It might seem pretty simple: you pull your car onto the dyno and you strap it down. But how many times have you seen a video spread all over social media where a high-powered car or truck jumped the rollers, or something happened that caused a lot of damage and danger to those nearby?Dynojet Research wants you to know that there’s a lot more to strapping down a vehicle on a chassis dynamometer than just a couple of tie-downs. It all starts with the proper tools, and the first thing to arm yourself with is the fact that you can never be too safe when loading a vehicle to the dyno.
For starters, assuming you’re loading a rear-wheel drive vehicle like the car in the video above, you will need four vehicle tie-downs for the rear, and two vehicle tie-downs for the front. A set of axle straps are for securing the tie-downs around the rear axle and the front control arms. A set of four wheel chocks are also used to block the stationary wheels.
There are dynamometers for both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles, with the two-wheel chassis dyno used for both rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive. With a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the first step is to drive the vehicle onto the rollers with the dyno brake engaged. Dynojet Research suggests that you pull onto the rollers so that the drive wheels are at the top of the roller, not to the front or rear of the roller.
With the vehicle in place, set the parking brake and be sure the car is in park (automatic) or first gear (manual). With the stationary (front) wheels chocked, the tie-downs in the rear are the first to secure the vehicle. The axle straps have two eyelets that the tie-down will hook onto, and the first two tie-downs are secured to a solid anchor point in the concrete floor for an in-ground dyno, or anchor points for an above ground dyno.
Top: When loading the vehicle, set the dyno brake and chock the stationary wheels. Bottom: Setting the wheels up to the front or rear of the rollers (left) is not recommended, they should be perpendicular to the center of the roller, at the top (right).
The next two tie-downs are crossed to help secure lateral load forces coming from the vehicle when it makes a pull, and are attached in a similar manner. The final two tie-downs should never be assumed or taken for granted, as they are very much as important as those in the rear. The front tie-downs help to keep the car stable at the start and end of a pull, and keep it from rolling back off the top of the rollers.
Additionally, when running a vehicle on a dyno, after a pull you should never hit the brakes, and simply let the vehicle idle down until it stops. Severe damage to the vehicle and the dyno can result if you try to stop the wheels from turning. Remember: the dyno works as a load test to the wheels, and that’s how wheel horsepower (WHP) is measured.
Once you've secured the tie-downs, start the car and put it in gear to make sure it's aligned on the rollers, then double-check the tie-downs once more ... then make your pulls.
If you have any questions or want information as to where you can purchase the proper tie-downs and other accessories for securing your vehicle on a dynamometer, reach out to Dynojet Research at the number below, or through its website.