No Smoke No Poke

MEET: TDOC Diesel Dyno Day at RS Tuning, Leeds

31st May 2013 | BY Adam

Turbo Diesel Owners Club Dyno Day (6)

A beautiful sunny dawn broke to the sound of birds chirping, a gentle breeze rustled the leaves on the trees and the NSNP Leon’s PD engine spoiled it all as it chugged it’s way out and on the the street. Our destination was RS Tuning in Leeds where we were attending the TDOC diesel dyno day. After a traffic free 2 hour blast up the M1 we made it to Leeds with enough time time to spare that we had the Leon cleaned before the 9am kick off.

Amongst the first to arrive, Tom and I quickly got chatting to James and Chris from TDOC and after poking fun at them for both turning up in petrols, we were introduced to the others. It was good to connect with people who we’d been conversing with on our Facebook page for some time and as more cars rolled up the group got bigger and our attention turned to the task in hand, dyno runs.

First on the rollers was Carl’s A4 S-line 2.7TDI which we’d not even realised was a diesel when it pulled up thanks to the well balanced V6 and custom de-cat exhaust. As the bonnet was lifted we spotted a few sneaky extra pipes leading to the inlet, we were off to a good start…

As the techs strapped Carl’s A4 to the dyno we quizzed him on the set up, which turned out to be a hybrid turbo, NOS and water meth. We’d all had to write down our predicted power figures before the run and we saw Carl scribble down somewhere around 300bhp. As the rollers span up and the exhaust extractors worked over time we watched the line on the TV screen track it’s way across the graph to reveal a peak power of 270bhp.

We did wonder why with the addition of NOS and water meth, Carl hadn’t gone for a bigger turbo which would easily have seen over the 300bhp mark. The reason was simple, it was down to the ability to sell the car on once he was bored. As the car is now the potential new buyers market is very niche, let alone if he was to turn it in to a 300+ bhp big turbo monster. So for now this set up is doing him proud and we love how it sounds.

It’s a decision I’ve been wrestling with for a while now, especially as the NSNP Leon is modified further and further. But I’ve come to the decision that the old girl is here to stay and I’m going to get every last mile out of her, without worrying about the resale possibilities.

The next runner that caught our eye was Jamie’s murdered out big turbo (GTB2260vk) MK5 Golf TDI. After being given the run around with mapping by a couple of tuning companies, Jamie decided that he was going to take matters in to his own hands and learn to write maps himself.

The thought of plugging the Leon in to my laptop and messing around with the ECU makes me wince, but unperturbed by the possibility of bricking his ECU Jamie carried on and delivered some very impressive results.

The PD170 Golf TDI made 303.8bhp, 415lbft and whilst we didn’t get a ride out in it, the sight of TDOC Chris’s face when he came back from a passenger ride assured us that it’s no slouch on the road.

By lunch time the weather was glorious and everybody was outside in the car park as much as possible topping up on vitamin D. There was a steady stream of new people turning up as the day went on and during the afternoon a certain Caddy arrived.

To say Sam’s Cupra fronted Caddy has been at a few shows is an understatement, every weekend he’s at a show or meet around the country. In fact, he’d driven straight to the dyno day from the airport car park after just coming back off holiday - that’s commitment! I’ve seen the Caddy a number of times and was always under the impression it was running a 1.8T, so to find out it was a derv was a pleasant surprise. At present it’s on the stock turbo but has uprated nozzles, PD150 inlet and decat. The FMIC is yet to be plumbed in and there’s a remap on the cards soon too.

It’s still a work in progress (aren’t they all?!) but the side exit decat exhaust, FMIC, red leather Subaru interior and polished Mercedes alloys with custom PCD adapters from G23 engineering are a sign of things to come, so keep your eyes peeled for a full feature once Sam’s happy with it. Power wise the Caddy ran a 146bhp and just over 250lbft, up from the stock 90bhp.

It may surprise you that one of our favourite cars of the day was this 306 estate, which had been converted to run on vegetable oil. Needless to say, we smelled it before we saw it when we thought the local chip shop had opened for lunch.

What may surprise you more though is that this is potentially a 200bhp car…no really.

The 306 is running a diesel pump from a 2.5l Ford Transit and a Subaru TD04 13T turbo, right now it hasn’t been set up correctly and as such produces more soot than a coal miners’ cough. But with a bit of tweaking, TDOC James reckons it could match the power of his old 306 turbo diesel which featured much the same set up and made over 200bhp.

The sense of irony running through this car was hilarious, from the multi coloured dash, because owner Kyle didn’t know what colour he wanted to the “New 306” badge on the boot and enormous sideways facing exhaust aimed just perfectly at the pavement. To quote Ken Block, “Ain’t Care” was most definitely the sentiment with the build. We’d also be doing Mel (Kyle’s girlfriend) a huge injustice by not mentioning her, given that she’s played a massive part in helping with the car despite being 8 months pregnant!

After clearing the dyno cell of spectators with a smoke screen batman would be proud of, the 306 made 136bhp.

At last it was the NSNP Leon’s turn on the rollers and the first public run it’s had since the engine work done. I was hoping for no less than 220bhp and nervously wrote the figure down in the “expected power” column of the runners list.

I’m always apprehensive when my car is on a dyno and there was certainly the added pressure of a crowd, but the old girl did me proud and I watched the power graph climb and climb before coming to a peak at a lovely 220.5bhp with 380lbft torque - result! There’s some tweaking to be done with the map to smooth out the dip just after 2800rpm, but generally speaking she’s running spot on.

By half three we’d all had our turn and people began to head off back to their corners of the country. I’d like to say a big thank you to the guys at TDOC for arranging the day and to RS Tuning for keeping things running like clockwork and making sure the runs were done safely. We’re already planning our next NSNP meet up and are enjoying watching our diesel loving community grow month on month.

Until next time!

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