Here is Episode 4 of the TFLtruck Ike Gauntlet – Light Duty Edition. The 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4×4 is next to step up to this extreme towing test.
This Tundra is equipped with the 5.7-liter iForce V8 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine has Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) and produces 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 rpm. This truck’s wheelbase is 145.7 inches and it’s rated at 7,200 lbs GVWR, 1,410 lbs of payload or a maximum 9,600 lbs of towing capacity. This Tundra Limited has an extra low 4.30 rear axle ratio, which is good for towing and not so good for fuel economy. The ‘as tested’ price of this truck is: $45,220.
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 1-3.
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 after Episode 5).
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 after Episode 5).
Check out this epic towing test here, and stay tuned for the next Ike Gauntlet video with the Ram 1500 HEMI soon.
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’.