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Need A Driving Lesson


SuiteSuccess

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On the way home from ECR ran into one lane "road work" in hilly East Tennessee. I have the Volvo V12 with Ultrashift. I noticed with the stop and go traffic, my truck would downshift all the way to second which is highest starting gear I could have programmed. This downshift was often "rougher" and more jerky than usual since basically it was "creep" mode. I tried switching to manual and using higher gear but with complete stop and creeping caused a lot of jerking. How can I correct this? Thinking the hills were some of the problem as downshifts in automatic on level usually pretty smooth.

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Carl, I have to "2 pedal" my ultrashift to start smoothly from a dead stop....that is, hold the brake while slightly depressing accelerator and releasing brake as soon as the clutch engages. If i have the Engine Brake and/or Jake Brake enabled, the down shifts can cause some jerking when slowing down but without the retarders the downshifts are smooth. I am most likely to jerk the rig when barely rolling and trying to start without a full stop. I know that sometimes the Ultrashift is rougher on shifting than I could shift a manual. I don't know if all Ultrashifts are this way but mine took some getting used to. Usually downshifts under power are silky smooth, the range up shift [5th to 6th] a bit harsh and starting from a "rolling stop" is the hardest to do smoothly. I somtimes wish I had an Autoshift with the clutch pedal, or a manual when maneuvering in reverse. I would also prefer that R1 were geared twice as low as it is. I don't know why the heck we have R2.....I guess if I were to lose all forward gears, I could still travel at freeway speed in reverse ?!?! Charlie

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I don't know why the heck we have R2.....I guess if I were to lose all forward gears, I could still travel at freeway speed in reverse ?!?!

I was surprised a few weeks ago when looking at the gear ratios on the Ultrashift--I've used the high range reverse on my Freedomline and found it useful on a few occasions (not often though), but I'd agree the Ultrashift's isn't worth much:

RL(1) RH(2)

Freedomline 11.41 8.88

Ultrashift 11.23 2.52

 

Both low range reverse gears are between 1st and 2nd (or slightly shorter than 1st on the Ultrashift) gears going forward. High range reverse is between 2nd and 3rd on the Freedomline, but the Ultrashift's would be comparable to 8th! (or to compare to the Ultrashift's forward gears, the Freedomline high range reverse would be like 2nd, Ultrashift high range reverse equivalent to 6th). You'd have to run the engine to over 2,000 RPM to be able to get up to idle speed in high range. Maybe if you're rolling down a steep hill backwards, you can get into high range to use the engine brake!

 

Carl, what you've described sounds similar to what my manual (Freedomline) says is indicative of the clutch release fork needing lubricated. I'm not sure what the procedure or service interval would be on the Ultrashift, but here's what ZF says for me:

 

 

NOTE: The ZF-FreedomLine does not require a

regular maintenance program. However, to

ensure maximum performance and quality,

ensuring that the release mechanism is

lubricated in regular intervals is beneficial.

In most cases, lubricating the parts twice per

year is sufficient. In some cases, however,

lubricating the parts quarterly is normal. Thus if

there is a bump noticed when going from

neutral into gear at standstill or when coming to

a stop, this is a signal that the lubrication is

required

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We never use High range (R2) on our Ultra shift. We tried it twice and both times had issues getting the truck back into neutral so haven't used it any more. Guess with those differences in ratios there is no need to use it as like Charlie says we never plan to go highway speeds in reverse!

 

Carl, We usually run with our jake on and in slow speeds can get the same not smooth shifting so I usually try to keep lots of gap in front and just creep along where it will not shift much and turn off the jake or move to the lower stage if the jake is coming on a lot and not needed.

 

We can set our Ultrashift to start out in 3rd but I usually only use it when Bobtail as the truck with the trailer is smoother starting out in 2nd. You may want to check your parameters and see if they can change them to allow you to start in 3rd.

 

Dave

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Thanks all. I did have the engine brake on initially but not the exhaust brake. Turned both off and was a little smoother. Another question, any harm in situations such as this just putting trani in N and letting it roll downhill with both brakes off? My service brakes help stop the trailer just fine on shallow grades. Guess with these trucks like any profession, there's the science of driving and then there's the art.

Dave, tried to get mine set to start in 3rd but shop said could only reprogram to 2nd. I know I can make it "learn" in manual mode but honestly haven't tried that much and it resets to second when keyed off.

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Carl our default gear when we key on and put it in "D" is "2". As long as we are at a complete stop we can shift up to "3" and then it will remember that and not go to 2nd until we turn key off or do a down shift ourselves.

Dave

 

Yes, Dave mine is the same. That's what I meant by it " learning" . Maybe that's what I should have tried.

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Word of advice...if you shift into neutral and coast, there is a high probability that the transmission will not want to go back into gear, any gear, until you make the shaft speeds match with the clutch brake. That means you really need to come to a complete stop before you try to shift into gear, otherwise risking damage to the clutch brake. Be calm, slow down, enjoy the scenery and the rumble of the big diesel, and know that many of the peasants around you wish they were driving that big ol' truck. Shifting will instantly get much smoother.

 

Obie-Wan

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Carl - Cec and I were at the campground several years ago. Nice open pull thru's, we didn't look at the kids amenities while there.

 

In the park (Smoky Mountains NP), while on the Boone Circle?? (Cade's Cove) Ricky Ranger was ahead of us. He parked and came back at us a finger in the air, waving like a hay stalk in a twister. I started to get out, papers in hand, (including the NP rules about commercial vehicles), when he saw the side markings about private RV hauler. The not yet conversation went from "I'm gonna throw the book at you and stomp the ashes" to WOW, what a cool rig, before he even opened his mouth. His opening comment was "Ya'll were ready for me!! We talked a minute or so and he pointed out some neat places to go (scenery) and warned us (height) about another.

 

So, in spite of some of the nah sayers, The signage on the side does work.

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So, in spite of some of the nah sayers, The signage on the side does work.

The ranger still stopped, you still stopped, and a discussion still occurred. Conversation could have accomplished the exact same thing and works just as well as your signage.

 

I stopped a motor home with signs yesterday and left him waving his tickets at me as he continued yelling "it's a motor home". Of course he was towing a car hauler and not an RV, and that does make a difference to me...but not to others that I know.

 

Signage may help, but it's not the bullet proof vest that some claim. A good conversation will accomplish as much, if not more, than signs (in my opinion) since I am probably the biggest "nay sayer" here.

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Your right Phil - when he stopped, and waved me over, he was driving ahead of me and didn't see the signs. He saw a commercial truck in the National Park. He saw the signage as I pulled over. The discussion just changed a bunch (His whole demeanor changed, you could see it in his face and stance). I've had many pleasant discussions (no sarcasm, just good conversation) with LEO's in rest areas, lunch spots etc. inquiring what the truck is and what we're doing, and the reasons for doing it.

 

I don't believe that the signage is bulletproof, it just changes the conversations starting point if there is one.

 

LOL - by the way, when we come north through Houston, the small white box on the back (2' square by 7" tall) is a step / landing for the dog ramp. (She's getting arthritis in the hips)

 

ps I'll tell Brad that you said Happy Birthday when we go to supper tonight.

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I have the 2 pedal ultrashift in my kenworth and I noticed that when I'm in traffic going slow the truck will put itself in neutral when not pushing the brake pedal. It indicates this by having a down arrow next to the last gear it was in. As soon as you press the accelerator it picks a gear that it feels it should be in. Typically it picks one to low so it gets a little jerky going from coasting to accelerating again. Next time i get into this situation I'm going to try the manual mode to see if I cam do better than the truck.

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Remember, Suite, that your clutch is centrifugal. It doesn't have a release bearing per se so there isn't an arm to grease. That also means that it can't land a shift under 1000 rpm. If it did that it would land the shift on an open clutch and things would be real ugly real fast. So it is always going to return to gear on the high side and a 10 spd is going to be rougher than the rest because it doesn't have much to pick from. The best you can do is to be easy on the throttle on the low side and level off torque pre-shift on the high side just like you would do with a manual.

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