Inside Look at the Detailed Tuning Process of a Boosted S2000

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Repeated dyno runs with fine tuning in between allow this S2000 to make 556 rear-wheel horsepower.

The video above comes to us from the PFI Speed YouTube channel and it features the gradual process of squeezing more power out of a turbocharged Honda S2000. Over the course of the 21-minute video, tuning expert Brent Leivestad makes a half-dozen blasts on the dynamometer, with tuning adjustments and a minor mechanical fix along the way displayed on the large screen alongside the car.

Thanks to this big screen, we can watch Leivestad improve the output of this S2000 from 112 to 556 rear-wheel horsepower, with fine tuning on the later runs pulling about 50 extra horsepower out of the boosted Honda engine.

Turbo Honda S2000

First Pulls

The first run in this video is a gentle one, coming after Leivestad explaining how he brings the engine up to speed before really cranking into the throttle. The majority of the discussions are hard to hear due to the background noise in the shop, but if you really turn your speakers up, you can hear what the tuner has to say during the process.

Turbo S2000 Engine

On the first run, Leivestad is just getting a look at the basic figures of this boosted S2000, laying down a meager 112 horsepower at the rear wheels in a run that clearly doesn’t showcase the potential of this Japanese roadster.

After this first run, we get a look at the big screen next to the car, showing us exactly what Leivestad is seeing on the laptop that he is using to make tuning adjustments. Making adjustments to timing, fuel flow and other engine parameters allow the tuner to optimize the output after that initial soft pull and on the second run, this S2000 makes 299 rear-wheel horsepower with the boost cutting at 12 pounds.

Turbo S2000 Rear Low

At that point, the crew removed the manual boost controller and cleaned it out well with the hopes of getting more boost pressure, at which point the video really gets good.

Big Power Pulls

After cleaning out the manual boost controller, Leivestad makes the first good run of the video, making 499.11 horsepower at the rear wheels and on the next run, power climbs to 537 horsepower. That number was reached with 12.5 pounds of boost and with the injectors working at 101% of their duty cycle.

Turbo S2000 Rear High

At that point, everyone in the shop places a dollar bet as to the output on the next run with the boost turned up a little more. Guesses range from 545 to 562, but the engine is too hot and it “only” makes 527. However, after the engine was allowed proper time too cool down, some final tuning adjustments were made, the bets were tallied and the final run of the video was made.

Turbo S2000 High Front

On this final run, the PFI Speed-tuned Honda S2000 laid down 556.04 horsepower at the rear wheels and the video ends with a look at a short two-step fireworks show.

Crank up your speakers and enjoy!

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

Rall can be contacted at [email protected]

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