Never Satisfied | 8-Lug - December 2008

8-Lug reviews the Banks Six-Gun Bundle

Joe Burnside and his son Joey are never satisfied to leave things alone. They decided it was time to upgrade the power in their '07 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 to make full use of the 6-inch Fabtech lift, 25x12.50-17 Toyo MT tires, 4.11 gears, and lockers.

Wanting a complete package, they looked to Banks Engineering for the Six-Gun High-Performance bundle. This package includes the Six-Gun diesel tuner with PowerPDA option*, Ram-Air intake, and Monster exhaust. This enhancement is expected to add 135 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels of the big diesel, all while keeping the emissions components in place. *Note: the PowerPDA has since been upgraded to the Banks iQ dashboard PC.

The father and son team started with the exhaust and worked forward. The OEM muffler and exhaust tube from the diesel particulate filter to the back of the truck was removed and replaced with the Banks Monster exhaust. Three flange nuts and two exhaust hangers keep the exhaust in place and the Cool Cuff technology ensures the temperature of the exhaust gas does not get too hot.

click for articleNext, Joe and Joey removed the air-filter box and mounting plate and replaced it with the Banks Ram-Air intake. The new intake system is said to flow 64.69 percent more air than the stock box and is designed to work in unison with the Banks Monster exhaust to lower EGTs. The filter minder and MAF sensor were relocated from the stock locations to the Banks system. The engineers at Banks moved the MAF farther away from the air filter to ensure proper readings from the ECM and reduce fault codes.

In addition to the new airbox, Banks includes less restrictive plumbing to help move the air from the filter to the intake of the turbo. The next item installed was the programmer. It is a simple plug-in, color-coded design. The plugs were color-coded to match the OEM harness and plug right in. The MAF sensor is also plugged into the Banks Six-Gun programmer. A small umbilical was routed to the inside of the cab through the large rubber grommet on the firewall. This connects to the optional PDA mount. The Banks software is designed for the Palm Tungsten PDA, which was purchased separately.

The PDA feature is extremely useful. In addition to the six on the-fly performance tunes, it can display 4 of 19 monitors, provide visual and audible warnings if limits have been reached, display and clear OBDII codes, record performance tests, and it allows custom tuning in the Speed-Loader mode. The final step was to drill and tap into the right exhaust-manifold outlet for installation of a thermocouple. The thermocouple connects to the Banks programmer and monitors the exhaust temperature entering the turbocharger.

After everything was installed and buttoned up, it was time to take the truck for a drive. The Allison 1000 transmission uses adaptive shift-control logic to "learn" how to use the available power and driving habits. Banks recommends driving for 5 to 10 miles and cycling through each gear at the desired power level to allow the transmission time to learn the new shift pattern based upon the available horsepower.

Level one is the stock setting and level six is a wheel-spinning hard-charging tune sure to put a smile on anyone's face and surprise those around you. Joe and his son are pleased with the added horsepower and torque, but more importantly they did it with a "clean" tune with the help from Banks.


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