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Part 2 – Air Density Package via Banks Power

Our project was introduced in the September issue of Diesel World as somewhat of a “budget builder” to show readers that while the 6.0L has been known for its problems, with the right aftermarket parts and maintenance schedule, they can be setup to make great power, offer decent fuel mileage and do anything the average diesel owner would need.

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This 2005 XL Work Truck model was bought for just $5,000 and is being used as a company delivery vehicle hauling product and trailers all over the Rocky Mountain region. The truck had previously been outfitted with Absolute Performance’s Delta and Coolant Filtration kits to help maintain more consistent coolant and oil temperatures, and in the first installment of this project, a Banks Power Six Gun tuner with iQ monitor, Banks Ram Air intake and Banks 4-inch Monster exhaust was installed. This combination of parts showed an 8.5% increase in fuel mileage along with eliminating some turbo lag and improving power and throttle response. This second installment of the project goes deeper into the science behind air density, and dropping charge air temperatures with a Banks Technicooler, High Ram intake elbow and Double Shot Water/Methanol injection system.

Technicooler

The Banks Power Technicooler system includes a more efficient intercooler core with all-aluminum end tanks, mandrel bent high flow 3.5” boost tubes and High Ram intake elbow, these parts work together to increase air volume by over 21% with up to a 64% reduction in pressure loss. The Technicooler uses a 19% thicker core compared to stock that will cool charge air temps better to increase density before entering the engine. Denser air carries more oxygen which helps to improve combustion and overall engine efficiency. When used with the increased fueling from Six Gun tuner this package offers higher continuous power, better fuel economy and lower EGT’s.

The Banks Double Shot Water Methanol system can be used to maximize engine performance by cooling the intake air temperatures, resulting in a denser air charge. The included digital controller, high volume pump and large 7-gallon reservoir install in just a couple hours and can be setup with multiple different injection nozzle sizes and injection calibrations to fine tune the system for any application, be it for power, EGT control or fuel mileage.

The Banks Power Technicooler kit for the 6.0L Power Stroke can improve airflow through the charge air system by over 38% by using a larger free flowing intercooler core, large 3-inch intercooler piping and the High Ram intake elbow; the air from the turbocharger has a less restrictive passage to the cylinder heads and will equate to improve throttle response, cooler air temps, lower EGTs and quicker turbo spool-up.

The upper radiator core support needs to be removed, along with a few other components to gain the access needed to get the old unit out. The air box, driver side battery and battery box will also need to be removed to get the intercooler piping swapped out. The hood latch will need to be unbolted from the core support and laid to the side. It’s a good idea to mark the hood latch location so it can be reinstalled in the same location so the hood continues to close as it should.

With the brackets and hardware removed, four 13mm bolts on the front and back of each side of the core support are removed, so it can be slipped up and out of its location. A pry bar may be needed to slide the core support out.

With the upper support out of the way, you get your first good glimpse of the stock intercooler located there between the A/C condenser and radiator. Before it can be removed, the driver and passenger side intercooler pipes are going to be unclamped and slipped out.

The passenger side (hot side) intercooler pipe connects directly to the turbocharger with this small 45-degree boot. This boot is prone to cracking and leaking, at which we were surprised to find hadn’t yet happened to this 135,000 mile truck.

On this 2005 model year truck, the driver side (cold side) intercooler pipe is actually made of a plastic that has been known to blow out under heavy load and high boost applications. Just one more reason to upgrade to the mandrel bent 3.5-inch steel pipes included with the Technicooler kit.

Double Shot Water Methanol Injection

The dual stage Double Shot Water Methanol injection system only further aids the air density battle by injecting water into the charge air system to further drop temperatures and increase volumetric air density within the cylinders to increase power potential without increasing EGTs. The use of methanol, like the Banks Power Blend adds additional “fuel” into the cylinders, and Banks has seen gains of over 80 hp with just the Double Shot system alone (no additional tuning). Using a simple-to-use yet very sophisticated controller, the Double Shot system can be set-up to run both stages specific to each vehicle’s needs.

Note the stock intercooler pipes while serving their purpose of getting charged air from the turbocharger outlet to the engines intake manifold. The poorly designed and crimped piping definitely won’t flow like the Banks system does. The factory oil saturated intercooler boots will also be replaced.

The factory intake elbow is then removed to make way for the better flowing High Ram Elbow. The sharp tight bends inside the stock elbow aren’t conducive to good flow and upgrading can offer both better throttle response and improved mileage.

The much improved High Ram intake elbow from Banks can reduce pressure drop within the charge air system by as much as 64%; best of all, it’s a super easy install that works in conjunction with the high-flow piping kit and larger Technicooler to offer the best air density possible for the 6.0L Power Stroke.

Once the upper core support and factory intercooler pipes have been removed, it’s just a matter of wiggling the stock intercooler up and out of the truck. It may be worth your while to enlist the help of a friend for this part of the job, as the intercooler can be a bit tough to sneak out by yourself.

The Technicooler uses a less restrictive core that will dissipate heat better while reducing pressure drop and improving airflow. The cooler the intake air temperature, the denser the air charge is going to be. Dense air means better power and cooler EGTs.

To make room for the larger High Ram intake elbow, the upper fan shroud plastic is going to need some minor trimming. The included template makes it easy to mark where the cuts need to be made. Just a small notch needed removed on this 2005 model. The 2003-2004 trucks will need trimmed a bit further.

Banks also includes a factory style intake elbow gasket that needs to be placed into the machined O-ring groove on the bottom side of the elbow. Even the smallest leak can create some negative effects in performance and efficiency.

Once the four mounting studs are torqued down to spec, the new driver side intercooler pipe can be installed using the supplied intercooler boots and clamps. A simple side-by-side comparison of the original equipment and the new Banks hardware should really be enough to explain the additional advantage in flow and air density to the engine.

The Banks Double Shot Water Methanol system uses a compact digital controller to allow full command of the soon to be installed dual stage injection nozzles. The gauge will also be used to display boost, throttle percentage, EGTs, and injection rate. Four nozzles sizes are included to help dial in the system to each vehicles specific need.

By tapping into the trucks factory MAP sensor and/or installing the included EGT sensor, the system can inject the perfectly calculated amount of water methanol based off boost and EGTs. By ramping injection in slowly with the first stage at lower boost levels, the engine can take advantage of the additional density under light throttle situations, whereas the second power stage can come on stronger as boost and load increase for maximum cooling and power without harming the engine.

Using the water injection pump’s bracket as a template, four holes can be drilled on the lower pinch weld area of the cab. The pump will need to be mounted in a safe spot, where road debris and water won’t damage it. The high volume pump supplied in the Double Shot kit features a built-in pressure switch for low fluid and leak detection, a fully adjustable pressure regulator and integral push-lock fittings for easy install.

While the first stage of water injection will run strictly off the main pump itself, the second stage will get a boost in pressure from the stainless 3/16” solenoid to minimize pressure drop at that high flow nozzle. This solenoid will aid in fluid atomization entering the charge air system for the best power gains and air temperature reduction.

Finishing up the installation is the massive 7-gallon fluid reservoir mounted along the inside driver frame rail. The tank’s slim design helps reduce using the bed for hauling, while still giving plenty of fluid capacity for the water (EGT control) or Banks Powerblend Methanol (power, MPG and EGT control).

The digital controller included with the Double Shot Methanol injection system offers easy adjustability and straightforward two-button control of the system. Fine tuning the injection pattern can be based off either boost only, EGT-only or boost-and-EGT combined; ramping injection rates based off of these values offers safe, consistent results.

Results

After installing the Six Gun tuner, Ram Air intake and 4” Monster exhaust, fuel mileage had been hovering right around 18.1-18.2mpg. After averaging out the mileage through four tanks of fuel and almost 2,000 miles of driving, these most recent upgrades, such as the larger Technicooler, 3.5-inch boost tubes and High Flow intake elbow, mileage has jumped another 4.5%, which is up to 18.9-19.0 mpg. This truck is used on an 80-mile daily commute at highway speeds and is just a 2WD, so the mileage results may be a bit higher than what a crew cab 4×4 would see in the city, but with the fine tuning adjustments from the Banks Six Gun and the improved engine efficiency from better air density, it should still net solid gains in mileage and performance, regardless of the vehicle. The owners of this particular truck are quite impressed with the current 19-mpg figures and have already started seeing a cut in monthly operation costs. DW

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The provided chart shows the overall increase in torque from running the
Double Shot Methanol system and Air Density package on top of the previously
installed Banks iQ Six Gun tuner, Ram Air Intake and Monster Exhaust. Note the peak-to-peak gains of 96 hp/238lb-ft with tuning only and an additional 35 hp/113lb-ft with the Double Shot Methanol injection turned on.