Why have a dyno for ECU flash development?
Dyno vs. datalogger - USE BOTH !!
When tuning an engine, there needs to be tools that can measure small
changes in horsepower and torque in controlled conditions for the results
to be meaningful.
Today's eddy current dynos can simulate any load condition that an engine
will see on the road, and can measure within 1/10th of a hp.
This gives an experienced tuner the best possible tool for doing his/her
Using a datalogger when dyno tuning is the best method for collecting
engine data and using specific software to view and analyze small changes
that are difficult or not possible to see in on-the-road datalogging alone.
What is datalogging?
Datalogging is the collection (recording) of engine data from various
sensors while the engine is running, throttle position sensor, MAP sensor,
coolant temp sensor,
wideband AFR sensor, rpm input, and whatever else a tuner wishes to record
and look at to evaluate how an engine is running.
Using a basic logger exclusively (without a dyno) does not give the whole
picture that a good tuner needs to properly develop a performance ECU
flash for a stock ECU.
If you have very little adjustment capability, I suppose that using a
logger only for fuel adjustments can be useful and give an improvement.
(if you know what you are doing, and your test conditions are the same
for each test that you do... wind, road, and traffic conditions will affect
But, a datalogger alone shouldn't be used for ignition timing adjustments,
sub-throttle adjustments, and all the other very significant HP and driveability
must be carefully measured, adjusted accurately and repeatedly for the
results to be meaningful and useful.
These items should be tested in a controlled environment over and over
and adjusted until it's right.
My ECU flash development cycle involves hundreds of dyno runs, and hundreds
if not thousands of flashes before the product is ready.
During tuning, the ECU can be flashed 20-30 times a day or even more at
times. This will happen for several months.
Every facet of the tune needs to be tested, adjusted, re-tested, and road
tested over and over.
Sometimes adjusting one part of the file requires minor adjustments in
a part of the file that was done already
This is the way that fine,
thorough tuning is done.
Using a dyno and datalogger together for ECU flash development is the
best way to properly test all the conditions that an engine will see on
and also can simulate any load/road condition that an experienced tuner
needs to see.
Will using a $300.00 datalogger without a dyno yield some improvement?
Sure it will, but it will not be able to give a similar result to the
massive amount of data that was carefully measured, calculated, analyzed,
and adjusted in a controlled environment by specialized equipment (Dyno)
by someone who is intimately familiar with this type of equipment.
The end result after dyno tuning is beyond comparison.
In my quest for offering the best product possible for my customers, I
have purchased the latest and greatest industry standard dyno,
with every option that they offer for it, to replace my old dyno that
I have used since 1997.
This will allow me to simulate any on-the-road load condition that I ask
it to, and to analyze any aspect of engine tuning that I connect it to
all in a temperature controlled environment. Using this and the latest
logging and log analyzing software helps ensure that I am doing the best
for my customers.
After the tune is completed, it is logged on the road for any deficiencies
and corrected if any are needed (rarely)
Tuning without a dyno is like claiming to be a great carpenter that doesn't
use a tape measure.
Below is a screenshot of one of the tuning programs that I use for viewing
This is a low rpm view of a bike's fuel mixture during tuning of it's
vacuum tables (MAP)
It's far from perfect, but it's just a screenshot of what this type of
equipment allows you to see.
When the fueling is correct, there's a more uniform color that starts
in one color and smoothly transitions to another from left to right.
Having this type of view allows me to see a lot more than a single line
shows at full throttle on a dyno chart.
If you look at the bottom row (X axis), it reads in the vacuum level that
I have my logger calibrated to. (trying to explain this in simple terms)
RPM is on the left vertical
AFR (fuel mixture) is on the right vertical
New Dynojet 250I