Durability

  1. How much power is too much?
  2. Who makes the best power-enhancing chip for turbo-diesels?
  3. How does Banks Power affect the durability of my engine, powertrain and exhaust?
  4. How does Banks Power affect my automatic transmission?
  5. How does Banks Power affect diesel engine temperatures?
  6. What is the maximum EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) that is safe for my vehicle?
  7. What is the best location for the exhaust gas temperature probe on a turbo-diesel?
  8. Can failure of the exhaust gas temperature probe damage the turbocharger?
  9. What grade of stainless steel does Banks use in its exhaust systems, and why?
  10. Can turbocharging an older diesel cause detonation?

Q: How much power is too much?

When we test our products, we "push the envelope" to see how far we can take power gains. As an inviolable rule, we pull back from the maximum and leave a safety margin to protect engine and powertrain durability. No Banks product exceeds the vehicle manufacturer's power, load or temperature limits.

Q: Who makes the best power-enhancing chip for turbo-diesels?

There are many power-enhancing chips, programmers, and tuners for trucks these days. The interesting thing is that there are only a few people who actually manufacture the hardware, which means that most small companies selling these chips buy them from other companies. Be aware that a chip, programmer, or tuner by itself can cause dangerously high exhaust gas temperatures on a diesel, or detonation in a gasoline engine. Banks' approach to power enhancement is to increase airflow through the engine BEFORE adding fuel. This allows for safe increases in power, fuel economy, and engine longevity.

Q: How does Banks Power affect the durability of my engine, powertrain and exhaust?

Because we adhere to our "First Air, Then Fuel" rule, it is impossible for a properly installed Banks Power system to over-fuel your engine. As you know from Question 10, just adding fuel to make power creates so much heat it can ruin your engine and exhaust. Banks begins by improving airflow, and matches fuel to it. With the engine breathing freely, the exhaust running cooler, backpressure drastically reduced and efficiency optimized, Banks unleashes more power without working the engine so hard, which prolongs its life and the powertrain components it operates. Even though Banks runs a cooler exhaust, the Monster exhaust portion of any Banks Power system is so indestructible, it could withstand much hotter temperatures.

Q: How does Banks Power affect my automatic transmission?

Banks Power systems put a stop to the tendency of many vehicles to frequently shift between gears while climbing grades (we call that behavior "shift-happy.") Holding higher gears strongly, for longer times, reduces the work your automatic has to do, preserving its life. No Banks Power system subjects any transmission to loads that exceed the manufacturer's limits.

For Ford 4R100 and E4OD automatics, Banks TransCommand is an excellent addition that transforms the transmission into a super-duty unit.

Q: How does Banks Power affect diesel engine temperatures?

Banks includes its electronic AutoMind/EconoMind modules to control fuel and maintain safe temperatures—among other beneficial functions—in Banks Power systems for most late diesel applications. The AutoMind/EconoMind combines with Banks airflow-improving components for more power and durability. Similarly, the Six-Gun tuner for diesel pickups includes safeguards to prevent overtemperature.

Q: What is the maximum EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) that is safe for my vehicle?

Every vehicle will vary slightly and the location of the thermocouple (pre or post turbo) is a factor. We recommend that you refer to the Owner’s Manuals for your specific Banks product and vehicle.

Q: What is the best location for the exhaust gas temperature probe on a turbo-diesel?

This question is tougher to answer than you might think. There are two ways to measure exhaust gas temperature on a diesel engine: before the turbo (turbine inlet temperature); and after the turbo (turbine outlet temperature). When reasonably convenient, we recommend measuring the turbine inlet temperature, because this is the hottest—and most meaningful—temperature when evaluating the engine's performance. But when there's not a convenient place to put a probe in the turbine inlet side of the exhaust, the alternative is to mount the probe after the turbocharger, measuring the turbine outlet temperature. But this also presents a problem. The outlet of the turbo on the Duramax engine, for example, is shaped awkwardly, and the factory turbine outlet pipe is a very non-concentric shape to accommodate the outlet, so once again, there is not a good place to install a probe until about two feet after the outlet of the turbo. By going that far downstream, the integrity of the measurement is sacrificed.

Perhaps the best recommendation is to drill and tap a hole in one of the exhaust manifolds, and install a threaded pyrometer probe in there. Just be VERY CAREFUL about not getting any metal chips in the manifold, which would cause damage to the turbocharger. About the only way to be sure of this is to pull the manifold off of the vehicle to do the drilling and tapping.

Q: Can failure of the exhaust gas temperature probe damage the turbocharger?

This is a highly debated issue. Some of the sentiments that surround this question date back quite far. Before diesel engines became widely popular in pickup trucks, the main use for diesels was in the long-haul trucking industry. Years ago, when truckers began to use pyrometers on their engines, the most logical place to position the probe was in the exhaust manifold ahead of the turbocharger, because this was the hottest portion of the exhaust stream. But the earliest probes that were used had exposed junctions, and the weakness of this design would sometimes fatigue and fail under the high heat conditions. A failed probe would inevitably cause expensive damage to the turbocharger. The solution to this problem was to move the thermocouple downstream of the turbocharger, thus avoiding the potential damage to the spinning turbine wheel. Knowing that the temperature would be lower in that location, it was expected that the operator would compensate for the difference by an appropriate amount.

Today, the thermocouple probes that are used are commonly sheathed in a stainless steel shell that is impervious to the type of failure that an exposed junction thermocouple might experience. This makes it safe to install upstream of the turbocharger. At Banks, we typically prefer to mount the thermocouple upstream of the turbo, but this is not always convenient. In the case of the Ford Power Stroke, we opted to provide a bung in the turbine outlet pipe rather than having the customer go through the difficulty of drilling and installing a probe in a location that is hard to access. Our testing shows that the maximum allowable turbine inlet temperature of 1350 degrees is equivalent to 1050 degrees on the turbine outlet side, so that is our recommended maximum temperature when measuring in that location. The temperature differential may be broader at lower temperature ranges, but the temp that we are most concerned about is at full power.

Q: What grade of stainless steel does Banks use in its exhaust systems, and why?

There are two primary categories of stainless steel tubing used in automotive exhaust systems: 300 series and 400 series. 400 series stainless is commonly used by Banks for exhaust and manifold applications primarily because it handles heat cycling better than the 300 series. 300 series stainless becomes brittle after constant heating and cooling (which is exactly what an exhaust system does) especially in areas that incorporate welds. The issue of heat cycling is of great importance, especially in a heavy-duty application that will endure greater levels of heat than other automotive applications. Not only is 300 series stainless a poorer choice for exhaust systems, it is also more expensive and would unnecessarily increase the price of an exhaust system. 400 series stainless is not as pretty as 300 series and will have a brownish hue to it, due to the fact that it has a higher carbon content than 300 series. This means the 300 series stainless will polish up better for appearance. The carbon content in 400 series also makes it magnetic, unlike 300 series, which is a simple test to determine which series you’re dealing with. Fortunately, 400 series will handle temperatures of up to 2000 degrees without any deterioration, making it very suitable for use in exhaust systems. We use 400-series, specifically 409, for our entire exhaust systems, except the polished tip which is polished 304. That's the part that you want to look good!

Q: Can turbocharging an older diesel cause detonation?

Detonation may be a concern when the intake pressure of a gasoline engine is increased, as turbocharging does. Proper engine- and boost-management are important in order to control such a situation. However, diesel engines generally are not prone to detonation, and turbocharging an older diesel should not be a concern. Depending on the engine make and miles accumulated, you may want to replace the head gaskets first.