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Old 11-22-2015, 12:50 PM   #1
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RAM Exhaust Brake Tips

I will be ordering a 2016 RAM 2500 with a Cummins soon. I have owned multiple Ford Powerstrokes, none had true 'engine braking'.

I am looking for any advice; does/don'ts and tips/tricks you might have to offer on the newer RAMs with regards to their 'engine braking' setup pulling my AS. Also any experience between using the standard exhaust brake setting vs. the 'Smart' exhaust brake setting would be appreciated.

PS: I spend most the travel season in the mountainous roads out west.

Thanks
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Old 11-22-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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The auto mode attempts to maintain speed when you take your foot off the accelerator, the regular mode slows the truck down as much as possible. I use auto.

The truck will recall the exhaust brake setting when a trailer is connected.

Don't use the exhaust brake when the roads are slick

The exhaust brake doesn't work below about 1000-1200 RPM, so you may have to manually downshift at slow speeds for it to engage.

It seems more aggressive when tow/haul mode is engaged.


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Old 11-22-2015, 02:16 PM   #3
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Use the auto mode with Tow/Haul engaged. You'll love it.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:25 PM   #4
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Like the other folks who have posted, I use the "Auto" setting. You are really going to appreciate this feature of the 2500HD. I've towed through plenty of mountains and it's pretty amazing how infrequently you have to use the service brakes. The "hold back" power of exhaust braking system AND the 800 plus pounds of torque make going down AND up major grades a piece of cake. I have 33,000 miles on my '14 Ram...30,000 towing. I'd also add that my truck has averaged 13.8 MPG while towing.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:41 PM   #5
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Really appreciate your input everyone. . Can't wait to order.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:41 PM   #6
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Don't use the exhaust brake when the roads are slick
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Keith. Why not use the exhaust brake when the roads are slick?
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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... Why not use the exhaust brake when the roads are slick?...

For the same reason you don't use cruise control, traction! Either system can become a problem when wheel speed does not match asphalt speed. The exhaust brake does interface with the antilock feature of your brake system.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #8
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With our 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins, I hardly need the mechanical brakes as the engine can control our 19,200 pound rig down mountain with no problem.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:03 PM   #9
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... Why not use the exhaust brake when the roads are slick?...

For the same reason you don't use cruise control, traction! Either system can become a problem when wheel speed does not match asphalt speed. The exhaust brake does interface with the antilock feature of your brake system.
How does an "anti-spin" differential play into this?
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:35 PM   #10
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Like BAB, I love mine. We have traveled US421 from I-77 to Deep Gap, NC while towing and not towing with my F-150. Even when not towing, with the F150 I had to downshift and/or use the brakes going down the 6-mile 8% grade near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Towing with the 2013 Ram I had only to tap the brakes for a few seconds once at the steepest part. And going up? Wow!

Over on the Turbo Diesel Forum, many are in favor of driving all the time with Tow-Haul and Auto Exhaust Brake engaged, claiming it keeps the turbo vanes clearer of carbon. I don't do it all the time, and I suspect if may cost mpg when on the highway and not towing, but I do it sometimes. As stated, be ready for the exhaust brake to cut out at slow speed. In traffic you'll have to get on the brake more when you are coming to a stop.

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Old 11-23-2015, 11:45 AM   #11
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Same here - Tow/Haul on with Exhaust Brake on Automatic mode. Works like a charm.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:00 PM   #12
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Another thing you'll appreciate is the longer brake life. My 2003 Dodge/Cummins just turned over 114,000 miles, of which over 100,000 of that has been towing. It still has the original brake pads.
The exhause brake wasn't offered by Dodge for the stick shift at that time, so I installed a Gear Vendors system.
For whatever it's worth.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-B View Post
I will be ordering a 2016 RAM 2500 with a Cummins soon. I have owned multiple Ford Powerstrokes, none had true 'engine braking'.

I am looking for any advice; does/don'ts and tips/tricks you might have to offer on the newer RAMs with regards to their 'engine braking' setup pulling my AS. Also any experience between using the standard exhaust brake setting vs. the 'Smart' exhaust brake setting would be appreciated.

PS: I spend most the travel season in the mountainous roads out west.

Thanks

I would mirror what others say about the "auto" setting of the exhaust brake. The RAM Cummins really does not have an engine brake though. If you want true engine braking as well then check out the Pacbrake Loadleash. I found it a few weeks ago while looking for some parts. Here is a link: Pacbrake Loadleash Engine Brake | Dodge 6.7L
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echelon73 View Post
I would mirror what others say about the "auto" setting of the exhaust brake. The RAM Cummins really does not have an engine brake though. If you want true engine braking as well then check out the Pacbrake Loadleash. I found it a few weeks ago while looking for some parts. Here is a link: Pacbrake Loadleash Engine Brake | Dodge 6.7L

Good point. Thanks for making that clear. These darn auto manufactures have people like me using terms that are not accurate.
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