Fat Motor inna Little Truck

A friend just asked me about my Blown Diesel Shop Truck. It’s a swap based on a Chevy 454 SS, here’s his post.

“How about more info on that engine swap!!! I ready to see some performance numbers from that whipple diesel.
The next swap:
Maybe a big block twin turbo in that shop truck. I mean it’s a 454ss, it might as well have a big block with two turbos!!!”

Headers on a diesel straight to the atmosphere…unheard of! Anybody got a shoehorn? Banks is asking the impossible…again!

Well, Art and Dustin Whipple are dear friends of mine, but I had to straighten something out. So I replied that, stated correctly, it’s a “Banks Diesel”.

Then it hit me, you guys don’t know about the Banks role concerning Duramax based engines. In a nutshell, Banks is a World Wide supplier and integrator of GM Duramax based engines. In other words, if you are a vehicle manufacturer, Banks is your Tier 1 supplier and the manufacturer of record.

When you look at the engine going into our truck it’s obvious that while the Duramax block is the heart, there is a lot of Banks going on here. Sometimes only the block and front gear case are used and starting with the crankshaft, everything else is Banks. Also the engine control, the ECU, is totally Banks and needs nothing, out of some junkyard pickup truck, in order to operate. This includes military or marine applications up to 8,000 rpm.

Straight from the cover of Turbocharging, by Hugh MacInnes. The Gale Banks/Hondo K-Jet APBA & NJBA racer, Hurry Round Hondo power plant. This, Hilborn Injected, Methanol Fueled, Twin Turbo, Gale Banks Racing Engine, blew off all the blown fuel guys and rained on everyone’s parade. 1975 Championship

As regards the truck, it’s a stand in for a boat. I’m developing a diesel marine super-turbo system, with one supercharger fed by two turbochargers. It occurred to me that I could work out our blower match in one of my 454 SS pickups. It’s much easier that way. When that’s done we’ll install the turbos and perfect their calibration.

In response to the suggestion that I then pull the diesel, and do the expected by putting in a big block turbo motor, I embarrassed myself! I copped a been there, done that, attitude.

My wise guy reply was to send a photo of a methanol injected, Gale Banks, twin turbo marine racing big block. I’d done the engine for a K-Jet circle race boat, that we raced back in 1975. The implication was that two big turbos, on a big block Chevy, happened at my place 40 years ago, and is now…old news.

Then, as happens with a head full of overlapping memories, out popped the fact that I’d actually done what he suggested, in 1991. So here it is, the Banks 502 SS! David Stollery did the styling drawings and we built a fuel injected 502″ Banks Twin Turbo SS for exhibition in the Petersen Publishing, Hot Rod Magazine display at SEMA, 1991. I wonder if Hot Rod ever did a story on it?

Originally proposed as a record effort for GMC/Banks at Bonneville, this truck is the design Banks didn’t do at the salt. Instead the record breaking program, managed and fielded by Gale Banks Engineering, became an S-15 know as the Syclone. Chevrolet did the full size 454 SS themselves and the production Syclones kicked their tails.

As to the Super-Turbo, I’ve really got a problem. What the hell am I going to use for a transmission? I’m planning on turning the diesel north of 7,000
RPM. Those Nitto drag radials really grip and I’m buzzing the snot out of the diesel. This is definitely NOT Allison country.

The Banks 502 EFI Twin Turbo Engine in the 502 SS half ton Chevy short bed. This thing would black track for days. The two TEO-691 Offy Indy Car turbos provided enough air for 1,800hp. With full creature comforts operational, we settled for 1,100 with Water/Methanol injection and pump gas. 1991

Thanks for tweaking my memory !

Gale Banks

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