PDA

View Full Version : Banks Cat-Back for YJ - Avoid Like The Plague!



SoK66
September 20th, 2006, 06:15 PM
I needed to replace the existing stock muffler & tailpipe on my '94 YJ. I have M.O.R.E.'s rear shock extensions, and, combined with a new Teraflex "Belly Up" skid, I was getting contact between the rear edge of the muffler and the right rear shock at full droop. Too bad, because even after 13 years and 70k miles, numerous rock hits, water dunks, mud & general abuse, the stock exhaust was doing just fine.

Since stock would not do, too long, after a lengthy review of everything that was out there in the aftermarket, I settled on Banks "Monster" cat-back kit, even though it was over $100 more than the common Dynomax setup. Major attributes, it's stainless and would have longevity, plus, in general, Bank's stuff makes much less racket than most of the other aftermarket turbo-junk that's on the Jeep aftermarket. (I'm not a fan of loud mufflers on trail rigs, we have enough enemies.) Anyway, the kit was ordered and I eagerly awaited its arrival, which occured on Monday.

I ripped open the box to find what appeared to be a high-quality tailpipe & muffler. But, when assembled on the bench, it became obvious the thing was way too long. Plus, they had the index on the muffler / cat joint at 20 degrees, rather than at 180. A few measurements later I discerned the assembly was nearly 3 inches too long and would never fit without cutting. They'd welded a 4 inch long 2 1/2" to 2 1.4" reducer on the inlet end of the muffler. It was so long the tailpipe would never fit, plus I'd have even worse muffler/shock interference than I had already.

A call to Banks tech support yesterday AM was a total waste of time, would have been better had I just called a cop. The guy on the line was clueless, but acknowledged they knew about the index being off. (I started to ask why they hadn't corrected it, but why bother?) He finally OK'd me cutting the muffler's inlet & outlets down, as well as the tailpipe inlet to make the damn thing fit.

Hours of careful measuring & cutting later it was on there, at least looking like someone who knew what the hell they were doing had put it on. Adding insult to injury, once everything was lined up and ready to cinch down, I discovered they'd supplied the wrong clamps. A quick run to the parts store and we were in business. Banks says they'll send me the correct clamps....we'll see.

Well, at least it sounds nice & mellow and my shock clearance issue is solved. However, I didn't plan on paying premium cash to then spend most of a day as Banks senior engineer. If this is indicative, stay away from Bank's Jeep products unless you want a world of aggravation. Just what I get for thinking I'd get what I paid for!

quadracer812
September 20th, 2006, 10:19 PM
what? an aftermarket part that doesn't fit right. thats unheard of. also if you mix differant aftermarket companies parts everything lines up perfect and better than stock:D

SoK66
September 21st, 2006, 06:36 AM
LMAO! Well, we've all had stuff that didn't quite fit, particularly low cost offshore crap. However, this is a top end mfr. This thing was so far off it wouldn't have fit any YJ. Pretty obvious they never installed one, just threw it together and prayed. That would have been ok, had it not come with a premium price tag & top end mfrs rep.

oldcjguy
September 27th, 2006, 09:15 PM
I used to work at Banks, and can attest that their stuff is good stuff. I can't tell you how many times I threw mufflers or other parts at guys in the engineering dept. The problem is that they design it on a vehicle, but some schmuck in manufacturing tweaks it and it all goes to hell.

Plus when i was there, the tech guy was usually a sales washout.

Jefe
September 28th, 2006, 07:16 PM
** HIJACK ALERT!! **

SO oldcjguy, in your opinion, Banks or Borla??

SoK66
October 3rd, 2006, 06:04 AM
I used to work at Banks, and can attest that their stuff is good stuff. I can't tell you how many times I threw mufflers or other parts at guys in the engineering dept. The problem is that they design it on a vehicle, but some schmuck in manufacturing tweaks it and it all goes to hell.

Plus when i was there, the tech guy was usually a sales washout.

Thanks, you're confiming what I've learned.

Other issues with this POS kit, the muffler outlet is not offset like the stock system, so the tailpipe hits the crossmeber in front of the tank unless it's cut down to fit. The muffler hits the stock heat shield unless you cut the index slightly offset, and the stupid chome tailpipe tip they give you is so long it'll get ripped off by the first ledge you traverse. I was going to just leave it off, but the tailpipe is so short it would allow hot exhaust gass to hit the tank skid and rear shackle bushings. I finally cut about 50% of it off to make it work.

Now that Banks finally supplied the right clamps the system works OK and sounds nice & mellow, with just a little off throttle burble. I can discrern no performance improvement whasoever.

What total bullshit! A cheapo Dynomax kit would have bolted right up and worked great for half this much money. It's what I get for expecting a quality product for quality money. Banks will never get another penny of from me, hope they don't spend it all in one place..

snagnbass
November 21st, 2006, 08:48 PM
I would rather save money. I purchased a 4wd brand cat back it did not fit the muffler was short so I had midas make me a little piece of pipe for like 20$ and it was fine. That exhaust sounded great and I would never buy high$$$ bc you can smash it like i did to the last 5" of the end and just cut it off. Hey it was like 145$ so what you know?

crackhead
November 23rd, 2006, 03:02 PM
My bud put one on his TJ and it fit like crap as well.. Pretty disappointed in it..

Special Ed GT
November 23rd, 2006, 05:52 PM
SoK66, just our of curiosity, how much did you pay for the Banks setup?

Hank

SoK66
November 28th, 2006, 07:26 PM
SoK66, just our of curiosity, how much did you pay for the Banks setup?

Hank

About $325 from Quadratec. More than doub;e what a simple Dynomax setup runs, and the latter is likely to fit.

MHickey
January 2nd, 2007, 01:10 AM
Did you use any of the factory mounts? I'm curious because I also put this exhaust on (from the head all the way back) and didn't have problems outside of having enough of the correct clamp size. That wasn't Bank's fault as I had to fab in a spare TJ cat to my YJ. My only complaint with the system was that the tube is so stiff it doesn't compress well enough to seal completely at the joints. My YJ had so many different exhaust pieces on it that I had to buy every factory hanger to even begin. It is working awesome and definitely durable. My tip only sticks out about 1" from the frame crossmember and is still protected by the spring shackle. I haven't hit it on a ledge yet.....
Wonder if there's a difference in manufacturing runs???

SoK66
February 8th, 2007, 06:25 AM
My exhaust was completely stock when I tried to install this POS. I think it worked for you because you used a TJ cat. They obviouslky never installed this thing on a YJ, they just repackaged a TJ kit and said it worked on YJs. Biggest issue to me, it came at a premium price, was hopelessly "under engineered", their tech support was useless and despite a written letter of complaint they've never responded. Oh, yeah, I got the wrong clamps, too. (So much for $350 huh?)

I took the thing off and tried having a local outfit shorten the muffler's 2 1/2 -2 1/4" reducer enough so the thing would clear the crossmember. They cut it down as much as possible, but it still hit when warmed up. I finally just took it off and replaced it with a cheapo Dynomax setup, which cost half as much, bolted right on, fits perfectly andsounds better to boot.

I recommend everyone avoid Banks, there are too many good companies out there.