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Old 01-21-2007, 08:25 AM   #1
BillyRay
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Exhaust Brake & Tow/Haul Mode????

I'm looking into upgrades offered by Banks Power Systems. My question is do you really need the exhaust brake addition if you have the Tow/Haul Mode switch in the Chevy? When using the switch, it works so well now, I would almost think I don't need to spend the extra money.

Thanks,
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #2
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by BillyRay

I'm looking into upgrades offered by Banks Power Systems. My question is do you really need the exhaust brake addition if you have the Tow/Haul Mode switch in the Chevy? When using the switch, it works so well now, I would almost think I don't need to spend the extra money.

Thanks,
BillyRay,
I have an exhaust brake on my Ford but really don't think you need it on the Duramax. I think GM has done a really good job of engineering with their tow/haul mode making the NEED for an exhaust brake unnecessary.

There should be some of the Duramax RVers out there who will either verify/deny this.

Orv
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:51 AM   #3
illapah
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Only reason I would think an exhaust brake would be nice is if you are above speed for the tow/haul to engage. I never thought about that until a Ford Diesel mech told me that the tow/haul needs to be engaged below 40MPH. Not sure about that but I could look it up in my manual.

I had an exhaust brake on my six speed manual dodge and loved it. I like the tow/haul on our Ford and never have thought I needed to install the exhaust brake.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:57 AM   #4
BillyRay
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I have always engaged it when towing. I too should look to see if I'm using it correctly.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:13 AM   #5
mobilrvn
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Had the Banks exhaust brake system in our '99 F-350. Short story: the "Smart-Loc" wasn't and it destroyed the tranny. Now have an '06 2500HD. With the tow-haul and the duramax an exhaust brake isn't necessary and a Banks may destroy that wonderful transmission. Been on 16% downhills with no problem, just be prepared when the engine rev's to 4500 rpm or so to slow you down!
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:59 AM   #6
illapah
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Checked my manual and it just says how to engage tow/haul. No stuff we like to know about, as usual.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:34 PM   #7
padredw
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We tow in the Colorado and New Mexico mountains and have found the tow/haul mode to be extremely effective. We feel no need for any addition. Of course one should slow down BEFORE starting down a steep grade and engage the tow/haul at the top of the grade, NOT after speed increases too much.

I use the tow/haul ONLY in the mountains. Otherwise I tow in regular drive (overdrive). Works great with our rig, but note that we have one of the smaller Montanas.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
sreigle
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Illapah, I wonder what that mechanic was talking about? I have many times engaged tow/haul above 40 mph, even at 65 when I noticed I forgot to engage it. And it worked fine.

Billy Ray, your Chevy is a 2002. That's before GM went to the variable vane geometry on the turbo. Ford went to that back in 2003 with the 6.0L. But I don't think GM went to the variable until the LBZ in 2006. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. The reason I mention that is without the variable what the tow/haul does on the downgrade is downshift the transmission. That does help, no doubt. But with the variable vane geometry turbo, when off throttle the vanes close, creating a backpressure from the exhaust, like an exhaust brake. Maybe not as strong as an aftermarket brake but very effective. Added to the downshifting of tow/haul, in my opinion it eliminates the need for an exhaust brake. But I don't think your truck has that. I've been wrong before but this is my understanding.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:48 PM   #9
DONnANNIE
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I have a 2006 Chevy D/A w/Tow-Haul package. I only have about 2,000 miles in tow, but I am very pleased with Tow/Haul. At this point I don't feel the need for Banks Exhaust Brakes.

JMH(rookie)O

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Old 01-21-2007, 02:13 PM   #10
rickety
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I have a BD exhaust brake on my 2004 Dura/Allison. I didn't install it until after I talked to a Chev regional service manager and one of the older cetifed diesel mechanics, and My own diesel guy.
All three said that since I didn't have the variable vane technology, that it would not hurt the engine, but would help in steeper grades by keeping the engine revs from hitting that 4500rpm point. I hate that sound, it means the engine is being pushed to almost its rev limits and to me that is not a good thing.
I love the exhaust brake, and in use it really does keep you from using the trailer and vehicle brakes so heavily. It also, I have noticed, has kept my tranny temps "in the green" and engine temps down. It has not affected mileage at all.

on edit; I use it in conjunction with the tow haul mode, works great
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:14 PM   #11
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mobilrvn

Had the Banks exhaust brake system in our '99 F-350. Short story: the "Smart-Loc" wasn't and it destroyed the tranny. Now have an '06 2500HD. With the tow-haul and the duramax an exhaust brake isn't necessary and a Banks may destroy that wonderful transmission. Been on 16% downhills with no problem, just be prepared when the engine rev's to 4500 rpm or so to slow you down!
I've had the Banks exhaust brake with Smart-Loc for over four years now, traveling 18,000-20,000 miles each year and I've not had the problem with my transmission that you describe. It makes me think you may have had a transmission that was failing already. Is that possible?

Orv
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:23 PM   #12
BillyRay
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I think I may skip the exhaust brake and just look into the exhaust system overhaul with the 4" package.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:06 PM   #13
mobilrvn
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Had no problem with the transmission prior. Had treated this one with kid gloves and lots of transmission flushes. We were in Mexico in Baja on a very curvy, up and down road with up to 16% grades and somehow the Smart-Loc got out of sequence with the demands put on it and when it locked up (felt like it had gone in reverse), I told my wife that it must have done some damage--it had. The transmission lasted about another 500 non-towing miles before failing completely. Thought that the Mexican mechanics could fix it since they do use that tranny in Mexico, but it failed again in about another 500 miles, so I went to Yuma and traded it in and got ziltch for it--loved the truck. The Banks system never worked well. Took it to the factory and they helped it a bit. Happy that our '06 2500 D/A doesn't need something else which isn't cheap and that will break down the road. Will spend that $$ on exhaust and air filter systems to make it run better.
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:27 PM   #14
BillyRay
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thanks.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:45 AM   #15
Clyde n Deb
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The variable vane technology was intoduced into the DuraMax with the LLY engine, introduced mid-year in 2004. These vehicles are referred to as "VIN 2" or 2004 1/2 trucks. I tow the mountains here in Colorado, and have had no issues using the Allison stock with tow/haul. Only mod I did was put on a deep Ally pan and switch to synthetic fluid.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:13 PM   #16
dsprik
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My 2002 2500 D/A runs great through the mountains as is. I was told to tow at all times in Tow Haul. Kicked it out once last fall thinking it would save me fuel. This was in the mountains (foothills, actually). Bad, bad, bad... Trans temp came right up to an alarming level. really scared me. Won't do that again.

It is louder in TH, almost like a totally different truck, but it sure works great - both up and down grades.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:14 PM   #17
keham
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I have a 05 LLY DM and it works just like my 03 ford did. the 05 have the Variable turbos same manufacturer as the fords Garret


Ken
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:01 PM   #18
Glenn and Lorraine
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When I purchased my first 2003 2500HD with the Duramax I spoke with the Banks Factory Rep and he told me that the Banks exhaust brake system was totally unnecessary on the D/A combo and a waste of my money. Now when the BANKS FACTORY REP says I don't need it I tend to believe him.
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:41 PM   #19
mtheo
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I put the Banks brake and 4" exhaust on my 2002 duramx a few months back. Only been in the mountains once since installing it, sure enjoyed coming come down the 30 miles. I sure seem a lot easier on the engine and tranny, before there was a lot of high revving.
Is there something I need to look out for.
Mark
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Old 01-27-2007, 04:47 AM   #20
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mtheo

I put the Banks brake and 4" exhaust on my 2002 duramx a few months back. Only been in the mountains once since installing it, sure enjoyed coming come down the 30 miles. I sure seem a lot easier on the engine and tranny, before there was a lot of high revving.
Is there something I need to look out for.
Mark
I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. As I've said in some other posts, I've had the Banks Exhaust brake for over four years now and have not had any problems with it. There are other good exhaust brakes out there but for my money Banks has them beat. Of course, owners always say their unit is best. That's the way we justify the spending.

Orv
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