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Banks Power Pack


PhotoMike

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I friend of mine suggested I look at the "Banks Power Pack" to increase performance and mileage of my motor home. I checked out their web site (

http://bankspower.com/products/show/144/79 ) and it sounds good but I wonder if anyone has first hand experiences they could share. I have a 2008 Allegro Bay, front engine diesel. Thanks for your feedback. ...Mike

 

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I had the Power Pack on a 31' Winnebago class C with the V-10. There was an apparent power increase in the mid range RPM but could not feel anything on the low end. I also had the Banks Transcommand which firmed up the shift points and did not allow so many down shifts on the slightest hill.

 

As for fuel economy, do not expect any measurable increase in fuel economy. It takes X amount of fuel to get Y amount of horsepower. Any improvements in tuning that could improve fuel economy are very slight. The new exhaust manifolds are tuned for mid-range torque which is more important than horsepower for a motorhome.

 

So if you do not intend to keep the RV for long term, I would not bother with the expense.

 

Ken

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The Arnolds and Tex Iceman have it right .

It a motor home not a NASCAR when you are moving that much wt. it just takes time to get up to speed.

If you had HP next the transmission is going to give problems due to the added torque. Once you get that fixed then the cooling system will need an upgrade due to the added heat the extra HP generates . ETC....

I think you can get my meaning .

The diesel engines of today are so much better than the ones that I used to run over the road to start with, so I would leave it stock . There was a lot of engineering went into the design of the drive train so that problems would be at a minimum and it was all sized to work together .

By the way I'm not trying to bust your bubble , more power can be just downright fun but be prepared to keep spending once you start.

Back in the day I had an old 250 Cummins with no turbo, added a turbo then it started overheating so back to the parts house for a bigger radiator. Next the ring gear gave up by the time it was said and done I could have bought a new truck with a 350 HP and made the payments for less money if you counted my down time.

 

If this is not enough to persuade you look at it from this angle . For the price of the Banks kit how much mileage would you need to gain in order to pay for the kit in a reasonable length of time.

 

But if you got the bug then it will not matter what anyone says you can let us know how you like it. :lol:

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I have found that very few people can be objective about results when they have spent thousands of dollars on an "enhancement". There is a tendency to want to justify the expenditure.

 

In order to increase mpg, some other performance must be compromised. That compromise is usually in the form of environmental standards or durability. Otherwise, the manufacturer would have already tuned it that way in the first place. They have some pretty good engineers on their staff also.

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I have a different view, especially in regards to DP's.

 

When asked for input, I always suggest that those that are shopping buy a rig with one of the larger Big Block engines. (ISM/ISX, CAT12 and above, Detroit). Many of the mid priced and below DP's, have medium sized blocks, or smaller, engines. (ISC/ISL, CAT C7/C9, as just examples.) The key, is the Power to Weight ratio. I like to calculate both the HP and Torque Power to Weight ratios. (To be clear an ISC/ISL or C7/C9, in a smaller Class A, may have more then enough Power to Weight to handle the job with ease. But, may 40' plus coaches, are just at or sometimes under, a comfortable Power to Weight ratio.)

 

And while I agree with not being in any hurry, and sure not trying to win any races or be first up to the top of the hill - I do feel more power provides a safety edge. The ability to accelerate with reserve power capacity, can make a difference in some driving conditions.

 

For these reasons, I feel that some engine modifications can be made to improve performance. Yes, the engine manufacturers do spend the big bucks to balance power with reliability and smog requirements. But that does not mean modifications cannot be done to still improve power, safely.

 

A couple of good examples, that I feel are hard to argue with:

 

- It is the coach builder that typically determines the front end breathing, and back end exhaust flow. Some coaches come with restricted front end breathing, and many have restricted exhaust flow. Going from a 4" pipe flow to a 5" diameter, and at the same time adding a lower flow muffler, will allow the turbo to spool faster. Same thing on the front end, with larger diameter air canisters, piping, and air filters - can help on the front end flow of air to feed the engine. (Note: I'm a fan of making changes that only use high quality filters, the key is to go to larger diameter, to allow larger CFM to come thru on the intake side. Everyone can make their own decisions, but I would not go to a reusable type filtering system.)

 

-And then their is the ability to go to say Cummins or CAT and have them re-flash to a higher HP level. Can't do this all the time, but remember due to marketing reasons, many coach manufacturers will spec a detuned engine, to put into their lower model line up, to help separate them from the higher costing unit. (ISL370 vs ISL400 back in the mid 2000's is one example. And other examples exists too.

 

So what to do then? Careful research, and working with those that have proven track records on providing solid HP/Torque upgrades, SAFELY, is advisable. Banks is one such option. (On other recent posts on Banks on another forum, it was pointed out that the ISC's Ottominder systems are no longer supported by Banks. If the electronics stop working, can't get replacement parts now. While I feel that Banks should have done whatever it takes to source another replacement for the Ottominder, I do feel that this is an exception to Banks having a solid reputation and long term support of their products.) Another shop with good reputation, is Brazel's.

 

Too many variables to go into all the ways to modify to provide more power output. But with research, and networking with other coach owners and places like Banks and Brazel - I believe safe power improvements are reasonable to do. And of course, the full system needs to be considered. Cooling capacity, transmission and driveline power handling capability, etc. - need to be part of this decision process.

 

For me personally, I have a CAPS era ISL370. I've paid Cummins to flash it to ISL400. I've also added the AeroTurbine XL5050, which has reduced some of the back pressure (Not as dramatic on my coach, as Country Coach had a pretty good sized muffler when the sold the coach. But I know of others that had seen dyno results that showed reasonable improvements by changing the back end plumbing, and adding the XL5050, moving up from a 4" pipe flow.) I was considering putting in the MP8 module, with the Cockpit control, so that I could turn it off when not needed. But talking with Brazel's, they say they have seen mixed results with my specific engine. So now considering having the ECM reprogrammed, more expensive mod, but also with more finite results for my specific engine configuration. Have not yet made the decision to do so, but do feel I blew it by not following the advice I give today - buying a BIG BLOCK to start with:)!

 

All of course, just my opinion. And even though long winded, for sure much more could be discussed - heck, did not even touch on the juice or propane injections:!

 

Do your research, and for sure, if still within warranty - try to only do upgrades thru the mother ship that built your engine! They are not inexpensive, so due diligence and cautious approach is warranted.

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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