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Old 01-26-2018, 04:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
Make sure you do your research on the 3126/C7 Caterpillar engines. Most Cat lovers will advise you to avoid the C7 as it is considered a throw away engine designed for school buses and small equipment.
Many have had good service from a C7, but many more have not.
Best of luck!
When i was a school bus mechanic, my big issue with the C7 engine was always sensors. I couldn't go a week without a sensor going out on one of those engines. The engine itself was not bad, just to many freaking sensor issues.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ccsmith51 View Post
I am considering the purchase of a 2007 Fleetwood 39V DP. According to a brochure I found it has a Cat C7 33 HP engine and an Allison 3000MH transmission.

There is a retarder switch, and I understand that is for additional braking. I also understand that there is exhaust braking, engine braking, and transmission braking.

I have searched the web for the last hour trying to find out which of the three is on the coach; to no avail. I learned much about each system, but not which is installed on the Fleetwood.

Is there someone out there that can give me a definitive answer on what is on the coach?

Thanks.
I wouldn't think a C7 would come with a 3000 tranny and usually coupled to a C9, but better if it is. There are loads of C7's out there roaming the country and many are coupled to light transmissions, like maybe a 2000 or 2500 and doing fine. I guess it depends on the size of the rig, as well as the torque of the engine.
Your retardant brake is undoubtedly an exhaust brake and in all likelihood made by PAC, although both PAC and Jacobs make exhaust brakes as well ans engine brakes.
The transmission will begin to downshift as the exhaust brake slows the coach and if it doesn't, it can be programmed to do so.
I for one, drive with the exhaust brake in the on position, all the time and have no plans to ever replace the wheel brake shoes.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:51 PM   #17
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Fire Up, I meant no offense. I'm just commenting from our experience. We have over a dozen vehicles (heavy equipment and medium duty trucks) with C7 Cats. Compared to the larger Cat engines, the C7 is problematic. One of our water trucks powered by a C7 just threw a connecting rod out through the oil pan (just over 70k miles). We had a similar incident last year from another C7. These vehicles are probably not pampered, but they are serviced regularly. We rebuilt the one last year only to discover the rebuild cost was more than purchasing a used engine and installing it. The damaged cylinders are not removable sleeves and the labor cost is quite high to repair. My brother is a diehard Cat person and even he has agreed, no more C7 powered vehicles.
I hope these comments are taken constructively and will help in making a decision.
I think we can all agree that here that the C7 is still a better engine then the International Maxxforce.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:44 PM   #18
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I think we can all agree that here that the C7 is still a better engine then the International Maxxforce.


I have no knowledge of the C7, but my Maxxforce 10 has been trouble free for 40,000 plus miles. I have higher torque that comparable hp Cummins. There are Maxxforce engines that had issues, but I suggest you count the number of International over-the-road rigs on the highways; that would seem to indicate that there are plenty of those engines working well. Itís hard to overcome past issues when people make remarks about a piece of equipment without specifics related to models, years, etc.
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:01 PM   #19
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Most International class 8 trucks do not have Navistar engines. You specify the engine, trans, and front/rear axle when you order it.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:10 PM   #20
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Jelag, sounds like you are very knowledgeable with the pac brake. I have the pac on my 02 windsor. My problem when I turn on the switch, the allison keypad will go from 6 to 2 and the tach will increase. But I hardly see any braking at all, any suggestions on what's going on?
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:51 AM   #21
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MLH2013

So the transmission is seeing the signal from the pacbrake or engine ecm is turned on... there are 2 things I'd look for to start with....

In most of these applications, the PacBrake was connected to the engine ECM and the ECM would signal the transmission what to do... BUT in some cases that needed to be turned on...

1 - if there are any exhaust leaks between the exhaust brake and motor... this will lower the efficiency of the exhaust brake... the pacbrake has a port to install a test gauge and run the vehicle down the road... at 1800 to 2200 or so... you should see max back pressure... bases on the exhaust valve springs on your engine.... On some engines because of their design that's only 35-40 psi... on other engines because of the design that's 60-70 psi... On a pusher this becomes a 2 person job... one to stand in the bed room with the gauge and other other to drive down the hill.... we had a local freeway exit that worked for us...

2 - the second is that the transmission is down shifting like it should and the RPM is coming up... but if the transmission is NOT locking the torque converter with fluid pressure, it will not pass the braking from the rear wheels to the engine... I assume you have an Allison and I know when we installed some units in Cummins/Allison or CAT/Allison we had to run the unit down to the local Allison shop with a computer... he would access some of the software in the transmission and turn on the feature to both make the transmission down shift and also lock the torque converter up...

Because we used the same guy, and he did it in the parking lot when we showed up.... it was a minimum charge... but the first time through it was a chore to get him to find the right pages and get the job done....

I also assume you bought the coach used... and the PacBrake was installed when you bought it.... I can't tell you how many units were body builder installed that never worked correctly... I bet we say 5-6 a year that were new coaches and incorrectly installed PacBrakes.... our biggest fear was the close to white carpets for a pusher unit we needed to walk across to test and diagnosis...

Hope this helps...
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Old 01-29-2018, 10:59 AM   #22
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I wouldn't think a C7 would come with a 3000 tranny and usually coupled to a C9, but better if it is. There are loads of C7's out there roaming the country and many are coupled to light transmissions, like maybe a 2000 or 2500 and doing fine. I guess it depends on the size of the rig, as well as the torque of the engine.
Your retardant brake is undoubtedly an exhaust brake and in all likelihood made by PAC, although both PAC and Jacobs make exhaust brakes as well ans engine brakes.
The transmission will begin to downshift as the exhaust brake slows the coach and if it doesn't, it can be programmed to do so.
I for one, drive with the exhaust brake in the on position, all the time and have no plans to ever replace the wheel brake shoes.
Tropical36,
If you were to take a look at just about any Winnebago/Itasca D/P brochure, from '04 on, you'll see that the CAT C-7 is coupled to the MH3000 trans. And that includes all three versions of the C-7, the 300, 330 and the 350HP versions. Now, as far as I know, based on being around many Winnes and Itascas of that era (ours included) that I've either worked on or dealt with in some sort of manner, they've all been Freightliner chassis's and had the MH3000 trans. Just FYI.
Scott

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Jelag, sounds like you are very knowledgeable with the pac brake. I have the pac on my 02 windsor. My problem when I turn on the switch, the allison keypad will go from 6 to 2 and the tach will increase. But I hardly see any braking at all, any suggestions on what's going on?
mlh2013,
You've been given some good info. But one thing here, SPEED is key essential too in the operation of the pac/jacobs exhaust brake. Yes, you will s "2" appear in the tranny key pad when your e-brake is set into motion. That's simply a target gear when the coach is beginning to slow itself down. You mentioned you "hardly" see any braking at all. Well, you've been given some reasons that could actually be happening, which would cause your lack of engine braking.

But, as stated, speed is also playing a big roll. For instance, the way ours operates on our '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP and Allison MH3000 trans, is like this:

If we're doing say, oh, 70 or so mph and, start to go down a slight mountain grade, I will let off the accelerator and, with my e-brake switch already on, my keypad for the trans will automatically show "2" in its window. But, since I started the downgrade at or near 70 mph, that trans will downshift from 6th to 5th. And, the engine RPM will increase a moderate amount. My information LCD screen will say "Exhaust Brake ON". But, the amount of actual braking I feel is VERY LITTLE.

The reason is, as stated, the RPM increase at that particular downshift was moderate. So, not much braking felt.


Now, as the rig slows down from that starting point of 70, the trans will stay in 5th until right about 62-63 mph. At that time, the trans will downshift to 4th. When that happens, a TREMENDOUS increase in RPMs will happen and, the rig will lerch with additional braking being applied, due to a much higher RPM increase than was felt from 6th to 5th and, at a much higher speed.

The trans will stay in 4th, until somewhere in the neighborhood of maybe 35-40 mph at which, at that time, it will drop to 3rd. Again, a tall leap into higher RPMs for more braking as the rig is slowing down more aggressively.

So, this is how ours works. If you're not feeling any braking or, very, very little braking as you comparatively slow down to our situation, well then, it's possible you DO have some sort of mechanical malfunction.
Scott
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:21 PM   #23
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Thanks guys for the information, I am in the middle of changing out fridge to residential, as soon as I complete this job I will get back to the pacbrake issue.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:38 PM   #24
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I learned very early this morning (no sign of the sun) that when the coach (Phaeton) downshifts and brakes with the retarder, the brake lights will come on. Noticed the brighter lights in the rear camera this morning. Do other coaches do this? The Phaeton has a retarder that is either on or off. Some have High/Low while others have High/Medium/Low.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:10 PM   #25
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I learned very early this morning (no sign of the sun) that when the coach (Phaeton) downshifts and brakes with the retarder, the brake lights will come on. Noticed the brighter lights in the rear camera this morning. Do other coaches do this? The Phaeton has a retarder that is either on or off. Some have High/Low while others have High/Medium/Low.
V3600,
While I'm no expert on this, I've spoken with many on this subject and, have seen and read many discussions on this very subject. It appears, through all that, that about 99.99% of the coaches built with secondary braking, i.e. Exhaust brakes, Jake or "Compression Brakes" or, even a Transmission retarder, are wired in such a way that, the brake lights are activated if and when any of these secondary braking devices are activated. It's actually logical. I mean, if you're braking, and slowing down, no matter how little or how much, you're still braking, you need to notify following drivers don't you?

Now, there are some coaches, as far as I can tell, not very many at all, that do not activate the brake lights with their secondary braking devices. And not only that but, there are some motorhome drivers that think their brake lights shouldn't be activated by the secondary braking devices. They have their reasons.

Anyway, in short, yes, many coach brake lights are activated with whatever kind of secondary braking device these coaches are equipped with.
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