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Old 07-27-2018, 04:45 PM   #1
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Exhaust Retarder - Help

I have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence with a Cat 350 and an Allision 6 speed transmission. As I was driving down a hill today, I engaged my exhaust retarder switch, noticed the symbol activated on my dash and felt the system working properly. I hit my air brakes for a moment and the exhaust brakes failed to re-engage.
What's my problem? A fuse? Other?

Thank you for your help!
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:11 PM   #2
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Have you tried cycling the switch off and on again?

Turn off Cruise Control if its on.

Have someone check to see that your brake lights are still working. If the brake light switch fails, I think Exhaust Brake wont work (as it needs a 12V signal from switch that brakes are activated).

i know there are several ways to have these programed so this advice may not apply.
(some only come on with Brake application, some come on when foot is off accelerator pedal, etc.)
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenhouse123 View Post
I have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence with a Cat 350 and an Allision 6 speed transmission. As I was driving down a hill today, I engaged my exhaust retarder switch, noticed the symbol activated on my dash and felt the system working properly. I hit my air brakes for a moment and the exhaust brakes failed to re-engage.
What's my problem? A fuse? Other?

Thank you for your help!
Are you saying there is no exhaust braking at all now, even after you got down to level ground? Or just when going down that hill? Does your transmission still downshift? Have you applied the special PacBrake lube to the actual exhaust brake valve and made sure its still moving?

On my coach, the exhaust brake is activated when I turn on the switch, and lift or remove my foot from the fuel pedal. Hitting the brake pedal does nothing to the system. But as CountryB said, they can be configured differently.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:36 PM   #4
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First of all the Allison tranny has retarder the run the fluid backwards through the torque converter, there itís not an exhaust brake. It should kick the tranny down to 2 gear. It slow you down at different RPMs. Never let the RPMs get over 2650 thatís over revving the engine, bad news if held there to long. Also at to high of speed will not kick in either. Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:09 PM   #5
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Listen to the folks reminding you to lube the PacBrake linkage it will hang up if not lubed occasionally. The programming for whether the engine exhaust brake used on Cats is in the transmission programming. It can be set to cancel the Pacbrake when the foot brake is applied or to allow foot brake and then resume engine brake. It can turn brake lights on when PacBrake is working or not. Lots and lots of different combinations are available.

Again as others have said, cycle the system several times before you decide it needs repair.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenhouse123 View Post
I have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence with a Cat 350 and an Allision 6 speed transmission. As I was driving down a hill today, I engaged my exhaust retarder switch, noticed the symbol activated on my dash and felt the system working properly. I hit my air brakes for a moment and the exhaust brakes failed to re-engage.
What's my problem? A fuse? Other?

Thank you for your help!
Kenhouse,
I must ask, does your dash or, any other part of your controls actually say "Exhaust Retarder"? Or, is this something you were told it was? Based on your year and model of coach, the engine you have and trans you have, you SHOULD have an EXHAUST BRAKE, not a retarder. The term retarder is normally used when a transmission is involved in braking.

Now, unless yours has been re-programmed, normally, the activation of the EXHAUST BRAKE will come into play, when no pressure is on the fuel pedal and, the switch for it, is in the ON position, and, you're heading down hill. Being that your coach is an '07, you should have what's called a "Light Bar Control Unit" or, LCBU across the dash with a bunch of colored squares that say different things. In the middle of that LCBU is an LCD screen that gives you messages of whatever's programmed for it. But, when the EXHAUST BRAKE is engaged, that LCD screen should display, "Exhaust Brake". Does it?

Now, on some coaches, having the cruise control in the ON position, makes a difference whether or not the E/Brake will activate or not. On ones like ours, an '04 Itasca Horizon with the C-7 330HP CAT, having the cruise control on makes no difference. Now, if my cruise is SET, and then I start a downhill run and let off the throttle, the E/brake WILL NOT ENGAGE.

The coach will continue to pick up speed until I tap the brake pedal. At that point, the E/brake will activate. So, there's some things you need to work out as to whether yours is programmed for AUTO activation when the switch is ON and no pressure on the fuel pedal or, if it's been re-programmed to only activate when no pressure on the fuel pedal, switch is ON, and then, when the brake pedal is touched, it will THEN ACTIVATE.

And, as has been stated, your trans is tied into your Exhaust brake system too. If you're heading down hill and, in say, 6th, and you're doing say, 60 mph, and you let off the throttle pedal and your E/brake switch is ON, and yours is programmed to IMMEDIATELY come on the second you let off the throttle pedal, your trans will IMMEDIATELY down shift to 5th and you'll feel the added resistance of the E/Brake AND 5th gear.

If the grade is slight enough that the coach is actually slowing down without the use of the brake pedal, at a given speed setting, you'll feel and see that the trans will auto downshift to 4th. Most of the target settings are 2nd gear.
Scott
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpiland View Post
First of all the Allison tranny has retarder the run the fluid backwards through the torque converter, there itís not an exhaust brake. It should kick the tranny down to 2 gear. It slow you down at different RPMs. Never let the RPMs get over 2650 thatís over revving the engine, bad news if held there to long. Also at to high of speed will not kick in either. Good luck and happy travels.
The only MH that used the trans retarder is Foretravel. Maybe Newell too.
The CAT with Allison never used the retarder. 3126 and C7 use an exhaust brake, the C9 and larger will have an engine brake.
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