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Tuning Career

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I am looking to start tuning as a career. I am located around Chicago, IL USA. Does anyone know of any shops that are hiring?



I'd suggest getting together a list of the local shops that have a good reputation and then go and introduce yourself. Don't expect to jump straight on a dyno even if you find a company who is hiring though - You're likely to need to start at the bottom and work your way up. It can be hard to break into so stay positive.


Do you have any advice for someone that is literally starting from scratch? I am one of the only English speaking people with an understanding of tuning here in Okinawa. We are limited to road tuning at this time due to no Dyno on the island. I have tuned a few competitive drift cars and as I near retirement from the service would like to make this a business. I guess how do you go from "My buddy" that tunes to someone people view as a legitimate tuner. I hope this made sense. (Also I do plan to set up a shop and get a dyno eventually once I generate some income.)

There isn't a single path to take in order to become a tuner and it will depend on your exact circumstances. In my case I started tuning on my fathers BMW, which led to me tuning a bunch of other BMWs from the same club he belonged to. I also got involved in local rallying and then began tuning rally cars. As soon as the results showed that I knew what I was doing, and the engines were reliable, I got more and more tuning requests. Essentially the car scene is quite small and tight knit regardless where in the world you are so word of mouth is the best way to build your reputation and get work. I also built my own drag car which worked as a rolling advertisement for my skills. It didn't hurt that while we were running it, it set and held the world record for a 4WD Mitsubishi EVO, so this certainly got my name out there on a world wide stage.

So in short I'd try and apply as much of the above as you can in your own scene. You don't have to build a world record holding drag car, but if you have your own car (or even a buddies) that is competitive, performs well, and is reliable, people will take notice. You may be best to try and find 1-2 people in your area that are skilled drivers and see if you can offer your services to them for tuning. Of course you'll probably need some runs on the board before they will want to take a chance on you in the first place.


Thanks for the feedback. I do have a 1999 RE Amemiya built FD3S that I have tuned and use in Gymkana. I also have 3 cars lined up for tunes right now. Ironically it seems like my experience so far since I posted is following closely to your story. I appreciate the help and look forward to future growth.

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