If you Google “Dyno Tuning Checklist” you’ll see many lists and they mostly say the same things; be prepared, as it will save you time and money.
This list is mostly based on the one posted over at Cobbtuning.com.
Equipment & Needs
- Make sure there is at least 1/2 tank of gas in the tank and use the brand/octane that you will be using most of the time.
- If you are using a Cobb Accessport, bring it with you.
- Make sure all fluids are topped up and NOT leaking; this includes engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, differential/transfer case fluid, brake fluid, clutch hydraulic fluid, etc.
- If your engine oil and filter have been run for more than 5000km, please replace both.
Wheels & Tires
- Wheels should be balanced and the vehicle must be able to drive straight if it is to be tuned on a chassis dyno.
- Tires should be in good condition. This means no belts/cords showing. Also, this being the Great White North, Winter happens and while studded tires are legal in Alberta, they cannot be used on the steel rollers. “Regular” winter tires only, please.
- Ensure your spark plugs are in good condition. Replace with new ones if necessary. Having spares is also a good idea.
- If your vehicle is over 5 years old, it would be good to clean your engine grounds and grounding attachment points. A vehicles electrical signals need to be as clean as possible so the ECM has good signals coming in and going out. The engine harness should have no exposed wires.
- Battery/Alternator – Make sure these items are strong and operating properly. A weak battery can cause problems when reflashing the ECU
Vacuum lines, piping & seals
- Make sure that your intake, vacuum lines, and intercooler piping are sealed when under vacuum and sealed when pressurized like when running full boost. Major leaks can usually be found while dyno tuning because the data will look incorrect, but minor leaks are very difficult to find so please pressure test these parts of your intercooler system.
- You need to make sure you are tuning a healthy engine. One method of checking is through a Compression test. For Subaru engines, the warm compression should be ~150psi. This will vary depending on the gauge being used. YOU SHOULD NOT have more than 20psi variance between cylinders. If you have one cylinder that is showing a greater variance than 20psi then you will need to repair that problem prior to your dyno tuning appointment. You can do this test before the tuning appointment or you can book some extra time before and I can do the test for you (at additional cost).
REMEMBER, my job is to develop a tuned calibration specific to your vehicle, not fix everything that is wrong with it. If you show up with a car that is not in proper working order your appointment may have to be cancelled or rescheduled, depending on the severity of the issue. If the problem is minor and can be fixed at the shop in a reasonable amount of time then I’ll do what I can to take care of it but, please do not assume that it will be done for free.