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Banks Exhaust

Posted for Hal:

Could anyone give their opinion on Banks exhaust system, for or against, on 1996 Chev. Class A 454 Vortec Engine. I have heard they can cause heat problems for spark plug wires, starters, etc. or other problems. Any feedback from users or persons familiar with the product? Is it worth the investment or asking for more trouble?

If you haven't already, you should call Banks directly and ask for the Engineering Department and ask them to send you data on both the testing and a complete engineering breakdown. I called them and discussed older 454's and they answered all my questions and provided all the data requested. I agree however actual experience is best. On the wires on 454's. I checked with several reliable garages, who have lots of burned wire experience, and they all told me to purchase only GM wires designed specifically for the specific year motorhome coach. I have experience with good quality Belden wires from NAPA (for late 80's 454's) and I can tell you they burn out at the connection cup at the plug. GM has a 1-800 number for application and engineering and they will give you the exact wire set number recommended for your coach.

The only thing that worried me about the Banks system is thatat least for the older 454's they use a cross over pipe and convert dual exhaust to a single exhaust. The pipes are much larger and it may be OK but I'm trying the cheaper fix first as explained in other posts. So far, so good, but the Vortec is a differeint animal.

Thinking of putting Banks exhaust system on my 98 Ford V-10, or similar header system. Queston can A shade tree mechacnic handle the job or should it be left to the professional ?

Tony H
I recently put a set of Thorley headers on a Big Block Chev. I would imagine that at the head they are very similar to the Banks headers.

At the suggestion of the Chev dealer who sold me my crate engine, I installed a set of GM Performance ignition wires and GM's linear wiring looms. With the linear looms, the wires are well supported alongside the valve covers until they drop down to each plug between the headers. I kept the spark plug heat shields from my original installation. After 3,000 miles (a 1,000 of which was towing) they don't show any signs of getting too hot. That's not a lot of experience, but it doesn't look like I'll have any problems with the wires getting too hot.

The main thing is to make sure that the wires are well supported so they are as far away from the headers as possible. The GM linear loom set-up made it quite easy to do that.

Tony, do you have a part number for the GM linear loom set for the 454 chev/GMC P-30 32 chassis?

Tony H
Yes I do as a matter of fact (grin).

# 12495502 Wire Loom Kit

They're listed and shown in the GM Performance Parts Catalog (1999 version, pg 132). The loom comes with - and uses - the stock plastic GM wire holders and is designed for 8mm plug wires. Sorry, I don't remember the cost.

Very similar looms are available from a number of aftermarket suppliers as well. These are just no-nonsense basic looms that are specifically for the 454 - 502 engines.

Thanks Tony, This is what makes this BBS great. thank you Les! for maintaining it.

I installed the Banks Power Pack on my 1984 Winnebago, Chev 454 w/four barrel carb. The Power Pack comes with 6 foot headers, exhaust pipes, muffler and a ram air intake. Oh yes, it uses a K & N air filter system. Twice the area of a paper filter.

I now have power to pass at 60 miles per hour. I never use the four barrels, only the two primary throttles. Runs cooler and the engine just purrs.

As for gas mileage, I saw no improvement. Maybe that is because I only have a three speed automatic and the engine is turning some high rpms at cruise speed. Have a 4.56 rear end.

The headers remove the heat that was created by the old cast iron manifolds. The dog house no longer gets hot to the touch after shutting off the engine. The spark plug cables should last for many years as all that red hot metal is no longer surrounding them.

I can not say enough good things about the Banks system. The system is well made and should last many miles. Yes it is expensive, but remember you get what you pay for.

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