It seems ironic that 10 years ago, diesels required almost no electricity, yet wouldn't exist today without computer controls. While some traditionalists may long for the days of mechanical injection, the truth is that many of you reading this magazine have only owned computer-controlled diesels. In fact, it's very likely the computer-controlled engines, and the ease at which modifications can be made to them, is what attracted most of you to diesels in the first place. Timeline In 1989, diesel performance was not in the mainstream. While it was possible to add power to the Ford, Dodge, and GM engines of the day (with the help of an injection pump shop), hot rod diesels were few and far between. When the electronically controlled Ford Power Stroke debuted in 1994, it was met with mixed reviews. While it wasn't the first diesel to get electronic controls (the '93 GM 6.5L was), it was the first computer-controlled direct-injection diesel to be offered on such a large scale. The initial fear from the naysayers was that the new Power Stroke would bring lots of electronic failures. On the other hand, computer tuners from the performance world saw the Power Stroke as something they could add substantial power to. Today we all know which group was right. Chip, Boxes, Programmers The initial wave of diesel performance parts came in the form of chips that plugged into the factory computers. As the OEMs moved to a new generation of ECMs, plug-in chips were no longer an option for the aftermarket. The plug-in module, or box, was then developed to hijack information coming in and out of the factory computer and massage the data for more performance. Another school of thought that developed was uploading a new performance calibration directly into the engine's computer—much like you would load your personal computer with new software. This technology is widely used today and falls under the generic title of tuners or programmers. Banks gave us an early preview of the IQ technology so we could try to wrap our minds around its capabilities. The hardware is based on a microcomputer platform that interfaces with the outside world through a 12-pin connector (shown here with a USB and audio jack extension plugged in), a microSD card slot, and a conventional mini-USB connector. The IQ communicates with the vehicle through the Banks Bus module (arrow) that plugs into the vehicle's data link connector under the dash.Banks gave us an early preview of the IQ technology so we could try to wrap our minds arou The Banks Bus module can be mounted under the dash and communicates with the IQ via its mini-USB port. This device translates the data stream coming from the vehicle's onboard computer so the driver can interface with the vehicle via the IQ's display.The Banks Bus module can be mounted under the dash and communicates with the IQ via its mi The IQ will offer an almost unlimited number of screen configurations that will allow the user to customize what information is displayed, and in what visual form.The IQ will offer an almost unlimited number of screen configurations that will allow the Far more than just a digital gauge display, the IQ also allows the user to select a number of different functions that Banks describes as environments.Far more than just a digital gauge display, the IQ also allows the user to select a number To show you just how capable the IQ is, it comes with the Windows CE operating system already installed.To show you just how capable the IQ is, it comes with the Windows CE operating system alre Traditional diesel users will likely first use the IQ to display vehicle performance information—but the IQ does much more. This screen capture shows how the IQ can control the Banks SpeedBrake (horizontal row along the bottom) as well as the Banks Six-Gun tuner modes (vertical column along the left-hand side) in real-time via the touch screen.Traditional diesel users will likely first use the IQ to display vehicle performance infor 1 | 2 | » | View Full Article By David Kennedy Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!