Race tuning is quite a broad subject. It begins with the desire to get more performance out of your vehicle. To do this, modifications to the stock systems need to be made. At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks we like to break this down into three main categories;
- Suspension, Steering and Brakes
- Exhaust Systems
Performance modification is really where art meets science and gets flavored by experience. Knowing which modifications will best suit your specific vehicle and taking the time to perform them properly, will be reflected by the gains in performance you experience through tuning. We have discussed these areas at length and even explored the pitfalls in the weird world of chip tuning.
Our passion is performance modifications and there is always more you can do to push the envelope, so if you haven’t already, pop into our Pompano Beach shop and chat to our friendly ASE Certified crew.
Done all your physical mods already? Great! The next step is to fine tune them using a dynamometer. Basically, a treadmill for cars, a dyno allows you to accurately measure your vehicle’s power and torque output so that you can tune them to get the most out of your car on the racetrack. Hooking up to a dyno requires skill, since it is capable of pushing your vehicle to its theoretical limit; things can go badly wrong.
So, let’s take a quick look at three areas you need to check before you dyno your performance modified vehicle.
Electrical and Ignition
- Make sure any uncommitted connectors on the wiring harness have been securely cable tied out of reach of any belts and fans. Any joints on the harness either need to be soldered or crimped – merely twisting wires together will not stand up to the vibration that dyno tuning causes. NO EXPOSED WIRES IN THE ENGINE BAY.
- Check your chassis grounding (clean and secure) and make sure that your alternator is putting out the correct charging voltage of 13.5-14 volts.
- Run spark plugs that are one heat range cooler than stock to prevent pre-ignition and if you are using a forced induction system, consider reducing the spark gap to handle the larger air volumes.
Mechanical and Turbocharger
- Check engine compression (each cylinder should be within 20psi of the others). If a cylinder tests low, put a little oil into it, then re-test. An increase in compression indicates worn rings, while no increase will mean valve issues.
- Check valve lash (on most modern engines this is automatically adjusted via hydraulic lifters) if it is too tight there will be a loss of compression and power. Too loose and the cam will sound noisy and result in excessive wear.
- Make sure your coolant is full and the system is bled.
- Check that you’ve installed the right clutch for the power and torque your modified engine intends to produce. We recommend sprung clutches that have been correctly bedded in according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Race tuned vehicles always run upgraded fueling to cope with the extra pressures required under heavy acceleration. You may have one of several different types of system installed with sumps, multiple pumps, custom regulators and return lines. The most important thing here is that all filters and the tank are clean and that you have at least a half tank of gas. The reason for this is twofold.
First, the pump/s will not struggle to maintain pressure under the extreme loads the dyno places on the engine. (Weak fuel pressure can lead to the engine running lean and consequently much hotter.) Second, if you have a submersible pump, it will be cooled by the gas and run more efficiently.
Race Tuning In South Florida
As you can see, preparing your vehicle for the dyno is not for the faint of heart. That is why our team at Foreign Affairs Motorwerks is there for you. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and we are always up to the challenge of modifying your vehicle to exceed your wildest dreams. Call us today at 954-746-0488 to schedule an appointment with one of our performance car experts!