Equal parts excitement and gutwrenching anxiety… Dyno day !

I’ve worked on this car for almost 4 years now. And suddenly you are there, all the boxes on the to-do list are checked. Well at least on the “essential” to-do list. Theres the secondary list with things that can be improved on later when the car is working.

I was finally ready to let my car get up on the dyno and see how it performs. I’d doublechecked and triple checked the ignition, fuel lines, oil pressures etc. There was nothing more to do but to take the plunge out into the unknown….

An early sunday morning I went and picked up a rented trailer, one of my best friends came over to help me load the car and then we took it to a local company where a friend of my friend would tune the car. Getting it up on the rollers went smoothly and after about an hour of strapping the car down and installing a knock sensor I left my precious in the hands of someone else…

Sitting and listening to your car being run on a dyno is probably the most nerve wrecking experience a gearhead can experience… You listen to every little noise the car makes, then the engine starts to rev up, higher and higher and you just sit there waiting for a misfire or something even more dire. Then car reaches the redline and the revs drop back to idle…..and you find yourself exhaling deeply and thinking, “Yes!, it didnt explode on this run either”. When you’ve done this for a few hours….you are emotionally and physically drained.

Suddenly the engine is shut down, the silence in the room is eerie and ominous, the dyno operator comes up to you, ‘We’re done….’

The verdict was that the car ran great, temperatures stayed ok (both CHT and EGT) no knocking occured and the car felt very linear and smooth. Something that according to the operator isnt always the case with an N/A ITB equipped engine.

The end result was 158 crank hp and 214 Nm of torque. Not bad for a 2276 cc engine thats probably restricted by the stock 2.0 heater boxes. With a better exhaust it could put out between 10 and 20 hp more.

Of course, no such success goes unpunished, 48 hours after the dyno I had to take out the gearbox. Apprently the seal on the input shaft objected to the rude awakening after 4 years of sleep and promptly resigned from its sealing duties leaving a few stains on my garage floor.

A new seal has been bought, installed and the gearbox was installed back into the car last night. Time to get it ready for an alignment and then the compulsory MoT-test. What could possibly go wrong…

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