Testing on the dyno with REPerformance

With the Ramair Advanced Development crew working on lots of exciting new projects, we needed somewhere to test prototypes. We already have our own flow bench, which is where we compare the airflow of our performance air filters with that of a stock air box, but we also wanted somewhere that we could measure potential power gains.

So when our friends at REPerformance told us they were building a new, state of art dyno cell, we were very interested. The cell has taken them six months to complete, but the wait has been more than worth it. Based around a high-quality four-wheel drive Maha MRS500 dynamometer, REPerformance’s cell really does look fantastic.

Crisp white walls contrast with a polished grey floor and everything has been acoustically designed for minimal noise outside the cell. In the ceiling, recessed LED lights can be adjusted according to mood and there’s a huge 75-inch TV to display the vital stats – for the operator to look at from inside the vehicle – and for customers to view from behind the viewing window.

Cooling is a critical factor in any dyno cell, which is why REPerformance has taken the subject of airflow very seriously – something we can really to relate to! A powerful fan forces air directly into the engine, while at the rear of the cell, three large vents funnel exhaust gasses up through a highly efficient ventilation chamber. Air is also sucked in from a vent at the front of the cell, with a separate air chamber that’s sealed during dyno runs.

The dyno cell has only been operational for a week or so and we were keen to be one of the first companies to utilise it. So we booked in three of our vehicles for power runs – our BMW 335i development car, the single-turbo 600+bhp 135i track weapon and our SEAT Leon Eurocup race car.

First up was the 335i. This belongs to Dave from R.A.D and is running a map to produce around 400bhp. We’ve developed two different air filters for the 3.0-litre turbo engine – a pair of Ramair foam units and PRORAM pleated items. We’d already found that both filters delivered a significant increase in airflow over the stock air box, but we wanted to see if they made any additional power and torque.

Following a series of dyno runs, the results were in and we were all very impressed. Both sets of performance filters delivered significant gains – one by almost 20bhp! More on that in a separate blog post, soon.

With the results in the bag, we put the 135i on the rollers. With a large single turbo and supporting upgrades (developed and installed by DaveFab – aka Ramair Advanced Development), this road-legal track car should be punching way over 600bhp. However, after the first dyno run, it soon became clear that all was not well. The car was holding back and appeared to be producing almost half the expected power.

Following a detailed diagnostic check by REPerformance, the issue was found to be fuel pump related. The car is due to head out on track again soon, so having this flagged up on the dyno has been very helpful indeed. So, no big power results this time – but the beastly BM will be back!

Next up was our SEAT race car.  This Leon Eurocup was used on the occasions when the Golf TCR wasn’t available last season, so had a relatively easy year. With plans to race it more this year, Ramair’s Jamie Sturges (the man who won the Aston Martin championship – in a Golf!) wanted to increase the power in order to give him a fighting chance against some of the more powerful cars in the field. The first stage is to get a base figure before fitting a new hybrid turbo. One thing’s for sure – this wide-arched racer looked and sounded incredible on the dyno.

Look out for our next blog update with news of the power figures made with our Ramair and PRORAM air filters on the BMW 335i.

If you’re looking for a state of art dyno facility, then REPerformance in Swindon should be near the top of your list. They offer power runs, ECU mapping and diagnostics as well as a wide range of tuning services, focused on high-end performance cars and supercars.