Thursday, February 9, 2012

Billet Torque Converter Ford

It's no wonder that I need to write a blog on torque converters for the Ford Powerstroke. While many people would think of the 6.0L Powerstroke when considering components that break down regularly, the Powerstroke torque converter has had problems for a while now.

A torque converter has a rather simple function - driven by flowing fluid and by clutch discs, the torque converter is the critical connection between your axle and your transmission. Without the torque converter, your vehicle would jerk and lurch back and forth on each shift. Not only would that potentially give you whiplash, it would do something similar to your drivetrain. So to lessen the jumpiness of shifting between gears, your torque converter drives your axle with a large turbine that is driven by fluid pressure, and also locks itself together when maintaining speed by applying sufficient pressure to the clutch discs.

Due to consumer demand, diesel pick-ups started coming with lessened hydraulic pressure for your clutch discs. What this effectively does is provide a smoother shift, but it does so by allowing your clutch discs to slip excessively. Combined with this extra wear and tear, Powerstroke torque converters eventually fail on their own even when you've made no modifications to your pick-up. They're designed to perform within stock powerband specs, but there-in lies the problem - the amount of force that your clutch takes is directly proportional to your pick-up's payload. So if you're running stock and towing, or even if you're travelling uphill with a filled cab, you're now putting too much force on your torque converter.

The way that Ford made their torque converters with such a low power threshold is mostly due to the poor quality materials they used and the poor assembly methods they employ. A stock Ford torque converter has sandpaper clutch discs. PAPER! And the case, it's got welded mounting brackets instead of using a solid piece of steel and boring out those mounts with a diamond tipped drill. And their turbine! the fins hold onto the turbine by being crimped on. That's just a bad joke, because once your torque converter gives way, it immediately starts contaminating your transmission fluid and immediately starts damaging your transmission, with all the fluid contaminants falling straight onto your planetary gears. It's no wonder that people think American manufactures like Ford are just making their money from replacing flawed parts. It's because they are making their money that way.

Long story short, the Banks Billet Torque Converter will take care of all your existing manufacturer defects. Their casing is made from solid steel, their turbine fins are fastened in place and heat-treated to strengthen the bond, and their clutch discs are made of a ceramic-composite material that won't fail when you're pushing power gains.

As a side note, you can further protect the longevity of your transmission by installing a Banks Transcommand module. The module's only function is to regulate the hydraulic pressure for your clutch, so that an increase in throttle will also automatically engage an increase in hydraulic pressure. Essentially, this module gives you the best of both worlds by providing still smooth shifting at low RPMs and stiffer shifting at higher RPMs. With stiffer shifting, you get less slippage, and likewise, less clutch wear and less friction heat in your transmission fluid. An added incentive to having both the Banks Billet Torque Converter and a Transcommand Module is that your pick-up will have a much quicker response right off the line. You'll be able to slam your throttle without excessive clutch slippage, so your power will be quickly and thoroughly translated to the road instead of being translated into excessive heat. This is just one way that Banks gives you more power right off the line without compromising your vehicle's longevity whatsoever - as a matter of fact, you get more power while prolonging your vehicle's life! Sounds almost too good to be true (but not really, we already know the Powerstroke has room for improvement).

Trust Banks Power Products to help you get your diesel running properly and effectively. Gale Banks has been doing this for over 50 years. What else can I say? Respect.

Banks iQ

The Banks Power Products iQ Display is a PDA, plain and simple. With previous Banks tuners, the PDA display was basically one of those annoying palm pilots that had the horrible touchpad for writing recognition, which never worked well. But the iQ display is just as dialed in as previous model Banks displays, while incorporating new touchscreen technology for their wide-size display. So what's so special about it?

The iQ's hardware isn't state of the art - touchscreens have worked well for a while now. What IS special about the iQ is the work that went into it, just like the previous PDA display. It will accomplish everything you need and more.

With the Banks iQ and flash unit, Banks has begun to transition all of their tuners and modules into one simple hardware package. Whether you get an Automind or a Speedbrake, the Banks iQ syncs to your Banks components for completely fluid functionality. And with the new flash unit, it will only be a matter of time before you're only paying for software - order your Speedbrake, tuner, transmission module, and they'll eventually come on the same flash module. That takes care of a lot of hassle with installation and cost-efficiency. But wait, is there more?

Like mentioned in earlier blogs, Banks has been working on their "brick" for a while now. Their brick connector is the second half of their flash module system. With the brick, you'll be able to sync your secondary injection systems, measurement probes, and all your other major electronically controlled systems to your iQ display. This opens up lots of possibilities - have all the electronics on your clean-burning diesel controlled by one system, providing optimized tuning and fuel economy. or, turn your street legal diesel into a race-ready diesel with the push of a button (your CAT and DPF will still be there, but at least you're only losing 10% power).

Banks makes state-of-the-art products not because they get hands out from parties like NASA. They make state-of-the-art products based upon civilian technology (which isn't state of the art), and they achieve state-of-the-art status by improving upon existing designs until they have the nearest to perfect design in comparison to anybody else.

With Banks, you get what you pay for, and you pay for what you get. Other companies may charge less, or may offer similar pricing claiming to be better than Banks Power Products. But the truth is that the number of aftermarket companies that can keep pace with Banks can probably be counted on your fingers. And for the most part, the companies that are on par with Banks don't manufacture the same components as them. If you have doubts, give Banks a call. Their customer service reps are always excited to shoo away their competition.

Air Ram Performance

Banks Power Products have incorporated the term "Ram" to all their intake systems and intake components. When describing intakes, the term ram-air refers to a specific intake design where positive air pressure is created at the intake by directing airflow towards the intake while your vehicle is traveling at speed, effectively "ramming" cool air towards your engine. Ram-air intake systems were quite popular before the inception of the carburetor, and were unpopular during that time because the positive air pressure didn't work well with the low-pressure venturi fuel draw method that carburetors relied upon. But now, with the inception of fuel injection, ram-air intakes have been making a very strong come-back.

Pretty much all performance diesel engines run off fuel injection these days, because carburetors just can't get the pressure that injectors can, and likewise can't burn fuel as efficiently. Banks has been on the fore-front of developing performance diesel engines, so it's little wonder why they've incorporated the Ram-Air concept to all of their intake systems, since all diesels have been running on fuel injection for several decades. So how do Banks Ram-Air systems stand up to their competition?

With ram-air intakes, you want positive air pressure at the head of your intake system, but you don't want the air flowing to your engine to be travelling at such high velocity that it swishes about your intake and into your engine. The difference is that still air that has the same pressure as fast-moving air will always combust better than the moving air. So, Banks designs their intake systems to maintain a constant positive pressure from incoming air without allowing it to travel about. Their intelligently designed intake housings not only help accomplish this positive pressure effect, they also draw air from the most ideal location for drawing the coolest air from your engine bay, and you can also modify your intake housing to include a boost tube that streams cool air from below your bumper straight to the mouth of your Banks intake.

For specific diesel models, Banks also offers their High-Ram and Monster Ram intake elbows. These elbows focus on the restrictive 180degree turn that your inbound air must travel through before arriving at your intake manifold. By streamlining the original design into a single rounded piece, and also by adding Banks' boost tubes that come with their elbows, intake drag is dramatically reduced. With all this cool air you're getting to your engine, you're on your way to a much cleaner burning diesel pick-up (make sure you have an exhaust system too!).

The cherry on top for these intake products is your Monster Ram or High-Ram intake elbow comes standard with 6 ports for nitrous/water/propane injection or for installing probes for active monitoring. Why is this so awesome? For one, monitoring your temperature and pressure is important for maintaining your vehicle's longevity. As far as fluid injection is concerned, you get significantly improved power (depending on which liquid you use), and improved fuel economy as well. If you're using water injection, how can you go wrong?? And why haven't automotive manufacturers incorporated this yet? Imagine filling up your water tank and diesel tank at the same time and getting 40mpg on your 7.3L Powerstroke, all because your engine is properly tuned and gets the ideal amount of oxygen.

If you have a question about performance diesels, Banks has the answer or knows who can give you the answer. Don't delay, upgrade your diesel today! with Banks Power Products.

Speed Brake

For performance diesel trucks, having a reliable braking system is key. If you're racing professionally, you've got aftermarket everything to help you with this - performance brakes, rotors, transmission, clutch or torque converter, etc.

Your stock diesel pick-up won't come standard with quality parts like these. This becomes an important issue for drivers using their pick-up for towing, racing, or just traveling long-distance with a large payload (like with a motorhome, RV, Semi, etc). So what are your options to increase your braking power without having to purchase more expensive discs or replace your stock brake discs more frequently? Your best option is exhaust braking, and Banks Power Products have several different methods for you to go about it.

First, let's consider your payload. If you're pulling large enough loads to require a transmission modification or replacement, you're most likely better off with an exhaust brake that installs behind your turbo. Banks has standardized the ideal design for these exhaust brakes, complete with a module for transmission lock-up control and automatic downshifting. But for those that don't drive motorhomes or tow a significant payload, you may not want to bother with the maintenance that comes with installing a shutter exhaust brake.

If you're just wanting to prolong the periods between changing out your brake discs, or if you need extra braking power that can't be accomplished with disc brakes, Banks offers their Speed Brake for a maintenance-free install at a modest price. A Banks Speed Brake comes with the same electronic functions as their shutter exhaust brake, which automatically downshifts your transmission when you've let your foot off the throttle and automatically locks-up your transmission. You can also set speed ranges for when your Speed Brake will activate, so you can maintain smoother driving at low speeds.

So you might be wondering what's so special about this braking system besides managing your transmission for ideal gearing. The true braking power for this system lies within your existing VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo). VGTs automatically contract your exhaust pipe diameter at the turbo mouth so that your exhaust airflow will be more focused on the turbine at low speeds, and will expand in the same fashion when your turbo has already achieved desired boost. It does this with adjustable vanes at the mouth of your turbo, so that when an electrical signal is sent to your turbo, it will adjust according to the strength of the signal. The Banks Speed Brake uses this as an advantage for braking, because a constricted exhaust pipe will cause exhaust back-pressure (like a shutter brake does) by inhibiting the flow-through of the exhaust gases. This considerable back-pressure will resist your piston's ability to continue on with combustion cycles, and will work more and more effectively the higher your RPMs. So, the automatic VGT management combined with automatic transmission management have created a rock-steady product that Banks can stand behind.

Consider this - A Banks shutter exhaust brake is more effective than their own Speed Brake, and is more effective than any other competitor's product. But even more remarkably, their Speed Brake by itself is more effective than a lot of their competitors' shutter exhaust brakes. Isn't that something? You're spending less money with Banks this time, spending less time under the hood, and you're getting a much more powerful, reliable, and sustainable product. Now that's smart engineering!

If you have any doubts about the Banks Power Products difference, contact Banks directly and let them demonstrate for you how they take their competition to school.

Banks Six Gun Diesel Tuner

The Banks Six Gun Diesel Tuner is essentially the most powerful, standardized tuner that Banks Power Products offers. You can order a Big Hoss Module with customizable programs, and get +150hp and +300ft-lbs, but the Big Hoss Module is only offered for specific older model diesels.

For the Six Gun, your highest power gains setting is at +100hp and +200ft-lbs. The Six Gun is normally offered with only their Six Gun Kits and Big Hoss Bundles. While their Stinger and PowerPack Kits offer substantial gains, these kits will only include either an Ottomind or Economind tuner, which are both more suitable for towing and fuel economy applications. The Six Gun Tuner is programmed with higher power gains, more suitable for race and off-road applications, and you'll need to install one of Banks' larger kits to get those power gains and to retain your engine's longevity.

With your Six Gun or Big Hoss kit installed, you can set your Six Gun Tuner for maximum power gains without having to worry about voiding the warranty on your aftermarket parts or your stock parts. Banks kits, when properly installed and when using proper tuning, will not strain your stock drive-train components enough to risk substantial damage. But, because the Six Gun Tuner is the most powerful standard tuner that Banks makes, they had to find a happy medium to compete with other aftermarket manufacturers that offer more powerful programming than theirs.

If you ask Banks yourself, they'll tell you that any further power gains beyond the Six-Gun's maximum setting is really not good for your vehicle. And yet, because people asked so frequently for more powerful programming on their street diesel, they started offering more powerful programming with a catch. All Six-Gun Tuners that do not include an iQ display come with a Speedloader module with thermocouple sensor, and all Six-Gun Tuners that include the iQ display have the Speedloader software pre-loaded on their iQ. The Speedloader programming offers an extra power gain of 20% on top of your current power specs. This means if you're pushing 300hp and 700ft-lbs with your Big Hoss kit installed, running on max power programming, the Speedloader software will bump you up to around 360hp and 840ft-lbs.

The catch is that Banks doesn't stand behind this programming for street applications, and it's the only time that you'll see this from them. In order to activate your Speedloader programming, you must first clearly accept a disclaimer that says Banks and the garage that performed your installation are not responsible for any damage that can occur while running the Speedloader. Reason being, you're pushing so much power, that while your engine may not sustain significant damage directly, you may escalate your vehicle temperatures beyond acceptable thresholds, you may put some of your stock drive-train components under too much torsional force, and so on.

If you're not understanding why you should be careful of running a Speedloader on your diesel truck, consider this: all other performance vehicles that push 400hp or more, including light-weight performance vehicles, all need performance drivetrain components to sustain their power without breaking themselves. Think about it - if you're putting nearly 1000ft-lbs of torque on your stock drive-train components, won't the give way fairly quick? Imagine your stock input shaft straining to translate all that power to your transmission.

So all-in-all, Banks Power Products have what you need for your diesel, what you want for your diesel, and also (in this case) what you don't need but think you want. Call them today to so they can read your mind and recommend a local parts distributor near you.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ram Intake

Banks Engineering has been beefing up your diesel for decades, and with all the new technology that has come out for vehicle motors, Banks Power Products have been on the forefront for efficient solutions and state-of-the-art innovations.

One factor for diesel engines that greatly differs from gas engines is you need a more efficient means of combusting fuel. Diesel takes more air, more time, and more energy to combust in comparison to gas, but it also contains much more latent energy than gas. The key to turning diesel engines from oil-spilling, smoke-belching big blocks into smaller, clean-burning, high-performance engines lies in fine-tuning the efficiency at which your diesel engine burns your fuel.

I've heard the comment before "diesel intakes and exhausts get a lot more power than gas intakes and exhausts". This is absolutely true because any diesel engine leaves a lot more improvement than any gas engine in regards to airflow. With our current fuel injection technology, and the possibility of water/propane injection, you can be getting up to of 30mpg on a newish model diesel pick-up, or 60mpg on your turbo diesel car. You may be asking "how is this possible?" Fact is that every time you saw an older model diesel engine spewing out black smoke from their exhaust, that black smoke is actually wasted fuel, so you can imagine how inefficiently diesel engines run in comparison to new technology.

Banks Engineering has made a killing on factory deficiencies that can be easily remedied with quality-produced parts. Their Monster-Ram Intake is no exception. With one their intake and exhaust systems already installed, all you need do is include one of these badboys with a boost tube kit, and you've replaced nearly all of your stock airflow components. With the appropriate Banks Tuner, you're already pushing over +100hp and +250ft-lbs. Plus, with the Monster-Ram or High-Ram intake, you can incorporate injection systems and monitor systems directly onto your intake elbow.

Why water or propane injection? Because with one of those systems properly installed, there's no need for an EGR or Catalytic Converter. With water or propane, you can combust your diesel fuel more completely, and likewise get a lot more power out of your engine while polluting less than gas! Yes, diesel can be cleaner than gas if you're completely igniting it, especially since it provides a lot more power, which translates to a lot better fuel economy. Imagine having to fill your diesel and water up at every refueling, so that you can get the fuel economy of a hybrid with more power than a stock diesel. Why aren't more people doing this already? Why hasn't any major manufacturer capitalized on the profitability of high-performance diesel yet? Maybe in the future.

Banks Power Products - bringing you the best of diesel.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Banks Duramax

If you're looking for Banks Power Products for your GM Duramax, you're already on the right track. But honestly, searching for their products with just the keywords "Banks Duramax" isn't going to cut it. There are waaay to many Duramaxes that Banks has done work on, from small bundles for street drivers to complete make-overs for land speed breakers. In fact, they've completed work on so many Duramaxes, just about the only way you're going to figure out what they can do for your pick-up is by first figuring out how you want it to perform.

So what do you want to do to your Duramax? And what applications will you be using your truck for? For all diesel model/years from 1982 until now, Banks offers a complete, street-legal modification kit. Depending upon how much money you're willing to spend and how much extra power you're wanting from your pick-up, Banks may offer more than one kit for your specific model Duramax.

Just to give you an idea, Banks' most popular products are their complete component bundles with tuner included. The components included in these kits are not only designed to work well on their own, they're also designed to work even better with one another. Banks has already dyno-tuned their components to your specific model diesel. So, with their tuner included, your Banks kit will be dialed-in so well that you won't be able to get much better performance by installing similar components at a dyno shop.

If money is an issue, Banks can help you find the right components for your pick-up to meet your regular needs. For example, a Banks Monster Exhaust will give you substantial power gains, and further incorporating an intake system and tuner will bump your power gains into the triple digits. Their Monster Exhausts also increase fuel economy (respectively) and they actually retain the reliability of your vehicle (within reason). If your kit is missing any critical elements, Banks will give you the heads up that you'll need certain other components, and they'll let you know when you're going to need them. If you're getting any significant power gains, the Banks Billet Torque Converter, for example, is a key component for translating your power gains to the road without damaging your transmission. While many of your stock components restrict your vehicle's performance and simply need to be replaced with less restrictive components, certain other stock components can only perform within the factory specs. If you're pushing even just +100hp through your vehicle, you're going to need to make sure your engine is getting proper airflow to avoid overheating, and you're going to need to make sure your drivetrain components can withstand the extra force being put through it.

But then again, maybe you have lots of money, and maybe you want to turn your Duramax into a pavement-ripping beast. For such cases, Banks can help. They can set you up with an off-road/racing vehicle that will leave you smiling, or they can set you up with something that will leave your competition in your dust. Banks specializes in fine-tuning diesels for power, which means they're always advocates of clean-burning diesel. If you just want a off-road warrior that will last as long as the stock counterpart, Banks already has the right design and the right components for you. On the same note, if you want a diesel that smokes everybody without leaving them in your smoke, Banks has already broken several landspeed records over the past decade with Duramaxes. With enough time and money, they can turn your diesel into a clean-burning +220mph bullet.

Keep in mind that for your application, Banks may or may not be able to provide you with a qualified technician within your local area. A street-legal Banks kit is easier to install than further modifications, and can be handled by a less skilled technician. But if you're trying to turn your diesel into a behemoth, you may need to do some looking around, or maybe you just might need to ask Banks to do the install themselves (yes, they do accommodate their customers when necessary).

Banks Power Products - Just like Gale Banks himself, they set the industry standard for quality performance.

Super Scoop

The Banks Power Super Scoop installs to 01-10 Chevy/GMC's and 03-11 Cummins Ram-Air Intake Systems. The Banks Ram-Air Intakes are already some of the best on the market, drawing denser air in larger volumes compared to stock intakes and other aftermarket intakes. Banks achieves this by using large quality intake filters around their streamlined intake housing and tube design. Their systems are flow-tested and dyno-tested, and then field tested to ensure that your intake system allows as much cool air into your engine as possible.

With the Super Scoop, your Ram-Air Intake will work even better. Despite their smart design and outperforming their competitors, a Banks Ram-Air Intake system will normally draw air from inside the engine bay. Even if you draw air from the coolest area under your hood, the air outside your vehicle will always be much cooler and denser.

The Super Scoop installs with its inlet mounted to the bottom of your bumper and the outlet mounted to the mouth of your intake system. For wet or dirty driving, these scoops are designed with a funnel towards the bottom of the scoop, which expels these elements from your scoop so you're only getting air to your intake.

Since the inception of fuel injection, carburetors have become a thing of the past, and diesel bodies are continually changing for improved aerodynamics - but with a Super Scoop, you can bring the cool air back to your fuel injected diesel without busting up your hood or front end body. Banks Power Products - they may not have thought of it first (or they may did), but they hook your diesel up.

Monster Exhaust

So you're looking at Banks exhausts, maybe you're considering options. Do you know what you're looking at? Can you tell the difference between Banks Power Products and their competitors' exhaust systems? It's not that easy to tell with your plain eye, but there are significant differences from their competitors. Long story short, you can get custom mandrel bent pipe from just about anybody, even your local garage, and that's enough to make a basic straight-pipe exhaust or replace specific problematic pipes. But Banks gives you that and everything else you're looking for in an exhaust system.

First of all, incorporating a new exhaust system can be a pain in the butt if you're looking for optimized tuning. Installing an exhaust system from any other aftermarket manufacturer will leave you needing a retune, and they don't make tuners to match their exhaust systems. But Banks does. So if you buy a Banks Monster Exhaust with a tuner, you're much better off than buying an exhaust and tuner from anybody else, because you've already got your tuning dialed in.

Another factor is your installation. A lot of customers need an aftermarket exhaust for their custom vehicle, like a Cummins dropped in a Ford body. Banks maintains an excellent customer service department that will help you troubleshoot your fitment until they get it right. And if for some reason your custom fitment has changed the tuning needed for your vehicle, Banks will do their best to get your the proper tuning for your vehicle.

Banks systems are also completely compatible with one another. Exhaust systems can come with a number of bungs for incorporating measurement probes for live monitoring. Banks' probes will always install properly on their exhaust systems - you won't need to go looking for another wiring harness size, you won't need to find a different probe that will fit better than the one you have.

Lastly, exhaust systems need to be reliable. Exhaust systems need to fit correctly and function correctly, so that all of your vehicle's other systems that depend on your exhaust function properly, and so your vehicle can function safely.

Turbo boosting creates massive amounts of exhaust backpressure, and an improperly installed or improperly welded exhaust system can leak or burst under pressure, causing drops in power gains or worse. Banks Monster Exhausts are designed and fabricated for precision and durability, so no worries there.

How about EGTs? With the incorporation of the DPF, a lot of diesel trucks expel really hot exhaust gases from the tailpipe. This is caused by the DPF "regeneration cycle" where diesel fuel is dumped over the particulate filter to burn off carbon deposits. Since the DPF is so close to your tailpipe, gases expelled from your tailpipe can exceed 1100 degrees (Ford fixed this problem already by allowing ambient air into the exhaust pipes for cooling). While you might guess that many aftermarket companies have figured out this issue, most competitors have such poorly designed heat-management exhausts that they perform less effectively than stock pipes for cooling (despite their improved flow-through). Walking by an exhaust that's expelling gases in the 900-1100 degree range will immediately cause skin burns or ignite whatever combustibles that are nearby. For exhaust systems where this problem occurs, Banks has incorporated their CoolCuff - a fluid-containing cuff that wraps around your tailpipe a foot before the outlet and acts as a heat-sink, lowering your exit EGTs to a manageable 485 degrees.

Some people aren't so keen on Banks exhaust systems because they're highly specific and tend to cost a bit more than their competitors. But the bottom line is that Banks takes the trouble and work out of having to troubleshoot your custom modifications. They dyno-test their parts so you don't have to, they test them for reliability and durability, and they've streamlined all of their products to work together better than anything else you'll find on the market. Like I've told customers time and time again, if you have any doubts about how Banks Power Products can improve your ride better than anybody else, give them a call - they'll prove to you that even an engineer with a dyno-shop would use their products (and they'll prove it to you with hard facts and numbers).


Banks Power Products have a few snazzy call signs to describe their various bundles and combos offered for your diesel pick-up. The Git Kit name has been designated for all basic kits, produced by Banks, that install on diesels between 94-02 and can be installed by themselves to see substantial gains in your vehicle's power. Any exhaust kit by itself has been designated the name Monster Exhaust, but any other basic kit that may or may not include exhaust components as well has been designated as Git Kit.

For your Cummins, a 94-98 Git Kit will only include a fuel timing adjustment plate and a BigHead Wastegate Actuator, and will still provide +40hp and +90 ft-lbs. The 98-02 Git Kit includes a tuner and Monster exhaust, and improves power by +65hp and +170ft-lbs.

For your Powerstroke, a Git Kit will include a tuner and exhaust components. The 94-97 Powerstroke GitKit only includes a heat-shielded boost tube, mid-pipe, and tuner, but will still improve your power by +40hp and +72ft-lbs.

The GitKits were most likely created as economical, easy to install combo packages for customers that want sustainable power gains. All of the GitKits are designed to either drop your EGTs so that you can bump them back up with power tuning, or they don't mess with your vehicle's temperatures at all. These kits tend to focus on existing problems with the manufacturer's components, like with the 12 valve Cummins' turbo wastegate actuator. For these power gains, at the modest price of $500 to $1000, you really can't go wrong with these kits. Even your wife will approve.

But just keep in mind, with added power, you should still consider incorporating aftermarket components that will help you sustain the life of your drivetrain. For automatics, your torque converter will be taking extra stress, and may burn out eventually because they're only designed to perform within stock power figures. A Banks Billet Torque Converter can save you the trouble of breaking down somewhere and paying out of pocket for transmission damage caused by a failed torque converter. Also, a Transcommand module can automatically adjust shifting points and firmness to prolong the life of your transmission.

It's too bad that vehicle manufacturers usually cut corners all over the place so they can save money. But rest assured, companies like Banks have been in business for a long time because they make a living by fixing those problems for good. In my limited experience, there's only a small body of aftermarket companies that fit into the classification of "better than stock, better than most aftermarket" for pretty much all products they offer. To name a few, companies like Bosch, Bulletproof, Garrett, and yes, Banks. If you're still confused about what Banks Power Products can do for you, give Banks a call today and ask one of their technical reps.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Workhorse Motorhome

Banks Power Products bring you exceptional quality and sustainable performance for virtually all common diesel applications. For Workhorse owners, Banks offers a wide range of kits and combos that is sure to meet the needs of your application.

First of all, your stock 8.1L only produces 220hp and 330ft-lbs. That's not that much power, considering the large engine size of your motorhome, and the large payload that you're sure to be pulling. Rest assured, you can let out the true potential of your engine if you incorporate a complete modification kit to take care of your airflow restrictions and tuning. With a Banks PowerPack bundle, you can replace your stock intake, exhaust, exhaust manifold, and tuning and see gains of +75hp and +95ft-lbs. Or, for a more modest price and a less pricey install, you can purchase a Stinger bundle and have all that's listed above with the exhaust manifold left out, and you'll still see gains of +50hp and +70ft-lbs.

It's ill advised that you incorporate new tuning to your engine without installing airflow components beforehand. Your Workhorse Motorhome can handle more power, but it's stock programming is set to function at your motorhome's temperature threshold. Any more heat generated by more power can, and most likely will, cause excessive expansion and heat damage to your drivetrain components. By incorporating a Banks kit with fuel economy tuning, your drivetrain will actually run cooler than stock levels. If you're trying to have your drivetrain last as long as possible while seeing some power gains, my best suggestion is to incorporate a complete Banks kit while tuning your engine 1 notch down from whatever tuning that brings your EGTs back up to stock levels. This way, you'll still have the option of switching to max power for towing or uphill driving conditions, and you'll be able to retain your drivetrain's longevity.

Also recommended for modifying your Workhorse motorhome, adding an exhaust brake and aftermarket torque converter will substantially improve your motorhome's safety and ability to translate your engine's power to the road. Banks currently does not offer these components for Workhorse motorhomes (or any gas motorhomes, for that matter).

Banks Turbo 5.9L

If you're looking for a Banks turbo for your 5.9L Cummins, what you're looking for is their Quick Turbo Assembly. Banks Power Products offer this turbo assembly as a replacement for your existing Cummins turbo to remedy problems with the original design.

The Cummins stock turbo was made slightly too big, creating sluggishness at low RPMs. This sluggishness has to do with the lengthy spool time that comes with running a larger-sized turbo. Also, the stock wastegate actuator for your Cummins is inadequate - while it functions well enough most of the time with a stock turbo, the large amount of exhaust backpressure that results from punching your throttle when your turbo hasn't spooled up yet can create unwanted blow-off.

Your wastegate actuator is supposed to release exhaust backpressure when your turbo is spooling at its threshold and exhaust backpressure continues to build. Proper exhaust gas evacuation will keep your turbo from overspooling and causing drag to your airflow, and possibly damage to the turbo itself. But with your stock wastegate actuator, you can get blow-off before your turbo spools because your stock actuator's springs aren't strong enough to withstand the exhaust backpressure when your turbo is pushing back, before it spools. With a Banks BigHead Wastegate Actuator, you won't have exhaust blow-off when you're throttling from idle. And with the smaller design of their Quick Turbo, your turbo will spool more quickly right off the line and provide ample power gains under any driving conditions.

One great question about this product is whether or not it's the best. Banks Power Products are usually known for being the best, but what I've seen is that if they're not the best, they're the next best thing. Obviously, a Garrett turbocharger would give better performance than a Banks Quick Turbo can, but there are other factors worth considering. It's a task in itself just to find a Garrett turbo available. At least 90% of everybody that orders a Garrett turbo gets back-ordered for at least a few weeks. It's no wonder, since Garrett turbos are the best and since so few are produced. Another factor worth considering is cost - a Garrett turbo for your 5.9L will cost nearly $2000, while a Banks Quick Turbo only costs about $600.

So, long story short, if you want an easy means of getting your 5.9L Cummins turbo to perform the way that it should, the Banks Quick Turbo will take care of that for you. Banks Power Products - for decades, they've been fixing your diesel problems that should have been dealt with by your manufacturer.

Big Hoss Diesel Tuner

For Banks Power Products, the Big Hoss Diesel Tuner and the Big Hoss Diesel Module are both offered as fully-customizable alternatives to the Banks Power Tuners and Modules. For any complete bundle that is offered by Banks, they include a standardized tuner with the package with dyno-tested programming specific to the bundle's requirements. But if this isn't enough for you, Banks offers their Big Hoss Diesel Tuner and Module for retaining their dyno-tested programming and more.

Any Banks Six-Gun, Economind, or Bullet Tuner/Module comes standard with programming for fuel economy, slight power gains, and up to +70hp and +110ft-lbs - no more than that because any further gains can cause engine damage, even with their kits properly installed. But maybe you're installing more than just a Banks kit. Maybe you want a tuner that is compatible with modifying your diesel into a race-only monstrosity. In such cases, the Big Hoss Tuner or Module is perfect for you.

The Big Hoss Tuners and Modules feature 5 customizable programs for whatever your driving needs are. Maybe you want a module/tuner that includes your stock programming for switching back on-the-fly. Or, like mentioned above, maybe you have everything under the sun installed on your diesel. With this tuner/module, you can program your diesel for up to +120hp and +250ft-lbs if you request such programming. Obviously, these gains will kill your engine if you don't have the proper components installed, and that's probably why Banks only offers these tuning programs on request.

You don't have to have a Big Hoss kit to make good use of a Big Hoss Tuner or Module. If you want to buy a small combo pack from Banks without making significant modifications to your diesel, they can customize your programs for ideal tuning within the scope of your modifications. Maybe you just want to repair your faulty OE parts, like the Powerstroke's turbo turbine, or the wastegate actuator, or your crappy stock exhaust system. Whatever your needs are, Banks offers a multitude of combo packages to suit your needs, and they price their items lower and lower when you include more items in your combo package purchase. And perhaps best of all, they customize your tuning for your application and they'll help you troubleshoot your install. You can't beat the reliability of Banks Power Products, not even with a stick.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Banks Power Programmer

If you're looking for a Banks Programmer, you're off to a good start. Banks Power Products are known for uncompromising quality and performance, and even though Gale Banks earned his reputation with twin turbos before the inception of chips and tuners, Banks still offers some of the best tuners out there. Why? It's because their company spends a lot of time and resources having their engineering teams test, retest, and test again all the components that they consider producing - dyno tests, flow tests, field tests, you name it.

For Banks tuners, you've got 2 to choose from. Why so few? Because you only need rock solid tuning. Because Banks specializes in honing in on ideal tuning for your specific vehicle and your specific modifications.

The Banks Ottomind Tuner, for example, is strictly for tuning vehicles that have a Banks PowerPack Kit or Stinger Kit already installed. What many consumers tend to forget with their custom modification is that all automotive vehicles need to be fine-tuned to perform properly. Many consumers will get aftermarket components installed and buy a cheap tuner or module to handle tuning, without thinking much about the big picture. If you've installed aftermarket components, you either need to get your vehicle dyno-tuned, or you need to have the perfect tuning program available, which can only be got with dyno testing. Banks knows this, just like they already know about all other common problems in the diesel world. So when you're buying their PowerPack or Stinger Kit, their Ottomind Tuner comes standard with tuning that's perfect for your make/model diesel. How do I know the tuning is perfect? Because Banks' R&D department has most definitelly installed their kits on your make/model vehicle already, and they've already conducted all the necessary tests to find out first hand what your tuning should be. There's no other performance modifications that you can make to your street diesel that will produce the same results (besides a custom dyno-tune). There's also no other manufacturers that produce more reliable kits than Banks - their kits keep your engine running within ideal thresholds better than most, if not all.

For any other application, you're going to want an Automind Tuner. If you bought a complete Banks kit, it's in your best interest to ask Banks if they offer a module with custom tuning for your kit. But if you're only installing a few components, or perhaps none at all, then the Automind will get the job done for you. The Automind comes standard with 3 settings for every supported vehicle that it can reprogram, fuel economy, +30hp, and +60hp. Like any good programmer worth its salt, you can save your stock tuning and re-upload stock tuning anytime. You can also change your speed and RPM limiters, speedometer readings, shifting points, and troubleshoot error codes. While this tuner comes with Banks quality, please keep in mind the implications of increasing your power without accurately tuning your engine. Any power gains will produce at least some extra engine wear, and this effect is further multiplied if your vehicle isn't properly equipped to deal with the extra stress caused by improved power. Tuning your engine by itself on a stock diesel will cause excessive heat buildup, so passive modifications like an aftermarket exhaust and/or intake will help your engine regulate your EGTs and your under-hood temperature.

Regardless if you're tuning for fuel economy, extra power on the street, or racing, Banks has what you need to get it done right. Banks Power Products cost a bit more than their competitors not because Banks spends money on advertising (because they don't spend much on advertisements) - they cost more because Banks has very knowledgeable, experienced, and well-paid engineering teams, unlike most other competitors. If you dare say nay, give them a call today, see what they have to say!

Cummins Intake Manifold

If you're looking for a Banks intake manifold for a Cummins, you most likely already heard of or saw their Sidewinder Dakota. Their Sidewinder Dakota was the fastest diesel truck in the world when it debuted, boasting a top speed of 222mph, and burning clean without smoke, as always. Exciting news, even today, for Cummins common rail owners.

But the truth is that the Banks Big Hoss Intake Manifold is most likely not for you. This intake manifold is rated as a race-only component, and it's not really all that surprising. With all the air that you're able to pull through this manifold (which is more than enough), a race kit and race tuning will allow your engine to perform at peak efficiency. In other words, this intake manifold is so unrestrictive that you'll need to retune your engine to race tuning to get your engine running properly.

Now lets say you're ok with spending money on excessive performance modifications, is it worth trying to incorporate this intake onto a street-legal diesel? First of all, this intake will make any common rail cummins illegal for street use. If you still won't be dissuaded, let's consider the cost. Compared to any other performance modification, replacing the intake manifold is one of the most expensive with the least amount of return for beginners. Performance intakes only provide as much air as your engine can handle, so if you're still running an stock exhaust system, there's really no point in installing an intake manifold. Likewise, if you still haven't incorporated a tuner, performance turbo, injectors, fuel pump, torque converter, and various other important aftermarket components, then your intake manifold won't perform as well as it could.

Let's put it this way. With your stock intake system, it's like your engine is breathing out of a straw. With a Banks Intake System, it's like your engine is breathing out of a high quality snorkel, so now your engine can sprint when it could only jog. Incorporating an intake manifold is like having your engine breathing through scuba gear. If your engine isn't properly equipped, the intake manifold can actually weigh your engine's performance down. But if your engine is beefed out to the max, having a heavy-duty intake manifold won't create problems, and will provide all the air that your engine could ever need. I suppose that would be like The Hulk breathing through scuba gear. Now that's some scary power.

So who is the Cummins Intake Manifold for? Well, as shown in the colorful imagery above, you only need an intake manifold if your engine is on steroids. If your Cummins performs as an everyday driver, then you probably won't even want this product. But if your Cummins performs as a pavement-eating monstrosity on the daily, then this intake manifold is for you.

For street applications, your best bet is a Banks Ram-Air Intake and Monster-Ram Elbow. These components will give you ample airflow gains for whatever basic, street-legal modifications you'll be making.

Banks Power Products - they make your diesel go really fast.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Diesel Motorhomes

Diesel motorhomes can be vastly improved upon with a lot of the same components that can improve tow trucks - no surprise, since both usually start from a medium-sized diesel truck frame and pull large payloads. Banks Power Products specialize in both, and it's no surprise.

First of all, instead of making any modifications for extra power, it may be worth considering modifications for safety first. A Banks Electronic Brake helps with engine braking by automatically downshifting into the ideal gear for deceleration. By further incorporating a Banks Exhaust Brake, your engine braking will be vastly improved - on a 6 degree grade, your engine will still be able to do most of the braking for you. This could save your discs from wearing down before you're done with a family trip, or the extra stopping power could save your family's life.

Also important is your torque converter. Factory torque converters are built to withstand stock engine output at normal payloads, which is troubling considering that many motorhomes are built and used for towing. Your torque converter is the make or break point for translating your engine's output to the road. So for braking, a factory torque converter can wear out quickly under payloads, and can cause an unsafe situation when braking suddenly. Slippery shifting generally occurs most often when you're jerk your acceleration suddenly. Also, your hydraulic clutch pressure is generally set low on newer model pick-ups to provide smooth shifting, and this can work against you when you jerk your motorhome into accelerating or decelerating. So first off, a Banks Electronic Braking System will help improve your clutch's hydraulic pressure response and will automatically downshift when your throttle is disengaged, so your engine will provide more backpressure for braking. Combined with a Banks Billet Torque Converter, your braking and accelerating will both be more quick to respond and will be more effective in translating acceleration or deceleration to the road. Perhaps most important of all - if you're jerking your motorhome back and forth on a stock torque converter, you can cause stress damage, and any stress damage to a torque converter will build upon itself, eventually damaging your transmission in the process. A Banks Torque Converter is built to withstand over 600hp and 1000ft-lbs, so you can be sure that you're not going overpower it ever.

Once you've got your brakes and transmission taken care of, you're ready for safely traveling long-distance or safely towing (maybe you can't tow or climb hills well enough still, but at least you can control and stop your vehicle). So now, if you're ready for more power, it's probably best to start with the basics.

Banks Power Products offer a multitude of kits for motorhomes, all kits differing slightly from one another depending on which stock parts really need to be replaced. For your diesel motorhome, Banks may offer you just an exhaust kit. If so, it's because they couldn't do anything better for your motorhome. For example, certain Ford Powerstroke motorhomes have a relatively small engine bay and likewise have no room for an intake system, because it will create a fire hazard.

On the other hand, Banks may offer a comprehensive bundle to upgrade your diesel motorhome - diesels made between 82-93 aren't even compatible with tuners, but Banks has been around long enough to have perfected a complete modification kit to upgrade your turbo, exhaust, intake, manifolds, and more, all tuned in harmony with each other. If you compare any other combination of similar components from other manufacturers for your motorhome, they still wouldn't be as good as Banks Power Products because these components wouldn't be fabricated to work on the same tuning like Banks components are. How about taking your old 1986 diesel and getting an extra 90hp and 150ft-lbs of sustainable, reliable power? Is there any other company that can help you get this kind of performance at a fair price within a day or two of installation? No, I didn't think so.

Banks Power Products - you know you want the best, so put your money where your mouth is.

Banks Towing

Banks Power Products specialize in diesel performance, and they have been specializing their components even further based upon popular consumer demand. Originally, Banks was founded under performance modifications, setting land speed records and creating the new norm for manufactured diesels. But nowadays, with all the technology we now have at our disposal, and with the development of industrial vehicles and recreational vehicles, Banks has changed with the times.

Banks currently does not specialize in industrial generator engines and certain industrial application vehicles (this is slowly changing). What they currently specialize in is race diesels, street-legal class-C diesels, some off-road diesels, and right now they're also giving military diesels a try.

One common factor among virtually all diesel vehicles (except the newer turbo diesel cars) - towing is always welcome, if not fundamental to the driving application. Towing components can be used for more than one purpose - if you're not towing at all, then some components that would be needed for towing can still be essential for your set-up. This is because improved power without added weight can translate to your drive-train as a larger payload, since you will be putting a significantly larger amount of force on your drive-train.

The Banks Billet Torque Converter is a great example of how your can improve your vehicle's performance regardless of whether you're towing or not. Factory torque converters are built to withstand the amount of power that your factory engine can produce, but no more than. Literally, some factory torque converters use sandpaper discs for your clutch. Torque converter damage tends to aggravate itself, so a ding in your factory torque converter's integrity will eventually result in the failure of this part. And when you've got a failed torque converter, your transmission will almost certainly incur damage as well. By incorporating a Banks Billet Torque Converter, your clutch will be able to withstand more power than your engine can produce. All the components on these torque converters are built to a higher quality standard and are produced from better quality materials.

For Powerstrokes, it's also a good idea to incorporate a Transcommand Module for improved shifting. The Transcommand increases the amount of hydraulic pressure to your clutch as you apply more gas, providing firmer shifting when using your engine's power. The firmer shifting allows less slippage, which is good for your torque converter. Excessive slippage creates excess heat through friction, which is one of the main causes for transmission damage.

Modifying your fuel:air can improve your output power, so likewise, components that improve your power are applicable for towing, as well as pretty much any other application. A Banks Ram-Air Intake, along with a Banks Monster Exhaust System, will dispense and evacuate more air, resulting in more power to your combustion cycles and added boost to your turbo. Adding a Banks Tuner or Module to the mix will help you attain more ideal fuel:air tuning with these performance components, and can also increase your engine's power a bit beyond what's best for its longevity. Headers, Intake Manifold, Exhaust Manifold, aftermarket Turbo - all of these components will give you more power and towing capability, and Banks makes their own version of all of these components, all finely-tuned to work with one another.

Lastly, towing requires having a powerful braking system. If you're traveling downhill with a payload, the force on your brakes is immense - even if you manage to stop with engine braking and disc braking combined, a large enough load can reduce your disks to nothingness rather quickly. By incorporating a Banks Exhaust Brake and Electronic Brake System, your engine can do the majority of the braking, just as long as your drivetrain can handle your payload. Their exhaust brake works with their electronic brake by automatically downshifting to the optimal braking gear once you've let off the gas. Banks exhaust brakes differ from other exhaust brakes in this manner, because engine braking downhill at low RPMs can actually speed up your vehicle.

For towing improvements to your drive-train, count on Banks. Take my word for it - there are companies out there that are already saving money on maintenence by installing Banks parts.

Banks Big Hoss

If you're talking about a Banks Big Hoss Bundle, there's only one thing you can be talking about. The Big Hoss Bundle is a Banks Power Product, its name designated to all performance kits that include virtually everything that Banks sells and distributes for your diesel pick-up. If you're not sure what I mean, please read on.

Banks makes oodles of components for various style diesels, varying in driving applications as well. Banks Power Products only advertise and distribute their street-legal systems that are tried and true. So if you purchase a Big Hoss Bundle, you will be getting all the components that Banks has produced for their best street-legal version of your pick-up. These kits will retain your Catalytic Converter, DPF, and Muffler unless you purchase a delete pipe as well. These kits will not void your factory warranty and will also pass smog, so long as your ECU is set at factory tuning while conducting the smog test.

What is not included in your Banks Big Hoss Bundle is everything that Banks makes for your diesel that is not street legal and/or has not been publicly released for sale as of yet. For example, a Big Hoss Bundle for a 2008 GMC S-10 diesel will not include any of the same components that Banks used to create their 7.87 second/quarter mile twin-turbo monstrosity. Another example, the Volkswagon TDI components that have been talked about since 2009. The TDI currently does not have a Big Hoss Bundle available because their Monster Exhaust is the only kit being sold for this vehicle. However, Banks has already created the ultimate TDI modification kit and has had successful test runs over and over since 2009, they just simply haven't released those prototype parts for manufacturing yet. You could say this is one downside to Banks' unfailing resolve to maintain the highest quality standards.

If you're wondering how a Banks Big Hoss Bundle will stand up to similar products from different manufacturers, you really only need to know that Banks has better kits than anybody else. Even somebody who is unfamiliar with our current automotive technology can understand why - any significant modifications made to your fuel, air, or drivetrain needs to be accounted for, and needs to fit ideal tuning specs.

When twin-turbos were a new thing, when straight-pipe exhausts were the thing to do for improving your diesel muscle car's power, you knew you'd always had to dial all your parts in and tune everything as perfectly as possible. This is still true today. If you're buying aftermarket components from multiple manufacturers to modify your diesel, you had better have a background in engineering and a dyno shop handy! If you don't have this knowledge at your disposal, then you're pretty much throwing random parts into your diesel based on here-say. Components from different manufacturers are tuned differently. I can't think of a better way to have fun while killing your engine.

Banks kits come tuned specifically to function interdependently with minimal resistance. If you get a Big Hoss Bundle for your 03 Powerstroke, it will come with a turbo flywheel that no other Big Hoss Bundle comes with, because only those Powerstrokes had a poorly constructed flywheel. Also, their flywheel and turbo housing will function better with the rest of the Big Hoss components than your stock turbo will. The slightly smaller turbo and wheel will give you quicker boost where and when it matters most, and the Banks BigHead Wastegate Actuator will making overboosting and exhaust seepage a near impossibility. In other words, the ideal performance specs that the manufacturer designed your pick-up to perform under will be more closely attained by incorporating any street-legal Banks kit.

Call Banks today and ask them how their Big Hoss Bundle will unleash the hidden potential of your diesel pick-up.

Duramax Sidewinder

As described in prior blogs, the Banks "Sidewinder" name is an ambiguous term for Banks Power Products. In its truest form, the name Sidewinder is used to describe any modification bundle that will turn your diesel pick-up into the baddest on the road. Their Sidewinder bundles come with varying components, depending upon the needs of your specific pick-up.

Currently, the Sidewinder name is most widely used for Banks' performance modification kits for older model diesels. For model/years falling between 82-93, Banks offers a Sidewinder kit for Duramax and Powerstroke engines. These kits will increase your power output by at least 25%, and as always, this power is sustainable and won't kill your engine like improper tuning will.

Banks is a company that specializes is specializing, not marketing. So if you're looking for a Duramax Sidewinder, it's likely that you could be looking for one of their less popular sellers. Banks has used the Sidewinder name to describe Duramaxes several times over the past decade, but these kits are generally for racing applications. In 2005, Banks came out with the world's fastest diesel pick-up, the Sidewinder GMC Sierra. At 24mpg and a top speed of 222mph, you couldn't beat this clean-burning diesel! Then, again in 2008, Banks released their Sidewinder GMC S-10. The S-10 was drag-tested and set records for fastest quarter mile, crossing the finish line in 7.87 seconds at 175mph. Again, a Banks clean-burning diesel set the land speed records.

To get the race-only modifications that Banks offers for your GMC, you're going to have to call them personally. It's a drop in the bucket for Banks to set you up with a basic aftermarket upgrade kit that's dyno-tuned, since there are only a few modifications that need to be made to your stock diesel (don't ask me why other companies have such a hard time with this!). But on the other hand, these all-around race modification kits are sold much less often and take a lot more work to install, so they generally aren't listed for sale through distributors. Also, if you want to incorporate one of their performance twin turbo kits, you may end up having to puchase components from other companies that work hand-in-hand with Banks (like Bosch). Getting these modifications installed can call for a greater skill for installation, so it's probably best to inquire with Banks on finding a qualified technician that can properly modify your diesel from the ground-up.

So, long story short, if you have a Duramax, Banks can help you get whatever you want out of it. Except a unicorn.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banks Sidewinder Turbo

The name "Sidewinder" when describing a Banks Power Product is actually quite ambiguous. From Banks themselves, this is what they have to say about the "Sidewinder":

"'Sidewinder' is the middle name that Banks gives to many of its upgraded creations, it originally noted the position of a turbo (or pair of turbos) now it simply denotes the fact that the machine bearing that moniker has had its fangs sharpened by the Banks engineering team."

The term "Sidewinder Turbo" is tossed around so often, that it's notoriety virtually become its own means of advertisement. Currently, you'll see Gale Banks Engineering rolling out their "Sidewinder" 1500hp supercharged drag car onto the racetracks, while their new 1100hp twin turbo engine design is plainly named their new twin turbo system.

One distinguishing factor that is worth noting is that all Sidewinder modification kits that Banks currently sells are for older model diesels. In other words, if your diesel pick-up is made between 82-93 (and likewise comes without a chip), then Banks is likely to offer a Sidewinder kit for your pick-up. These Sidewinder kits will improve your power by up to 82hp and 143ft-lbs, and will provide slight fuel economy gains when driving modestly. That's more than a 25% power output gain!

Regardless of what "Sidewinder" means today, one thing is for sure - you're going to keep on hearing the name "Sidewinder" as Gale Banks Engineering produces more and more products. Because if there's anything that Banks does well, it's sharpen your diesel's fangs.

Automind Handheld Programmer

The Banks Automind Handheld Programmer is one of the top sellers for Banks Power Products. To put it bluntly, this programmer is a one-time purchase that will take care of all your programming needs. Yes, there are many programmers out there that offer all-around tuning for all commonly manufactured vehicles, but Banks still stands apart from their competition as usual. And don't get me wrong - you're not really paying more money for bulletproof hardware. You're paying extra money for rock-solid software - Banks dyno-tests all their products and software programs, and then releases free beta versions for trial, so that they can troubleshoot their products before publicly releasing anything for sale.

Your Banks Automind Handheld Programmer comes with all standard features that current programmers should come with - adjust your limiters, adjust your speedometer calibration based on tire size, adjust cooling fan activation temp, adjust shift points and firmness, adjust fuel economy tuning, troubleshoot error codes, and update your tuning via the internet. You can get all these functions with any other reliable programmer, but your engine tuning will still be better with Banks.

As a side note, a new version of the Automind is now out for sale, in preparation for the new age of performance modifications. The Automind Flash module is a standalone module that links with the Banks iQ Display. With the Flash module, you will have all the same features as the Automind Programmer, and it can be used and adjusted on-the-fly as well. But some of you must be thinking "and?", since Banks seems to be synonymous with having your cake and eating it too. There is an "and", but as usual, the bad news is that you're going to have to wait until Banks is done with their research and development on their new products.

The Banks Automind Flash module is one part of two. It's primary function is a data-relay module. With the incorporation of the Banks "Brick" (which is still under development), your Automind Flash module will not only interface with your OBD port. The Banks "Brick" will interface with all other peripherals that do not connect to your stock OBD port (like temp readings, boost readings, nitrous/water/propane injection, etc.), and the "Brick" itself will host multiple OBD ports for interfacing your Automind Flash module. In other words, when the "Brick" comes out, your Automind Flash module with iQ display will give you the ability to monitor, record, and modify ALL of your electronic components. Just imagine being able to do everything (realistic) you saw in all the Fast and Furious movies on a mounted, palm-sized computer. This is the true function and purpose of the Automind Flash module.

If there's any question in your mind as to why or how you should purchase Banks Power Products, give Banks a call today. Their technicians are always willing to enlighten anybody about how their competitors just don't stand up to their challenge.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Banks Sport Exhaust

Banks Power Products are where it's at when it comes to performance engineering. The Banks Monster Sport Exhaust Kit comes standard as a complete exhaust kit for all newer diesel models prior to the DPF required year ranges. The Banks Sport Exhaust is compatible with 03-07 Powerstrokes, 01-07 Duramaxes, and 03-07 Cummins.

The Monster Sport Exhaust Kit includes their straight-through Monster Muffler, which allows for more growl than your stock muffler but will greatly decrease your exhaust back pressure. With its straight-through Monster Muffler that comes standard with the Sport kit, your muffler will provide more flow-through than both the Monster Muffler and your stock muffler, despite it's smaller size.

All Banks Exhaust Kits come standard as street-legal kits, installing behind your DPF or Catalytic Converter. Your Banks Monster Sport Exhaust Kit will install behind your Catalytic Converter unless you purchase an additional Cat-delete pipe. Further incorporating a Banks Downpipe and Power Elbow for applicable model/years is advised to get the most out of your exhaust system. Further improvements with your intake and tuning will compound your power gains figures from the exhaust itself.

If you have any questions about which exhaust kit is the right fit for you, give Banks a call today. Their technicians are always ready to answer your inquiries.

Banks Power Elbow

When making performance modifications to your diesel pick-up, it's important to incorporate corresponding components that will respond to one another. Banks starts from the ground up - exhaust systems, intake systems, etc. Your exhaust elbow is one important component that can be included with your basic upgrades, or can made later when you're upgrading further, like replacing your turbo.

The Banks Power Elbow installs on your exhaust manifold before your downpipe, providing a steadfast inlet for your exhaust pipes at the downward bend from your engine. With their improved design, your exhaust backpressure will decrease by 40%, also decreasing your EGTs and increasing your boost figures slightly. Altogether, you'll get improved power, improved fuel economy, lowered EGTs for further modification capability, and decreased turbo spool time (further improvements made with the addition of an exhaust kit, intake kit, tuner, manifolds, etc.).

While you may be wondering how such a small component can cost you more than a couple hundred bucks, it's really a matter of mastering your engine's critical components. Gale Banks Engineering Inc. has specialized in fine-tuning diesel performance for decades now - it's just what they do. Recently, Volkswagon has put them up to the challenge of retuning their TDI diesel cars, and they've already done so with flying colors (even though those parts haven't been released for public sale yet). One thing is always certain with Banks Power Product performance - they may not work well with components from other manufacturers, but their reliable parts are always compatible with each other. Get a Banks Power Elbow with one of their exhaust kits, and you're sure to come back hungry for one of their tuners.

Banks engineering is the industry standard for quality diesel modifications. Their technicians are always available during normal business hours to take your call, so give them a try today.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Banks Tuner

So you're in the market for a Banks tuner? Congratulations, you've made the right choice. But the next question is, what application you're going to be using your Banks tuner for? Do you just want a tuner without making any further modifications to your pick-up? Do you want to modify your pick-up head-to-toe and make it a race-only monster? Do you want to make as many performance modifications to your pick-up that you can while keeping it street legal? These are all important questions to consider.

For those that don't want to spend a lot of money on their performance modifications, starting with a Banks Bullet Tuner may be your best bet. This tuner will give power gains of 30 or 60hp, or fuel economy gains. Also, this tuner is compatable with any aftermarket exhaust system and intake that installs on your pick-up. But just as a heads up, your engine may be putting out enough extra power to cause a bit of slippage. If you own a Powerstroke, a Banks Transcommand will take care of a lot of the slippage - but in the long run, you will eventually need to replace your stock torque converter with an aftermarket model, and it's better to do it sooner than later so your transmission doesn't incur any damage from a failed torque converter.

If these modifications aren't enough for you, but you still want to keep your pick-up street legal, chances are your best bet is a complete Banks kit. If your diesel is an 82-93, a Banks Sidewinder Kit will give you max power gains. These kits don't come with tuners because there was no such thing during that time, but all other air and fuel components will be upgraded - exhaust manifold, exhaust system, turbo, intake, tubes, etc. The Sidewinder basically comes with everything that Banks makes for your 82-93 pick-up except for their Billet Torque Converter and exhaust brake. If your diesel is a 93-2012, their Big Hoss Kit and their PowerPack Kit are your best options. Complete with all tuners applicable for your model pick-up, your Big Hoss or PowerPack kit will include everything else that Banks makes for your pick-up except for the torque converter and brakes. These kits come with their own tuners, programmed specifically for your kit. In other words, their dyno test results for your model pick-up with their component kit installed has resulted in the optimized programming that they offer for their tuners.

Depending upon your year/model pick-up, your complete Banks kit with the appropriate tuner will produce about +80-140hp and +150-250ft/lbs. For any of these kits, it's advised that you get a quality aftermarket torque converter, like the Billet torque converter offered by Banks, and if you're towing or traveling cross-country, an added braking system can add some safety to your ride. Banks makes two types of assisted braking systems, their exhaust brake and their electronic brake. For some model pick-ups, like newer Powerstrokes, adding both braking systems is ideal because they can function interdependently, showing gains of over 50% in brake time and distance compared to stock discs.

So are these modifications enough for you? There are only a few more modifications you can make to a diesel pick-up while still keeping it street-legal, like water or propane injection, or a new lift kit, and your new Banks kit is compatible with these systems. But if you want any extra power, you're going to have to go the less-traveled road. You're going to have to give Banks a call.

Banks Power Products mainly sell aftermarket components for street-legal applications because they are the most widely-used products among your average civilians. But let's not forget that Banks' roots drive deep into the heart of competition and racing modifications. So if this is what you're interested in, you're going to need to work with Banks personally. First of all, your modifications can range from $50k to $500k - do you want an Allison Transmission for your Cummins engine? Or maybe you want your engine cylinders bored out to a larger size? Regardless of what you want done, there are a few common custom parts that Banks will need to make for you personally, like custom-tuning your programmer for one.

Whatever project you've got brewing, Banks is prepared to assist you. If their components don't seem to be working properly on your pick-up, they won't just drop the ball - they'll make sure the job gets done and have one of their technicians finish the job properly if need be. There's a reason why Banks Power Products are regarded so highly. It really doesn't matter what they do, they're like the Michael Jordan of user-friendly aftermarket components. Everybody wants to be like Banks. Don't get stuck with with lesser quality components - spend the extra money on components that will undoubtedly return your investment better than any other company. Get Banks.

Banks Bullet Diesel Tuner

Banks Power Products always cost a bit more than their competitors, but it's all for good reason. Most aftermarket component manufacturers spend lots of their own money on marketing, and likewise this fee is reflected in the cost and quality of your product. But not Banks. Why do Banks components generally cost more? Because that money that other companies invest in marketing is strictly invested in engineering at Banks. Their customer service agents are actually capable of troubleshooting their products. If you can't get your part installed properly at one of their approved distributors, they will personally assist you with your component install. And, perhaps most importantly, their products generally cover all the bases that other aftermarket companies have missed.

The Banks Bullet Diesel Tuner is simple-looking, unimposing, and may leave you wondering what's so special about it in comparison to other tuners. First of all, economy tuners are generally unsafe. Banks tuners are one of a kind in that they will not interrupt your ECU's signal when it shouldn't be. In other words, your Banks tuner won't inhibit your airbag functionality. Your Banks tuner won't send a poor signal to your ECU like many aftermarket components do, which causes poor engine functionality. Your Banks tuner won't even shut off your engine if it fails, like many aftermarket components will, which is potentially life-saving considering that you may need your engine to stay on if you're travelling downhill, or towing, or both.

Safety features aside, your Banks Bullet Diesel Tuner contains some of the best programming offered for aftermarket tuners. Banks dyno-tunes all their components over and over again, and then they field test their components. Significant amounts of time are spent troubleshooting their modifications, and what they release to the public is only the best that they can come up with. So what's so special? oh, nothing. Just that Gale Banks, the man who invented the twin turbo himself, has assigned his uncompromising engineering team to perfect your tuner's programming.

So if you're in the market for an economically priced diesel tuner, is it smart to spend the extra hundred bucks on a Banks Bullet Diesel Tuner? Well, only if you want proper safety and performance gains for your pick-up. If you're skeptical, give them a call - their customer service agents are always up for a challenge.

Big Hoss Module

The Banks Big Hoss Module is a aftermarket performance module that is applicable for 94-03 Powerstrokes only. These modules come with all standard safety features included on all Banks tuners, programmers, and modules.

Your Banks Big Hoss Module is custom-tuned to your specific vehicle, strictly for retuning after installing your new Big Hoss Bundle - Big Hoss Bundle components can vary depending upon what year/make/model Powerstroke you own. For 6.0L Powerstrokes, your Big Hoss will include turbo components to revamp your busted OE turbo. For 6.4L Powerstrokes, your Big Hoss will include a larger aftermarket intercooler.

Whatever your vehicle application, you can be sure that the Big Hoss Module is tuned to perfection. Banks has cornered the market with performance modifications and tuning because their kits are replications of their best performing prototypes. In other words, they've worked on your specific model pick-up over and over again, and after continually dyno testing different set-ups, they find one single design with specific tuning that works best for your pick-up. This working model is what they build all their components around for your specific kit.

In the same regard, this Big Hoss Module will not give you significant performance gains without installing the Big Hoss Kit along with it. You will see power improvements, but your engine will be improperly tuned, and your engine's longevity will most certainly be further compromised. So if you don't care about proper tuning, go ahead and get a Bullydog and swap it on your stock pick-up. But if you want your truck to gain copious amounts of power without sacrificing your drive-train longevity, get a complete, finely-tuned Banks modification kit.

Banks Power Products - like no other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Banks Exhaust System

Banks Exhaust Systems are one of a kind. They boast some of the best performance, as they should. But how can they? A tried and true method for the best exhaust system is a custom straight-pipe exhaust, and it still is, right? Yes, and no.

The problem with custom straight pipe exhausts is that they first require calculations for ideal-sized piping and bends. If your exhaust pipes are too wide, it can inhibit your engine's ability to evacuate exhaust gas. Also, pipe bends create airflow resistance - a 4" exhaust system for one vehicle body type can perform very differently from another. Mufflers, DPFs, and Catalytic Converters play into this as well.

So lets say you know what size tubing is ideal for your pick-up's exhaust - done deal, right? Nope, there's still the tuning to deal with. An engineer can utilize a custom straight pipe exhaust when they have a dyno at their disposal, but most buyers for aftermarket components are neither engineers nor dyno shop owners. This is how Banks steps above and beyond the competition.

Banks exhaust systems are geared towards their kits. In other words, a Banks Monster Exhaust can be bought individually and installed for power and fuel efficiency gains, but where it really shines is with all the other Banks components for your vehicle. There are only a few kit names that Banks uses for their kits on all make/model vehicles. This is because they've dyno tested for THE optimal performance for your vehicle, and all their components are geared towards the peak performance of your vehicle.

To give you a better idea, if a PowerPack kit is offered for your vehicle, then you're looking at all the parts that are included in the final design that Gale Banks' engineering team has designed for your vehicle. You're not getting a Smarty tuner with an MBRP exhaust and a K&N intake. You're getting the finest tuning possible for your street-legal application.

So if you're wondering if you should spend the money on a Banks exhaust system, the real question is how you want the end product of your project to end up. Do you want the best fuel economy or fastest vehicle for street legal modifications? It's either Banks or back to the drawing board.

Call Banks today to inquire about your performance gains. They can also set you up with an authorized distributor that can install your parts.