Customer Q&A #4 (with Peter Treydte, Banks’ Director of Technical Communications)

QUESTION #4:
I recently had Camping World install a Banks Six-Gun, Speed-Loader with EGT and boost gauges in my 06 Ford F-350 CC SB 6.0L Super Duty P/U. I previously installed the Banks Exhaust system myself. My question relates to the Banks Speed-Loader owners manual. On Page 4, Paragraph 1, 2 and 3. There appears to be some contradiction and confusing information presented.

1. In paragraph 1, what is meant by the term “short duration” use for levels 2-6? How long is a “short duration” and why levels 2-6?
2. In paragraph 2, you say that I can use up to level 3 for “towing, climbing a steep grade, carrying a load, etc.” and those activities are not of “short duration” as I understand the term. Paragraph 1 & 2 appear to contradict each other. Why the concern with the transmission since the normal concern is with EGT temps.
3. In paragraph 3, you say that “to use the higher levels (I assume you mean over Level 3, what happened to the transmission concern) while towing or climbing, air flow improvement must be made to lower EGT entering the turbo.” This statement appears to contradict the statement about towing in paragraph 2 and implies that you can tow or climb in the higher levels with the air flow improvement.

Also, one additional related issue is the part about going through the speed runs to enable the transmission to “learn” the new power settings. If after the speed runs in level 3, I leave it in level 3, but I then begin driving for economy (staying in level 3) and later begin towing, will the trans. Remember the setting that I have been in all of the time or will it have reverted. In which case will I have to go through the whole speed run process again? This issue is not adequately addressed.
Read on for the answers…

ANSWER #4:
It is important to remember that the Six-Gun is a versatile product that meets the needs of a broad cross-section of users, from those that tow heavy loads to those that “race” their diesel pickup trucks. As a result, the instructions need to be written with all users in mind. I can understand why the resulting language may seem a bit confusing.

The over-riding principle that we are trying to emphasize is that as the operator of the vehicle, you need to be somewhat aware of the Six-Gun setting that you are operating on and the current load conditions that the vehicle is being subjected to. For instance, it would not be prudent to install the Six-Gun and Speed-Loader, set it to level 6, hitch up to a 20,000 lb trailer and climb a 6% grade. The potential for engine and/or transmission damage would be elevated in such circumstances. While it is not likely that most people would operate their vehicle this way, we have to assume that some people would be capable of such operation, and therefore our cautionary language has to be aggressive in nature.

The benefit that you have is that the Speed-Loader comes with the thermocouple which activates a temperature limiting feature with the Six-Gun. With this feature you have very little to worry about under all operating conditions, with the exception of the use of level 6. The EGT control point for Levels 2-5 is 1350° F, for level 6 it is 1500° F. Since our maximum recommended temperature for sustained use is 1350°, you can actually operate the vehicle in any level up to 5 while towing a load, and it will control fuel delivery to keep EGT at 1350°. You can operate the vehicle for long durations at that EGT level, if necessary. Level 6 will allow the EGT to go as high as 1500°, which is acceptable for short duration use, such as a 1/4 mile drag race, but it is NOT acceptable for any sort of sustained use or towing conditions. Level 6 should NEVER be used for towing.

We suggest Level 3 for towing for a couple of reasons. The first is that each level offers progressively more “accelerator pump”. This is a term that we use to describe the boost-based fueling; that is the aggressiveness with which fuel is introduced as boost rises. If you were to select Level 5 while towing, although EGT would not be an issue, the more aggressive nature of the accelerator pump fueling could be hard on other drive-train components. A prudent driver could easily tailor his use of the accelerator pedal to prevent problems, but the fact that the power is available in those higher levels could result in problems if the operator was not paying attention.

The second reason has to do with the transmission, and it is here that I will be able to answer your other question as well. In the interest of saving some typing, I am going to copy-paste a response that I wrote for another customer that was asking some questions about transmission learning:

The Ford TorqueShift transmission is controlled by what we call “adaptive” electronics. This means that the transmission is constantly adjusting to operate ideally under changing conditions. When dramatic changes occur, such as the sudden availability of more power, the transmission may not perform optimally until it “learns” that more power is present. Symptoms of this may be delayed or harsh shifts. These symptoms should not last long because as the conditions continue, the transmission electronics will adapt, and the shift characteristics will improve.

For the average user (someone who is not overly aggressive with accelerator pedal application), it is not really necessary to be concerned with the learning sequence. Along the same lines, it is not recommended that a user progress from a low level to a high level or from a high level to a low level followed by aggressive accelerator pedal application without going through a learning sequence because this will cause the transmission learning to lag, and thus will increase the potential for transmission damage. The real key to dealing with the transmission adaptive learning is consistency. Avoid dramatic changes in driving style. For instance, if you are generally a conservative driver (applying the accelerator pedal gradually, etc), and one day you decide to drag race the truck at the local track, if you do not go through the steps described in the Owner’s Manual, it is likely that you will get an awkward shift pattern. If you continued with multiple runs, the shift pattern would gradually improve as the transmission adapts.

The adaptive learning of the transmission would be affected by adding weight (towing) in a similar way as if more power were added. The recommendation of Level 3 helps to avoid dramatic changes that could result in awkward shifting.

Airflow improvements are always recommended, especially when towing, to get the best overall results from your Six-Gun. Airflow improvements help to lower EGT levels, and in a case where fuel limiting is taking place based on EGT, added airflow will allow you to use more of the power that the Six-Gun has to offer. Since the Six-Gun can be purchased as a stand-alone item (without airflow improvements) it is in the customer’s best interest for us to remind him of the benefits of airflow. It is conceivable that a user could install the Six-Gun and operate the vehicle under conditions where the EGT would rise to the 1350° limit point, and the Six-Gun would remove additional fueling to the point that no added power was available. Added airflow gives more opportunity to use the power that is available with the Six-Gun.

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