Banks Power - Cold Air Intake Systems

Products - Cold Air Intake Systems

Increase horsepower by replacing the restrictive stock intake to handle a much larger volume of air.

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Products - Cold Air Intake Systems - Cold Air Intake Systems
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More About Cold Air Intake Systems

A lot of aftermarket companies talk about improving intake air flow. Make no mistake, good air flow does matter. But when it comes to really enhancing your diesel engine’s performance and power, flow isn’t the whole story. You’ve got to have high intake density (I.D.) because without it, you’re leaving untold power, performance, and efficiency on the table. And that means you need cold high-flow air.

In a diesel, the turbo improves I.D. by compressing the air. The intercooler improves I.D. by cooling the air. The stock intake air system decreases density by de-compressing and then heating the air. We want to minimize that loss of density. A true cold air intake system provides cold, high-pressure air which is far richer in oxygen content, providing exactly what your engine needs. Our competitors boast about flow but they don’t talk temperature. And that’s the truth about cold air intakes!

The Banks Ram-Air is superior because it couples maximum flow with minimum temperature. Its huge filter, smooth passageways, and high-flow outlet means airflow is cool, dense and unobstructed. And like every Banks system, it’s built to last.

The Truth about Cold Air Intakes

Testing, testing & more testing.

Banks Ram-Air Intake Systems are tested and proven. They start out as CAD software prototypes and are put through flow simulations. After a hardware prototype is made, it's tested on a flowbench. Then it's tested on the vehicle. And finally, Banks' density-tests the Ram-Air against stock and many competitors.

Proven design. Proven performance.

Thanks to its enclosed cold-air housing, huge inlet, giant filter and streamlined design, Banks Ram-Air Intake maximizes the flow of cool, dense air to the engine for greater power and fuel economy. It flows up to 116% better than stock. And delivers greater air density to the turbo's inlet than the stock system and every competitor tested!

It's all about density.

And Banks Ram-Air Intakes deliver. The harder you work your truck, the more Banks Ram-Air Intake improves power and fuel economy!

Longer service life, too.

An aftermarket exclusive: Banks Ram-Air accommodates engine movement, which protects the components and extends service life. What's more, Ram-Air is designed to not cause fault or error codes.

Adding a cold air intake is pretty much the most popular aftermarket addition people make to their trucks because it's relatively inexpensive, it's a quick and easy install, and the power gains are noticeable. No company gives you better performance — or better looks — than Banks.

New filter options available from Banks Power


Choose from the traditional red, oiled filter or the all-new black, dry filter. Plus, you can even get an extra layer of filtration protection by adding a pre-filter to your order.

The Truth about Cold Air Intakes


  • Maximum filtration capability — What good is a filter that won’t protect the engine?
  • Minimum restriction — No choke points as found in “filter on a stick” intakes
  • Coldest air source — Colder air is denser air, and air density is the key
  • Increased mileage — High Density air makes the turbo’s job easier, which improves mileage under all driving conditions.

Max air cold dense air makes abetter-than-stock air intake. Anything less is...less.

Cold, high-pressure ram-air flowing through Banks Ram-Air® Intake with optional Super-Scoop®

6 Intakes Flunked Banks’ Density Test!

6 out of 7 “cold air” systems provide LESS air density to the turbo inlet than the stock system! That sucks for our competitors, because air density is the key to better performance. MORE DENSITY = MORE MPG AND HP.

It’s good to be dense, all right. Check out our density ad for an informative look at intake airflow, air temperature and air density, and how they all come together in the Banks Ram-Air Intake. ad

Testing so good, it’s patented! Banks sets uncompromisingly high standards for testing. In fact, we were awarded an Engine Performance Evaluation patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Check it out: Engine Performance Evaluation: US Patent # 7,254,477

Overview Summary

We measured each intake’s effect on air density at the turbo compressor inlet. Intake temperatures will generally be higher than ambient conditions, but the more the system can duct cool air to the filter and preserve the cool temperature as the air is ducted to the turbo, the higher the air density will be. In addition, there will commonly be a pressure drop as air travels through the filter and the ducting due to any restriction that is introduced. If the design of the system can minimize the restriction and the pressure loss, air density will be preserved.

Test Setup

A 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 Quad Cab Long Bed with the Cummins 5.9L engine and automatic transmission was used as the test vehicle. A data acquisition system was used to measure vehicle speed via GPS, along with multiple temperature thermistors and extremely accurate pressure transducers. The total vehicle weight was approximately 19,000 lbs. Tests were run in 2WD.

Testing was conducted on a moderate hill on the northbound CA-57 in the city of Pomona. Speed was maintained at 45 MPH until the vehicle was adjacent to a pre-determined start point on the road. At that point, the accelerator was fully depressed and the vehicle was allowed to accelerate while climbing the hill. Test data was observed at the same vehicle speed in all cases, with the engine at 2800 RPM, the point of peak engine power. This data point occurred between 60 and 90 seconds into the run—sufficient time to allow the engine to reach a stabilized operating condition.

Air density testing chart comparing on-highway temperatures of Banks Ram-Air® Intake, Bullydog, Airaid, AFE Stage I & II, True Flow XDI, Volant & AEM Brute Force vs. stockChart comparing on-highway air density gain or loss of Banks Ram-Air® Intake, Bullydog, Airaid, AFE Stage I & II, True Flow XDI, Volant & AEM Brute Force vs. stock

Data Acquisition

Vehicle Speed, Engine RPM and Accelerator Pedal Position were logged to determine the load conditions and speeds. Temperature was measured using thermistors for increased accuracy. They were mounted to measure ambient temperature as well as temperatures at the filter and compressor inlets. Pressure transducers were used to measure pressure in the same locations. The intake system effect on air density was evaluated by comparing the temperature and pressure of the ambient air condition with the temperature and pressure of the air at the turbo compressor inlet.

All intake filtering systems will have some effect of diminished air density from ambient, including stock. The purpose of this evaluation is to compare this effect in relationship to the stock system. A replacement intake system is only valuable and effective if the intake air density percentage vs. ambient is greater than the air density percentage offered by the stock system.

All data presented assumes an ambient temperature of 77° F and ambient pressure of 29.24 inches of mercury, per SAE standards.

Test Results

Stock Intake

  • Elevated ambient air temp 17.7° F
  • Lowered air pressure 6.8%
  • Combined result: air density 90.2% of ambient

Banks Ram-Air
Replaces the stock setup with new housing, filter with 7.5” outlet, lid & ducting system made of cross-linked polyethylene & polypropylene, all the way to the inlet of the turbo compressor. Inlet to filter housing is sealed to the fender air duct with open-cell foam.

  • Elevated ambient temp just 12.3° F
  • Air pressure 3.9% lower than ambient
  • Combined result: air density 93.9% of ambient

Banks Ram-Air with optional Super-Scoop
Banks Super-Scoop® adds increased cold-dense air into the engine increasing density and power.

  • Elevated ambient temp only 7.0° F
  • Air pressure only 2.8% lower  
  • Combined result: air density 96.0% of ambient
    • The best temperature preservation of any of the 9 systems tested
    • Highest overall density of the 9 systems tested
    • Delivers enough density improvement over stock to increase the power output 28 more hp at the same EGT!

AFE Stage I and Stage II
Both systems use a filter with a 6” outlet. Stage I leaves the filter exposed with a sheet metal heat shield.

  • Elevated ambient temp 49.4° F
  • Lowered air pressure 2.7%
  • Combined result: air density 89.1% of ambient
    • 1.1% worse than stock
    • 6.9% worse than Banks
  • Installation would result in a power loss

Stage II has a fully enclosed housing with an integrated forward-facing scoop.

  • Elevated ambient temp 27.9° F
  • Pressure 3.0% less than stock
  • Combined result: air density 92.2% of ambient
  • 2.0% better than stock
  • 3.8% worse than Banks

AEM Brute Force Intake
Replaces the stock setup with an aluminum tube, dry filter & a sheet metal heat shield. Filter has a 4” outlet which mates to the aluminum tube.

  • Elevated ambient temp 52.6° F (2nd highest increase of the group tested)
    • Could be attributed to the aluminum tube transferring underhood heat into the intake air
  • Lowered air pressure 1.8%
  • Combined result: air density 89.5%
    • 0.7% worse than stock
    • 6.5% worse than Ram-Air with Super-Scoop
  • Installation would result in a power loss

Airaid Intake System
Quick-fit system filter mounts to an adapter that mates to the factory inlet duct with a 3.75” inside diameter.

  • Elevated ambient temp 26.8° F
  • Lowered air pressure 5.5%
  • Combined result: air density 90.1% of ambient
    • 0.1% less than stock
    • 5.9% worse than Banks
  • Installation would result in a power loss

Volant Cool Air Intake
Oval-shaped filter housed in an enclosed box with three openings: one at the bottom, one toward the front & one toward the fender.

  • Despite website claims that Volant is the “only true cool air design,” it elevated the ambient temp by 50.5° F — among the highest of the systems tested!
  • Lowered air pressure 3.2%
  • Combined result: air density 88.2% of ambient
    • 2.0% less than stock
    • 7.8% worse than Banks
  • Installation would result in a power loss

Bullydog RFI
Sheet metal enclosure with an opening toward the factory fenderwell opening. Filter is mated to a section of elbow tubing that mates to the factory bellows & silencer.

  • Elevated ambient temp 19.3° F
  • Lowered air pressure 8.3% (only system tested that produced a lower effective air pressure than the stock system)
  • Combined result: air density 88.5% of ambient
    • 1.7% worse than stock
    • 7.5% worse than Banks
  • Installation would result in a power loss


The highest density always equals the greatest power. All the bogus dyno numbers published in other advertisements won’t change that fact.

Gale Banks is the only engine builder in the air intake business. We design and make our own because we couldn’t buy what we wanted. That’s how you WIN!

We design in-house via computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, so we can guarantee an optimum performance outcome before the part is prototyped. Then we test the part against the competition, in the truck & on the road, using established SAE calculations, until we know we have designed the best.

Bottom Line

Why on earth would anyone pay money for a product that kills power and mileage? It’s all about density — and  Banks Ram-Air delivers.

Check It Out — Gale tells American Muscle Car how to get more cool air into your engine for better performance!

*Contents, features & performance results vary by application. Most products are CARB E.O. certified or in processs. Power measured at the rear-wheels, airflow improvements recommended.