Gale Banks Engineering Power Stroke Diesel PowerPack Product Review, Part Two
"HOLY S#*T! This sumbitch hauls ass!" I screamed out loud as I pulled away from the Banks "Campus," and turned east on Azusa's Gladstone Blvd. Standing on the throttle for the first time since Gale Banks Engineering's PowerPack System was installed, I was pushed back in my seat and my four and a half ton F350 (That's 9000 pounds of steel for those of you that can't add!) launched like a Pro Stock car on nitro. As it came on the pipe like a high strung MX bike, both back tires started to boil and the truck pitched into a full slide around the turn!
"What the hell was that? F350 Crew Cabs don't powerslide on asphalt?" I asked myself as I lifted my foot off the throttle...
"This is really cool!" I started to cackle like a drunken sailor as I stabbed the throttle to the floor again. The boost gauge climbed to 25 psi and I looked at the speedo as it shifted into OD. 85 mph? What? I'd better slow this mother down! Speed limit here is 45!
My eyes literally started to water with sheer joy as I blasted over to my buddy Guy's house in nearby Glendora, to show off my new toy. The difference in power is so impressive it's shocking! Words cannot do justice to what it feels like to drive a 9000 lb Corvette! Throttle response is instantaneous. There is no perceptible turbo lag, despite the several feet of 3" tubing and the HUGE intercooler that now resides neatly tucked behind my grill. This is the most significant improvement I have ever felt from a bolt on performance upgrade... Period!
We were just outside of Barstow when the turbo kicked in!
With the cruise control set at 80mph, I got a 20% increase in fuel economy on the drive back home to Las Vegas! On the way down to LA, I did a measured distance of 190 miles between Vegas and Barstow. Getting 12.1 mpg with the cruise set at 80 mph. On the way home I ran the same measured distance, at the same speed, and got 14.6 mpg!
While hardly scientific (In fact I hate scientists, they always seem to come up with some total BS to justify closing my favorite riding spot!). The facts speak for themselves. A 20% increase in fuel economy is a big deal! Especially when received in conjunction with a 60-80% increase in horsepower AND torque! Arriving back at the ORC offices, secretly located on the outskirts of Las Vegas. My truck and it's new Banks PowerPack was of course the number one topic of conversation! The required hood popping, tire kicking and bench racing out of the way... Eddie Perez turns and holding out his hand, says, "Keys."
I should have been a little suspicious of that glimmer in is bloodshot eyes, but what the hell! What good is a new toy if you don't share? So Norm, Eddie and I hopped in for a spin, and some real world hot rod testing...
Norm took a turn at the wheel first. Quite frankly Normie drives like a grandpa, and Eddie screams at him constantly, just like they were married, "NORM! Ya know if you press the gas pedal it'll go faster!" Well Norm did, and it did... In a green light launch my F350 hit just over 45mph across the intersection. That's quick, but not enough action to keep Eddie quiet. "Norm, pull over, it's my turn!
Out onto US-95 at full throttle, across three lanes of traffic and with a buried speedometer, Eddie looks back at me and with a BIG smile says, "This sucker hauls ass, I want one." As we get off the freeway, He stabs the throttle and both back wheels break loose sending us into a full powerslide... Coming up to the next light there's a two wheel drive F150 with a 5.4L sitting next to us.
Of course he tries to holeshot us...
"Nobody passes me!" Eddie screams, as the turbo boost climbs to 25 psi, 4.5 tons of plastic, glass, steel and mentally defective moto-journalists are catapulted forward...
We blew that F150's doors off, sucked out his headlights and slap put his ass on the trailer! Pulling up to the next red light, the guy in the F150 is looking pretty pathetic. He stares over at this 4.5 ton diesel powered rolling brick that just smoked him like a cheap cigar in a drag race to 100 mph. And by almost four car lengths.
I don't think he likes his truck anymore!
In fact, I'll bet you a C-note that he was at the Ford dealer that afternoon screaming at the service manager, "I don't care if it's not throwing any freakin'codes from the computer, my truck ain't running right!" Chalk up another racing victory for Gale Banks and his boys!
And now the numbers! All the real world, dyno and road tests results below were performed on a stock 97 F250 with a curb weight of 6,850 lbs. Of course your actual results may vary slightly as did mine, when we tested my truck on the dyno.
Factors effecting actual performance/economy include, but are not limited to:
Suspension and/or Body Lifts
Vehicle Model and/or Curb Weight
Hood Deflectors (Banks recommends their removal, it seems the lower edge interferes with air intake and can result in the loss of as much as 2-3lbs. of turbo boost, as much as 10%!)
The charts, graphs and colorful technical displays below are the results of Banks Engineering' extensive scientific testing of it's PowerPack products:
Click images to enlarge.
Rear Wheel Horsepower And Torque Gains
Banks PowerPack Test Results
1997 Ford F-250 Power Stroke Diesel
Acceleration Time Solo*: 0-60 mph
Acceleration Time Towing**: 0-60 mph
Acceleration Distance Solo*: 0-60 mph
-353 ft (39%)
-267 ft (39%)
Acceleration Distance Towing**: 0-60 mph
-997 ft (43%)
-854 ft (46%)
Power At Downshift Point (2000 rpm) Horsepower
+ 81.1 hp (55%)
+213.0 lb-ft (55%)
Fuel Economy, Towing**:
Hill Speed Towing** (6% Grade):
Rear Wheel Horsepower: Peak (3,000 rpm)
Best Gain (3,200 rpm)
Rear Wheel Torque: Peak
Best Gain (2,400 rpm)
Air Cleaner Vacuum:
* 6,850 lbs Solo
** 17,480 lbs Towing
So what did it do for Mr Dune's 1997 F350 Crew Cab 4x4 you ask...