Racers have been hiring experienced tuners to help with their programs for decades, and that usually required the tuner to be at the track. EFI’s growth in popularity has led to an expansion in what an ECU can do, and this includes the addition of remote tuning possibilities. FuelTech’s remote tuning option is great to use, and we’re going to show you why tuning a race car like Project Number Cruncher on a hub dyno is a smart move.
Remote tuning isn’t a new concept at all — tuners have been using various applications to gain control of a client’s computer to access tuning software for many years. While this process does work, it can be cumbersome, and if the control software encounters any issues, it can impact the tuner’s ability to work with the tuning software.
FuelTech’s Remote Tuning Capabilities.
FuelTech has taken the art of remote tuning to a new level with its built-in remote tuning option. Luis De Leon from FuelTech explains why the company decided to include the remote tuning functionality in its software and ECUs.
“It seemed natural to have such a feature built into the software instead of requiring third-party software on a customer’s computer. It streamlines the process of a connection to a vehicle that requires remote tuning. This means a tuner doesn’t need to e-mail tune files and ask a racer what happened during a run. The tuner can see real-time what’s going on and access the tune, along with the data log to make live changes from across the globe through a secure connection.”
The process of using the internet remote tuning functions in the FTManger software is easy and only takes a few clicks.
There’s a tab on the main page of the software that allows you to access the internet remote tuning option. From that tab, if you’re having a tuner access your computer, all you need to do is click the ‘allow remote tuner’ button. This will generate a code you provide to your tuner so they can gain access to your computer and ECU. A tuner can also use this same tab to enter the access code and begin working within a customer’s ECU and computer.
“All the remote tuning features are easy to access. You can manipulate everything in real-time, transfer files, or even block the screen for some privacy, if needed. The whole process of remote tuning is pretty much the same as if you were tuning on-site, you’re just missing the vehicle in front of you,” De Leon says.
Project Number Cruncher’s first trip to the track didn’t produce the results we were looking for and you can see how that went right here. To address the issues we ran into, a set of header extensions were fabricated and the decision was made to use the remote tuning functions of the FuelTech 550 so De Leon could get our ride dialed in better. We took Project Number Cruncher to Kontras Performance, where Bryan Mundy of MundyTuned worked with De Leon to tune our Firebird on a hub dyno.
Now, Project Number Cruncher’s 427 LS engine did receive an initial tune on the engine dyno at SAM Tech. That session ended with a stout 789 horsepower being produced, but an engine dyno tuneup is very different than what’s required to make passes at the track.
Before any tuning pulls were made, De Leon used the remote tuning functions of the FuelTech software to take a look at the base tune so he could see what he was working with. From there, De Leon made several adjustments to the fuel and timing maps to get them closer to what the engine would need so it would run better after being installed in the car. De Leon had Mundy make a couple of quick baseline pulls to see how the engine reacted under a load after his initial changes and then made some additional adjustments.
After reviewing the data, De Leon made some final adjustments to the tune that lead to the engine generating just over 616 horsepower through the loose FTI torque converter and powerglide transmission. Most importantly, the engine’s vitals were very healthy and De Leon was confident Project Number Cruncher was ready for full runs at the track.
Using FuelTech’s Remote Tuning Option On A Hub Dyno
Taking a freshly-built race car to the track can be equal parts exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Trying to get the car tuned and running can be a difficult process to complete at the track, that’s where a hub dyno can really shine. The hub dyno allows you to remove so many variables from the tuning process and makes accurately dialing the car in much easier. A hub dyno is different than a chassis dyno that uses rollers. Instead of strapping the car down, you attach the drive wheels to the dyno pods.
Mundy provides some examples of the advantages a hub dyno provides when it comes to tuning a race car.
“The hub dyno adds safety…there’s no drive tires that can fail, no wheel weights that could fly off, or anything like that. You have a high level of repeatability since the hub dyno uses a ramp rate/sweep rate that can remain constant from pull to pull. This ensures that changes to boost, timing, fuel, etc. can directly equate to power gains, as every run is identical. The hub dyno can also handle more power, so you can dyno something that makes upwards of 7,000 horsepower if needed.”
De Leon adds his thoughts on why he likes to tune race cars on the in-house hub dyno at FuelTech’s headquarters in Georgia.
“Chassis dynos are great, but they can’t handle the amount of power a race car makes because of the lack of grip between the tires and a steel drum. Slicks also don’t like much pressure on them and can be dangerous on a chassis dyno. When you strap a car down to the chassis dyno it prevents the suspension from working. The hub dyno eliminates all of that…there’s infinite traction, no tire danger, and the chassis and suspension can work somewhat close to what they would do at the track. It’s pretty much track testing without the hassle of the track, weather, or lack of traction.”
When you’re tuning a race car you really need to have consistent conditions. This is the strong suit of the hub dyno and that’s what makes it a perfect fit for remote tuning.
“The accurate, steady-state tuning ability of a hub dyno makes it perfect for remote tuning high horsepower vehicles. The hub dyno allows you to hold the engine at a ‘steady state’ and perform safe, reliable, and repeatable load cell testing and logging. This feature allows your remote tuner to comprehensively see, log, and adjust specific rows and columns of data, like fuel or timing. Imagine attempting to hold a 1,500-plus horsepower car at a steady state on a roller or at the track; it’s really not possible. A hub dyno changes that and you can remote tune the vehicle with software like FuelTech offers,” Mundy says.
You’ll want to check out the full video in this article from our YouTube page where Mundy goes into more detail about hub dynos and how they’re used. Make sure to follow Project Number Cruncher’s progress right here on Dragzine as we make more trips to the track.
Special thanks to SAM Tech, Dart, K1 Technologies, Wiseco Pistons, MAHLE Motorsport, ARP, Summit Racing Equipment, Total Seal Piston Rings, Melling, Moroso, COMP Cams, Manley, PAC Springs, Trend, T&D Machine Products, Wilson Manifolds, FuelTech, Fuel Injector Clinic, MSD, FTI, American Racing Headers, Holley, Strange Engineering, Meziere Enterprises, ATI Performance Products, Boninfante, Palko Motor Sports, Kontras Performance, and MundyTuned.