2000 Ford Chassis to Banks or not to Banks?

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Well-known member
Apr 9, 2005
Benson , AZ.
We had considered doing a Banks on our 97 F53 chassis, but never got around to it, now we are on a 00 F53 chassis.  Thinking about it again.  Experience?  The Trans Command for the tranny is under $300, and easy enough to install by me, but the big change requires more tools than I have with me.  The big change uses exhaust headers etc,  not something to do in a campground. 

Anyone have this done and loved it or thought just made it louder?

How about the trans command? 

What are you expecting to achieve?  Better acceleration?  Higher MPG?  Less speed drop on grades?

Transcommand just alters the shift points for the tranny, meaning Banks thinks they have a better profile for power vs speed than Ford engineers.  Any shift profile is a compromise, balancing the needs of various sets of operating environments. Always robbing Peter to pay Paul...

Headers improve exhaust flow but improved air intake has to be coupled with it.  You can usually gain a few  higher end horsepower that way. That may change the available Hp vs Rpm,  creating some need for Transcommand to alter shift points to take advantage of it.

The downside is you spend a LOT of money to get very modest improvements in a V10. Back in the 80's and early-mid 90's, there was a decent amount to be gained. Not so much since about 1999 when more modern engineering and production capability vastly improved factory spec engines.

Banks has charts showing Hp and Torque improvements for various engines. As I recall, they can get some gains with the early V10's, but not so much with the later years.

I had a 1996 F53 with a 460 V8 and full Banks kit.  However, I never drove the coach without the Banks mods, so don't have any way to subjectively evaluate what it did (or didn't) do. I know the mpg couldn't have been affected much - mine was about the same as everybody elses's.
I had the Banks header and intake kit installed on a 1994 Ford 460 in a Bounder, as Gary says it's pricey. I installed mine because of warped manifolds. There was a perceptible but not dramatic power increase and mileage went up a couple tenths.
I seem to remember some of the conversations that went this back when I didn't have an engine.  Yes hoping to gain a little on grades.  I know it is not like putting in a V8 where a i4 had been, but is the marginal gain worth the money?  Having had 11 years driving a 97 460, I was hoping for just a little more oomph with the V-10. 

The 2-valve V10 in that year would be either 305 or 310 hp.  The later 3-valve version jumped it up nicely, but I don't think the Banks package can do much more that a few extra ponies at high rpms where you don't often run anyway. Ask for their charts on it - they have dyno runs to show exactly what it can and cannot do.

I think you are talking upwards of $4k for the full Banks package installed. Maybe even $5k at todays labor prices. How much is a few horsepower worth?

In my opinion, the biggest boost in performance would come from a 5 or 6 speed tranny upgrade.  The 4-speed 4R100 just doesn't have enough gearing to deliver the horsepower to the drive wheels in all situations.
Gary RV_Wizard said:
In my opinion, the biggest boost in performance would come from a 5 or 6 speed tranny upgrade.  The 4-speed 4R100 just doesn't have enough gearing to deliver the horsepower to the drive wheels in all situations.

Out of interest, what roughly would such an upgrade cost, Gary?

I am seeing somewhere around 3k for the parts and 8 hours labor for the intake/exhaust portion, the trans command 300 plus 1.5 hour to install.
I've checked this a bit too, and it seems like the cost is more than the performance improvements on the later V-10's - hard to justify that much cash.
Look into a unit called 5 Star Tuning -  has some good reviews, only about $500.
I'm looking into it for our next rv, especially if it has a V-10. Good luck.
In 2005 when I got my Chevy powered RV I looked at banks and decided "Too expensive" the pay back will never happen even if I assume the overly optimistic MPG improvement.

ULTRA POWER... Seems to offer a better cost/improvement ratio.

Oh... I went with... STOCK. no modifications.
So you get this handheld device, does that stay connected?  Or does it download into the ECU and you put it away?  I just might try this one.
with the 5-star you download it to the ecm and then just put it away unless you want to return to stock or try another tune
here's the real deal..., the early models got the most from banks...the exhaust system was horrible from ford...
so that being said...the most gain for the buck on a 2000 model v-10 is the Y pipe...the stock is very restricted at best...and it will net the most power, tq and hp,... then add a little on the mpg when you change it out.... the stock muffler is a power chamber design...so not much to gain..but they are noisy?. same with the air intake... any mods will gain little and cause horrible noise..
the newer V-10's have a new designed Y pipe

next is the 5 star tune..big gains for the buck...I just did a full banks on a 2018 24.1 Vegas by thor?. not much gain at all...I sold it because wife hated it..and no power..actually I traded it in on a new pace arrow diesel pusher..no power on it either... but happy wife,... so happy life
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