Like any modern day business with ‘business-sense’, we’re always looking for ways to promote our business and get eyes on our internet content. We already promote the business prominently on our vehicles, which gets a lot of eyes as we travel to shows and garages across Ontario. However, we were looking to do something a bit different.
That something different came to us in an episode of Roadkill where Frieburger and Finnigan competed in a Lemons Rally. It’s put on by the same group that does the 24 Hours of Lemons but instead of a track race it’s a 6-day road rally. It’s not a timed event, but you get points for checkpoints reached, vehicle creativity and costumes among other things. They put on 5 rallies a year in different locations across the US and Canada. The rally we’re competing in is called the Four Bangors Bangers Rally. It starts in Bangor, MI then up to London, ON, then across to Malone, NY, from there to Bangor, ME, down to Hartford, CT, across to Akron, OH, and then finally back to Bangor, MI. We’re assuming of course that there’s stops in two other Bangors along the way! In total, the rally covers just over 2400 miles so lots of opportunity to get the Dynomite name out, especially considering we’ll be covering highway 401 from Belleville to Windsor, then London to Gananoque.
Once we comitted to the rally, we needed our statement piece; our rolling billboard. We ultimately decided on a 1983 Mercedes 300D diesel sedan. It’s comfortable, somewhat easy on fuel, and has a certain lemony appeal! The previous owner drove it daily and it’s still running well for having over 430,000km on it. It had a lot of rust on it when he bought it, so he took it upon himself to patch all the rust spots and give it a new black paint job……WITH A BRUSH! Honestly, it doesn’t look bad from 20 feet away, and again gives it some lemony appeal.
Aside from completing checkpoints, we can get extra points for creative styling. We plan on decking it out like a teenager with his first car! On eBay we found a chin spoiler, rear spoiler, fog lights, fender flares and wheel spacers. Top it off with a roof rack, light bar and a pile of graphics, and we’ll be ready to turn some heads! Check back often and follow our social media for updates on the build.
It’s been a couple of months since our last written update on Project InfHemi, so we thought we better update everyone on what’s been going on. Obviously the holiday season slowed us down a bit, as well as the bitter cold Winter (I hate Winter!!), but progress has been made.
It took several orders from Summit Racing and trips to a local automotive retailer, but we finally completed the external fuel system. Out of the 5 gallon fuel cell in the bed we’re running into a 100 micron pre-filter, then our external fuel pump, then a 10 micron fuel filter. From there the fuel line runs all the way up to the former battery tray where we’ve placed our fuel regulator. From there it’s a short run to the fuel rail, and there’s also a return line running back to the fuel cell. To power it, we considered running a new feed operated from a switch in the cab, but we decided to use the existing wiring that was there to power the in-tank fuel pump. External fuel pumps apparently use more power, so it’s been suggested to swap out the 15 amp fuse with a 20 or 25 amp.
With the fuel system buttoned up, we were then in a position to test fire. With the key in the run position the fuel pump came on and we adjusted the regulator to around 62-65 psi. However, when we went to start it there was not enough power to get it going. Our thoughts are it’s a combination of the increased distance from the original location and thinner gauge wire than standard. Nevertheless, with my truck providing a boost it started right up!! We were ecstatic to hear it running again. Some may see it as small potatoes, but for us it was a huge step in the right direction. Click HERE to watch the video of the fuel system.
With it running, we then turned our attention to getting familiar with our new tuning setup courtesy of HP Tuners. It’s an amazingly powerful tuning platform with seemingly endless amounts of modification potential. To get our feet wet, we started with the basics. We removed the speed limiter, disabled the EGR, and a number of diagnostic checks since we pulled the fuses for the ABS, EGR and A/C to name a few. Click HERE to watch the video.
Since it now is in running shape again, we’ve loaded it up and taken it to our good friend AND driver of InfHemi, Nathan Cooper. He’ll be taking care of the body work and strengthening up the transmission with the line booster and shift kit.
Since we first introduced you to our drag truck, Project InfHemi, we’ve been progressing nicely. Here’s what we’ve been up to so far.
We’ve had all the wheels off to inspect the brakes and rotors. Everything surprisingly looked good so we simply cleaned them up, lubed them up, and slapped the wheels back on. At that time we also opened the rear diff to inspect the gearing. As we expected, we found a limited slip differential with 3.93 gears. We still plan on going with a 4.56 ring and pinion or even a complete locker, but it was nice to know that if we didn’t get around to it before race season that the 3.93’s would suffice for the time being.
Next on the agenda was the interior. We’re going in with the mentality that every little bit of weight savings we can get will be beneficial. With that in mind we went to work on removing the interior. With the exception of the upper portion of the dash, we have completely removed the interior. In total I would say we shed 150-200 pounds, most of which came from the bench seat. We still have some things to remove like the wiring, stereo amp, heater core, etc., but great progress on weight savings has been made.
Speaking of weight savings, we have also dropped the stock fuel tank and replaced it with a 5 gallon fuel cell. This will be a significant weight savings over the bulky stock tank.
To move a bit more weight to the back, we also moved the battery from the engine compartment to the bed beside the fuel cell. For symmetry we’ve also placed our nitrous bottle on the other side of the fuel cell.
Since we’ve removed the stock fuel tank and moved the battery to the bed, our next task will be making it run again. We’ve run a new hot line for the batter as well as a brand new external fuel pump, filters and bypass regulator. Just in case the ecu is not happy with our new setup, we have HP Tuners at our disposal to bypass anything we need to in order to make it run. With the Christmas holidays approaching rapidly, chances are it won’t be until the New Year until we have time to get it fired up. Stay tuned to the website and our social media for updates. Happy Holidays to everyone!
As we revealed this past Saturday, we have a new project that we are really excited about. We’re calling it Project InfHemi and it comes in the form of a 2004 Dodge Ram short box regular cab with (you guessed it) a 5.7 Hemi V8. What we plan on doing may seem a bit unconventional, but that’s how we roll! We’re making a drag truck out of it. A truck may seem like an odd choice for such a venture, but we’re truck guys so this one seemed fitting for the challenge.
We purchased the truck with just under 190,000km on it for $3000. Some of the upgrades include a 4″ drop on all for corners, mid-length headers, fiberglass ram-air hood (functional) and a JET Performance Stage 2 chip. The fact that it had headers and lowered already were two keys to the decision to purchase this truck, and as an added bonus we didn’t know the hood was fiberglass until we picked it up! Looking online, the hood is a $1000 piece so I think we made out well. The JET Performance chip is a nice touch as well, but we’ll be going with a custom tune, so we’ll sell it to recoup some costs. We also plan on removing and selling the Daytona spoiler and the interior, so there’s more opportunities to recoup some money on our initial investment. Of course we’ll be dumping any money right back into it.
As far as condition goes, it’s about an 8 out of 10 from a distance, but maybe a 6 up close. We’ll have to do the usual Dodge bodywork to the cab corners, rockers and rear wheel wells, but nothing we can’t handle. In all fairness, it’s a sharp looking truck that i’m sure has turned many heads in it’s day. Aside from body, we’ll be tackling regular safety items first to make sure it can make it safely from A to B. Safety is a step that cannot be bypassed. We want to make sure the brakes, suspension and steering are good before doing anything else.
Now onto the fun part…our vision! This truck has seen it’s last highway. From this point forward it will be a track truck only. No more leisurely Sunday drives….only short trips of pure adrenaline! Over the winter we’ll start by getting rid of all of the unnecessaries like the interior, Daytona wing, fuel tank, A/C, traction control, mufflers, airbags, etc. As mentioned above, we’ll also be taking care of the safety and body work as well as starting to source all the parts needed to make this project come to life.
Once the nice weather is back we’ll be able to give it a shakedown on the dyno and begin the tuning process. We plan on documenting everything we do so watch our website and YouTube channel for updates.
With the internet’s rise to power, gone are the days of swap meets and newspapers as the only source of finding your car parts (don’t get me wrong, swap meets are still awesome!). The internet has essentially exposed us to a world (literally!) of new sources; Kijiji being the most popular choice for Canadians. On Kijiji, your only limit is as far as you’re willing to drive to get what you need. For us, that limit is currently a 4 hour drive!
With that in mind, we thought it would be worthwhile to document the purchase and eventual upgrade of a vehicle through Kijiji ads. We have a soft spot for Dodge trucks, so we were on the hunt for a D 100 with the 318 V8. After a few days of digging through ads and messaging owners, we settled on a 1982 D 100 near Ottawa. It needed a water pump to run, as well as cab corners, a floor patch, box repairs and brakes for safety. The guy was asking $800, but we eventually got it for $500, so we were off to a good start.
The first order of business was to get it running. We replaced the water pump ($100) and did a tune up ($150) and it fired right up! Always a nice feeling, especially knowing that we were now into it for only $750 and have a running, driving truck. Now it was onto the safety items. We patched the holes to the best of our abilities and instead of patching the box, we were able to find one in better shape on Kijiji for$300. We finished off the body work with a camo Plasti Dip job from cans we got from a large lot on Kijiji. The only other safety item was the brakes, which we did not purchase on Kijiji. In our opinion we felt it was best to go new for brakes. With safety in hand and Hagerty Classic Insurance, we were registered and on the road for under $1500.
To recap, here’s our expenditures so far:
Total so far is $1290 plus Hagerty Insurance and Licensing
Now onto the fun. We did a baseline shakedown on the dyno and came up with 124HP and 193FT/LB of torque to the rear wheels. The 318 V8 stock configuration is stock air cleaner, 2bbl carb and intake going through stock cast manifolds, collected into a single-out exhaust. Watch the dyno video here.
Next, it was time to set out and find improvements on Kijiji. Right away we found a K&N air filter for $20. The big score so far has been an Edelbrock Aluminum intake manifold, 650 Carb and throttle body spacer. We were able to get it all for $350, which is well over $300 in savings! We also just recently found a 318 block that has been bored .040 over for $300, but that’s not a test we’ll be doing right away.
The dyno is put away for the Winter now, but over that time we’ll be replacing the tired 2bbl setup with our 4bbl Edelbrock configuration. We’ll be anxiously waiting to get it back on the dyno in the Spring!
As we’ve said before, one of the benefits of having your own dyno at your disposal is the ability to test performance gains on any change we make to a vehicle. One of those test subjects we have right now is a 2005 Dodge Magnum RT with the 5.7 Hemi V8. It shares a platform (called the LX platform) with the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, so if you have one of those vehicles you can expect similar results.
The first thing we always do is a baseline to see what we’re working with. In this case, the Magnum made 267HP and 304FT/LB of torque to the rear wheels. Stock motor HP from factory is 350HP, and in our experience Dodge suffer from a 20% driveline loss, so rear wheel HP should be in the 280-290 range. Ours could be feeling the old age effects of 267,000km, but nevertheless we carried on with our planned upgrades.
The first upgrade was to install a K&N cold air intake. Again, the Charger and 300 use the exact same intake, so expect similar results. Installation is fairly straightforward as well. K&N claims right on their website that they got a 21HP gain when tested at their facility, so obviously we wanted to put that claim to the test on our dyno. As expected, our results were not as good, but we did manage to gain 9HP but lost 6FT/LB of torque which totalled 276HP and 298FT/LB. You can watch the dyno test here. There are so many factors at play when claiming results, so take any claims with a grain of salt. We were pleased with what we achieved, so that’s what matters.
Our next upgrade was the popular muffler (or suitcase) delete. It’s an enourmous suitcase-sized muffler located in the middle of the underbody. The internet forums seem to have mixed feelings on whether this one is actually a benefit or even going as far as saying it decreases power. Once again, we put the Magnum up on the dyno to get first hand results. In our case, we saw a 0HP gain, but we gain back the torque we lost with the intake installation and added 3FT/LB more. So now we were up to 276HP and 307FT/LB. As an added bonus, it sounds amazing so we’ll call this mod a win as well! You can watch the dyno test here.
Our final test of the this point was a Diablosport tune. At the time we had 93 octane fuel in the car so we went ahead and selected the 93 ‘canned’ (or preloaded) tune from Diablosport using our InTune i3 Tuner. As a precaution, DO NOT use a tune for octane higher than you are using. You can cause serious damage to your engine! Back up on the dyno again, the Magnum made 281HP and 313Ft/LB, which was a 5HP and 6FT/LB gain. Overall, the 3 mods gave us a 14HP and 9FT/LB gain. Not a spectacular gain by any means, but it is a riot to drive! Watch the final video here.
We’re now approaching Winter, so any more testing will have to wait until Spring. Forums have suggested that the decreased power output is possibly a traction control issue. Traction control systems really hate the dyno since it only sees 2 of the 4 wheels turning. They say simply pressing the button to disable doesn’t fully take it off and that the only true way to disable traction control fully is to pull the fuse (NOTE: This is for DYNO PURPOSES ONLY! We don’t recommend doing this for the street). So we would like to test that theory to see if that is our issue. If that doesn’t work will be changing the plugs, coils and wires. Stay tuned until Spring unless we sell it in the meantime!
1997 Ford Mustang GT – View the 1st Dyno run HERE – This car was our first car that we bought as a company. Stock, the 97 Mustang GT produced a measly 215HP, which is pathetic for V8 standards! Our plan was a horsepower build with dyno runs after key changes. Right off the trailer we dynoed it and got 178rwhp and 195 ft/lbs of torque. Considering the Mustang had a Trick flow upper plenum, cold air intake and some exhaust work, the numbers were a bit low. So we did a tune up (coil packs, fuel filter, spark plugs, oil/filter) and put it back on the dyno. The results were only a couple of points up from our baseline, so we hooked up our air/fuel ratio module to see what was going on. We found the fuel to be very lean, so we used our Diablosport tuner to increase the fuel rate. We were pleased with the results. We ended up with 204rwhp and 274 ft/lbs of torque! That was a gain of almost 30hp and 80 ft/lbs of torque! (view the 2nd video HERE) Of course were not done there. We decided to swap out the heads with PI heads from a 2001 4.6l V8 and add a set of long tube headers. Unfortunately the project has since stalled and we have the car for sale.
1968 Ford F100 – Check out one of our Dyno runs HERE – This is my personal Sunday cruiser that started life with a tired 360 V8 with 2 barrel carb. Right away I added Pertronix ignition and coil and a set of shorty headers to fix a manifold leak. We got it on the dyno and I was disappointed with with 157rwhp and 252ft/lbs of torque. The 360s made around 190hp at the motor, so I was low even considering the loss from motor to wheels. Using the dyno, we were able to make some timing adjustments and ended up with a respectable 170rwhp and 272ft/lbs of torque. This winter I decided that 170 just isn’t enough! I purchased a 460 big block with an edelbrock aluminum intake, FiTech EFI system, long tube Headman headers and Magnaflow exhaust. To go along with the GO parts, I got some SHOW parts as well including a lowering kit, B&M shifter, new carpet and headliner, new rims and tires, fuel cell and new lights. I’m currently working on putting it all together, so watch for updates!
2017 Dodge Ram 2500 Power Wagon – I purchased this in November 2017 to replace my 2016 Ford F150 because of all the hauling we’ve been doing. Sure, if I was mostly concerned with hauling I would have went with the diesel, but I wanted to haul ass as well! With that in mind I had no choice but to go with the Power Wagon with the huge 6.4l Hemi engine! I have a S&B cold air intake, Magnaflow exhaust and a Diablosport tune installed to date, but i’ve only tested it on the dyno with the tune installed. With the tune it made 340HP and 350FT/LB and unfortunately it never got a proper test stock as I now have the cold air intake and exhaust installed. Check back in spring to see updated numbers with the bolt ons and i’ll also put the stock computer back in to see how much the tune gives me as well. Check out the Power Wagon on the dyno here
2017 Dodge Ram 1500 – This truck is Jason’s commuter and is a testament that you can make a bare bones Hemi cool with persistence and some hard work. Jason started off by swapping out the stock 17s for a set of 20s found on Kijiji. He sold the 17s on Kijiji, which paid for the 20s. He then added fender flares, a muffler delete, a 2 inch level in the front, Sport headlights, and a badge delete. Next on the list is painted front and rear bumpers, painted grille, K&N cold air intake and Pulsar Tuner. Of course the coolest feature on the truck is our ghosted logo! We’ve tested Jason’s truck on the dyno with a with a Pedal Commander throttle control and the muffler delete and got 313HP and 342FT/LB. We now have the Pulsar and Intake installed and will be testing on the dyno in the Spring. Check out the 2017 Dodge Ram on the dyno here
1995 Ford E350 Ambulance – Our most practical purchase to date has been this Ford E350 Ambulance that we now use to tow the dyno trailer and haul our dyno gear. It has the very well respected 7.3 Powerstroke turbo diesel motor and seems to have more than enough jam to tow our 3-ton dyno trailer. Of course we’re a dyno company so we’re not satisfied with anything stock. We’ve purchased (yet to be installed or tested) an Edge Revolver 6-position tuner to give it a boost, a new stereo/navigation unit with a back up camera (currently, lining it up with our trailer is not fun!), LED headlights and a 52-inch LED light bar for the rear. And of course we’ll have to get it on the dyno as well!
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:
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…)