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Old 02-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #29
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I need some Pakbrake PRXB Help.

I need some Pakbrake PRXB Help. It's installed but it's not working. To catch anyone reading this up, I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 MegaCab Diesel (purchased used from a dealer in 2009). Wanting additional braking power I decided to install a Pacbrake PRXB C44045 Exhaust brake.
With the help of a friend who provided both help and moral support I did the installation last week on Thursday and Friday. My friend helped me get the front of the truck up on stands, the removal of the front tires and wheel well shielding. He also did an excellent job of installing the air tank for the compressor.

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I installed the rest. The PRXB exhaust brake, the compressor, in dash switch and I ran all of the air lines and wiring.

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This probably could have been done in a day, but we started late on Thursday and on Friday I worked alone preferring to take my time and go slow to avoid messing up.

I'm happy to say that everything seems to be in working order, but the exhaust brake itself does not activate on it's own. I know it works through an ECM bypass test, but it does not come on as it should when starting the truck cold and while driving.

I've worked with a guy at Pacbrake named Chris Lacey and he seems to think that is has to do with an ECM setting. not throttling down to zero. While this does not affect normal driving or vehicle operations it, in his opinion, is what is keeping the exhaust brake from engaging. He believes that I need to take the truck to a dealer to see if they can reflash the ECM.

I did have some trouble getting the signal wire from the switch to lock into the ECM. I had to connect to wires to the ECM. A black wire to port 42 and a white wire to port 39. Both wire have a pin connected to end of the wire that is made to be inserted into the an ECM port. The back wire is thicker and connected easily and locked in. The white wire is a thinner gauge and setting it was like pushing a cooked spaghetti noodle into a small hole.

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I did find that the white wire came out after my first attempt on Friday and I reinserted it from the top (the wheel and well cover had already been installed). I hoped it was possibly still loose and that, that was my problem. Yesterday, I pulled the driver side wheel and well cover out again and reinstalled the white wire. Even though it did "click" in (more of a feel, than a sound) I could still tug on it with light pressure and get it to release. To anyone familiar with the ECM wiring this should not happen so easily. The other wires do not come loose. I taped the wire to the a bundle of same side wires to reinforce it and hold it in place, but still no love. I spoke to Chris again and he emailed me a procedure that was supposed to reset the throttle position sensor. I did it it, but it did not fix the problem.

I'd surely appreciate some input on this.

I just put in another call to Pacbrake for clarification of the ECM problem. This time I spoke to Jim who I believe must be a bit further up the chain of command. He told me everyone has a problem with the white wire (Chris did not mention this) and he's not sure why Pacbrake is still using it. He's sending me a heavier replacement wire. He feels this will solve the problem. If not he said call back and he'll find someone local to help me. I'm feeling a bit better about this (And Myself) I wish Chris had been a bit more forth coming about this problem.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:46 AM   #30
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If the wire pulls out you have probably found the problem.If the terminal is not damaged it will not come out once installed correctly.An Ecm reflash will not do anything for the E brake operation
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:19 PM   #31
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Hey! What Up Bob4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob4x4 View Post
If the wire pulls out you have probably found the problem.If the terminal is not damaged it will not come out once installed correctly.An Ecm reflash will not do anything for the E brake operation
Yeah, That appears to be correct. I've done some research and here is what I've come up with. The first thing is is the pdf file I was sent from Pacbrake, Attachment 179408,
but if I'm understanding what I'm reading in the forums correctly what worked for a 2003-2005 Ram won't necessarily work for a 2006. Here is a link to a slightly different method in the Diesel Garage forum.

BTW to your knowledge would there be any harm once the terminal cables are disconnected of then grounding them to each other to completely drain the system more quickly instead of waiting for hours as mentioned in the previous link? I can't see the harm, but then that is why I'm asking.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #32
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Possible Air System Leaks

One other thing, the Pacbrake PRXB system is mechanically operated by compressed air. Thus the heart of the system is a 12V air compressor. This also comes with a 1/2 gallon air tank and an axillary quick connect air fitting which I can attach a 25' curly hose and air chuck (also included) to top of tires, etc.

I'm wondering if all of my air connections are tight for my compressed air system. After allowing the system to fully charge, I sponged a soapy water solution on all of my air compressor, and air line connections and fitting and did not see any expanding bubbles, but then the soapy solution was already kind of bubbly.

I think it;s leaking because each morning when I start the truck the compressor runs, but then I've checked it after it sits for a few hours and it does not run so the system seems to hold it's pressure during that period, yet each day when I first start the truck the compressor kicks on.

Per the first guy I spoke with at Pacbrake it should not do this if it is not leaking. Thus I must have a leak or leaks, but like I said the soapy water test did not reveal anything. Any suggestions another way to discover where the leaks might be?
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:19 AM   #33
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Once again.............the 06 is not overpowered.That may be true in your case but not mine or in the marketing departments of the big three.They have all invested significant money to increase the power levels to where they should be-hoovering around the 400hp mark.

The same argument could be made for adding chrome circa 1956. What drives sales is the only thing that matters to automakers. "Performance" is a different matter in re reliability. Non-factory additions make for problems, and non-factory software makes for, potentially, the biggest problems of all. Sorry to hear your stock Dodge couldn't perform well with such a small TT.

My 3rd gen has excellent braking (all stock)and is in the top percentile in handling with more than a few dollars invested but I have pre-run Baja at speeds I am sure you never see on freeways here.

Might be good for a pickup . . but pickups roll-over where cars spin around. Same for braking performance. Pickups are dead last where it counts. The trailers most in need of disc brakes and a VPP hitch are those with tow vehicles based on the pickup truck.


The OP wants to have the best from what I gather from his questions and will enjoy playing with his rig,not just trying to keep his cost at bare minimum.
We all wish enjoy our vehicles. And some wish to modify . . but questions of the wisdom of such decisions should be bounded by consideration of yet higher initial costs, higher operating costs and shortened component life (notably, transmissions) when it comes to power adders. What is "the best" is first and foremost reliability. The rig pulled over to the shoulder is hardly "best" when its' reliability -- and longevity -- have been compromised.

.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #34
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Finally, Sucess!

Very Sorry it's taken so long for this follow up.

Many other things going on besides the exhaust brake, not the least of which was moving our savings portfolio from one firm to another and changing investment vehicles, lots and lots of reading. I’m still reading. Asset Allocation, Asset classes, Equities, Fixed income (stocks and bonds), and tons of stuff I probably should have learned about some time ago. Turns out Wall Street and a lot of financial “Advisers” are thieves and liars! Who knew? Hahaha

As I probably also mentioned, we're getting ready for a four month trip. We live in a vacation area so we decided to rent out our furnished house while we're gone. Holy S#$%, it’s a lot of work getting rid of stuff, storing stuff, fixing stuff, etc, getting ready for strangers to live here at the Woodhead Hilton until the end of August. So, to say we're busy is an understatement.

Did I mention we’re expectant grandparents. The baby is due within the next couple of weeks, at that point we’ll have to drop everything and shoot up to Maryland for possibly a week or so.

Anyway, I wanted to pass on that the Pacbrake exhaust brake is working great. I have yet to tow with it, but I'm confident from everything I've heard and read it will deliver what I need.

As I've written, it did not work initially after I installed it. My worries about the air lines were completely groundless. The things the Pacbrake “tech’ told me about the ECM and the Throttle Position Sensor were just plain wrong. It tuned out that I'd done everything right and there was nothing wrong with either my installation or with my truck.

The switch wire that went to the ECM was either to narrow a gauge wire (AWG 22) or possibly the pin was simply defective. What ever the problem, it turned out to be a known problem at Packbrake just one they’d chosen to live with. Nice! So I’m far from the first to have this problem. Once I talked with the right person (Jim Foster), a very helpful guy (not a tech guy but a salesman), he recognized the problem immediately (just like Bob4x4 did right here in this thread) and admitted it was a known issue. He thought they’d stopped using that light gauge wire.

Apparently they had not, nor had they bothered to pass this “known problem” information on to the young "tech" they refer callers to. This guy desperately needs more training. He gave me mostly bad advice. The air compressor coming on each morning when I start the truck, turns out that's completely normal, he said it was not. About a week after I finally spoke to Jim (by accident the tech guy was off that day) my "repair" wire and pin arrived. This wire was a much heavier gauge (AWG 18), the same gauge as the wire that connects the relay modules to the ECM.

I had to entirely remove the switch, cut the pin off the switch wire, solder on the new wire and put everything back together. Then voila the new pin plugged in and held firmly like it was supposed to and the brake worked. I did a jig! The neighbors already think I'm weird, so no one even gives my doing a jig around my truck a second look.

My bad experience aside, I really like this exhaust brake. It's very cool and by that I mean impressive. Performance wise, it provides a very reassuring feeling when it's on. The deceleration above about 23 miles per hour is immediate when I lift my foot off the throttle. I’m looking forward to our trip.

We leave home on April 26th head down to the Florida Keys then out west to Palms Springs and the Sonoran Desert where we'll stay until about the end of June at which time we'll head north and spend the next couple of months exploring.

I'd elaborate more but other than eventually getting to Yellowstone, we have no firm plans, possibly Bryce Canyon and Zion NP and the Northwest. That might be to much. I guess we'll have to see.

I apologize again for just dropping off the map. I sincerely want to thank all especially Bob4vx4 for your advice, help and encouragement.

Pete
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:27 AM   #35
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Sounds like you will have an awesome trip coming up and congrats on the new grandchild.We have 4 so far and they are true blessings.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:35 AM   #36
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If you need any diesel service while traveling in Fla I have a friend of a friend in W. Palm Bch area. Southern Diesel Service. I was planning to have them do a turbo back exhaust and talk to him about an exhaust brake but our travels didn't bring us there this time around.

Hope the weather for your travels in Fla are better than ours. I shouldn't complain, it was still better than the Northeast was but not as nice as it could have been. Have a good trip.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:00 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Sounds like you will have an awesome trip coming up and congrats on the new grandchild.We have 4 so far and they are true blessings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
If you need any diesel service while traveling in Fla I have a friend of a friend in W. Palm Bch area. Southern Diesel Service. I was planning to have them do a turbo back exhaust and talk to him about an exhaust brake but our travels didn't bring us there this time around.

Hope the weather for your travels in Fla are better than ours. I shouldn't complain, it was still better than the Northeast was but not as nice as it could have been. Have a good trip.
This will be our 4th as well, but our youngest turns 13 next week so it's been 13 years since our last last one and this will be the first male heir. One of my sons finally stepped up. Hahaha He just got married a year and a half ago so I guess I really shouldn't be critical, better than than the other possibilities I guess. haha

As far as the exhaust goes, I have the system (Diamond Eye), but I was a little to quick on that, I didn't check about state regs. I bought a turbo back as well and I should have purchased a cat back. Gotta have the Catalytic converter in this state. I know I can get the new system modified so that is not really a big issue. My real concern, which I may have expressed earlier, is how much more noise it will add inside the cab. Never entered my mind honestly. Dumb I know.

We have a Laramie Mega Cab so the cab is pretty well insulated. I know the wife does not want to hear the engine all the time. We enjoy listening to books and such while we're driving, so, a quiet cab is nice.

I take full credit for not knowing enough about the subject before I leapt. The new system has a much smaller muffler and no resonator. The muffler on the new system is as small as the stock resonator. I finally did some reading this morning and it seems that the resonator alone can reduce sound levels by as much as 20%. It also helps with the fuel consumption and removing it may actually cause less efficiency. Maybe the muffler on the these performance exhaust systems has those features built in, that I do not know. Mostly I'm still about as dumb as before, just slightly more informed, slightly. Heh heh

The good news is it wasn't a huge expense and I should be able to sell it on Craig's List and recoup some or even most of my cost.

There are a couple of places I could take it and see what they'd charge for the install, probably not that much, and they could do the cat back modification right there. If I can find a way to be satisfied that the noise level will be acceptable I may go that route.

Pete
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #38
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We also are supposed to have the cat. But there is no emission check here for diesel so BIG BRO kinda looks the other way. But I know what you mean. I don't want to make it any louder than it is since it's pretty quiet on the long trips we take. I'm not convinced that the exhaust systems are worth it so far as fuel economy goes. I'm still open for more info on that one. The exhaust brake is just a great feature and will probably extend brake jobs. I hate to trash a perfectly functional exhaust so I'll probably just wait until it's due for one anyhow.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:47 PM   #39
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Here is what the tech guy I spoke with at Diamond Eye told me when I called him (after the fact of course), because I already have a 4" stock exhaust on my 2006 Ram, it will make little difference to no difference in MPG gain.

From what I read today it might even have the opposite effect. Hopefully Bob4x4 will comment about this and enlighten us. He's much more knowledgeable about this stuff.

For mountain driving I recommend the exhaust brake. While I cannot say yet from personally using it in the mountains I'm expecting good things.

What year/make is your diesel?
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:05 PM   #40
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Mine is an '06 Megacab 4x4 bone stock like yours. I'm right around 92k after this most recent trip of just under 6k miles.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:11 PM   #41
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Mine is an '06 Megacab 4x4 bone stock like yours. I'm right around 92k after this most recent trip of just under 6k miles.
That's pretty cool. Mine has 95K. It's a great truck isn't it. Mine is an automatic is yours?

I keep finding out new stuff about it. I just found out last week that the rear seat backs have two ways to fold down. The way I've know about is the way that makes everything perfectly flat, but I was looking through the owners manual and discovered the release on top of the seat back that allows it to fold like a table. Never knew about that until then. I just overlooked it.

It's just like the Tow Haul mode which I knew nothing about until last month. Sure wish I had learned about that when I bought the truck in 09'. Unfortunately I bought it used from a car lot so I've kind of had to find out about the truck on my own. Obviously it's taking a while. Haha

If your interested in the Pacbrake PRXB, it seems to be really good, but you've read my cautionary tale. The guy I bought mine through uses it on an 07 that he uses to haul a 28K goose neck container trailer. He swears by it. He gave me a good price, I can furnish you with his contact info and at least one other place you can might also be able to get a good price through. But, I'd also recommend you call Pacbrake and make sure they provide you with the heavier gauge wire to repair the switch wire if they are still using the thinner gauge. There is one other wire you'll need to add an extension to also. If you fix them before you do the install, it will save you a ton of headaches.

Anyway I can completely walk you through the install if you intend to do it yourself.

Let me know,
Pete
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:48 AM   #42
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Fuel economy gains won't be seen with a larger-than-stock exhaust. Same for aftermarket air intake systems (for the most part) in the assumption that the vehicle remains stock, overall, and that most driving is steady-state on level to rolling terrain with loads that are inside of manufacturer guidelines.

Both CUMMINS and KENWORTH have White Papers available online in re Class 8 trucks that are applicable.

When I was doing oilfield hotshot some aftermarket "help" reduced fuel burn . . so when you are grossing just above 30,000-lbs some of that may be worthwhile (after all, you're also being paid every mile so higher maintenance/repair expenses sort of even it out where reliability is favored).

Fuel economy is mainly small stuff. And between the drivers ears. Records of every gallon burned are mandatory. Average mpg is the number, and percentage changes to that are the only thing that counts. "Real time feedback" as with an OBD-II reader (SCANGAUGE, or my choice, ULTRAGAUGE) is a way to start establishing better habits. And it is habits that make the difference. Comfortable changes.

With a 4WD DODGE CTD where I was willing to spend money to save money while improving the vehicle (not imaginary or boy toy crap) I'd start with the steering upgrade to 2009 specification. Reduction of steering inputs over 100-miles is cited by both sources above as significant. Dodge steering and the rest of the 4WD front end need help.

One can also change drive gears to 3.42. Better tires. Or look to aerodynamics to help. But the difference is in the driver: among professionals -- where all else is the same -- the best did the exact same work at a nearly one-third reduction in fuel use.

With a pre-2008 CTD there are over one dozen examples online I've found of our type of TT of from 28' to 35' (7k to 11k) showing 14-16 mpg (consistent with my own experience). Obviously, truck spec, climate and terrain factor heavily, as does chosen travel speed. It's a reasonable goal inside this to achieve these numbers, and I'd be adamant about searching out why I wasn't if I wasn't.

.
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