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How to Down Shift Transmission?

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I have a 2017 gas 3500. It's been converted to a camper and is near the GVWR. My question has to do with how to operate the transmission. I can't figure out how to get the transmission to operate in a lower gear when I need it to. When driving up steep hills sometimes the transmission remains in a low enough gear to get to the top without struggling (high RPM with plenty of reserve power). Other times the transmission shifts to a higher gear as I climb the hill, and I end up with the accelerator floor boarded, low RPM, and the van barely makes it.

As you all know, the gas transmission shifter can be moved to the right from the Drive position, and then it's possible to move it up or down. Based on other vehicles I've owned, presumably this should allow the driver to manually select a gear, or at least stop the transmission from up shifting. But apparently I'm not doing it right, because it doesn't seem to make a difference. My owner's manual says nothing about how the gas shifter works. (It has plenty to say about the diesel manual shifter, but ignores the gas version.) Could someone please explain the operation of this gas transmission, especially how to down shift, or stop up shifts, if possible?
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I have a 2017 gas 3500. It's been converted to a camper and is near the GVWR. My question has to do with how to operate the transmission. I can't figure out how to get the transmission to operate in a lower gear when I need it to. When driving up steep hills sometimes the transmission remains in a low enough gear to get to the top without struggling (high RPM with plenty of reserve power). Other times the transmission shifts to a higher gear as I climb the hill, and I end up with the accelerator floor boarded, low RPM, and the van barely makes it.

As you all know, the gas transmission shifter can be moved to the right from the Drive position, and then it's possible to move it up or down. Based on other vehicles I've owned, presumably this should allow the driver to manually select a gear, or at least stop the transmission from up shifting. But apparently I'm not doing it right, because it doesn't seem to make a difference. My owner's manual says nothing about how the gas shifter works. (It has plenty to say about the diesel manual shifter, but ignores the gas version.) Could someone please explain the operation of this gas transmission, especially how to down shift, or stop up shifts, if possible?
my owners manual pages 191 to 199 explains the use of the shift lever.

move it to the left then push it forward to down shift and pull it back to up shift.

it actually says that the gear you select is the top gear the transmission will select. It may downshift on it's own to a lower gear if necessary.
 

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I just move my shifter to the side on the rare occasions I want to manually shift (in spite of what the manual says)!moving the shift lever to the left shifts you down one gear from what you are already in. If you want to shift down more than one gear you move it to the left and then up as many times as you want to lower you gear.
 

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I really don’t know. I’ve only used it a few times and never really found it useful. It’s just as easy to downshift manually if you want but I find the transmission is usually in the correct gear Thant’s to the ecu. Keep in mind, your results many be different than mine.
 

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When coasting downhill in gas 1500 vpm it doesnt like to down shift to use engine braking on steep hills. on my kia sedona i can. The PM tranny doesnt seem to be norm of all the vehicles i have driven. It automatically does the engine braking when coasting and instant mpg is 99.9 and i hate that. adding mystery oil to gas seems to help that . as for going uphills - as long rpms is between 2000 and 1200 it downshifts just fine when manually shifting. i find that shifting at mid rpms of that range seems to shift smoother then higher or lower. its kinda like art driving - just gotta feel for your PM.
 

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You are better off letting the computer shift for you as it was designed to. Unless you’re towing you are only frustrating yourself with needless worrying .
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
my owners manual pages 191 to 199 explains the use of the shift lever.

move it to the left then push it forward to down shift and pull it back to up shift.

it actually says that the gear you select is the top gear the transmission will select. It may downshift on it's own to a lower gear if necessary.
Well, on page 191 in my owner's manual it explains how to check the power steering fluid and set the parking brake. Obviously they gave me the wrong manual. (Maybe they have a different one for diesels and I got that by mistake.) So thanks for mentioning the page number in your comment, because it sent me to the Internet to download a PDF of the correct manual, and sure enough, there's a description of the "Electronic Range Selector" for gas engines in that version.

After reading the instructions, it turns out I have been shifting the ERS correctly all along. That's unfortunate because the transmission still upshifts to gears higher than the one displayed when I try using the ERS while climbing hills. I think I need to take this thing to the dealer...
 

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Yep, it shouldn't shift any higher than the gear you select. Once you get that fixed, try tow/haul. Our conversion is fairly close to GVW and I find it noticeably improves shift timing on hills. It also works in combination with ERS if you want to downshift further. I often do that going down long hills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, it shouldn't shift any higher than the gear you select. Once you get that fixed, try tow/haul. Our conversion is fairly close to GVW and I find it noticeably improves shift timing on hills. It also works in combination with ERS if you want to downshift further. I often do that going down long hills.
Thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try.
 
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