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Thread: Towing: Torque vs Horsepower

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    Default Towing: Torque vs Horsepower

    A question for anyone smarter in vehicle physics than I am.

    I know generally speaking, Torque gets you going "off the line", and HP gets you going faster, when you're already in motion, but what about going uphill, at highway speed while towing? Does torque come into play then?

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    I've never heard the best explanation, but for me, torque is the ability to move something (twist wheels), at all. Power is the ability to apply that torque at a higher rate of speed.

    Torque is force x distance (ie moment arm) so it's Newton Meters which is equivalent to Joules (energy) because work is force x distance moved.
    Power is Joules/second in Watts.

    So, you can think of power as in rate of torque.

    I bet others can do better.
    :sad:

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    Its all about power under the curve in the powerband.

    https://x-engineer.org/automotive-en...wer-vs-torque/

    Great read.
    Last edited by dirtsniffer; 08-27-2019 at 08:59 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Im the one with a learning disability....

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    Torque gets you moving, power lets you move at speed.

    That and lack of torque can be essentially solved with gearing, but nothing can fix a lack of power.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Well, Horsepower is a function of Torque and RPM, so, an engine with higher Torque MUST have higher HP at that same RPM. So, to me, just go to the source, and get the torques.
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    Except that typically in practice, extra HP typically comes from higher operating RPM’s rather than higher torque.

    That being said. Just get more of both and you will want for nothing.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
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    I feel like you disagreed with me, by agreeing with me.
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    Peak horsepower should give a better representation for the scenario in the OP. At highway speed (+ incline + load) the engine will likely be operating beyond the max torque and will be operating near peak power.

    A wide flat torque curve leading up to peak power is ideal
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Im the one with a learning disability....

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    Just curious, because of the new Ford and Chevy 1/2 ton diesels. Gobs of torque, but under 300 hp. Makes me wonder how it would compare to a gasser with 300+hp, but less torque. Specifically in my scenario with hills and trailers.

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    According to motor trends powerstroke f150 review they can be gutless while towing on the highway.

    https://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford...t-test-review/
    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Im the one with a learning disability....

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    Area under the curve and peak HP matter most imo.

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    The easiest way for me to explain it is like so:

    Horsepower = how fast you can go
    Torque = how fast you will get to your top speed

    You can have HP, but no TQ, but not the inverse. You can essentially create all the TQ you want with creative enough gearing with very little HP.
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    More torque means you can hold gears longer. I don't know what's better or worse, but I think it's nicer being able to pull hills in 6th rather than dropping to 5th or 4th.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    I feel like you disagreed with me, by agreeing with me.
    Except I am more on the “bring on the rpms” camp haha
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Except I am more on the “bring on the rpms” camp haha
    Yeah, I've towed with a bunch of engines, and having to rev to 4500 is fine for short distances, but annoying as hell for longer periods.
    The Ford 5.4L trucks I owned were like that. Needed ALL the rpm for headwinds and hill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtsniffer View Post
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    According to motor trends powerstroke f150 review they can be gutless while towing on the highway.

    https://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford...t-test-review/
    That kind of answers my question. Now I want to see a towing "shoot-out" up the Coquillhala

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    I haven’t driven a 3L F150 but I drove a Ecodiesel towing 3000lbs and it was fine until around 100km/h. Above that it’s pretty damn weak, not much in the way of passing power. I am excited to drive a 3L Duramax half ton but sad it won’t come in Trail Boss trim level.

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    I don’t think any of the half ton diesels are really towing beasts from what I have read.

    Serious half ton towing ecoboost is where you want to be.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Twin_Cam_Turbo View Post
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    I haven’t driven a 3L F150 but I drove a Ecodiesel towing 3000lbs and it was fine until around 100km/h. Above that it’s pretty damn weak, not much in the way of passing power. I am excited to drive a 3L Duramax half ton but sad it won’t come in Trail Boss trim level.
    I think it will come in AT4 if TB is a need. Also from what I understand there are 2 trail boss trims so maybe one has and the other doesn’t? I know for 19 you couldn’t get TB with a 6.2 for example but that should be changing for 20.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    I don’t think any of the half ton diesels are really towing beasts from what I have read.

    Serious half ton towing ecoboost is where you want to be.
    Yup. If you need to be towing any serious type of load, the 3.5 EB in the F150 is the best on that market. I have towed 10K+ loads, and the truck just soaks it up. Horrible gas mileage when you are, but power is never an issue.
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    Torque is king for towing - just look at the HP/TQ ratios of diesel pickups, semi trucks, etc. Something like a Ram 3500 diesel has ~400HP but ~1000TQ. If you're towing a huge load up a hill in the mountains, you want lots of low RPM grunt, you don't want the engine screaming at 6000 RPM.

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