Skip to main content

Topic: Learning the the retarder useage (Read 1008 times) previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Learning the the retarder useage
Ok. Still learning how to drive this beast. The previous owner said he leaves the retarder on 2 for all driving. I have it there now and works good. I'll be pulling a 4500 lb trailer and wanted some opinions on this
Thanks

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #1
When you have the retard on when you let off the gas petal the retard kicks in and starts slowing you down.  You will not be coasting. You can tell when the retard is engage when the light is lit.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #2
It's fine to leave the retarder on if you don't mind the deterioration in fuel economy.  Personally, I enjoy being able to coast when I can do so safely.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #3
When I'm in heavy traffic I operate with the retarder in the #6 position (max) in case some nitwit does something stupid in front of me.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #4
The trouble with leaving it on is that the cruise disengages every time the retarder activates. I use cruise always except in rain, traffic, or mountains.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #5
My retarder has a on/off switch, when on the first part of brake peddle travel controls the amount of retard.  Very lite touch of brake peddle will engage retarder very little retard.  It is easy to feel and control the amount of retard with the...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #6
Mine is a 6 speed retarder. I'll leave it off unless in traffic or downhill. The big question is what position out of 6 due you like to use around town and downhill. I'll experiment but wanted your inputs
Thanks

  • oldguy
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #7
I leave the retarder in the off position unless I am using it and then I pull it to were I need it. I use is like a brake peddle and mostly
only use the brakes when the retarder kicks out when I'm just about stopped. I don't like surprises and in...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #8
Dan, As you can see there are various ways to use your retarder.  After you experiment and get some experience using it you will find what works best for you.  No mater how you end up using it, you are going to love it. 


Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #9
And the best answer is: "There is no single best way for all conditions/all drivers".

Change how you use it based on the conditions as well as your preferences.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #10
Even with the joystick in the "0" or off position, IF your rocker switch is "on" the retarder will still work on three different levels that are determined by the brake activation pressure switches. The harder you press on the brake the more...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #11
My 97 was modded so that the cruise control does not disengage it's function.  Makes a good speed controller as it comes on when you exceed your cruise set speed. 

If I want to coast down a grade at that point I pull the retarder switch back to...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

  • John44
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #12
Whichever one you have the joystick vs the rocker switch are 2 different ways of retarder use.The joystick at the higher positions
prduce much more trans heat then the switch type.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #13
Excellent info. Now I understand the principal and usage
Thanks again

  • jor
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #14
Quote
Even with the joystick in the "0" or off position, IF your rocker switch is "on" the retarder will still work on three different levels that are determined by the brake activation pressure switches. The harder you press on the brake the more...


Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #15
The trouble with leaving it on is that the cruise disengages every time the retarder activates. I use cruise always except in rain, traffic, or mountains.

Just unplug the brake light relay for...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #16
Just have to ad that after putting on 40,000+ miles on a retarder equipped coach, I much prefer the recent addition of a joy stic.     Coming down the siskiyou pass ( 6% for 5 miles ) 2 days ago i was able to use the retarder independent of the...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #17
Alternating the brakes and the retarder can extend your speed down grades considerably.

I down shift first to raise engine rpms.  Then use the retarder until it gets to around 235 range then turn it off and use the brakes keeping the retarder in...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

  • oldguy
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #18
I use the retarder exclusively when descending grades and if the retarder is going to get too hot I slow down. I keep the brakes
for emergency. I didn't know they come without joy sticks, I agree if you don't have one get one.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #19
In 1988 the retarders were brake actuated only.  As far as I know the joy stick had not been invented yet

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #20
I leave the retarder switch on, nothing on the lever for normal driving.  This will help with braking.  It the lever is back then any time you go to a closed throttle the retarder comes on.  If you are on cruise control with the lever back and go...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #21
Most here are switching to synthetic over time. 

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #22
I had to install the joystick on our 1995 U280.
Worth the money and was a simple install.
As stated before, a very nice improvement to driving in the hills and mountains.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #23
I intentionally ran my retarder down interstate 5 in so cal from Lebec, ca to Grapevine, ca at the bottom of the grade.  At 250 the alarm went off. This was at normal speed down the grade.  Was at the bottom at the time. 

Turned off the retarder...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.

Re: Learning the the retarder useage
Reply #24
Around town and in traffic, I keep the the joystick mostly at 3, On the highway, I keep it mostly at zero so the cruise control works.  Before braking in traffic for for turns, I pull back on the stick before using the brake pedal.  On...

Guests must Login or Register to view full posts.