2007 Ford F-250 6.0L Power Stroke - Weekend Warrior
Adding 171 hp & 366 lb-ft in just two days
If you can live without driving your truck for a couple of days, the folks at Banks Power can help you achieve some impressive gains in horsepower and torque. By using water- methanol in conjunction with more conventional upgrades, they were able to coax an extra 171 hp and 366 lb-ft of torque from an 2007 Ford F-250 6.0L Power Stroke. The installation is designed to take no longer than a weekend and can be done at home, by your favorite diesel shop, or even by the Banks team in Azusa, California. Here’s how they did it in their garage, along with results from chassis dyno runs and data gathered from towing on a highway with an 8-percent grade.
The first stage of the upgrade is focused on making big improvements to the intake system by replacing the factory intercooler, intake manifold, boost tubes, and the air filtration system. The Big Hoss Bundle installation starts with the removal of the restrictive factory airbox. After it and the battery are removed, a spacer is installed under the battery box that makes room for the 3½-inch constant diameter boost tubes. These mandrel-bent tubes connect the turbocharger to the Techni-Cooler intercooler that has 21 percent more volume than the stock unit, for a cooler and more consistent intake charge temperature. The High-Ram intake manifold replaces the narrow factory elbow, and there are silicone boots with high-torque T-bolt clamps for each connection. The inlet of the Banks Ram-Air extends to just behind the truck’s grille for unrestricted access to cool air, and it uses a high-flow, washable cotton filter inside a sealed airbox.
Next, the Double-Shot two-stage water-methanol injection system was installed with two ports that feed directly into the High-Ram intake manifold. The water-methanol injection system was designed to begin spraying when the boost pressure reaches 16 psi, then to have a second stage start to kick in at 20 psi. The system controller alters the output of the solenoids managing each injector to provide an even ramp-up of delivery, with the maximum volume flow occurring at 30 psi.
To make full use of all the upgrades on the intake side of the engine, a Six-Gun programmer was installed, along with an iQ 2.0 controller and information center. The tuner works by altering the timing, pulse width, and fuel pressure to make the most of the enhanced airflow, along with safety features that kick in to protect the engine and transmission. The iQ 2.0 is a 5-inch touchscreen display that lets you monitor parameters such as boost, engine load, airflow, and more. Along with allowing you to set alerts for things such as EGT, coolant temperature, and transmission temperature, the iQ 2.0 is enabled with GPS for navigation, features Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls and streaming of music, and has 4GB of internal memory that can be expanded with the use of an SD memory card.
The Big Exit
The increased engine performance was complemented by a 4-inch Monster exhaust system with the optional Diesel Duals dual outlet exhaust system that utilizes 6x5-inch tips. The cat-back system uses constant diameter bends and a straight through muffler design that’s tested to flow 76 percent better than the stock parts and sound aggressive without beating up your ears. Since this project truck is used for towing a boat, a SpeedBrake exhaust brake controller was also installed. The SpeedBrake is a fully electronic system that’s operated by the iQ 2.0 and controls the turbo’s exhaust vanes, torque converter, and transmission gear selections in concert to slow the truck down without use of the service brakes.
After everything was installed, the engineers at Banks strapped the truck to their chassis dyno and ran through a battery of tests that included 20-second sweeps through 2,700 and 3,400 rpm. The first round of tests measured the 6.0L’s output with no upgrades and found the truck put out 215.4 hp at 2,700 rpm and 426.7 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm at the rear wheels. After all the upgrades were installed, the Six-Gun was put in the Number 1 setting (stock) and the water-methanol system was turned on, which runs the Banks PowerBlend (which is 49 percent methanol and 51 percent water). Those tests resulted in readings of 299.8 hp at 2,700 rpm and 610.8 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm, which was an increase of more than 84 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The next set of tests were run with the Six-Gun on Level 6, its highest setting, and with the water-methanol system turned off. This resulted in gains of more than 117 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, with readings of 330 hp at 2,700 rpm and 679.7 lb-ft of torque at 2,400 rpm. Then, to show off the maximum capability of this setup, the Six-Gun was left on Level 6 with the DoubleShot water-methanol system engaged, which is not recommended while towing. This combination produced the best gains: 171 hp and 366 lb-ft of torque, with a maximum of 402 hp and 793 lb-ft at the rear wheels.
The 6.0L Power Stroke was also taken out on the road for testing with a weighted trailer, which gave the rig a combined weight of 19,290 pounds. It was driven on a level road to test the acceleration, downhill to test the SpeedBrake, and on a steep grade to measure acceleration while closely monitoring EGT, coolant temperature, engine oil temperature, and fuel economy. On the flat portion of the road, the upgrades improved the truck’s 0-to-60-mph times from 26.87 seconds to 17.20 seconds, and the time it took to accelerate from 40 mph to 60 mph was sliced from 16.55 seconds down to 9.70 seconds. The hillclimb tests were performed on a section of road that rises from 3,700 feet up to 6,000 feet, with a grade that starts at 6 percent and increases up to 8 percent. During these tests, the upgrades allowed the truck to cruise at 65 mph in Fifth gear in the same section where the truck could only manage 47 mph in Third gear when it was stock. Even with the improved performance, the operating temperatures remained similar to stock, and although EGT reached 1,406 degrees for a few seconds, it quickly fell right back down to a safe 1,350 degrees, which was 3 degrees less than the stock setup. On a final uphill run, the Double-Shot was used to inject 100 percent water, which resulted in a peak EGT of just 1,333 degrees. Then, the truck was tested going down the same grade used in the uphill tests. During those runs, the SpeedBrake system was able to bring the truck and trailer combination down to just 15 mph without any use of the foot brake.
Data collected during the tests also revealed an improvement of more than 1 mpg while towing, with an increase from 11.2 mpg up to 12.3 mpg. After only two days of work, the 6.0L was making 402 hp and 793 lb-ft at the rear wheels. Not only that, the added power did not come at the expense of seeing higher EGT, coolant, or oil temperatures. Instead, the newfound power is completely usable, we saw a fuel economy gain, and the truck remains smog legal. If you ask us, that’s not bad at all for just a weekend’s worth of work.
Banks’ Techni-Cooler intercooler has a number of features designed to improve performance over the stock unit.
The end tanks are made of cast-aluminum with larger, mandrel-bent 3½-inch orifices, and they are designed to flow more evenly than the plastic factory parts. It fits right into the stock location and takes advantage of the much larger intake tubes that come with the Big Hoss Bundle.
All work was performed in the Banks PowerHouse Installation Center, where the Banks crew can personally install your upgrades while you wait just a few yards away from where the parts were designed.
The High-Ram intake manifold is much larger than the stock intake elbow and has a 3½-inch opening designed to match the increased size of the Banks boost tubes.
Two ports for water-methanol injector nozzles were drilled and tapped in the Banks High-Ram intake manifold before it was installed. Studs are used to secure the manifold and keep it in place—even when the system is under increased boost pressures.
The intercooler boost tube upgrades are 3½ inches in diameter for increased flow and less backpressure. The pipes are mandrel bent to prevent restrictions and to keep a constant diameter throughout the intake system.
Silicone boots and T-bolt clamps are used for all the connections, and a spacer is included that raises the battery and airbox to make room for the larger pipes.
The boost tube that leads from the turbo to the intercooler includes an expansion zone, which dramatically increases in diameter to quickly eliminate turbulence inside the new intake setup.
Banks’ Ram-Air cold-air intake system uses a dome-shaped cotton gauze filter that flows more easily than the factory paper unit. The inlet of the Ram-Air extends to just behind the Super Duty grille, and the interior of the sealed airbox is designed to have no sharp bends or chokepoints.
The Six-Gun tuner module plugs into the factory computer and sensors to unlock the potential of the upgrades made to the 6.0L by controlling pulse width and timing. It has six programs built in and is capable of increasing output by 171 hp and 366 lb-ft of torque.
The solenoids operated by the Double-Shot water-methanol injection system were installed under the hood, and close to the High-Ram intake with the drilled injection ports.
Push connections make installing the high-pressure water-methanol feed lines easy. The injectors have directional, nickel-plated brass nozzles and built-in stainless steel screens to keep debris out of your engine.
The Straight-Shot water-methanol injection controller was mounted in the existing A-pillar pod, giving the driver command of up to two stages of injection based on various inputs. The display has a red LED for alerts, and the display screen can show EGT, boost, percentage of fluid flow, and the percent of throttle being applied.
Hidden away under the truck was the injection pump for the water-methanol system. It utilizes plug-and-play wiring and an anti-vibration mount. The pump is capable of quietly producing up to 300 psi of pressure and has a built-in output pressure switch to detect leaks or low fluid.
A 7-gallon tank was bolted into the bed of the truck for easy access. It was filled with the Banks PowerBlend water-methanol mix during the dyno and road testing, and then with 100 percent water it managed to knock down EGT to 1,333 degrees during a towing test on an 8-percent grade.
The SpeedBrake exhaust brake control module is made to be a plug-and-play installation and gave the test vehicle the ability to slow from highway speeds down to just 15 mph without having to touch the brake pedal. It plugs into a network hub that connects it to the iQ 2.0 touchscreen controller so it can work in unison with the rest of the system.
Banks’ Monster exhaust system has a polished stainless steel muffler with a straight-through design and an expansion chamber designed to eliminate mid-range exhaust drone. The exhaust system is a 50-state-legal cat-back design that’s built to flow much more than stock.
The optional Diesel Duals dual exhaust outlet system was installed on the Power Stroke, with pipes exiting behind both back wheels and providing 52 percent more flow than a single outlet.
These 6x5-inch exhaust tips are available in polished chrome, or in high-temperature black, and include a ½-inch air gap to prevent heat from tarnishing the finish.