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Old 01-17-2003, 02:56 PM   #1
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Banks PowerPack Systems

Mine is a 1995 Land Yacht LE with Chevy 454 powertrain...I was at my RV dealer today discussing my upcoming 6-month trip to Alaska pulling a trailer with my MG on it...the service manager suggested I might want to install Banks PowerPack intake & exhaust systems before the trip...says they will give me about 20% better gas mileage, faster acceleration, better hill climbing ability, cool my exhaust considerably, & give me higher sustainable highway speeds.......

......anybody have experience with Banks on their unit?
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Old 01-17-2003, 04:03 PM   #2
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Banks system

I just picked my truck up this morning with a brand new Banks system installed in my 5.3L Silverado.

I think your mechanic is mostly right. The first thing I noticed was that it felt a lot quicker accelerating from a stop and merging with the freeway traffic. The second thing was that I didn't get all of the usual shifts out of OD on the hills on the way home. There is a definite increase on power.

However, I have the Banks info right in front of me and they only claim 2% better gas mileage. I'm hoping it is a bit better when towing by virtue of a lot fewer downshifts, but I kinda doubt the 20% figure.

The garage that installed my Banks commented on the high quality of the system components.
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Old 01-17-2003, 04:17 PM   #3
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John...I've got the Banks Motorhome literature here for GM 454 engines...it says: Fuel Economy 6.90mpg stock; 8.25mpg Banks; 19% better....then, on the back there is another test that says: Fuel Economy level highway @ 55mph: 9.4mpg stock; 10.32mpg Banks; 10% improvement...&...Hill climb 6% grade @Full Throttle: 4.75mpg stock; 7.60mpg Banks; 60% improvement

...wonder if the difference is that yours is a pickup & mine is a 30' motor home?

...did you install both the intake & exhaust systems?

&, my dealer also said that with the changes to transmission shify points, it wouldn't shift so much..sounds like you've already experienced that...
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Old 01-17-2003, 04:34 PM   #4
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That may be a difference

On the intake side, I just have a low-restriction Banks filter. I guess replacing the Chevy intake on the new trucks didn't give enough payoff to make the ram-air change worthwhile.

I'm surprised at the difference in estimated gas mileage on the two engines. It may be that the current day engines are already so highly optimized in stock form that Banks can't get much more milage out of them.

Be that as it may, I was really pleased with the difference driving home this morning and I'll take any increase I can get. I'll know more next Friday when I pick up the trailer for our Vintage Weekend.
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Old 01-18-2003, 09:33 AM   #5
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Banks numbers for the 5.3L

Rear wheel numbers

Best gain hp - +10%
Peak to peak hp - +10%
Best gain torque - +10%
Peak to peak torque - +8%
Air cleaner restriction - -85%
Backpressure - -73%
0-60 - 6% quicker
40-60 - 11% quicker
Hill climb - +14%
Fuel economy - +2%

The graphs only show the torque and hp from 2700 - 5000 rpm, the hill climbing range. The Banks readings enter the graphs well above the stock readings and that tells me that I'm should get a real good boost at my cruising rpm of 2300 (OD locked out). The torque curve looks especially good.
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Old 01-18-2003, 10:48 AM   #6
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It's been my experience that whenever I have done things like adding performance equipment the m.p.g. always goes down. Seems I like keep my foot in it even more than before, hear the exhaust rumble, maybe chirp the tires and listen to the turbo spin up, (on diesels of course).

Maybe I will outgrow it someday?

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Old 01-18-2003, 12:11 PM   #7
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Ditto

Without the trailer, I agree; I like performance. I doubt that it changes the way I tow, though. I'm pretty conservative with the trailer attached.

The test wil be my upcoming trip to Seminole Canyon; about 300 miles each way. So far all of my trips have been in relatively hilly country and I have averaged about 10 1/2. to 11. I'm hoping for a bit of an increase due to fewer downshifts and a bit less throttle opening.
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Old 01-30-2003, 02:47 PM   #8
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Gas mileage

Just filled up after 129 miles consisting of about 50 miles of towing and the rest of mixed city/country driving. 14.6 mpg, which is very good considering I have not been shy about putting my foot in it to try out the new system.

I think the mileage gain is largely because of fewer shift downs, especially with the trailer in tow.
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Old 03-02-2003, 04:33 PM   #9
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Smile Much better mileage

I just returned from East Texas. On the trip east, I filled up at nearly 300 miles on my 26 gallon tank and recorded 13.1 MPG. I towed at 60 in cruise control, overdrive locked out. The route had no severe hills and few towns. I didn't check the trip back since there were a lot of non-towing miles involved.

13.1 is the best mileage I have recorded while towing the Airstream and a great improvement over the 10.5-11 MPG I was getting pre-Banks. At $1.599 a gallon, the extra mileage is very welcome.
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:24 PM   #10
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Glad to hear about your MPG increase....I picked my '95 LandYacht LE up from the dealer last week after the Banks was installed....haven't tried it out much but on the way home it had much more pickup, really jumped away at lights & quickly got to speed, pulled hills easier, shifted much less & flat out zoomed down the interstate....am eagerly awaiting warm weather so I can hook the trailer & MG to her & see what happens! Think I'll see an increase in MPG because I am very careful & conservative when towing my MG on a trailer behind me!
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Old 03-02-2003, 07:55 PM   #11
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John,

Great gas mileage and better torque too!!

I have a question for you. When you said:

I towed at 60 in cruise control, overdrive locked out

Did you have it in OD @ 60mph? The reason why I ask, is that my Chevy dealer said that OD wasn't strong enough to tow in for any long distance(under 50 miles) with a trailer weighing more than 4000#'s. I'd hate for you to wear out your tranny.

I don't know your feelings on this, but thought I'd share.

John
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:05 PM   #12
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OD

I thought we discussed this before by PM.

With the cruise control set at 60 and Tow/Haul selected, my truck never goes into overdrive and virtually never shifts down except on serious hills. It will unlock the converter on occasional hills. I have to be going over about 63 for it to shift to OD. When I said locked out, I meant only that I was travelling at a speed where it never shifts into OD.

I don't know where the Chevy dealer came up with "OD isn't strong enough". OD is just like any other gear in the transmission. The only downside to towing in OD is the greatly increased number of transmission shifts. Shifting and/or overheating are the only things that are going to harm a transmission. If I were towing across Louisiana on I-10, I would have no fear of running in overdrive and I would do that by pushing the speed up to 65 or so.
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Old 03-02-2003, 11:22 PM   #13
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towing in OD

The lore about not towing in OD is based on the trans from the mid-90's (can't remember if it was my '93 Suburban or the '96) but one of those was covered with stickers telling you never to tow in OD. Apparently the trans oil pump didn't circulate enough for cooling or something. Anyway, the new Suburbans can tow all day long in OD. I pull a 9000# racecar rig with an '01 5.3/4:10 with a Whipple on all over California and Colorado with no problems. If you have a tow/haul mode, you are OK for sure.
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:32 AM   #14
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700r4

was the tranny that you always wanted to leave in drive.

i had one in a '88 k1500 4x4 that went 275,000 miles. with regular fluid changes.

a lot of people never made it out of warranty without going through at least 2 or 3. (my father had one/3 in a 92 burb) if they towed alot.

you guys with the 4l65's have better trannys. but like the 700r4, nothing will run forever without regular servicing.

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