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Old 05-20-2015, 11:40 AM   #15
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Sorry - sent reply too soon... As I was saying - all I did was engage the engine brake and manually downshift the transmission... I tried to keep my speed in the 35 - 45 mph range and only had to touch the brakes occasionally... Neve had a single problem... Did back up traffic at times but I moved over when the opportunity presented itself... If it came down to saving my brakes and transmission VS backing up traffic - guess what I elected to do... I figured a slight delay wouldn't hurt those behind me in the total scheme of things....

Your exact brake is amazing so don't be afraid to use it... Have a great trip... We're heading back to the mts in July and will most likely get to "do it again"....
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:48 AM   #16
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Ive traveled that route in our rig a total of six times since january. Three trips down and back. On our gas rig towing a 20ft race trailer loaded I simply start out at about 50 to 55 mph with the trans in tow haul mode and in drive and let it do its thing. When the rpm really gets up there I also use the stab braking method. That route will give you no trouble at all in your rig. Went over a pass near ashville NC a couple months ago in the snow. That wasn't much fun at 2am!
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:23 PM   #17
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We recently had our 1st experience going down grades, using an engine brake. After a lot of short 6-8% grades, we came down I-17 from Flagstaff, and I never had to tap the brake pedal. That was the longest grade (not steepest) we have done to date in the MADP. It proved to be no big deal. Just stay ahead of the curve and it will be fine. You will have total control. We also came over a couple passes in an unanticipated snow storm. I never felt any loss of traction issues, but I didn't really enjoy it.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:17 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for your comments, advice and kind words! Gotta love IRV2.com!
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:28 AM   #19
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The instructor at the Freightliner school said to use the low or high exhaust brake (depending on grade and speed desired) and let it put it in the correct gear.
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:38 PM   #20
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The instructor at the Freightliner school said to use the low or high exhaust brake (depending on grade and speed desired) and let it put it in the correct gear.

Do exhaust brakes have high/low switches now. They use to be on/off only and the compression brake was the only one with high/low.


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Old 05-22-2015, 06:32 AM   #21
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"Do exhaust brakes have high/low switches now. They use to be on/off only and the compression brake was the only one with high/low."

Mine is actually an engine brake vs. exhaust brake where the low setting cuts fuel to 3 cylinders and high cuts fuel to all 6 cylinders.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:18 AM   #22
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Driven that route several times in our motorhome and many times in an 18 wheeler. In the motor home, I engage the exhaust brake with the tranny in OD, and have actually had to slightly press the accelerator pedal to release the EB because it was slowing me down to much
You'll be fine.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:26 AM   #23
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A Jake Brake, Jacobs Brake, and an Exhaust brake are two different things. A true Jake brake works off he valves via the camshaft. It keeps both valves closed until just B4 tdc when it opens the exhaust valve hence the loud popping sound of a big rig running a jake. The compression is released just before ignition via the opening of the exhaust valve. These brakes generally have two stages. First is 2 Cylinders, second is 4 cylinders.
An exhaust brake like is on my Motorhome simply closes off the exhaust of the engine via a valve attached to the exhaust manifold. Most also require a little lube on the actuator linkage, don't forget it.
Hey Bonnie just called me to breakfast
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:02 AM   #24
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My coach has the exhaust brake. I keep it well lubed, and always make sure it is working properly before we head out on the road.

On a 6% downgrade, speed at 45 mph, transmission in 4th, my exhaust brake will not hold that speed. The coach will slowly gain momentum until at 50 mph I will use the brakes to quickly pull the speed back down to 45 mph.

I believe the engine brake, or Jacob's brake, or 'Jake brake' as truckers like to call them, are much more effective.

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Old 05-23-2015, 09:38 AM   #25
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Mine is actually an engine brake vs. exhaust brake where the low setting cuts fuel to 3 cylinders and high cuts fuel to all 6 cylinders.

The operation of a Jake Brake (diesel compression brake) has nothing to do with fuel.

As a previous poster explained, a Jake Brake changes the exhaust valve timing so that it opens at the top of the compression stroke. The rapid escape of that compressed air is what make the loud "braaap" of a typical, unmuffled Jake brake. The energy being used to compress that air is what provides the braking force.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:09 AM   #26
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The braking action of the exhaust brake is similar, but not quite as effective as the engine brake in low. When the engine brake is switched to high, it's like throwing an anchor out of a boat. It is several times more effective than the exhaust brake. Although, I do kind of miss the unmuffled sound our 625 hp Peterbilt's made when slowing all that weight down.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:14 AM   #27
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When in doubt, start in 3rd gear.

If that proves to be too conservative, shift up.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:00 AM   #28
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How about a V10 gasser? I will soon be making my first mountain driving trip and would appreciate some advice on the climb and the descent.
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