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Old 03-16-2015, 02:18 PM   #1
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Exhaust Brake Switch. Leave it on or off?

Ok folks, I have another topic I'd like to discuss. Seems the leave diesel engine running while fueling up finally calmed down so here is my next topic. If it has been already covered please forgive me in advance.

I have a DP and one of my control switches is the exhaust brake. Now I use mine mostly for descending hills and also leave it in the on position when driving on some curve filled roads to keep from using my brakes so much.
My questions are:
#1 does anyone just leave the switch in the on position all the time and does that hurt the engine if the exhaust brake is constantly used.

#2 does it affect the fuel economy one way or the other?

That said I turn my off when on the interstates but if people get nuts and start cutting in on a congested interstate I turn mine on to save the brakes. I also know about certain towns do not allow "Jake/Exhaust Brakes" and I am not counting situations like that.

Here we go
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Old 03-16-2015, 02:37 PM   #2
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I have a Jake Brake on my coach. I have a Cummins ISL 400 HP. I leave mine on all the time in the Low setting except when I am in a 25 t0 35 speed limit in town with stop and start driving. I don't believe it has any effect on fuel economy. I am not aware of any problems using the Jake Brake. You will likely receive a variety of responses on this subject.

Don
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:08 PM   #3
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I installed brakeswitch from brakeswitch.com. Now I leave it on all the time!


1997 Tiffen Allegro Bus 37', Cat 3126
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:20 PM   #4
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I leave the Jake brake switch off until I need it. Otherwise, when cruising on a level road, the brake will come on when I let off the accelerator, which is annoying.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:30 PM   #5
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My Jake brake stays on all the time unless there is some specific reason to shut it off. Those are primarily city stop & go traffic and gently rolling hills, both situations where I typically want to coast a bit rather than have immediate braking.

If you have the type of exhaust or engine brake that is activated only when the brake pedal is engaged, there is probably no need to ever turn it off.
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Old 03-16-2015, 03:32 PM   #6
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Coming from a truck owner/driver with jake brakes, you won't do any harm leaving the engine brake or exhaust brake on all the time. A jake brake is somewhat harder on the valve train but still doesn't do any harm. In fact for the majority of us truck drivers and bus drivers engine brake on all the time is the preferred method especially with the automatics.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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I have mine on all the time, except when I make a decision to
turn it off for a light application of the brakes. In a panic stop
you will not have time to turn it on, and it will help you stop
quicker and saves wear and tear on your brake linings.
If your coach activates the exhaust brake when you remove your
foot from the accelerator pedal, you may be able to have your
ECM program changed to engage the exhaust brake only when you
apply the coach brakes, if you can not re-program your
ECM, then there was an outfit making a kit to make the exhaust
brake to come on only when the coach brakes were applied.
Don't recall the name, brakeswitch sounds familiar, but I
got nothing on google.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:17 PM   #8
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I leave the exhaust brake on when not on flat open road. It cancels the cruise control.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macandphyl View Post
If your coach activates the exhaust brake when you remove your
foot from the accelerator pedal, you may be able to have your
ECM program changed to engage the exhaust brake only when you
apply the coach brakes
It's a "latching" setting and should be available on all units with the 3000 or 4000 MH trans.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:36 PM   #10
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I leave my exhaust brake on all the time. I sometimes shut it of in slow stop and go traffic. It does not hurt anything leaving it on. It really boils down to what works best for you.
Never leave it on if you are driving in snow or slippery road conditions.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rssnape View Post
I installed brakeswitch from brakeswitch.com. Now I leave it on all the time!


1997 Tiffen Allegro Bus 37', Cat 3126

brakeswitch.com looks like a dead link to me.
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Old 03-16-2015, 05:54 PM   #12
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I leave mine OFF all the time except when descending a steep hill where I'll need it to lessen the use of brakes. As a 20+ year truck driver I always thought is was stupid to hear these Billy Big Riggers using their Jake Brakes in town when doing 20-30mphs. I see now need for a Jake Brake at speeds below 45-50mph.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:47 PM   #13
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I leave my exhaust brake switch off unless going down a big hill. Mine works in conjunction with my Allison trans. It makes the trans shift down early and is aggravating to me in town or slower situations.
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:55 PM   #14
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The question you have to asked yourself: Do you have a Jake Brake, Exhaust Brake, Pacbrake?
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