engine dyno

Taking the time to prepare for your chassis dyno test can save you frustration and money. You don’t want to have to cut-short your session over a $20 part or, a water pump you knew was ready to fail.

Engine Break-in

Before a new-build is set up on the engine dyno, it goes through a series of procedures to prepare it for break-in. Break in is the most critical time in the engine’s life, so we take great care to ensure it is done correctly. To protect your engine during this process, we’ll continually monitor your engine temperature, oil pressure, exhaust gas temperature, and air-fuel ratio.

engine dyno Break-in

1. Transportation

Before transporting the engine to our shop, fill the cooling system. Read the Prepare the engine for transportation section in this post for further direction.

2. Inspection

We will install your engine on the dyno and inspect the headers, alternator, water pump, etc, to ensure that they have not come loose during transportation,  and to check for any leaks.

3. Lubricant

Next, we fill the engine with a break-in oil. We strongly recommend Joe Gibbs BR30 Break-In Oil. Bring enough oil for the initial fill-up and one change (don’t forget filters). If you prefer that we supply the oil ($12.99/L), please notify us in advance.

Once the break-in oil is added, we prime until the oil reaches the level of the rocker arms.

4. Starting the Engine

We’ll remove the spark plugs, disable the fuel system and crank the engine until the oil pressure is up and the carb is primed. We then reinstall the plugs and enable the fuel system.

Next, we dial-in to the true timing mark while slightly retarding it to avoid any potential for knock.

5. Warm-up

We’ll inspect for oil and coolant leaks throughout the entire warm-up process. If any leaks are found, we’ll stop and address them before continuing with the warm-up.

If the engine is fitted with new flat tappet hydraulic cams, we run the engine between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm, with no load, for 30 minutes to ensure proper cam lobe break-in. If new camshafts have not been fitted or if the engine is fitted with roller cams we’ll instead run the engine at high-idle until the cooling fan cycles on.

6. Seating the Rings

With the dyno simulating normal driving conditions on a flat road, we accelerate, at light throttle, to 4,500 rpm with an immediate transition to full engine breaking and allow the engine rpm to return to 2,000. We repeat this procedure/process? Ten times.

Next, we follow the same procedure for 10-15 cycles but run the engine up to 5,500 rpm.

For the last break-in pulls, starting with light throttle, we’ll progress to five WOT cycles, allowing the internal engine temperature to stabilize between cycles.

7. Finishing

We change the oil filter and drain and refill the engine with more break-in oil.

The final step in the procedure is to adjust the valve lash.

8. Tuning

Break-in is now complete. The engine is ready for tuning and the installation and testing of performance parts if desired.

During the tuning pulls we’ll run the engine hard to produce the pressure required to further seat the piston rings and to ensure uniform wear.

After the final pull, we’ll change the oil and filter again and prepare your engine for transportation.


Even if you plan to run synthetic oil, we recommend that engines run on a regular mineral engine oil for the first 6,000+ kilometres before replacing with synthetic oil. Otherwise, the rings may not seat properly. So, in addition to the break-in oil, you’ill also need to bring a regular mineral engine oil and filter for the 3rd (final) change.

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  Marc Chartrand


Watch as we tune this Bronco almost to double the power of its initial baseline, producing an incredible 507.96 ft-lbs. of Tq and 423.24 HP at the wheels! On a snowy February day, Jayson Ziemba travelled all the way from Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, in his 2022 Bronco 2.7L twin turbo Badlands SAS Edition. Jason had found links to our two previous Bronco videos and, after several phone calls with us, decided to trust us with putting his highly modded ride on our chassis dyno for tuning.