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Old 04-19-2015, 11:22 PM   #1
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Banks Power Pack on my Ram 2500

I'm a hot rodder at heart, always have been. I'll try to make anything go faster, turn better, stop better, something.

Except my 2001 Ram 2500. I bought her 12 years ago, it pulled my 6500lb TT so well I just left it alone. I wanted to do something, Banks kit, injectors, tuner, but I couldn't justify it. 10.5MPG, would pull literally fast as I wanted to (I had to use my cruise, because it would stroll along so well I'd end up traveling with traffic at 80+.) I just left well enough alone.

Enter my new 5er. Dry she comes in at 11,300, a 5,000lb increase. But thanks to the miracle of aerodynamics she pulls at 11.8MPG.

Before we go further, while I'm close on my numbers I'm under in all areas except payload, ready for a trip I'm over my payload by a couple of hundred pounds, but well under my RAWR. So the weight folks can stop looking up my specs.

The old girl still pulls it without a care in the world, for the most part. On long sustained interstate grades she starts losing steam and will drop from 65 to 55, and in more mountainous areas it's a leisurely 30MPH climb. Now I'm talking 7% plus climbs, some really impressive hills.

I'm planning a trip to Colorado later this year, so I wanted a bit more oomph in the hills and a new truck simply isn't in the cards for a few more years. Sounds like an excuse to me.

I looked into the typical routes of adding more fuel and air, but by the time you add a tuner ($600), exhaust system ($600-700) and a set of injectors ($600) you've topped $1800 and you've not addressed the turbo or air intake.

Banks is running a sale right now, I got the Power Pack kit for my truck for $2600 shipped, it came with a new air filter assembly, turbine housing for the turbo with a larger wastegate actuator, their BigRam air intake elbow, exhaust system and Big Hoss tuner. It's expensive, but once you add up all the areas it addresses it's actually a good value. Stock my truck is 245HP and 505ft-lbs of torque, Banks claims gains of 100+hp and 210+tq increase, so 350HP and 720ft-lbs of torque would put me into modern truck power levels.

It took me an afternoon to install, in my driveway using hand tools, meaning three hours if you had a lift and air power. All the parts fit well, a really nice and clean installation that in many ways could pass for factory if painted black.

A couple of issues, which the tech line at Banks rectified. First, they sent the wrong directions, what they sent was for a 94-98 model 12 valve truck, they emailed me the right PDF and we were good. Second, they sent the wrong harness for the EGT probe, it wouldn't plug into the tuner. I fixed that myself, but they sent the correct harness by mail.

The unloaded test drive went great, except I was only getting 18PSI of boost and it smoked which no smoke is one of Banks' claims to fame. I called again, found that I should be seeing over 30PSI, then I found the split pipe to intercooler boot. I "Heard" it leaking before, but it occurred after cleaning a nasty K&N filter, so I wrote it off, and it ran fine. Unfortunately, I now don't know how well it actually would have run before the upgrade. $157 for six inches of rubber later, I'm now pulling 32PSI of boost. I'm in the wrong business, all those boots are ungodly expensive. No smoke now, it drives like a modern truck, just instant power at most any point, which is simply great.

Yesterday, I towed the 5er and oh, what a difference it's made. Plenty of power across the RPM range, without beating on it I was up to highway speed by the end of the on ramp, it was really smooth and easy on backroads, accelerating out of turns with authority, up grades with ease.

On the interstate it flowed with traffic easily, and I pulled two of those interstate grades I mentioned, cruise locked at 65MPH, the boost never crossed 22PSI and the EGT only got up to 1050* at most without dropping a single MPH.

That was my exact goal, to pull hills like that. They claim increased MPG, that remains to be seen but so long as it doesn't drop I'll be plenty happy.

I upgraded the brakes last fall, performance rotors and pads, so now all that's left is a trans and diff fluid change and I think I'm ready to go this summer. Frankly, I can't wait.
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:37 PM   #2
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You didn't say the tranny type. If 47re or 48re your next purchase will be a billet torque converter, billet input shaft since you are in there, and a good set of clutches and a high performance valve body. You might have this already,or you might have a manual tranny, in which case enjoy. If not, then stepping up the power will kill the stock TC, esoeciallyif you like getting into and keep the tuner turned up. I have a 2004.5 bone stock "600" 5.9, and the very first thing I will do if I ever decide to turn it up will be build the tranny. Good luck and safe travels
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qchair62 View Post
You didn't say the tranny type. If 47re or 48re your next purchase will be a billet torque converter, billet input shaft since you are in there, and a good set of clutches and a high performance valve body. You might have this already,or you might have a manual tranny, in which case enjoy. If not, then stepping up the power will kill the stock TC, esoeciallyif you like getting into and keep the tuner turned up. I have a 2004.5 bone stock "600" 5.9, and the very first thing I will do if I ever decide to turn it up will be build the tranny. Good luck and safe travels
She's got an NV5600 six speed manual. When I was looking for this truck I wanted the HO engine for a few reasons, better chance of getting a better block, the 53 series blocks are prone to cracking, and the NV5600 trans. I've seen guys putting 600+HP through those stone stock, knocking on wood, but I should be fine.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:25 AM   #4
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Good deal! I love my Cumins 5.9. It is 325hp/600ft/lbs with four inch all the way back factory. They changed over at Christmas in 04 hence the 04.5. I just pulled 10k plus from NC to IN and averaged 12.8. Mine pulls all day. Have fun with your banks package and new fiver!
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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I bought an 2001 F350 crew cab dually 112,000 miles a few months ago and the previous owner had installed the Banks power set up on it. I like it.....glad I didn't pay for it though. On the powerstroke forums 90% posting hate Banks. Or maybe strongly dislike Banks. I'm leaving it on. I see nothing wrong with his set up. It seems to be a balanced package. Some guys just love smoke.....I just want to tow my 5th wheel the most efficiently I can.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:43 AM   #6
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I bought an 2001 F350 crew cab dually 112,000 miles a few months ago and the previous owner had installed the Banks power set up on it. I like it.....glad I didn't pay for it though. On the powerstroke forums 90% posting hate Banks. Or maybe strongly dislike Banks. I'm leaving it on. I see nothing wrong with his set up. It seems to be a balanced package. Some guys just love smoke.....I just want to tow my 5th wheel the most efficiently I can.
Most of the Banks haters are the same crowd that love smoke. I agree, I could have reaped the same gains with just a tuner and injectors, in fact I could have gone with just injectors depending on what you read. But I like systems, something that all works together. Plus, you have to address the air as much as the fuel to maximize efficiency.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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I am also different. 8 years ago I bought a Hypertech Max Energy for $325 and have never seen any smoke. The unit in tow feels real heavy without it.
I have been programmed at 87Hp while towing and at 125HP during the summer.
I to have the standard 6 speed and have to be aware of the clutch limits.
On 125 HP setting my clutch will slip at 2600 RPM. Hypertech told me that my clutch was wearing. But on 87HP it's solid at all RPM. Result, the programmer improved the torque in the higher RPM on mine. Increasing the mileage at high speed driving.
One time i passed a new Ram showing black smoke while towing a same Heartland as mine. He surely did not have Banks or Hypertech programmer.
I did have an exhaust gas temperature monitoring gauge:and never once saw any alarming temperature. When it broke down I replaced it with a fuel pressure gauge that is very important for my Ford 6.0L.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
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Fuel pressure is very important on the ISB Cummins engines too, the factory lift pump is pretty weak. I replaced it last year with the AirDog factory replacement pump and I'm going to install a warning light made by Techsmart, PN F81002 so I can keep tabs on the minimum fuel pressure.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:15 PM   #9
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Fuel pressure is very important on the ISB Cummins engines too, the factory lift pump is pretty weak. I replaced it last year with the AirDog factory replacement pump and I'm going to install a warning light made by Techsmart, PN F81002 so I can keep tabs on the minimum fuel pressure.
Nice upgrade with the Banks system. I used to own a 2002 HO truck like yours. Unsurpassed fuel mileage empty and towing compared to any other truck I've owned. And that 6 speed manual had perfect gear ratios for the Cummins. If you haven't already installed an exhaust brake, give it serious thought. I found a slightly used one for $300. Hardly ever have to use the brakes on grades again. I'm sure Banks has one that bolts up to the turbo.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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I wish I could find a slightly used one for a good price, but I have to have the lockup switch for my converter..... sigh.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:16 PM   #11
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Nice upgrade with the Banks system. I used to own a 2002 HO truck like yours. Unsurpassed fuel mileage empty and towing compared to any other truck I've owned. And that 6 speed manual had perfect gear ratios for the Cummins. If you haven't already installed an exhaust brake, give it serious thought. I found a slightly used one for $300. Hardly ever have to use the brakes on grades again. I'm sure Banks has one that bolts up to the turbo.
Rich
They do, but I have to remove the new airbox that was part of the kit as the actuator gets in the way. I'm checking my options now to install one a little downstream. I'd love to put my hands on the Banks Brake for a weekend so I could test mount it and see if something can be changed a bit to provide the clearance necessary.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:21 PM   #12
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They do, but I have to remove the new airbox that was part of the kit as the actuator gets in the way. I'm checking my options now to install one a little downstream. I'd love to put my hands on the Banks Brake for a weekend so I could test mount it and see if something can be changed a bit to provide the clearance necessary.
I think the actuator can be rotated slightly to get the clearance needed. Have you asked Banks about it?
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:25 PM   #13
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I did, I even asked about modding something to gain the clearance and was told it wouldn't work. I'll bet that the actuator can be flipped side to side, you'd just have to flip the shaft and probably make a new bracket. Looks like my Colorado trip will actually be in August so I've got a little time to think on it.
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:27 AM   #14
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I had the Jacobs Ebrake on my 2002 with the full Banks exhaust. The actuator was much smaller than the Banks Ebrake actuator. You might want to check the Jacobs or PacBrake Ebrakes to see if they will fit.
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