- Does Banks still offer the twin-turbo performance package for the small-block Chevy V8?
- What kind of problems are likely when using two, staged turbochargers?
- Is propane injection good for making power in a diesel?
- Can propane be used on a non-turbocharged diesel?
- Does Banks offer a propane injection system?
Yes, Banks Twin-Turbos have returned! Banks legendary Twin-Turbo packages are now available on complete Banks-built 6-liter engines producing up to 1100 horsepower. Twin-Turbo System kits are also available for installation on existing small-block engines. There are even small-block high-performance engine kits designed specifically for Twin-Turbo setups. For complete information on these incredible Twin-Turbo packages designed for ultimate performance and visual appeal, contact your Banks Power Consultant.
It is common to use different sized turbos when the turbochargers are "staged": that is, the compressor discharge from one turbo feeds the compressor inlet of the second, and the compressor discharge of the second feeds the engine. The most likely problem is extreme heating of the compressed intake air. A charge air cooler (intercooler) should definitely be used to cool the air coming out of the second turbo.
Propane is a quick way to make horsepower, but we have not seen a system on the market that we are satisfied with. Most are somewhat crude in their design and use old carbureted forklift technology (forklifts are usually powered by propane.) During testing with one propane system, we experienced detonation on a diesel. While detonation is never good, detonation on a diesel is frightening! Be very careful about the promises that propane systems may offer.
The addition of propane to any diesel engine, whether turbocharged or normally-aspirated, introduces more fuel to engine, without additional airflow. Although it can be done, there is the constant danger of developing excessive exhaust gas temperatures, thus the possibility of engine damage.
It is for this very reason that Banks addresses airflow. Airflow is critical in the SAFE addition of fuel to a diesel engine, regardless of what that fuel is. For normally-aspirated diesels, the Sidewinder turbo is an excellent way to gain airflow and performance. Some people opt for the lower cost of a propane injection system as an inexpensive way to increase horsepower, but the real cost may be down the road when engine damage occurs.
We've followed the interest in propane-injection systems for diesel engines, and tested several to see if they are a valid way of safely increasing horsepower. We uncovered a number of serious safety issues:
- Propane injection is nothing more than a way to add more fuel to the diesel engine. Without additional airflow, that additional fuel delivery can produce excessive exhaust-gas temperatures that harm internal engine components.
- When propane is injected into the intake tract, it actually displaces some air, further increasing the risk of excessive exhaust-gas temperatures.
- Too much propane can cause detonation, which is very damaging to internal engine components.
- Propane is commonly injected into the intake prior to the turbocharger. This means that propane is present in the pressurized intake air, introducing a volatile fuel in an air-stream that would not normally contain fuel of any sort. Turbo-diesel engines occasionally develop intake boost leaks, and when propane is present, a boost leak could result in the presence of propane in a heated under-hood environment. This is a great safety risk.
Before Banks ever sells a propane-injection system for diesels, these issues would have to be resolved in the course of our product development.