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Old 04-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #21
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Wonder if my 643 can have one added??? That sounds like a great breaking. Is your bus a 40'? Just curious about size and what not. Do you know the make/model of your retarder?
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:50 PM   #22
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Don't know about anyone else but the exhaust brake kit from caterpillar for the 3126b is 960 bucks........ugh!

Anyone know an aftermarket that is less expensive?

https://parts.cat.com/en/catcorp/177-9547
A REAL Jake replaces the cylinder head and other stuff and will set you back way more than just an exhaust brake.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:48 PM   #23
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That Telma electromagnetic driveline retarder is cool! Seems like it wouldn't be too hard to retrofit onto an existing vehicle. Probably costly though. On some offroad vehicles (rock crawlers) they add a brake disk to the driveshaft and mount the caliper on a bracket. They use it to hold the vehicle in place while negotiating difficult climbs. I don't think it would work for high speeds though, would probably tear the driveshaft out of the vehicle or overheat severely.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:13 PM   #24
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A REAL Jake replaces the cylinder head and other stuff and will set you back way more than just an exhaust brake.

I called Pacbrake and they have the same kit, get this, for 1400 bucks! Who would have thought Cat would be cheaper than an aftermarket company?!?

But I have the part numbers from Cat when i order it. I'm thinking, maybe in the fall......
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:18 PM   #25
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A REAL Jake replaces the cylinder head and other stuff and will set you back way more than just an exhaust brake.
This. Jakes with probably cost more than you paid for your bus.
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:48 AM   #26
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How crucial is it to have one of these alternate braking systems, though? Prerequisite, if driving through the mountains? It seems that there are lots of folks here without them and I find it hard to believe that they would be avoiding all mountains and hills during their travels.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:21 AM   #27
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Jakes & retarders just take the "thrill" out of steep downhill driving!

But seriously...they are a real comfort and do save a lot of wear & tear your primary brakes. As for being a "necessity"...well, probably not...if you are a highly experienced driver of heavyweight vehicles in such conditions.

I can tell you that there are a number of otherwise beautiful mountain roads I would consciously avoid without them or at the very least, a fully locking tranny and a solid emergency brake. While I have no plans on tackling Black Bear Pass in my skoolie, I would like to get onto any number of the gorgeous paved roads in the area without too much white-knuckling or having to use the runaway truck ramps on a regular basis.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:38 AM   #28
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Jakes & retarders just take the "thrill" out of steep downhill driving!

But seriously...they are a real comfort and do save a lot of wear & tear your primary brakes. As for being a "necessity"...well, probably not...if you are a highly experienced driver of heavyweight vehicles in such conditions.

I can tell you that there are a number of otherwise beautiful mountain roads I would consciously avoid without them or at the very least, a fully locking tranny and a solid emergency brake. While I have no plans on tackling Black Bear Pass in my skoolie, I would like to get onto any number of the gorgeous paved roads in the area without too much white-knuckling or having to use the runaway truck ramps on a regular basis.
...and we are NOT highly experienced. Granted, we will likely be sticking with a short/midsized bus. However, would a basic exhaust brake do the trick? I'm trying to figure the best way to satisfy this precaution because it seems to be the biggest obstacle to us finding our bus (as we are still in shopping mode and on a rather light budget).
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:42 AM   #29
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Tango is absolutely correct!!

i have the AT545 non lockup transmission and it the most exciting transmission on a long down hill. you have to rely on going slow and your service brake. the engine/transmission won't hold you back, making an exciting ride.

i wouldn't worry if i had any other transmission other than the AT545. the others 643, 3060,...et al, let you ride a low gear down a hill.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:51 AM   #30
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My 643 did ok when I went down Monteagle in TN, but the REAL mountains out west... I'd want a retarder.
You can get around having one, but we are talking about planning ahead here.



This is nothing compared to the Rockies!
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