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Old 06-13-2021, 11:25 PM   #1
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2020 Aspire exhaust brake

We bought our 2020 Aspire 44B new. It has the two stage exhaust brake. As much as try to convince myself there is a difference between high and low, I honestly don't see/feel it. What say you?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:29 AM   #2
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I have a 15 and there is a big difference, especially in the mountains
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxn View Post
We bought our 2020 Aspire 44B new. It has the two stage exhaust brake. As much as try to convince myself there is a difference between high and low, I honestly don't see/feel it. What say you?



Thanks in advance.


I say you donít have an exhaust brake but a compression brake. Some call it a Jake.
Two different methods of engine braking.

When you engage the engine brake does the Allison shift pad indicate 2 gear as the target?

The engine brake works with the Allison transmission to slow you down.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:07 AM   #4
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Definite difference on both our 16 Anthem and our 21
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:34 AM   #5
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I owned a 2015 Anthem ISL450 and there was a big difference. But it depends very much on what speed you are traveling when you are observing if there is a difference. If you are going 60 when you kick it from low to high, you are are going to feel very little difference. If you are one of those drivers that zooms down a 5 mile 8% grade at 65, you are going to feel very little difference because you are going too fast, still in too high a gear, and the engine and tranny are not able to do very much. However, if you use your foot to force the coach down to lets say 50 or 45, and kick back and forth from low to high, you should feel a much bigger difference. Your gear at that point is a low gear and the jake brake has a much bigger impact that it does it 65.

I have no idea how you use it, but engage it at a little bit slower speed and then shift back and forth.... If you can't feel much difference at lets say 45, then I would be taking the coach to Cummins to see if your switch has failed or maybe if the jake is not engaging the second stage.

I have a three stage "Jake" on this Cornerstone, and at 30-45 mph, the highest Jake setting will snap your neck forward when it kicks in. I use the highest level very rarely. Its 605 horses worth of braking....

Gary
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:51 AM   #6
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I have a 2020 Aspire 42DEQ and can tell a difference. If you drive down a steep slope you should really be able to notice
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:41 AM   #7
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The speed you are going will really make a difference like Gary said.
We have a two stage and works well when you are under 60 mph. 50-60 (or less) mph for declines is my target speed. The trucks I passed on the way up will fly by going down but so what.
One way to test/feel the difference is on an exit ramp.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:50 AM   #8
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EASY test of, yes, your ENGINE COMPRESSION BRAKE:


On an empty road, use the transmission down arrow to select, say 4th gear. Accelerate to the upper end of your engine's RPM range.


Let off the throttle and get a feel of deceleration (this is coasting).


Repeat with engine brake on LOW.



Repeat with engine brake on HIGH.


Repeat and toggle between LOW and HIGH.


You should feel a significant difference between coast, low and high engine brake.


Oh, and what is your transmission pre-select gear for engine brake application (what does the left/only window on your Allison shift pad read when engine brake is on either low or high?_



Let us know what you find.
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Old 06-14-2021, 08:57 AM   #9
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Brett........ It should be "2" on any Entegra (Cummins/Allison) that I have ever seen.

Gary
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:03 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. Engine/exhaust brake...maybe I called it the wrong thing..not really my point. I have what the 2020 Aspire comes with. My point is, I really don't notice a difference.

Does it immediately set a goal of second gear? Yes.

Does it slow me down significantly? Yes.

Can I tell a difference between high and low? No. Not at any speed.

It is effective and it slows me down for sure. I just can't tell a difference between high and low.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxn View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Engine/exhaust brake...maybe I called it the wrong thing..not really my point. I have what the 2020 Aspire comes with. My point is, I really don't notice a difference.



Does it immediately set a goal of second gear? Yes.



Does it slow me down significantly? Yes.



Can I tell a difference between high and low? No. Not at any speed.



It is effective and it slows me down for sure. I just can't tell a difference between high and low.


Looks like you need to take it into NIRVC but before you do that is there an experienced Entegra driver near you that can test drive it with you? It could be as simple as the switch not wired correctly or bad connection.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:31 AM   #12
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I don’t know which Cummins you have, I have a 450 ISL and I have a 3 stage engine brake.
I always keep it on high when it’s on. The brake kicks in at about 45mph. Above that it barely is engaged. When it kicks in you feel it for sure.
I almost never use low or medium.
It’s on when I exit a interstate and off the interstate
It’s off when I’m cruising on the interstate away from cities and traffic.

My old 07 Ellispe had a 400 ISL with a 2 stage engine brake. Again you know when it kicks in. Always had it on high when in use.
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxn View Post
Thanks for all the replies. Engine/exhaust brake...maybe I called it the wrong thing..not really my point. I have what the 2020 Aspire comes with. My point is, I really don't notice a difference.

Does it immediately set a goal of second gear? Yes.

Does it slow me down significantly? Yes.

Can I tell a difference between high and low? No. Not at any speed.

It is effective and it slows me down for sure. I just can't tell a difference between high and low.
With Brett's test, if it is not noticeable, it should be, I believe that is a Cummins part, but call Spartan to be sure. There have been posts in the past, but a long time ago of the auxiliary brake not working on both speeds. Had to do with the unit needing lube IIRC.
This post from Cruzer might help. he has driven more test coaches for magazine articles than anyone around. https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/exh...ml#post3323071
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:37 AM   #14
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Quote from Cruzer's post "Big Mike, when teaching at the Spartan Academy, is pretty adamant about not using the engine brake excessively. The service brakes are designed for 350,000 miles but that is based on optimal usage. Brakes need to be used fairly hard and then rested. No light applications or riding the brake because that causes them to heat up and glaze, which will not only reduce their service life but also reduce their effectiveness."

Four and a half years later Big Mike is saying the exact same thing. I was one who kept my engine brake on all the time and used it to 'save my brakes', especially when slowing down for a stoplight or slowed traffic. I now use it only when coming to a downgrade or a series of up and down grades, and use the brakes much more often. There was another coach owner at our class who was getting his brakes replaced because of glaze from using his engine brake all the time and lightly applying the brakes, as I had been doing.

On a side note they also talked about the economy setting on the transmission; which I had also been using. The point Big Mike made was that Alison and Cummins do a darn good job matching the engine and transmission so you are in the correct gear 90% of the time; so using the economy mode might save a few drops of fuel but doesn't allow the coach to ride up and down grades as designed. The other 10% of the time might be when you bump up a gear or two on an upgrade. YAMMV
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