's sort of a balancing act. I have not been able to find any better way of controling a Auto equiped vehicle on steep hills. The whole point is to keep from locking the brakes and starting with them on seems to be the trick. Just takes some practice to get comfortable with pressing the gas to go downhill and learning to hold a steady amount of brakes and feathering with the throttle. instead of pressing hard to stop the truck you slowly let off the throttle so that you get a smooth stop instead of loosing traction and sliding. If you do loose traction then you give it some gas to get the tires turning again. The whole point is never to lock till your stopped.
    The above sometimes will help when your stuck. if a wheel gets spinning free put on the brakes then throttle to overcome. This will help keep all the tires moving instead of the ones with least traction since they cant just spin free.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  7. LittlePig

    LittlePig 1/2 ton status

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    I have heard (though never seen it done) that when descending steep hills with an automatic, you can put the thing in reverse. This would be like when you are sitting on a hill, and can hold yourself in position with the torque converter. Obviously this puts a huge strain on the converter, and would generate enormous amounts of heat, but you could do slow descents of steep hills by letting your truck "roll back" from trying to "climb" the hill in reverse. This way, your descent speed is controlled by the throttle, and the wheels won't lock up. I.e. if you find yourself speeding up, give it just a little gas and you will slow down. It would take some practice on a hill you know, before trying it on the trail, but it should work. Four Wheeler mentioned it in an article on the pros and cons of auto trannies vs. manuals.

    Email: xiaozhu@my-deja.com
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  8. jorth

    jorth Registered Member

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    These are great ideas! Thanks. What about applying the emergency brake right from the start. Counting the number of clicks?
     
  9. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    That might not be too bad, but again you dont want the rear brakes locking up on the way down...

    Mike [​IMG]
    See <font color=green>EMMETT</font color=green> -&gt; http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  10. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    The emergency brake only operates the rear brakes. When you are descending a steep hill, there is almost no wieght on the rear wheels, so the brakes lock really easily. In fact, the danger of overbraking when going downhill is locking the rears. You will almost never lock the fronts going downhill unless your backend is already skidding around. The brake + throttle thing sounds pretty good if you are in 2WD. It lets you use more braking power in the front without locking the rears.

    How about installing ABS?

    Re-gearing an automatic transmission is certainly possible, but you would have to replace the entire planetary gearsets. It is the combination of the ring, sun and plantaries that makes up every gear. It is not as though you can point to a different set of gears that give the ratio for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., it is their combination. From what I understand, many transmissions were only offered with one set of gear ratios. A few others had more than one combination available. If that is the case for yours, you could buy the gearsets for the other combination. Also, someone in the aftermarket may/may not make complete gearsets that you can swap in, but the labor on such a job would likely be $800 or more.

    Usually it is good enough to just change the effective ratio of every gear by changing your axle ratio. If that's not enough, you can change just the low range gearing of some transfer cases or you can put on a doubler box or external overdrive, but those are pretty hard to use on a short wheelbase vehicle if it has much lift.

    '85 JIMMY
    '90 paint/grill/trim 5"susp 33/12.5/16.5
    Fresh 350 B&M '87 TH700
     
  11. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well my thought on that is it only applies the rear brakes. 60% of braking is in the front brakes. It might also get you in a situation of the back brakes lock and that locks the drivetrain but since the front is open you might get one front wheel locked (or spinning backwards because of the diff) and get some weird steering out of it. Also takes some of the control from you because your going to have a hard time watching the trail and trying to release that parking brake. Remember if you go side ways you can always release the brakes to regain steering and hopefully pick the tree or rock your going to hit. It's sort of the lesser of two evils here. Roll the truck or head on into a tree if you can't steer around it. Personaly I would rather hit the tree than roll if I had a choice. There is alot more truck infront of me than above me.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  12. Espen88k5

    Espen88k5 1/2 ton status

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  13. tom

    tom 1/2 ton status

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    You are pointing out the biggest weak point of an automatic. They won't creep down hill. With a stick you just slip in low gear and creep! Short of getting a real truck with a stick, you can add on a super low rediction unit like the Klune-V or one of the 4:1 transfer cases. These were originally developed by a guy who was tired of sliding down hill with his automatic. The are kind of expensive, usually about $1000 I think plus the drive shaft and crossmember work necessary to install it.
     
  14. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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  15. White Knight

    White Knight 1/2 ton status

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    As far as putting the truck in reverse, wow I can see all kinds of bad things happening there, specially if the rear tires are slipping because of the weight factor..swapping ends comes into mind[​IMG]not to mention the wear and tear on the driveline parts[​IMG]....I for one will slip that lit'l ole 700 into (1) and gentlyly apply my brakes and if that don't work...something about skiing comes to mind <font color=red>Point 'em downhill and hang on</font color=red>[​IMG]

    White Knight
     
  16. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    The first time I went wheeling, I did a real steep but short downhill in Drive-4Hi. HEAVY on the brakes to keep the speed sane. After I woke up from the mental funk I was in, I went to 1-4Lo and did the same downhill again. It was MUCH more controllable and I barely touched the brakes.

    Maybe your vehicle isn't quite up to the level it should be for the terrain?? Someone once told me that the proper equipment needed to go wheeling included a vehicle that was up to the task. I don't know what you're driving, but the downhill I referred to earlier is a 30% slope, and my truck's pretty much stock, and it wasn't a problem.



    This is just my opinion here; I'm not looking to get in a pi$$ing match with anyone.

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  17. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Did anyone see that video of a guy who let his girlfriend ride his Blazer on "The Lion's Back" or something like that? I saw it in some extreme videos program. There was a brake failure when they were descending and they started speeding, taking big jumps and losing control until they finally fell on one side and smashed that poor Blazer upside down.

    In my opinion that was caused by their inexperience. If they would have descended in 4lo+L1 they never would have caught enough speed to make those 4ft jumps and they could have avoided the accident by using the e-brake.

    But I'm not the one to critizice them. I was not there and I don't know what really happened. Thank God they were not seriously injured.

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