’99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage

Sport Truck October 2004

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.

Owner’s Report
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.

click for larger click for larger click for larger
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
1. The PowerPack® system includes a Banks Ram-Air intake; electronic OttoMind engine-calibration module (optional); stainless, heatshielded TorqueTube exhaust manifolds; stainless Y-pipe assembly; stainless, low-restriction Dynaflow muffler; stainless 3.5-inch constant-diameter Monster tailpipe; and 4-inch polished-stainless tailpipe tip. The system also includes a comprehensive Owner’s Installation Manual.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
2. Banks’ Ram-Air intake includes a molded ballistic filter housing and a lifetime high-flow Banks Ram-Air filter. The unit delivers more cool, dense air into your engine. The housing and filter are designed to work together to move more air for more power. It also includes a service kit for use every 30,000-50,000 miles.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
3. Banks’ optional OttoMind engine-calibration module matches the fuel curve to airflow improvements. GBE says the OttoMind optimizes efficiency and prolongs durability by calibrating fuel and spark timing to changing conditions and removes the factory-imposed power delay, which can delay giving you full power for as much as 60 seconds. According to GBE, OttoMind also puts more horsepower and torque at the shift points.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
4. A side-by-side comparison of the stock exhaust system shows both the increase in tubing diameter of the Banks system but also its smooth-flowing curves.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
5. GBE stainless TorqueTubes are tuned-length parallel five-tube exhaust manifolds. Banks integrates five tuned-length tubes into a design that allows rotational firing of the cylinders through the exhaust.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
6. The streamlined exhaust pipe and 3-1/2-inch tailpipe are formed of stainless heavy-wall tubing with constant-diameter bends to slash backpressure. The stainless Y-pipe assembly features a Y-collector that’s easily removed if the drivetrain needs servicing. The polished-stainless 4-inch tailipipe tip provides a handsome finishing touch.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
7. In addition to the smooth bends of the 4-inch exhaust outlet, the GBE system replaces the factory’s restrictive muffler with a stainless free-flowing Dynaflow muffler. The muffler reduces exhaust backpressure with resonance-tuning that routes exhaust gases through a set of chambers and a 3-1/2-inch outlet.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
8. This shot of the tech fastening a header bolt shows that for do-it-yourselfers, there’s enough room to make it worth considering installing it yourself. You can also see the heatshielding.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
9. Banks’ headers have what the company calls the “PowerPickle” high-velocity pulse converter. It’s a lobe in the center of the merge collector that helps generate low pressure in the tubes, which helps remove exhaust to increase torque. They are constructed with 0.625-inch-thick flanges welded on both sides for a long-lasting seal.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
10. All the fabrication of the exhaust system is OE-quality. Check out how well the headers and exhaust fit.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
11. The Y-pipe merge area also shows the high quality of the bends and welding. In our opinion, the equipment is better than OE.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
12. Installing the polished-stainless 4-inch tailpipe tip is the finishing touch on the exhaust installation. The Dynaflow muffler produces an exhaust sound that’s authoritative, yet civilized.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
13. Installing the Ram-Air intake and molded ballistic filter housing is a basic remove-and-replace operation.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
14. The Ford’s engine management computer is under the dash on the driver side. Plugging the OttoMind module into the computer is quick and easy.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
15. The author and Gale Banks Engineering’s performance engineer are suitably impressed with the dyno performance of the test truck, especially the loaded-acceleration dyno test. We set the dyno to simulate the maximum towing capacity of the truck.
'99-04 V-10 Super Duty Power Upgrade: More Power, Better Mileage
16. The GBE PowerPack® system is 50-state emissions-legal. The sticker needs to be updated to include the ’04 models, however.

Leave a Reply