Originally Posted by safariowner
They found air in the line. And told us we need to keep the (jake) brake on. When I drove the motor home, I preferred to put my foot on the peddle and stop the rig myself. Are there any set rules as to what you should do. And thank you in advance.
A question for you. I'm assuming your rig is a "Safari" since it's in your user name but, as of yet, unless I misread any of your posts, what exactly is your rig, your engine etc.? The reason I ask is, you're referencing the "Jake" brake in a couple of your answers. To unknowing folks, the term "Jake Brake" can mean anything in terms of auxiliary braking. I certainly don't want to insult your intelligence here but, I just want to make sure we're both on the same page when I try and help with an answer to any form of a brake question.
Just so we're both clear here. The term "Jake" in reference to auxiliary braking applies to the type of secondary brake system originally termed "Jacobs Engine Brake". Now, I won't go into the history of it but, that type of brake is a "Compression" brake. In that, the internals of the engine, in a specific operation, turn into basically a compressor and that is what stops or slows you when it's applied.
An "Exhaust" brake is simply a valve, placed into the exhaust system, usually not very far from the turbo, that closes off the exhaust system so that no exhaust can be expelled from the system. And, when that happens, the build up of exhaust does not allow the engine to continue to "free flow" air through it for normal operations and therefore, it restricts the engine and, through the transmission, restricts your vehicle from coasting.
OK, now that the basics are laid out. That is why I asked you about your rig. Do you know if you have a true "Jake" brake or, is your rig equipped with an exhaust brake that's labeled as a Jake brake?
In either case, you say you don't like it's operation and would prefer for you to slow the rig yourself. Well, that's understandable if, you're not familiar with the auxiliary braking system(s) and how and WHY they're used and installed. Most Diesel rigs are considerably heavier than their gas counter parts. So, with that being said, and, coupled with the fact that about 99.9% of them are always towing something, the effort needed to slow or stop them is much higher than their gas counterparts.
So, knowing that, the chassis manufacturers and engine suppliers use AUXILIARY braking, to supplement the standard brakes for two very important reasons. One is to assist the standard brakes (air or hydraulic) in the braking effort and reduce the chance of fading and two, to keep and preserve longevity for the brakes themselves.
If you were to take a survey, many of the diesel drivers (motor homes that is) are getting in excess of 100,000 miles on the original brakes due simply to the fact that, the auxiliary braking system is so widely used and effective. The normal braking is reduced significantly and therefor prolonging the maintenance or replacement of brake components.
So, back to your statement of you'd rather use the brakes than the "Jake Brake". Well, I hope I've explained the reason to develop a liking for it, and why it's there and used. My suggestion for you, if I may, would be for you to simply go out and cruise around, up and down some grades, hills, freeway situations and whatever else you encounter and use that "Jake" brake. Then feel it's effectiveness and how well it works for your particular rig.
As for leaving it on, some folks act like it's an act of congress to turn it on and off. It's a SWITCH for Christs sake. It can be turned on and off in a matter of a nano second. You can use it (the Jake brake) at your present speed/condition and in the next minute, you may not want it so, you TURN IT OFF. Then, in the next minute, you might find a need for it so, you TURN IT BACK ON! It's that simple. It's all a matter of choice and preference.
But, unless you have a burning desire to replace brake shoes on a fairly frequent basis which, on air brake systems is NOT CHEAP, I'd highly recommend getting used to using it in various conditions. Hope this info helped some.