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Hiring dyno time for a first-timer

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G'day guys,

I've been working through my first tune on my personal Subaru WRX and I am up to the stage of optimizing the ignition timing. I've done everything so far on the road and realize that I can do my ignition timing with road tuning considering it's a knock limited engine. But I would love to get those ignition advance numbers as close as possible which is really only possible on a dyno. Also some experience on a dyno would be fantastic!

The problem is actually finding someone that will allow me to use their dyno. I've found with most owners that insurance is the biggest issue. An outsider isn't covered for damages if something was to go wrong. The second issue is the lack of trust between myself and the owner.

So my question is, for those who have overcome these issues, how did you get started tuning on a dyno when you had no previous connections with workshop owners who own a dyno?

And if in the odd chance anyone in Queensland, Australia has a dyno they're willing to hire, let me know!

Thanks in advance!

I started in the exact same situation as you. I started hiring dyno time at a local dyno shop where the owner would drive the car and I would make tuning changes - Not ideal but better than nothing. Over the course of a few months we built a relationship up where he understood that i wasn't an idiot and respected his equipment. We then gradually progressed to me running the dyno. This won't work everywhere but if you can find a dyno shop where the dyno isn't overly busy then you can sell it to the owner as a way of getting income out of their dyno with minimal input.

Thanks Andre! You had mentioned that in a previous webinar where I had asked a similar question. Was there an issue with you driving the car mainly because of insurance issues? Or just that mutual trust was there yet?

Good idea about finding a seldom used dyno! I'll keep that in mind.

It wasn't really an insurance issue but we're much less strict here in NZ on that basis compared to Australia and the US. It was more around the trust factor and letting someone completely unknown getting onto the guys $150k dyno.

Right. I'm attempting to get my foot in the door with a couple of workshops, but insurance really seems to be the biggest problem. If that is the only thing that's stopping me, I was thinking I might even have to get my own liability insurance to cover them. Hopefully it doesn't have to come to that. And hopefully they will accept me making the tuning changes whilst the owner/staff operates the car and the dyno.

When I enquired about Dyno time I was offered the dyno and an operator, no problems. They were more than happy to accomodate me once I explained that I like to tune my own car but i felt it was difficult and too dangerous to fully optimize it on the road. I didn't want to operate the dyno anyhow as I have had absolutely no training in that regard. And they want to pay for their $150k Dyno.

A mate of mine has a well known and highly regarded shop that specialises in Subaru modification and tuning does not have a dyno. He is a highly experienced tuner and Dyno operator. When he hires the same dyno time it comes with an operator too.

I had similar issues initially with finding someone who would hire out dyno time until by complete chance I stumbled across a new performance shop with a brand new dyno who were just getting set up and had very few customers so they let me hire out the dyno for half a day for $200 and they even helped getting it all set up.

Unfortunately they have long since shutdown and now I have to pay top-dollar - almost considering getting my own hub-dyno and then renting it out as there are plenty of people wanting to hire dyno time and a hub dyno is a much safer option than a roller dyno especially for newbies (in my opinion anyway).

But as for dyno places in Queensland, I just asked my mate who lives over there and he said he uses either https://bobromano.com.au/ or https://www.gtautogarage.com.au so hopefully they might be able to help you out.

Thanks for your replies guys @Rob W @rubberbudgie. I'll give a few more shops a go.

$200 for half a day!? I need to find a similar shop! And I'll check with Bob Romano and GT Auto Garage. Cheers