Although heavy-duty diesel trucks, buses, and recreational vehicles typically have an additional braking system, medium- and light-duty vehicles, as well as 4x4s, are not required to have an exhaust brake. However, just because something is optional doesn’t imply you don’t need it.
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Fixed Vane (FGT) vs. Variable Geometry Turbochargers (VGT)
What type of turbocharger your car has or would like to have is the key factor? Fixed vane (fixed geometry turbochargers) and VGT (variable geometry turbochargers) are the two primary categories of turbos. Depending on how you operate your truck, the torque curve you desire, the amount of horsepower you’re searching for, and your aversion to reliability difficulties, each has advantages and disadvantages.
A variable geometry turbo has movable vanes in the turbine that change airflow according to the RPMs, providing a more optimal boost over a wider range of RPMs. But because it is more complicated, there are more potential failure points. Costs for installation and upkeep are frequently greater. That a stock VGT has an exhaust brake right out of the factory is one of its key advantages.
Fixed vane turbos are far cheaper than VGTs, focus power in a narrower RPM band, and have a far simpler design. They also don’t have an additional brake system, either.
No matter whatever turbo you choose, an exhaust brake is an excellent investment, whether it is a standard feature of your turbine or an aftermarket addition. Here are a few explanations from our knowledgeable specialists, who regularly work with refurbished diesel engines:
1. Increased Standard Brakes Lifespan
An exhaust brake’s beauty is the fact you can use it whenever you’re driving, not just while traversing narrow mountain routes or hauling large cargo up and down slopes. You won’t damage your engine, and regular use will assist prevent soot buildup in your turbo while protecting your disc brakes from abuse and potential damage.
2. Trustworthy Emergency Braking System
Because brake discs and pads are not intended to be used over extended periods of time, this is exactly what happens when you have to ride your brakes the entire way downhill while towing a large trailer. The high friction may quickly overheat your brakes and brake fluid, rendering them inoperable.
You might never even need to apply your wheel brakes if you decide to activate your exhaust brake right away, protecting them from harm. If you apply the brakes to your wheels first, the exhaust brake will engage and slow your car down well before your regular brakes feel the strain.
3. Suitable For Any Diesel Vehicle
An exhaust brake is a universal device that can be installed on practically any diesel engine, including your 1980 LF9 350 Chevy V-8 diesel or a contemporary Ford 6.7L Power Stroke. Many brake installation kits are available from businesses like BD Power, Pacbrake, Banks Power, and Fleece Performance to fit whichever vehicle you are driving. The greatest location to look for high-quality new and re-manufactured exhaust brake systems is at your neighborhood diesel parts supplier.
4. Makes No Sound
Wheel brakes and other supplemental braking systems create a lot of noise, even on their finest days. Your discs will undoubtedly make a loud howl of complaint if you have to stop suddenly. Because of the noise pollution caused by compression brakes, several places have limitations on when vehicles are permitted to pass through.
An exhaust brake doesn’t create a sound because it controls exhaust flow internally and lowers engine speed.
5. Long Life Span
The vast majority of anecdotal data indicates that these brakes are capable of functioning with no major problems for almost as long as the engine itself, even though the majority of exhaust brake warranties only cover parts for one to two years or up to 100,000 miles. The keys to extending the lifespan of your exhaust brake, according to owners, are frequent use and routine upkeep (such as oil and filter changes, lubrication, etc.).
You might be pushing the limits of your disc or engine brakes if you regularly haul through mountainous terrain. Exhaust brakes can improve your ability to maintain speed under control and keep you and your load safe no matter where your adventures take you.