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 > Is exhaust brake really needed?

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the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 02/28/14 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Now that I have one, I wouldn't tow without it.

That being said in the mountains there is a braking technique truckers and RVers use to prevent overheating of their brakes. First you never go down a hill in a higher gear than you went up the hill.

Determine a safe speed, one that won't over rev the engine. That's your target speed
As your speed creaps 5MPH faster than your target, apply the brakes aggressively (truck & trailer) until you get 5MPH lower than your target. Release the brakes and repeat the above as needed.
If you find you are having to hit the brakes frequently to stay at target go to a lower gear (if possible)and set a new lower target speed.
This technique helps to allow the brakes to cool in between use.

Ivylog

Blairsville, GA and WPB, FL.

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Posted: 02/28/14 11:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, here are the instructions for a DIY electronic exhaust brake and TC lock up for your 7.3. Unlike a gas engine that has a butterfly valve that restricts air flow a diesel does not resulting in very little engine braking with a diesel.
Like I posted originally... you are in luck with the 7.3 and being able to trick the ERB butterfly valve in being a good exhaust brake for less than $50 using the above info.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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Allworth

Orlando, FL

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Posted: 02/28/14 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Need? --- No.

Nice to have? -- Yes.


Formerly posting as "littleblackdog"
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RAS43

Littleton,CO

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Posted: 02/28/14 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Winged One wrote:

Is it needed? No. Is it nice to have? Sure.

We went up and down several mountains in Montana with our rig. Never out of control. Pay attention to what your doing, keep from being in a rush, and you will not have any problems.


X2- and we double tow all the time in Colorado!

jevanb

michigan

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Posted: 02/28/14 11:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have one and love it, but my turbo is a lot diff and mine shuts the variable vanes closed above 2k rpm and with that and the Allison grade brake it will maintain any speed I want down any grade with the cruise set...


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JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 02/28/14 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check these folks out as they are tops for the 7.3 diesel engines. http://www.dieselperformance.com/index.php/product/index/92P.

If you have a auto tranny you will need the BD auto-lock system.

With a actual exhaust brake or other systems use the BD Auto-lock system that locks the auto tranny TC clutch. If the clutch doesn't lock many have reported their tranny over heats leading to issues down the road and very little braking.


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kzspree320

Louisiana

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Posted: 02/28/14 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have towed a fiver in CO with my current vehicle with exhaust brake. The exhaust brake is a great thing to have. Very little use of truck brakes.

I had a 2002 Ford F250 with 7.3 Powerstroke in 2004 when we went to CO towing our Cougar 5th wheel to Estes Park. I did fine. Yes, I did have to use brakes a lot more and keep it locked in lower gears when descending, but I managed fine.

A lot less tiring and easier with exhaust brake, but certainly doable without. Have fun!

pyoung47

MO

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Posted: 02/28/14 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd hate to invest that much in a vehicle that old. I've always managed fine by taking it easy and using the punch and release technique. Be sure your brakes Are in good shape before starting out.

cummins2014

Utah

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Posted: 02/28/14 12:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ivylog wrote:

You are in luck as the warm up butterfly in the turbo can be tricked into a surprisingly good exhaust brake for not much money. If you have the manual tranny a simple toggle switch putting 12V to the plug on the turbo will work. With a auto it's more complicated as you need to lock up the torque converter even if you spend big bucks to put one in the exhaust pipe.
Years ago you could buy an electronic exhaust brake for the 7.3 on Ebay for less than $100.. There was a chip maker that had one but I cannot find it now. Do a google search to find how to do this as it really works and with a diesel in the mountains you really do need an exhaust brake.


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gkainz

Arvada, CO, USA

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Posted: 02/28/14 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've towed without and with ... but won't ever again tow without an EB ... [emoticon]


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