Engine Dyno Simulators
For the PC
Wouldn't it be cool to simulate what kind of horsepower and torque gains you'll get from various
high performance engine parts before you put them on your vehicle? A variety of excellent
software packages exist to simulate engines, and this page attempts to anaylize those that are
currently available. All of the software packages listed below work on IBM compatible computers
capable of running Win95 (Refer to supplier listings below for more specific information).
Why Use an Engine Dyno Simulator?
Top Five Reasons:
- Camshaft specifications are too confusing! Just gimme the power curve.
- A real dyno test is too expensive or inaccessible.
- Find the best combination of speed parts before you spend the money (eliminate guesswork).
- Know exactly what kind of horsepower and torque you're gonna get once you rebuild your
- Highly accurate results at low cost.
When most people rebuild their engine, they either do it to fix a tired powerplant or improve on
their horsepower numbers. If improvements in horsepower and torque are sought, then it makes
perfect sense to buy an engine dyno simulator for your computer. Not only will you be able to
see what the heck all of those high performance camshaft specs can do to wake up your engine,
but you can also simulate the motor and tweak it BEFORE its built. This will definitely help
you get the most bang for your buck.
Listed below are a wide array of the companies that make engine dyno simulators for PC's.
Included are ratings on each known software package and information on where to get these
programs. If that isn't enough for you, check out http://www.auto-ware.com/. They
have three or four programs (Engine Shop, Engine Analyzer, Engine Analyzer
Pro and Dynomation) that
I have yet to review.
Desktop Dyno is probably the most well
known engine simulation software in the Hot Rodding world. It runs in MS-DOS
but can simulate almost any engine combination imaginable from one to twelve
cylinders. The benefit of having a program like Desktop Dyno is the sheer
number of pre-programmed input variables and the print capability, which allows you to
brag about the results you've simulated for your "real world" engine. This program
actually calcuates values for horsepower and torque by using thermodynamic engineering
formulas, which will ultimately lead to a better simulation when the numbers are
Images from Mr. Gasket
Desktop Dyno 2000 is the newest addition to the PC engine simulator market. Running under Win
95/98, this program interactively picks the best combination of parts and components to make the
most power automatically! New simulation models allow for a wider range of engine choices and
configurations. Pre-programmed parts include more intake manifolds and camshafts, while the
program also allows the user to analyze superchargers, nitrous and alternate fuels. Data and
graphical results can be printed for reference, and an array of 3D graphics enhances the screen
output of the program.
Kris' Review: DYNO 2000
Image from program screen capture.
(*****) Five Stars. This is by far the finest engine dyno simulator I have ever used. After
using this program to extensively model my LA-318 just after its most
recent rebuild I must say that it is the best, most economical choice for novice to pro.
What really made the program work so well for me was the ability to compare multiple camshafts
in the same engine. To do this, I got specs from the Melling MTD-1 cam (as installed) along
with two Mopar Performance cams, P4452757 and P4452759. Once the three simulations were created
and properly setup, the six power and torque curves from all three cams could be combined on a
single x-y plot (within the program) to evaluate which cam was the best compromise between
horsepower and torque. It turns out that I should have picked the MP 4452757 cam, because its
horsepower and torque curves were the best for the 0-5,000 rpm range as simulated.
|Kris' Cam Comparison Chart|
|Click here to view an Excel
spreadsheet representing the power and torque curves simulated for each camshaft
as described above. (I used Excel for Web clarity; the Dyno 2000 program
actually has very good graphing capabilities)|
|Data from Desktop Dyno 2000|
Dyno 2000 is actually programmed by the people at Motion Software. Along with this fine piece of
software, they also offer the original Desktop Dyno program (they call it Dyno Shop), a Briggs &
Stratton Raptor Engine Simulator and some great drag racing simulators. More Information:
535 West Lambert, Bldg. E
Brea, California 92821-3911
Ph: (714) 255-2931
Fax: (714) 255-7956
For more information on Desktop Dyno or Desktop Dyno 2000, contact Mr. Gasket Performance at:
The Mr. Gasket Performance Group
8700 Brookpark Rd.
Cleveland, Ohio 44129
HOT ROD Championship Drag Racing
Above: Kris' 318 Engine (rebuilt 5/99) Simulated in HOT ROD
Championship Drag Racing Player's Choice Edition
One of the nicest drag racing simulations available, HOT ROD Championship Drag Racing includes a
very good engine simulator. Two versions of the software exist, the Original and the Player's
Choice Edition. Both have simulators that are quite similair to the Desktop Dyno software
package in regards to input and output. Although the resultant graph of peak horsepower and
torque is very small (in size), the output seems to be very accurate. Unlike Desktop Dyno, the
simulator portion of the game doesn't provide printouts of the calculated data (however, screen
capture is possible--see above). Nonetheless, the true benefit of having this software is the
ability to test the engine built in a accurate drag racing environment. Each vehicle in the
program is just as configurable as the engine, with separate sections for suspension,
transmission, aerodynamics and tires. Unfortunately, there aren't any Dodge Trucks available as
car choices, but there are six Mopars (including the AMC AMX). Don't fret, though, because there
is a C#%vy pickup that could represent a Dodge Truck quite well both aerodynamically and
mechanically. For more information, visit the Bethesda
Softworks or Hot Rod Championship Drag
Racing Websites at http://www.bethsoft.com/ and http://www.bethsoft.com/hotrod/thegame.html.
More information:Bethesda Softworks
1370 Piccard Drive, Suite 120
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (301) 963-200
Note: Hot Rod Championship Drag Racing and the Player's Choice Edition were formerly
known as Burnout Championship Drag Racing.
Summit Racing's Engine Analyzer
Images from Summit Racing
The Summit Racing Engine Analyzer is available in three versions covering all levels of
engine analysis and simulation. All three versions allow the user to print out torque
and horsepower graphs along with the dyno results. The EZ version is the simplest
version, with 20 inputs and 27 outputs. The Standard Version 3.0 offers 65 inputs and
50 outputs. Finally, the Pro Version allows for over 100 inputs and outputs along with
a variety of graphing features. Also, data from any of the Summit Racing Engine
Analyzers can be entered into their Drag Racing Analyzer for real-world style race
simulation. These software packages are probably the most expensive of those listed
here, and it is unknown how accurate they are. These software items are listed in
the Summit Racing Catalog within the Tools section. More information:
Summit Racing Equipment
Akron, OH 44309-0909
Phone: 1-800-230-3030 or
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