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The Cyber Dyno

New Software for Simulated Engine Building and Testing--in CyberSpace

Scott Parkhurst Mar 12, 2004

So, you're ready to step up. You're tired of throwing parts at the same old engine and not seeing the results you'd like. You've considered all the crate motor options out there, and you feel the need to design an engine combination of your own. You need to have a decided advantage, in order to be quicker than all your pals.

Engine modeling software offers the edge you want, and this new offering from ProRacing Sim boasts many features and benefits not available in any other program (in an affordable price range). Designed as a capable tool for the home enthusiast or the polished professional, ProRacing Sim's DynoSim is an easily navigated collection of pull-down menus, with common sizes and parts designed to ease the transfer of ideas from your head into horsepower numbers you can relate to. If you've got custom or modified parts, you can always enter the specifics manually, in order to test the effects of the modifications.

Look over the screen captures shown here, and know that ProRacing Sim has also developed both a drag racing program and a road racing program that accompany the engine software. Stay tuned for exciting information regarding Popular Hot Rodding's Engine Master's Challenge for 2004. Early indications point to an additional contest, where enthusiasts can enter to build a virtual engine (using this very software), and compete for cash prizes.


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The new DynoSim software is so extensive, we can't possibly walk you through all of it, but we'd like to share some of the finer points. When you begin using DynoSim, the basics are already pre-programmed, so you'll find the basic dimensions of common domestic engines on the convenient pull-down menus. If your basic engine dimensions have been altered (by overbores or stroker cranks), these measurements can be adjusted easily.

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When choosing specific components to either test or duplicate what you've already got, DynoSim offers the option of selecting pre-programmed modifications (like ported heads, oversize valves, etc.)...

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...or you can type in your specific port sizes, valve diameters, and flow rates to more accurately represent the power curves your engine will produce.

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In a similar fashion, camshaft dimensions can be typed in to replicate your cam of choice. DynoSim also offers the option of finding the best-possible cam for your particular application, through simulation testing. This "iterator" will literally test hundreds of potential cam profiles to maximize the specific engine trait you're after.

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Whether you're looking for more peak horsepower, more peak torque, or more area under the curve, the DynoSim iterator will find it for you. The cam specifications certainly will get you in the ballpark, and if you order up a cam with the exact specifications called for by the program, it will work as planned. If the rest of the information you've entered into the program is precise, expect results like those you see on the screen.

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Calculating accurate compression ratio is also essential, and whether you're trying to determine your existing ratio, accurately program it into the simulator, or experiment with a different level of compression, the DynoSim program genuinely represents what's happening inside your chamber.

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Many different options exist for intake design, which is good, considering this is a common situation faced by enthusiasts. By testing many different designs in this manner, you'll be able to find the best-possible intake (for your needs) without having to buy one. Once you've determined what is best for your application, you can purchase the best intake for your car. The money saved by virtual testing in this manner pays for the program many times over, especially if you love digging for every possible pony like we do.

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Both carburetion and fuel injection are equally weighted on the DynoSim program, because regardless of your induction system, the computer assumes it's perfectly tuned and fully capable of feeding fuel at the specified cfm rating.

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Likewise, your exhaust system can be accurately duplicated, as well. The pull-down menus cover everything from stock manifolds and factory tailpipes, to open headers, and just about everything in between.

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The DynoSim "Cam Manager" keeps you up to date on every possible variable camshaft dimension, and as you work with the program it serves to educate you on the various design differences between camshafts, and how they correlate to power production. We like this program, because it not only helps you find exactly how much power you have (or could have), but it also teaches users how various alterations affect the bottom line of power production.

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In a similar vein, the Pro Tools features accessible through the camshaft screen show more information and data than most will ever use. Seeing such underutilized figures as piston speed and force, along with rpm-based induction airflow numbers, can only help curious engine builders design better powerplants. We expect many builders will use this program to maximize entries in Popular Hot Rodding's Engine Masters Challenge competition.

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Manifold pressure and volumetric efficiency graphs accompany every dyno pull in the simulator, and allow the user to see how efficiently their designs are working. Naturally, continual efforts working with the simulator can provide more efficient overall performance, resulting in a broader power curve and higher peaks. By designing an engine (virtually) before building one, the results should be better, once the powerplant is living underhood.

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The "Pro Iterator" works like the cam iterator, and tests hundreds of combinations to help you reach your goal. If you're planning a new build or simply wanting to maximize what you've already got, the DynoSim is an eye-opening exercise. When you allow the program to work for you, the results are at least inspirational, and at best an optimal way to design the most-perfect engine for your specific application. It's both fun and functional, which makes it a worthy investment.

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Once the iterators are done finding your optimum specifications, the DynoSim program will share exactly how much more power it was able to find for you. Power and efficiency are represented in many different forms (like the 3D charts and graphs shown). This unique engine modeling software is available now, and Pro Racing Sim has also developed both drag racing and road racing programs to accompany it.


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