Better Braking with a REAL Engine Brake for 6.7L Cummins


With the release of the 6.7L Cummins came numerous advancements, one of which being the variable geometry turbo (VGT). A major benefit to this turbo design is the integrated exhaust brake that utilizes an internal sliding nozzle to cause back pressure for additional braking. For the majority of people that had never driven a vehicle with an exhaust brake, it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. But for those that were used to driving a vehicle with a traditional style aftermarket exhaust brake, or possibly even a Class 6, 7, or 8 truck with a legitimate engine brake, the factory VGT brake left something to be desired in terms of how much braking force was actually delivered.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much that could be done to increase this braking power, short of installing an aftermarket non-VGT turbo and a traditional in-line exhaust brake….until the release of PacBrake’s LoadLeash engine brake!  The LoadLeash is a supplemental brake that works in unison with the factory VGT brake to double your factory retarding power.

Now, how does it work?  Lets first start off by comparing the key difference between an exhaust brake and an engine brake.  An exhaust brake typically mounts down stream of the turbo inline the exhaust system and features a butterfly valve that is operated by an air supply.  Based upon various parameters, the valve closes, causing the exhaust gases to pressurize, creating back pressure on the engine.  In particular, the VGT exhaust brake found on 6.7L Cummins works by controlling a sliding ring within the turbocharger that moves back and forth.  To contrast, an engine brake is mounted to the head of the engine, and creates a similar type of back pressure, but done so by controlling the opening and closing of the exhaust valves.    The LoadLeash gives 6.7L owners the best of both worlds.  As previously stated, the factory VGT brake does not provide nearly the retarding power as a traditional inline exhaust brake, and especially not as much as an engine brake, but by combining an engine brake with a VGT exhaust brake, the results are quite remarkable.

The LoadLeash has been in development for the past several years to ensure, without a doubt, that every potential flaw had been addressed, and that its compatibility was not sacrificed for any normal modifications that many Cummins owners typically make to their vehicles.  The result is a product that will work on all 2007.5-2014 Ram and Sterling Cummins powered vehicles from a 2500 all the way to a 5500, no matter what transmission is installed, or what exhaust modifications may have been done.

17 thoughts on “Better Braking with a REAL Engine Brake for 6.7L Cummins

  1. please send me more information about all 6.7 liter cummins engines and engines that may be more powerful

  2. I would love to have this installed on my truck however i am skeptical to do so. My worries are warranty coverage based. How would this affect my 7 year factory warranty? I’m 2 and a half years into my warranty so with more than 4 years left i wouldnt want to have that voided. What info can you provide me with regarding this issue?

    1. Great question! As with any aftermarket component added to a vehicle, there is potential for factory warranty complications, which is why it is imperative to select those products carefully from reputable manufacturers. Essentially, if something as simple as a set of running boards are added to a vehicle, but they cause the frame to crack at their mounting points, any subsequent repairs would not be covered under the factory warranty if it is deemed that the running boards caused the damage. But of course, these questions are more prevalent any time we are dealing with engine upgrades due to the complex nature and expense of an engine. PacBrake as a company has years of experience in engine braking technology, servicing both light duty applications, as well as Class 6, 7, and 8, and even providing OEM in many instances. Further, they have years or research and development put into the LoadLeash itself, before even releasing to market. Further, PacBrake complements their LoadLeash with an extensive warranty, that depending on how many miles your truck has on it at time of installation, will cover any possible damage done to factory engine components. For more information on their warranty, take a look at these two links:

  3. you just confused meand maybe some other people with engine brake. no such thing as engine brake on diesels. its either jake brake or exhaust brake. engine brake is on gasoline vehicles. when you said engine brake mounting on the head you were talking about jake brake or (another term) compression release brake and that is what controlls opening and closing of exhaust valves.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to respond. You’re right, that in the traditional sense, the term “engine braking” is used exclusively for gasoline engines. Then, a “compression release brake” or an “exhaust brake” are geared towards diesel engines, but many will simply refer to the compression release brake as a “Jake Brake” because of the popularity of the Jacobs branded brakes. Because the nomenclature that many choose to use, whether right or wrong, has started to sway many to call a “compression release brake” instead an “engine brake,” to include PacBrake (the manufacturer in this case), we opted to use the term, but apologize that it caused confusion. So yes, you are 100% correct in the terminology difference, and thank you again for the response.

    1. I presume you’re asking about the factory exhaust brake, not an aftermarket engine brake, such as the one mentioned in this article. If so, the simplest method is done by the dealer, or with a scan tool as it can confirm actual versus commanded braking function without having to mechanically remove anything. There are two common issues with the HE351VE turbos that cause the exhaust brakes to not work. First, the sliding nozzle accumulates soot and does not allow the nozzle to “slide” all of the way, causing the retarding pressure to be reduced, or non-existent. To remedy this, you can remove the turbo, then remove the compressor housing, and liberally clean it with brake cleaner, or similar. Secondly, the electronic actuators are also known to fail and the only way to remedy this would be to replace the actuator, or the entire turbo. Many actuators require calibration, which also requires a trip to the dealer. Hope this helps, if you have any additional questions, please let us know.

  4. I’ve got a 2014 ram with 6.7 diesel. When it’s cold outside after it starts, put exhaust brake on it sounds like a skill saw cutting wood. When the exhaust brake button is turned off the noise stops. Is my turbo going out?

    1. Typically a noise like that when the brake is being engaged is a sign that something is not working correctly. The turbo can get to the point where the soot build up internally is so much that it starts affecting the operation of the electronic actuator itself and can cause odd noises when the brake is applied. Some are able to catch this early enough and have the turbo cleaned to regain proper actuation. Other instances the actuator is not actuating at the right time and/or the right position causing noises to occur and cause internal damage to the charger. For your particular issue, I would have the charger further inspected to see what is causing the issue. It could be something as simple as an actuator rather than an entire turbo.

  5. I have a 2012 Ram 3500 diesel and have recently been having events where for a short time I think the exhaust brake is coming on without being directed to do so. It did this occasionally for a few seconds over the last week but now it seems like it is stuck ON all the time. Engine will get 1500 rpms but EGT goes way up without much throttle input. Any ideas?

    1. Thank you for your question. It appears that the turbo is possibly stuck in a fixed position rather than actuating to the proper position for either driving or brake engagement. This can happen a few different ways. You could either have a faulty VGT actuator itself, or the turbo is mechanically stuck in a certain position. Are there any codes present? I would guess that you have a “turbo boost not detected” P2262 code present. I would have the charger looked into further to determine if it is just the actuator or the charger itself causing the issue.

  6. I have a 09 6.7 that is currently second gen swapped, will the Pacbrake still function without the vgt turbo, if not would the Pacbrake for the 07 5.9 work on my 6.7?

    1. Hi there and thanks for the question. PacBrake’s sole intention with the LoadLeash is to work in tandem with a traditional exhaust brake. Do you already have a standard in-line butterfly valve style exhaust brake installed with your 2nd Gen swap?

  7. Looks like from the picture you’re using electronics to prevent valves from opening? Correct ? Genius!!!!

    1. Unfortunately, PacBrake did, in fact, discontinue the LoadLeash. Its too bad, because it was a pretty cool product that worked really well, there just wasn’t enough demand.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *