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Purchasing a dyno - what to go with

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Hello everyone,

I'm in the process of purchasing a dyno, however I am currently in quite a jam....

The options I have:





I'm leaning toward the dynapack, but I hear it's a pain in the ass and the hub splines wear out costing a bunch etc... However I'm pretty sure from all the listed, for the proper tuning, there is no comparison to rollers, but on the other hand - what should I be choosing here - most of our tunes consist of road cars and diesels, sometimes they don't even want a dyno figure, just a reflash. The tunes are Evos, Stis, VAG cars and probably older stuff that I'm not really concerned about regarding using dynapack.

What I'd like is actual experience - why you have the hub / roller and would you choose it again - if yes - why and if not - why. Also - I'm still yet to find someone to give me a REALISTIC time it takes to mount a 2wd car and a 4wd car on to a dynapack, because I tried to find out but I have gotten claims from 20 minutes for an AWD to 60 minutes for a FWD... I mean... There's a huge difference...

And if I was to choose a roller dyno, I'm pretty sure I'd go with a linked AWD - which sucks, because I do believe Mainline has by far the best software at this time - especially torque optimization and very good steady state, but they don't have a linked AWD, meaning new age cars can give problems (this problem is shared with the dynapack too as far as I know).

Price range of all that I've listed is ~60k$-ish apart from dynapack being higher.

To fit a car on a Dynapack I can only quote times for 2WD, fronts I can have fitted in 10 minutes, rears a little less. At first it does take a while but I'd be surprised if it took you more than 30 minutes. I would choose the Dynapack again, it's the only one in Scotland and when it comes to 2WD cars over 5-600bhp (which I get a few of a month) small roller rolling roads are starting to struggle, especially if it has an aggressive power delivery.

It's not the type of dyno that I would choose if it was for power runs to confirm tunes though, although it's only 10-20 minutes to load a car you have the same again to take it off, with a roller dyno all that's needed is the straps released and you're good to go.

I'm in a pretty good place to answer having previously owned a Dynapack for 8 years and now a Mainline.

I loved the Dynapack and would happily have another. They are a little labour intensive to get cars on and off however it's not as bad as some make out. To be honest I've spent as long strapping down cars on our roller in some instances so it's not a deal breaker.

The obvious advantage of the dynapack is that wheelspin is zero. This is great for repeatability on high powered cars. The flip side though is that you can often exceed their torque handling capability. For example my dyno would shut down above 4400 Nm of torque. That sounds like a lot but if you're perhaps running a 4.8 or 5.1 diff ratio it effectively multiplies the torque and you can end up with problems with engines producing perhaps 800-1000 Nm. This is worse with autos where the torque convertor effectively multiplies the toque further.

In a nutshell if you're planning to tune any high power cars, and particularly those equipped with auto transmissions, I'd be wary of the torque limit.

The area I feel dynapack have let themselves down is in the software and this is where Mainline is in my opinion currently the market leader. The dynapack hasn't really seen any significant upgrades imho in the last 8-10 years. Mainline on the other hand offers some very sophisticated testing options and the data logging and analysis is almost unlimited. Easily my favourite functions are the CAN integration which allows all of the ECU data to be logged, analysed and displayed straight to the dyno with a simple CAN connection between ECU and dyno, and the torque optimisation testing that allows you to see exactly how torque varies vs almost any ECU parameter (ignition timing, AFR, cam timing etc).

The rolling road does have some inherent downsides such as wheel spin (although we haven't really had enough power across ours so far to really stress it), and power readings that can be affected by tire temp/pressure and how the car is strapped down.

I have never used a dyno dymamics or mustang so can't comment on either of these brands. I don't believe either offer the CAN integration of the Mainline at this stage but could be wrong.

One last point - If you have customers that like to brag about figures, the dynapack will read higher than the rollers. This is irrelevant in my opinion if you're using the dyno as it is intended but many guys just want the biggest number.

As Andre said, the Mainlines are currently the market leader when it comes to the software functionality, and the actual control of the rollers is pretty good. I have a DynaPack, and for the work that I do, it is ideal, and better than a roller dyno. I do a lot of development work, where the car will be on the dyno for a few days at a time, and the lower noise and repeatability of the DynaPack comes to the fore here. The lack of data from the DynaPack isn't as much of an issue here, as the cars are usually instrumented to a much higher level that a typical dyno shop will ever do.

When it comes to getting cars on to the pods, I can do a AWD car in 30 minutes from driving the car in. The main holdups are on cars that run aggressive toe and camber angles, this can make aligning the hub adapters to the splines in the pods fiddly at times, as you need to move the pod in two directions simultaneously, but other than that, they are no less time consuming than tying down cars PROPERLY on a roller dyno.

All valid points... I could get a decent price on a mainline dyno - however.... The thing they are missing is the linked AWD. Maha is currently the only non linked dyno that can speed match a 2wd car via electronic control - rest is either nonlinked or mechanically linked - like mustang/dynojet(lynx). The issue I'm afraid of is that newer street cars are sporting more and more traction control which accounts wheel speed difference front vs rear and is terrible for development. But the fact that I can get a awd mainline for less than a mustang md-150awd... And options add up brutally on the mustang too...

The situation is really annoying - there's no correct decision (apart from the new maha awd dynos - was quoted 160.000 euros

We originally started looking for a linked 4WD dyno but found the options to be quite limited (as have you by the sounds of it). The dynos that did offer it didn't really offer the level of control/sophistication that we wanted. In the end for the vehicles we're running, it's currently not an issue however I know there are newer 2WD cars that won't run on a traditional dyno. The choice really comes down to the cars you need to tune.

Yes, you are correct... The options within a reasonable investment are limited.... My main market consists of evos, stis and hondas in terms of custom dyno tunes, but we reflash all the basic stuff too (vag, bmw,etc..) and a lot of those people like to have a printout of a dyno... Most of the awd functionality I need is for tuning evos stis - and those work on prettymuch anything awd... I am however getting into the porsche market - and that is the scary part when looking at nonlinked awd dynos... Like I wrote before - i love the mainline functionality but it's very likely I'll end up with a mustang just because of the linked awd... The software is quite bad tho (compared to mainline).

If it wasn't for all that jazz with the newage cars - the choice would be real easy.

Land and Sea hub units are linked electrically. You can have only the rear pods with absorbers, and the front pods with only the AC motors, or all four with absorbers, and AC motors for "downhill" simulation, etc. I think they call it "Active Synch."

They also sell units with AC absorbers instead of eddy current absorbers, but they're really expensive.

Friend of mine in the UK bought them last year, and is really happy with them. We'll be buying a 2WD set up this fall, as they are upgradable to AWD, Active-Synch, etc., at any time.

Anyone else with feedback on these units, please chime in. Big $$ investment, and want to get it right. We're limited to axle hub due to space and noise.

I have Dynapack dyno and can tell from my experience.

Mounting a car is not a big problem, if you can lift it at one place in the front and rear, so both axis wheels lift, you will fit it quite fast. Time could be the same, as changing wheels.

Regarding their support is different story, never answers emails, or you must bomb it every day and hope for an answer.

We have constant issues with small capacity engines Super1600 and very light flywheels, Dyno PID control cant hold it steady in ramp run. For mapping it is ok. Also the same goes with fast spool 4wd cars. We changed some resistors on the board it helped a bit, but not for all cars. Also if centre diff is weak, dyno will go crazy.

As I saw Mainline dyno CAN capabilities, now doubt I would choose it next time. If you could send Dyno torque value to your tuning software, so you won't need to look at dyno screen anymore..

I have a Dyno Dynamics 450ds dyno for 7 years now and i can say that its been gr8 product and i could say it still doing a gr8 job from scooter to all the way to 1000+hp cars .Dyno Dynamics just came out with a new hub dyno with eddy curent retarder on each wheel .that can handle up to 2000hp to the wheels without any wheel spin issues.with a prize ticket around 75.000ausd.thee have a accelent service even 24/7 .

Dynodynamics is a good dyno but... Again - the only problem with it is the new age cars - non linked awd. There's a ton of decent dynos out there with twin retarder awd but they're all becoming useless in this era just because of the complex traction control systems...

I've pretty much made up my mind - for the goals I have at this time - a mustang MD-150awd with air controlled awd disengage. Ends up at about 60k usd with some options, can steady state 500+ and measure over 1000... I really can't afford it otherwise I would choose the superflow autodyn 30 that has a driveshaft linked awd or a dynojet 424lcx2 with the Lynx system... Oh well. One day.

I bought a used Dynapack

two and a halve year ago. I'm really, really saitisfied with it. I do regulary power measurements on new cars like Porsche, Audi, BMW. I never have been unable to measure any car. Of course on most modern cars, the dash is blinking like on christmas! But usually you just have to disconnect an ABS sensor and modern cars can be run well on the dynapack. I haven't felt that any car has missed power because of a turned off traction controll or disconnected ABS system until today.

The only stupid thing I found on Dynapack are, the boxes just make an audible warning signal, if they are getting too hot. No warning is shown on the screen. Problem is, i don't hear the warning if all the fans are on and I wearing my knock ears.

I'm going to built in a wireless modul in to one of the rear and front boxes, which turns on a warning light in the dynon room.

Generally, if you flow cold water all the time trough the boxes, you can do steady state testing the whole day whithout overheating them.

I have a 600liter water storage whit a pump that circulates the water through the boxes. That's enough to map cars up to 400hp. On higher powered cars AND excessive steady state tuning, I have to add some fresh cold water, otherwise the 600liter storage beginns to boil and the Dynapack overheats.

Datalogging is very rudimentary on Dynapack. It isn't much of a problem, because most cars I tune, I log anyway with the specific ECU software.

I recently asked Dynapack for updates in this area. They are working on a OBD logging solution.

The splines on my 5-hole are weared out alot and I have to replace them. I used them for two and a halve year, day in, day out.

They have been already used by the last owner for an unknow time. Dyno side of the spline looks still fine. Regarding that the dyno needs otherwise nearly no servicing it's more than okay to repace them after a few years.

I suppose the rollers on rollerdynos needs replacement more often and rest of the roller dyno needs more servicing too.

What are others expirience with livetime of Dynapack hub adapter splines? And do you recommend to put grease or Teflon spray on the spline or would you use them dry?

@XtraRacing, there are significant problems with the PID control on the dynapack with some engines - Particularly as you mention with engines with light flywheels, although I think it's more to do with low inertia in general.

I believe that over the years dynapack have made some changes to the PID control of their dynos but they don't really tell you what they've done. For example when I first started running my old drag car on methanol, the dyno I was leasing at the time simply couldn't control it. The dyno would oscillate so badly that you couldn't run it, and in fact I broke a gearbox because of this. We were located just a 5 minute drive from Dynapack and we actually ran the car at their facility so they could witness the issue. The dyno I bought just after this ran my car fine.

You can try changing the control mode between light, heavy and custom if you're having trouble. This actually has no relation to the vehicle mass but seems to influence the PID control. I also found in some instances that the certain cars were very sensitive to what gear you ran them in. A Juno race car with a Honda K20 and Hewland 6 speed transaxle for example would only run in 3rd gear from memory.

If I was certain enough that rhe newer cars wouldn't give me issues I would definately be choosing a hub dyno (dynapack most likely) - however it would really improve my tuning of the awd cars (evos, stis) it would probably give me hell on the newage cars like a 535d with 8speed auto gearboxes...

You wrote you don't have issues with newer cars? How do the porsche turbos act with the non 50/50 torque split? And no cars ever gave u limp mode cause of a pair of wheels not spinning etc? Or do you mainly just map standalone / race cars? Or do you do a lot of work with street cars just reflashes on ecus?

In regards to use - I was speaking to a guy in germany who has a dynapack, mainly tunes race cars - he said he goes through a set of hub adapters every two years or so ...

I hate you a bit right now as you just re-kindled my interest in a dynapack right now... On the other hand if there's still enough ways to bypass the errors - maybe a non linked awd roller is still an option too - like mainline...

Since I didn't deal too much with late model european cars, I didn't tend to dabble in the sort of cars that are likely to give trouble on a non-linked dyno. We did attempt a base run on a new Mercedes SLS AMG and couldn't run it on the dynapack so I don't doubt it's an issue with some vehicles - Just not the ones that I was dealing with.

The torque split isn't an issue, and in fact I find that most 4WD cars that I regularly tuned weren't 50/50 split. Provided the split is consistent then the dynapack didn't have any trouble. If you ran a car with a viscous centre diff that was tired then you will find the Dynapack struggles to control the load and will oscillate badly making it impossible to run.

I had my dyno for about 8 years and it took a beating. I never replaced the hub adaptors although they were getting pretty marginal when I sold the business. I know the newer hub adaptors are designed so that the splined centre can be replaced without the need to replace the entire hub adaptor.

Happy to help :)

I use my Dynapack to tune mostly AWD cars like Evo's and Sti's and do alot of standalone ECU's. I think the hub dyno is a big advantage if you tune often standalone ECU's, where alot of time is spent on steady state tuning. On the dynapack i can concentrate to 95% on the mapping job, and haven't to bother about the dyno or dyno operation. Before I had my dyno, I was regulary on a MAHA LPS 3000 rolling road dyno. I never feelt me comfortable on it and 50% of my concentration was used, to run the car on the dyno, take care that there is no slip, strapping technic is right etc. Maybe i was a bit prejudiced, because on the third car on this rolling dyno, a strap tear to shread which has unsettled the car an damaged a rim.

I have succesfully run newer cars and also done reflashing on them. Cars like BMW X5, X6, M5, M6, Porsche panamera, Audi, R8 V8, R8 V10. VW Polo, Golf etc. On some you can simply turn of traction control (like M5, M6) on others you have to disconnect a ABS sensor.

Mercedes have a special dyno mode which can be entered over the dash service menu (just press some steering wheel buttons in the right order to enter). I haven't had a car that I wasn't able to run on the dyno until today. Sometimes it needs some tryings and different settings, but it has alwasy worked for me.

Yesterday I had some control problems for the first time on a GC8 Impreza. I had to stay on the throttle very gently until the wheel speeds stabilised, after that it was possible to get on full throttle. As Andre mentioned, I suppose the center viscouse diff was a bit incompatible with the PID algorithm of the Dynapack.

I had controlling problems maybe on 4-5 cars over the last two years, but there have been always a workaround.

However I suppose, there could be similary issues on rolling road dynos and it's no dealbreaker for me for the dynapack.

At the time I was looking for a dyno, Superflow has seem also very good. I would check them out too if you want a linked rolling road.

Hey Adrian, thanks for the input...

Regarding the superflow - their price range for an awd dyno is about the same as a dynapack - and if I decide to dish out the serious cash, I would absolutely go with dynapack for the money....

To make the discussion a bit easier to read for anyone else who will find it useful - Here are the prices I was quoted:

All the dynos unless stated include everything that a tuner shluld need (lambda, press sensors, rpm pickups., additional inputs) however none of the prices include any type of cooling equipment.

Mustang MD-150-awd linked awd with most things you need - 55k

Superflow Autodyn 30 without much in options - 93k

Dynapack 33awd (non linked) - 102k (might not be powerful enough)

Dynojet with Lynx system - 90k

MAHA electronic linked awd - 165k

Mainline awd1200L (budget version, limited software, not linked) - 75k

Dynocom awd 5000fx ) - 50k

Dynodynamics - dynotech (the budget version - not linked) - 60k

Vtech dyno (linked) - 70k

From this list my personal opinion - should the price not be an issue I would choose MAHA. However since price always is an issue - I think best value and considering reliablity and software - I think the Mustang wins here. It is a bit on the weaker side (1200hp measure, under 600 steady state) but then again - if you're doing 1000 hp cars daily, it's not really the dyno you are looking for.

Hope this helps anyone in the same situation as me, looking for your first dyno ;)

I am located in new hampshire and there is this nifty dyno company only 45 minutes away from me named land and sea, in fact they used to be located one town away from me until a few years ago! In the last year I started researching dynos, toying with getting one to really get into tuning. The cost is obviously huge so it turned me away until a used dynomite land and sea rolling road dyno became available locally which I ended up purchasing. Anyways i noticed land and sea hasn't been mentioned here so I felt it was worth offering my input. If you look at their site they offer a huge range of different dynos and from what I can tell there prices are pretty good compared to other companies. After buying my dyno I purchased the most recent software from land and sea with hands on training using my machine. I have to say their guys are awesome and were really helpful and pleasant to deal with. The software is probably not the most powerful out there but from what I can tell from what you guys have mentioned here it is more powerful then many of the other popular brands. I would highly recommend checking them out, they sell almost every configuration of dyno and most likely have one to fit your needs from the sound of it.

I mentioned Land and Sea ten posts above. $65,000 for AWD axle hub set with peak steady state cold absorber capacity of 2,000hp. Typical 650+ on warm absorbers. $20,000 for Active-synch upgrade to the front pods.

They've been in business a long time.

oh I just looked back sorry about that matt I missed your post when I went through the thread. That seems like a better option compared to the others mentioned that in the same price range either weren't linked or didn't have many options for the price. Although the mustang looks like the best choice from a cost perspective.

Sorry to dig up a old thread but I'm having the same issue to go linked or non-linked. Toxin's what dyno did you go with and hows it been? I currently have a Superflow 2wd dyno and I'm leaning towards the AD30 but still looking at options.

why not dynocom? they make a great product and I think they ship world wide.

I have looked into dynocom and gotten a quote.

I havent gotten a dyno yet... i got many quotes and im buying something by the end of this month... most likely mustang md150awd linked. Ill wrjte here when i order. Still considering mainline too...

Hello Guys I'm in the process of buying a 2wd dyno and I'm looking at buying the land and sea (dynomite) 1000hp hub dyno as I'm only getting into this lightly for my own education mainly, at the moment. I found the prices very reasonable in the market, it starts at £25000+vat which I thought was good.

Kevin from sea and land has been a wealth of information and HONEST as well which draws me into liking this company.

two questions

1. What's everyone's thoughts?

2. To Andre am I right in saying you used to have a hub dyno and now are you back on rollers? If so why?

thanks guys