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Old 04-21-2010, 04:53 AM   #15
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Tranny Clutch Brake

Apparently some very experienced big rig drivers here, have any of you driven standard tranny with a brake for the tranny which is actuated by flooring the clutch pedal briefly while the stick is in neutral? I was in a tractor like that, but didn't get to drive it.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:49 AM   #16
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I have used my tranny for braking since I purchase new, at every stop even lights in town. I have a temp reading on my aero force guage and in the rockys it does not get over 205 deg since I chage to Mobile 1 syn.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:02 AM   #17
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Dieselclacker,
When you say the trans temp pretty well mirrors the engine water temp - do you mean they are close to the same temp, or that they maintain the same relative temp, one to the other; i.e., water temp 200 & tranny 150; water temp 210 and tranny 160?? or both near the water temp of about 200??


griff, I should have said relative to one another, I find when the water temp in engine goes up, the trans temp also goes up, and vise versa. No, the temps are not the same in degrees F. Usually the trans is 20 to 30 degrees cooler than engine temp. I have used third gear to retard speed on some 6% grades that are several miles long, without any increase in trans temp. I reside and travel a lot in the western states, and find third gear in my Allison five speed to be a very versitil gear, Use it all the time climbing, and decending.

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Old 04-21-2010, 07:03 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=DAN L;629841]my understanding is that the ultrapower grade brake upgrade also locks up the torque converter while braking, while using the lever to downshift does not lock up the torque converter. that is one reason why transmission temperatures go up when descending hills without the grade brake upgrade.

Is this correct? I think on my '02 chassis we're locked up in all gears except 1st.

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Old 04-21-2010, 07:17 AM   #19
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Apparently some very experienced big rig drivers here, have any of you driven standard tranny with a brake for the tranny which is actuated by flooring the clutch pedal briefly while the stick is in neutral? I was in a tractor like that, but didn't get to drive it.
That's a clutch brake. The multi disc clutches are so heavy that when you disengage the clutch the mass keeps right on spinning for awhile. Couple that with a non synchro trans like the double clutcher mentioned above and you'll have a heck of a time getting her into gear. The clutch brake stops the assembly from rotating so you can get it into gear.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:28 AM   #20
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So what is so special about the grade brake? The way I understand it, and tell me if I'm wrong; You hit the brake, it down shifts, you hit the brake it downshifts again. Is this right?
Max, No that is incorrect my mountain syncro gear jamming colleague. All you need to do is hit the brakes "once" and the Grade Brake figures all this stuff out and goes for the right gear immediately all on its own.

No repetitive braking cycles are required. A driver may choose while clutched up in compression to scrub more speed by jabbing the brakes but it is not required to bring in any more gears.

Now that's the rest of the story ...
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:05 AM   #21
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Had a hot right rear brake episode about two weeks ago. Cooled off and was useable. Consulted this forum where there were several suggestions to use the tranny to slow down and thus save the brakes.

I handed your post to Tom Yost, the Allison representative who spoke at the Workhorse Rally in Palm Desert, CA on April 20th.

We were all pretty much into Redlands Truck and RV Service beverage at the time, so all he did was smile.

Bob, wa7hra
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:05 PM   #22
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Hey Max I like the obnoxious engine brake on many semis.
Probably enough said.
KC
Yea, maybe it'll scare the people who pull out in front of us and at least step on it after cutting us off

Dan L, I'm thinking about what you said but I "think" you are mistaken. The way I understand it, the grade brake works just like manual downshifting. Same transmission. I don't think they change the internals of the tranny. Having said that, I believe when I manually downshift my transmission, it is in lock up. The engine RPM immediately surge and that is why I rev it a little to synchronize the engine speed to the requirements for the lower gear.
The grade brake may be a very nice feature but it won't work om my GM transmission, and it's easy to downshift any way.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:29 PM   #23
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I have become in my adult years a very polite driver or try to be. Driving a big truck or RV in heavy highway traffic is tough especially when texters, kids, eaters, makeup appliers or whatever cut ya off so close you can't see their tail lights. Like you said the ones that turn in front of you are bad too, like they don't see you. There is now a law in the Austin Tx area forbidding driver texting while driving, $200 fine I think, over $2000 for commercial. Too many accidents involving texting. Maybe cause of UofTex. DW's school. Maybe phones are next. Hope not. They just don't realize what could happen if we weren't paying attention. I am always glad to have DW or my son as co-pilot instead of sitting in back, they can help watch and also see how tough the driving part can be. Sorta applies to the braking topic, because brother I sure do use my brakes alot (probably overcautious) in fast heavy highway traffic, truck or RV, and the more reliable braking power I can have, engine tranny or wheel brakes , the better.Thanks
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:47 PM   #24
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P.S. Good to see mostly Senior Members on this thread, lots of overall experience there. Thanks to all for the info. Will follow. Braking IS more important than acceleration to me. I don't care how many cars are behind me, but will move over for RV's .
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:08 AM   #25
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Yea, maybe it'll scare the people who pull out in front of us and at least step on it after cutting us off

Dan L, I'm thinking about what you said but I "think" you are mistaken. The way I understand it, the grade brake works just like manual downshifting. Same transmission. I don't think they change the internals of the tranny. Having said that, I believe when I manually downshift my transmission, it is in lock up. The engine RPM immediately surge and that is why I rev it a little to synchronize the engine speed to the requirements for the lower gear.
The grade brake may be a very nice feature but it won't work om my GM transmission, and it's easy to downshift any way.
max,
that is the information i received at brazels in centralia when they did my od upgrade to change the speed from 55 mph to 48 mph on march 8, 2010.
the locked up torque converter under grade braking with their upgrade was one of their big selling points for the full grade brake upgrade. it is done by reprogramming the ecm and the tcm through the obd 2 port with their laptop computer with the moho running on their chassis dynometer. they tried to get me to go with the full grade brake installation but i wanted only the od part of the upgrade. the full grade brake upgrade includes the od upgrade but costs more. i can work the shift lever just fine, thank you.
my tranny shifts into od, 5th gear, now at 48 mph at about 1600 rpm under light load. i have about 200 miles on it since the od upgrade and it is working very well so far.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #26
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DriVer-What is the difference between the grade brake on a 2005 and the Ultra Power grade brake you have? Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:00 AM   #27
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I too use the grade brake.. However using the Allison Grade Brake requires that you use the service brakes (that is what activates it) and the Allison won't downshift on it's own till it is ready

Using manual override (pulling the gear lever) can indeed make it do things it should not

I've crossed 3 mountain ranges, some of them multiple times, no problems.

That Allison Grade brake (I understand that the Ultra Power works the same way) is fantastic.. For two reasons I can not imagine driving without it.

The two reasons:

1: I have it and thus don't have to
2: I have been known to drive a SEMI, and the Ford 8000 tractor did not have an Allison transmission (and Allison did not have a grade brake back then) (It did have a genuine gear box.. the kind you stir with a big stick)
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:58 PM   #28
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DriVer-What is the difference between the grade brake on a 2005 and the Ultra Power grade brake you have? Thanks.
KSDP, Both products will begin a downshift schedule when the brake pedal is applied. I know that the UP Grade Brake is totally automatic and it'll downshift all the way to the required gear all on its own. I am not certain if a TGB will do this or whether it needs to be repetitively requested to do so by tapping on the brake. In either case stepping on the gas pedal disengages the grade brake function.

Neither the TGB or the UAGB will function on straight and level surfaces. You will still need to grab a gear if you want to check up if you are getting off the Interstate or otherwise want to slow down a bit without getting on the brakes.

Either one of the systems is a good thing to have. The UP Grade Brake brings 2005 functionality to 2001 - 2004 motorhomes.
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