GM Duramax Exhaust Brake Install

Updated Aug 14, 2015

A Lead BD turbo brakeBD Diesel Performance plug-and-play variable-vane controller gives a Duramax 6.6L 150hp more braking power with the turn of a dial

Tired of eating up front disc brakes and having to lay on the brake pedal longer than you’d like when your late-model GM HD pickup is towing a big trailer?

One way to keep brake wear minimized is to increase engine braking.

BD Diesel Performance ( has developed an adjustable electronic controller that greatly enhances the engine-braking power of the 2004.5-newer Duramax engines.

BD’s Variable Vane Brake (VVB) electronically changes the turbo vane’s so they develop more exhaust back-pressure in the engine’s combustion chamber, creating up to 150 retarding horsepower to take some of the heat off brake pads, rotors and drums.

BD Duramax exhaust brake controller is a relatively easy plug-and-play installation.BD Duramax exhaust brake controller is a relatively easy plug-and-play installation.

Additional braking is supplied by the controller changing the transmission downshift points,  which works in harmony with the exhaust braking to slow the truck down considerably more than the OE setup.

BD’s dial-a-brake system works in “Normal,” “Manual Shift” and “Tow/Haul” driving modes. The rotary dial has four positions:

    1. Off: Lets truck work in OEM stock mode.
    2. Level 1: Closes the turbo vanes only when throttle is released.
    3. Level 2: Closes the vanes and causes a moderate down-shift when throttle is released.
    4. Level 3: Closes vanes and causes an aggressive downshift when throttle is released.

So if you are tired of spending down time replacing brake rotors and pads every few months, consider beefing up that turbo to help take the load off your HD’s braking system.

BD’s VVB kit will pay for itself in short order if you using a 2006-2010 GM 2500/3500 Duramax for towing heavy trailers on a regular basis.