12-06-2012, 11:05 PM #1
Dyno inspections/ preparations
Hey guys, just seen this on Cobb's FB page and I thought I would share it here. Not exactly N54 specific but very informative. All credit Cobb tuning.
Pre-Dyno Inspections – And Why You Win Because Of ThemPrepared by: Lance Lucas
If you’ve recently been tuned or inquired about dyno tuning at COBB Tuning Surgeline, you’ve likely heard about or been through the “Pre-Dyno Inspection” process. We may or may not have done a good job of explaining the whole deal to you, so I’m here to hopefully expand upon the subject a bit and shed some light on what we feel is a highly mutually-beneficial procedure. I have completed hundreds of Subaru tunes all over the country, from Connecticut, to Texas, to California and my home state and first love, Oregon. I certainly haven’t seen it all, and I learn and discover great new things all of the time. I’d like to share some of my insights to help explain a bit more about why we do things the way we do.
A bit of background. As a tuning customer, you have various expectations, right? I certainly do when I’m buying something, be it a hamburger, a hotel room or a Hyundai. More specific to us, one of your expectations is likely that you will end up with a very well-tuned car free of any major issues, both at time of delivery and many thousands of miles down the road. Is it guaranteed? Of course not…only death and taxes come with certainty. But, you’re paying us good money to make every best attempt to meet or exceed that expectation. In order to do that, it is very important that the car be free of the many common mechanical issues that can plague a modified car – and not just at tune time. I will touch on this again below. Ultimately, what is important to us is your satisfaction and delivering an experience that meets or exceeds your expectations.
A really great thing about the Pre-Dyno Inspection is that we can evaluate many specific areas of the vehicle far beyond most average owner’s abilities. Without a lift, the right tools and years of Subaru experience, it can be tough for even the savviest of mechanics to pinpoint underlying issues with a car. Some of the more troublesome items we see are leaking valve covers, torn CV joint boots, failing radiators, missing sensors, leaking turbocharger inlets and bald/corded tires. Items such as the leaking valve covers and torn CV boots can spray flammable oil and grease onto red-hot exhaust components; leaking turbocharger inlets will cause a dangerously lean air-fuel mixture that cannot be appropriately compensated for via tuning. We’re all on a budget, so we understand if we notice a significant issue that needs attention and you or we need to delay the tune to address it. Depending on the severity of the issue, the best way for us to ensure you’ve got a well-running and safe car to enjoy may likely be to address that problem before a tune, not after, especially if your budget does not allow for both simultaneously.
One of the common things we end up “rejecting” cars for are “temporary” solutions for critical issues, such as vacuum/boost/oil/fuel lines that are of incorrect material or installed improperly and likely to fail quickly. A failed boost line can and has caused an overboost situation and engine failure; a failed oil line can and has caused engine bay fires. “But if it works for the time being, can’t you tune it like that?” you might be thinking. And the answer is technically “yes” – but pragmatically “no”, not while also meeting your long-term expectations of us and your vehicle. In cases like these, we often feel the money you intend to spend on tuning is better spent correcting the mechanical issues first. In these circumstances, we can often provide a suitable base tune that allows the car to run and drive, it’s only the power tuning side of things that will be delayed while good solutions can be applied for the issues found. 300whp in a daily driver is awesome; doing our best to make sure that your daily driver will get you to work the next day is paramount. Let’s work together and get your vehicle in tip-top shape and ready for your enjoyment! MOST IMPORTANTLY, if the issue is something that could create a safety issue for you, your passengers, the dyno operator or shop employees, we simply will not risk any person’s well-being in the name of hasty horsepower. Patience is a virtue!
We frequently use the Pre-Dyno Inspection as a way to get a better understanding of your car’s current modifications and mechanical configuration. Over time, we’ve learned a lot regarding the way that certain parts and pieces – such as the intake system and the fuel injectors – can negatively impact the tune or preclude ideal operation. Intake housings of poor design or unsuitable construction materials can cause erratic Mass Air Flow measurements, which leads to variety of drivability and performance problems. Countless injectors suffer from inconsistent performance and some have even physically failed and separated, sending small metallic objects and a geyser of fuel into the engine. Some of these parts can often provide “passable” performance, but we hold our work, your car and your satisfaction to a higher standard than that. Again, you’ve come to us with expectations, and our advice and recommendations come from the need for a strong mechanical foundation to work with before we can deliver in well-tuned spades.
I hope this helps clear up our processes and mindset a bit more for you. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to earn your business. Thank you very much for your time, and more importantly, your support.
MOTIV750, MOTIV P-1000 PI, MOTIV/FUEL-IT! low pressure fuel system, AEM EMS/COBB AP, Aquamist HFS-3, ETS FMIC, SPEC stage 3+ clutch/SS flywheel, BC Racing coilovers and VMR wheels wrapped in Hankook RS3s.
12-06-2012, 11:28 PM #2
Good info. Might be worthwhile for the forum to put together a checklist of sorts. You're required to undergo a pre-race inspection before being allowed to run on a track. Makes sense to do the same for back to back dyno runs.
12-07-2012, 08:32 AM #3
12-07-2012, 09:40 AM #4Timeout
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From my experience, things like this are a result of confrontations. I wonder what happened
12-07-2012, 09:54 AM #5