Banks Ram-Air Intakes

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Ram Air Intake

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If you’re looking for greater power and fuel economy for your truck, Jeep, SUV or other vehicle, Banks Ram Air Intake Systems are tested and proven for both.

Like all Banks Power products, the ram air intake came about because Gale Banks and his team saw a need, and sought to fill it. What was the need? Well, as Gale puts it, stock intakes suck. Watch the man himself as he explains how a stock air intake is actually robbing your engine of potential horsepower.



What is horsepower?

Horsepower is the unit of measurement on how much power or work your engine is producing and it is created by the air/fuel ratio of pounds to air mixed with pounds of fuel. To get more horsepower, it is essential that more air be added to the mix. Unfortunately, the design of most stock airflow systems focuses more on dust collection and noise reduction than it does on maximizing airflow. With a Banks ram air intake you get superior dust collection while getting more airflow, and, as an added perk, you get better engine sound too. 

The Ram Air Intake design is made to gather in the cooler ambient air that surrounds your car and shove it into your engine. Better yet, these intakes are made for high-end performance, so the harder you push your vehicle, the more the intake will do for you in regard to horsepower and even fuel economy.

How Banks Ram Air Technology Works

Banks Power focuses its products on getting the most possible gains in air density for the least amount of loss. The company’s engineers use CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software to assist them in creating top-of-the-line products built for superior aerodynamics. Here are a couple of key differences between stock parts and the Banks ram air intake and the stock part you might find on your car or truck.


The Ram Air Intake housing vs the Stock housing

While the size and shape of the stock intake house are different for each vehicle, there are some common design flaws that you are likely to see no matter which vehicle it is that you are looking at.

If you remove the filter and look inside it is possible that you might see crisscrossing ridges along the sides and bottom. These ridges are there to give the housing added structural support, which is needed because the plastic that stock housings are made out of is thin and weak. However, these ridges also act as conduits for the engine heat to sneak in, which lowers the overall efficacy of the air intake.

In contrast, each Banks Ram Air is completely smooth on the inside. All possible areas that could bring in heat, or cause turbulence inside the housing have been removed. This is possible because the housing is made from cross-linked polyethylene which is much denser than the injection molded plastic of the stock housing. The design of the housing also takes in air from multiple points which increases the available cool air that is brought in.  

Banks Ram Air image


Banks Ram Air Intake

Banks Ram Air vs Stock Filter

Banks’ “Big Butt Filter” is huge, but it isn’t big just to be big. Everything about the filter is designed with CFD in mind the size, shape of the opening, number of pleats, location, and so on to give the best gains for air density, while still capturing the maximum amount of dust and other air debris. 

Stock filters, on the other hand, if you look at them, are only designed for dust collection. They often have chicken wire for large debris, densely packed pleats for dust, and smaller dirt, and even sometimes have a layer of polyfill between the pleats and the opening to catch fine dust. Sounds great for dust collection, and it is, the problem is that as each layer collects dust and debris the amount of air, which is already restricted from everything it has to get through, finds its path more and more difficult to get through. 

To make matters worse, while the filter is large, it is often much larger than the opening into the housing. So even though it looks like there is a lot of air getting in, that air is immediately constricted as it attempts to enter the housing. Banks fixed this issue by having their filter which tapers from a smaller top diameter to a wider bottom diameter, to sit upside down. Having the filter upside down allows the exit point to be larger than the entrance which increases airflow as it passes through the filter.

Having the filter upside down also makes it harder for debris to trapped debris and easier for the debris to fall out on its own instead of remaining stuck in the filter. Of course, the filter is there to catch things, so there will be a time when cleaning your filter becomes necessary. The nice thing about the Big Butt filter is that it can be cleaned and reused. Check out the video below to see just how easy these filters are to maintain.


The Ram Air Intake Super Tube

One of the biggest problems with stock air intakes, and many aftermarket intakes as well, is that the size of the tube that carries the air to the engine or the turbo has to stay a certain size because of the MAV sensor.  If the size of the tube changes, then the MAV’s calculations will be off, and you will see a check engine light on your dash. 

This is why on many competing brands the tube starts out large at its beginning, but will often shrink in size around the MAV sensor. While shrinking the tube back to what the MAV sensor is calibrated for does avoid the problem of it throwing an error code, it also undermines the purpose of having a bigger tube, since the drastic change in diameter creates restriction and loss of airflow.

Banks Ram Air

Banks Ram Air Intake supertubes are larger than their competitors but are also designed not to throw error codes. How do they do it? Well, some intakes use Banks' patented Airmass Control Module that connects to the MAV and the PCM and provides updated data for the new diameter of the tube. While not all of Banks Intakes use the module, they are all designed so that they don’t cause your check engine light to come on without a loss to the air density that is being created by the intake.




Banks Improved Bellows for the Ram Air intake

As the engine runs it will shake and vibrate. To compensate for this movement, stock intakes have a corrugated area called “the bellows”, which usually either connects the air intake tube to the engine or the turbo. The bellows provide necessary mobility to the air intake tube but it comes at the cost of loss of airflow. Why? Well, because the inside of the corrugated tube looks like a bunch of mini compartments, and each one provides an area for air turbulence to be created.

Banks air intake is built with a bellows as well, but the difference is that the bellows snap onto the outsides of the tube. Since it goes around the end of the tube it still has the ability to stretch and contract with the moment of the engine, but the airflow is not affected because the tube stands between the airflow and the areas that could create turbulence. The bellows on a Banks air intake is made from EPDM Rubber for extra durability against hot and cold temperatures and water.

Ram Air Intake


Ram Air Intake Key Features Summary.

  • Extensively tested & validated

  • Increases air density, power & fuel economy

  • Reduces exhaust gas temps (EGTs)

  • Greater Dirt Holding Capacity than Competitor Intakes

  • Outflows Stock Intakes

  • Optional Super-Scoops Ram Cold Air for More Power - Availability Varies by Vehicle

  • Bolt-On Kits with Complete Installation Instructions with Detailed Photos

  • Maximum Air Density for Maximum Horsepower and Torque

  • Choose Between Cleanable Dry and Oiled Filters

  • Optional Pre-Filters Available

  • 5 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty


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