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Old 08-28-2014, 03:04 AM   #1
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Ford Engine Brake???

Can someone help me understand how the engine brake works on a 2012 Ford F-350 diesel?
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:22 AM   #2
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Chuck, as long as you have the "tow Haul" mode on, when you tap your brake pedal the torque converter locks up and the engine will slow you down. In the Rockies, I put the transmission in the manual mode while descending long steep grades.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:36 AM   #3
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Dave, what gear do you use going downhill on the steep grades?

Do you use manual on uphill grades, if so, what gear?
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:29 AM   #4
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Actually tow/haul uses transmission braking by automatically downshifting, the exhaust brake blocks/diverts exhaust to retard the engine, you can use it all the time while driving if so desired, but actually works best while in tow/haul. Unless in very steep grades tow/haul with the exhaust brake engaged should not require downshifts. The exhaust brake is a fantastic addition to these newer diesel tow vehicles.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:32 AM   #5
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The only thing I noticed on my truck is when I have engine brake engaged is sucks down the diesel pretty fast
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:36 AM   #6
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Going down a hill, you should down shift to 5th when you're at the top of the hill and let the truck do the work. If you need to slow down more, as the truck slows down, you can continue down shifting. Once the truck is over speeding it's too late to downshift.

If when climbing hills, the transmission shifts back and fourth between gears, use the manual mode to lock the transmission down. The computer will not allow you to hurt the truck in manual mode.

Remember, you drive a diesel different than a gas engine. A gas engine is quicker to respond to throttle input so therefore you press the accelerator when you need power. On a diesel, you have to plan ahead and wait for the response. The lugging capabilities of the diesel is wonderful going up or down long grades.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:59 AM   #7
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Dave, I haven't been on any steep hills yet pulling so when you say you switch to manual mode, are you still in tow/haul mode or do you have to get out of that first?
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:00 AM   #8
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Don't know about Ford's, but while going to Branson I was in t/h mode with exhaust brake on I had cruise control set at 60 mph & only lost/gained 3-5 mph in those hills.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:03 AM   #9
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Ford and Dodge use two different technologies for this. Ford downshifts the transmission and since the turbo is a variable vane it essentially limits the airflow through it acting like an exhaust brake of sorts. With the Ford you'll use no more fuel than while idling in this mode I believe.

In addition to what others have mentioned if you push the down arrow on the shifter column you'll notice the 6 gears that show up on your dash will diminish accordingly. When I encounter steep grades I'll slow down and lock out all the gears necessary to keep the truck at speed. Sometimes I limit it to 3 gears, once I even went to 2 gears for an extremely steep section.

If no gears show up on your panel push the + on the gear lever and they'll show up. Very handy feature.
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:42 AM   #10
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Just learned about that today.

But the 6.7 still has an exhaust brake?
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:09 PM   #11
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What I've read is that the exhaust brake on the Ford doesn't engage until the engine rev to ~3500RPM but I'm not certain this is true. Seems 3500RPM is high for these engines???
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:33 PM   #12
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With the 2013/14 6.7 Ford you only have exhaust brake in tow haul mode. It is activated when the tow haul mode is activated. I know it works below 3500 RPM you can feel and hear it. It uses the veins in the turbo to create back pressure in the engine and uses programming in the transmission to lower the gear after brakes are applied. The 2015 is supposed to have enhanced exhaust braking.
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Old 08-28-2014, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
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With the 2013/14 6.7 Ford you only have exhaust brake in tow haul mode. It is activated when the tow haul mode is activated. I know it works below 3500 RPM you can feel and hear it. It uses the veins in the turbo to create back pressure in the engine and uses programming in the transmission to lower the gear after brakes are applied. The 2015 is supposed to have enhanced exhaust braking.
I think the 2011/6.7 and the 2012 work the same way. I know when I'm exiting the interstate and put on the brake, I can hear and feel the exhaust brake kick in and I don't think I'm at 3500 rpm.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:31 PM   #14
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It does require you to tap the brake to activate it even with the towing mode activated.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:50 PM   #15
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Just learned about that today.

But the 6.7 still has an exhaust brake?
They call it an Exhaust Brake. But that's really marketing, from a technical standpoint it's a turbo brake. I'm not sure if any Light Duty truck actually has an exhaust brake (Maybe Dodge). That technology is usually limited to Medium and Heavy Duty trucks. Same for a Jake Brake.

But for the purposes of this conversation, yes it does have an "exhaust brake" It'll definitely help keep speeds down when travelling down hill. To test the feature out take one for a test drive up the I-70 corridor with no trailer. When coming down set the Cruise Control to 60 MPH (or lower) WITH Tow/Haul engaged. It will maintain that speed utilizing engine braking (again an actual Turbo brake) AND downshifting the transmission automatically. It's a very cool and useful feature.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:52 PM   #16
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It does require you to tap the brake to activate it even with the towing mode activated.
Not if you have the cruise control set. I've learned to set it at 65 MPH on the interstates and it will maintain that speed whether uphill or downhill.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #17
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The 2015 is supposed to have enhanced exhaust braking.
I believe the 2015 works the same as the 2011-14. The main difference is they are now using a bigger turbo=bigger vanes=more braking power. There's also a manual button for this feature now. That alone is almost worth upgrading for.
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:25 PM   #18
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Dave, what gear do you use going downhill on the steep grades?

Do you use manual on uphill grades, if so, what gear?
Chuck - other than SRW we also have a similar 2012. When in the Rockies, rather than touching the brakes, I lock out gears using the +/- switch on the gear shift. I also stay in drive, no need to go into manual.

Going down a 6% grade that is reasonably straight I lock out gears to 3rd and will go down hill at 50 to 55 mph without using the brakes.

Going down a 6% grade with a twisting road I lock out gears to 2nd and it stays about 40 mph without brakes.

Anything more than 6% I always go down to 2nd gear and use the brakes as required to check speed.

When finished going down the hill I unlock the gears. If you press the "+" too many times you loose the gear numbers, so just press the "-".
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:36 PM   #19
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A couple of years ago, we tested our 'jake' brake when we were in the Alamosa area. We came down a back trail, don't know the exact grade, but believe me it was steep, winding and long. Since I had never had one of these brakes on a truck before, I wanted to test it. We put the truck in manual 1st, turned on the brake and came down the trail. I actually had to give it gas to keep moving as it would stop. Very impressed. Then we came over the pass from Alamosa to Pueblo, sorry forget the road #, and never had any trouble. We weren't hauling our Redwood but the Alpha we used to have. Love the brake on the Dodges.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:19 AM   #20
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A couple of years ago, we tested our 'jake' brake when we were in the Alamosa area. We came down a back trail, don't know the exact grade, but believe me it was steep, winding and long. Since I had never had one of these brakes on a truck before, I wanted to test it. We put the truck in manual 1st, turned on the brake and came down the trail. I actually had to give it gas to keep moving as it would stop. Very impressed. Then we came over the pass from Alamosa to Pueblo, sorry forget the road #, and never had any trouble. We weren't hauling our Redwood but the Alpha we used to have. Love the brake on the Dodges.
With the Cummins, you can leave it in auto(D), and the transmission, and EB will do the work for you. If you just barely touch the brake pedal, the truck will downshift as needed. You might even have to take your foot off, if it slows too much.
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