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2014-2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Power and MPG Upgrades

How to Add 37 hp, 46 lb-ft of Torque, and 2.66 mpg With the Stinger System by Banks Power

Dec 17, 2015
Photographers: Trevor Reed, Patrick McKinley
Recently, the team at Banks Power purchased a ’15 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Laramie Limited (the last version of this trim with the traditional crosshair grille). Before the dealer tags had even been removed, the truck was fitted with numerous sensors and pieces of computer hardware for some scientific shakedowns. After that was done, the technicians got baseline horsepower, torque, and fuel economy readings for the truck in stock form, then they tested it again with all of the company’s EcoDiesel Stinger System parts in place. The end result was a significant increase in power and torque, more boost, quicker acceleration, and a big calculated improvement in miles per gallon of diesel used. Here’s how the team at Banks Power got it done.
Testing, Testing
To give you an idea of all the information gathered from the Ram EcoDiesel shop truck, here’s a list of the readings used by the engineers during this project and how the data was collected:
Ambient temp (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Ambient pressure (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Engine coolant temp (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Engine oil temp (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Accelerator pedal position (analog)
Accelerator pedal position (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Engine speed (sensor)
Engine speed (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Vehicle speed (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Engine load (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Throttle inlet pressure (instrumented)
Throttle inlet temperature (instrumented)
Fuel rail pressure sensor voltage at the ECU (analog)
Voltage from fuel rail pressure sensor (analog)
Fuel rail pressure (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Fuel flow rate (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Fuel rail pressure (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Injector timing (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Air/fuel ratio (analog)
Intake manifold pressure (CAN Bus)
Intake manifold temperature (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Compressor outlet temperature (CAN Bus)
Mass air flow (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Manifold absolute pressure (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Turbo vane position (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Commanded EGR position (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Turbine inlet pressure (CAN Bus)
EGT (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Exhaust pressure (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Muffler inlet pressure (instrumented)
DPF status (CAN Bus/OBD-II)
Chassis dyno horsepower
Chassis dyno torque
Photo 2/27   |   04 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Dyno Emissions Test Dual Exhuast Catchers
Since the Limited trim of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel comes with dual exhaust outlets (unlike any other current diesel pickups), technicians had to build a custom setup for test equipment in the Banks Power Emissions Lab to catch the truck’s expelled gases.
Photo 3/27   |   05 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Data Collection Equipment
Photo 4/27   |   06 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Data Collection Equipment
Numerous sensors (see list) are fed into a voltage box, a pressure transducer module, a thermocouple junction box, and a data transfer unit that sends all the information to a laptop computer for logging. Information is provided to the setup using the custom probes and gauges, along with readings taken from the truck’s on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) and controller area network (CAN Bus) systems.
Photo 5/27   |   07 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel FTP 75 Emissions MPG Testing Screen
Between tests, the crew in the emissions lab let us take a turn manning the throttle during a fuel economy test simulation. The goal is to keep the green arrow as close to the green line as possible without hitting the blue lines. We did OK for almost 2 minutes before the arrow turned yellow and then a simulated decline put us into the red, which would have voided a real test. We were told that technicians who can’t keep the arrow green don’t last long as emissions testers.
Photo 6/27   |   09 EPA FTP 75 Federal Driving Cycle Test Proceedure Graph
The EPA’s Federal Test Procedure for simulated city driving is called FTP-75, and it takes more than half an hour to perform. It puts vehicles through a simulation of driving 11.04 miles with an average speed of 21.2 mph and a maximum speed of 56.7 mph. If you spend too much time outside the boundaries, a truck or car has to cool down completely before another attempt at running a full test can be made.
Photo 7/27   |   08 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Underhood Boost Pressure And Temperature Gauges
One of the many custom sensor setups installed by the team at Banks is this combination of a pressure gauge and temperature probe to measure the pre-throttle intake charge.
Photo 8/27   |   10 Banks Power Emissions And MPG Lab Equipment
The Banks Dynafact system is used to measure emissions, which tell the technicians how much fuel is used during the FTP-75 test. After each dyno run, the gas tanks on the right are used to recalibrate the equipment.
More Power, Torque, and Boost
Performance measurements were gathered using a chassis dyno that’s rated to handle more than 1,500 lb-ft of torque. In stock form, the Ram EcoDiesel made a maximum of 215 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels (the factory’s crankshaft ratings are 240 hp and 420 lb-ft). The Stinger System is a straightforward setup consisting of improved intake and exhaust parts, along with a programmer for the 3.0L V-6 diesel engine. Lessons learned during the development of the Banks 630T engine (based on the VM Motori design used in the Ram 1500 pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee) helped engineers develop a package that delivers a nice improvement in horsepower, torque, and turbo boost.
The kit includes: a drop-in Ram-Air filter, an aluminum Silencer Delete Tube (that gets rid of the factory’s insulated and constrictive flattened plastic tube, which quiets the sweet sound of the turbo), a 4-inch cat-back Monster Duals exhaust system (to reduce exhaust gas temperature and reduce backpressure) with stainless tips available in chrome or black (a single-tip exhaust setup is also available), and the Banks Bullet engine tuner along with an A-pillar mounting pod. The programmer has calibrations for three on-the-fly power levels (Stock, Tow, and Sport) and also works as a display for boost and fueling levels. Once the truck had all the parts installed, the Ram was strapped down on the chassis dyno again and made 252 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque—a measured improvement of 37 hp and 46 lb-ft of torque over stock. In addition to the added performance, the peak boost was improved from 24.6 psi up to 26.1 psi, which should be useful for drivers accelerating from a dead stop and during passing maneuvers.
Quicker 0-to-60 and 40-to-60-mph Times
It was no surprise when testing showed the Ram’s acceleration improved with the Stinger System set in Sport mode. While stock, the ½-ton ran from 0 to 60 mph in 9.88 seconds, but the upgrades dropped that time to 8.98 seconds. Acceleration from 40 to 60 mph also improved with a time of 4.38 seconds compared to 4.96 seconds without the modifications.
More MPG
The Ram EcoDiesel already returns the best fuel mileage of any ½-ton truck with ratings of 21 city/24 combined/29 highway mpg for two-wheel-drive models and 19/22/27 with four-wheel drive. An EPA Federal Test Procedure, FTP-75, is a dyno-performed operation that measures a vehicle’s city driving cycle by comparing emissions output to fuel usage. It takes more than half an hour to perform and puts a car or truck through a simulation of driving 11.04 miles with an average speed of 21.2 mph and a maximum speed of 56.7 mph. Dyno runs using the FTP-75 emissions test showed the Stinger kit can improve the truck’s fuel economy.
The technicians at Banks Power had to construct a custom exhaust-catching setup for the Ram Limited’s dual outlet exhaust (which is possibly the first factory-offered dual setup available on a diesel pickup sold in the U.S.—email us if you know about a predecessor). As the man running the equipment tells us, “Carbon goes into the engine as fuel, and it has to come out, so it’s just a matter of reading how much diesel is burned to gauge the fuel economy.” In stock form, the truck got 21.16 mpg, and in Sport mode it achieved 23.82 mpg—an increase of 2.66 mpg. This rating combined with the added power, torque, and boost, showed us how the Stinger system unlocks plenty of extra potential from the ’14-to-’16 Ram 1500’s 3.0L EcoDiesel engine.
Photo 9/27   |   2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Stock Vs Power Stinger Figures Chart
Photo 10/27   |   01 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel With Banks Stinger Front Side View
Banks Power bought this ’15 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel to be a shop truck and testbed for 3.0L V-6 performance products. The team managed to find an early model year pickup with the Limited trim that includes the traditional crosshair grille design seen here, unlike late ’15 and ’16 trucks with the new, unique fascia and gigantic “RAM” lettering on the tailgate.
Photo 11/27   |   02 Ram EcoDiesel Baks Power Stinger System Upgrades
Ram-Air drop-in filter for the factory airbox, a high-volume turbo Silencer Delete Tube (the gray part in the top right of the photo), and a 4-inch cat-back Monster Exhaust. The kit is also available for EcoDiesel trucks that come with a single exhaust, and it can be ordered with the high-temperature, black-coated, stainless steel exhaust tips shown here or chrome tips such as those used in this project.
Photo 12/27   |   03 Ram EcoDiesel Banks Power Bullet Tuner In Sport Mode
The Banks Bullet tuner has three power modes (Stock, Tow, and Sport) that can be selected on the fly. The unit can also be used to display real-time turbocharger boost and engine fueling levels.
Photo 13/27   |   11 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Stock Power Dyno Run
The Ram EcoDiesel’s 3.0L V-6 pumps outs a crankshaft-measured 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. With the truck in completely stock form, the dyno shows that it makes 215 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.
Photo 14/27   |   12 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Ram Air Filter Upgrade
The Ram-Air drop-in filter fits into the factory airbox and improves flow over the stock paper filter.
Photo 15/27   |   13 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Factory Turbo Silencer Tube Removal
Photo 16/27   |   14 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Stinger System Intake Silencer Delete Tube Installation
The Stinger System includes a Silencer Delete Tube that replaces the restrictive factory part with a custom aluminum pipe for improved airflow while increasing the sound heard from the turbo. We doubt fans of Diesel Power will mind the added “noise.” Along with the air filter, exhaust system, and programmer, this part helps to increase the maximum boost from the stock level of 24.6 psi up to 26.1 psi.
Photo 17/27   |   15 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Stinger System Bullet Tuner Wiring
The Banks Bullet power programmer is connected under the hood to the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor, the fuel rail pressure (FRP) sensor, and a power source in the fuse box. The factory clutch master cylinder plate is used as a pass-through for all the wiring after a 13/16-inch hole is drilled for access.
Photo 18/27   |   16 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Bullet Tuner A Pillar Pod
An interior-matching A-pillar pod wraps around the factory part to house the Banks Bullet module.
Photo 19/27   |   17 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Stinger Sytem Bullet Tuner A Pillar Installation
Once the pod is attached to the A-pillar, wiring is routed from the firewall and attached to the programmer.
Photo 20/27   |   18 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Bullet Tuner And IQ Monitor
The Bullet has three performance settings (Stock, Tow, and Sport) that can be changed while driving, along with a temperature-limiting safety feature. It can be used to display boost or fuel pressure and can be combined with the Banks iQ monitor shown here (not included with the Stinger System).
Photo 21/27   |   19 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Stock Dual Exhaust Removal
The Laramie Limited’s stock dual-outlet exhaust system is removed to make room for Banks Power’s redesigned cat-back setup. The large-diameter tubing helps lower the exhaust gas temperature (EGT) while minimizing backpressure.
Photo 22/27   |   20 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Monster Exhaust Versus Stock Exhaust
The Monster Exhaust uses mandrel-bent 4-inch–diameter intermediate pipes that are much larger than stock and comes with custom hangers for installation. The longer stainless steel exhaust tips are available in the chrome finish seen here or with a high-temperature black coating as shown in the photo of parts included in the Stinger kit.
Photo 23/27   |   21 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Stinger System Dual Monster Exhaust Kit
While the upgraded tubes are larger than the factory exhaust parts, the Monster system is designed to clear the shocks, brake lines, and the spare tire to prevent damage from heat.
Photo 24/27   |   22 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Banks Power Stinger System Chrome Exhaust Tip
Photo 25/27   |   23 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Dyno Run With Banks Power Stinger System Installed
With all the Stinger System parts installed, the Ram EcoDiesel was put back onto the chassis dyno. Multiple runs with the Sport tune selected showed the truck made a maximum of 252 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. That’s an improvement of 37 hp and 46 lb-ft of torque over stock, along with an FTP-75 projected improvement in city driving fuel economy of 2.66 mpg.
Photo 26/27   |   24 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel With Banks Power Stinger System Side View
Except for the Banks Power badges on the front fenders and the extra-large exhaust tips, you’d never know this sleeper was packing more diesel power.
Photo 27/27   |   25 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel With Banks Power Stinger System Rear View
The Monster Exhaust’s chrome exhaust tips fit right in with the truck’s styling while adding just a bit of flash.

Sources

Banks Power
Azusa, CA 91702
866-738-5915
http://www.bankspower.com

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