I thought I would try and run down some basics for preparing your vehicle for the rolling road. There are various guides all over the internet, but I thought I'd get something together more specific to us at PVE.
Its extremely important to get your vehicle ready for a rolling road session. Health & Safety are keywords we hear about in daily life more and more as time goes by. It's an incredibly important subject, especially in my job. We are testing equipment (your car) often unknown to us, in a hot fuel filled environment. A couple of bolts loose on a prop-shaft can potentially end in disaster. We all have to be prepared, and sensible.
We are often dealing with vehicles that have only just been finished - ground up rebuilds etc. In many instances the first full test they get is on the rolling road. Of course we try to be sensible, we expect some minor issues, and will always try to repair and replace where we can to make the day run as smoothly as possibly. However time constraints don't allow as much of this as we'd all like. The reality is that if you book a morning on the dyno, I'm sure we'd all prefer to not waste this precious time tightening Jubilee clips etc. We will have another car booked in for the afternoon slot, so we want to spend the morning doing the job you've booked in for and achieving your desired results. As I say, lets not spend it tightening Jubilee clips.
Many race engines run specific oils, and on some, very specific race fuels. I keep various oils here, but I can tell you now (due to Sod's law) whichever oil you need, I'll have used the day before. Make sure your engine is full of oil, ensure it's clean and ready for use. If we are to be running in said vehicle, ensure you supply the correct oil & filter.
Ensure all of your transmission oils are in good order, and to the correct level. Sometimes, especially on more modern transmissions, these are a nightmare just to check.
Please make sure you have a full tank of the required fuel. If the vehicle is to be mapped on 99RON, ensure it's full of said fuel. It's surprising how much fuel you go through whilst the vehicle is sitting still on the dyno! One of the things I'm pretty 'testy' on are fuel connections and fittings. Don't think for a minute that an old jubilee clip half holding on some old rubber pipe at 80psi is going to cut it. It won't even get through my door to the dyno. My final words on fuel are "don't mess about with fuel!" - it's not worth it, from my point of view, or yours. Make it as good as you can afford, and if you can't afford to do it, wait until you can. Simples.
Belts and chains! Timing chains and belts, quite obvisously will need to be in top condition. If you're unsure, replace. It's the difference between a good day, and a very expensive one! Same goes for water pump belts & alternator belts. It's highly unlikely I will have a belt for your specific car in stock, sods law would dictate that the local factors wont either!
With regards to coolant, please see above statements about Jubilee clips! Honestly, I couldn't count the amount of times I run a car up, and on the first run it pops a Jubilee clip off. Cleaning up coolant off of a £75k piece of equipment gets old, very quickly! It will take you minutes to ensure your coolant system works correctly. Firstly, ensure it has the correct coolant. Then ensure it is topped up to the relevant level. Finally, if applicable, ensure your radiator fan works correctly.
Tyres are commonly overlooked. The best sort of tyres for running your car on the dyno are road tyres. They need to be in excellent condition. Any sort of damage or significant wear to tyres is a no go. The rolling road will consistantly put them under extreme conditions - 120mph+ at full load, meaning they will get hot. It is very important to check the tyre pressure, your tyres will need to be inflated to the maximum pressure specified by the manufacturers for motorway use.
I frequently get cars that arrive for mapping with sensors either faulty, or removed. "I thought you could just 'map that out'" being a favourite statement. Potentially, this is the case, but often it isn't. Coolant sensors and under-boost faults are common faults I see on cars brought in to be remapped on the rolling road. It's not only frustrating but also a waste of time and therefore your money. If there are any potential issues, then please just let us know, and we can run through any of these things with you.
Bearings, clutch, suspension - all of these things need to be in good order. A slipping clutch on the rolling road will completely stop play. So if there is something you think may be a problem, please triple check it.
Try not to use the booked dyno-session as a 'deadline'. This more than regularly will result in you still trying to get that 'supplied basemap' to run the car 3am the morning before! Always ends in dissapointment.
Often some of our customers will be heading to us from all over the country, we have a list of sensible B&Bs and Hotels that are local to us and have a good reputation.
Do you have spares that go with the car? A dodgy map sensor, that you have spare for? A second set of correctly specified and gapped spark plugs is an absolute must in many cases.
Since late 2019, we no longer allow customers in the Dyno-Cell while any vehicles are running. This is purely down to insurance cover. Although I know it's interesting to watch your car on the rolling road, it's just not happening, prepare yourself for this life changing situation before you turn up!
Edit: Since the Corona Virus Pandemic, we are now not allowing any customers beyond our Gates. No customers to the workshop.
We will provide videos of said vehicle running up though, at no charge.
We don't have 'facilities' for any customers who do wish to hang around, bare this in mind. I you are driving down for a morning or an afternoon tuning session, I'd advise booking a table at the pub opposite, the Eagle Tavern, and enjoying a coffee, or a meal.
NO SMOKING - anywhere on my property. Obviously near the workshop, where we are often playing with highly flammable fuels etc. It's my property, and I've never had a problem with people smoking generally, albeit my family are non-smokers. I've recently had to walk around my property picking up dog ends etc. It's just easier to say 'NO SMOKING' anywhere. If you must smoke, the top of our drive off my property is fine.
No under 16's on the property. The amount of times I've had people turn up with 2-3 children, and say things like 'We wanted to see the car on the dyno'. Lets be sensible here, it's NOT the place for children. No. Simple.
No animals on site. I'd have thought this, again, was fairly obvious. But of late, I've been proven wrong on a number of occasions. I'm a tuning workshop, on the main road, the A303. Bringing pets along, is just daft. Leave it at home, or with a friend, or your mum. Whatever, don't bring it here.
If you've visited us before, you will understand why I'm allowing a whole paragraph to trailers!
Getting a trailer onto our site, is very doable, and relatively simple. For an experienced trailer driver. If, you are not confident, don't try it first time. Simple as. Arrive and park in the Eagle Tavern opposite, and give me a call. I will walk over, and we can chat about the easiest way to do it. It's five minutes out of our day, it's genuinely no bother at all, and we can get it sorted. At least once a month someone doesn't prepare properly, and drives onto a neighbours drive, causing issues!
Drive safely, and we look forward to working with you soon.