Banks Derringer Tuner

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Banks Derringer

Why do people tune their engines?

It is a commonly known fact that stock engines are not built to perform at the best of their ability. Part of this reason is that car and truck manufacturers have to be very careful that their products meet emission standards, and stock engines are tuned the way they are because their manufacturers are trying to make engines (and vehicles) that will work for the greatest average number of people and applications. Sometimes that stock tune turns out to be exactly what someone needs in their vehicle, and it performs exactly how they hoped it would. However, in many cases, the stock tune won’t meet the specific applications that an individual truck owner may need it to. 

There are many fantastic tunes out there that help tweak engine performance at different levels to help your vehicle perform at its best in every given situation. So whether you want more power for towing or better fuel economy for everyday driving, an engine tune is a good step to take. A few of the main perks that come from tuning an engine with a good tune, like a professional dyno tune for example, are improved horsepower, torque, and fuel economy. 

Flash tuning vs Inline 

If you are looking to tune your vehicle then it is important that you know the difference between Flash and Inline tuning. But first off, let's get a better understanding of what “tuning” is. Tuning is the act of changing the calibration of different engine components and sensors to achieve a different result in power and performance.

When using a flash tuner the recalibration is done directly to the Engine Control Module or ECM. The ECM is the overseer and it watches everything in the engine related to emissions, fuel efficiency, injection timing, and much more. The ECM is also responsible for the sensors that tell whether or not something is working correctly.
By tweaking the codes that dictate when things happen, like throttle response, for example, it is possible to change how and when your engine performs its specific functions. Most of the difference boils down to the timing of the different parts, but if that timing can get fine-tuned then the changes that it can have in performance can be pretty amazing.

The pros of flash tuning are that the tuners are generally more cost-effective than inline tuning because most flash tuners do not need to remain connected to the ECM. By downloading the tune, or using a pre-downloaded tune, the flash tuner can modify the programming and then it can be unplugged and stored somewhere until it is needed again.

A downside of many flash tuners is that they often leave a footprint in the computer that a manufacturer can see, even if the tune has been returned to stock tuning. While not always the case, using a tuner on an engine can put a warranty at risk if it is detected.

Inline tuners, like the Banks Derringer, function on a different level than flash tuners. Instead of modifying the data of the ECM directly, inline tuners are connected between the components and the ECM, so that as signals are sent from the component to the ECM, the inline tuner can intercept them and adjust them so that when they reach the tuner they are still getting results, but in a way that the ECM thinks it is coming from the component

Banks Derringer

Inline tuners do not leave a footprint, and are therefore untraceable by manufacturers, as long as they are removed from the vehicle before the vehicle is inspected. While that might sound a little shady, there is nothing illegal about using an inline, or a flash tuner on your vehicle, unless the tuner involved has the capability to change codes to break emissions laws for a power gain, such as deleting the DPF. The Bank Derringer holds up to the nation's emissions standard and is legal in all fifty states. None of its six power levels will allow someone to break emission laws.




The Banks Derringer vs other Inline Tuners

While the concept of how inline tunes function is relatively the same from one brand to another, Banks Power has done a lot of work to make their Derringer tuner stand out from the rest. Here are some key features of the Banks Derringer Tuner.

On the Fly Tuning

The Derringer Tuner has 6 modes and no matter which Derringer setup you go with, you can change through the modes whenever you want, whether parked or driving. While this ability to change modes whenever you want to is pretty amazing, it does come with a little personal responsibility. Just because you can do something, doesn’t always mean that it is a good idea. Each of the six modes has its specific purposes, and using them for their intended purpose is how you will get the most gain from using the Derringer.

Banks Derringer’s Adaptive Tuning

The Banks Derringer connects directly to the ECU of the vehicle using the OBD II port, allowing it to make adjustments for power, altitude, and temperature, while it dynamically tunes your engine for better performance, while also keeping your engine and drivetrain safe. 

Banks Derringer Tuner
What is adaptive tuning?

Unlike some competing brands which only monitor fuel and airflow, the derringer keeps track of much more and makes constant, small adjustments to keep your engine running at its best as the driving conditions fluctuate. This is called dynamic or adaptive tuning, and the Banks Derringer can make as many as 250 of these adjustments every second. 

The derringer interacts with and monitors Exhaust Gas Temperatures, DPF Regen Status, the Accelerator Pedal, Coolant Temperatures, Transmission Slip, Torque Converter Clutch, and compensates for Altitude. The Derringer isn’t a “the answer to every situation is add more power” kind of tuner, it is a smart device that knows when to give power, but also when to pull back to keep your vehicle running smoothly and safely.

Banks Derringer ActiveSafety

The Derringer has another built-in safety feature that other in-line tuners are commonly lacking. That is Banks patented ActiveSafety Watchdog circuitry. This circuitry is important because it gives the Derringer the added safety feature of being able to monitor itself. The Derringer runs its ActiveSafety programming 100 times per second, and in the event that something goes wrong or there is a loss of the 12V power, it will automatically bypass itself, and revert the vehicle back to stock power.

By reverting the vehicle to stock power, the Derringer tuner enables the vehicle to retain driveability and regular power levels. Other tuners that lack this feature are likely to leave the vehicle completely without power, or the ability to accelerate without first restarting the vehicle, and may cause the vehicle to enter a “limp home” mode. The Derringer avoids all these unpleasant and potentially dangerous situations by simply removing itself from your ECU’s equations, allowing your engine to run like normal with no additional loss of power. 

Full Power Timer

If you are worried that using an inline tuner for towing is going to inhibit your ability to get up to speed, then you need a Banks Derringer. One of its many features is that it has a Full Power Timer. The Full Power Timer allows you to go full throttle for thirty seconds before it will automatically transition to the recommended mode for sustained towing and hauling. This way you can get up to speed on the on-ramp, fight inclines, and even, possibly, pass the slowpokes who aren’t making the most of that long stretch of open highway.

The Derringer is Compatible with other Banks Power Products

Probably one of the cooler features of the Derringer is how versatile it is when working with other Banks Power products. Each additional piece of Banks hardware adds more available information as well as functionality that the user can take full advantage of. 

For example, just combining the Banks Derringer with the Banks iDash gives the user the ability to display dozens of additional gauges for temperature, speed, and so on that your regular vehicle dash doesn’t show. With the iDash, you can choose to display up to five of the gauges that are most pertinent to your driving. Also, the iDash allows the user to log up to 20 minutes of data. 

The Banks Derringer tuner can also be used in connection with the Banks Ram-Air intake, iDash SuperGauge, iDash Monster, Banks Pedal Monster, and other quality Banks parts and equipment. More information on how the products work together can be found on the product pages.

Banks Derringer image 3

Banks Derringer Questions

Is the Banks Derringer with the switch still available?

Currently, all Derringer tuners require a Banks iDash, iDash SuperGauge, or iDash Monster as part of their functioning kit. One reason for this is that the newer Derringer tuner models have six modes whereas the old modes only had three: Plus, Sport, and Stock. Mode 1 is now stock, Mode 3 is Plus, and Mode 6 is Sport. With the additional three levels (Modes 2, 4, and 5) the derringer has the capacity to tune like never before. Switching between modes is just as easy with the iDash as it was with the switch. Simply press the button up or down and switch from modes 1-6.

A second reason why Banks has gone away from the switch for now is that the capabilities of the iDash are just too good not to take advantage of. The Banks iDash can also display all the many things that the Banks Derringer is doing for your vehicle and a whole lot more. Using these two products together gives vehicle owners and enthusiasts so much more information and control of that information than was possible in the past. Putting them together just made sense.


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