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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Taken from: http://socalfiatclub.com/12.html



As far as I'm concerned, the first step in any "build" - mild or wild - is to take a good and scientific look with what your car is able to do in factory form. Rather than regurgitating the information an exhaust or other performance part manufacturer gives you when someone asks about said product, I like to be able to know exactly how much I gained with each part!

In the automotive world, a dynamometer (most commonly referred to as a "dyno") measures horsepower, torque, and other measurements which we won't get in to today. It is important to note that cars, as well as dynos, are all different and no two are alike. Case in point, five different 2012 Fiat 500 Sports with manual transmissions would likely yield five distinctive results. Sure, they'd all be in a relative "ballpark" with one-another, but YOUR car is YOUR car and you want to know how YOUR car reacts to the modifications you throw at it. I've seen differences of 10-15hp.

With all that in mind, I decided to be scientific about my horsepower quotes to others and I needed to get a "baseline dyno" in order to do that. A baseline dyno is done with a completely stock car to know what your, you guessed it, BASE LINE is.

I took a trip down to DC Performance in Los Angeles to get my car hooked up to their Dynojet in-ground dyno. DC has had a long history of working with MOPAR/SRT products and frequently test and tune cars over 1000hp so, as you'd imagine, they weren't very intimidated when I drove up in the Project 500. I called ahead to make an appointment and that made the process easy and relatively quick (about an hour in-and-out). The 3 runs (also referred to as "pulls") cost $75 and included the air/fuel ratio read-out. After all was said and done, I was given (and emailed) a print out of the pertinent information which you'll see posted below.

As mentioned before, each dyno (especially with different dyno manufacturers and measuring processes) is different - sometimes wildly - so it's best to do your baseline at a shop you can continue to go back to when you want to check your gains after a modification. In order to be as scientific as possible, you want to take all reasonable steps to make sure that you're recreating the same environment for the test. Basically, you don't want to show up with 87 octane gasoline for your baseline test and then have 100 octane in your tank when you come back... you'll never be able to specify which gains came from where.

I look forward to my return to DC Performance... not only because the team over there is fantastic but because that will mean I'll have my first modification to Project 500 completed and ready to be tested! Thanks Aaron, Dan, Chris, and crew!


 

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Nice video. I'm curious, was it shot with a DSLR?

There's a Dynojet within a 5 minute drive of my house and I've been fighting the urge to dyno just for the fun of it. Nice numbers, Brandon. They seem high to me but I suspect I'm used to more RWD loss over the Fiat's FWD config. I'd also like to run the 500 down the 1320 just to see what it's got beyond the abyss of its published numbers...even if they are spot-on. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice video. I'm curious, was it shot with a DSLR?

There's a Dynojet within a 5 minute drive of my house and I've been fighting the urge to dyno just for the fun of it. Nice numbers, Brandon. They seem high to me but I suspect I'm used to more RWD loss over the Fiat's FWD config. I'd also like to run the 500 down the 1320 just to see what it's got beyond the abyss of its published numbers...even if they are spot-on. :D
Actually, this was shot with an 4 year old Sony HD handheld video camera... nothing crazy at all.

If the $75 won't kill you, it's one of the best things you can do! It pays for itself over and over again as you're able to give people REAL information about how much horsepower your exhaust, etc adds. Plus, it's a cool experience to see it on the dyno!
 

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Nice video. I'm curious, was it shot with a DSLR?

There's a Dynojet within a 5 minute drive of my house and I've been fighting the urge to dyno just for the fun of it. Nice numbers, Brandon. They seem high to me but I suspect I'm used to more RWD loss over the Fiat's FWD config. I'd also like to run the 500 down the 1320 just to see what it's got beyond the abyss of its published numbers...even if they are spot-on. :D
Chris? as in Ben B's friend with the S52 E30
 

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Actually, this was shot with an 4 year old Sony HD handheld video camera... nothing crazy at all.

If the $75 won't kill you, it's one of the best things you can do! It pays for itself over and over again as you're able to give people REAL information about how much horsepower your exhaust, etc adds. Plus, it's a cool experience to see it on the dyno!
Nice, the video is very sharp and if you're getting that out of an older Sony, that's awesome. I have an older Canon HD handheld and while it was great for its time I can't seem to get quite that kind of sharpness out of it even compiling in 1080p.

I don't want to dyno the car because I refuse to modify it until the warranty is up. Once I start I won't stop, and I already have enough modification headaches with another performance vehicle. The 500 is my break from all that BS and it's one thing I love about the car. Does this mean I truly don't want to dyno it? Of course not, but that's what I'm telling myself.

Chris? as in Ben B's friend with the S52 E30
Technically. That car is in pieces right now which rests my above case on the magical wonders of stockitude.

And now that I see your location I'm pretty sure I know who you are as well. What's up man! :D
 

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There are some simple and relatively inexpensive mods that greatly improve the car with no downsides. Springs (for me the Madness 1.2 inch progressives), exhaust (for me Borla), possibly air intake (if you like the sound), and the super-easy RRM Timing controller.

Great video, Brandon. Looking forward to the measured changes. We should get together given how close I work to where you live. You should drive the green car; it's awesome now.
 

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Technically. That car is in pieces right now which rests my above case on the magical wonders of stockitude.

And now that I see your location I'm pretty sure I know who you are as well. What's up man! :D
Haha yep. Im glad to see you picked one up. If you ever have any questions about it or need help with anything I think ben sent you my contact info.
 

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I'd expect comments to pick up once you, you know, actually start modding the car? :D
 

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haha yes! although this is cool now we can see exactly how much each mod added Vs a company who made a certain product claiming it made X amount on their dyno.
 
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