Best known for specializing in performance products for both consumers and military use, the folks at Banks recently embarked on a completely new venture that made people think the team had gone mad! Usually, the types of vehicles they work on are built to either break speed records or haul heavy loads with ease. So, building a slammed ’66 Chevy C20 that has a weathered body is a bit different to say the least.
Starting in the 1950’s, Banks has made major leaps in performance technology through real-world testing. In 1989, Banks broke five speed records with the development of the turbocharged GMC Syclone, which topped out at 210-mph to make it the “World’s Fastest Pickup.” As Banks made a push to further diesel technology, the Sidewinder S10 dragster project set a quickest and fastest ¼-mile of 7.77 E.T. at 180-mph in the Top Diesel Class at the NHRDA World Finals on September 25-26, 2010 in Topeka, Kansas with driver Wes Anderson.
Recently, the Banks team received this ’66 Chevy C20, which was sold to them for only $1 plus some registration fees. Since everyone at Banks is a gearhead, leaving it stock was never an option. Instead, they devised a plan to replace the Mr. Goodwrench 350 (Chevy small block V8) gas engine with a special diesel package and swap the chassis to make this truck sit lower than ever. As you can see, this truck is definitely something different from previous Banks projects.
Starting with the foundation, the team turned to the folks at the Roadster Shop, who have re-engineered numerous older vehicles such as this one. However, this truck is a bit different from the rest and the chassis is a beefed-up version built to accommodate the Duramax-based engine and withstand its torque. Starting with custom front spindles from famed off-road house, KibbeTech, it has 8-lug hubs to help support the heavy engine. Out back is a custom Strange Engineering full-floating 9-inch 8-lug rear end with 35-spline Hy-Tuf axles and Eaton Detroit Truetrac limited-slip differential. Topping off the suspension is a set of airbags, shocks, BigRed valve block and RidePRO E5 air management system from Ridetech.
This truck now rolls on a set of one-off 22-inch Sparc Industries billet wheels, which were each cut from a solid block of aluminum. You may notice they have fins, which are not just for aesthetics as they aid in heat dissipation and aerodynamics. These striking rollers are also covered in Nitto Invo tires for the ultimate in high performance traction. Bringing it all to a halt is a set of Wilwood TX6R 16-inch disc brakes with their massive clamping power.
This truck was ultimately built to showcase the new Banks R866SC power package (Banks’ turnkey engine) that is currently being developed for transplants into older vehicles and marine applications. This package is comprised of a heavily modified Duramax L5P 6.6L diesel engine that’s been fitted with a proprietary camshaft, valve spring package and pushrods, along with an in-house-designed wet sump oil pan. Banks’ unique relationship with GM allows them to inject their parts into the production line at DMAX, LTD’s Moraine, Ohio assembly plant. Final assembly, calibration and dyno testing is performed at Banks’ engine plant in Azusa, California.
The engine package on this truck is force-fed by a Whipple gen-5 3.8L twin-screw supercharger with air-to-water intercooler. It also has a twin-ram air intake system that benefits from some trick metal work by Empire Fabrication. The intake system utilizes a ’60 model grille, which has a set air scoops in lieu of the factory high beam lights. Behind the new openings is a set of airboxes with 9-inch air filters. Additionally, two carbon fiber nitrous bottles are plumbed into the Banks-built intake manifold for an extra kick in the pants.
Exhausted gases move through a set of custom stainless steel long-tube headers, fabricated by Dragos Toma at Candela Manufacturing. However, the consumer version of the engine will ship with new cast Banks exhaust manifolds. Following the exhaust flow leads to the massive 5” stainless steel Monster Exhausts with ob-round SideKick tips. Controlling the engine is a MoTeC M142 ECM and PDM30 power distribution module featuring a custom tune to maximize power delivered to the ATS-Diesel custom Allison 1000 transmission that’s controlled by a Powertrain Control Solutions’ GSM push-button shifter and paddle shifter.
The task of piloting this truck is done from a set of TMI Products’ premium bucket seats that match their replacement door panels. Turning is handled by a Sparc Industries steering wheel connected to a Flaming River column. Above it is a MoTeC C127 dash display with four Banks’ iDash DataMonsters, all set in a custom billet bezel. Creature comforts of this truck include the Vintage Air SureFit climate control unit that maintains a cozy temperature inside the cab.
Part of this truck’s excitement is the fact that it opens up to reveal all the inner goodies you normally don’t see on completed builds. LokJaw features a front tilt hood and bed that were masterfully executed in-house at Banks, thanks in large part to Matt Gamble’s extensive knowledge of CAD and the fabrication skills of Erik Reider. Other mods that make this truck stand out are the front and rear wheel tubs that were hand-crafted by Empire Fabrication.
Many have questioned why a performance-based company would build such a truck and to answer the skeptics, we ask why not? Hot rodding is a form of self-expression and this C20 goes to serve those who simply want to see something wild.
BANKS POWER • ‘66 C20
- Banks R866SC V8 Duramax L5P 6.6L diesel
- Gen 5 3.8L Whipple supercharger with air-to-water intercooler
- Empire Fabrication twin intake and airboxes with 9-inch air filters
- ZPE/Griptec supercharger pulley
- Roadster Shop Spec Series chassis
- Wilwood TX6R 16-inch disc brakes
- Strange Engineering 9-inch 8-lug rear end with 35-spline Hy-Tuf axles and
- KibbeTech spindles
- Ridetech airbags, shocks, Big Red valve manifold and RidePRO E5 air ride suspension control system
- MoTeC C127 monitor, M142 ECM and PDM30 power distribution module
- Banks iDash DataMonster OBD monitor/data logger
- Allison 1000 automatic, six speed, built by ATS Diesel
- PCS Paddle Shifter Kit, Gear Select Module Kit with Polished Inline Horizontal Remote Configured for CAN bus
- Eaton Detroit Truetrac differential
- Nitrous Supply carbon fiber nitrous bottles
- Champion radiator
- Custom billet gauge bezel
- Powertrain Control Solutions’ GSM Push Button Shifter kit
- QA1 carbon fiber driveshaft
- Braille i31S Intensity lithium battery (3,100 CCA)
- Aeromotive Brushless Spur Gear 20 Gallon Fuel Cell with Variable Speed Controller, Extreme Flow 10-m Microglass Fuel Filter.
- 245/30ZR22 and 295/25R22 Nitto Invo tires
- 22x8.5 and 22x10.5 Sparc Industries one-off 8x180mm billet-aluminum wheels
- Tilt hood and bed
- Vibrant HD clamps and stainless tubing throughout
- Setrab transmission cooler
- 5” stainless steel Banks Monster Exhaust with SideKick tips
- Empire Fabrication wheel tubs, core support, driveshaft tunnel, roll pan and sheet metal work
- ’60 model grille with air scoops for intake
- TMI Products bucket seats and custom-molded upholstered door panels
- Sparc Industries steering wheel
- Flaming River steering column
- Vintage Air SureFit climate control unit
- FLO AirRide modular billet air tank
- Mechman Elite Series 370-amp billet alternator