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Old 01-02-2015, 07:15 AM   #1
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Newbie PAC Brake Question

I have a newbie PAC Brake question. The RV is a 1997 Country Coach 36' Intrigue with Cummins 8.3C 325hp, Allison 3060 and Two Position PAC Brake.

- Engine running, cruise control switched off, PAC set to first position, dash light comes on, PAC Brake engages (visually confirmed) and develops loud hiss in the engine bay. No obvious signs of air escaping anywhere as viewed from the access panel beneath the bed and could not detect air escaping anywhere using my hand.

- Slightly depress accelerator pedal and PAC Brake disengages. PAC Brake reengages when foot lifted off accelerator and engine returns back to idle. Loud HISS returns.

- Same scenario but engine not running, ignition switched on, cruise control switched off, PAC set to first position, dash light comes on, PAC Brake engages (visually confirmed) and absolutely no HISS. Dead quiet other than the loud click the actuator makes when engaging/disengaging.

- Same scenario but with cruise control switched to the ON position, PAC Brake does not function in first position nor does dash light illuminate.

Because I hear no hiss with the engine not running, my assumption is that the HISS is exhaust gas passing thru the orifice in the PAC Brake baffle.


Is this the PAC Brake normal operation and am I correct that the HISS is exhaust escaping thru the orifice in the PAC Brake exhaust baffle?
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:42 AM   #2
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Some exhaust brakes do sound more like a his. Does it feel like the engine is holding back? Some people expect the sound to be like they hear from heavy trucks running standard Jake style brakes. Most exhaust brakes sound like a large air leak.
Rod
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
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Similar to mine. However the Pac Brake does seem to work with the cruise control on.

It will not work at over 65 mph on my rig.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:02 AM   #4
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Some exhaust brakes do sound more like a his. Does it feel like the engine is holding back? Some people expect the sound to be like they hear from heavy trucks running standard Jake style brakes. Most exhaust brakes sound like a large air leak.
Rod
Mine definitely sounds like a large air leak when the engine is running and the first setting is engaged at idle. It likely makes this noise all of the time going down the road when the PAC brake is engaged but I did not expect it with the RV idling in the driveway. I was confident that I would find a big air leak somewhere in the rear but as I mentioned, when the engine is not turning, key is on and the PAC brake is engaged it is dead silent.

I need to road test it again as I was not aware that the PAC Brake doesn't work on the low setting when the cruise control is switched on. It seemed to work fine on my first outing and then appeared to stop functioning but it is likely because I had used the cruise control earlier and not switched the cruise control to the "OFF" position.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:14 AM   #5
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Similar to mine. However the Pac Brake does seem to work with the cruise control on.

It will not work at over 65 mph on my rig.
My two position PAC brake works fine with cruise control switched on when on the second/high setting which also brings the transmission downshifting into play. On the low setting, if cruise control is switched on (not necessarily engaged), the PAC brake does not function. Also, on the low setting, only the retarder baffle closes. No transmission downshifting happens on low so it is more subtle braking.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
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Every chassis & engine, manufacturer will have slightly different operation of the engine exhaust brake.
Having the brake engage at idle was used by some makers to aid engine warm up in cold weather; by holding the exhaust gases in the manifold and head , both heat up quicker.
Same with the inter action of the exhaust brake and the cruise control, some chassis the cruise can't be set with the exhaust brake on.
As deandec says, over 65 operation is minimal , because the transmission won't downshift to protect the engine .
Best engine brake operation on my rig is 52>55 mph, engine RPM 2100 >2400, trans has shifted down to 4th. That's where the hold back is best.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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Motorhead-54, your two position exhaust brake control switch, is the first I've heard of . Up till now I'd assumed that a two position switch was an indicator of an two stage engine brake, rather than just an exhaust brake.
I guess I can go on with my day , now that I've learned something.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:56 AM   #8
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Motorhead-54, your two position exhaust brake control switch, is the first I've heard of . Up till now I'd assumed that a two position switch was an indicator of an two stage engine brake, rather than just an exhaust brake.
I guess I can go on with my day , now that I've learned something.
My two position Pac Brake has On and Off. Two positions?
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
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My two position Pac Brake has On and Off. Two positions?

I count mine the same way, either on or off
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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So I guess I have a 3 position Pac Brake if you count the "OFF" position. The RV has a 3 position rocker switch.

I was just surprised to find out that it is normal for the PAC brake to be engaged with the engine at idle at 0mph.
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:20 PM   #11
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I also have a Low and Hi position on my PAC brake. I do not notice a hissing sound when the brake is engaged.

I talked to Gillig, and Country Coach who confirmed that I had a PAC exhaust brake installed. I obtained a copy of Country Coach schematic #S0395.2. This drawing shows the wiring for the Hi/Low brake system.

The system works like this.

Low

Put console switch on low, console switch glows green.
Cruise control must be off.
Transmission does not downshift, not in circuit.
When you remove your foot from the throttle the dash light comes on and the exhaust brake closes. It is real difficult to tell if in fact the brake closed. (No hissing sound)

High

Put console switch on high, console switch glows green.
Cruise control can be either on or off.
When you remove your foot from the throttle, the dash light comes on, and the exhaust brake closes, the transmission selects 2d gear and starts downshifting until it obtains second gear. Once you reach 15 mph the PAC brake turns off.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:56 PM   #12
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I also have a Low and Hi position on my PAC brake. I do not notice a hissing sound when the brake is engaged.
I would think you and I probably have the same setup given that we are only one year apart in production. I definitely have a PAC Brake...stenciled on the side of the actuator in the engine bay. Have you verified that your PAC Brake engages (low mode) when at idle and sitting still (0 mph)? Short of removing the engine access cover and watching the actuator, you should be able to hear a very distinct metallic clunk when standing in the bedroom and the actuator closes the baffle. This is when I hear the very audible sustained hiss. Rolling down the road I do not hear the hiss.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:52 PM   #13
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i have an on/off rocker switch, but no hissing sound.
when cc on, no engaging;
when coach is traveling below than 40 mph, it does nothing except light on;
when it does engage, i feel the dragging;
when turn it on, some times it takes a few seconds up to 1 minute before it really engages;
i lube it once a year.
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