I read about this switch
and ended up setting up my own with a driving light relay. The exhaust brake won't come one until you hit your regular brake, if I have cruise control on I have to hit the regular brakes twice to get the exhaust brake on. I also had my transmissionreprogrammedd to select 4th gear on its own, if I want to go to a lower gear on a downhill or getting off a x-way I just use the push buttons and select the gear I want. So the only time I turn the exhaust brake fully off is slippery weather!
This quote is from brakeswitch.com
"Before starting make sure your Exhaust brake system is in good working order. You would be amazed at the number of coaches running around with a stuck Exhaust brake. (Usually from lack of use)"
I found that to be true. When we got our coach I found that the exhaust brake was more than stuck from lack of use. There was no way it would free up and I had to replace it, about $700 from Cummins. You have to use it or loose it!
* This post was
edited 02/25/12 09:10pm by Yaj *
1996 HR Endeavor LE,Cummins 5.9 230hp, Allison 3060,
Front-Yamaha Enduro, Rear-Honda Helix Geeser Cruiser + 2 bikes,
22ft 1977 Cruiser in tow.
1 DW, 2 kids.
1 old dog, 1 fat cat.
I wasn't thinking this far ahead!
Question, won't the electric brakes be triggered on a car hauler trailer when the exhaust brake
I can't answer that as our frog has a Ready Brute w/ Ready Brake (surge brake), boat trailer has surge brakes to. They will apply if conditions warrant it (I can see frog's brake light activate in rear view camera at night) but only with aggressive braking.
I don't know if I'm doing it right or wrong, but the following works for me.
I turn it on when needed. If going down a grade, I'll turn it on, till I slow a little and then turn it off, and continue doing that as needed. In traffic, I do the same thing.....if approaching a stop light, I'll turn it on. I've learned to watch ahead about a 1/4 of a mile to see what is approaching, so I can turn it on as necessary. I find I use the air brakes very little when driivng. I also turn on the exhaust break when on an off ramp. I don't like leaving it on all the time, because of the somewhat abrupt shifting, doesn't make for a very comfortable ride. I've also learned to toggle the switch on when and if I get myself into a situation where I need to brake hard. I wish they would incorprate the switch onto the sterring wheel.
Wolfe 10's comment about constant breaking and downshifting on rolling hills would drive me crazy too. However, I have a Brake Switch installed on my coach and I can coast to my heart's content with the exhaust brake in the "on" position. The exhaust brake only activates when I step on the brake. This is also true when using cruise control. I'm even able to kick off cruise control without activating the exhaust brake. With the Brake Switch I leave my exhaust brake in the "on" position all the time.
2003 Allegro Bus
350 HP Cummins ISC diesel engine
Age is a state of mind. Think old and you are old. Think young and you're still old.
Note: With a Caterpillar engine, this same "leave the switch on but the exhaust/compression brake (depends on which engine)will only come on when you step on the service brake, will stay on when you take your foot off the service brake UNTIL you put your foot on the accelerator" can easily be programmed into your Caterpillar ECM.
Any Caterpillar dealer can program this for you if you have an electronic engine.
And in answer to the question of whether the toad brakes come on when the exhaust brake is applied depends on the wiring of BOTH the coach and the toad. On some coaches the brakes lights illuminate when the exhaust brake is on, not on other coaches. If the brake lights come on, there is a good likelihood that the brake light signal also goes to the toad (it should).
IF your toad brakes works off the brake light, then, yes, the toad brakes will come on when you use the exhaust brake unless special wiring is done.
BTW, our brake lights only come on when using the service brake. I would find it dangerous to have the brake lights on for miles at a time while descending a long grade. I want them to come on only when I am really slowing down, not just maintaining speed of descent. There is no right/wrong answer here-- there are good arguments on both sides of the issue (of whether the brake lights should come on with the exhaust brake. However, I would strongly suggest that you don't want the toad brakes on during that long descent with the exhaust brake easily keeping your speed in equilibrium.