’99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
by Joe Pettitt
photography Joe Pettitt And Courtesy Of The Manufacturer
Installing And Testing Gale Banks Engineering’s PowerPack System.
Ford’s 6.8L gasoline-fueled V-10 Triton is a torquey over-square engine that comes in most F-250 Super Duty pickups as well as several popular motorhome chassis. It’s a tough 415ci engine that, in stock trim, puts 310 hp and 425 lb-ft to the flywheel, and it loves to tow heavy-duty loads. It’s reliable and pretty thrifty on fuel, at least as far as a 415-inch engine can be thrifty. In short, Ford’s V-10 is well-engineered, so when you make changes, they better be good ones.
Gale Banks Engineering (GBE) is known for making good changes to engines. The company’s been at this a long time and has a solid track record—literally. GBE has helped set and break a ton of racing records in just about every venue. So when offered a chance to review and test the company’s PowerPack® system for ’99-04 gasoline-fueled 6.8L V-10 Triton-equipped Super Duty pickups, we didn’t hesitate.
Our test mule, a brand-new ’04 Ford F-250, was strapped on to GBE’s Mustang dyno for a baseline test the day before the installation of the PowerPack. The stock truck produced 200 hp at 4,300 rpm and 268 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm at the rear wheels on GBE’s Mustang chassis dyno. As you can see from the dyno charts, it made substantially more after GBE installed the PowerPack system.
As good as the dyno figures are for this system, the ultimate test is driving it on the road. Fortunately for us, the owner of this truck was taking it on the road for a month, hauling a 10,500-pound fifth-wheel trailer, so we were able to get a lot of good information on driveability, reliability, and fuel efficiency. After living with the system for 7,500 miles, the overall impression of the Banks system is completely positive.
Especially regarding fuel efficiency. The owner reports he got between 8-1/2 to 9-1/2 mpg while towing, depending on the grade of the road he traveled. And on empty, he got as good as 14-1/2 mpg. Drivability and throttle response were much better, and it pulled hard when he needed it. The truck was noticeably quicker to accelerate and more responsive to throttle input, making it a lot more fun to drive. When he needed the torque, he’d gear down and put it at the torque peak, and the V-10 proved to be as tough as the toughest grade he needed to climb.
Hey, what more can you ask of a product? More power, better mileage. It sounds like a good combination to us.