Which gears should I use for going up hills?


Rico

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I have a 1992 four cylinder 2wd that I used to drive around here in nice flat Texas. However I took it to nice hilly Pennsylvania and I can only go 35 mph in 3rd gear up those hills. :annoyed: I need help. Which type of gear would you guys recommend for going up those hills about 45-50 mph in fourth gear. I'm also asking if anybody has regretted going too low of a gear ratio. :icon_confused:
 


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scotts90ranger

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what size tires?
 

Rico

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I can't say for sure what size tire right now. :dunno: I'm in Texas and my ranger is in Pennsylvania. It may be just 23in or close to stock. Still has the stock aluminum rims.
 

Southern3.0

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I'd say 4.10's, you can find a whole axle with the gears you want at the Junk yard for cheaper then it would cost to have gears installed, that the route i'd go.

Whats wrong with down shifting though?
 

ILLEGALCONCEPTS

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Wait a min., you are trying to go up hills in 3rd gear at 35MPH? Downshift assuming you have a 5-speed. If its an auto, something is wrong, your tranny should have done it for you. 1st gear tops at 35MPH, 2nd at 60MPH, 3rd at 90, 4th you'll hit the fuel cut off first. My 96 had 3.45's for a long time and I was running a 28" tire.

If you really want to know what is going on with the truck, put a tach, vac gauge, and an air/fuel gauge in. You are shifting way to early, these engine like RPM. You'll probably find out that you still have RPM left before shifting, you are running rich and you vac is close to zero. I was very surprised when I did the vac and A/F gauges. I thought I was saving gas by being in 5th gear while I was actually hurting performance and MPG.

I now have 4.10's and the same tires on my 96, I like it. It's a bit more shifting but my truck stays in its power band better. My 95 has 3.45's and 29x10.5 on it. Sure it isn't has quick off the line, but I still float around with no issues. I just shift at different times between the 2 trucks.

James
 

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The reason why I can only go 35 mph up the hills is because I'm spinning the guts out of the transmission and then I'll shift into 4th and it starts losing power immediately and then I down shift back into 3rd. Heck I've already tried getting a nice running start for the hills if you know what I mean but it's not enough.
There's even a hill so big it's just known as "The Summit" and it's three or more miles of all really steep uphill road. Going down the other side there's red signs with flashing lights warning truckers to go 10 mph downhill. It really sucks going only 35 mph up that hill and I'm afaid of overheating the motor one of these days.
So I guess I'm off to the junkyard to find an axle with 4.10's or 4.56's.
 

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you arent "spinning the guts" out of anything. you are lugging the motor which is very bad for it. leave your axle gearing along and downshift. your taking the hills in too high of gear. your engine makes its peak power at 4,000 RPM. with your current gear ratio and tire size, your probably lugging closer to 2500 RPM @ 35 MPH.
 

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I'm unsure of all of your responses of downshifting guys. :icon_confused:
1st gear goes to 20mph max
2nd gear goes to 35mph max
3rd gear goes to 45mph max
4th gear goes to 65mph or so
5th gear is a joke. Just for cruising.

I want to go faster up the hills not down shift. Thats the problem.
I can floor the pedal in 3rd no problem but if I floor the pedal in 4th it loses all power. I just don't want to floor the gas in third all the time. I'm afraid of engine trouble spinning it to high heaven like that.
 

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not sure where you got those figures, but they are incorrect....unless you have some odd tire size/gear ratio combo.

downshifting IS changing your gear ratio. it accomplishes the same thing as replacing your differential gearing with a numerically higher ratio. we are suggesting downshifting because in order to make it up those hills, you need all of your engines rated 100 HP, which doesnt occure untill 4600 RPM (i was mistaken before when i said 4000). you arent going to hurt the engine by spinning it up to its powerband. your more likely to hurt it by lugging it in too high of a gear up hills.
 

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sludge......Rico's # are right on the money. I have the same problem he's having, I live in PA i know what hills are like. On the straightaway your in 4th gunnin it b4 you get to the hill, as soon as you start goin up it, BLLLLLLLLLAAAAAHHHHHHHH, it just boggs out, then you downshift to 3rd and your pretty much redlineing the f#%$#$@ thing. So either you tach it out or bogg your way up the hill, which is impossible usually!!!!
 

ILLEGALCONCEPTS

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I'm unsure of all of your responses of downshifting guys. :icon_confused:
1st gear goes to 20mph max
2nd gear goes to 35mph max
3rd gear goes to 45mph max
4th gear goes to 65mph or so
5th gear is a joke. Just for cruising.

I want to go faster up the hills not down shift. Thats the problem.
I can floor the pedal in 3rd no problem but if I floor the pedal in 4th it loses all power. I just don't want to floor the gas in third all the time. I'm afraid of engine trouble spinning it to high heaven like that.

Is that the suggested speeds from the owners manual? That's to get the MAX MPG assuming a perfectly flat road with the wind at your back.

This is why I suggested getting the gauges, at least get the tach for your truck. My listings for shifting are at max RPM with the 3.45's which is about 6200RPM. Most people shift too early if they don't know these engines. They are loud by modern standards, wind the engine up. You HAVE to down shift for hills. I cruise at 3grand damn near everyday local driving. When I get out on the highway I try to stay between 2000- 2500 but I pay attention to the gauges. If I am coming up on a hill, I down shift. Trust me, I don't drive like an old lady and I have no real complaints about my truck. Do I want more power, hell yeah but who doesn't. These trucks are heavy and have the aerodynamics of a brick but they will move and at a fair rate.

James
 

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Is that the suggested speeds from the owners manual? That's to get the MAX MPG assuming a perfectly flat road with the wind at your back.

This is why I suggested getting the gauges, at least get the tach for your truck. My listings for shifting are at max RPM with the 3.45's which is about 6200RPM. Most people shift too early if they don't know these engines. They are loud by modern standards, wind the engine up. You HAVE to down shift for hills. I cruise at 3grand damn near everyday local driving. When I get out on the highway I try to stay between 2000- 2500 but I pay attention to the gauges. If I am coming up on a hill, I down shift. Trust me, I don't drive like an old lady and I have no real complaints about my truck. Do I want more power, hell yeah but who doesn't. These trucks are heavy and have the aerodynamics of a brick but they will move and at a fair rate.

James
6200, 6200, are you out of you mind? ive never pushed mine passed 4000!!!!
 

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In case your all wondering how I got those numbers, it comes from experience. I know how to completely max out the engine before I need to shift or else a rev limiter or something kicks in. I would like to go up the hills in fourth gear.

So my big question is should I go to a junkyard and get 4.10's or 4.56's from another truck or should I order some deeper gears like 4.88's or 5.13's? I don't want overestimate the underwhelming capabilities of a 4cylinder so I was looking for anybody with experience or opinions.
 

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In case your all wondering how I got those numbers, it comes from experience. I know how to completely max out the engine before I need to shift or else a rev limiter or something kicks in. I would like to go up the hills in fourth gear.

So my big question is should I go to a junkyard and get 4.10's or 4.56's from another truck or should I order some deeper gears like 4.88's or 5.13's? I don't want overestimate the underwhelming capabilities of a 4cylinder so I was looking for anybody with experience or opinions.
Before doing that, I'd suggest a tune-up and/or compression test because you're not getting the best performance out of your truck...my 2.0 with a five speed had similar issues going up steep hills, and downshifting into third on some was not unusual...until I replaced the engine with one that worked properly...

Mine was a compression/head issue combination that sucked the power right out of the old 2.0...I've still had to downshift from 5th (which should allow you to cruise at highway speeds as long as it's flat) to 4th at the most...I haven't had to hit third gear on really steep hills when the engine is working properly...

Replacing your gears may help at this point, but you've still got a wonky engine from the sounds of things...and it's just a matter of time before it gets to the point where you will need to consider repair/replacement of the engine.
 

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sludge......Rico's # are right on the money.
they MIGHT be close, if he already has incredably deep gearing with tiny little tires. in which case changing the R&P gear ratio isnt going to help.

6200, 6200, are you out of you mind? ive never pushed mine passed 4000!!!!
then youve never reached your engines peak power. these engines need to spin, and worrying about hurting them by doing so is like worrying about drowning a fish by putting it in the lake.

these trucks are all equipped with electronic rev limiters to protect the engine from over revving. if you havnt hit it at least once, you arent driving your truck properly.

with 27" tires, 3.45 gearing, 3rd gear, at 35 MPH your engine is turning just 2300 RPM...your engine makes almost NO power this low. downshift to second, this changes your final gearing from 5.2:1 in 3rd to 7.6:1. by contrast, 4.10 ring and pinion gearing in 3rd gear only gives you 6.2:1 final gearing.
 


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