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Dyno Tuning Checklist v1.01

We have created this dyno tuning checklist as a guide for you to follow to ensure your engine and vehicle are in proper condition prior to your tuning session. The most common cause of unsatisfactory tuning results stem from mechanical issues that could have easily been found and corrected prior to the tune.

Go through each of the steps in this Dyno Tuning Checklist to identify and resolve common problem areas that can effect the tuning of your car. Hover over the links below to see additional information about that topic.


Section 1: Mechanical Engine Health

You need to make sure you are tuning a healthy engine. We suggest you complete a compression test prior to your tuning appointment (and a Cylinder Leakdown Test [CLT] if possible). Typical compression test results should be as follows (at sea level):

  • 8:1-8.5:1 compression: 150-170 psi per cylinder
  • 8.5:1~9.5:1 compression: 170-210 psi per cylinder
  • 9.5:1~11:1 compression: 210-275 psi per cylinder
  • 11:1+ compression: 250+ per cylinder (highly depends on cams being used)

Compression Tests should be performed on a warm engine, with the fuel injectors unplugged, and the throttle should be held fully open while testing.

A Compression Leakdown Test (CLT) can also be performed on a warm engine.

Check for any engine oil, other lubrication, or fluid leaks.


Section 2: MAF, Intake, Charge Pipe/Intercooler System, Turbo and Vacuum Line Integrity

Make sure your intake filter and MAF sensor has been properly cleaned and that the o-ring is sealing properly in the MAF housing.

Vacuum, pressure, or smoke check all MAF housing, intake, charge pipe/intercooler, turbo, and vacuum lines.

Check the full exhaust system from leaks from the exhaust ports on the head to the tailpipe exit.

Check the BOV to make sure it is seating and sealing properly.

Test for excessive turbo shaft play.


Section 3: General Pre-Tuning Maintenance Questions

Do you have all fluid levels where they need be?

Do you have a sufficient amount of the proper quality fuel in your tank?

Do you have any Check Engine Lights (CEL), Codes, or Malfunction Indicator Lamps (MIL) on?

When was the last time your fuel injectors were cleaned and checked for a system balance?

Do you have sufficient electrical grounding?

How old is your fuel filter?

How old are your spark plugs?

Can your vehicle drive straight?

Can your vehicle drive onto the dyno safely under its own power?

Can your vehicle stop properly in an emergency situation?

How strong is your battery/alternator?

What would you like to accomplish with your dyno tunning session?

If you have a new engine please read through our document about How to Break-in Your Newly Built Engine.

REMEMBER, dyno tuning time starts when the vehicle is driven into the chassis dyno cell so our goal is to make this time as effective as possible in order to make the cost to the client as little as possible. A tuner/calibrator's job is to develop a tuned calibration specific to your vehicle, not fix everything that is wrong with it. If you come to an appointment with a car that is not in proper working order you may be asked to leave depending upon the severity of the issue(s). If the problem is a minor and can be easily fixed at the shop during normal operating hours, then we can fix it, but NOT FOR FREE.