Banks Power ?

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smokeater1

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Anyone installed a Banks Power set up in a E450 ?  Their ads claim HP,TQ, and mileage increases. In my experience those things do not go together. Our 2005 27' Minne has OK power, but uphill it could use some help The banks kits are $$ so it would have to do a lot to justify the cost.

Thanks,
Jack.
 

DougJ

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Hi Jack,

We installed a Banks PowerPack and TransCommand on our 32ft 1990 Winnebago Elandan powered by a Ford 460.

What I was after was better power so that merging from on-ramps, lane changing, and hill climbing would be easier and better.

We got this.  It's been hard to discern any real improvement in fuel economy, but improved fuel economy was not my goal.

I had it done at their plant in Azuza, CA.  They took the rig at 6.20 a.m. and I had it back at 3.00 p.m. even though they had to dig out four header bolts.

The cost was about $5K Cdn.

I've no regrets.

Ciao,

Doug
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I assume your E450 a newer one with a V10 rather than the older 460 V8.  Generally the old 460 got more improvement from the Banks package than the V10 does, but there is still some. Take a look at the Banks web site and locate the horsepower and torque improvement charts for your engine.  Make sure you will get significant improvement in the lower RPM ranges where you actually drive and not just at very high RPMs.

Banks makes a fine product, but the general ad claims are pretty broad and include gains typically expereinced only with older model engines. Newer engines rarely get mileage improvements and generally get a more modest HP and torque gains as well. That's because modern engines are more efficient to start with. But Banks has the actual (measured) facts and figures for each engine and will share them with you. If they aren't on the web site, call them and ask.

You should consider a US Gear Over/Under drive (auxiliary transmission) as an alternative to the Banks package. Costs is similar and it delivers your existing HP & torque to the drive wheels in a more efficient manner, giving you more power when you need it. Generally speaking, your engine has plenty of power but the 4 speed Ford tranny simply isn't harnessing it as well as can be.  An aux transmission gives you more forward gears and helps you move when the stock tranny leaves you wallowing in low rpm (and thus low torque/hp) ranges.

ADDENDUM: The trade name "Over/Under Drive" belongs to Gear Vendors, not US Gear and Gear Vendors seems to be the more preferred brand of aux tranny among RVers. I don't have any personal experience myself.
 

smokeater1

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I had not considered improving the transmission. That actually seems a better plan. Although most any engine will get some benefit from intake and exhaust improvements I agree the older non injected pre computer ones will respond the best.
Thanks, I will look into the transmission angle.

Jack.
 

Woody

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Mar 10, 2005
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Hi Jack,

If you go with the aux. transmission you might want to take a look at an article in this months Motorhome magazine about a homemade air booster that you can make and install yourself. The author of this article reported that it made a significant improvement in the power of his big block gasser.

Woody
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Check out the Gear Vendor's Over/Underdrive aux transmission at http://www.gearvendors.com/

From the reports I've heard, Gear Vendors is preferred over the US Gear product, but I have no personal experience to relate.  Chet Parks has one or the other, so maybe he will give a recommendation.

 

Alaskansnowbirds

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RV Roamer said:
Check out the Gear Vendor's Over/Underdrive aux transmission at http://www.gearvendors.com/

From the reports I've heard, Gear Vendors is preferred over the US Gear product, but I have no personal experience to relate.  Chet Parks has one or the other, so maybe he will give a recommendation.

My son had a Gear Vendors on his previous F250 diesel. He loved it. Never had any problems with it. We installed it ourselves. The only thing we couldn't do ourselves was shorten the dive shaft.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Karl said:
Don,

Couple of questions: Did you have to measure for the cut, or did GearVendors supply that info? And how is gear selection done - manually, or automatically?

Karl,

I don't remember if it was specified by GearVendors or if the instructions told us how to measure. Too many years ago and CRS.

Ken had it in a '86 F250 with a four speed manual transmission. GearVendor gear selection was done manually with a switch on the shift lever. Looked just like the switch for a two speed rear end. If I remember right upshifting was done under power. You moved the switch then quickly let up on the accelerator then reapplied power. Downshifting was done by disengaging clutch and moving switch at the same time then letting the clutch out.

I'm not sure but I seem to remember that there was instructions on how to do the shifting if installed with an automatic transmission.
 

Karl

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Downshifting was done by disengaging clutch and moving switch at the same time then letting the clutch out.

Kinda like shifting in an 18-wheeler; first gear run up, clutch in and flip the switch, run up in second (first overdrive), clutch in, flip switch, shift, etc.

I'll send them an email asking for specifics.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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In an automatic, the GV units shifts under power, just like the main tranny. From the GV web site (FAQ page):

The GEAR VENDORS, on the other hand, is built like an automatic. It has the expensive and reliable reaction planetary system, which is why it's compact and cylindrical in shape like your automatic. The GEAR VENDORS is designed to shift under any and all throttle conditions continuously, so when you need power you can go up or down just half a gear at a time (GearSplitting).

For a manual tranny, they recommend using the clutch but don't give any details on tha.
 

Karl

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Thanks Gary,

Missed that. That would help a lot with the E4OD which waits until it gets down to about 2200 rpm, then shifts into 2nd with the engine jumping up to about 3800. Way too big a gap between 2nd and 3rd, and it would help  with the cruise control set too, reducing shifting out of o.d. on the slightest hill.
 
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