If you work on cars and the type of work you do affects engine performance, than having a dynamometer on hand can be immensely helpful in detecting problems or evaluating the effectiveness of repairs. However, the cost of a standalone dynamometer setup is upwards of $50,000 or more depending on the manufacturer, model, and quality. If you don't have that kind of money, here are two alternatives that can help you obtain the benefits of a dyno machine without the large cash output.
Build Your Own
One way to lower the cost of a dynamometer to an affordable level is to build your own. This is a good option if you have a lot of spare parts around –or access to the parts you need at a decent price—some technical knowledge, and a lot of spare time. You can find do-it-yourself plans and drawings for dyno machines and associated accessories online that can help you construct exactly what you need.
In addition to saving money, going this route lets you customize the machine according to your needs. For instance, if you need a dyno that can be transported from one place to another, you can build it so that you can easily attach it to a towing line or place it in the bed of a truck to take wherever you have to go.
However, since you build it, you will be responsible for maintaining it. If it breaks down and you're unable to fix it, calling in a specialist to help you may cost a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars each time, depending on what the problem is.
Lease a Machine
An alternative option to buying a dynamometer is to lease one. There are some companies that will set up a dyno station in your facility. With this option, you won't have to worry about maintaining the equipment. The leasing company will either include maintenance in the contract or offer a maintenance service for an additional fee. Also, if you choose to stop fixing cars at a later date, you can simply return the machine to the company. There's no worrying about having to sell of dispose of a machine you no longer need.
However, the cost of leasing may outpace the cost of purchasing a machine after a certain amount of time. For instance, if the company is charging you $1,000 per month to lease a dynamometer, the cost of leasing will surpass the cost of a $50,000 machine after about 4 years. If you're planning on having the machine for longer than that, then you may want to consider buying one to save money.
Another option is to find a local company that will rent their dyno station to you for an hourly rate. The garage that is renting the station to you would be responsible for all the maintenance and repairs the machine needs. At the same time, you will need to transport the vehicle to their shop and sometimes the machine may not be available when you need it if it's being rented to other people.
If you really want to buy your own dynamometer but can't really afford to layout a large amount of cash up front, talk to a sales representative about available financing options that can help you leverage your good credit to get exactly what you need. For more ideas on getting a dyno machine at an affordable price, contact a company near you or visit http://www.pwrtst.com.