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Old 04-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pusherman View Post
For those of you who like the operational logic of the Brake Switch, simply have Allison reprogram your exhaust brake operation to 'Latch' mode. Does the same thing.

This is true. However, the re-program is more expensive than the Brake Switch. I installed the Brake Switch in my own driveway without having to drive to an Allison dealer. Plus, I wasn't sure if I would like it until I tried it, so disconnecting it is an easier alternative than driving back to a Allison shop.

Craig
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:44 PM   #16
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Lots of good advice. I believe my last coach said in the manual - descend in the same gear you would drive up in...not sure - but that is what I remember. Learn your braking capabilities before experimenting on a steep grade. I had my brakes fade (overheat) on the Big Horns headed down to Ten Sleep and it was nerve racking. Couldn't get my parking brake to hold on a pull of - so I had to put the coach in reverse until the brakes cooled. What is worse - I didn't ride them on the way down...they just faded fast when I needed them because my toad brakes failed. Unhooked my car and carefully descended the rest of the way....make sure your engine/brake do work because if you hit to many rpm's you may not be able to downshift. I always downshift before descending - just for the comfort of knowing I am in control before starting down the mountain. It doesn't hurt to check your slack adjusters to make sure they are working as another general braking precaution....
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:00 PM   #17
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I drive in the mountains in Oregon and California on all my trips and I find that my exhaust brake does a good job of slowing or maintaining my RV speed unless I am towing. If towing then I need to use the brake pedal ocassionally to hold down the speed. As far as using the same gear going down as the same gear going up a hill, I often find they are different grades and using the same gear does not apply, at least in my case.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:44 PM   #18
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This is true. However, the re-program is more expensive than the Brake Switch. I installed the Brake Switch in my own driveway without having to drive to an Allison dealer. Plus, I wasn't sure if I would like it until I tried it, so disconnecting it is an easier alternative than driving back to a Allison shop.

Craig
Apparently Brake Switch is not taking orders at this time, according to their website. So not sure what the price of purchase was, and then how much the installation would cost.

Re-programming the Allison takes about 15 minutes. The dealers will charge what they charge. I heard an average of about $60 per the posts on this site. If you don't like it, then it's $120 to have it reversed.

Doesn't sound too expensive to me.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:14 PM   #19
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I need to have mine re-programed to only go to 4th on it's own.
Dont care for it trying to get right down to 2nd, on long 5 or 6% grades.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:10 AM   #20
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RE-program......

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Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
I need to have mine re-programed to only go to 4th on it's own.
Dont care for it trying to get right down to 2nd, on long 5 or 6% grades.
I would venture to guess here that yours is set to "4th gear" in the allison program now,( maybe 2nd?), depending on your speed,it determines what gear it goes to and then continues to select the next lower gear when the speed is correct to downshift again. I had mine re-programed(TCM flashed) to stay in 6th when I let off the throttle, and at 52 mph it downshifts to 5th, and at 45 mph it goes to 4th , and so on and so forth down through the gears till the Coach is down to 5 mph, then engine brake is off. no harsh downshift anymore, works great for me........You might want to think about 5th or even maybe 6th
PS- My local Allison dealer did not charge me to flash my TCM, it took 10 minutes in their parking lot outside, it took longer for his laptop to boot up than to make my changes......
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Pusherman View Post
Apparently Brake Switch is not taking orders at this time, according to their website. So not sure what the price of purchase was, and then how much the installation would cost.

Re-programming the Allison takes about 15 minutes. The dealers will charge what they charge. I heard an average of about $60 per the posts on this site. If you don't like it, then it's $120 to have it reversed.

Doesn't sound too expensive to me.
Pusherman
While it is true that the ECM, (engine control modual), in most coaches can be reprogrammed to provide a "coast mode" rather than the "latch mode", some can not.

As built by SMC, if/when my PacBrake switch was in the ON position, the coach would not coast, (nor would the cruise control work).
A Cat shop re-programed, (flashed), my ECM, (twice), but it didn't change anything.

Adding the BrakeSwitch, (<$80 in 2010), is one of the most useful mods I have done.
See: Brakeswitch, A better way to manage your diesel exhaust brake for how the BrakeSwitch works/what it does.

Mel
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:48 AM   #22
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"because if you hit to many rpm's you may not be able to downshift."


Another trap for the unwary is if you let the revs rise too much, the helpful allison actually upshifts to prevent damage to the motor. If that happens, and assuming you haven't been riding the brakes already and still have brakes, the only corrective action that will work is to immediately brake moderately-heavy until the transmission downshifts into the gear BELOW the one that it was in when it ran away. Don't mess around with light braking because if you have drum brakes, you might only have one decent braking effort available so don't waste it. Then use snub braking to maintain control. If it still wants to run away (as evidenced by braking having to be too frequent, then more moderately-heavy braking is needed to get it down another gear so snub braking does work.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:59 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel s View Post
Pusherman
While it is true that the ECM, (engine control modual), in most coaches can be reprogrammed to provide a "coast mode" rather than the "latch mode", some can not.

As built by SMC, if/when my PacBrake switch was in the ON position, the coach would not coast, (nor would the cruise control work).
A Cat shop re-programed, (flashed), my ECM, (twice), but it didn't change anything.

Adding the BrakeSwitch, (<$80 in 2010), is one of the most useful mods I have done.
See: Brakeswitch, A better way to manage your diesel exhaust brake for how the BrakeSwitch works/what it does.

Mel
'96 Safari, 3126 Cat, Allison 6 speed

Somebody needs to buy the BrakeSwitch patent from Homer and continue to make those things! They're great!
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