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Unlocking Power Potential: The Banks Jeep 4.0 Header Upgrade


If you’re a Jeep enthusiast, chances are you’re always looking for ways to get more power, performance, and efficiency out of your 4.0L engine. One of the most effective ways to achieve these enhancements is by upgrading the exhaust header. Out of the many aftermarket options, the Banks Jeep 4.0 header stands out. Let’s take a closer look at the significance of upgrading to a Banks header and how it can breathe new life into your Jeep’s performance capabilities.

What is a Header and Why is it Important?

First, it’s crucial to understand what a header is and its role in your vehicle’s performance. A header is an integral component of the exhaust system that collects exhaust gases from the engine’s cylinders and funnels them away through the exhaust pipes. Unlike a standard exhaust manifold that can restrict flow due to its cast-iron construction and uneven runners, a header is specifically designed to optimize exhaust gas flow. It does so by providing equal length, smoother, mandrel-bent tubing that allows exhaust gases to flow out of the engine with less resistance.

Headers are essential for anyone who wants to improve their vehicle’s horsepower, torque, and overall performance. A good header can also improve your engine’s efficiency and, in some cases, even increase fuel economy due to the more efficient exhaust gas scavenging.

The Banks Power Difference

Gale Banks Engineering, commonly known as Banks Power, is a well-established name in the automotive aftermarket industry. Gale Banks himself is often referred to as the “Godfather of Turbocharging” due to his extensive experience and expertise in performance engineering. The company’s products, including the Banks Jeep 4.0 header, are designed with extensive research, development, and real-world testing to ensure they deliver on their promises of improved power and performance.

The Banks Jeep 4.0 Header Design

The Banks Jeep 4.0 header is engineered to replace the factory exhaust manifold with a high-performance alternative. The header is constructed from heavy-duty stainless steel for longevity and corrosion resistance. What sets the Banks header apart is its meticulous design:

  • Equal-Length Tubing: Each exhaust runner is of equal length, ensuring even exhaust pulse distribution. This design helps mitigate the exhaust reversion, where spent gases are drawn back into the cylinder, thus improving engine breathing.

  • Mandrel Bending: The smooth bends in the Banks header are created using a mandrel bending process, which maintains a consistent inner diameter through the curves, minimizing restriction and maximizing flow.

  • Thick Flanges and Precision Welds: To prevent leaks and maintain a secure fit, the header boasts thick flanges and high-quality welds, designed to withstand the high heat and pressure of the exhaust system.

  • Improved Thermal Management: The Banks header is designed to reduce heat buildup in the engine bay, which not only protects underhood components but can also help lower intake air temperatures, further enhancing performance.

Performance Gains

The true value of the Banks Jeep 4.0 header lies in the performance gains it delivers. Users can expect improvements in horsepower and torque throughout the RPM range, with more pronounced gains at mid to high RPMs where the factory manifold tends to become restrictive. These gains are a direct result of the improved exhaust scavenging and reduced back pressure. When paired with other performance upgrades, such as a high-flow exhaust system and upgraded intake, the Banks header can transform your Jeep’s power profile.

Installation and Compatibility

While upgrading to a Banks header is a significant performance modification, it’s designed to be a direct bolt-on replacement for the factory manifold. This means you can install the Banks header without the need for extensive modifications to your exhaust system, making it an attractive option for those who prefer to do their upgrades. However, it’s worth noting that installing a header can be more complex than basic bolt-ons, so familiarity with your vehicle’s exhaust system or professional installation may be preferred.

The Banks Jeep 4.0 header is compatible with a variety of Jeep models equipped with the 4.0L inline-six engine such as the Jeep Wrangler TJ, Cherokee XJ, and Grand Cherokee ZJ. It’s important to verify the compatibility with your specific year and model before purchasing.

Additional Considerations

When upgrading to a high-performance header like the Banks, it’s also advised to consider other supporting modifications:

  • Exhaust System: To fully benefit from the header’s increased flow, having a high-flow cat-back exhaust system is recommended. This ensures that the rest of your exhaust is not bottlenecking the performance improvements from the header.

  • Oxygen Sensors and Emissions: Check the condition of your oxygen sensors and other emissions components. Poorly functioning sensors can lead to suboptimal engine performance and could negate the benefits of your new header.

  • Tuning: Getting a professional tune after installing your Banks header can help you maximize the performance gains by adjusting your engine’s air/fuel ratio and ignition timing to account for the new modifications.

  • Maintenance: It’s also beneficial to ensure that your Jeep is well maintained in other areas. A new header won’t fix underlying issues, like poor compression, timing problems, or worn spark plugs.


Upgrading to a Banks Jeep 4.0 header can significantly alter the personality of your Jeep. It can transform it from a rugged and reliable all-terrain vehicle into a more powerful, responsive, and efficient machine. The Banks header’s superior design and construction mean you’re not just buying a piece of metal tubing—you’re investing in a well-thought-out performance enhancement that’s been engineered to push the boundaries of what your Jeep 4.0L engine can do.

Whether you’re hitting the trails, climbing rocks, or just want a more enjoyable daily driving experience, a Banks header can deliver the performance improvements you’re seeking. It’s a testament to the idea that with the right upgrades, your Jeep can always offer a new level of excitement and capability, keeping you and your 4.0L engine ahead of the pack.