Here is Episode 5 of the TFLtruck Ike Gauntlet – Light Duty Edition. The 2013 Ram 1500 CrewCab Sport 4×4 is next to step up to this extreme towing challenge.
This Ram is equipped with the venerable 5.7-liter HEMI V8 paired with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 395 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 407 lb-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm. This truck’s wheelbase is 140.7 inches and it’s rated at 6,800 lbs GVWR, 1,330 lbs of payload or a maximum 10,000 lbs of towing capacity. This particular Ram Sport has a low 3.92 rear axle ratio, which is better for towing. The ‘as tested’ price of this truck is: $54,355.
The temperature was around 41 F during the test, and the surrounding slopes had a fresh dusting of snow. The roadway was dry and clear, the sky was blue, and the test was underway.
What Are We Towing?
We carefully chose a load that will stress these pickups near their maximum ratings. Enter the Diamond in the Rough – the 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Diamond Jubilee edition, which is sitting on a double axle flat bed trailer. Total weight of the Lincoln and trailer is: 7,120 lbs. Yep, this Lincoln has a lot of heft. That’s not all. Don’t forget that Roman, Nathan, and Mr Truck Kent Sundling are in the truck to provide the data and commentary. Lets just say that the guys and gear add another 850 lbs – if we are rounding up. All together – the load is 8,000 lbs and is the same as in Episodes 1-4.
The Way Up
The engine and transmission will be stressed to the max gaining more than 2,000 feet of elevation in just eight miles. The average grade of this climb is 7%. And the engines will be starving for oxygen and struggling to make power at the 11,158 ft finish line. The test is to use maximum throttle input on the way up in order to maintain the 60 MPH speed limit (or the maximum speed the truck is able to maintain below that). This is also a test for the driver as very slow moving semi trucks and other vehicles are obstacles to maintaining momentum and staying at 60 MPH. (See the video for the time, summary data will be posted tomorrow).
We want to know how capable the brakes and transmission are descending from the tunnel to Dillon/Silverthorne. This is perhaps even more important than being fast on the uphill. The trucks must be safe and practical on the way down. The measurement is simple. The trucks must maintain a safe and practical speed at or below the 60 MPH on the way down. We measure the brake rotor temperatures at the bottom and the truck with the coolest brakes is the winner. Of course, we also monitor the transmission and engine temperatures on all runs. (See the video for the brake temperatures, summary data will be posted tomorrow).
Check out this epic towing test here, and stay tuned for the next Ike Gauntlet video featuring the Nissan Titan.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFL since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.