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Old 03-21-2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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I installed a Gear Vendors exhaust brake on a 02 Ford 350 with A/T. Simply cut out a section of exhaust pipe ahead of muffler and clamped it on. Operates electrical when letting off the foot feed when engaged. If you have an A/T then must also either have a transmission Torq Lock or simply move tranny out of overdrive.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #16
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I look at my exhaust brake as an investment in the service brakes (as well as the safety). I use my Ebrake all the time (loaded or empty). I have almost 90K on the truck and have well over 50% lining left. It looks like I may get 200K before needing new lining. I don't expect to live that long. As an example, I can come down the Sisikiyous north bound in 5th gear and hold 50. That is with our 9K+ TT. A friend had a PU just like ours but no Ebrake. He changed the brakes on one axle (rear I think) @ 40K and both @ 80k. Then he installed an Ebrake.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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Maybe it's what some of you call a locking torque converter.
Let's first explain what a locking torque converter is. Until approximately the early to mid 1990s, most automatic transmissions in our diesel trucks did not have locking torque converters. These converters slipped continuously, more at takeoff (by design, to provide torque multiplication) and less at steady state cruising speed since the transmission of power was by fluid from the torque converter's pump, through its stator and then to its turbine. Then, with the advent of advanced hydraulic and electronic transmission controls, a lockup clutch was added to the torque converter to improve power transmission and fuel economy - this lockup clutch used a friction clutch pack to lock the pump and turbine sections of the torque converter together under certain conditions, thereby eliminating slippage and transferring torque/power as efficiently as the friction clutch assembly used with a manual transmission. This clutch lockup can be felt and, to the uninitiated observer, feels like the transmission is shifting up a gear as the engine RPMs drop when slippage is eliminated.

Unfortunately, the factory programming that controls these torque converter lockup clutches wasn't, until recently, designed to function with an exhaust brake. Therefore, the lockup clutch would unlock on deceleration, and an exhaust brake would induce more torque converter slippage (and resultant transmission fluid heat buildup) than it would retarding force as the braked engine tried to slow down the truck through the unlocked torque converter. That's why a 3rd party accessory add-on device to send a signal to the torque converter locking clutch to lock under deceleration when the exhaust brake was in use was required. This add-on device would have to be smart enough to know when the truck was about to stop, though, or the locked torque converter (just like a manual clutch that has not been disengaged) would try to stall the engine when the truck stopped. Otherwise, the user would have to switch the torque-lock device off manually each time the truck approached a stop.

Many modern automatics such as the one in my truck have the PCM (powertrain control module) programmed to function in conjunction with the exhaust brake function built into the variable geometry turbocharger that comes on the 6.7L Cummins (although used for illustration, this isn't brand specific - other brands of trucks have similar features). When I have the factory-standard exhaust brake switch turned on and the transmission in tow/haul mode, the PCM will automatically keep the torque converter locked and engage the exhaust brake function by moving the exhaust nozzle sleeve in the turbocharger to its minimum flow position whenever I decelerate. If I press on the brake pedal, the PCM will start downshifting the transmission to provide even more exhaust braking (the higher the engine RPMs, the more retarding force is generated by the exhaust brake) - the harder I brake, the more aggressive the downshifts commanded by the PCM. Of course, I can also use the +/- switch on the gearshift to downshift manually if desired without having to use the service brakes, so the system is fully integrated with the engine and powertrain computers with the option to manually override if desired. The computers will shut off the exhaust brake and unlock the torque converter on deceleration at approximately 15-20 MPH to keep from stalling the engine as the truck comes to a stop.

So, if your torque converter doesn't have a lockup clutch, an add-on torque converter lockup controller isn't going to do you any good since it has nothing to control.

Rusty
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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I have a 2007 Silverado 2500 diesel with an automatic. Being from Florida I was worried about traveling to Alaska and almost bought a brake system, glad I didn't. Never had a problem with the Allison and Duramax working on any step grades. The engine and transmission are the best in my book! If it makes you feel safer then take the plunge and get the brake. You feeling safe is the most important thing.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #19
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Feeling safe and being safe are two different animals. My whole goal is to be safer not feel safer. But as Rusty pointed out if my A/T does not have a lockup clutch, an add-on torque converter lockup controller isn't going to do you any good since it has nothing to control. That makes perfect sense to me.

Rusty do you know if the 4 Speed A/T on the 5.9L have the lockup clutch? I am still a little unlearned as to the make of this 4 speed and what it does and does not have in that arena?

It is too bad Dodge did not have the Allison...boy it would be sweet for sure having the Cummins and Allison onboard together. Oh well can't have everything.....
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #20
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Rusty do you know if the 4 Speed A/T on the 5.9L have the lockup clutch? I am still a little unlearned as to the make of this 4 speed and what it does and does not have in that arena?

It is too bad Dodge did not have the Allison...boy it would be sweet for sure having the Cummins and Allison onboard together. Oh well can't have everything.....
The 2006 48RE does indeed have the lockup clutch, and if I'm not mistaken it has the upgrades that resulted in Dodge approving it for use with an exhaust brake. You can check with your dealer to confirm Dodge's approval for your particular truck. That wasn't the case with some of the earlier 48RE transmissions.

With the 6-speed 68RFE in my truck, I don't miss not having an Allison. The 68RFE is an excellent towing transmission - try one if you have the chance.

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #21
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When it comes time to upgrade my 06, I am definitely going with the 6.7 L /6 speed automatic. I am glad you are putting your stamp of approval on the dodge 6 speed, good to know from someone who is pulling with one.

I do believe Doge configured the later model trucks with the 6 speed and larger diesel engine to be just as mpg saving as my 5.9? Is this true? As I am getting excellent city and highway when not pulling currently with the 5.9 L.

I heard a rumor that the 2013 Dodge models were coming out with possibly a 10 speed automatic. Have you ever heard this????? Is that even possible?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #22
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We drove down several 6-7% grades with the stock exhaust brake on our 2011 Ram with 6.7 Cummins engine this winter . It was great. I had to do very little braking. Can't imagine being without it.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:37 AM   #23
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I'm assuming that an exhaust brake is primarily needed with an automatic transmission? I have a 2003 Dodge CTD with 6-speed manual and have never once felt the need for such a device. Max. gross weight of my trailer is 12,200 lbs. so maybe it would be different if it were heavier.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #24
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I'm assuming that an exhaust brake is primarily needed with an automatic transmission? I have a 2003 Dodge CTD with 6-speed manual and have never once felt the need for such a device. Max. gross weight of my trailer is 12,200 lbs. so maybe it would be different if it were heavier.
You may not feel a need for the Ebrake, but if you used one you wouldn't go back. Read my earlier post(16) for some good reasons for one.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:50 AM   #25
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My previous truck was a 2002 Dodge 3500 dually with the 5.9L HO Cummins and 6-speed manual. It had a dealer-installed Jacobs exhaust brake on it (it's in the Mopar accessory catalog) before I ever drove it off the lot - that was part of the deal we negotiated when I ordered the truck.

An exhaust brake is just as effective with a manual transmission as with an automatic, and Dodge never restricted exhaust brake usage with the manuals as it did with some of the older 4-speed automatics.

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Old 03-22-2012, 10:55 AM   #26
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Well I understand how it could be handy on steep grades in that I wouldn't have to choose a gear based on braking requirements and thus have more choice over my speed, but I don't see it being any kind of safety issue (again, for my particular truck and weight.) But maybe I'll put it on the list for 'next truck.'
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #27
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I figure I have paid for the Ebrake just in lack of brake repair. As for safety, It may not be much, but the Ebrake is on and working before I can get my foot to the brake peddle.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:01 AM   #28
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Exhaust Brake

Obviously you are doing your research, which is the most important (and cheapest) step. When I was researching the ideal exhaust brake I googled their installation instructions - just to see what I was getting myself in to. The pacbrake has the added benefit of an onboard air compressor, with which you can control your airbags etc.

I agree with the above - if you can afford it, go for it.
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