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Banks Power and Performance

  1. Does a Banks system really produce the power Banks claims, and is it worth it?
  2. Will my results be exactly the same as Banks test results?
  3. What do Banks' World Speed Records have to do with my vehicle?
  4. Why does Banks rate horsepower at the rear wheels when engine horsepower is higher?
  5. Why does the shape of a power curve matter?
  6. Why don't Banks systems for different vehicles come with the same basic parts?
  7. What do each of the six levels do on your tuners?
  8. Who cares about air! It's the fuel that makes power, right?
  9. Why do engines of the same size and configuration produce different levels of turbocharger boost?
  10. What is a turbocharger?
  11. Does a Banks Power system cause the exhaust to be Louder?
  12. Does reduced exhaust backpressure affect engine braking with a gasoline engine?
  13. Does replacing dual exhausts with a single Banks Power system single exhaust increase backpressure?
  14. Can the power and performance of a diesel be improved by modifying its manifolds to let it breathe?
  15. I purchased a vehicle with a Banks system already installed. How can I acquire more information about the system?
  16. I currently have a programmer/tuner from another manufacturer and would like to know if I can stack it with one of your tuners/programmers.

Q: Does a Banks system really produce the power Banks claims, and is it worth it?

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 we offer multiple levels of product for most vehicles: Git-Kits for those who require a mild increase in power, up to PowerPack®s for those with the highest demands.

Our literature provides test data for each product that comes directly from evaluating vehicles on the dynamometer, and is intended as a example of what you can expect from your vehicle. Because there is a variation from vehicle to vehicle, and model year to model year, we can't guarantee that your results will be exactly like the data in the literature... in fact, they may be better!

Q: Will my results be exactly the same as Banks test results?

Due to differences inherent in your vehicle, payload, your style of driving and road conditions, results won't match exactly—but we design our tests to replicate common driving situations, to provide a good picture of what you can expect under most conditions.

Q: What do Banks' World Speed Records have to do with my vehicle?

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 them. 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. For more about Banks' land-speed, marine and endurance racing championships, click on Racing.

Q: Why does Banks rate horsepower at the rear wheels when engine horsepower is higher?

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. We use rear-wheel horsepower in all of our advertising for just those 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. We go to great lengths in our 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 we find that rear-wheel horsepower is usually between 18% and 25% less than flywheel horsepower.

Q: Why does the shape of a power curve matter?

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.

Q: Why don't Banks systems for different vehicles come with the same basic parts?

This is not a mistake or an oversight. A good example is the ’94-97 Ford 7.3L Power Stroke. The omission of our Dynaflow muffler from the '94-97 model-year Git-Kit, Stinger, Stinger-Plus and PowerPack® systems is an example of how we design and engineer products specific to each application. After rigorous testing, we found that the stock mufflers on '94-97 Power Strokes work fine, and the addition of our 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.

Q: What do each of the six levels do on your tuners?

Level 6 provides the maximum rated power. Each level is then progressively 20% less power. Level 2 is our 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, drivers style, terrain and airflow improvements. It is usually best to experiment with each level to determine which best serves your individual needs.

Q: Who cares about air! It's the fuel that makes power, right?

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. We call that our "First Air, Then Fuel" rule.

Q: Why do engines of the same size and configuration produce different levels of turbocharger boost?

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.

Q: What is a turbocharger?

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.

Q: Does a Banks Power system cause the exhaust to be Louder?

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.

Q: Does reduced exhaust backpressure affect engine braking with a gasoline engine?

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.

Q: Does replacing dual exhausts with a single Banks Power system single exhaust increase backpressure?

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!

Q: Can the power and performance of a diesel be improved by modifying its manifolds to let it breathe?

The answer is, YES! This is the premise upon which all of our product is 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. We improve the breathing ability of diesel engines by reducing restriction in both the intake and the exhaust systems.

Q: I purchased a vehicle with a Banks system already installed. How can I acquire more information about the system?

You can first visit our products page to help identify any Banks components that have been installed on your vehicle. More detailed information can be found in the products’ or kit’s owner’s manual on our Owner’s Manuals page and our Tech Articles section.

Q: I currently have a programmer/tuner from another manufacturer and would like to know if I can stack it with one of your tuners/programmers.

All of our products are tested on vehicles in their stock configuration. We do not perform any testing on our 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.