Frequently Asked Questions: Derringer and iDash

Video tutorials

iDash 1.8 install
iDash 1.8 firmware update
iDash 1.8 pages feature
iDash 1.8 explained
Derringer firmware update
Where to place sensors for common readings

Derringer

What is the Derringer?

The Derringer is a plug-and-play microcomputer designed for easy installation, it’s enclosed in a compact housing which is easily concealed, and connects to the iDash 1.8 for the ultimate in information and power selection, offering a total of 6 power levels.  It operates by intercepting the MAP and FRP signals, adjusts them, then feeds those adjusted signals to the computer (this is not a programmer). It does not alter the truck’s ECM in any way, unlike a flash tuner that permanently alters the truck’s ECM. 

Will Derringer increase fuel economy?

The Derringer was designed to deliver power when you need it. It was not designed to increase fuel economy. Therefore, we do not advertise fuel economy gains. Fuel economy depends on many variables including how you drive. Unlike other tuners that are guaranteed to reduce fuel economy because they add fuel only, Derringer maintains proper air-fuel ratio by matching boost air to added fuel. Inline tuners that claim to increase fuel economy are selling snake oil.

Does the Derringer void my warranty?

The Derringer is an inline tuner. It does not alter the truck’s ECM in any way, unlike a flash tuner that permanently alters the truck’s ECM. Treat the Derringer as you would with altering the truck’s suspension. Most dealerships understand accessories like upgraded suspension systems is harmless, however, some dealers are not as forgiving. Always check with your service advisor prior to dropping off your truck. Are they ok with aftermarket accessories? When in doubt, simply remove the Derringer and engine harness. It takes less than 10 minutes. After removal its presence is is undetectable.

Is it true that my truck’s ECM records max torque values that can be retrieved by a dealer and used to prove that I had a tuner installed?

The ECM doesn’t know the Derringer is adding fuel so its fuel rate and reported torque value remain stock. With a reflash tuner, the ECM knows about the extra fuel which raises the max torque and raises red flags at the dealership.

The Derringer is undetectable after removal and here’s why. Your truck’s ECM calculates torque values primarily based on fuel flow. It sends these torque values to the transmission’s control module (TCM) where this data is used to calculate shifts, etc. However, the ECM, which generates these torque values based mostly on fuel flow, isn’t aware of the extra fuel that your Derringer is commanding, therefor the torque values sent to the TCM are always within factory spec. Again, the TCM never sees higher-than-normal torque values because the ECM doesn’t report higher-than-normal torque. Does the engine make more torque with a Derringer? Yes. Is the transmission aware of this added torque? No. How do we know for sure? Banks Engineers monitored the PIDs that record max horsepower and torque. These values remained unchanged after the installation of the Derringer. But if the TCM isn’t aware of this added torque, how do Banks know the Derringer won’t hurt the transmission? Your Derringer is extensively calibrated to optimize precisely where the extra torque can be added. It also constantly monitors transmission slip and strictly adheres to factory specs. If the Derringer detects excessive slip, it reduces its added power. So, why do so many service techs say that they can see max torque values after a tuner has been removed? Because they’ve seen plenty of reflash tunes. Reflash tuners have been incredibly popular over the past decade. These tunes alter the ECM’s fuel map resulting in higher torque calculations that are sent to and recorded in the TCM.

Should I remove the Derringer and iDash before a dealer visit?

This depends on your relationship with your dealership and/or service writer. It’s good to know if they’re aftermarket accessory friendly. When in doubt, remove the Derringer module and engine harness. Coil up starter cable and zip-tie it out of sight. The iDash is a diagnostic device just like any mechanic’s diagnostic scan tool or code reader. It can remain in the vehicle.

When disconnecting and removing the Derringer, it’s best to disconnect both batteries. If this is not possible, you may get a check engine light upon restarting the truck. Simply use your iDash to clear the codes.

Does the Derringer have a fail-safe to prevent truck if the device has an issue?

Yes. Derringer has ActiveSafety which in simple terms is a normally closed relay. If an error occurs within the module, it seamlessly returns the truck to stock power.

How does the Derringer protect the engine and transmission?

Yes. Derringer features AutoRate and TransCommand which are functions that constantly monitor the engine and drivetrain via its OBD-II connectivity. If the device senses anything out of the stock specs, it removes its added power and returns the truck to stock power.

Does the Derringer affect the amount of DEF consumed?

DEF consumption is determined by fuel consumption. If you are heavy on the throttle or take many short trips, then yes, it will increase because you’re increasing the amount of fuel used, yet not being completely combusted. During highway driving, you can expect to burn most of the fuel entering the cylinder. This results in less soot and thus, less DEF consumed.

Does the Derringer cause wear to my engine/tranny/components?

No. It has built-in safeguards to prevent stress and wear. Please see the question below.

Does Derringer cause my engine to operate beyond the manufacturer’s safety specs?

No. The Derringer has built-in safety systems to prevent that: AutoRate, and TransCommand functions constantly monitor the engine and trans to ensure they’re operating within safe factory limits.

Does the Derringer allow for different ECM tunes, remove the rev-limiter, speed governor, or make corrections to tire sizes?

Derringer does not alter the ECM tune, rev-limiter, speed governor, or make corrections to tire sizes. Flash tuning is required for things like that. However, thanks to its OBD connectivity, Derringer monitors your gear, RPM, torque converter lockup, trans slip, etc in order to protect and tune in real-time. It also accounts for tow-haul, 4-wheel low, cruise control, etc.

Does Banks provide Derringer and iDash firmware updates?

Yes, firmware updates are free. Regardless of whether it was purchased brand new or used, Banks supports all Derringers with free updates found at bankspower.com/updates.

Can the Derringer and iDash cause a battery drain?

The iDash and Derringer combined draw less than 10 milliamps when asleep. In this mode, they’d run for over a year on a standard full-size pickup truck battery.

What happens if the Derringer won’t power on?

When the LED is not illuminated the Derringer is not powered on. If the ignition is on and the LED is not illuminated, check the MAP connections on the vehicle and ensure they are fully engaged. If that doesn’t help, check the OBD connection under the dashboard. Finally, remove starter cable from the Derringer and ensure it’s clocked the correct direction, making sure that the alignment nodules are lined up before reconnecting. If the module still won’t power up, call or text (800) 601-8072 or email techsupport@bankspower.com.

What does “No Communication with iDash” mean?

Common sources of communication errors are wrong termination caps attached to the Derringer and/or the in-cab termination resister or cable is not installed. A black termination cap must be connected to the Derringer and only one in-cab termination cable should be attached to one of the iDash.

When faults are detected, the Derringer will flash a diagnostic code. These diagnostic codes are comprised of 2 digits. Each digit is expressed by the flashing red LED.

A code can be determined by counting the number of red flashes displayed before the LED flashes green for the first digit and the number of red flashes after the LED flashes green for the second digit. After the diagnostic code is displayed, additional codes will be displayed in sequence, separated by 4 seconds with the LED off. Once all codes are displayed the Derringer will begin sending the codes again. Once you have written down all diagnostic codes being displayed, consult the following tables for a description of the code along with the action to be taken.

Will the Derringer work with other tuners?

No. “Stacking” tunes or putting two tuners in series is not recommended.

Will the Derringer work with emissions defeated trucks? Will it remove emissions equipment?

No, it will not. The Derringer is designed for complete emissions intact designs only. If the truck is missing EGR, CAT, DPF, DEF, or SCR it will not be able to make the necessary performance calculations. Also, the Derringer will not remove emissions equipment, it’s illegal.


iDash DataMonster and iDash SuperGauge

What’s the difference between the Super Gauge and the Data Monster?

The Data Monster and the Super Gauge are both iDash gauges. The difference between the two is that the Data-Monster has the data recording feature and includes a microSD card (to record info and do updates). This gives you the ability to record information to chase an issue or see the power gains. Also, both have sd card slots for updating the iDash and other Banks performance modules.

What parameters should I keep an eye on?

To get you started, our Banks Engineers have some recommendations for the pages and parameter selections to monitor. All of these pages are customizable. We also recommend color coordinate your pages.

Page 1 — Derringer Layout
• RPM – Engine RPM
• BOOST – Boost Pressure in PSIG
• SPEED – Vehicle Speed MPH

Page 2 — 7 Gauge Layout: “Temps”
• EGT1 – Diesel Oxidization CAT (DOC) Inlet °F
• EGT5 – Post DPF °F
• ECT – Engine Coolant Temp °F
• EOT – Engine Oil Temp °F
• FUEL – T Fuel Rail Temp A °F
• IAT – Intake Air Temp °F
• TRNS – T Transmission Fluid Temp °F

Page 3 — 8 Gauge Layout: “Emissions”
• DPF SL – Calculated DPF Soot Load Percentage %
• DPFDIS – Avg Distance Between DPF Regen MILES
• DPFTIM – Avg Time Between DPF Regen MIN
• REGEN – DPF Regen Status
• DPFIP1 – DPF Inlet Press Bank 1 PSIA

What sensors can I add to my iDash?

We’ve created this page to show popular sensor configurations on common engines, from naturally aspirated to compound turbo setups. You’ll find inspiration and part numbers here.

Example of possible sensor configurations. See more like this here.

What vehicles does the iDash work on?

The iDash DataMonster and Super Gauge are universal for all 2008+ vehicles with CAN-bus OBD-II. Some earlier vehicles like the Duramax are supported when used in conjunction with the Banks Six-Gun or Economind tuners.

How do I check the firmware version?

> menu > system info > iDash >
> menu > system info > Derringer >
> menu > system info > PedalMonster >

How do I initiate a Regen with the iDash? (Available on select applications)

  1. Select “Diagnostics” from the main “MENU”.

  2. Select “Vehicle” for vehicle diagnostics.

  3. Select “Stationary Regen” to begin manual stationary regeneration process.

  4. In order to have selected “Stationary Regen” certain requirements (see list below) must have been met otherwise error alert would have prevented it from being selected.

  5. Before proceeding with manual regeneration you will have to read and
    follow several caution messages by pressing the right arrow button.
    This will lead you to Gale Banks Engineering liability disclaimer
    message. Must press the down arrow to agree and continue manual regeneration.

Conditions that must be met to manually start a regen:

• Vehicle must be in Park.
• Fuel Level must be over 15%.
• Must have no Diagnostic Trouble Codes present. (Except for P2463 Soot accumulation)
• Engine Coolant Temp must be above 71°C (160°F)
• Brake must not be active
• Accelerator Pedal must be zero
• Soot Load must be over 90%

What happens when I have a black screen on the iDash?

With power on, hold the down arrow for 2-3 seconds to wake up the iDash.

What happens when I have a white screen on the iDash?

With power on, this means the iDash is having an issue with the microSD card. Pull the SD card and run a full key cycle after the iDash 1.8 has turned off.

What does it mean when the screen is off and one red arrow is flashing?

The iDash is stuck in boot-loader mode. The left arrow will be red, so hold down for 2-3 seconds. The iDash will revert back to factory programming. Perform a firmware update or remove the microSD card and try again.

I keep getting notices that services like OnStar cannot communicate with my ECM.

OnStar and other third-party devices that communicate with the vehicle’s ECM via OBD-II bus, will not be able to retrieve data when the iDash is plugged in. Most CAN bus OBD-II vehicles are only equipped to communicate with one diagnostic device at a time. Whenever you have a device plugged into the OBD-II port above the driver’s left knee it will always be the primary device communicating with the vehicle and the additional OBD device like OnStar will be unable to communicate with it.

DEF fluid level doesn’t appear to be consistent. It jumps around. Why?

The sensor in the tank is a 3-position solid-state switch and sits at roughly the 30% fill line. When fluid is below the 30% mark, it’s reported on the dashboard as 1,000 miles until reduced engine power. A simplified explanation of how it works is this… If the 3-position sensor is submerged it reports that the tank is full. If part of the sensor is exposed, it will report between 0-30% on the iDash. It does not act like a typical fuel tank float sensor with a true 0-100% range reporting a smooth transition as it uses fluid. The Duramax 6.6L LML and Colorado 2.8L LWN also have this limited-function DEF level sensor.