SuperFlow Blog

Timely articles on product and industry information, tools, and resources


How to Select the Proper Engine Dynamometer

160613_SelectAnEngineDynoSelecting any SuperFlow Engine Dynamometer — whether it be water brake, eddy current or alternating current (AC) motor load — has the same general guidelines and typically comes down to four main factors:

  • RPM requirements
  • Torque requirements
  • Control tolerances
  • Test requirements

We’ve created a guide to help you select the right engine dyno for your needs.

Click here to download our guide: How to Select the Proper Engine Dynamometer

 


Watch How to Run a Timed Acceleration Test on a SuperFlow Chassis Dyno

Get a quick video lesson on the steps to run a timed acceleration test on a SuperFlow Chassis Dyno. Mike Giles of SuperFlow provides a walk-through of the process.

Click here to watch
How to Run a Timed Acceleration Test on a SuperFlow Chassis Dyno

AccelerationTest

Want to know more about SuperFlow Chassis Dynos?


Making Money with your SuperFlow Chassis Dynamometer

MakingMoney_ChassisDynoSuperFlow dynamometers are consistently listed as the most profitable pieces of equipment in modern performance shops. There is no other tool than a SuperFlow dyno that you can build a complete performance business around. Tuners, engine builders, race teams and aftermarket parts suppliers everywhere choose SuperFlow, in fact when you look you’ll find that SuperFlow dynos are the best kept secret in the market. Many of the biggest names in automotive performance already use SuperFlow dynamometers and have for quite some time. Want some references? Call us at 800.471.7701 or fill out our quick Contact Us form and we’d be happy to provide some in your area.

Click here to download an investment worksheet to calculate your return on investment: Making Money with your SuperFlow Chassis Dynamometer

This return on investment workbook is designed to give you more than just numbers; it is designed to give you the information you need to make a SuperFlow chassis dynamometer a profitable tool for your business. Consider the ideas in this book a starting place to build a successful business plan around your new SuperFlow chassis dynamometer.

Many shop owners biggest fear in purchasing a dyno is the impact it may have on other parts of their business. If implemented correctly, a chassis dyno will enhance and stimulate other areas of the business. While the primary focus of this workbook is about generating revenue with your SuperFlow chassis dyno it is important to note that a SuperFlow dyno is a tool that can separate your company from others and in doing so generate income in a variety of ways. These include saving money, increasing shop credibility, eliminating come-backs, increasing part sales, attracting new customers, retaining existing customers and increasing individual purchase amounts with the ability to immediately quantify the improvements being made.

We’ve taken our 40+ plus years of experience building accurate and repeatable dynamometers and combined it with great ideas shared with us by customers to generate a guide that will help you find opportunity to generate income with a SuperFlow chassis dyno. If you think an idea presented in this downloadable investment workbook will work for your shop, simply add that amount in the space provided. At the end of the workbook you’ll quickly see that the monthly payment is covered in only a few dyno sessions which leaves the rest of the month available to add money to your bottom line. Keep in mind a well utilized SuperFlow chassis dyno will pay for itself in 24 months or less.

Click here to download an investment worksheet to calculate your return on investment: Making Money with your SuperFlow Chassis Dynamometer

This investment workbook offer several ideas on how to generate income with your SuperFlow dyno and how to estimate the return you’ll get from those activities. We recommend first downloading the investment workbook PDF, then calling your SuperFlow sales engineer at 1.800.471.7701 to discuss your application and to get a price estimate on the particular model of SuperFlow chassis dyno that you need. This number will help you complete the worksheets and get an accurate idea of just how much money a SuperFlow chassis dyno can generate for you each month.


Leave a comment

Why the Racing Industry Uses SuperFlow Chassis Dynos

Every Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Truck Series racecar that leaves Richard Childress Racing (RCR) today, runs across an 849 SuperFlow chassis dyno. Why? Our dynamometers are designed to handle the horsepower of high performance racing vehicles. RCR estimates having made more than 10,000 pulls on their dyno since owning it.

Using the SuperFlow Chassis Dyno for Racecars

SuperFlow builds products that meet and exceed the needs of the racing industry. With higher horsepower vehicles, more traction is required on the dynamometer. The larger the roller used on the dyno, the larger the contact patch available for the racecar being tested to get traction. By mounting the eddy currents on a differential instead of directly to the end of the roll, we are able to spin the eddy currents to their peak absorption capacity at a lower speed than competing models – meaning the SuperFlow chassis dynos are well suited for high torque applications. Add in SuperFlow’s WinDyn data acquisition system, which is equipped to handle the data acquisitions requirements of the most demanding race teams and is expandable so it can grow as needs change, and you have the ultimate dyno system.

In addition to RCR, Kroyer Racing Engines utilizes the SuperFlow chassis dyno to prove new engine builds as part of the complete system. They use their chassis dyno to find weak links in the Off Road truck drivelines, used in trucks that race and win the Baja 1000, SCORE and other off-road truck racing divisions. Kroyer engines are among the best in off-road racing – their drivelines are bullet proof, which is a requirement to be successful in this venue, because there are not many other types of racing more demanding of the vehicle.

So what advantage can race teams like RCR and Kroyer gain from using a SuperFlow chassis dyno? They can test the race engines they develop as part of the complete vehicle system. They can also test different driveline components and setups to understand what has the least frictional and rolling losses, and as a result, what transfers the most horsepower made by the engine to the track.

The AutoDyn Chassis Dyno is unrivaled in the marketplace

Interested in a Chassis Dyno?

The 849 Chassis Dyno is SuperFlow’s highest capacity two wheel drive chassis dyno and it offers the widest application range. This is the ideal dyno for a racecar team. However, our recommendation is to first call and talk to our sales engineers. They’ll ask you several questions, such as what the data acquisition requirements are for oil, water and other temperatures, to make sure the recommended model will meet your testing goals. The SuperFlow team will put together a final recommendation for you. Remember that our sales engineers also consult and can provide drawings and recommendations on test cell design and construction. Always remember that a good test cell is the key to repeatable testing. They can also work with contractors if a third party will be constructing the test cell, to make sure the finished product is successful.

Race teams interested in a live demo can visit our facility in Des Moines, IA. There’s also the option to visit regional customer sites. Are you ready to talk to an expert or see a demo of the SuperFlow chassis dyno?

Request a Demo


Leave a comment

Water Additives

A dynamometer works best with clean, cold water at the inlet. This applies for the engine cooling system and absorber. For closed water systems, additional water treatment and lubrication may be required to maintain the quality of the water and extend the life of the system.

Test methods and supply water conditions affect the performance and life expectancy of a SuperFlow dynamometer system. As these methods and conditions vary per location, specific recommendations cannot be made. The following section gives only general observations on additives and their use.

The only way to determine what additives may be required is to have the water tested and analyzed for content. Expert advice is available from various suppliers, which you can find one by searching on “water treatment suppliers.” At no time should additives be put into a water system without first knowing why they are required or if they are needed at all.

Minimizing Freeze

Depending on the winter climate, antifreeze may be required to protect against dyno water supply freeze-up. Some antifreeze formulas will foam inside the absorber. Foaming can cause loss of water stability and subsequent loss of dyno control. This spells disaster for a test. Use antifreeze that has ingredients to reduce foaming in the absorber. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the container.

There are alternatives for freeze prevention. The best way of course is frequent dyno testing. That will keep the air circulating and warm. Other ways include:

  • Blowing warm air into the bottom of the tank during cold spells
  • Adding a small pump to circulate water from the bottom of the tank through a heater and back to the top of the tank

Both of these methods can use thermostat control for unattended maintenance. All that is required is to keep the water moving and temperature above or near freezing.

Minimizing Corrosion

When considering protection from corrosion, it is best to have the water analyzed first. Then have a treatment company advise on what’s appropriate considering the materials that are to be protected. In some case, the use of sacrificial anodes would be indicated or possibly other types of safeguards.

The absorber, sump tank and engine cooling tower on a SuperFlow SF902 is built of aluminum or bronzed aluminum where water is contacted. Copper lines are used along with brass and nickel-plated steel fittings on the stand. Other types of materials are used where it does not interact with water.

Water filters should be used on both the supply and return to reduce particles in the water supply. The filters must be cleaned or changed regularly.

Minimizing Fungus

Algae will sometimes grow in a large body of water such as a dyno supply tank. Although it is unnecessary to maintain the pH quality of a swimming pool, some control on algae should be administered. As with an additive, the water should first be tested to determine if there is an algae problem or a local authority contacted for advice. Sometimes, simple algae can be controlled by adding one gallon of chlorine bleach per 1,000 gallons of water.

Lubricants

The real benefit from water lubricants is in its surfactant properties. Basically, a lubricant reduces the surface tension of the water, allowing it to make better surface contact with the absorber and therefore, improve its ability to conduct heat from the metal surface into the liquid. This will help reduce the overall outlet water temperature.

Have questions about SuperFlow engine dynos? Want to speak to a representative about SuperFlow dynamometer systems?


Leave a comment

Useful Flowbench Tools

Many of the applications of flowbenches and the data they provide are often set apart from normal data because of the mystique associated with flowbenches and flow testing. Engine component airflow data is easy to compare if you know how. Here are tools we recommend using to make the job of testing airflow easier and much more fun than makeshift approaches.

Magic Wand

It provides an indication of activity and direction of flow inside a port or device under test. The magic wand is made from a 1/16” diameter welding rod that is 12” long. The welding rod has a small round ball on the end – from placing the road in a molten pool of metal – and a piece of dacron or nylon type kite string glued to itself to form a little flag about 3/8” long. This is a good flow visualization indicator.

Pilot Tube

It provides a way to probe the port to supply local velocity numbers. It can be used with SuperFlow’s FlowCom, pressure manometer, or special port software to plot areas of activity in the airstream in a port. It’s difficult to use in very small ports. It requires one type for exhaust use and a different one for intake use.

Flow Ball

It provides a method to probe a port and verify if flow is attached or separated at some point in the port. Flow balls are made by tack welding various diameters of ball bearings to a 1/16” diameter welding rod that 12” long. Flow balls typically start with 1/8” diameter and go to ½” diameter in 1/16” increments. These tools are an easy way to find problem areas in the port without great difficulty. It’s very effective in evaluating the short-turn radius in a port of where a wall has a directional change.

Port Molding Rubber

It provides an easy way to look at a port. The mold is made of silicone-based material (a two-part process) that is poured into the port with value in place. After it sets, it can be removed in one piece. The mold can be sliced and the cross-sectional profile drawn on graph paper to help measure the area at different locations in the port.

Graph Paper

This creates an easy way to measure the cross-sectional area in a port. The paper cutouts are trimmed to fit different places in the port, and the squares can be counted, providing an accurate way of measuring the area.

Poster Board

This creates an easy way to make patterns to help the developer reproduce the same port shape and size. The poster board can then be used to trace patterns in aluminum or plastic that provides benchmarks for the developer to use in duplicating an established shape in other ports and cylinder heads of the same type.

Radius Inlet Guide

It provides a smooth approach to the port or device being tested and is intended to decrease the “edge effect” at the port flange. The radius used should be as large as possible and at least ½” radius. The thickness of the inlet guide should be at least 50% of the height of the port. The size outside the port cross section should also be least 50% of the height of the port so all directions have a smooth approach. It is not uncommon for the inlet guide to improve the flow from 6% to 10% over no guide in use.

Exhaust Pipe

All testing of the exhaust side of the cylinder head should use a short section of exhaust pipe that is at least the diameter of the port. The appropriate length is about 10” to 12” long.

Bore Simulation Adapter

All flow testing of cylinder heads should use an adapter that simulates the bore size within 1/16” of the diameter used on the engine. The length of the simulated bore should be at least equal to the diameter or more.

Wet Flow Adapters

It provides another reference of flow visualization that is valuable in evaluating what is happening in the combustion chamber and helps to sort out problems in that area. It’s best when at an air/liquid ratio that represents the normal air/fuel ratio an engine uses. This process has helped solve problems that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Calculator

Ever present at any testing is a flow tester on the phone comparing numbers with another tester. It provides an instant indication of hype vs. truth because known numbers are compared to claims.

These are basic tools you need on hand for airflow testing, which will provide incredibly insightful and helpful information.

Talk with a representative about SuperFlow’s flowbenches.

Let's Get Started


Leave a comment

Useful Calculations for Comparing Flow Numbers

The necessity of flow-number comparison is something that anyone involved in flow testing must endure. Even if the number comparison is done on the same components and flowbench, it is important to know how to compare the numbers so the time and effort is worthwhile. The comparison process is necessary to evaluate published numbers vs. your own developed flow numbers. In flow testing, you’ll learn that you must ask (or qualify) at what test pressure the flow numbers were recorded.

The SuperFlow instruction manuals provide a chart for comparing flow numbers from one test pressure vs. another test pressure. If your copy isn’t handy or has been misplaced, we outline the information you need to know below.

The chart in the SuperFlow instruction manual for flowbench operations is based on the square root of the pressure ratio method. If you have flow numbers at a known test pressure and want to compare those numbers at a different test pressure, it’s easy to do.

As an example, if you have flow numbers at 10”H20 test pressure and would like to know what the flow should be at 25”H20 test pressure, the formula is: TBD on how to present it. You would multiple the flow numbers taken at 10”H20 test pressure by 1.58 to see what the flow should be at 25”H20.

Predicting Horsepower based on Airflow Numbers

The performance coefficient SuperFlow develop dis based on very accurate empirical data, and even 30+ years after its introduction into the marketplace, it is still a good indicator of power capability of an engine based on its airflow. Today’s engines are more efficient because of airflow improvements that were generated by thousands of people searching for more power.

The prediction of horsepower based on airflow numbers can be applied if the test pressure is known. The results are a good estimate of the engine’s capacity to make power if everything in the system is optimized to take advantage of the airflow available. An accurate estimate of the power capacity of the engine is dependent upon having accurate flow numbers for the complete airflow system, including the cylinder head, manifold, carburetor or fuel injection system.

The power coefficient varies with the test pressure. The following can be used for a quick evaluation of airflow numbers at different test pressures.

The equation: HP/cyl=Cpower x Test Flow, where Cpower = Coefficient of power, Test Flow = cfm flow at the same test pressure that the Cpower is applied.

Cpower for:

  • 10”H20 = .43
  • 15”H20= .35
  • 25”H20= .27
  • 28”H20= .26

These numbers assume the engine is using gasoline for fuel.

Example: If you have system airflow numbers recorded at 25”H20 and the flow as 200 cfm, the calculation would be HP/cyl = .27 x 200 = 54HP/cyl. If you were working on an eight-cylinder engine, then 8 x 54 = 432HP capacity. This assumes that each port flows the same number. More accurate results can be applied if the same calculation is made for each port of the airflow is now the same.

Predicting Peak Power rpm based on Airflow Numbers

Predicting the rpm at which peak power will occur, based on airflow, is an additional useful way to evaluate airflow numbers and an easy way to see the effects of changing engine displacement.

The equation: RPM at peak power = [(Crpm) / (displacement / cyl)) x cfm]

Where Crpm = Coefficient for peak power rpm calculation, displacement / cyl = displacement per cylinder in cubic inches, cfm = cubic feet per minute from flowbench data taken at a given test pressure.

Crpm for:

  • 10”H20= 2,000
  • 15”H20= 1,633
  • 25”H20= 1,265
  • 28”H20= 1,196

These numbers assume the engine is using gasoline for fuel.

Example: Using the same numbers that were applied in the previous example for power/cylinder above (200 cfm at 25”H20 and the engine is an eight-cylinder engine with a displacement of 355 cubic inches), 355/8 = 44.375 cubic inches per cylinder. Applying the equating and solving for rpm at peak power, where RPMpp = (1265/44.375) x 200 = 5,701 RPM.

Just for fun, what would happen to this number if the engine was 455 cubic inches? Now the engine displacement divided by the number of cylinders yields an entirely different number. So, 455/8 = 56.875. Applying the equation for rpm at peak power, RPMpp = (1265/56.875) x 200 = 4,448 RPM.

Many applications involve a specific need to know the airflow of engine components and how the engine uses air. Applying simple equations can compare the airflow of components. Many relationships can be enhanced if the airflow is known including valve timing (camshaft selection), inertia tuning factors of intake, power per cylinder capacity and the rpm at which peak power will occur.

You can learn some very interesting things by studying airflow through engine components and the engine itself. Because the engine is a self-driven air pump, many of the characteristics of the engine are set by its capacity to flow air.

To get more great articles and studies, make sure to sign up for our newsletter.

Newsletter Sign Up