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Old 07-05-2022, 02:49 PM   #1
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Smelly brakes

Brand new Entegra Reatta xl. First trip coming down the mountains. Pumping brakes to keep it within speed. Engine brake doesn't work. Used manual down shifting to have engine help slow me down. Heard this is what the engine brake would do anyway according to Spartan chassis. Got to the bottom and could smell the brakes inside the coach. Went out and the rear wheel on passenger side had a strong brake smell. Spartan says the brakes auto adjust. Took it in to Cummins engine shop and they pulled the wheels and said all look good. No overheating. Why the strong smell? Is that normal?
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Old 07-05-2022, 02:59 PM   #2
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Yes this is normal when the brakes get hot. Engine brakes are very important for mountain driving. If your brakes get too hot you will experience brake fade due to the off gassing from the liners. This creates an invisible layer between the liner (brake material) and the drum or rotor. It acts like someone put oil on your brakes. If this were to happen you might not be able to stop at all. That is what those emergency ramps are for on the downhill sides of the road. I would get that engine brake fixed promptly.

If you have to travel without your engine brake you need to pull over occasionally to allow your brakes to cool down.

Also never ride your brakes going down hill, this just creates excessive heat. Use a lower gear and travel a bit slower.

Safe travels!
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Old 07-05-2022, 05:59 PM   #3
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Jake and engine brakes are on your coach for a reason and that reason is that you should be using them on any extended descent. If your engine brakes are not working, then you should get those fixed immediately.

Anytime I am descending a several mile long hill, I have the Jake brake on and am using it as the primary braking system, hardly ever touching my service brakes. Judicious use of the jake or engine brake should be able to take the place of service brakes and avoid every having to "ride" service brakes to the point that they approach getting hot or smelly.

If you are brand new to jake or engine brakes, there are a lot of YouTube videos about the proper use of engine brakes in descending long hills. Pull a few of the videos up and watch them through ,,,, you will get the idea.

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Old 07-05-2022, 06:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randystu View Post
Brand new Entegra Reatta xl. First trip coming down the mountains. Pumping brakes to keep it within speed. Engine brake doesn't work. Used manual down shifting to have engine help slow me down. Heard this is what the engine brake would do anyway according to Spartan chassis. Got to the bottom and could smell the brakes inside the coach. Went out and the rear wheel on passenger side had a strong brake smell. Spartan says the brakes auto adjust. Took it in to Cummins engine shop and they pulled the wheels and said all look good. No overheating. Why the strong smell? Is that normal?
Downshifting a diesel engine without the engine or exhaust brake working doesn't do much. They don't have throttle plates to block air intake, and just pump air thru them.

Engine and exhaust brakes use higher engine speeds, created by downshifting to be more effective.
Engine brakes use the energy of compression, by letting it escape before it pushes the piston back down, to make the engine harder to spin.

Exhaust brakes block the exhaust from easly flowing out the pipes, making it harder for the engine to spin.
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Old 07-05-2022, 07:22 PM   #5
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Is your engine brake not working? Or was it not slowing you down enough. How fast were you going. You need to figure it out.
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Old 07-05-2022, 07:29 PM   #6
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From the specs I see on Reatta it does have the L9 Cummins but not a Jake or Compression brake but VGT turbo for engine braking. So heís not going to feel the effects of the engine brake like you guys with those big block Cummins with a three stage engine brake.
Of course there could be an issue with his engine brake that should be checked out.

Iím concerned when he stated he was pumping the brakes. Probably not the best practice.

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Old 07-06-2022, 01:09 AM   #7
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Yes the Reatta XL has the VGT turbo brake. The RV is in the shop now getting this fixed.

But it has been driven from Indiana to Arizona to Las Vegas to Vancouver, Washington. I only drove it from Las Vegas to Vancouver. The other drivers were from the manufacturer who report it did not have the engine brake working.

This is not an exhaust or jake brake system.

Pumping the brakes to keep the speed down is a lot better than riding the brakes. I never experienced brake fade and kept the speed under control depending on the grade from 50 to 70 mph. The higher speeds were achieved when there was a flattening and straight road that I could safely do that.

Using the down shifting to increase the rpm's with the pumping of the brakes made it down Mt. Hood. But it was worrisome.

My main concerns were the brake smell. The Cummins service shop said the brakes looked ok, no glazing. So I think it is ok there. And hopefully they can get the engine brake fixed. Seems Entegra screwed this up. Not a very safe thing to do with their customers and I am quite pissed about it.

I also noticed that the brakes now squeal a lot. Pretty much all the time but especially when they get hot.

So can anyone give me advice on the brake smell? Should I worry about it now? And the squealing? Anyone have a thought on how to stop that, if possible?

Thanks all.
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Old 07-06-2022, 04:49 AM   #8
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Gasman 2 is a professional, he owns a trucking company that delivers fuel and has more year experience driving trucks than most here. I believe what Richard probably meant about "pumping the brakes is not the best practice". Larger rigs need the brakes applied hard in short duration. Pumping the brake like on a car probably glazed the brake pads as your experienced. If the glazed brakes are now squealing, your can rough the glaze pads up with sand paper or emery cloth, or replace them. Also the drum may be glazed as well depending how hot they were allowed to get. In your situation without the VGT brakes, I think the over heating would have been hard to avoid on that grade
JMO, but it was not wise to put that many miles on the coach knowing that the brake system was not 100%. If the dealer knew about it, why was it not fixed? I refused deliver of my 14 because of the brakes had a sever air leak and the dealer couldn't fix it. I would not drive a coach that did not have all of the brakes working. The coach went all the way back to Spartan to find the problem.

The coach is under warranty, due to the secondary brakes not working, I would get the pads replaced under warranty while it's in the shop now. BTW, it is not Entegra, that is a Spartan problem, covered by the Spartan warranty just like mine were. Doubtfully Entegra ever drove the coach to use the VGT brakes. First is Spartan, second it the dealer knowing it was bad if the delivery driver reported it. My deliver driver never reported my brake problem. I caught it on the test drive.

Richard, Gasman2 may have better professional advise.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:20 AM   #9
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Downshifting doesnít slow you down? Someone better tell my 7.3 F350, because shifting it down definitely slows it. I downshift when descending hills. The 4:10 gears and engine compression do a great job on letting me stay off the brakes. Thatís pulling trailers in excess of 10k lbs. Empty, downshifting will push your head forward.
Absolutely agree with firm application of brakes to below desired speed then off instead of riding the brakes IF compression alone isnít holding your speed. Pumping brakes means something different to me. Thatís only done in slippery conditions and is more a modulation that fast stabs.
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Old 07-06-2022, 09:01 AM   #10
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Downshifting doesnít slow you down? Someone better tell my 7.3 F350, because shifting it down definitely slows it. I downshift when descending hills. The 4:10 gears and engine compression do a great job on letting me stay off the brakes. Thatís pulling trailers in excess of 10k lbs. Empty, downshifting will push your head forward.
Absolutely agree with firm application of brakes to below desired speed then off instead of riding the brakes IF compression alone isnít holding your speed. Pumping brakes means something different to me. Thatís only done in slippery conditions and is more a modulation that fast stabs.
That's what pumping the brakes means to me as well, but I doubt there are many vehicles on the road anymore without ABS making the need to "pump the brakes" obsolete. Even my 2002 F350 7.3 has 4 wheel ABS disc brakes.
Perhaps the OP means he is applying the brakes intermittently, not actually pumping them.
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Old 07-08-2022, 08:34 PM   #11
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How do they work

Does anyone know how the Engine brake is suppose to work on the 2022 Entegra Reatta XL? What does it do?
Thanks all.
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Old 07-09-2022, 07:17 AM   #12
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Does anyone know how the Engine brake is suppose to work on the 2022 Entegra Reatta XL? What does it do?

Thanks all.
All electronic Cummins 5.9, 6.7, 8.3, and 8.9 liter engines us an electronically controlled variable gate turbo charger (8.9 can optionally be equipped with a 2 speed Jake)
This goes back to the 1990's!

The vgt reduces the diameter of the pipe leaving the turbo, basically the same as any exhaust brake.

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Old 07-09-2022, 07:23 AM   #13
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Drum brakes smell when they get hot.
Our previous monaco had all drums, and would stink terribly if I ever had to stop quickly.

Being one who leaves his Jake on all the time, I never smelled brakes in the Aspire, I attributed it to the excellent Braking provided by the disk front brakes.

As reccomended here, I've been starting to leave my Jake off unless needed. Last week I had to stop somewhat quickly when a light turned red, and had to use enough brake that I smelled them!

I've gone back to leaving the Jake on most of the time.

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Old 07-10-2022, 09:20 AM   #14
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Thanks for the help. On the engine brake that helps but what will I actually notice when it is working? Does the transmission down shift? Does the rpms increase?
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