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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Getting ready for the dyno!

Ok as a dyno operator for the last 26 years the most annoying thing has been to tell the customer and usually the racer that unless the car is in perfect STD condition I can't help!

The car is down on compression
It has excessive blow by
The filters are blocked
The plugs are worn
The leads arc out
The car has stale fuel
The list goes on and on!

There are a few approaches to preparation, these are as follows:

1, Pay to get it done:
In which case stop reading, get working to earn the money to pay for it all!

2, 50/50 you do the easy bits and pay for the hard bits to get done:
Read on you'll learn a few things!

3, Get your hands dirty and do it all yourself:
Well now were talking!

Ok where to start? Simple at the beginning:

1, Does the car have issues?

It does? Fix them or have them looked at, these things may seem small to you now but a minor electrical issue can be compounded by a zealous tune. This for example could be a loose map/maf wire that only plays up once in a while no biggy now you think well that on an overly conservative std tune but now that your getting a spirited tune the risks are greater and so is the chance of destruction!

2, Does the car use the best commonly available fuel?

Some say the want economy not power so ill save by putting in the cheapest fuel I can find! Wrong infact it costs more to run cheap fuel on a std tune than the best fuel on a correctly set up tune! Not to mention less chance of a bad batch either clogging your filters or detonating due to low octane!

“You can’t get more power without more fuel,” They say! Sorry you can!!! It stands to reason that with a given amount of fuel / air mixture that this could be wasted or used efficiently! The common thought is most std engines and tunes run in the 50-60% efficiency range. What if by tuning we get this to 80-90% range well we have just increased fuel efficiency and made more power! Add better fuel into the mix and this 30% is more achievable!

3, When was it serviced?

Well here is another one your oils should be changed every 6,000 miles / 10,000klms when using today’s oils!

For a turbo car I recommend the best synthetic you can afford in the std weight range I.E.: std oil 10-40 weight then synthetic 10-40 weight

For non-turbo naturally aspirated, supercharged and rotary I recommend the best semi synthetic / fully synthetic you can afford again in the same weight!

There is no point going to the dyno if your oil is more than 5000 miles or 8000 k’s old CHANGE IT!!!

4, Knowing your expectations and limitations!

The single most important part of a custom tune is communication! This is what gets your results! Your tuner can’t read minds so you have got to tell him and if he is not interested in listening to you go elsewhere! If he has no time to listen he will rush your tune too! He will tune it to what he likes and that maybe totally different to your needs / driving style!

This brings me to canned / generic tunes as someone on gen coupe forum said “the only safe canned / generic tune is the factory std tune” how true is this statement!!! (Thanks Mallen) Do you not think if the manufacturer could sell the car with more power and economy that it would be more attractive to the end user and sell more? They are in the game of selling after all!

5, Mechanical preparation:

A, Is your engine sound?
a1, Does it have good compression?
a2, Does it use oil?
a3, Does it have too much blowby?
a4, Is your oil pressure ok?

B, Is your fuel system sound?
b1, When was your fuel filter last changed?
b2, What is your fuel pressure like?
b3, When were you injectors last cleaned?
b4, Is your pump and injector flow rate going to cope?

C, Is your ignition system sound?
c1, When were your plugs last changed?
c2, Do they have the right gap and heat range?
c3, Do your leads and coil have any cracks? Are they arcing out?
c4, Distributors are the caps, rotors, points and condensers?

D, Is your driveline sound?
d1, Are your drive shaft and uni’s ok?
d2, Are your cv’s ok?
d3, Are your tires fine? Pressures ok?

Ok now that we have this done what about making it better than standard? Well there are many things you can do starting with simple things like cold air intakes or plug gaps etc but these are best left to your chosen tuner. Again it comes down to communication and telling him your individual needs!

So how do we choose the right tuner?
As mentioned above communication is the key followed by
How long has he been tuning and owned a dyno?
Does he have the right gear?
Does he have your vehicle knowledge?
Do you feel comfortable with him?

How do we know if hes capable?
Years on the job helps but not fool proof!
What other cars has he been doing?
What does he specialize in?

What product to tune with?
Heres why i left this last, ask your chosen tuner! Thats right either find a tuner thats experienced with your chosen product or use what he recommends! Again if he is not 100% comfortable with the product you wont get 100% effort or quality!
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