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Looking for Rolling Road / Dyno Tuning In Kent

Then we are probably not your people. I thought it would be good to dispel some myths surrounding mobile tuning and their relationship to a remap being carried out on a rolling road. 

Smoke and Mirrors

You wouldn’t believe the number of keyboard warriors we see on forums who say things like “I’d only ever get my vehicle live remapped properly on a dyno”, let’s, first of all, dispel some myths about dyno tuning. When it comes to a  production car with a standard OEM ECU (Engine Control Unit) there is no such thing as live tuning, a live remap, or even dyno tuning whilst the vehicle is running. Adjusting the vehicle’s software whilst on a rolling road (chassis dyno) is physically impossible (with the rare exception of specialized stand-alone ECUs, piggyback ECUs or emulators) and can only be carried out when the vehicle is stationary with the engine not running, however, I often see misleading marketing that suggests otherwise.

A chassis dyno (rolling road), in it’s simplest form is used for measuring the power output (specifically force, torque or horsepower) from an engine, however, it’s essential when developing a true custom tune for a vehicle and can take several days to do so, during this time they would also be data logging air-fuel ratios, engine knock, boost, exhaust gas temperatures and so on to ensure that the new parameters are safe.
BUT this is very specialist work, there are no qualifications for tuning and just by owning a dyno rarely means the facility has the skills to recalibrate OEM ECUs to a good standard, more often than not they offer a remap with before and after dyno runs (referred to as pulls), and are agents to the very same trusted companies that provide a file writing service to companies like ourselves, simply because most of us could not afford or wish to pay the labour to have our vehicle truly custom-tuned, plus it’d be foolish to do so as it’d be like reinventing the wheel if the development has already been done with this engine in its standard form.

Certainly, for Stage 1 Tuning (a tune that doesn’t require any physical hardware modifications) 99% of end-users will be delighted with the results from having their vehicle tuned without the stress and cost of a dyno runs, with a BIG caveat, this being that the company employed to undertake the file writing (adjustment of calibration tables) on behalf of the person doing the ECU programming are not some obscure company providing budget low-end files with no R&D facilities.

So provided the company carrying out the ECU programming has access to file writers from reputable companies with a history of excellence and extensive research and development facilities at your disposal you won’t go far wrong.
This is a really good and important point, let’s use Quantum Tuning as an example, only because they are the largest tuning company in the UK. Their dealer network provides feedback from approximately 1,000 users of their file writing services, who in turn tune over 50,000 vehicles per year, through the feedback of these dealers it allows for continual improvement and development of their tuning, dealers reporting back on long-term issues such as premature clutch wear, for example, so tunes can be modified, as some times “more is less”, I know which I would prefer if it came to a little additional power or a tune that is safe, widely tested and proven!

However, some people do like to have the piece of paper either to compare results with their friends or convince themselves about the new power output of their engine, I love all that stuff too, but a piece of paper does come at a cost, and if you read on you may question if it’s worth it.

So How Accurate are the Results from a Rolling Road?

First of all, a dyno in its simplest form is just a good tool for comparing before and after results from a tune, however, even leaving the vehicle on the same dyno and carrying out the 2nd run immediately afterward will generate a different set of results, Celtic Tuning openly demonstrate this with an Audi 2.0 TFSI, nothing changed and runs were carried out back to back, Run 1 = 243bhp, Run 2 = 257bhp so you can see that figures can show significant variations on the same dyno on the same day, actually you could quote either a 19% or 26% gain dependant on which piece of paper you were given, so across different manufacturers and types of dyno, results will vary wildly, but of course dyno results are easy to cheat with so many variables, it makes it very easy to manipulate the figures in order for a company to promote their software as one that gives better results.
An article taken from the US market read as follows, there are 3 main types of chassis dyno, Dynojet, Dynapack and Mustang, the Mustang reads approximately 12% lower than the Dynojet, and the Dynapack reads approximately 8-10% higher.
Which shop do you think people would want to take their car to?
I also found this, you can input what dyno your vehicle was run on, and see how it might fair against another manufacturer, click HERE 

Setting aside that it’s a FACT that different dynos will deliver different results, and many dyno struggles to repeat the same figures when even carrying out back to back runs simply because of the variability in how the vehicle delivers the power and the variables of the dyno itself, you’d at least expect different dynos to be able to demonstrate the same percentage gains, correct? Wrong. DSPORT Magazine carried out extensive tests across different makes of dyno and the results were up to 12% difference in the gains made, their conclusion was “While dyno figures provide a great point of reference, trying to compare the figures from one dyno to another is futile.”

If you’ve managed to read this far and I haven’t bored you yet, as with all other precision measuring tools, the dynamometer’s readings should be regularly checked for accuracy, due to wear, temperature changes, corrosion, etc. Mechanical and electronic sensors gradually drift slightly away from their original calibration, now I’m a natural skeptic so I’d want to see those maintenance and calibration records before I passed my money over if the number was to mean anything.

The next most important thing other than the competence of the operator is the entering of a correction factor, (a favorite quote of mine from a large tuning company talking about chassis dynos / rolling roads “where correction factors are required, you may as well throw darts at a dartboard for the results”) take your car in on a nice crisp spring morning when the intake air temps are colder and you make 200bhp for example, go away and return later when the weather is warmer and you’ll make considerably less, the correction factor needs to account for air pressure, tyre pressure, fuel quality, temperature, and humidity amongst other things to attempt to provide the same results, whatever time of day you take it.
Chassis-dyno testing should certainly not be used to compare one car against another or to compare the same vehicle across different dynos, especially given the variation between dynos and user inputs, even the tension used to strap the car down, and consistency with how the operator uses the accelerator opens the results up to manipulation, something as simple as how sharply the operator presses the accelerator can have a significant impact on the results.
Ever wonder how Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube is littered with posts and videos with the operator claiming not in so many words to be the world’s best tuner, showing dyno results from previously tuned vehicles, “Tuner X” or “Tuned Elsewhere” to denote the undisclosed source of the previous tune, but somehow his tune miraculously provides significantly better results, sounds a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it!

I believe that we have established that a dyno/rolling road is not essential to having a good quality tune applied to your vehicle, actually, most dyno facilities also offer a remap without a dyno run, as they already know the predicted results, after all, they don’t drive their vehicle on a piece of paper.

So yes, our tuning is dyno developed and proven in bespoke state-of-the-art facilities by some of the most experienced companies and individuals in the business, no we don’t have a dyno facility, but I think our reviews speak for themselves.

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