Sherman Tank Site Post 73: Articles from Army Motors Episode #1
This is the first in a series of posts I’m going to do highlighting the Sherman or M4 series-related vehicle, articles I’ve found. With some commentary, though some of these articles are so good they speak for themselves.
Give Your Tank a Brake!
This article surprised me, because in the world of 4 wheel drive, compression braking is commonly used to control a vehicle on steep hill descents, and some vehicles have very low gears in their transfer case for this purpose, among others. I bought a Jeep Rubicon because it came with a Transfercase to do this.
A tank is not a Jeep though, so I clearly get the point of the article. Also, as for using the engine to brake, I’ve never been big on downshifting for that reason, even in cars and Jeeps. I once had a conversation with my wife, who was big on downshifting, about the cost and labor of a new set of brake pads, versus a new clutch. She agreed once we talked about the labor involved.
1 thought on “Sherman Tank Site Post 73: Articles from Army Motors Episode one, Give Your Tank a Brake!”
I’m pretty sure that the objection here is to the practice of using the clutch as a brake, rather than to engine compression braking–the article talks about overspeeding the powertrain then letting the clutch out, which even on a small car puts a lot of wear on the clutch since clutch friction is providing the braking. As the army says above, just put the vehicle in the same gear you would use to climb the hill AT THE TOP and keep it in gear on the way down–don’t let it coast with the clutch in, then drop the clutch!
Incidentally, I don’t think downshifting to slow down is necessarily bad, as long as you heel and toe to match revs and use engine compression rather than clutch friction to slow down. But on a car with disc brakes it’s totally superfluous.