Horsepower BS Ends Here, No Alternative Truth

Episode 153

March 19, 2017

Horsepower is a precious and sometimes expensive sought-after commodity in motorsports, yet is often bandied about without regard for reality. Power is often exaggerated to intimidate a competitor or make your racer look better than it may be.

Viking Performance Tuning in Sebago Lake, Maine is in business to end the bull and allow street or race track car owners an accurate view of their actual horsepower. The company also offers one a chance to get their street or race car in an optimum state of tune.

When one looks at the outside of what appears to be an ordinary three bay garage is deceptive. Inside is a new, high technology eddy brake chassis dynamometer. Viking Performance Tuning photo

The inside of Viking Performance Tuning showing the rolls, rails, and in-ground pit. Viking Performance photo

I visited Viking Performance Tuning last fall and saw first-hand the work that owner Per Christopher Moberg has put into his new AWD dual eddy current chassis dynamometer. Since my visit Moberg has opened his doors with multiple pulls on his new machine.

Moberg is a software engineer who has worked on a variety of high-tech projects like the NFL lines of scrimmage, Major League Baseball’s strike zone screen, and PGA tee shot tracker. His love for engineering has transferred into motorsports. He has made a major contribution to autocross in Maine as the autocross chairman of the Cumberland Motor Club (CMC) which primarily host’s weekend events in the southern Maine area.

Recently the club has expanded their events to the abandoned Loring Air Force base in Limestone. That race has become one of the premier events in the northeast with wide open track and challenging high-speed maneuvers.

Many of Moberg’s customers are members of the CMC. The majority of the club members own sports cars like Subaru WRX, BRZ, Sports 2000, Focus RS, and even a Acura NSX.

These members desire to make their sports car run the best it can within the limitations of their class or their wallet.

Moberg had a two-bay garage with a one drum Dynocom 15000  which utilized his four-post lift. His reason for purchase a dyno was a result of tuning a carburetted car. He said, “Carburetor tuning was the thing that really motivated me for the dyno purchase. I had spent maybe $1000 within one particular year on the [Saab] Sonnet because when you are tuning carburetors you’re changing emulsion tubes, main jets, and air correction. It is a thing where typical pricing on a dyno is once you are strapped in, the clock is running. When you are changing all those things on a carburetor you are still paying dyno rates.”

Moberg decided that owning his own dyno would allow him to tune without the stress of hurrying to make changes as well as paying for time on someone else’s dyno.

After owning his small one drum dyno, he decided to purchase a two drum model with in-ground location. This type of dyno would require a precise pit made of carefully measured depths and side walls.

The Dynocom he selected had two rolls weighing 5000 pounds apiece with horsepower capabilities of 2700 horsepower per roller. These large rolls require precise mounting as well as machinery capable of handling such heavy units.

Moberg commented, “I decided it was going to be very cumbersome to do above ground. In advance of the dyno’s arrival I commissioned this other garage bay (which would be the third) to be built. It was something of a challenge for the concrete contractor. He was a seasoned contractor but not at building a pit.”

“I had very specific depth requirements. My biggest disappointment with the whole build was the pour. They had a really nice floor but with a measuring problem they had to come back.”

After shimming and locating one drum, with the help of a friend, Moberg precisely located the second drum and began the assembling of the remainder of the dyno. Much time was spent to ensure that everything lined up ensuring consistent operation.

“One critical thing about a dyno,” said Moberg, “is what attracted me to Dynocom was they had the best product and were selling it at a very good price. By good product one of the most important things is reproducibility. If you hold everything constant and you do one thing one run and you do another run you want those traces to be right on top of each other.”

Actual Pull  On Viking Performance Tuning Dyno

“Especially on low horsepower cars if there is variability on how the tool measures then you cannot tell if it was my tuning that changed or just variance in the tool. This is what I will often demonstrate to people.”

Porsche 914 on a pull at Moberg dyno in Standish, Maine. Viking Performance Tuning photo

“We will do a pull and let the car cool down. When we get the same intake air temperature let’s do another pill and they should look exactly the same.”

One story about the dyno build that surprised Moberg was a seemingly simple item like the floor anchors. “I specifically went with an 8-inch thick floor,” said Moberg. “I thought I could put in deep anchors. It is the lay mindset which comes from installing (floor) lifts at whichever inches the lift calls for.”

Hilti anchors at Viking Performance Tuning. The anchors were held in place with an epoxy mortar mix. HTF Motorsports photo

“I’m researching around and decide to use the best anchors I could. I found Hilti. I got on the phone to Hilti and talked with one of their engineers. She said, ’How deep is your floor? How close are the bolts? How close are each anchor?’”

The engineer said, “You need to set the anchors at only 2 ¾ inches deep.”

I replied, “I have 8 inch concrete floors.”

She said, “The problem is when you go too deep, it is called coning where the anchor pulls the bottom of the floor up because there is not enough lateral support left in the floor.”

Moberg followed her advice and epoxy mortared each anchor into place and has had no problems with the Hilti anchors.

Moberg’s dyno rates are typically based on three types of sessions:

  • Flat rate such as tuner days with groups. On group days with a good helper Moberg said he can put as many as three or four cars per hour.
  • Wholesale rates with tuner based on per hour basis. (rare according to Moberg)
  • Remote tune where an electronic connection is made with a tuner who may be in another state reading data and making recommendations remotely. This is done when local expertise may not be available.

For information on getting your car dyno tested Moberg can be contacted through his Facebook page Viking Performance Tuning.

Christopher Moberg with two of his racers, 1971 Saab Sonett III and shifter kart . HTF Motorsports photo

Moberg obviously is a Saab Sonett collector. These Saab cars behind his garage may never be restored, yet have found the resting place where they are appreciated. I never asked Moberg’s wife Beth what she thought of Chris’s collection. HTF Motorsports photo

Chris Moberg with his Saab Sonett III at Cumberland Motor Club autocross at Loring Air Force Base. HTF Motorsports photo

For more information about Moberg’s Sonett III refer to the Hemmings Magazine April 2006, “Beast of Sweden” by David LaChance. https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/hsx/2006/03/Beast-of-Sweden—Saab-Sonett-III/1282112.html

You will find Moberg at the Cumberland Motor Club autocross events this season. The schedule for 2017 can be found at www.cumberlandmotorclub.com. The first autocross of the year will be at Bill Dodge parking lot in Westbrook April 30.

For County folks the club will be holding their super autocross at Loring August 4-6, 2017.

County Kart Racer Prepares for Season By Racing Snowmobiles

Gage Theriault, Limestone spent his weekend racing snowmobiles at Hermon and Shin Pond to help prepare himself for a season of kart racing.  At the “Squeeze the Throttle” event in Hermon on Saturday Theriault used lapped traffic to help make the pass for first place and first place on the last lap.

Sunday’s races at Shin Pond featured an oval and Grand Prix course. Theriault won both races on his stock Arctic Cat 120.

Grand Prix podium finishers at Shin Pond, left to right 3rd place Brennen Greer, Clifton, winner Gage Theriault, Limestone, and second place Kaylee Rose, Turner. Theriault Racing photo

Eye Candy for Motorsports Aficionados

Shawn Martin and son Colby with their matching racers ready for 2017 season. Photo courtesy Shawn Martin Racing

Classic Novi  V8 Indy race engine on display at Ed Pink Racing Engine shop in Van Nuys, California. Photo courtesy Phillipe Danh

Porsche 917 flat 12 cylinder engine which dominated Can Am in early 1970’s as well as Le Mans. On display at Ed Pink Racing Engines, Van Nuys, California. Photo courtesy Phillipe Danh

USAC Silver Crown/Sprint car Toyota Racing Development (TRD) V8 on left and Ford four-cylinder midget race engine. Photo courtesy Phillipe Danh

12 Hours of Sebring Results

Having covered the 2017 24 Hours of Daytona in January, I was curious to see how the teams made out at the bumpy Sebring racecourse. Turns out that the overall winner remained the same in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class. Wayne Taylor Racing’s #10 Cadillac finished 13.614 seconds ahead of the #5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi, the finishing order as Daytona.

The Corvette Racing #3 won the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class for the third year in a row at Sebring. They finished 4.45 seconds ahead of the Daytona and 2016 LeMans winner #66 Chip Ganassi Ford.

Riley Technologies-Team AMG Mercedes GT3, featured in last week’s episode, took first place in the GT Daytona class. Their margin of victory over the second place Ferrari 488 GT3 was a little over one lap. Remember this was this first year for this union of Riley Technologies and Team AMG.

Less than one month to Resurrection Sunday. I am excited.

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing.