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Old 06-06-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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To Brake or Not to Brake

I have a question:

We're setting out for Wyoming and Montana this summer in our stock Chev 3500 diesel w/Allison tranny. I'm pulling a 39ft Monaco 5th wheel and use a BrakeSmart controller. Given the features of the Allison trans, should I need an engine brake also?

All input welcomed.

THX,
Steve
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Old 06-06-2010, 01:09 PM   #2
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After owning both all I can say is that the EB option is great. Depending on the brand you choose you have a wide selection of braking force. And almost any of them will have better braking force than the Allison alone. Necessary? No!
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Old 06-06-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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The features of the Allison tranny are great in finding the right gear, especially for someone that does not understand gearing. But it can do nothing more than any good driver can do that knows how to use his gears. It does not increase braking horsepower - - that takes an exhaust brake. I can't answer for the Chev, but on a Cummins, braking horsepower is increased about 100 hp with the EB. That normally means being able to run in one higher gear than without one. On some downgrades that can be a great advantage.

Bob
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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I think for your setup the easiest to use is the Banks becasue it uses the VGT as the exhaust brake and it's just a plug and play setup. Yes it may cost more but it may very well be worth the extra money.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #5
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The B-D exhaust brake BD-Power Duramax Exhaust Brake is-I think, the only one approved and recommended by GM with the Allison A/T. Other brands have issues with harsh shifting due to lack of communications between the exhaust brake and Allison computer.
I drive a 02 K3500 and tow a 15K# 5er. Traveling throughout the mountain ranges of the West I have not felt the need for an exhaust brake, but I am vigilant for steep downgrades. A rule of thumb is never begin a descent faster than you went up the mountain. The Allison FAQ page: http://www.allisontransmission.com/s...?CategoryID=11
should answer any questions you have about this transmission and mountain driving.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
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Depending on your modle year check out this link Banks Power | Diesel Trucks, Chevy/GMC

They may have what you are looking for. Also I love my BD Exhaust brake so if you actually have to add a brake theirs works great on my Dodge.
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