A Road Race Diesel Pickup, how wrong is That?

The guys at TruckTrend.com have posted a number of past articles about some of our ongoing gearhead adventures at Banks Power. To that I can only say, ok Truck Trend, I hear you!

At Banks, we’ve been paying strict attention to our military engine programs, to the exclusion of our racing, for a number of years now, and that’s a good thing! We have won a very large engine supply contract and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished…but let me tell you about the stories the Truck Trend Guys are posting.

Let’s start with our road race GMC, The Sidewinder Type R. The Banks Sidewinder Type R is the world’s first road racing diesel pickup. I recollect that we started the build in 2006, the idea was to run NASA endurance races. Our Road Race Duramax turned slow compared to gasoline racing engines and we wanted to gear for 185 mph straightaway speeds. With only 4800 rpm on tap, that required a large quick change rear end. We had enough torque coming out of that LLY, to break all the road race and NASCAR transmissions available and after qualifying 3rd at Button Willow, on our first outing against proven NASA road racers, we killed that big quick change on the first lap. It was very frustrating so we pulled the engine and put it in our Pro Stock Drag Truck, took it out and set a record. In the meantime, the Weismann Brothers have built us two transmissions that should do the job and we have fitted a stronger NASCAR type rear end and displayed it in the NHRA Motorsports Museum at Pomona, Ca.
Now we just need to get it out of the Museum and work out the paddle shift electronics for the new Weismann gearboxes. But first, we have a Diesel Top Dragster program to finish.

Here’s a story by Steve Temple, written as we were first shaking out the handling. The entire truck including the carbon fiber body was built in the Banks Race Shop. When we next run this project the power will be closer to 900hp and the rpm closer to 6000 rpm. Expected top speed will be well above 205 mph geared for longer straights at some NASA events.

I hope you enjoy Steve’s article,

Gale Banks

Gale Banks Engineering GMC Sierra, a twin-turbocharged, diesel-powered endurance road-racing pickup truck.

Normally a stock Duramax LLY motor only has about 310HP at 3,000 RPM and 605 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 RPM. The Banks D-Max Sidewinder engine was producing 650HP and 800lbft of torque.

Running the GMC/Banks Syclone project at Bonneville back in ’89 and ’90 taught us a lot about how to keep a pickup’s tail on the ground. Trucks get very, tail happy, at high speeds and we were allowed no modifications that didn’t look stock. We made it work but I wish we could have done all of this on that Bonneville truck!

Front view shows twin Banks Ram-Air systems feeding cold high density air from behind the grill to the Twin Sidewinder Turbos. The lip spoiler adjusts to get the proper downforce for the track you’re running at the time.

Banks Race Shop experimented with four different cylinder head port, valve and ram tube setups in order to achieve a fine balancing act between flow versus swirl. Maintaining swirl increases power and reduces smoke as you are now making power rather than smoke!

The Type-R was outfitted with a rear aeropan to better manage airflow exiting underneath the rear of the truck and nail the tail to the track!

Dyno testing the Banks Sidewinder Type R, GMC Sierra Race Truck on the dyno. Our Dyno air cools the tires from below absorbs power off both rolls and is capable of a sustained 200mph at 1500hp and up to 3200 lbft of torque.

The Sidewinder Type R is strictly business, heres a view of the office!

What brand of turbos do you use on the Banks Sidewinder Type R…? Banks Sidewinder, ‘Quick Turbos’ of course, divorced wastegates were used.

14.5:1 Mahle pistons have custom 4340 billet-steel Carrillo H-beam connecting rods with lightweight tool steel piston pins.

The crankshaft was lightened, knife-edged, and contoured. To handle the increased loads, it was also shot-peened and stress-relieved in a cryogenic bath at -300 degrees Fahrenheit. A Banks Billet dry sump reinforces the main caps.

The Banks Sidewinder Type R, GMC Sierra Race Crew out testing. These guys built the entire truck and carbon fiber body in the Banks Race Shop. The styling came right out of their heads, I love how this thing looks! Gale Banks

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