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How are the trucks in high Elevation in the mountains

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Posted (edited)

I've had mine over 11,000 ft in the mountains of Colorado and it did very well.  Obviously it a bit down on power at that elevation, but it did better than I expected it to.  It held the speed limit all the way without having keep the pedal on the floor.  The automatic grade braking was interesting, but I prefer to use manual mode going down hill.

Edited by Mike GMC

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I live at about 8000 feet in Colorado as well. My 6.2 is “Strong Like Bull”.

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Live in Denver and go up to 11-12k with mine without issues. 5.3 here. 

 

Even my wifes 2.0 eco boost escape does ok at altitude.  It didn’t like 14k+ on MT Evans as much but was still completely drivable. 

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I just got back from Colorado trip which included a drive up Pikes Peak and other areas up around 14k feet. Handled it like a champ no issues what's so ever.  This is with the 6.2, but I assume 5.3 would be no different. Would have liked to had 93 octane all I could find was 91. Seems west of the Mississippi 93 is not as readily available as in IL and places farther to the east .

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4 minutes ago, reardiff said:

I just got back from Colorado trip which included a drive up Pikes Peak and other areas up around 14k feet. Handled it like a champ no issues what's so ever.  This is with the 6.2, but I assume 5.3 would be no different. Would have liked to had 93 octane all I could find was 91. Seems west of the Mississippi 93 is not as readily available as in IL and places farther to the east .

89 was likely the best you could find in CO. At least without searching a ton. 

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Towed my 3.5k lb trailer over 12k ft passes in Colorado and all through Montana and Idaho with no issues.

The gas is lower octane at higher elevations. 85 is considered regular. I paid for mid grade the whole time.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

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It's roughly a 3% loss in horsepower per 1000 feet in altitude gain.  10,000 ft = 70%

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Posted (edited)

Weather has a lot to do with how much you loose, but here in Denver correction factors at the dyno range from about 1.25 down to 1.18.  At 10000 ft, it's more like a 40-50% loss.

 

Honestly, at least with this truck, it doesn't seem that bad.  It may just be a real world example of just how invasive the torque management is at lower elevations.  You get up high and the computer progressively unleashes more of the potential.  I would assume a truck with a good tune would "feel" the elevation more.

 

Edited by Mike GMC

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2 hours ago, squeak93 said:

89 was likely the best you could find in CO. At least without searching a ton. 

 

In Colorado Springs I was able to get 91. Maybe I got lucky, but the shell station by my hotel had it.

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Not a 1500, but my 2015 2500 6.0 just did a road trip to Wyoming.  I did a E85 only trip this time.  Been using E85 for the last year continuously.  The 6.0 in the 2500 did a fantastic job at altitude.  I think that could be partially due to the higher oxygen content of E85. 

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The potential loss at altitude is based on "density altitude".  This is primarily a calculation of barometric pressure and temperature.  While humidity plays a role, it is much less influential.  But, just so you know, high humidity means less oxygen.   As altitude increases, the pressure decreases and therefore the amount of oxygen in a cubic foot of air decreases.  As temperature increases, the amount of oxygen in a cubic foot of air decreases.  As humidity increases, the amount of oxygen in a cubic foot of air decreases.

 

Try this calculator to see the effect of temperature at a given altitude. http://www.pilotfriend.com/pilot_resources/density.htm

  There's a significant difference between 5000 ft at 40F vs. 5000 ft at 80F.  A "density altitude" value is indicative of the performance you can expect at that pressure, altitude, temperature, and humidity.    So, run this little test.  Plug in 5000 ft,  40F,  29.92 (altimeter setting),  20F dewpoint.  Read the "density altitude"  (=4979 ft).  Then change just the temperature to 80F (=7499 ft).   This means your engine will loose power on the 80F day vs the 40F day, like it went up another 2520 ft in altitude.

 

For an engine that adjusts fuel/air mixture as altitude increases, the loss is minimized (not minimal).  Old carburetor engines lost a lot more than 3% per 1000 ft.  Our EFI engines hang in there about the 3% loss/1000 ft. 

 

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MY 2 cents.

I live at 9200 feet.

My drive into the nearest town is a roller coaster ride that ends at 9500 feet.

The injected and computer controlled engines run better of course.

My truck averages 16 mpg at his altitude with 87 octane gas.

 

Now back to the old days.

My carbed outboard is jetted being I fish above 8K feet exclusively.

Runs well after being jetted.

 

My Honda ATV is carbed and jetted also.

I run it with the air box lid removed to get more air.

It has an after market exhaust that is less restrictive than stock and a K&N air cleaner.

 

My neighbor has 2 ATV's  of the same model as mine. One of his ATV's is the same year but is stock.

The other ATV is newer, is fuel injected and has a 30 cc bigger motor.

My carbed, jetted  ATV keeps up with his injected ATV.

His stock carbed one suffers when we climb a local mountain that is 10K feet high so he rides his injected one when we go up this mountain.

My carbed, jetted ATV handles the climb up the mountain just fine.

 

In short a carbed engine can be made to run exceptionally well at altitude if jetted and tuned for it.

You just can't go to lower altitudes without re jetting or you will toast a motor due to it running to lean.

Jetting gets you better performance, better fuel mileage, longer plug life and longer engine oil change intervals because the motor isn't running rich or fat.

 

:)

 

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