Just Another Dyno Day

Banks Engineering has four dynos and we will soon have five. On any given day, at least two are in use. So, you would think that making a dyno run would become blasé. But you would be wrong. Every time we run an engine on the Dyno we learn something and that is never boring. Today, for example, we were working in our Dyno cell #1 on the new Banks Motorsports, Marine and Military, L5P Duramax. We were experimenting with revisions to the mid-pan and lower pan castings. These castings feature our integrated, windage driven, crankcase oil-air separator system. All in the quest for the ultimate in reliability.

Today we had a guest watching, not that watching a Dyno run is that exciting as we go through warm-up then short and long durations runs but listening to Gale describe what we are doing, why, and how we are documenting everything – is exciting.

Our guest, Steven Olsewski, editor of Off Road Extreme and Diesel Army was bending Gale’s ear about oil aeration percentages, how and where they change – with the changing dynamics of the vehicle.

In fact, Steven is going to do a piece on the “Banks Dyno” in Off Road Xtreme, soon.




Steven Olsewski, the editor of Power AutoMedia’s Off Road Xtreme
Here’s the control area for Banks engine Dynamometers 1 & 2. In the foreground is the cell #1 operators bench. Gale’s favorite toy in our entire Dyno setup is the very compact “Kibox” cylinder pressure and combustion analysis stack on the second bench.
We’re getting to know the L5P Dmax, right now we’re studying everything beneath the head gaskets.
We use dual, temp controlled, liquid-cooled marine Intercoolers, shown at right, in cells 1 & 2. This lets us duplicate any Intercooler setup; Air to Air, Air to Liquid, Air to Iced Liquid, or Air to Liquid to Air. Single or multiple turbos or SuperTurbo (supercharger-turbocharger).
We build Dmax based Banks Diesel engines for Motorsports, Military, and Marine use. This phase of our current L5P test series involves the development of a new, multi-use, cast oil pan as well as the cast mid pan between the oil pan and block. Active testing of actual running oil levels and pressures in the pan, crankcase, and valve covers along with crank vent suction at the compressor, blow-by flow rate, and entrained oil mass are all being measured as we perfect the internal windage control system. Maximum oil in the pan at full power with minimum oil aeration are the goals here.
‘Big Blue’ is a very special 3,000 hp and 2,500 lb-ft dyno absorber with a redline at 11,000 rpm. All the dyno chassis in our 4 cells, the engine docking systems, and all the wiring, ventilation, plumbing, fire systems, and millwright work are the product of the guys here at Banks.














Homebrew horsepower measurement! The guys have a saying that kinda sums up this place…We’re Banks, we build the hard stuff!
There’s a W C Fields quote as he stumbled thru a place like this…”What ‘er all these wires?” Well, everyone has a purpose, because the last thing we want to hear from Gale is, you did measure the…?
Our engines run on Bosch based ‘Banks AutoMind’ ECU’s. Containing Bosch and Banks code, the diesel version will run any common rail engine up to 8 cylinders and 8,000 rpm. Here you can also see the oil level sight gauges on the left valve cover, these part of our oil mapping system.
We built our own positive displacement temperature-controlled fuel measuring units years ago, they are extremely accurate and repeatable. At Banks we either build or Hotrod all our test stuff and that’s exactly we treat everything we design in this entire place! It’s a GearHead’s dream.

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