It’s unknown (to us at least) how many of us RVers tow a Jeep behind our motorhomes, but we’re sure it’s just got to be the majority. Seems just about every rig we see on the road that’s flat towing a vehicle is towing a Jeep. These little rigs are perfect for the task. They’re light, extremely easy to tow, can seat four people comfortably, and can go ANYWHERE! But one issue many Jeepers have had as of late is their recent lack of go power.
Banks Power has a fix for that. The company has recently finished a 50-state smog compliant turbo kit for the 4.0L-powered Wrangler (and as we found out -- hush hush, it’s still classified -- they’re working on a kit for the 3.8L JK as you read this). Banks is famous for delivering products that offer safe, economical, and smooth power. That’s exactly what its new Sidewinder turbo kit delivers.
We wanted to see just how this kit worked and how well it performed, so we headed down to Banks Power in Azusa, California, to test one out.
| 1: The Banks team had already installed the turbo when we got there. The turbo is a smaller unit that allows it to have a very quick, almost instantaneous spool up. It’s mounted forward in the engine compartment, with an included bracket, just under the alternator. Outside the oil drain line, this kit is 100 percent bolt-on.
| 2: Here, Ross from Banks Power is installing the new cold-air intake onto the turbo. This draws fresh air from outside the engine bay using …
| 3: … this hood scoop. The scoop is mounted higher than the factory intake so water-crossing abilities are not hindered.
| 4: After hooking the factory throttle body to the turbo with the supplied Boost Tube, Ross then moved on to replacing the fuel injectors with larger 35-lb/hr Bosch injectors.
| 5: The kit comes complete with new exhaust pipes to supply and exhaust the turbo. These are also plug-and-play, utilizing the factory exhaust system post turbo.
| 6: Non-intercooled, the Sidewinder offers gains of up to 66 rear-wheel horsepower (and 84 lb-ft of torque) over stock. On this Jeep, the Banks crew was playing with water-methanol injection (water only on the street), a type of chemical intercooling. It allowed for a further 30 percent gain in horsepower. We’ll dig deeper into Banks’ new water-methanol injection system in a future issue of RV.
| 7: It was time for a test drive once all the bolts were tight and the Jeep’s computer was given a new tune with the Banks AutoMind tuner, which is supplied with the kit. Power was instantaneous and applied smoothly starting right off idle and continuing through the rpm into the next gear. The new turbo really woke up this Jeep.
| 8: Classified: We were able to sneak away from the Banks crew just long enough to catch a glimpse of a 3.8L JK under the knife. Note the shiny new turbo just behind the radiator. It’ll be a game changer for JK owners and we can’t wait!
| Jeep Wrangler Banks Power Sidewinder Turbo System