Testing and torture in Dyno Cell C8.

When a new SRT engine is born -- when digital drawings are finally rendered in metal -- its first stop is Dyno Cell C8.
Posted on Oct 04, 2011

Big power is prerequisite in the high-performance world. SRT pairs robust materials with sophisticated engine management software to extract maximum power from each engine. Proven transmissions reliably transfer power to pavement keeping competitors where they belong – in the rearview mirror.

When a new SRT engine is born -- when digital drawings are finally rendered in metal -- its first stop is Dyno Cell C8. Two Viper engines and the modern 6.1-liter HEMI were honed here. The new 6.4-liter HEMI V8 is the latest SRT engine to undergo calibration, mapping and torture testing in this hallowed room.

“We get these engines in, and they don’t want to do a single thing. They won’t run,” says Marty Jagoda, who leads SRT’s powertrain calibration team. “The first thing we do is map airflow. We map spark. We map cam. We do what we call a ‘big grid’ -- that’s just a big grid of RPM over load. We run every single point, and we regress that data into a calibration.”

The engine control unit’s calibration map ensures maximum power and efficiency over all foreseeable operating conditions. To create an accurate and comprehensive calibration map, Marty uses a highly sensitive AC engine dynamometer that can simulate almost any engine load, ambient air temperature or humidity level. With the help of this “dyno”, Marty’s team is able to transform a first-draft “beta” engine into a smooth, precise and powerful machine.

“It’s easier to control every operating condition right here versus in a vehicle in the real world,” Marty says. “Even if you had a chassis dyno, there’s no way that you could hit every point that you have to as easily as you can here. We can replicate almost any drive situation that you could want here in this dyno cell. We set ramp times. We can simulate gearshifts by changing RPM very quickly. There’s really not anything that we can’t do here. It’s a one-stop shop.”

In Dyno Cell C8, new engines are subjected to thousands of hours of testing to exceed the toughest real-world load conditions. A typical torture test, called a “durability schedule”, consists of a continuous 500-hour run on the dyno at either wide-open throttle or peak torque. SRT engines are also subjected to a simulated racetrack test to prove the engine’s durability at speed.

“I’m not sure anybody on the street is ever going to do what we do on an engine here,” Marty says.

All official SAE horsepower ratings for the new 6.4-liter HEMI are derived from tests conducted in Dyno Cell C8. However, the dyno itself is physically limited to handling engines at 12000 rpm or 460 horsepower -- which means the new engine is pushing the limits of the testing system itself.

“If there was a next-generation engine in process, then we’d probably have to upgrade the dyno,” Marty says. “But you guys know the protocol. If there was a future product, you know I couldn’t talk about it.”


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