Talking Dynos With Gale Banks And Banks Power

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Everyone can claim that their car or truck makes a certain amount of power, that is until they put it on a lie detector – a dynamometer. We headed out to Banks Power in Azusa, California to check out their dyno’s and to find out more about the new stacks they put on the side of the building.

Banks currently has four engine dyno cells at its facility. We had the chance to check out a couple of them including one that had Chevy's new LP5 Duramax in it.

Gale Banks got his first dyno room in 1974 and it has been evolving ever since. “We have four dyno rooms plus the Mustang Chassis Dyno,” Gale Banks said. “The engine dynos can go to 3,000 horsepower 3,000 lb-ft of torque and 11,000 RPM. Our Mustang Chassis Dyno can go to 1,500 horsepower.”

Banks Power can test just about anything on a motor within one of their dyno cells.

Having in-house dyno’s helps Banks Power in many ways. “It allows us to directly measure power, torque, throttle response, fuel economy,” Banks continued. “In fact, it allows us to sensor and measure everything from flows, temps, cylinder pressure and combustion analysis, manifold air density, and more.”

Inside we were able to see where the exhaust would exit. Banks has different plates that bolt to the outlet depending on what the engine's exhaust set up is.

“Not only do we test and measure anything we do to the engine, but we also test and measure anything we might add to or put into the engine, for example, a lubrication package – does it perform better, at all temperatures,” Banks explained. “We then take all that engine output information to the chassis dyno and test actual power at the wheels to measure parasitic loss in the powertrain. We even have a Kibox for a full combustion review such as heat and pressure at what piston position. Basically, if you are in the engine business and you are not utilizing your dynos, you’re not in the engine business.”

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When we heard that Banks Power had installed new stacks we had to go check them out for ourselves. We also wanted to see what was on the other side of the wall.

Something synonymous with diesel guys are stacks. We caught wind that Banks Power had installed some new 10-inch stacks to the side of their dyno rooms. “The reason we added the stacks was for the muffling system, to be good neighbors,” Banks said. “But also to be as close to open headers as possible. With 10-inch cutsouts, which can bypass the muffler as a safety feature, especially when running Nitro.”

On the dyno during our visit was Chevrolet's new 6.6-liter LP5 Duramax.

As with any gearhead, numbers are always impressive. The highest numbers they have seen are just shy of 1,800 horsepower and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, though they think they will exceed that when they start the L5P Dragster engine development.

For more information on Banks Power, be sure to check out its website.

About the author

Steven Olsewski

Steven Olsewski grew up with a true passion for anything with a motor. He loves his wife and kids, and during the year can be found enjoying quality time together. They are a huge part of his life and their passion for God.
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