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I always use the engine brake on an F650 ,which has a caterpillar engine. It recently blew up and I've been told that this is the this even plausible?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes it is possible - but without much more information it wouldn't be possible to state that that is what happened in your case.

If you were coasting at high speed, with the engine idling, if you suddenly let out the clutch to use engine braking, the transmission will drive the engine so the loads aren't the same as when you are accelerating. The engine should cope, but a possible failure mode is that the timing belt could slip/snap/jump and if that happens, your engine could fail catastrophically.

That said, timing belt failure can happen under acceleration too, but the only difference here is the sudden high load.

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This occurred at hwy speed (60mph). Bells and whistles chimed and I pulled over, shut her down. Nothing visible, but there was mild knocking in top of engine. Today, the mechanic told me that the engine had been making oil (injectors leaking fuel into oil pan). Mystery solved. Thank you for your input Rory. – Troy Dec 10 '12 at 4:10

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