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Clean Diesel Power: Banks Big Hoss Bundle

Banks shows us the path to more power without choking the environment

Harley Camilleri
Dec 1, 2012
Photographers: Harley Camilleri
Photo 2/31   |   2008 Gmc Sierra Denali Hd bmf Wheels
We have seen plenty of diesel engine power adders that make large power numbers and provide truck owners with the ability to easily destroy drivetrain parts. With black soot pumping from an open 5-inch sewer pipe and a set of beefy tires up in smoke, the scene certainly lends itself to some manly entertainment. Unfortunately, that much available power usually causes an assortment of problems, including over fueling the engine and damaging the injectors, torching the turbo with absurd EGTs, and breaking transmission internals incapable of handling the added stress of larger tires and nearly double factory power output. Towing becomes difficult too, since the torque becomes less linear as the tune ramps up towards redline. Add in the mandated emissions testing some states are adopting, and you have yourself a laundry list of unnecessary headaches.
Recently, Banks Power opened its doors to us, allowing a peek behind the scenes into the future of diesel technology. To say we were impressed would be a huge understatement. Gale Banks sat down with us to explain his views on why he has chosen to position his company on the cleaner side of all things diesel. As a leader in the industry with years worth of experience, Gale knows he walks around with a large bull's-eye on his back. With Banks being responsible for many of the fastest turbo diesel trucks ever released, it's easy to understand why. Gale started in with, “I want everyone to understand, all that black soot means the engine is inefficient and wasting power.” Further on in the conversation, he mentioned, “I don't claim to make the most horsepower and torque for every application. Instead, I lay claim to the most efficient, cleanest, and safest systems on the market hands down.” Thanks to Gale and his team of talented engineers, we believe the future of clean diesels with serious power is well within reach.
To see what could be done without all the smoke, we grabbed a 2008 GMC HD with a 6.6L LMM Duramax and headed to Banks Power's R&D facility in Azusa, California. Awaiting our arrival was a complete Big Hoss bundle consisting of a Six-Gun Diesel Tuner and new iQ 2.0 Man-Machine Interface, Techni-Cooler Intercooler System with Boost Tube upgrade, Ram-Air Intake System with Super-Scoop, and Monster Diesel Dual Exhaust. Since the truck would be seeing plenty of towing duty, we also opted for the Banks SpeedBrake. Most of the parts are fairly self-explanatory. More air in and out of the engine with the least amount of restrictions allows better breathing and therefore, the ability to make more power. As for the rest of the parts, let's dive in and check them out. The Super-Scoop forces cooler outside air into the airbox for higher oxygen density and efficiency. The Six-Gun tuner allows the driver to change power levels from zero to nearly 130 hp on the fly through the touch screen iQ or a dash-mounted knob depending on options chosen. That new iQ 2.0 has the largest screen on the market at five full inches, and features more than 30 different gauges to choose from, along with a multitude of color and layout options. There's even GPS navigation, a back-up camera option, Bluetooth, music and video playback, the ability to read and erase OBD-II trouble codes, and fuel economy and fuel cost monitors. By far, it is the industry leading in-cab controller available for your turbodiesel truck. Finally, the SpeedBrake is a speed controller that utilizes all factory components to monitor and control your truck's speed, especially when towing on a descent. Fully programmable through the Banks iQ, the unit adds towing safety by controlling the transmission's shifting, torque converter, and variable vanes of the factory turbo to hold your set speed, leaving you to comfortably handle the vehicle and load.
Final Results
Stock with sock tires Stock with 37-inch tires
293hp 249hp
514 lb-ft torque 464 lb-ft torque
Photo 15/31   |   13. After mounting the reusable filter to the base of the huge lid, the assembly was set into place over the lower filter housing.
Photo 31/31   |   2008 Gmc Sierra Denali Hd banks With Stock Tires


Banks Power
Azusa, CA 91702



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