Dyno test an engine means you power up the engine and add a controlled amount of resistance. From the test, a dynamometer measures your engine’s force, torque, and horsepower.
There are solid, practical reasons to dyno test an engine, bragging rights aside :
1. To Help Keep Your Engine Running Properly
The computerized dynamometer provides accurate torque and RPM numbers. And then it can accurately measure horsepower. Whoever is tuning your engine now has a basis for changing the engine’s tuning, or they might even recommend changing the engine itself.
These are some of the variables that can be tuned using this method:
- Intake manifold selection
- Ignition timing and advance curve
- Primary tube diameter and length for the headers
- Carburetor spacers
- Cam grind and timing
- Carburetor size and jetting
2. For an Engine's First Run
It makes sense to do the first run of an engine on a dyno. Engine break-in routines specified by cam and ring manufacturers can be accomplished under controlled conditions. Blow by can even be monitored as the piston rings seat. The engine can be pre-lubed and pre-heated before every start.
3. To Find Out the Temperature of Your Exhaust Gas
When it comes to tuning your carburetor—jetting, size, spacers, and fuel distribution—knowing your exhaust gas temperatures is as important (or maybe even
more) than horsepower and torque numbers. You could save yourself a major engine repair with this information.
4. To Get a Written Record of Your Engine's Performance
A dyno test will give you details about each test, weather conditions on the day of testing, and graphs of your engine's performance. You can compare your personal performance experiences with the dyno numbers so you can make future adjustments or modifications. Additional information from the test can indicate both torque and peak torque, plus horsepower, volume metric efficiency, the temperatures of the cylinders and pistons, airflow -- i.e., measurements of virtually every engine function.
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