DYNO

Dynamometers (also known as dynos or rolling roads) are an invaluable tool for professional tuning companies, our dyno allows us to complete advanced diagnostic tests, develop our software in a safe environment, offer steady state tuning for standalone ECU’s and of course, measure performance through dyno power runs.

We offer power runs with most of our remapping packages, you can find more information about our dyno and it’s specifications below.

OUR DYNO

We have an Australian made Dyno Dynamics AWD450DS four wheel drive chassis dynamometer, it’s capable of measuring vehicles that produce up to 2400bhp (1200bhp per axle) and can be configured to display horsepower (bhp) and torque (lbft) at the wheels or flywheel. Unfortunately we’re not able to run every vehicle we’re capable of tuning on our dyno, some due to size and weight restrictions, others due to the way in which their drivetrain systems function, if you have any questions about the suitability of dyno testing your vehicle, please contact us.

DRIVE TYPES

We’re able to test the majority of the following drive types on our dyno;

  • Front Wheel Drive
  • Rear Wheel Drive
  • All Wheel Drive
  • Intelligent European AWD (Haldex etc)

SIZE & WEIGHT

The following weight and size limits apply;

  • Maximum Vehicle Weight 4,500kg (9,900lb)
  • Maximum Axle Weight (Per Axle) 2,250kg (4,450lb)
  • Minimum Wheelbase 2,250mm (89″)
  • Maximum Wheelbase 3,500mm (138″)
Dyno Dynamics Dyno

DYNO GRAPH

The main use of our dyno is as a development tool but if you book dyno power runs with your remapping package, we’ll measure your vehicles performance before and after it’s tuned providing you with a graph similar to the following example.

Example Dyno Graph

This particular graph is displaying flywheel power and torque, the solid line is the calculated flywheel power (bhp) and the dotted line is calculated flywheel torque (lbft). The left hand axis is power, the right axis is torque and at the bottom we have the engine speed. In the top right corner of the graph you’ll find the peak power and in the bottom right corner there’s a table with information such as barometric pressure, atmospheric temperature, intake temperature and the correction factor used, in this case the dyno is set to ShootOut 44, the correction factor is essentially the calculation the dyno uses in order to calculate the flywheel power from the measured wheel power, you can find more about that below.

DYNOS EXPLAINED

There are many different types and brand of dyno all with different software and operating procedures, the three main types are engine, hub and chassis.

Engine dynos are the rarest type, these are typically used by vehicle manufacturers and motorsport engine builders, in terms of measuring flywheel power, they are undoubtedly the most accurate dyno but removing the engine from your vehicle and mounting it to an engine dyno just to measure its power is an absurd proposition and that’s just not the purpose of an engine dyno.

Hub dynos are relatively rare and tend to be favoured by calibration engineers as a software development tool, as you can see in the image below, hub dynos (as the name suggests) bolt directly to the vehicle’s hub. Compared to chassis dynos, they require a considerable amount of time to set up but from a purely calibration point of view, hub dynos eliminate a great many variable factors such as the effects of wheel spin and tyre type. Unfortunately their design and operation make them somewhat impractical for routine power run use and like chassis dynos, they have limitations in producing flywheel figures.

Chassis dynos are undoubtedly the most popular type and we’ll discuss this type of dyno in greater detail, the first thing to consider is that not all dynos are created equally, broadly speaking there are two types of chassis dyno, inertia and load bearing.

Dyno Types

Inertia dynos are comparatively simplistic in how they work, essentially the vehicle spins a roller the speed of which is measured by a computer which in turn uses this data to calculate the vehicle’s power. Inertia dynos are relatively inexpensive, they work fine if your only requirement is measuring power, however, the figures they produce can be inconsistent and the duration of power runs on this type is dyno are incredibly short, this becomes an issue when you’re trying to tune or measure turbocharged vehicles.

Load bearing dynos work considerably differently, they use a braking force to effect load on a vehicle as it’s run, this better simulates the real world forces that a vehicle is subjected too whilst driving. Power runs on this type of dyno take considerably longer as the vehicle has to overcome this braking force allowing for greater accuracy when measuring turbocharged vehicles. Of particular importance to tuners is a load bearing dyno’s ability to operate in a steady state mode, this allows tuners to maintain a set RPM irrespective of throttle input and is vitally important when it comes to calibrating standalone ECU’s, this type of dyno is more expensive and as you’ve probably guessed, our dyno is this type.

Dyno Dynamics Dynamometer

The scope of difference and variable factors when it comes to dynos means it’s challenging to compare the results from one dyno to another and by challenging, we mean it’s a pretty pointless exercise. In the UK and Europe, when we talk about bhp and torque we’re referring to flywheel power, our dyno (as you can see in the images above) measures power at the wheels, so how do we get flywheel figures? 

Our dyno takes the power measured at the wheels and uses a calculation to estimate how much power is lost through the drivetrain in order to produce flywheel numbers. The drawback with this method is that drivetrain losses vary, we know the losses of 4WD vehicles are higher than 2WD vehicles and that automatic transmissions tend to suffer greater losses than manual transmissions. Our dyno features pre-set “ShootOut” modes that change the calculation used based on the vehicle type but there remains a margin of error, if we measured a DSG Golf R and a manual Golf R on our dyno, the DSG car would display less power than the manual car even though the engines produce the same power.

There are of course many more factors that can effect dyno figures, the design of the dyno cell, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, tyre pressure etc, if we accept that flywheel dyno figures have a margin of error then you may be thinking what’s the point in dyno power runs?

By measuring a vehicle’s performance prior to remapping, we’re able to establish a baseline, this helps us understand how the vehicle is currently performing and provides us with a point of reference for the measured gains. In our experience, whilst the peak figures may be slightly lower or higher than expected, the estimated performance gains remain consistent, this means that if your vehicle is stated to have 150bhp stock with estimated tuning gains of 40bhp yet only measures 140bhp on the dyno before tuning, we’d expect the power after tuning to be 180bhp (140bhp + 40bhp) and not 190bhp (150bhp + 40bhp).

Power runs become less useful where a vehicle has been tuned by a third party and then brought to us just for power runs, this is where dynos cause the greatest upset, if the vehicle hasn’t been run on our dyno before it was tuned, we don’t have a baseline that we can use as a point of reference.

Dyno Dynamics Dynamometer

In practice we don’t power run every vehicle we tune, we offer dyno power runs as an optional service with our remapping packages as not every vehicle can be run on our dyno for various reasons and if a vehicle is being tuned for economy, measuring the peak power is irrelevant as the focus is on increasing MPG which isn’t a factor which can be measured by a dyno.

It’s not our intention to undermine the usefulness or importance of dynos, as a tuning tool they are immensely valuable, our aim is simply to better inform you in the hope that if your vehicle is measured on a dyno and the figures aren’t what you expect, you understand these numbers are always going to have a margin of error. The purpose of remapping is to improve your vehicle’s performance and how it feels on the road, if your goal is to get high numbers on a piece of paper, you’re likely going to be disappointed, instead you should treat dyno power runs are a great way of confirming estimated performance gains or measuring the progression of your modifications providing you use the same dyno.

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