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Old 03-23-2013, 07:28 PM
Woodhead's Avatar
Woodhead Woodhead is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: VA
Age: 65
Posts: 11
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab
Trim Level: Laramie
Color: Patriot Blue Pearl Coat
Engine: 2005-20?? 359ci (5.9L) Cummins ISB 610 24-Valve Diesel I6 325hp 610 lb/ft
Rep Power: 0
Woodhead is on a distinguished road
Default Success!

Very Sorry it's taken so long for this follow up.

Many other things going on besides the exhaust brake, not the least of which was moving our savings portfolio from one firm to another and changing investment vehicles, lots and lots of reading. I’m still reading. Asset Allocation, Asset classes, Equities, Fixed income (stocks and bonds), and tons of stuff I probably should have learned about some time ago. Turns out Wall Street and a lot of financial “Advisers” are thieves and liars! Who knew? Hahaha

I doubt I mentioned, we're getting ready for a four month trip. We live in a vacation area so we decided to rent out our furnished house while we're gone. Holy S#$%, it’s a lot of work getting rid of stuff, storing stuff, fixing stuff, etc, getting ready for strangers to live here at the Woodhead Hilton until the end of August. So, to say we're busy is an understatement.

Did I mention we’re expectant grandparents. The baby is due within the next couple of weeks, at that point we’ll have to drop everything and shoot up to Maryland for possibly a week or so.

Anyway, I wanted to pass on that the Pacbrake exhaust brake is working great. I have yet to tow with it, but I'm confident from everything I've heard and read it will deliver what I need. It’s been a bit of an ordeal.

It did not work initially after I installed it. My worries about the air lines were completely groundless. The things the Pacbrake “tech’ told me about the ECM needing to be flashed and the Throttle Position Sensor being messed up were just plain wrong. It tuned out that I'd done everything right and there was nothing wrong with either my installation or with my truck.

The switch wire that went to the ECM was either to narrow a gauge wire (AWG 22) or possibly the pin was simply defective. It would not lock into place in the ECM. What ever the problem, it turned out to be a known problem at Packbrake just one they’d chosen to live with. Nice! So, I’m far from the first to have this problem. Once I talked with the right person (Jim Foster), a very helpful guy (not a tech guy but a salesman), he recognized the problem and admitted it was a known issue. He thought they’d stopped using that light gauge wire.

Apparently they had not, nor had they bothered to pass this “known problem” information on to the young "tech" they refer callers to. This guy desperately needs more training. He gave me mostly bad advice. The air compressor coming on each morning when I start the truck, turns out that's completely normal, he said it was not. About a week after I finally spoke to Jim (by accident the tech guy was off that day) my "repair" wire and pin arrived. This wire was a much heavier gauge (AWG 18), the same gauge as the wire that connects the relay modules to the ECM, which locked into place the first try.

I had to entirely remove the switch, cut the pin off the switch wire, solder on the new wire and put everything back together. Then voila the new pin plugged in and held firmly like it was supposed to and the brake worked. I did a jig! The neighbors already think I'm weird, so no one even gives my doing a jig around my truck a second look.

My bad experience aside, I really like this exhaust brake. It's very cool and by that I mean impressive. Performance wise, it provides a very reassuring feeling when it's on. The deceleration above about 23 miles per hour is immediate when I lift my foot off the throttle. I’m looking forward to our trip.

We leave home on April 26th head down to the Florida Keys then out west to Palms Springs and the Sonoran Desert where we'll stay until about the end of June at which time we'll head north and spend the next couple of months exploring.

I'd elaborate more, but other than eventually getting to Yellowstone, we have no firm plans, possibly Bryce Canyon and Zion NP and the Pacific Northwest. That might be too much to get too. I guess we'll have to see.

I apologize again for just dropping off the map. I sincerely want to thank all especially skinnysfd for your advice, help and encouragement.

I still haven’t done the exhaust yet, that will probably have to wait until next fall.

A chip off the old block
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