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Old 08-02-2006, 03:30 PM   #1
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Apparently you cant put an exh. brake on my truck due to the transmission. Has anyone towed out their enough w/o a jake to have an opion on those mountains? I plan on going out there in June and probably to homebase in West Yellowstone.I know how to drive in the mountains but have not tackled any of that elevation with this truck. Maybe if someone has a bad enough answer I can justify to the acqisition dept. a new 3500/
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:30 PM   #2
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Apparently you cant put an exh. brake on my truck due to the transmission. Has anyone towed out their enough w/o a jake to have an opion on those mountains? I plan on going out there in June and probably to homebase in West Yellowstone.I know how to drive in the mountains but have not tackled any of that elevation with this truck. Maybe if someone has a bad enough answer I can justify to the acqisition dept. a new 3500/
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:33 PM   #3
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Our last rig was a 1996 BR2500HD Dodge CTD w/AT towing a 30'5er with GVW of 10K. I already had a HD BD torque convertor and valve body installed before our trip through Yellowstone, onward to Northern CA and more mountianous roads. I took extra precautions since I didn't have an E-brake. The Dodge AT free-wheels downhill normally with foot feed at idle position. I added a BD pressureloc on the AT linkage to keep full line pressure except at idle position. By careful driving and driving downhill slowly I never had any problems. You CAN add an exhaust brake to your truck by adding the pressureloc to the AT and HD valve springs to the engine when adding the E-brake. Any diesel shop with a Cummins authorized repair certificate will be able to assist you in accomplishing this. If you wish to investigate yourself, visit kennedydiesel.com, sheiddiesel.com to obtain more specific information.
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Old 08-02-2006, 06:11 PM   #4
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If you go to http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/ there are a lot of people who have modified 03's for a jake brake.

I think some of the 1st gen Cummins engines needed stronger exhaust springs, but with 03 and a stick shift the jacob brake is warranty approved w/no other engine modification. Your auto, though, will need one of various aftermarket products to lock the torque converter(non-warranty approved).

I would think about adding a transmission temp probe in the line to the transmission oil cooler, too.

Having been to Yellowstone, I think you will be OK without an exhaust brake, if you use your head.

On the other hand, if you ran out and bought an 06, you would be able to have an auto with a jacob brake that doesn't void the factory warranty, tow/haul mode AND overdrive lockout, and you wouldn't get the unproven extra emission stuff that will come on 07's.

Plus, I belive they are still doing employee pricing...
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:30 PM   #5
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We drove from North Carolina to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and East Glacier NP and back in 2003 (8,268 miles total). We towed the Cardinal through the Badlands, Custer State Park, over the mountain at Silbey Lake and into Yellowstone via the East Gate. We do not have any type of brake modification on the truck. My husband just put the truck in a lower gear and let the engine hold us back. It has worked just fine for us so far. I did use a book describing the grades of western mountains that I purchased from Camping World to prepare us mentally for the type and lenght of grades we would be encountering.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:52 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I think I will try that moutain grade atlas. As long as I know how long the grade is I can compensate with speed and gear selection.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:05 PM   #7
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I have towed that area many many times, usually just with a slide in camper(4000#) and a boat (5500#) I don't have a jake or any other type exhaust brake. I don't see the need, but I am running a 6 spd manual.
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:35 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dagwood:
Apparently you cant put an exh. brake on my truck due to the transmission. Has anyone towed out their enough w/o a jake to have an opion on those mountains? I plan on going out there in June and probably to homebase in West Yellowstone.I know how to drive in the mountains but have not tackled any of that elevation with this truck. Maybe if someone has a bad enough answer I can justify to the acqisition dept. a new 3500/ </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As mentioned previously, you CAN have an exhaust brake with an auto transmission, but you will need a Tow-Loc or other converter locking device. You won't need new valve springs with your engine. The ones on the HPCR are more than sufficient for exhaust brake duty.

Now, I have towed with and without an exhaust brake, and I will say now that I would get a brake on any new truck I bought. We tow a 14,000# fifthe wheel. We just came back from a nine day, 2000 mile trip from Albuquerque NM to Anaheim, Ca, to Las Vegas, NV back to Albuquerque. We were about 22,000 combined weight. There are several long grades (both up and down) some as high as 7%, and using the brake I never had to touch the service brakes on the vehicle. Several times I had to give it some gas as we were slowing down going downhill. Never once used the service brakes going downhill.

I have almost 60,000 miles on this truck and still have plenty of the orignal pads left. It tows and hauls heavy frequently. I use it (the exhaust brake) daily driving to and from work, too.

Total cost was about $1000 (I installed it myself) I never had one on my previous two trucks ('97 Dodge CTD and 2000 F350 PS), but I definitely wouldn't go without one now. If you can find someone in your area with one, ask to go for a ride. Try it with the brake on and off, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Juan
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:15 PM   #9
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Juan, According to a local Cummins Authorized Repair Center, Scheid diesel of Effingham,IL; all 12 valve engines require heavier valve springs to use an E-brake. I'm no expert, just posted what I was told.
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Old 08-17-2006, 07:07 PM   #10
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After 1998.5 they are running the 24 valve....
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Old 09-02-2006, 02:38 PM   #11
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The problem with the '03.5 - '04 48REs is the Reverse Thrust Washer - a $6 part - that was redesigned and the new one installed in late-production '04.5 trannys.

That said, my '03.5 has had one since initial delivery though rarely used.

Most of the time, even on long downgrades, the cruise controlled transmission holds speeds within 4 MPH when pulling our 14,100 trailer.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:41 PM   #12
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Banks & Diesel Performance make E brakes for your truck. As far as towing without one ,I have done the cross country trip with 2 different trailers and have had no problems. Just set the cruise control and let the computer do the driving. For the most part it will maintain speed up & down the hills. I hav also done the Grapevien coming back up the West coast without one.
I'm NOT saying don't get one but you don't have to get one unless you really want to.
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