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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I thought I’d post about my initial thoughts of the Banks iDash 1.8. I ordered it directly from Banks the other day based on reviews and feedback from members on the forum after my 22 threw a CEL at me while towing up Vail Pass. I figured given I tow with the family through the mountains a bit it would be useful to view certain items I normally don’t see. Specifically Regen information. (Pictures of my setup are at the bottom)

Initial Setup:

It was pretty easy to setup and install in the truck. I ended up routing the wire through the side of the fuse box and then using the windshield mount to hold the gauge. It’s not as clean as I’d like, but it still functions very well. At some point I think I’ll get a second gauge and order the 2 gauge mount for a cleaner look. Once plugged in and starting the vehicle the setup was very straight forward. I like how the gauge has the L5P available from the selection list. I would say the most difficult thing was deciding what to look at. I would compare it to having dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. A giant menu with so many good selections you sometimes aren’t sure what you want to eat given you only have so much room to fill your stomach.

Once I determined what I wanted to see I then played with the different colors/themes. I’m still playing with things a little, but I feel I’m at a point where I’ll leave what I have for a bit to see what’s useful but also not distracting.

Pages:

I wanted the minimum amount of pages necessary, but found I couldn’t fit everything I think I want to see on only two or three pages and make the fields visible enough to read. I only have one page with an eight gauge layout. The rest are no more than five gauges. I should say there is a lot of information being displayed that isn’t necessary at all, but it sure does look cool. My goal is to leave my page setup as is and over time decide what is useful vs. what is not. I also want to make sure I know what I’m looking at.

One item I found challenging was the definition of each gauge. I’ll have some questions below on certain items, but a glossary with all of the items would be useful. There is a glossary provided by banks for some items, but it is not exclusive. If there is one I haven’t found it. In addition to a glossary it would be great to see deep explanations of what certain readings mean. For example, Torque ECU: what parameters are read that are calculating the torque? What does it mean when your torque reference is higher than what is published. While I’m fairly familiar with performance, I would love to understand things more. I watched a video on YouTube last night of Gale Banks going over MAD. While I don’t think you need a hour video, it would be nice to see some deeper explanation of certain gauges.

Right now I have four pages. I wanted one for everyday use, towing, and emissions. Because there were a few other fields I wanted to display I have a misc. field now.

Here are what my pages look like: (Pictures Below)
  1. Everyday Use (Density Layout)
    1. MAD %: I like the look of the gauge. It’s purely fun, but it’s very interesting to see what’s going on. Question below.
    2. Boost: I didn’t have this up at first, but it’s interesting to watch when you’re not just accelerating, but also when you let off the pedal and/or have the exhaust brake on it’s cool to see the boost rise. It really gives you an indication of the exhaust brake pressure
    3. Gear: Seeing the transmission work is crazy. The constant locking and unlocking of the torque converter and how smooth it is really is awesome. Especially when slowing down.
    4. AAT: I display the temp outside because I use apple CarPlay all the time. The temp on the main display is hidden, so now I don’t have to change my display all the time. I would love to see GM update the truck software to display the AAT in the upper right of the DIC like the Yukon does. Not sure who forgot to add that to the display.
  2. Towing:
    1. Density Altitude: I live at 6400 MSL and we get pretty hot days here in CO. The density altitude on certain days can be very high. It’s a fun field to read and also explains so much for performance. I definitely want to see what DA is when towing over the passes this summer.
    2. Gear: Same as above but for towing I think I’ll look at it differently.
    3. ECT: Self explanatory
    4. EOT: Self explanatory
    5. OilPSI: Self Explanatory
    6. HP-ECU: This is one of those fields that’s fun to look at, but not exactly sure what I’m reading. See question below.
    7. TQ-ECU: Same as HP-ECU
    8. TRQREF: Same as HP-ECU
  3. Emissions:
    1. EGT5: It’s good to see the heat coming out of the pipe. I know this temp reading is after the DPF, but where exactly is the sensor? Is this the last sensor before the exhaust leaves the tailpipe?
    2. DPSL: You guys helped me understand this last night
    3. DPFRG: You guys helped me understand this last night
    4. DPFDIS: Why is my DPFDIS so low? Is this an average for the life of the vehicle, the last three regens, or just the last? The truck is my DD but I also drive about 50 miles in the morning, another 50 in the afternoon, and then various miles after that. I’m using it to tow my 8K# TT as well through the mountains. I would think my distance would be much higher. I’m not beating the truck up either. I’m trying to save as much fuel as possible. Is that the problem?
    5. REGEN: Self Explanatory. I did also setup a background notification that should tell me when this field changes. I’m not sure if I did it right, but I figured that would be one of the more useful notifications to not have to monitor this page constantly.
  4. Misc.:
    1. Fuel R: Just wanted to see how much I’m burning under different scenarios.
    2. Fuel L: I thought this gauge was very interesting. I was showing over a quarter tank this morning on the truck, but this gauge showed me below. I would have thought the display and this gauge would match perfectly.
    3. Fuel T: I’m curious to see what the fuel temp is with a full tank vs not a full tank. The seat of my pants tells me the fuel is cooler with a full tank because the pumps are cooled more. With that being said, I’m not sure if the L5P’s fuel pump is in the tank or not. I just know the truck feel’s more powerful with more gas vs. less gas, which you would think would be the opposite.
    4. LSTRGN: I couldn’t fit this field on the emissions screen without doing a layout I didn’t want, so it lives here.
Questions:
  • MAD% View: I’ve watched videos and read pretty much all of the documentation, but I want to confirm what I’m seeing. In my picture you can see the MAD% is at 94.2. I believe this is telling me the air density in the manifold is 94.2% of the ambient air density (AAD). The green line represents the SAE J607 standard for AAD. The dark blue line shows the MAD without boost where the blue line shows boost AD both in relation to the SAE J607 standard. So in my situation the MAD at 94.2% is 5.8% below the AAD, but the 94.2% MAD is higher than the AAD SAE J607 standard. Does this sound right?
  • HP/TQ-ECU & TRQREF: At the face value these fields seem pretty logical, but my question is, what are they truly displaying? Is it the power being created based on what the computer thinks it should be producing based off of all the sensor inputs? TRQREF is very interesting in considerations of fields. Being able to see what torque your vehicle should be able to produce is pretty cool. Are these readings supposed to be at the block or the wheels? I imagine it’s at the block since there are so many factors for loss at the wheels, but it’s unclear from what I’ve read.
  • Page Changing: Can you change pages using the up and down buttons with a quick single press? It’s my understanding those buttons are used to change driving modes when you have other banks products plugged in, but can you configure them to quickly change between pages rather than having to hold the back button and only go one direction? This seems like something that should be easy to do.
Final Thoughts:

I really like the gauge so far. It seems like it will be very useful to truly understand the truck, different driving scenarios, and how to manage it’s performance. I swear pilots were involved creating this thing given there are so many fields and references that are bringing me into the cockpit.

I would have liked to have seen some default pages ready built for the average Joe based off your engine type. That might have made things a little easier to setup, but still not a big deal. I can definitely see how easy it would be to get distracted reading the gauge when you’re driving. Trying to minimize the amount of information being displayed I think will be key so everything would be a quick glance rather than a longer focus.

All in all, I would highly recommend the gauge for your truck. It truly is insightful to what’s going on with your vehicle.

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2006 LBZ, 2009 LML, 2022 L5P. 1993 6.5 parked in the shed.
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You are correct on MAD. MAD is a more correct way of evaluating your intake than strictly boost. For example, you can have 30 psi of boost at 400F or 30 psi of boost at 150F, the cooler boost is of waaaay more use because it contains more oxygen because it's denser. If you leave that number up on your gauge and get a feel for what normal is, you could tell if your grille is coverd in bugs or your cooling stack needs cleaned, because your aftercooler won't be as efficient plugged up and MAD will go down. I hope you post about it after a while when you get a feel for it.

The torque numbers are just the iDash or ECM doing some math. Torque is calculated based on RPM and HP (which is figured out from RPM and fuel rate).

As far as the page flipping with the up down, I haven't figured out how to yet, and very much want to for the same reasons as you. 👍👍
 
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Great review. I’m about to order one of these myself and deciding if I really need 2 vs 1. I’m going to order the Block8Head gauge holder as well as that is a much “cleaner” look than the window mount.
 

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2022 GMC Sierra 3500 Denali Duramax, SRW -- Forest Green Metallic with Jet Black interior
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I just ordered one a couple of days ago. How long did it take to ship/get to you?

I look forward to being able to monitor everything like you are. I'm very interested in the fuel temp because I live in such a cold climate.

Thanks for the write-up!
 

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I've had mine in the 18 for a couple of years now. Found that what I look at most it EOT, Boost (old school just seeing how hard it's pulling), and trans temps. I also have EGT, DPF% and battery voltage up. All of this is one page 1 and mostly what I have found the most useful.

This is the 2nd truck with banks stuff, my 04 has been through 3 display screens and still running strong.

Only issue with the iDash is the mount just recently gave up on life. The suction cup ripped in the center. Trying to get a gauge mount, but only found one that does not look completely hideous.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I actually screwed up my thinking of the MAD graph and gauge. After realizing there is no way at over 9k feet DA I would be over the SAE standard but less than the outside air I went back and reread.

I believe the green line represents the AAD or the density of the air outside of the truck. The percent is what percent air is in my manifold when compared to the SAE standard. So in my example I have more oxygen molecules in my example than the outside air, but only 94.2% when compared to the standard. Does this sound right?

If so, does the green line, or AAD, move when going up in altitude? How often does it recalculate? I was watching my density altitude on another page and I had climbed over a few hundred feet but I didn’t see the value change. Any insight?
 

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I think I actually screwed up my thinking of the MAD graph and gauge. After realizing there is no way at over 9k feet DA I would be over the SAE standard but less than the outside air I went back and reread.

I believe the green line represents the AAD or the density of the air outside of the truck. The percent is what percent air is in my manifold when compared to the SAE standard. So in my example I have more oxygen molecules in my example than the outside air, but only 94.2% when compared to the standard. Does this sound right?

If so, does the green line, or AAD, move when going up in altitude? How often does it recalculate? I was watching my density altitude on another page and I had climbed over a few hundred feet but I didn’t see the value change. Any insight?
Hey fellas,
The discussion is a good read and it’s cool and interesting to be able to analyze/look at the data and feedback from the inputs.
I’m been meaning to purchase a Banks monitor for my LM2, but apprehensive if it could cause any issues with the ECM.
From the read it’s obvious that you guys have been using the unit for a while, however how common is it for the units to mess up the computer. I know OBD is meant for diagnosis and not for constant monitoring.
Do you guys plug it in some of the time when your are looking for additional data or run it full time?
I’ve been at the checkout cart couple of times but did not pull the trigger as I use my truck primarily for work and it would be like losing a limb if it went out of commission.
Thanks
 

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2006 LBZ, 2009 LML, 2022 L5P. 1993 6.5 parked in the shed.
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Leave mine plugged in all the time. My LMM has 620k on it, also has a full time monitor plugged in for all those miles.

You'll be fine 👍
 

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@Reddy ,
In full disclosure, the "advanced diagnostics" portion of OnStar might not work with the monitor installed.
I disabled it in my portal, as I don't need emails from OnStar every month telling me the health of my truck. I already know when I need an oil change and what my tire pressures are.
Also, in full disclosure, the dealership will know something was connected to the OBD data port in the event of a warranty situation. They can accuse all they want, at the end of the day it's just a data monitor, and doesn't modify the truck.
I have run all my banks stuff for going on two years straight. I did have a couple Derringer related issues that Banks rectified with a new tuner.
The only issue with the iDash I have from time to time is that it doesn't wake up automatically when I start the truck. I'd say, in the average, about once a month. It's easy to wake it up manually though by pushing any button. The recent iDash software updates have helped this a lot.
All and all, the benefits of the monitor are worth it, and I have yet to read on here someone regret the purchase.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just had my first regen happen since I’ve installed the gauge. I never thought watching stuff burn off would be so entertaining lol.

I went well beyond the the mileage it said I would hit for regens. I kept my screen on my daily screen to see if I would get an alert when it would happen, but I felt the reduction in power so I switched over and the regen had started. Need to figure out how to get the notifications setup better. It took about 20 minutes or so for the regen to take me down to 5%. I thought it was going to go to 0% but it didn’t. I did keep driving a bit though to let the regen take place. I’m hopeful to get further distances between regens being able to monitor it. I know some people say the regens will start again after you stop and start, but I‘m not sure if at 20% it would do that or not. I guess I can try on my next one to bring it down to 25% and shut the truck off to see what happens.

Either way pretty cool.
 

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I tried the stop and shut off thing (I did 15%), it re started as soon as I got back on the highway. Mine also goes to 5 or 4% soot load, and stops, but sometime in the next few minutes the ECM resets it to zero. Originally I thought it just got there with residual heat but when it drops it drops instantly to 0.

Also find it oddly entertaining to watch.
 

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Same thing as @Piper One for me. I only have a 25 mile commute. I have interrupted regens numerous times. I just idle for a couple minutes to lower EGT's. It resumes after getting to operating temps on my next drive. Goes off at 5% and resets to 0% within a couple miles.
 

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What menu is the gear and converter status located in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I’m pretty sure my theory on fuel temp is right.
When I had a 3/4 tank and it was 96 out my fuel temp was 86. When I dropped below half it went up and by a quarter of a tank it was at 100. That’s the first picture below. I then stopped at the gas station, filled up, drove for a few miles, and I was back down to 86. Second picture.
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Hey fellas,
The discussion is a good read and it’s cool and interesting to be able to analyze/look at the data and feedback from the inputs.
I’m been meaning to purchase a Banks monitor for my LM2, but apprehensive if it could cause any issues with the ECM.
From the read it’s obvious that you guys have been using the unit for a while, however how common is it for the units to mess up the computer. I know OBD is meant for diagnosis and not for constant monitoring.
Do you guys plug it in some of the time when your are looking for additional data or run it full time?
I’ve been at the checkout cart couple of times but did not pull the trigger as I use my truck primarily for work and it would be like losing a limb if it went out of commission.
Thanks
Great review. I’m about to order one of these myself and deciding if I really need 2 vs 1. I’m going to order the Block8Head gauge holder as well as that is a much “cleaner” look than the window mount.
Here is another great Gauge Pod choice. They look really clean. I have on in my LML. Definitely better than the suction cup mount. GMC
 
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