Ford's Triton V-10 engine is a real powerhouse for gas engine truck owners. Although not quite as torquey as a diesel, this gas V-10 engine does make some pretty impressive numbers. The horsepower is 310 at 4,250 rpm, and the torque checks in at 425 lb-ft at 3,250. However, even though these numbers are impressive, there's room for improvement.
As a volunteer for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Search and Rescue team, located in the Antelope Valley of Southern California, this author's job is to help setup the vehicles for their intended role within the department. The department has a vehicle that is used to tow the mobile command post, a 36-foot fifth-wheel trailer, that is equipped with radio equipment and room to haul a couple of four-wheel-drive quads and dirt bikes. This trailer weighs in at about 10,500 pounds when loaded for a typical mission. The truck used to haul this load around is an '01 Ford F-350 Crew Cab 4x4, equipped with the 6.8 Triton V-10 engine, and an automatic transmission.
The Sheriff's Department has found that while towing the 36-foot command post, the truck seems to be struggling while headed up the hills—in fact, it plugs away in Second gear trying to stay out of the way of the Freightliners. After being passed by a similarly loaded Ford with a diesel, they decided it was time to pull more power out of the engine. At 425 lb-ft of torque, this motor is not even coming close to its performance potential, since this engine could easily produce close to 500 lb-ft of torque.
Gale Banks Engineering has been taking factory stock engines produced by the manufacturers and creating some real powerhouses, using some carefully designed but simple bolt-on items. Also, with the advent of electronic engine controls, the company has found a way of producing great amounts of power with the use of upgraded electronics. All of these parts are designed to work together as a package to bring the performance up to the next level.
The Banks PowerPack® combines the use of headers (TorqueTubes), large exhaust systems, high-flow air filters, and electronic engine and transmission modules, to help make the Triton V-10 build some great horsepower and torque.
The PowerPack® System
This system includes the Banks Ram-Air intake with Ballistic air-filter housing, lifetime filter and service kit, electronic OttoMind engine-calibration module (optional), stainless TorqueTube exhaust manifolds with heat shielding, and stainless head-pipe assembly with seamless Y-collector. It also uses the company's stainless heat-shielded, low-restriction Dynaflow muffler, stainless constant-diameter Monster exhaust with 3-1/2-inch tailpipe, a 4-inch polished stainless tailpipe tip, and comprehensive owner's installation manual.
Banks Ram-Air Intake
Banks Ram-Air intake includes a molded Ballistic filter housing, plus a lifetime, high-flow Banks Ram-Air filter that delivers more cool, dense ram-air into your engine. A multi-layer design traps moisture, dust and debris on the oiled, outer surface, allowing air to move through with ease. It includes a service kit for use every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
OttoMind Engine-Calibration Module
Gale Banks' optional OttoMind engine calibration module matches the fuel curve to airflow improvements, so there is no over-tuning. OttoMind optimizes efficiency and prolongs durability, by calibrating fuel and spark timing to changing conditions. Banks removes the factory-imposed power delay, which impedes responsiveness as long as 60 seconds—so you will get instantaneous power when your throttle demands it. OttoMind extends power and mileage gains, and puts substantially more horsepower and torque at the shift points.
TorqueTube Exhaust Manifolds
The Banks stainless steel TorqueTubes are tuned-length, parallel five-tube exhaust manifolds. The company integrates five tuned-length tubes into a design that allows rotational firing of the cylinders through the exhaust. Banks' exclusive Power Pickle high-velocity pulse converter works to pull exhaust from your engine, liberating huge torque increases. Constructed with 0.625-inch-thick flanges welded 360 degrees on both sides, it also includes heat shielding.
Banks replaces the factory's restrictive muffler with a stainless-steel, free-flowing Dynaflow muffler, with integral heat shielding that contributes greatly to eliminating exhaust backpressure. Instead of using packing that can blow out the tailpipe, Banks' Dynaflow is resonance-tuned to dispel exhaust gasses through a suite of chambers and a 3-1/2-inch outlet.
Banks' Monster is a streamlined exhaust pipe and 3-1/2-inch tailpipe formed of stainless, heavy-wall tubing with constant diameter bends to slash backpressure. The stainless-steel head-pipe assembly features a Y-collector, which can be easily removed if the drivetrain needs servicing. The polished, stainless-steel 4-inch tailpipe tip provides a finishing touch.
The TransCommand is an automatic transmission management computer that delivers various functions. The TransCommand converts Ford 4R100 transmissions into super-duty units, by continually keeping shifts in correspondence with power and load levels.
The 4R100s—used in fullsize Ford trucks and vans—have soft, car-like shift characteristics. Many truck owners prefer firmer shifts, especially when hauling large loads. TransCommand is a quick, efficient cure. The electronic module senses the load and commands the transmission to raise hydraulic pressure accordingly. Light-throttle shifts are smooth and firm while full-throttle or heavy-load driving produces solid, decisive shifts.
Excessive clutch slippage is eliminated, extending transmission life. Gale Banks Engineering says the TransCommand is required with Sidewinder turbo, Stinger and PowerPack® systems for 6.9L and 7.3L Fords, and Power Strokes equipped with E4OF/4R100 automatics. It is built with high-temp, solid-state components.
The installation of these products took about seven hours at Banks Engineering's facilities in Azusa, California, with a few photo breaks in between installations. These products can be installed by a shade-tree mechanic, but would be easier with a lift.