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Do you need an exhaust brake ?

Old 03-12-2010, 03:32 PM
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Do you need an exhaust brake ?

We're thinking of towing the 5vr hwy 70 west of Denver,
and wondering if a guy really needs this ?
the truck is a stock 06 5.9 extended cab 2500
the trailor is a 5th wh. 13000 lbs.
I know some think you only need it once to justify,
Im doing new brakes on the trailer, and have a newer Bk-controller.
I know how to operate things, I've had airplanes to backhoes,heavy trucks,
and wrenched on all kind of toys, So the gray hair might get me thru..
If someone knows Vail Pass area, and one stays out of OD, say 60 mph with a 3.75 gears,
I would guess not much braking would be required, I havn't been thru there with a load.
We went thru the area a few times with a wheeler in the back and a tent.
Sure do love the SW, we'll be doing some backpacking, wheeling in utah.
thanks for the help
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:13 PM
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do you need it. no. i have towed my rv all over and it weights all most as much as yours with out one for years. i think it would be nice to have if you have money i dont and i dont know if i want one im not sure what damage in the long run is being done to the bottom end of the motor with all that back pressure.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:01 PM
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No you don't need one but if you ever get the chance to drive with one, you'll never go back.

I have had one on my truck since the day I bought the truck new. I am on my second set of brakes, never had an engine related issue and am sitting at 220,000 miles right now. I get in the truck and turn it on and go every day, not a problem.

I tow trailers on a regular basis upwards of 14,000-15,000 lbs and have zero problems coming to a stop or slowing down. Lot's of times with gearing down and the exhaust brake, I can come almost to a complete stop with out touching the brake pedal.

The back pressure is not a problem at all, the motor is built to take it. Like I mentioned I drive with it everyday and it really comes in handy even when not towing. Traffic is, I find it easier because you can be in a lower gear and use the exhaust brake instead of the service brakes to maintain a more steady speed instead of being on and off the brakes all the time. Most of the down hill descents that I encounter, I usually don't have to down shift, I just ride the exhaust brake down the hill.

Maintenance is for the most part zero. Keep an eye on the vacuum hoses in case they go hard. I've changed them once. Other than that, not much else.

If you can afford one, go for it, you will never regret that purchase and it will pay for itself in the end.

I'm sure there will be a few people that come and here and say you don't need one but like I said, drive a truck with one and you won't go back.

Jeff
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:11 PM
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I agree. Don't need it but hellglad I got it. I couldn't afford to buy one off the shelf so I made my own, It isn't vacuum operated, it uses free air pressure created fropm the turbo. After all, 20-30 psi is plenty to operate a small BIMBA air cylinder and you only need to store enough air to operate it a few dozen times until it recharges the tank again. I like the idea of engaging it while cold start warming up, it loads the engine a little and warms it up quicker.
I have just over 182000 miles and never had any trouble with the engine. On the original brakes still and we pull a 40' triple axle enclosed gooseneck car trailer loaded to a gross of just over 14300#
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:21 PM
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it's nice to have... I use it when empty and just let the brake doo all the work instead of the truck brakes...

For driving on I-70 west of Denver...when you get through the tunnel, pull over and cool down.... Take a stretch brake for you and the truck. Then again at the top of Vail Pass... You want everything to be cool for the trip down...

REMEMBER: it's easier to keep it slow then it is to slow down all at once. Ie, don't let it start get going too fast, just keep it around the same speed all the way down.... easier on the brakes.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:22 PM
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It's definitely not a necessity for Vail pass, but definitely a lot nicer drive with one. I just went over it a couple weeks ago. I didn't have much of a trailer on, but never had to use the brakes at all except for stopping in traffic. Depending on when you go over, sometimes the traffic's clogged enough you won't have to worry about getting too much speed. Lots of ski and snowmobiling traffic on the weekends right now. It was stop and go in places.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:46 PM
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I'm on my second truck with an exhaust brake. I previously towed with gassers and didn't realize how much less engine braking a diesel engine has until I bought a '98 CTD. after a couple of years towing a 11K+ fiver, and hot brakes a few times, I had an exhaust brake installed. My God, what a relief.

That was almost 10 years ago and my wife has tired of hearing me say "I love this brake" almost every time we go down a long grade.

Do I need one? Maybe not but I greatly prefer having it than not. I find I'm much less tense after 300 or 400 mile daily tows.

Dan
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:27 PM
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No - you don't NEED it - but - it sure is nice to have one,makes a TON of difference,all mentioned ^^^above posts. If I got a new truck tomorrow it WOULD be the FIRST thing I would add. LOVE mine.


CD
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:22 PM
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White Knuckels- OMG that car is slowing down on a 6% grade are the brakes too hot and will thay hold.
OR
cool comfortable ride with out touching the brakes unless that car does stop.
BEEN THERE I now have a pacbrake won't leave home with out it.

Last edited by dakotajam; 03-12-2010 at 08:26 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:06 AM
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One trip down a 8% grade will answer your question for you. I have seen too many scattered rigs where guys cook the brakes and end up loosing it. As far as I am concerned the EB is the first option to install.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:13 AM
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Most places in this area advertise and recommend 25,000 mile brake jobs. This is aimed at cars and if you watch them running down the road you will see brake lights coming on all the time as they tailgate and speed. My truck weighs 8,000 lbs, has over 85,000 miles on it and still has the original brakes. I put an exhaust brake on at about 44,000 miles after towing 5ers weighing in a tad over 11,000 lbs for a gross of over 19,000 lbs. The EB makes the trips a night and day difference. No, I didn't NEED an EB but I got a PacBrake and I love it.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:20 AM
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Agreed - - have to have it - - NO. Best to have it when towing heavy - - YES. On mine, the stats were something like 75 braking HP stock - - 174 braking HP with the Ebrake. You can look at Jacobs website and there is a HP/RPM guide showing available HP at the different RPM's. If you know how to use a transmission and how to hold a load on a grade at constant speed without using brakes, you will be able to run at least one gear higher on a grade meaning you won't have to creep on some grades to hold without using brakes. Love mine. I likewise use a lot when running solo.

Bob
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for all the help,
Its hard to decide what to do when we're not sure how many miles we'll use the toy hauler a year.
Like many other things we operate, Its not possable to have all the bells and whiistles, We bike BMW's, wheeler and sled Polaris,
4 older boats, and the big money pit, a Skywagon on wheels,Ski's and Floats.
If a guy did "everything" availableto be safer,we'd have to be rich. The most value in toys for many of use
are sweat equity issues. I think I'll try to behave,think ahead and keep the speed down.
This is my first Diese PU, I love the power, but I don't want to babysit operating it like watching EGT's,
temps and all the things like a plane.Some guys fly small planes to outback Utah with a tent to backpack,
but this new idea for us having more toys along sounds exiting.
So many things to do, so little time, HAVE FUN !
http://www.backcountrypilot.org/foru...=active_topics
http://www.utahbackcountrypilots.org/
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:36 PM
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I dont have a EB on my truck but I wish I did for just that rout. Here in Iowa the biggest hill is maybe 10 feet tall so theres no need for one 99.9% of the time but when I tow my toyhauler west of Denver I wish I had one. I havent towed my toy hauler west of Denver with my 06 auto but I did a few time with my 04 6 speed. The 6 speed held me back just enought that I felt I could safely do it but now with this auto its like as soon as we crest a hill I threw it in nutral and let it coast down the back side. There is almost 0 engine breaking. We are headed back out there this August and I plan to take the south rout and take 50 accross from Cannon City to Salida then north to Buena Vista. I just dont wana try 70 with this auto till I get a EB. In years past with my 6 speed I would try and keep my speed bellow 45mph going down the back side of the tunnel. I would slow down as I was exiting the tunnel and then aply the breaks only when I reached 2700RPM and slow till I hit 2000RPM then release the breaks to let them cool till I was back to 2700. That in 3rd or 4th(I cant remember anymore) would keep my speed between 30 and 45 mph or there aboughts.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:31 AM
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[QUOTE=bkrukow;2725484]I dont have a EB on my truck but I wish I did for just that rout. Here in Iowa the biggest hill is maybe 10 feet tall so theres no need for one 99.9% of the time but when I tow my toyhauler west of Denver I wish I had one. I havent towed my toy hauler west of Denver with my 06 auto but I did a few time with my 04 6 speed. The 6 speed held me back just enought that I felt I could safely do it but now with this auto its like as soon as we crest a hill I threw it in nutral and let it coast down the back side. QUOTE]

I thought the 06 with Tow Haul and TC lock out in 4th & 3rd would be similar to the stick, You feel like freewheeling in neutral with an auto?
that don"t sound right. Is that out of OD ? " Maybe help from someone who is towing 14k with an 05/ 06 auto thru there"

thanks again
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