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Last month we unveiled a new venture that goes hand in hand with our dyno service. We’ve purchased a “well-used” 1997 Ford Mustang GT for the purposes of showcasing a horsepower build up. We’ll be dynoing after each major change, which will give you an idea of what to expect should you want to do a similar modification. After we’re done we do plan on selling the car, so keep watch for that!

Our first build, as mentioned above, is a 1997 Ford Mustang GT Coupe. It comes with a SOHC 4.6L V8 engine with a stock horsepower rating of only 215. Ours is a US car with 155k miles on it, but still seems to have lots of life under the hood. It had sat for the last 6 months when we picked it up, but luckily it started and we were able to keep it going long enough to get it on the trailer. We stopped for gas on the way home and put some fresh 91 in it, and now it will stay running on it’s own.

Now for the fun! For a baseline reading, we did a quick scan of the car to make sure that it was worthy of a dyno run and made not of any modifications we could see on first glance. Without diving in too far, we noticed a cold air intake, Trick Flow upper plenum, and our large diameter tail pipes possibly indicate some exhaust work. On the dyno, we ended up with 178 horsepower and 195 ft/lb of torque. Considering a roughly 15% loss from flywheel to wheels, we’re fairly close to stock numbers. With the mods done, we should be getting more, so we’re expecting with a good tune up we should see those numbers increase nicely.

Our next dyno run will be after a full tune up as mentioned above. We plan on doing oil and filter, fuel filter, pcv valve, coil packs and spark plugs. We were going to do plug wires as well, but it looks like they’ve been changed recently. At this time we will also inspect and clean the air intake and make sure the throttle body is moving freely. If everything does well with those changes, we’ll move on to the following:

  • Diablosport 91 Octane quick tune
  • PI heads and intake (from a 1999+ 4.6L)
  • 24lb Cobra injectors
  • Underdrive pulley kit
  • Off-road x-pipe
  • Full custom tune

The PI swap, injectors and pulleys will most likely be changed all at once purely based on convenience. Keep watch on the Facebook page and blog for more updates!

Here we are now; roughly three months into our business venture. Has it all gone smooth without a hitch? Absolutely not, but it has gone well and we’re improving and learning from mistakes with each week that goes by. We’re building our brand as well as building respect from the very passionate local gear head community.

First we’ll talk about what has gone wrong in our short time. We definitely underestimated the level of investment required to get this off the ground. The dyno is not a cheap piece of equipment to purchase, so we had to look for financing. Of course banks are not that thrilled to hand over wads of cash to start-ups, so there were many hoops to jump through and at times it seemed like they required everything but a blood sample and your first born child! In the end we understood. In all reality, the strictness is a product of our country’s financial stability…something we can’t say for our neighbours to the south! If we were in less of a rush to get started, there are other financial options available. Locally, the Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CDFC) help local businesses get started and provide support to grow your business.

Breakdowns have been another setback for us. Two events we attended we lost out on business due to equipment breakdowns. One was our speed pickup cable that runs from the dyno drum to the control module. It was damaged in transit and we didn’t notice until we got to the SMP Drag Racing event. Jason’s quick ingenuity provided a quick fix to the cable which allowed us to continue on for that night, but the downtime cost us a few runs. We’ve since purchased a new cable and now have the old one as a backup should we run into any more problems. The second incident was a faulty speed card. The speed card has a little optical eye that reads the speed of the dyno drum and sends that info (through the speed pickup cable) to the control module. Without drum speed, you will not get any dyno readings. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes for this, and because we didn’t have a spare we were forced to leave June 24th’s Arm Drop Event early. We’ve since ordered two replacement cards in order to be prepared if the problem happens again. Lastly, was just a general issue with time. We were so rushed getting everything ready for the May Arm Drop event that we weren’t as prepared as we should have been. Ideally it would have been great to have the unit ready for the start of May to allow for a few weeks of testing. We ended up only having two days! We needed more time to learn the whole process, but we did the best we could to to be ready for May 20th. We ended up having issues with rpm pickup on carburated vehicles, but we eventually solved the issue at the event.

I know the above paints a grim picture of our business, but in reality it’s been a positive experience. For starters, Jason and I work very well together. We both have a passion (bordering on obsession!) for cars and speed, which of course is a HUGE prerequisite for owning your own dyno business! We also have great balance with our talents. Jason’s extensive mechanical background has been essential for our quick learning curve, troubleshooting problems, as well as talking with customers about recommendations for better dyno results. For myself, I do know my way around cars, but my experience running my own web design business provides an asset for designing and managing our website, social media platforms, as well as general business operation. Without that mix of talents it would have been very difficult to establish ourselves going forward.

The last positive I will mention is simply the positive support we’ve received so far from the local automotive community. We expected that the dyno would generate some early interest, but we didn’t expect things to happen so soon. We’ve had nothing but compliments so far and we would like to thank everyone (especially those who actually read this!) for the early support!

Everyone at some point in their life has had an idea for a great business. However, most of those ideas never come to fruition because the road from vision to reality is not easy. Here’s myself and Jason’s road from a vision in late February to narrowly making it to the first Arm Drop event on May 20th, 2017. (more…)