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Integrated Exhaust Brake Improves Driveability, Saves Money.

The 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel’s standard integrated exhaust brake provides outstanding braking capability and gives you an extra dose of confidence – especially coming down those long steep grades hauling or towing heavy loads. Using your integrated exhaust brake reduces the need to use your vehicle brake, so brake pads can last up to three times longer. Longer brake life reduces total operating costs, saving you money over the life of your vehicle.

An exhaust brake simply blocks off the exhaust flow and creates backpressure to slow engine speed, which then slows down the vehicle. The 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel uses Cummins patented VGT™ Turbocharger as an integrated exhaust brake on every Ram Heavy Duty pickup and chassis cab. The variable geometry turbocharger’s innovative turbine design allows a sliding nozzle in the turbocharger to move back and forth to optimize turbo boost across the entire rpm range. At full load and high engine speeds, the sliding nozzle is wide open to take advantage of the maximum exhaust flow. As engine speed (and therefore exhaust flow) is reduced, the nozzle closes, reducing the size of the turbine side of the turbo and keeping the boost pressure at the optimum level. When you have the exhaust brake turned on and take your foot off the accelerator, the nozzle closes completely to create maximum backpressure against each piston as it completes the exhaust stroke. You can hear a low rumble and feel the engine slowing the truck without you ever touching the vehicle brakes.

On a recent engineering development trip to the Rocky Mountains, a couple of Cummins engineers in a fully loaded 9,600-lb Ram Heavy Duty pickup started down the winding road from the 14,000-foot elevation of Pikes Peak. The grade is as much as 25% in some areas. Rangers at a station part way down the mountain check the brake rotor temperatures on each vehicle before it is allowed to continue down the mountain. If the rotor temperatures are above 300ºF (149ºC), the driver is asked to take an hour-long rest stop to let the rotors cool down to help prevent any brake failures. When the Cummins engineers made it to the ranger station with their fully loaded Dodge Ram, they hadn’t even touched the brake pedal. Their speed was comfortably controlled with just the integrated exhaust brake. When the ranger checked their brake discs, they were still at ambient temperature or about 86ºF (30ºC).

Your integrated exhaust brake can create up to 275 lb-ft (373 N•m) of braking torque (30% more braking power than aftermarket exhaust brakes) with just the touch of a button. When used in conjunction with the tow/haul mode, this powerful feature gives you an added sense of security while navigating even the worst grades in the country. So next time you’re towing a load on a tough downhill run, push your exhaust brake button to activate your integrated exhaust brake. You’ll instantly notice the added control, and you’ll be glad to know you’re saving money by making your brakes last longer.

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