Sometimes a car arrives for a dyno tune, all our ECC pre-dyno check are completed, and everything looks good. We put the car on the dyno, we run it up, and it makes good power. A couple of custom tweaks are performed on the dyno and the post test drive, a couple of cold starts, and the car is ready to go. That happens… RARELY !!!
If you have your car booked in for a tune with us, or are contemplating a dyno tune anywhere for that matter, take note of the following guide we have put together to ensure you get the best results, for the least amount of time, money and heartache…
Oil is the lifeblood of your pride and joy’s engine, and bad, old, or low oil can turn an exciting dyno tune into a teary, expensive mess very quickly. Whilst we always check your oil before tuning, please ensure you have nice new, fresh oil in your engine. We are happy to supply oil and/ or service your vehicle pre-dyno if necessary. Not sure what oil to run for what is about to be done? Dont be afraid to ask!
Nothing is more frustrating than poor running conditions and misfires from igniton break down from a simple spark plug. Please inspect your spark plugs, and if necessary, replace before dyno tuning. If your vehicle is in having power modifications, please don’t be afraid to have a chat to us about the right plug for your application – spark plug science with materials, gapping, and heat ranges is more complicated than it sounds, and we are happy to advise you on the right plug for your application!
Fuel is crucial – without it, our cars don’t run. We know this. But three important things to consider – Firstly, fuel does have a shelf life, and if the fuel in your car has been in there for more than a couple of weeks, make sure you bring or throw in some fresh fuel. Secondly, make sure you are using the right fuel for your application. Performance vehicles require at MINIMUM, 98 Octane unleaded. We use and suggest BP ULTIMATE. Ethanol blended fuels can be ok, but talk to us about them first if you are leaning towards or running with this option as they have different burn and tuning characteristics. Finally, make sure your car has enough fuel! Full custom tuning sessions use a lot of fuel – A LOT! Make sure your car has a full tank of fuel before its scheduled dyno date. You will be charged if we have to stop tuning, run to the servo to get you fuel, then come back and re-fill and start again.
Boost leaks, oil leaks, coolant leaks, air leaks, magical fairy leaks – all must be addressed before tuning. Bringing a car to the dyno for a tune with a leak is like taking your little sister to an x-rated movie – unwise, messy, and is going to end up in heartache and a serious talking too. Exhaust leaks must receive a special mention here – any exhaust leak in your system will not only rob you of power, torque and optimal potential, but they dramatically affect air: fuel ratio readouts whilst tuning, meaning a perfectly accurate tune is not possible.
Coolant, for lack of a better word, keeps your car “cool”. Dyno tuning is stressful to your vehicle, and whilst we have built a fancy pants controlled conditions dyno cell, which is more like a wind tunnel, to aid in keeping your car cool, there is no substitute for a functional cooling system. A car overheating can not be tuned, and is downright dangerous for the vehicle.
This only applies to a few, but please ensure your vehicle is not so ridiculously low that it will not make it up onto the dyno bed and catch on things underneath. If we cant get it on the dyno, we can’t tune it. There are three options here: 1. We can raise it for you, but this comes at a cost! 2. We may be able to run the car on the hub dyno, but if this is the case, this may also come at an extra cost as the setup and prep time to put a car on the hub dyno is rather extensive, and will incur extra costs. 3. We do have a rig contraption of extended ramps, chocks and all other means to potentially ramp super low vehicles on our chassis dyno – however, once again using this comes at a cost, as this methodology can take up to 45 mins just to setup to do a baseline ramp for your vehicle. Our dyno will take low vehicles, but is not a miracle machine. Please be aware of this before booking and if your car is slammed, ask us the question first or you may see extra charges on your invoice.
Please ensure the vehicle is electrically sound. Tracking down wiring gremlins on the dyno is both annoying, but more importantly for you, expensive.
Please ensure your transmission and drivetrain is going to be up to the task of dyno use. Fresh gearbox and differential oils are advised. We are happy to advise of what fluids should be run etc for your application – just ask!
CHARGING AND POWER
Your vehicle will most likely be turned on and off numerous times whilst tuning. Please ensure your vehicles battery and alternator and charging system are up to the task. Whilst we have jumper batteries and chargers available, time is money, and money is the thing we are trying to save you!
Bald tyres do not only spin on the street. Make sure tyres are suitable for a tuning session. Vehicles with tyres that have steel belts hanging out, or chunks missing will NOT go on the dyno. Important note here is guard clearance – vehicles will squat on the dyno under WOT ramps – make sure your tyres do not scrub on the inner guards. Final note – certain tyres are not dyno suitable or friendly – slicks or semi slicks, while great on the street, are not great for the dyno. Confused? Dont worry – just ask us and we can explain dyno tyre theory in more detail.
Dyno tuning should be an exciting time for you, and your vehicle. Most of it is fairly common sense. The most important thing to consider is to just communicate with us regarding your vehicle and your goals, budget, and most importantly, possible concerns or issues that you know of. We are not monsters (despite what you may have heard), and are happy to help. Ensure your vehicle and engine is in a good, suitable condition for its tuning experience and everyone will be happier for it.
If any of the above mentioned issues do arise on the dyno, we do unfortunately have to charge you to fix them. This labour charge is ON TOP of your standard dyno hourly fee, so it is in everyone’s best interests to ensure the vehicle is good to go and any concerns have been made very clear from the beginning. Time is money, and your dyno session is charged by the hour for the time we spend on it – therefore time taken away from tuning your vehicle to address issues is a bad situation. If we strap your vehicle onto the dyno, attempt to start tuning, and are forced to stop due to issues with the vehicle, you will still be charged for the time spent – even though there is a nil result. We do reserve the right to refuse to tune a vehicle if we deem the vehicle not suitable or ready for the rigors of dyno testing. Bottom line – read this guide, ensure the vehicle is right, and enjoy the experience.