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Old 07-29-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
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Brake Saver

I have an '06 Itasca 30 ft class A and am looking for suggestions on a chassis mount brake saver of some type. I have a V10 Gas engine, thoughts?
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:27 PM   #2
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I think it would be much cheaper to just learn to downshift. In addition, if you have the 'tow/haul' switch on your shift stalk, it adds additional engine braking. To add a hydraulic or electric 'brake saver' would be an expensive thing not used very often. If you go for a hydraulic brake saver, you'd have to increase the size of your oil pan and add additional oil cooling to prevent overheating.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:28 PM   #3
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Large heavy chain with a big boat anchor. ;-)
Seriously, I have never heard of such a device. The most important thing to save any part of your coach sits in the drivers seat.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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Caterpillar makes a hydraulic brake saver, it uses the oil pump and oil in a torque converter type enclosure. It has to be mounted in the drive train and uses oil pushing against the spinning vanes to retard speed. It also increases oil temperature. They are usually added to large trucks that have larger diesel engines and oil pans.

In Europe they sell electric brake savers, they are like generators in that spinning magnets create electricity that is then changed to heat and dissipated by fans.

I'm not familiar with gasoline engine 'brake savers' and think that a F53 V10 has plenty of braking ability as it is. Not sure the investment in such a modification would ever be recovered in less frequent brake jobs.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
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X2 Bobs comments regarding downshifting and use of the tow/haul mode. I had a 2006 F53 and found the tow/haul mode very effective once I learned how to use it.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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The Allison Transmission has "Grade brake" as a feature this causes a downshift (if possible) to happen when you hit the brakes.. Too bad it does not fit on a Ford engine.

There is a device I read about perhaps 10 years ago that ***MIGHT*** work. it is an electric motor/generator that attaches to the drive shaft.. Going up hill it draws on batteries (you upgrade those) to assist in powering you UP the hill.. going downhill it charges those same batteries reclaiming some of the power used to go up hill.

This is about all I can tell you about it.. I have forgotten the name
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:58 AM   #7
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The Ford tow/haul does the same thing as the Allison grade brake. When I had my 2006 f53 I went up and down many hills and mountains. With tow/haul on just a tap on the brake pedal will cause the transmission to downshift (if it won't cause the engine to over rev). It's too bad Ford's manual doesn't explain it better.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:39 AM   #8
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
Large heavy chain with a big boat anchor. ;-)
Seriously, I have never heard of such a device. The most important thing to save any part of your coach sits in the drivers seat.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:07 PM   #10
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20 years of line haul taught me to downshift, I find boat anchors hard to throw out the drivers window, agreed, the driver is always the best tool for braking, the "tow/drag" mode of which I also have one on my Chev p/u and I must be stupid but I have never been able to get them to work properly. Over the top of the hill at 50 (tow/drag works great for uphill shifting) slightly more than gently touch the brake on the downhill and bang, I go from 2,000 rpm to 4200, that's got to be hard on the engine. I am looking for the elctro magnetic unit I heard about years ago however as stated I probably have more than enough brakes on the unit even though I use it a lot and we are in mountainous terrain.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:12 PM   #11
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Thanks Mr. Hipster it was what I was looking for and I agree re: check pricing.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:15 AM   #12
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Drive line retarders are a great item, have one on my Wanderlodge, a morphodite made in spain. However, one more thing to break, bearing went out in Gillette WY, chased around getting a longer drive shaft made while Rocky Mountain Cummins dropped the retarder and made up the pieces necessary to hang the longer drive shaft. It was a real saga finding a fix, finally had to do it in house, after two years of trying to find a repair facility. Very happy to have it back, hope it doesn't break again.
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Old 07-31-2015, 01:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Caterpillar makes a hydraulic brake saver, it uses the oil pump and oil in a torque converter type enclosure. It has to be mounted in the drive train and uses oil pushing against the spinning vanes to retard speed. It also increases oil temperature. They are usually added to large trucks that have larger diesel engines and oil pans.
The retarder can also be had in the Allison 3000 and 4000 MH and the earlier 3060 and 4060. Can't be added later so a new trans is in order. Only Foretravel used it in their production RV's.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:18 PM   #14
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I got a MD3060 set @ 6 speeds in my Wanderlodge. Have one with a retarder too, doesn't fit in my FC due to interferance with the front axle. Retarder assy. will add about 6" to the length of a MD.
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