Dyno tuning your vehicle is one of those things that can greatly enhance the performance of your engine. Tuning your car through the use of a dynamometer should be thought of as more of a scientific experiment than a garage project. There are many different things that can be determined, and changed, through the dyno process. It is highly technical, but also easily learned by anyone who wants to keep their horsepower, performance and engine life at an optimum level. If you are looking into using a dyno, here are some tip to help you get more out of the process.
There are a lot of variables in the engine while it is running. Things like fuel pressure, valve timing, problems with spark plugs and wires, exhaust and emissions, the throttle body, fuel injection, and other problems can be found after you roll you car up on the dyno testing platform. Having a plan beforehand will always help you see some things, while also helping you locate other problem areas.
Along with knowing which problem areas you want to look at, you should also have a plan thought out about the parts of your engine that you want to change. By knowing this you will be able to save a lot of time in the process by having the tools, and the parts necessary, on hand while the car is on the dynamometer.
For one who is not well versed on the dyno tuner you can make a lot of assumptions without knowing the true reality of what the numbers are saying. You may think that the A/F ratio is a little off and go about changing valve timing to make it better. However, the truth may be that you only need to do a slight adjustment. Read about the dyno testing machines, and talk with skilled users before trying to read the numbers.
The best way to determine your vehicle’s performance and power is to perform several different baseline runs. This will show you where you car it at before you make any changes. However, because of the way that different factors can change performance (engine heat, oil breakdown, atmosphere, etc.) you should run several tests to make a true determination.
Getting the most wheel horsepower, fixing some of the problems or making your engine fit emissions standards can not be done when you are pulling out parts, and changing things on the fly. It should be a systematic process where you only change out one thing at a time. When you swap out fuel injection, spark plugs and change the timing all at the same time, you will radically change the results making it seem like there are other problems.
Using a notebook to write down everything is one of the most important things you can do when dyno tuning your vehicle’s engine. Take one step at a time and do not try to rush the process by jumping to conclusions when there is minimal power gain with stock engines.