Computer dyno simulation and engine building software

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by: Jon
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[edit] Introduction

Computer Dyno Simulation and Engine Building Software is used to test engine combinations before purchasing parts. This can save hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars by reducing the possibility of purchasing mismatched components.

[edit] Info needed

Typical inputs are: engine bore, stroke, rod length, cylinder head type and flow, valve sizes, intake type (open or split plenum, high or low rise, EFI or carb, etc.), carburetor type and size, lifter type, camshaft specs, rocker arm type and ratio, to name a few. After the inputs are complete, the software calculates the horsepower and torque the engine would produce at various rpm levels. If desired, different components can be selected and the resulting changes to the engine outputs compared to determine which components work best together to obtain the desired results.

A very important thing to understand about dyno simulation software is that it is only as accurate as the inputs you give it. Because of that, it's very important that you read all of the documentation associated with the software. Each one is different and requires the user to understand its finer points. For instance, when using Desktop Dyno 2000, one must know how the software simulates cam lobes. You have the option of entering the cam timing as seat-to-seat or as 0.050" lift timing. Then you select the lifter type. For the casual user who is simulating (for instance) a stock Olds 307 with a roller cam, one might reasonably assume that you should enter the cam specs and a roller lifter. The problem is, DD2000 uses the lifter type to assume the lobe profile aggressiveness. A roller lifter typically has the most aggressive ramps, but not in the case of stock smog cams. If you read the instructions you will find that a more accurate simulation could be had by simulating it with a flat lifter and used seat-to-seat timing which would more accurately demonstrate the lobe profiles. Reading the documentation associated with the software will help you to understand the subtleties of the program and improve your predictions.

As a good primer, try to duplicate known combinations. For instance, use the software to duplicate the torque and hp peaks of a GM Goodwrench 290 hp crate engine. The first few times you may get results that are incorrect. Play around with how the settings actually affect the outcome. Once you've mastered duplicating known combinations, you can start accurately predicting your own builds.

Below are typical screenshots of the engine input and dyno simulation screens (click image to enlarge):


[edit] See also

Comp Cams CamQuest free software

[edit] Where to purchase

Dyno simulation software can be purchased at the following websites:

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