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Thread: Slow on hills - is it normal?

  1. #1

    Slow on hills - is it normal?

    Hey

    I have a 1989 Ford Transit with the 2.5Di, Lucas Cav pump and MT75 gearbox.
    Its all running fine and fully serviced with literally everything done to it!

    We are heading off to Spain in a few days and on a drive yesterday I encountered a few small hills and I found myself having to drop down the gears on pretty much any incline. Motorway inclines seem to have me down to 40ish mph and on really steep hills I am flat out at 25-30 in 2nd or 3rd gear...

    I have read allot around the subject on various forums but just want some reassurance that its pretty normal for an old N/A diesel?

    Maybe pre- trip nerves lol!

    Cheers
    J


  2. #2
    exiled cornishman wandering gypsy's Avatar
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    yup thats right a mk 3 transit does not like hills

  3. #3
    Heavenly Creature
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    What body is it? More wind resistance like a luton you will have to drop gears. It's called driving, not just sitting behind the wheel
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  4. #4
    Heavenly Creature Shroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vanwoman84 View Post
    What body is it? More wind resistance like a luton you will have to drop gears. It's called driving, not just sitting behind the wheel

    wind resistance only becomes an issue above 50mph , its why cars economy figures are based at 56mph , the main problem with hills is the gravity thing. Raising a few ton of weight takes a lot of energy.

  5. #5
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    A loaded up n/a tranny will need to be in donkey cog to get up hills.

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  6. #6
    Yup. I'm in a 1987 Mercedes 3.5 ton with a 3 litre engine and it's just the same. You learn to live with it. Coming up through Spain from Portugal I spent a lot of the time in second gear - mighty big mountains tho...

    What route are you taking to Spain and through Spain?

  7. #7
    Shed Junkie alices wonderland's Avatar
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    I would take it over a weigh bridge also. It's suprising how much fuel and a passenger can add to a already packed vehicle. With these hills you need to read them. Making most of exceloration and good smooth gear changes. But if your clenching your arse and willing with all you can muster, to get that drivers seat over the hill. The hills going to be a big-un.

    If youve ever tried to get a horse to pull a bowtop up a hill in Wales or to hold back a bowtop going down hill in Derbyshire. You will appreciate the effort the horse and in your case, the engine has to put into the mission. You have a part to play, drive the best you can and don't blame the tools. Good luck on your travels South.
    even a gypsy caravan is too much settling down.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MrsP View Post
    Yup. I'm in a 1987 Mercedes 3.5 ton with a 3 litre engine and it's just the same. You learn to live with it. Coming up through Spain from Portugal I spent a lot of the time in second gear - mighty big mountains tho...

    What route are you taking to Spain and through Spain?
    We arrive in Calais and drop down the west coast of France and then into Hendaye, Logrono, Guadalajara, Albacete and finally Grandada. On the way back we will probably go up the east coast of spain and spend a few days in Girona before heading back through france. Should be a good trip - last time I went I took my old tdi defender and done it in 2 nights, want a more leisurely experience this time (which I think it will have to be with the transit
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  9. #9
    Thanks for all your comments, the van is coach built so is quite big and heavy compared to a standard van! I suppose I will just get used to it and learn to drive using the gears more and planning ahead a bit more... At least France and Spain are renowned for having very few hills

    Maybe Netherlands would have been a better option!

  10. #10
    Heavenly Creature itinerant child's Avatar
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    I am in an ldv convoy with the same engine and gearbox as you and am at about 3.2 tons and find that engine in particular just has not got the power for hills,so you have to sit back and accept it. You get better at when knowing when to take a decent run up at the hills and if you are on a normal road and a decent layby appears sometimes you can quickly nip in and let anyone behind you get past.
    If you keep a good eye on the road ahead and on whats behind,you will make many friends by indicating at the right moment to let people know when it is safe to get by.

    I have got an lpg conversion as well as the diesel and when I get onto hills when I have got gas in the tank,I switch on the lpg and it acts like a turbo and offers a little bit more speed to deal with the hills,though I prefer to do this when there are no pushbikes or anyone behind me as it smokes a bit too much for my liking when I use both fuels under preasure.

    I spend a lot of time in the alps,pyranees and massif central so have got good at reading the incline and figuring whether to go at it hard or just accept that I am going to do it gently in second or even first sometimes if on the big slopes. You will save much more fuel and help the environment more when you get good at this. Do remember to let people past when you can though as it serves all of us in larger vehicles well when car drivers get to see such respect and road diplomacy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I am in an ldv convoy with the same engine and gearbox as you and am at about 3.2 tons and find that engine in particular just has not got the power for hills,so you have to sit back and accept it. You get better at when knowing when to take a decent run up at the hills and if you are on a normal road and a decent layby appears sometimes you can quickly nip in and let anyone behind you get past.
    If you keep a good eye on the road ahead and on whats behind,you will make many friends by indicating at the right moment to let people know when it is safe to get by.

    I have got an lpg conversion as well as the diesel and when I get onto hills when I have got gas in the tank,I switch on the lpg and it acts like a turbo and offers a little bit more speed to deal with the hills,though I prefer to do this when there are no pushbikes or anyone behind me as it smokes a bit too much for my liking when I use both fuels under preasure.

    I spend a lot of time in the alps,pyranees and massif central so have got good at reading the incline and figuring whether to go at it hard or just accept that I am going to do it gently in second or even first sometimes if on the big slopes. You will save much more fuel and help the environment more when you get good at this. Do remember to let people past when you can though as it serves all of us in larger vehicles well when car drivers get to see such respect and road diplomacy.
    anything is possible,that my friends is a mathematical certainty ;-)
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  11. #11
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    Just came back from Barcelona, it was not leisurely at all. Managed 17.5hours that was door to door. Set off in Barcelona at 11am and got to brimingham 4:15am the following day. Can't imagine your van doing it hahahaha but it's possible. Those mountains between Spain and France are massive. There is signs with the height in meters we seen them saying 3000m (which is well over 3times the highest mountain in the UK) so if you struggle in the UK now you may find it a very long slow slog to get up some of these beasts.

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  12. #12
    Heavenly Creature popuptoaster's Avatar
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    They have about 90bhp if I remember so at 3 ton you have 30bhp per ton more or less, that'll be why it slows down going up hills.

  13. #13
    Heavenly Creature itinerant child's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowmoose View Post
    Just came back from Barcelona, it was not leisurely at all. Managed 17.5hours that was door to door. Set off in Barcelona at 11am and got to brimingham 4:15am the following day. Can't imagine your van doing it hahahaha but it's possible. Those mountains between Spain and France are massive. There is signs with the height in meters we seen them saying 3000m (which is well over 3times the highest mountain in the UK) so if you struggle in the UK now you may find it a very long slow slog to get up some of these beasts.
    The signs that you saw were actually for the height of the mountain and not the height of the road that you were on. The heighest mountain pass by quite a stretch in europe is in the alps and is just over 2800 metres. I can not remember the heighest pass crossing the pyranees though think it was under 2400metres. Bloody high and tough going in some vehicles,though these mountain passes are not by any means as steep as some of the smaller roads that are hidden away in the mountains.
    I managed to get up a 26 percent incline in my old lt35,yet have run out of power and have had to go back in the ldv on 20 to 22 percent lanes.
    As most of the main mountain passes have quite a few larger vehicles using them,they tend to stretch them out a bit further by zig zagging up the mountain with bigger straights and lesser climbs between the bends.

    I know this as have been over every mountain pass in europe on quite a few occassions and am often to be found in those places.

    You are right about it being a long hard slog snowmoose and it is much better to do it when you are not in a hurry.
    anything is possible,that my friends is a mathematical certainty ;-)
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  14. #14
    Heavenly Creature itinerant child's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popuptoaster View Post
    They have about 90bhp if I remember so at 3 ton you have 30bhp per ton more or less, that'll be why it slows down going up hills.
    Mine is the 72BHP version hence the snail like qualities
    anything is possible,that my friends is a mathematical certainty ;-)
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  15. #15
    Heavenly Creature dieseldog's Avatar
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    What on earth makes you think Spain and France don't have big hills? You'll find a couple in your first few hours out of Calais; and as for Spain........ Whenever we cross Europe I think to myself that they have longer and steeper inclines than us and many more of them! As previously stated, it's all about knowing your vehicle and when to drop a cog whilst retaining maximum momentum/economy. If you have a turbo, it's about changing down to hit the turbo right in the lower gear, in pre cdi vans , that is. In newer vans, as VW said, you just point and go. Not so in older ones which you need to drive. Keep on truckin with Suzy n Toby Trux.

  16. #16
    If taking a run up for hills be careful there isn't a speed camera at the bottom, I've floored it down a hill before to make it up the other side and found a speed camera in the dip so had to brake hard to avoid a ticket.

    The hill at the hot air balloon pub near Gloucester made my van struggle, it made me laugh though at how poor most people's driving is, I was in the crawler lane doing 18 mph with 4 or 5 cars following me on my bumper, seeming impatient, it was only when a pickup towing a trailer overtook us that the cars realised the empty overtaking lane was there.
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  17. #17
    I've often thought about making a little sign for my back window saying "NO TURBO".

    In fact, I think I'll make one now!
    Roughing it smoothly...
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsP View Post
    I've often thought about making a little sign for my back window saying "NO TURBO".

    In fact, I think I'll make one now!
    Donkey powered may be more appropriate

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  19. #19
    Comfortably Numb Rick69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsP View Post
    I've often thought about making a little sign for my back window saying "NO TURBO".

    In fact, I think I'll make one now!
    I thought about a "we'll get there when we get there" sticker..
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by itinerant child View Post
    I managed to get up a 26 percent incline in my old lt35,
    I would back my lt to get up anything, just that it may be at a crawl in first gear!

  21. #21
    Heavenly Creature itinerant child's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alf M View Post
    I would back my lt to get up anything, just that it may be at a crawl in first gear!
    This was even lower than first,even out of gear the van was pulling itself,bit of a heavier duty version of herbie !!!

    Thank goodness that no-one came down the track from up on the plateau as even just the idea of having to reverse back down a slope like that puts the shits up me. I met a farmer the following day (had come down from the shrooms by then) who said he had never seen a van up there before. For once I think that the no campervans sign at the bottom made sense !!

    Does not bear thinking of if the brakes were to fail going back down
    anything is possible,that my friends is a mathematical certainty ;-)

  22. #22
    Heavenly Creature dieseldog's Avatar
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    Or the wheels to lock...... Toby.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by samjosh2723 View Post
    The hill at the hot air balloon pub near Gloucester made my van struggle, it made me laugh though at how poor most people's driving is, I was in the crawler lane doing 18 mph with 4 or 5 cars following me on my bumper, seeming impatient, it was only when a pickup towing a trailer overtook us that the cars realised the empty overtaking lane was there.
    I was a bit bothered the first time we had to go up "Birdlip Hill" , nae bother, Bessie flew up there

  24. #24
    Heavenly Creature Wulfie's Avatar
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    If Birdlip bothered you you want to try Porlock Hill now that is a bit steep especially if you get stuck behind some numpty towing a caravan who can't drive.
    Not all who wander are lost
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