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Old 05-24-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
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Banks PowerPack Installed

During this past week and weekend, I installed the Banks PowerPack exhaust system with their Ottomind and Transcommander modules. The installation went well, thanks to the explicit instructions supplied by Banks. The entire process took about 30 hours. Iíve been pulling wrenches for most of my 32 year working career. I think if doing a second installation that maybe 5 hours or so could be shaved off from this time. The work is pretty straight forward. Moving in and about under a motorhome blocked up in your driveway, lifting and placing heavy components in place and getting the first bolts in as you struggle to hold up a part is not for the faint of heart. The results seem to be well worth it though. I have attached a couple photos of the installation.
I have only taken the motorhome for a short ride since the installation, but that was enough. My baby is a completely different creature and all for the good. First the sound, it is a very quiet low throaty tone. The driving characteristics have completely changed. Now from a standing start the engine does not rev nearly as much to get the RV going. The shifting is much firmer and distinct, but not harsh. Best of all, the motorhome doesnít down shift at the mere sight of a hill. It just stays in OD and powers over the minor hills. I think this is as close as a gas rig is going to get to the pulling torque of a diesel.
Iíve been driving my own big rigs all of my adult life. I am known as having a light foot and having straight trucks and tractors with smaller engines than my competition. The difference is my trucks carried the same loads and yes did not pull the long 4% and 6% grades at highway speed, but delivered the loads in about the same time and with 20-30% less fuel cost. Thatís money in my pocket.
My wife and I take my Mom home to Princeton, WV each summer, downI87 to I88 to I-81 to I-64 to I-77. West Virginia has some pretty good grades that one shouldnít try to maintain speed, because you simply canít. My strategy has always been to take the RV out of cruise and feather the petal to hold the RPM at 3100 or so. That is about the cross over on the torque and horsepower curves. In short, thatís where your engine is at its best without trying to burn it up. Whatever gear the given grade dictates at that RPM is the speed we go up the hill. Pushing harder wastes a tremendous amount of fuel and stresses the vehicleís drivetrain needlessly, my thought anyways. I plan to continue to use this same strategy.
I also drive at about 60mph. This isnít because my motorhome canít go faster, but thatís where it just feels comfortable. The engine rpmís and the feel of the coach just seem right. The previous owner traveled at 70-75mph and said he never got better then 6-7mpg. Even doing trip that includes the hills of WV, I continually get 7.75-9.1mpg. You do pay for speed.
We are going on our first camping trip June 10th. I will report back with the Motorhomeís performance when we return and I promise not to be so long winded.
Have a happy and safe RVing summer everyone.
Jeff & Rini
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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We had one installed on our '98 Santara w/460. I installed the TransCommand from our '97 Four Winds Type C. Found out the TransCommand was faulty and even though it was a year out of warranty Banks sent a completely new kit.
Anyway, we never did realize better gas mileage, but the cooler, quieter, better running engine was worth it!
In fact the experience with the 460 was what prompted me to put one on our ISC 350. And it too is worth the price!!
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report .

Keith
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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Congrats on the install been thinking about doing it on our 2009 V10 but was told it did not do much for the newer V10.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
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I installed the Banks system on my 2004 Dodge RAM 3500 Dually the day I brought it home from the dealership. It's amazing what it did to that Cummins! I also did the Ram air intake and exhaust. Great product. Nice job on doing the install yourself.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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I bought my 96' Southwind used, and the previous owner had already installed the Banks system on the 460 Ford engine. I usually average around 8 MPG, and it easily gets up to and holds interstate speeds. Steep mountain roads slows it down quite a bit, but considering it's moving a 36' rig, it's to be expected. I added a K&N filter, but did not get any noticable gain in power or fuel economy. brakes are a big issue with this rig. Even though it's got disc brakes, It's easy to overheat them even on a modest grade. Too heavy of a coach for that chassies.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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I bought an 01 Adventurer 35U, used, with 12K mi. I immediately drove to Azuza, CA and had Banks install the complete system. I tow a Dakota 4X and in the 70K mi. I put on that rig, the system never hiccuped one time. The factory Ford V-10 exhaust system coming off the engine is a nightmare, looks like a corkscrew. We travel all over the west in hills and heat and I was very comfortable knowing the headers were reducing the heat buildup. The mileage never changed and they told me it wouldn't. Their ads always tote increased mileage but I wonder which applications it applies to. It is a good system.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Camping4fun View Post
Congrats on the install been thinking about doing it on our 2009 V10 but was told it did not do much for the newer V10.
I thought about installing one on my 2011 V10 but learned the same. Apparently the horsepower and torque increase is about 5% on the newer 3 valve V10s.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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The mileage never changed and they told me it wouldn't. Their ads always tote increased mileage but I wonder which applications it applies to. It is a good system.
One of my friends added a powerpack to his Workhorse chassis (2003 or so). He not only had a noticeable increase in power but his mileage went from 6 mpg to 8 mpg. I have known him for 20 years and find him to be one of the people in this world who is honest about things like fuel economy.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly2 View Post
I bought my 96' Southwind used, and the previous owner had already installed the Banks system on the 460 Ford engine. I usually average around 8 MPG, and it easily gets up to and holds interstate speeds. Steep mountain roads slows it down quite a bit, but considering it's moving a 36' rig, it's to be expected. I added a K&N filter, but did not get any noticable gain in power or fuel economy. brakes are a big issue with this rig. Even though it's got disc brakes, It's easy to overheat them even on a modest grade. Too heavy of a coach for that chassies.
Personally I would take the K&N off and go back to the stock. The K&N's were developed for racing where you rebuild the engine after every race but want high air flow for power. In an RV I'll take a little less air flow and not "dust" my engine!!
I ran them on my racing motorcycles, but I rebuilt the engine every season or more often.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #11
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I thought about installing one on my 2011 V10 but learned the same. Apparently the horsepower and torque increase is about 5% on the newer 3 valve V10s.
I think Ford bought a Banks and tested it to see where they could improve the stock engine without spending a fortune. I think they did a pretty good job of it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:00 PM   #12
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The mileage never changed and they told me it wouldn't. Their ads always tout increased mileage but I wonder which applications it applies to. It is a good system.
Banks uses a very sophisticated measuring system. It measures down to the .01 gallon, far better than any of us can measure. The problem is that we, as owners, tend to use more of the newly available power and that takes the mileage down.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:06 AM   #13
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I think Ford bought a Banks and tested it to see where they could improve the stock engine without spending a fortune. I think they did a pretty good job of it.
I think you must be right. If Ford was still building the V10 with the airflow of the earlier engines than a large increase in power would be expected with the Banks. I think all owners of this engine will be glad they don't have to spend a few thousand dollars on the Banks upgrade to get the power.
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:41 PM   #14
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Personally I would take the K&N off and go back to the stock. The K&N's were developed for racing where you rebuild the engine after every race but want high air flow for power. In an RV I'll take a little less air flow and not "dust" my engine!!
I ran them on my racing motorcycles, but I rebuilt the engine every season or more often.
I've heard several people make this statement, but I have ran the K&N's on several of my vehicles for years, and have never had a problem. I had over 200,000 miles on a couple of them. The biggest increase of power and fuel economy was on a F350 powerstroke diesel, Ford has a highly restrictive filter system on that 99' model. Increased fuel economy by 2 MPG. None of my vehicles used enough oil to have to add any between oil changes. (Changed every 5000 miles, with every 10,000 miles on the Mercedes)
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