Diesel World - - Contents - BY JA­COB WHITE

It’s hard to be­lieve, but the 6.4L Power Stroke is com­ing up on ten years since it was first re­leased mid-2007. The fully emis­sion-equipped en­gine was the first to be of­fered by Ford with the full EGR, DPF, and cat­alytic con­verter sys­tems bolted on, and it has had its share of is­sues. But thanks to the af­ter­mar­ket, these plat­forms can make great daily driv­ers and tow­ing rigs if a few steps are taken to help in­crease re­li­a­bil­ity and dura­bil­ity.

This 2008 crew cab F-250 truck was found on a used car lot with just over 140,000 miles on the clock, a lit­tle high on miles for the year, but at just $15,500 it seemed like too good a deal to pass up. The truck was in over­all good shape with a few mi­nor scratches here and there, sim­ple cos­metic fixes mostly. The rest was sound.

Af­ter a few weeks and a cou­ple hun­dred miles to col­lect some good driv­ing im­pres­sions and fuel econ­omy re­ports, it was time to con­sider some af­ter­mar­ket prod­ucts to im­prove on the less-than-stel­lar 13 mpg it was see­ing around town. Pre­vi­ous test­ing on the chas­sis dyno has shown 6.4L Power Strokes av­er­ag­ing around 305 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque, which are strong num­bers for any stock truck. So it’s no won­der the 6.4L has turned out to be such a strong run­ning daily driver and tow rig; with that kind of torque on tap you’ll keep even the largest trail­ers mov­ing up­hill at a strong pace.

Banks Big Hoss Bun­dle

Of course, those stock num­bers can all be im­proved with help from the right bolt-on parts. Any diesel en­gine needs two main things to make power: fuel and air. Banks Power has been in the diesel game as long or longer than most ev­ery per­for­mance diesel com­pany you’ll find, and their team of en­gi­neers know that the denser that air is, the more ef­fi­cient and stronger a diesel will run. To help the 6.4L Power Stroke plat­form run a lit­tle bet­ter while keep­ing the fac­tory emis­sions equip­ment in­tact, the Banks Big Hoss Bun­dle sys­tem will not only in­crease power and torque, but in­crease air den­sity for a more us­able power­band, while im­prov­ing throt­tle re­sponse, turbo spool-up, and fuel mileage.

Up­graded In­take

Re­mov­ing re­stric­tions from the in­take side of the fac­tory turbochargers can im­prove spool-up and throt­tle re­sponse, so the Ram Air in­take kit en­sures easy breath­ing for the 6.4L motor. The fit and fin­ish is flaw­less and the huge ser­vice­able el­e­ment fil­ters great while flow­ing 31% bet­ter than the stock sys­tem. As for the charge air side of the sys­tem, Banks also in­cludes its Tech­ni­cooler in­ter­cooler, which not only flows bet­ter than the stock unit due to bet­ter core and end tank de­signs, but it will dis­si­pate heat more ef­fi­ciently, mean­ing bet­ter EGT con­trol while tow­ing.

Speed Brake

On the sub­ject of tow­ing, Banks of­fers an in­no­va­tive Speed Brake op­tion for the Big Hoss Bun­dle that in­te­grates into the IQ mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem and ties into the fac­tory tur­bocharger vane ac­tu­a­tor to open and close the vanes on com­mand. This of­fers a very

ef­fec­tive form of ex­haust brak­ing to main­tain and slow en­gine speed when you are try­ing to keep a load un­der con­trol on steep grades.


The fac­tory ex­haust sys­tem can’t be mod­i­fied or changed too much since the stock cat­alytic con­verter and diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter (DPF) will re­main in­tact, but from that DPF back, there’s still room for im­prove­ment. You can’t ex­pect huge gains from the Dpf-back ex­haust kit, but the dual-tailpipe Mon­ster Ex­haust sys­tem of­fers a lit­tle bet­ter sound and much bet­ter looks com­pared to stock. The sys­tem re­moves the small fac­tory muf­fler, and best of all elim­i­nates the ugly dual-vented tailpipe sec­tion Ford came up with. Using their patented Cool Cuff to re­duce EGT be­fore the ex­haust reaches the tailpipes, Banks was able to de­velop a more ag­gres­sive-look­ing dual tailpipe sec­tion with big 5-inch pol­ished stain­less steel oval tips for a much bolder look.

Six Gun

The Six Gun tuner is used to fine-tune the en­gine’s cal­i­bra­tions while of­fer­ing se­lect-on-the-fly tun­ing for easy ac­cess to an ad­di­tional 100 hp and 200 lb-ft of

torque, all con­trolled through the state-of-the-art IQ color touch­screen mon­i­tor. With hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent dis­play op­tions, you can fine-tune the IQ dis­play to show you the data you re­ally need to keep your 6.4L en­gine run­ning a long, healthy life. Banks clean tune tech­nol­ogy of­fers power in­creases you can feel from the driver’s seat, with­out the un­wanted thick black smoke that has been known to plug up DPFS and cre­ate un­nec­es­sary re­gen­er­a­tions. Banks en­gi­neers spent count­less hours tun­ing their soft­ware to make cal­cu­lated ad­just­ments to the pulse width, tim­ing, boost and fuel pres­sures to of­fer strong ac­cel­er­a­tion and tow­ing with­out the worry of en­gine and driv­e­train prob­lems. Work­ing in con­junc­tion with the Ram Air in­take, Tech­ni­cooler and Mon­ster Ex­haust, the Big Hoss Bun­dle can also re­duce EGTS even at higher horse­power lev­els when com­pared to stock.


Af­ter just the first few fuel tanks of fuel af­ter parts in­stal­la­tion, the truck’s owner has re­ported much bet­ter driv­abil­ity, with a pep­pier throt­tle and the small jump in fuel mileage he’d hoped for. At around 400 rear­wheel horse­power, the truck is much nicer to drive— and who can com­plain about bet­ter mileage with­out af­fect­ing a war­ranty or lo­cal emis­sions laws, in­clud­ing those in Cal­i­for­nia where the com­plete Banks sys­tem is cer­ti­fied? Over the course of the next few is­sues this truck will be go­ing through a few more up­grades with front and rear dif­fer­en­tial cov­ers, along with an ad­justable front sus­pen­sion lev­el­ing kit and a set of rear trac­tion blocks and trac­tion bars, all from One Up Off-road, as well as a new heavy-duty front bumper from Throt­tle Down Kus­toms.

01. This project be­gins with the in­stal­la­tion of a Banks Power Pack to im­prove the 6.4L’s pow­er­train for bet­ter over­all driv­abil­ity and tow­ing per­for­mance. This pack­age in­cludes the Banks Six Gun tuner with IQ mon­i­tor, Speed Brake, Ram Air in­take, dual-exit Mon­ster Ex­haust, and high-flow Tech­ni­cooler in­ter­cooler.

07. Be­hind that mas­sive chrome Su­per Duty grille, the new black pow­der­coated Tech­ni­cooler looks great while dra­mat­i­cally in­creas­ing the air den­sity be­ing fed to that heavy-breath­ing diesel en­gine. The large in­lets and out­lets and core de­sign help re­duce EGTS un­der load.

08. Up on the two-post hoist, the in­stal­la­tion of the dual-exit Mon­ster Ex­haust comes next. This was also a great time to go over the rest of the truck’s driv­e­train to check for any other is­sues with the ball joints, U-joints, en­gine or trans­mis­sion leaks, and so on.

13. For more horse­power, this 6.4L will also be see­ing some pro­gram­ming changes through the in­no­va­tive Banks Six Gun with IQ mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem, which ba­si­cally pig­gy­backs the fac­tory man­age­ment sys­tem to en­hance its fuel, air, and tim­ing ta­bles for bet­ter en­gine ef­fi­ciency, power, torque, and su­perb driv­abil­ity with­out in­creas­ing en­gine emis­sions. This connection lo­cated be­hind the air­box is where you’ll tap into the truck’s Pow­er­train Con­trol Mod­ule.

09. The 6.4L Power Stroke was Ford’s first light duty diesel re­quired to run the cat­alytic con­verter and diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ter in the ex­haust. With both of these stay­ing un­der the truck and ef­fec­tively act­ing as mas­sive muf­flers, this lit­tle muf­fler lo­cated down­stream near the rear axle doesn’t seem nec­es­sary and was re­moved in fa­vor of the bet­ter sound­ing and nicer look­ing Mon­ster Ex­haust kit.

11. The fac­tory dual tailpipe on the 6.4L may just be the ugli­est ever of­fered on a pickup, but it does serve a pur­pose. The slots you see in the tips al­low out­side air­flow to en­ter the ex­haust stream be­fore it ex­its the pipe to help cool that air tem­per­a­ture. When Dpf-equipped trucks en­ter the re­gen­er­a­tion cy­cle, it’s not un­com­mon to see ex­haust gas tem­per­a­tures sur­pass­ing 1,600 de­grees.

12. The Mon­ster Ex­haust’s dual-tailpipe de­sign mim­ics that of the stock sys­tem but with much bet­ter style. The mas­sive oval 5-inch tips are clamped on over dual 4-inch tailpipes that are cooled up­stream by the Banks-ex­clu­sive Cool Cuff de­sign, which helps keep that ex­treme ex­haust tem­per­a­ture from tar­nish­ing the chrome tips.

10. This sim­ple Dpf-back sys­tem will in­stall rel­a­tively eas­ily once the stock ex­haust is re­moved from this slip joint lo­cated right be­hind the DPF. A lit­tle rust pen­e­trant oil, an im­pact gun to loosen the clamp, and some wig­gling were all that was re­quired to get this one apart.

18. The IQ sys­tem will also read and clear en­gine trou­ble codes, al­low you to set au­di­ble warn­ings for fluid or air tem­per­a­tures, and do ev­ery­thing you’d need to keep you in­formed on what’s go­ing on un­der the hood. It’s easy to read in both day­time and night­time con­di­tions and is quick to re­act to driver in­puts.

17. The mas­sive 5-inch color touch­screen, known as the Banks IQ, is a com­plete in-cab per­for­mance com­mand cen­ter giv­ing you, the driver, com­plete con­trol of the horse­power lev­els and the Speed Brake. The IQ will also be used to read en­gine pa­ram­e­ters as shown here, with with nu­mer­ous PIDS, color schemes, and gauge lay­outs to choose from.

16. The op­tional Speed Brake mod­ule plugs di­rectly into the main Six Gun wiring har­ness and works seam­lessly with touch­screen con­trol on the in­cluded IQ mon­i­tor for easy on-the-fly ad­just­ments to both its on/ off func­tion­al­ity and even its over­all hold­back strength with three dif­fer­ent lev­els to choose from.

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