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Old 04-29-2017, 09:05 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=dcasr;1942382] Not to necessarily disagree with anyone, but to further clarify what is going on in both types of Engine Braking: Jake and turbo vane pitch: A Jake Brake does use a change in exhaust valve timing to create back pressure because the compression of the exhaust gas within the cylinder has no easy place to exit. (QUOTE)
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NOW TO CONTRADICT MYSELF, having read a little more about Jake Brakes from Wikipedia. I clearly didn't know what I was talking about concerning Jake Brakes. Wikipedia says, "When the driver releases the accelerator on a moving vehicle powered by a diesel engine, the vehicle's forward momentum continues to turn the engine's crankshaft. With Mercedes diesels being a notable exception, diesel engines, by design, have no throttle butterfly in the intake so regardless of throttle setting a full charge of air is always drawn into the cylinder. As such, each time air is compressed in a cylinder virtually 100% of that energy is returned to the crankshaft providing very little in the way of engine braking to the vehicle.

The typical compression release engine brake, as originally developed, uses an add-on hydraulic system using engine oil. When activated, the motion of the fuel injector rocker arm is transferred to the engine exhaust valve(s). This occurs very near TDC and releases the compressed air in the cylinder so that that energy is not returned to the crankshaft. Energy is now absorbed and the engine becomes an excellent "brake." If used properly, this energy can be used by the truck driver to maintain speed or even slow the vehicle with little or no use of the service brakes. The power of this type can be around the same as the engine power......Diesel compression release brake controls consist of an on/off switch and, often, a multi-position switch that controls the number of cylinders on which the brake is active. Throttle and clutch switches are integral with the system. Activation occurs when both the clutch is released with transmission in gear and the throttle is released. It is the driver's job to ascertain the correct transmission gear to use depending on, for example, the steepness of the grade and whether the truck is loaded or empty.1

1. Wikipedia quoting "Understanding Tractor-trailer Performance", page 20. Caterpillar Inc.

Oh well, live and learn.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:29 AM   #22
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You will NOT get agreement from this former 7.4L gas GMC, who now has a 6.6L Duramax 2500 HD.

3. Sorry yours didn't work, mine does.
I never said mine didn't work, it did. For what it was. I'm only commenting on all the folks who brag about engine braking with a diesel, and it's a myth. Some external device is inserted in the airflow (in my case the exhaust) to created back pressure.

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Just what do think a Jake Brake is ? It works on the same principal as all diesel engines do.
A Jake brake is a device to fool the diesel engine into thinking it has engine braking.

You are all missing the point that if diesels (by themselves) had engine braking, they wouldn't need jake brakes, flappers, vane slammers, etc.

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You want a diesel truck, get a diesel truck. You will like it if you can get past the price.
I agree. However, my friend who had a Ford F-250 and put $9000 into engine repairs in less than 90 K miles might disagree. He now has a Tundra.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:42 AM   #23
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towing vehicles

Have you considered a 2016 Colorado or Canyon. I purchased a 2016 Colorado diesel last year and it has a exhaust brake and brake controller built in from the factory. It is still under factory warranty and no problems so far. Google "towing up the Ike" and see how it was rated against other mid sized trucks. Previously I pulled my 23FB with a Chevy 1500 and the Colorado out performs and fuel mileage is significantly better.
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:59 AM   #24
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Light pickup engines don't have the Jacobs engine brake, they use a exhaust brake.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:03 AM   #25
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Have you considered a 2016 Colorado or Canyon. I purchased a 2016 Colorado diesel last year and it has a exhaust brake and brake controller built in from the factory. It is still under factory warranty and no problems so far. Google "towing up the Ike" and see how it was rated against other mid sized trucks. Previously I pulled my 23FB with a Chevy 1500 and the Colorado out performs and fuel mileage is significantly better.
I agree. I was recently at a car show comparing payload labels and this vehicle's ratings were quite impressive for a small pick-up.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:10 AM   #26
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I have a 2015 F-250 diesel with the factory installed engine brake. I have to admit that I do not know the technical side of how it works but I know that I can set it to go down virtually any grade at any selected speed and never touch the brake pedal. The engine does not over-rev. This thing is way more effective than simply downshifting by itself, although downshifting is involved. I've tried going down steep grades with the engine brake off and only downshifting and the difference is night and day.

I agree with a previous poster that a 3/4 ton is more than is needed to tow virtually any modern Airstream unless you have some special need for the capacity that the 3/4 ton trucks offer in terms of storage space or payload. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the F-150 3.0 liter diesel in mid-2018. If it has a real engine brake, then I will likely downsize from our crew-cab 8 foot bed 3/4 ton.
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:22 AM   #27
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I agree with a previous poster that a 3/4 ton is more than is needed to tow virtually any modern Airstream
Agree. You don't need 925 ft-lbs of torque to pull an Airstream. The 3.0 liter powerstroke should have about half that, but that's all you need.

I'm wondering if the EPA will kill these small diesels, though. Waiting to see if the Ram Ecodiesel is pulled off the market.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:13 PM   #28
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I really don't care if the "engine braking" in my Ram 2500 Cummins uses a flapper, or variable stators or magic pixie dust. I just know that when I go down a steep grade, in Tow/Haul mode and the Auto setting on the engine braking (as it was designed), it is an easy stress free event. No worry about overheated brakes, no worries at all. A far cry from towing with my half ton gasser.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:28 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Mergatroyd View Post
Agree. You don't need 925 ft-lbs of torque to pull an Airstream. The 3.0 liter powerstroke should have about half that, but that's all you need.



I'm wondering if the EPA will kill these small diesels, though. Waiting to see if the Ram Ecodiesel is pulled off the market.


Most people who make this statement have never pulled a larger Airstream.There is a big difference in the towing experience when u have extra power on tap.In our travels across the country we have found many benefits over towing with a borderline or anemic tow vehicle.Merging into four lanes of traffic that is traveling at 70 mph is one.finding out that your exit is unexpectedly the next one and you are two lanes over is another.Yes gps is not always apt on.Many emergency maneuvers come with the ability to accelerate quickly and safely.So climbing steep mountain grades is not the only benefit to having a more capable tow vehicle.So all the statements made in favor of small engines vs diesel is just bs in my opinion.
Same as the statement below

You don't need a fancy Airstream travel trailer when a good canvas tent will do just fine.
This is also true but it's just not my idea of a good time.
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:07 PM   #30
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...having read a little more...

Oh well, live and learn.
Excellent!

You corrected most of your first post, but probably better to call it an engine or compression brake than a Jake. You can get a compression brake from Pacbrake for some engine models, and I saw more of those since I worked with the engine manufacturer from Peoria, and the Jake brake is more connected to Cummins.

Also, the two types aren't Jake vs turbo vanes, they are compression brakes vs exhaust brakes. Exhaust restriction can be created by adjustable turbo vanes or some type of valve, they accomplish the same thing.

The pickup manufacturers appear to call their products diesel engine exhaust brakes, which is correct, but that gets shortened by some posters to engine brake, which isn't. It doesn't matter much until someone starts suggesting parallels to a HD diesel that could have a compression brake.
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:23 PM   #31
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I find it very troubling that there are so few comments that suggest downshifting a gas engine. My trailer weighs 9200 lbs "wet" and gave me no problems on steep Rocky Mountain descents. All you gotta do is slow to the desired speed at the top of the hill, select the right gear, and easily crawl down the mountain with almost no brake use.

Sure, there is more skill involved with downshifting a gas engine compared to pushing a button on a diesel. But it's not rocket science. It's actually easy once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is getting used to the sound of the engine.

If you drive a gasser, PLEASE learn the proper technique for downshifting!
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:07 PM   #32
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The Towing Question Of The Year.....

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I find it very troubling that there are so few comments that suggest downshifting a gas engine. My trailer weighs 9200 lbs "wet" and gave me no problems on steep Rocky Mountain descents. All you gotta do is slow to the desired speed at the top of the hill, select the right gear, and easily crawl down the mountain with almost no brake use.



Sure, there is more skill involved with downshifting a gas engine compared to pushing a button on a diesel. But it's not rocket science. It's actually easy once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is getting used to the sound of the engine.



If you drive a gasser, PLEASE learn the proper technique for downshifting!


Agreed per my posts #3 and #6 aboveÖ but hey what do I know :-)
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:50 PM   #33
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I find it very troubling that there are so few comments that suggest downshifting a gas engine. My trailer weighs 9200 lbs "wet" and gave me no problems on steep Rocky Mountain descents. All you gotta do is slow to the desired speed at the top of the hill, select the right gear, and easily crawl down the mountain with almost no brake use.



Sure, there is more skill involved with downshifting a gas engine compared to pushing a button on a diesel. But it's not rocket science. It's actually easy once you get the hang of it. The hardest part is getting used to the sound of the engine.



If you drive a gasser, PLEASE learn the proper technique for downshifting!


You sir are correct the major problem here is that the truck Industry hasn't made a manual transmission in a long time and they are extremely hard to find that's why these forms concentrate on the automatics because unfortunately for those of us who like a manual transmission, we are forced to use an automatic.

Heaven knows if the Dodge three-quarter ton truck I now drive had a standard transmission I wouldn't be having this conversation.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:25 AM   #34
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Tow vehicles

I pulled a 2005 30í Classic in 2013 with a 2012 Nissan Titan across Canada on a four-month fishing trip, spending six weeks in British Columbia, then back to Virginia. We traveled some tough gravel and dirt roads getting to fishing locations. Some were washed out. Most were rutted, rough with deep holes. I wasnít towing on these roads, but it is part of the decision for a tow vehicle. We sold that Airstream after the trip, but last year bought a 2014 25í Flying Cloud. My wife and I pulled it with the Nissan through Quebec and New Brunswick for three months. There are plenty of mountains in Quebec, especially visiting provincial parks, and the highway following the north side of the St. Lawrence is one continuous up and down hill, usually with a curve at the bottom and a town so the speed limit drops to 35mph at the bottom. The uphills were not an issue for the Titan. I could easily shift gears manually with a center gear shift. I did the same on downhills, but always felt I was working the transmission hard. The brakes are not heavy duty, so I was always nervous. All that being said, that truck performed really well. I love the engine, and the truck is a good size with a great turning radius. It also passed all the tests off-road. I put 70,000 miles on the truck, 35,000 of which were towing. For half the price of bigger trucks, it was a bargain, but I never could balance the truck and trailer. It was easy to tell the truck was weighed down in the back. Looking at the new Titan HDís, I liked the small diesel, but the payload is still only 1,600 pounds. I had the tongue weight on my trailer measured when I had solar installation. I was surprised to hear 1050# as we had it loaded, and 1075# after solar and new batteries were installed. No wonder I was overloaded all the time.

I took it in to change the oil. While I was waiting, someone brought in a 2015 GMC Denali 3500 HD 6.6L diesel with 16,500 miles on it. Well thatís the other end of the spectrum, but I bought it. It wasnít a great deal, but it was a fair deal. A week later I drove it over four mountain ranges to the western edge of Virginia to test the truck as well as the new solar system. OK, itís not the Rockies, but it is still steep, twisty up and down two-lane mountain roads. I found myself laughing out loud going down the mountains in tow-mode. It was so easy with that big engine doing all the work. The brakes on this truck are huge, but I hardly used them. I did find myself manually shifting going up, and it felt a little less fun with shift on the column and a button to push, but Iíll get used to it. On Interstate 64 coming back, I put it on cruise control and relaxed. Coming over Afton Mountain, I left it on cruise to see what would happen. OK, itís not a big mountain, but it required my attention in the Nissan. I never touched a thing on the GMC and it never moved off the speed! Is it worth the price? I donít know, but I hope to do a lot of traveling with this rig, and it sure takes a lot of the stress out. It is certainly a bigger truck driving around town, and I donít know how it will do on those tough fishing roads, but I hope to find outÖÖGod willing and the creek donít rise!
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:23 AM   #35
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You sir are correct the major problem here is that the truck Industry hasn't made a manual transmission in a long time and they are extremely hard to find that's why these forms concentrate on the automatics because unfortunately for those of us who like a manual transmission, we are forced to use an automatic.

Heaven knows if the Dodge three-quarter ton truck I now drive had a standard transmission I wouldn't be having this conversation.
I have no idea what you are trying to say. All modern automatic transmissions have a manual shift mode.
The problem with a gas engine vs diesel on a long steep descent is that even in the lowest gear you will need to apply the brakes to keep the engine from redlining. That was the most frustrating issue I found. Our 30' trailer would be pushing the F-150 Eco faster and faster down hill, so to keep the engine RPM at a safe level I was forced to also apply the brakes to to hold the engine RPM in check. Like heading towards Denver from the Eisenhower pass you are going down hill forever. With my current tv an F-250 diesel, I set the speed at whatever a choose, switch on the engine brake and never have to touch the brakes. It will maintain the speed, no fuss no anxiety.
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Old 04-30-2017, 02:39 PM   #36
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You sir are correct the major problem here is that the truck Industry hasn't made a manual transmission in a long time and they are extremely hard to find that's why these forms concentrate on the automatics because unfortunately for those of us who like a manual transmission, we are forced to use an automatic.

Heaven knows if the Dodge three-quarter ton truck I now drive had a standard transmission I wouldn't be having this conversation.
Ram doesn't allow you to downshift??? Proves how little I know about Ram.

It was very easy on my truck. Keeps my speed nice and easy, and seldom have to touch the brake. One of the passes we took just outside Yellowstone was so steep it had a downhill speed limit of 25 mph for trucks over 12K lbs. I was happy to fall in line with the semi trucks and slowly glide down the mountain hardly touching the brakes at all.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:04 PM   #37
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Many of these diesel vs gas threads end up with similar points. Coming down a very steep grade with ease, or going a bit slower in a low gear and an occasional tap on the brakes. On a 10,000 mile trip to Alaska and back, how much of the time am I going to be driving down a very steep grade. I've made the trip before. I think I'll be fine with a gas engine.
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Old 04-30-2017, 06:30 PM   #38
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I towed my 31' Sovereign some 70k plus miles with my trusty old 2004 Nissan Titan gasser. Pretty much went anywhere we pleased.

Yes, I had to use the transmission and manage my inertia. Never had a white knuckle moment.

Now I tow the same trailer with a 2016 Nissan Titan XD. Is it better? No. It is only different. Uphill, there is less downshifting, downhill the engine braking is helpful with less need (not no need) for brake application. The fuel mileage is better but the fuel costs more.

And...

I get to swap out $90 worth of fuel filters every 10k miles.
I get to hunt for diesel fuel that has less than 10% biodiesel.
I get to stand next to that swell diesel pump in the inevitable oil slick which I track into my truck.
I get to buy DEF.

In hindsight, I should have bought the same truck with the gas V8. But, hindsight is always 20/20.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:21 PM   #39
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I don't get it, putting up with an oversized truck so I wouldn't have to use my 1/2 ton truck and Airstream service brakes along with engine braking? Our 400 ft lbs of torque through an 8-speed transmission turning 3.92 axle gears has no power problems, whether our gas 5.7 Hemi or our 3.0 turbodiesel.

That's why they put brakes on our truck and Airstream, they work very well to assist the engine/transmission braking down long grades. And we have done many, many long grades with our trucks and Airstream throughout the country, mostly the West. We traded our 2012 Ram Hemi at 50k miles and the brakes were barely worn. We had the Airstream brakes inspected at Jackson Center Service after 6 years heavy travel and the were slightly worn, excellent condition.

The only meaningful towing deficiency of our truck to oversize is we don't haul lots of stuff around the country, and have never wanted to. To each their own.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:26 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
I towed my 31' Sovereign some 70k plus miles with my trusty old 2004 Nissan Titan gasser. Pretty much went anywhere we pleased.

Yes, I had to use the transmission and manage my inertia. Never had a white knuckle moment.

Now I tow the same trailer with a 2016 Nissan Titan XD. Is it better? No. It is only different. Uphill, there is less downshifting, downhill the engine braking is helpful with less need (not no need) for brake application. The fuel mileage is better but the fuel costs more.

And...

I get to swap out $90 worth of fuel filters every 10k miles.
I get to hunt for diesel fuel that has less than 10% biodiesel.
I get to stand next to that swell diesel pump in the inevitable oil slick which I track into my truck.
I get to buy DEF.

In hindsight, I should have bought the same truck with the gas V8. But, hindsight is always 20/20.
Strange, I don't have them problems with my 2500 ram with a 6.7 cumalong, half way through a 6500 mile trip to the coast and up...
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