Why You Need an Engine Dynamometer

If you do general out-of-chassis engine service, engine rebuilding and overhauling, or salvage and restoration work you have probably repaired or modified components that have affected an engine’s performance. The best way to qualify your workmanship or to evaluate the performance of an engine prior to or after a repair is by using a dynamometer.

Testing the performance of an engine before repairs, restorations or component changes can verify if the engine is meeting its specifications prior to your work. Engine dyno testing allows you to show customers previous existing problems and/or poor performance. Documenting pre-existing engine conditions can eliminate problems with the engine and your customer. Engine dyno testing also allows you to prove to your customer that their engine is meeting or exceeding its specifications after a repair, restoration, or component change. The dynamometer verifies your work and gains customer confidence in your services.

If you are a performance/race engine builder, an engine dynamometer can isolate and quantify many performance parameters from overall vehicle performance. For instance, many modifications that increase power only help at high RPM and can actually reduce power at low RPM. Testing the different combinations at the track could take days or weeks; an engine dynamometer can help you nail down the right combination with just a couple of twenty second sweeps.

If you do salvage work, showing proof of an engine’s performance specifications through the use of engine dyno testing allows you to charge more for that engine and gives you a competitive sales advantage over other salvage yards. Providing diagnostic engine data along with mileage numbers, verifies the quality of a used engine.

Shops that perform the following services should have an engine dyno:

General Out-of-Vehicle Service Engine Overhauling/Rebuilding Performance Testing Performance Engine Builder/Retailer Salvage and Restoration Work


Gain new customers Add engine performance services to existing customer base Create customer confidence and satisfaction Increase shop credibility Verify engine performance records Measure performance quality before and after service Detect assembly deficiencies before chassis installation Generate additional income and charge more for your work

Engine Dyno Testing and Power Verification

Dynamometer testing is the only true means of performing power verification on an engine.

Check peak power and torque with a Dynamometer

Horsepower and torque give the engine dyno operator or engine builder a solid basis for making modifications in the engine’s tuning or to the engine itself. If horsepower and torque go up, the modification was probably correct. If they go down, the change was probably incorrect. Some of the many tuning variables are carburetor size and jetting, intake manifold selection, cam grind and timing, ignition timing and advance curve, the header’s primary tube diameter steam engine model and length, collector diameter and length, and carburetor spacers. An engine dynamometer with computerized data acquisition can accurately measure torque and RPM, then calculate horsepower.

Owning a dynamometer and data acquisition system will help you maintain your competitive edge. As a business owner it is important to offer your customers new and innovative services that benefit the performance of their vehicles, as well as reinforce the credibility of your workmanship. Below are some of the competitive advantages you will create by owning an engine dynamometer.

Ensure that engine quality is proven, and rework is minimized Build customer confidence in the workmanship of your engines Allow for a true evaluation of out-of-chassis performance Measure and inspect for power, leaks, tuning problems and vibrations Prove the rebuild quality before the customer takes delivery Confidently minimize warranty claims and customer complaints Allow crankcase blow-by as a measure of piston ring condition Help create a baseline for future power verification tests Charge more money for your work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *