Every Banks system is designed to improve engine efficiency. The value of improved power, torque, fuel economy and engine longevity must be evaluated based on individual needs. Everyone uses their vehicle differently. Some do extensive around-town driving, while others tow almost 100% of the time. This is why Banks offers multiple product options for most vehicles: from Git-Kits for those who require a mild increase in power up to PowerPacks for those with the highest demands.
Banks’ literature provides test data for each product that comes directly from evaluating vehicles on the dynamometer, and is intended as an example of what you can expect from your vehicle. Because there is a variation from vehicle to vehicle, and model year to model year, the company can't guarantee that your results will be exactly like the data in the literature. In fact, they may be better!
Due to differences inherent in your vehicle, payload, your style of driving and road conditions, results won't match exactly, but Banks designs its tests to replicate common driving situations and provide a good picture of what you can expect under most conditions.
The best test grounds for power and durability are the Bonneville Salt Flats, where Banks frequently competes and wins. To beat the competition, you have to have power to outrun it. To break the record, you have to have the durability to finish the race. Among the records Banks has set on the Salt are World's Fastest Passenger Car, World's Fastest Pickup Truck and World's Fastest Piston-engine Automobile.
Flywheel horsepower - the number vehicle manufacturers use in advertising - is measured at the flywheel of the engine on an engine test stand or dynamometer. This of course does not take into account any of the vehicle drivetrain or accessories, such as the fan, alternator, power steering, etc. One advantage to testing on an engine dyno is the ability to control the environment and the operating conditions of the engine.
Rear-wheel horsepower is measured at the rear wheels of the vehicle on a chassis dynamometer. This provides a real world picture of how the engine operates as it is installed in the vehicle and used by the operator. Banks uses rear-wheel horsepower in all of its advertising for these reasons. The most common problem with using a chassis dyno is the control of the environment and engine operating conditions. The size of a vehicle requires a large space, sometimes outdoors, and this means that weather conditions can vary dramatically. The company goes to great lengths in its testing to eliminate as many of these variables as possible, such as the use of high volume fans to simulate airflow at road speeds, electronic transmission management, and load cell cooling. This is all done in conjunction with sophisticated data gathering equipment resulting in extremely accurate data.
The difference between flywheel horsepower and rear-wheel horsepower will vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on many factors, but Banks finds that rear-wheel horsepower is usually between 18% and 25% less than flywheel horsepower.
Banks reshapes the horsepower and torque to maximize available power when you need it most. You need torque at lower rpm to lug up hills and tow heavy loads. High-end horsepower provides acceleration prowess for passing, merging and maintaining speed at cruise. Banks also coordinates the fuel-delivery curve to improved engine airflow, for optimal performance and fuel economy.
This is not a mistake or an oversight. A good example is the ’94-97 Ford 7.3L Power Stroke. The omission of Banks Dynaflow muffler from the '94-97 model-year Git-Kit, Stinger, Stinger-Plus and PowerPack systems is an example of how the company designs and engineers products specific to each application. After rigorous testing, Banks found that the stock mufflers on '94-97 Power Strokes work fine, and the addition of its Dynaflow muffler (and its cost) is unwarranted. That's why when you buy a Banks system, you get just what you need—no more, no less—and you never pay for what you don't need.
Level 6 provides the maximum rated power. Each level is then progressively 20% less power. Level 2 is a fuel economy level, however some customers experience better MPGs on a higher setting if they can keep their foot out of the Go pedal. Level 1 is completely stock.
The purpose for having six levels is to provide flexibility to varying conditions, including, but not limited to, vehicle characteristics, driver’s style, terrain and airflow improvements. It is usually best to experiment with each level to determine which best serves your individual needs.
Right and wrong. Fuel does make power, but just adding it without improving airflow first throws off the air-fuel ratio, so the engine runs rich and mileage suffers. Over-fueling raises engine and exhaust temperatures to killer levels - a common problem associated with power chips sold by themselves. Banks whole-system approach always begins with airflow, matching fuel delivery to maintain the proper air-fuel ratio, safe temperatures, engine durability and more fuel-efficient, powerful performance. The company calls that its "First Air, Then Fuel" rule.
Any kind of a supercharger device on an engine - including turbochargers and blowers- produces boost. Many things can cause boost to vary, for example: airflow restrictions, turbo condition, amount of load, condition of ambient air and engine efficiency. Boost is not the only thing that determines whether or not your turbocharger is operating optimally: things like temperature and turbine-inlet pressure must also be considered for a complete picture.
A turbocharger is really a mechanical device that is designed to pressurize air. We most commonly think of a turbocharger being applied to automotive use, so that is how we will describe it, but there are other uses for turbos that vary slightly in design.
Think of a turbo as two fans that are connected to each other by a shaft. Exhaust gases coming out of the engine drive one fan, called a turbine wheel. As the exhaust energy spins the turbine wheel, the shaft spins, and the other wheel, called a compressor wheel, also spins. The compressor wheel pressurizes the air that is going into the engine, which is beneficial for making additional horsepower from the engine. The shaft of the turbo is lubricated with oil, and some designs allow for water to be circulated through the center housing of the turbo, where the shaft is held, for additional cooling. The amount of boost (pressurized air) that the turbo produces is primarily determined by the design of the compressor wheel and the speed at which the turbo spins.
Every Banks system is engineered to provide a civilized tone. In most cases, this will be moderately louder than stock, but with a rich throaty quality that is pleasing to the ear.
When you take your foot off the throttle of a gasoline engine, the throttle valve in the intake system closes, causing a vacuum to occur between the throttle valve and the pistons of the engine during the intake stroke of the engine. This is the condition that we commonly refer to as "engine braking". Since airflow is significantly reduced under these conditions, the amount of backpressure in the exhaust side of the engine is inconsequential in terms of providing engine braking. Therefore, the fact that we remove a substantial amount of backpressure during high flow conditions has no impact on the engine braking during low flow conditions.
This is a good question that brings to light a common misconception. This can be paraphrased in a little different way; "If one is good, two must be better!" The real issue here is not the quantity of exhaust outlets, but rather the backpressure that is present in the entire system. If the single system had more backpressure than the combined backpressure of the dual exhaust, then your statement would be correct. But the backpressure in a factory dual system is usually much higher than the backpressure of the Banks Monster exhaust or Banks Power system exhaust. This is due in part to the large 3.5- or 4.0-inch diameter (depending on the application) of the Banks tailpipe. Overall backpressure is drastically reduced, sometimes by as much as 5 or 6 PSI. That translates to improved performance. So in this case, one is better than two!
The answer is yes! This is the premise upon which all Banks products are developed. An engine is in essence an air pump, and the easier it is for the engine to pump air, the better it will perform. The company improves the breathing ability of diesel engines by reducing restriction in both the intake and the exhaust systems.
All Banks products are tested on vehicles in their stock configuration. The company does not perform any testing on its products with those of other manufacturers. The Banks Six-Gun with the appropriate airflow improvements will provide your vehicle with the maximum amount of power that is safe for your vehicle.
The Banks engineers test-new engines for development, and select those that will benefit by the company’s methods of improving engine airflow, reducing exhaust backpressure, reshaping the fuel curve and using electronic engine-management technology to optimize performance. Prototype power systems are built in Banks Manufacturing division, then moved to the Engineering Garage to be put through their paces on flow benches and chassis dynos in condition-controlled test cells.
From there, it hits the road. The usual test-drive course is a 106-mile loop of varied terrain that rises to a long, 7-percent grade in the southern California climate. Trucks are driven in solo and towing form. Motorhomes are always loaded to replicate typical use. Banks DynaFact data-loggers continually collect an array of critical data, as the vehicle is in motion.
Then the results are charted, checked and interpreted per SAE standards. Development is an evolutionary process: prototypes often require more engineering before they are pronounced ready for the street. Those that do not produce significant gains never see the market.
The power and performance results for each engine application are published in a comprehensive Test Report. Banks is always eager to have its products independently tested in the automotive media and make reprints of those articles available to customers.
So you can select the best power- and price-tier for your needs. Banks Git-Kits and Stingers are popular with guys who want a significant boost at an entry-level cost, who can save even more by installing the products themselves. Seriously power-hungry customers choose Stinger-Plus or PowerPack systems. Diesel pickup owners can also choose the Big Hoss or Six-Gun systems and bundles with the optional Speed-Loader for optimum performance. Most systems can be upgraded, so if buying in stages is your thing, Banks can accommodate.
Because a lot of people still buy them. As long as vehicles with poorly engineered intake and exhaust systems that inhibit power capture a large market, vehicle manufacturers will continue to make them that way. They are understandably resistant to taking on the cost of redesigning these components and the mass-assembly techniques necessary to fabricating them. But there is a portion of the market that is not satisfied with inferior quality. That's where Banks steps in. Banks has been taking advantage of the opportunities they create to improve power, torque, durability and mileage since 1958.
According to the warranty booklet that came with your vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer can only deny warranty coverage if an aftermarket product causes a failure but makes no provision for denying warranty based on the mere presence of such a product. Nor is there a provision for a blanket voiding of warranty coverage. All Banks products have been rigorously tested to ensure that a properly installed Banks product is 100% safe on the applications for which they are intended.
That's a handy way some aftermarket sellers assemble a product on the cheap. They combine parts from various sources and market them as "kits" or "systems." Sometimes, parts vary from one kit to another because the supply chain changes according to what's available. Grab-bag kits are engineered to work in concert and built from the ground up - the way Banks designs systems.
Probably because they assemble them for less to begin with. A significant portion of Banks' development cost is in its engineering and product testing, unduplicated by other aftermarket companies. Also, many manufacturers cut costs with cheaper materials (e.g.: thinner-gauge, coated or galvanized steel) and crude construction (warped flanges, poor welds, sloppy tolerances for fit). Banks products are famous for their fit and durability.
Banks Power systems always maintain a safety margin, so engine, transmission and powertrain life is prolonged. Even Banks ultimate PowerPackage has built-in safeguards to protect the turbocharger, engine, and transmission for those owners who want to have the fastest, best performing diesel pickup around. With Banks, you get the best of both worlds –power and safety.
Gear splitters - also known as under/overdrives - distribute the power output of the engine more evenly throughout the rpm range, creating an overlap of the peak power availability in each gear. However, gear splitters do nothing to liberate power gains, so the horsepower and torque peaks remain the same as stock. The advantage of a gear splitter occurs only in the narrow range before and after a gear change. Banks Power systems liberate power throughout the power range, providing a continual advantage at any rpm.
No, once the iQ is connected it will automatically recognize both tuner and vehicle within a few seconds. You will then be able to use the iQ just like you did in the vehicle in which it was previously installed.
It is important to note that not all Banks tuners are iQ compatible or may require additional hardware.
All PDA compatible tuners are also compatible with the Banks iQ using the iQ upgrade kit (P/N 61156) which includes the iQ monitor, bridge and universal mount.
The bridge or Com Link uses the OBD port of the vehicle as a power supply. On most vehicles the OBD port is on the same circuit as the cigarette lighter. Please check the vehicle’s cigarette lighter fuse to see if it has failed.
The torque converter could be the least understood part of the drivetrain, so it’s small wonder that it is often ignored. In vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, the torque converter is a fluid coupling that acts as a sophisticated clutch, allowing the engine to spin somewhat independently of the transmission. As engine speed changes, the torque converter determines how much and how efficiently torque is transmitted to the wheels.
Your truck is equipped with a robust transmission that can withstand typical diesel’s work and play. But kick it up a notch by towing a heavy load or making frequent full use of power modifications and the factory torque converter is the weak link that causes slippage, surging, poor braking, transmission shudder, and excessive heat. Transmission longevity, fuel efficiency, and torque output suffer. In these heavy-duty scenarios, you need a torque converter that’s built to take it.
From the forged steel billet cover to the furnace-brazed turbine and heavy-duty clutch, the precision and durability of every part of Banks Billet torque converter are unmatched. Banks aligns its stall speed to your engine’s torque peak to deliver formerly-wasted power to the wheels, and multiplies torque on acceleration for strength and responsiveness at take-off. With lower temperatures and higher efficiency, Banks prolongs transmission life and improves fuel economy. It’s this powerful combination of factors that lets your diesel do what you want it to.
The PowerPack components are completely compatible with the Banks exhaust brake, and in fact, many customers install both a power system and Banks Brake at the same time.
No. Diesel engines, in particular, are designed and built to withstand extremely high cylinder pressures under load—that is when the fuel/air charge is firing and pushing the piston down under full throttle. As opposed to backpressure, you could call this "frontpressure." In this mode, the piston, rod, and bearing withstand a load of as much as 2000 PSI, or more. The Banks Brake, when fully applied, exerts a backpressure of 38 PSI on the Ford Power Stroke, or 60 PSI on the Dodge Cummins, or 55 PSI on the Chevy/GMC Duramax - infinitesimal compared to the power load (plus the power load is applied with extreme heat, while the brake applies no heat to the cylinder). So it should be very apparent that the Banks Brake causes no measurable wear on the engine.
The real answer to this question is that a turbo-diesel engine is built to withstand huge pressure loads; it is lubricated against wear; and it is cooled by a radiator. Your brakes aren't. Every time they are applied, they heat and they wear. They're designed that way - to be replaced. Using the engine to slow your truck is much more practical and efficient. It also saves brake wear and extends brake life between brake jobs.
The SmartLock and TransCommand are completely compatible with each other. The wiring installs in a sort of "daisy chain" configuration, meaning that the SmartLock wires into the TransCommand, and the TransCommand wires into the transmission.
The function of the two units is also compatible, although they function under different conditions. The TransCommand increases line pressure in the transmission as load increases, but is non-functional when there is no throttle application. When used in conjunction with Banks Brake, the SmartLock is active whenever the exhaust brake is engaged, which is only when there is no throttle application. When active, the SmartLock keeps the torque converter unconditionally locked down to 1200 rpm, and increases line pressure. As soon as you apply any throttle, the brake and SmartLock become inactive, returning the torque converter lock-up to whatever condition the factory electronics dictate, either locked or unlocked.
Banks Power systems release engine power potential by reducing pumping losses, so the engine produces power more efficiently, without working so hard. Translation: you'll use less fuel if you travel at the same speeds you did before installing your Banks Power system. The more you press the throttle (it's pretty irresistible, but stay safe!), the more fuel you use - but Banks’ mileage will still be better at the same speed than stock.
For the best possible fuel economy it is recommended that you purchase a complete system (Stinger, PowerPack, Six-Gun Bundle, Big Hoss Bundle etc.). This will ensure that your vehicle’s engine gets the appropriate amount of air to best match the amount of fuel being added by the tuner.
A chip by itself increases horsepower by increasing fuel delivery to the engine. For people looking for a quick and dirty way to improve the power output, the addition of a chip seems like an easy way to go. The downside to using a chip alone is that without improvements in airflow the added fuel also creates more heat in the engine, which can result in shorter engine life and in more severe cases in engine damage.
Banks products are designed to increase airflow in conjunction with adding fuel. This allows for a power increase that is safe for the engine, and the side benefit is that fuel economy increases, because as airflow restrictions are removed, the engine operates more efficiently. Simply adding fuel by using a chip can't give a fuel economy increase because the engine efficiency remains the same.
All Banks systems function on standard fuels and octanes. This applies to diesel fuel too, where cetane rather than octane is the main consideration.
Installing a Banks Power system does not require that you upgrade the quality of fuel you run.
When Banks test its products, the company "pushes the envelope" to see how far it can take power gains. As an inviolable rule, Banks pulls back from the maximum and leave a safety margin to protect engine and powertrain durability. No Banks product exceeds the vehicle manufacturer's power, load or temperature limits.
There are many power-enhancing chips, programmers, and tuners for trucks these days. The interesting thing is that there are only a few people who actually manufacture the hardware, which means that most small companies selling these chips buy them from other companies. Be aware that a chip, programmer, or tuner by itself can cause dangerously high exhaust gas temperatures on a diesel, or detonation in a gasoline engine. Banks' approach to power enhancement is to increase airflow through the engine before adding fuel. This allows for safe increases in power, fuel economy, and engine longevity.
Because Banks adheres to its "First Air, Then Fuel" rule, it is impossible for a properly installed Banks Power system to over-fuel your engine. As you know from previous questions, just adding fuel to make power creates so much heat it can ruin your engine and exhaust. Banks begins by improving airflow, and matches fuel to it. With the engine breathing freely, the exhaust running cooler, backpressure drastically reduced and efficiency optimized, Banks unleashes more power without working the engine so hard, which prolongs its life and the life of powertrain components it operates. Even though Banks runs a cooler exhaust, the Monster exhaust portion of any Banks Power system is so indestructible, it could withstand much hotter temperatures.
Banks Power systems put a stop to the tendency of many vehicles to frequently shift between gears while climbing grades. Holding higher gears strongly, for longer times, reduces the work your automatic has to do, preserving its life. No Banks Power system subjects any transmission to loads that exceed the manufacturer's limits.
For Ford 4R100 and E4OD automatics, Banks TransCommand is an excellent addition that transforms the transmission into a super-duty unit.
Among other beneficial functions, Banks Power systems for most late diesel applications include electronic AutoMind/EconoMind modules to control fuel and maintain safe temperatures. The AutoMind/EconoMind combines with Banks airflow-improving components for more power and durability. Similarly, the Six-Gun tuner for diesel pickups includes safeguards to prevent overtemperature.
Every vehicle will vary slightly and the location of the thermocouple (pre or post turbo) is a factor. It is recommended that you refer to the Owner’s Manuals for your specific Banks product and vehicle.
This question is tougher to answer than you might think. There are two ways to measure exhaust gas temperature on a diesel engine: before the turbo (turbine inlet temperature); and after the turbo (turbine outlet temperature). When reasonably convenient, it is recommended that you measure the turbine inlet temperature, because this is the hottest and most meaningful temperature when evaluating the engine's performance. But when there's not a convenient place to put a probe in the turbine inlet side of the exhaust, the alternative is to mount the probe after the turbocharger, measuring the turbine outlet temperature. But this also presents a problem. The outlet of the turbo on the Duramax engine, for example, is shaped awkwardly, and the factory turbine outlet pipe is a very non-concentric shape to accommodate the outlet, so once again, there is not a good place to install a probe until about two feet after the outlet of the turbo. By going that far downstream, the integrity of the measurement is sacrificed.
Perhaps the best recommendation is to drill and tap a hole in one of the exhaust manifolds, and install a threaded pyrometer probe in there. Just be very careful about not getting any metal chips in the manifold, which would cause damage to the turbocharger. The only way to be sure of this is to pull the manifold off of the vehicle to do the drilling and tapping.
This is a highly debated issue. Some of the sentiments that surround this question date back quite far. Before diesel engines became widely popular in pickup trucks, the main use for diesels was in the long-haul trucking industry. Years ago, when truckers began to use pyrometers on their engines, the most logical place to position the probe was in the exhaust manifold ahead of the turbocharger, because this was the hottest portion of the exhaust stream. But the earliest probes that were used had exposed junctions, and the weakness of this design would sometimes fatigue and fail under the high heat conditions. A failed probe would inevitably cause expensive damage to the turbocharger. The solution to this problem was to move the thermocouple downstream of the turbocharger, thus avoiding the potential damage to the spinning turbine wheel. Knowing that the temperature would be lower in that location, it was expected that the operator would compensate for the difference by an appropriate amount.
Today, the thermocouple probes that are used are commonly sheathed in a stainless steel shell that is impervious to the type of failure that an exposed junction thermocouple might experience. This makes it safe to install upstream of the turbocharger. At Banks, they typically prefer to mount the thermocouple upstream of the turbo, but this is not always convenient. In the case of the Ford Power Stroke, Banks opted to provide a bung in the turbine outlet pipe rather than having the customer go through the difficulty of drilling and installing a probe in a location that is hard to access. The company’s testing shows that the maximum allowable turbine inlet temperature of 1350 degrees is equivalent to 1050 degrees on the turbine outlet side, so that is Banks’ recommended maximum temperature when measuring in that location. The temperature differential may be broader at lower temperature ranges, but the temp that we are most concerned about is at full power.
There are two primary categories of stainless steel tubing used in automotive exhaust systems: 300 series and 400 series. 400 series stainless is commonly used by Banks for exhaust and manifold applications primarily because it handles heat cycling better than the 300 series. 300 series stainless becomes brittle after constant heating and cooling (which is exactly what an exhaust system does) especially in areas that incorporate welds. The issue of heat cycling is of great importance, especially in a heavy-duty application that will endure greater levels of heat than other automotive applications. Not only is 300 series stainless a poorer choice for exhaust systems, it is also more expensive and would unnecessarily increase the price of an exhaust system. 400 series stainless is not as pretty as 300 series and will have a brownish hue to it, due to the fact that it has a higher carbon content than 300 series. This means the 300 series stainless will polish up better for appearance. The carbon content in 400 series also makes it magnetic, unlike 300 series, which is a simple test to determine which series you’re dealing with. Fortunately, 400 series will handle temperatures of up to 2000 degrees without any deterioration, making it very suitable for use in exhaust systems. Banks uses 400-series, specifically 409, for its entire exhaust systems, except the polished tip which is polished 304. That's the part that you want to look good!
Detonation may be a concern when the intake pressure of a gasoline engine is increased, as turbocharging does. Proper engine- and boost-management are important in order to control such a situation. However, diesel engines generally are not prone to detonation, and turbocharging an older diesel should not be a concern. Depending on the engine make and miles accumulated, you may want to replace the head gaskets first.
Yes, Banks Twin-Turbos have returned! Banks legendary Twin-Turbo packages are now available on complete Banks-built 6-liter engines producing up to 1100 horsepower. Twin-Turbo System kits are also available for installation on existing small-block engines. There are even small-block high-performance engine kits designed specifically for Twin-Turbo setups.
It is common to use different sized turbos when the turbochargers are "staged": that is, the compressor discharge from one turbo feeds the compressor inlet of the second, and the compressor discharge from the second one feeds the engine. The most likely problem is extreme heating of the compressed intake air. A charge air cooler (intercooler) should definitely be used to cool the air coming out of the second turbo.
Propane is a quick way to make horsepower, but Banks has not seen a system on the market that it is satisfied with. Most are somewhat crude in their design and use old carbureted forklift technology (forklifts are usually powered by propane.) During testing with one propane system, Banks experienced detonation on a diesel. While detonation is never good, detonation on a diesel is frightening! Be very careful about the promises that propane systems may offer.
The addition of propane to any diesel engine, whether turbocharged or normally-aspirated, introduces more fuel to engine, without additional airflow. Although it can be done, there is the constant danger of developing excessive exhaust gas temperatures, thus the possibility of engine damage.
It is for this very reason that Banks addresses airflow. Airflow is critical in the SAFE addition of fuel to a diesel engine, regardless of what that fuel is. For normally-aspirated diesels, the Sidewinder turbo is an excellent way to gain airflow and performance. Some people opt for the lower cost of a propane injection system as an inexpensive way to increase horsepower, but the real cost may be down the road when engine damage occurs.
Banks has followed the interest in propane-injection systems for diesel engines, and tested several to see if they are a valid way of safely increasing horsepower. The company uncovered a number of serious safety issues:
Before Banks ever sells a propane-injection system for diesels, these issues would have to be resolved in the course of the product development.
Towing in overdrive is fine on the flat highway, but as vehicle manufacturers recommend, downshift to a lower gear on grades.
The vehicle manufacturer determines GVWR based on axle ratings, final gear ratios and suspension ratings, none of which can easily be altered. However, a Banks Power system allows you to tow within the GVWR more efficiently and easily, and to climb grades at a higher rate of speed.
If getting under the hood is fun for you, and you've got the tools, why not? All Banks Power systems come with an illustrated Owner's Manual that contains comprehensive installation instructions. Monster Exhausts, Git-Kits, and Stingers are the easiest. Stinger-Plus and PowerPack systems and Sidewinder turbos require more time and experience.
All Banks electronics are “plug-n-play” while its hard parts are “bolt-on”.
There should be no conflict with mods on your vehicle. However, there are some modifications that may alter how the Banks products will fit or perform.
If you own a Banks Power system with an electronic OttoMind module or AutoMind programmer, consult your Owner's Manual for instructions before having your vehicle serviced.
Vehicle maintenance and fluids should continue to comply with the manufacturer's recommendations.
With the Banks Air Filter Service Kit (P/N 90094).
Yes, all Banks tuners/SpeedBrakes are equipped with LEDs to alert you if there is an issue. If your vehicle is equipped with the Banks iQ its display will let you know whenever an issue is detected.
The 2,3 code indicates that the tuner is not seeing a signal from the thermocouple. Make sure the thermocouple is securely connected to the tuner and the 2,3 code will clear.
If you are not utilizing a thermocouple, you will need to connect the yellow and red thermocouple lead wires together to clear the fault code.