This homemade dyno project goes off the rails a bit.
Nearly a decade and a half after its inception, YouTube has found its true calling: videos of people doing dumb stuff to cars with their buddies. Cancel your streaming services; this is where it’s at.
Aiming to answer a question we’d honestly never even thought to ask, Novice Garage on YouTube bought a pair of secondhand treadmills and welded them together. The goal? To see if they could be used as a dyno.
Obviously, running the car on a pair of treadmills wouldn’t provide a horsepower or torque rating on its own. However, the Mazda Miata test subject is running a plug & play Megasquirt ECU, which has a dyno function built in. In this case, the treadmills would be functioning as the rolling road, while the Miata’s ECU would be taking care of the calculations.
That is, of course, assuming that the treadmills can withstand a couple of third gear pulls. Keep in mind, most treadmills top out somewhere between 10 and 12 miles per hour. What will happen? Will the treadmills break under the weight of the car? Will the belts shred?
Using wood blocks to level the treadmills, the Miata is backed over some Rhino Ramps to get it in position on the treadmill. Then, the Miata was ratchet-strapped to a tree. On the first attempt, the treadmills shifted, thankfully causing no damage or injuries. After bracing the treadmills in place with some old tires, the next few attempts went a little better.
However, in second gear, with speeds approaching 60 miles per hour, the electric motors began smoking. Not wanting to set fire to the very tree their Miata was strapped to, the Novice Garage gang shut down their experiment. It might have been the best idea they’d had all day.
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