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Engine braking?

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#1 huskyrunnr


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Posted 21 June 2021 - 08:56 PM

Do you folks engine brake? I managed to overheat my brakes and seize a caliper on my 2002 f350 w/ automatic transmission coming down from Indian Heaven Wilderness. There was a click and clack episode where they argued to just use the brakes since they are easier to fix than a drivetrain. I now feel that might be bs advice. Also, I should pulse the brakes more I guess.


was able to get home yesterday after pulling the tire and tapping out the guide pins and hosing them with wd-40. Still sticking a bit. The shop is replacing the calipers. 

any advice from more savvy folks is appreciated. Am I on the right track here to avoid a repeat?

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#2 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 21 June 2021 - 09:12 PM

I have always used compression braking.  Downshift early and don’t let it get away from you.

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#3 Foy


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Posted 21 June 2021 - 10:41 PM

I definitely use engine braking.  My truck is probably largely identical to yours: 02 F350 CC long bed SRW 7.3 diesel.  On any steep descent, when overuse of the brakes is a possibility, I'll shift out of OD at the top of a grade and watch the speedo and tach closely.  If need be, I'll pulse the brakes to reduce speed to where I can downshift into 2nd.  Off-highway, and especially on steep shelf roads, I'll shift to low range at the top of a descent and just let her walk down the hill at fast idle rpm in whatever of the 3 speeds keeps me slow enough for roughness conditions. In low range, 1st gear is a medium speed walking pace.  It's pretty amazing how much engine braking the 7.3 brings to the party--holding a 10,000 lb truck back on a steep trail with very little braking.


I recall the Click and Clack column on the subject in the newspaper.  My recollection is that the writer argued in favor of downshifting all the way down through the gears in a manual transmission vehicle and in daily suburban/urban driving, saying it "saved his brakes".  Part of the answer was "brake parts are a lot less expensive than clutch, drivetrain, and engine parts".  



Edited by Foy, 21 June 2021 - 10:44 PM.

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#4 CougarCouple


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Posted 21 June 2021 - 11:01 PM

Hi all
Not sure if you diesel owners have the tow haul mode on your trucks. On my truck 6.2 gas, placing the transmission in tow haul mode provides engine braking on hill decent.

I did I read somewhere that using the breaks to knock of fall the speed and placing transmission in lower gear to keep speed down.
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#5 PJorgen


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Posted 21 June 2021 - 11:51 PM

So Click and Clack said that engine braking can lead to engine breaking?

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#6 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 22 June 2021 - 12:14 AM

I always use the same method as Foy and Sage.

At the start of the downgrade is the best time to control your speed.

Most of the time pushing the button to disengage OD will slow me down

enough,if not shifting,down to 3rd works.


Mostly it's about not letting your speed get to high.

Carol Shelby used to say the engine is for power and the breaks are for breaking

but I don't buy that most of the time.


I miss Click and Clack.Most of their advise seemed OK.


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#7 LuckyDan


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Posted 22 June 2021 - 12:59 AM

I compression brake, though for me it’s really easy as the old Ford is a 5 speed manual.
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#8 Outnabout


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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:02 AM

2017 Ram Cummins. Engine brake coupled with Tow/Haul makes downhill much less stressful.
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#9 AWG_Pics


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Posted 22 June 2021 - 01:42 AM

Yes. Particularly on steep rough dirt/rock tracks.
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#10 Wango


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Posted 22 June 2021 - 02:01 AM

Always! Drive mountain roads daily, and always use tow/haul mode and downshift. 03 f250 take it out of od/ and downshift.

2016 with camper on 99% of the time, Tow/mode, engine brake same with the 2020, both newer trucks are diesels.

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