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Practical Standalone Tuning: Using the Dyno to Tune Steady State Ignition

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Using the Dyno to Tune Steady State Ignition


00:00 Tuning the ignition map in steady state is basically a repeat of what we did on the fuel side.
00:06 We want to go back to the lowest RPM and lowest load that we can achieve, and hold the engine in the middle of the ignition cell.
00:13 Now what we can do is gradually advance the ignition timing a couple of degrees at a time while carefully watching the torque output on the dyno.
00:21 The aim is to advance the timing until the torque stops increasing.
00:25 This is the MBT timing for this particular combination of load and RPM.
00:30 It's easy to say, but when you are on the dyno you'll see that the torque figure moves around quite a lot.
00:36 This can make it hard to decide if the change in ignition advance has actually improved torque or not.
00:42 A tip I use is to enter the new advance in the cell, but before I press enter to lock in the change, I watch the torque figure carefully.
00:50 I then press enter and I'm looking to see what the torque does immediately after the change was made.
00:57 If you continue to increase the timing, you will find that the torque peaks and then plateaus.
01:02 If you continue advancing the timing further, the torque will actually start to drop off.
01:08 What we want to do is set the timing at the point where the torque first peaks.
01:13 We can then increase the load to the next load site and make the same changes.
01:18 As we did with the fuel map, we can speed up the job by copying the value from the current site into the next cell.
01:25 With the fuel map we typically expect the engine's fuel demand to increase as RPM and load increase.
01:31 The ignition map doesn't work the same way though.
01:34 We can expect the ignition and advance to decrease as we increase load, but increase as we raise RPM.
01:42 To ensure safety I want to just copy the ignition value to the next load cell.
01:47 I'll also remove a couple of degrees of timing at that the same time.
01:51 This means we will likely still need to add a little advance to reach MBT timing.
01:56 Once we have completed the first column of the ignition map, we can copy this across to the next RPM site.
02:04 From here it's just a case of repeating the tuning process throughout the ignition table.
02:09 As with the fuel map, I recommend doing this up to about 2/3 of the engine RPM limit.
02:16 From here we'll just do as we did with the fuel table and copy the ignition values across the remainder of the map.
02:23 Since the engine is much less sensitive to ignition than fuel, we don't really need to be too concerned with optimizing the ignition in the high RPM, low-load areas of the map since the car won't be driven there.
02:35 All we want to do is check that the engine is safe from detonation.
02:39 We can do this the same way we confirm the fuel numbers by briefly driving the engine through these higher RPM columns.
02:47 So by the end of this module you should understand what you're trying to achieve by setting the ignition, and how to approach the job.
02:54 By now the engine should be thoroughly tuned throughout most of the map, and you will already have a result that is superior to what the majority of professional tuners provide.