Banks first introduced the Sidewinder turbo kit for the Ford/Navistar light truck and van diesel 6.9 / 7.3-liter engines back in 1983. Back then the factory non-turbocharged 6.9-liter truck was a smoother running engine and was actually more reliable than GM’s 6.2L rival offering, but was incredibly slow when put to heavy work. Testing of a 6.9L back in 1985 reported that the non-turbo diesel truck accelerated from 0 to 55 mph at 50.5 seconds with a test weight and the trailer was 12,940 lbs. With the Banks Sidewinder turbo kit, that time was cut to 27.6 seconds! Maximum hill climb speed was 53% faster than stock! The fuel economy jumped to as high as 29% better towing up that hill with the Sidewinder. For anyone who was towing heavy loads the decision to install the Banks kit was an obvious one. As turbo technology evolved so did the Sidewinder kit, and the final iteration of the kit is still for sale to this day… 39 years later!
The Sidewinder turbo kit can add up to 82 horsepower and 143 lb-ft of torque, it’s complete with nothing else to buy, and can be installed at home with ordinary hand tools. If you have a 1983 to 1993 Ford diesel classic truck or are lucky enough to find one, the Banks Sidewinder turbo system is a must-have upgrade. See more, including the test report, here.