Dyno Day Resumes After Covid-fueled Break

This Nissan sports model sits with its hood popped so everyone can get a close look at its engine. Students of the Automotives Technology program were able to hook cars that came to the event to a jack to look underneath. The owners of these cars were more than happy to let students learn.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many yearly events were canceled or otherwise changed. One of these was Dyno Days which has been an event put on by the Automotives Technology and Heavy Equipment and Diesel Technology programs at the Advanced Transportation Technology Center in Lebanon, however it is back this year. 

The purpose of the two-day long event is to feature the projects CTE students have worked on throughout the year, to show prospective students what is offered, and to show off the two Dynamometer instruments in their possession. 

The purpose of the Chassis-Dynamometer is to test the torque and horsepower of a vehicle. It’s also known as a “rolling road” because it’s built like a treadmill. When hooked up to these instruments, vehicles can sometimes be run for upwards of 24 hours at 100 mph! The reason for this is so that manufacturers can thoroughly test how the chassis and engine holds up under pressure.

Families and friends of the program’s students, as well as alumni and car engineers and service technicians, were invited. Because the event was also held as a show, owners of vintage cars and more expensive, less common cars, also were welcomed. 

One of the rare cars that appeared was a 2009 black Mercedes-Benz model. The owner, George Larson, collects cars. He said he has eight other cars, besides the Benz, and attends car shows around the city. Every show he attends with a car, he brings a book which has details about the car itself. This specific model is that it weighs about 3100-3600 pounds, and is one of only 230 cars of its kind in the United States. Larson said he got the car for half off its original price, which he explains is a bit of a spectacle as these cars are so rare.

Along with the cars, there were also activities like an interactive simulation for race car driving. Student and Instructional assistant, Josh Brunader, ran this simulation as well as showing visitors what the Automotives Technology program will teach students.

These include special tools that are used on electric cars, coated with rubber to protect students from electrocution, as well as thick leather-rubber gloves to have some extra protection. 

Brunader said “the program is here to teach students all the information they need to be successful and efficient in their jobs. Engineers and manufacturers are changing the way cars are being made and run so we need to have the tools and technology to keep up with it.” 

He also said that he will be graduating in the summer and has plans to work with Tesla. Brunader wants to work for them because they are changing the way cars are being made and they will give him the experience as a technician he wants. He said after a few years though, that he might come back to work as an instructor.

Next to some of the cars in the Automotive Technology’s lab is a Toyota Corolla owned by Master Technician at the Subaru Dealership in Corvallis, Josh Arnole. He has been working there for the last five years. 

Arnole came to the event because he wants to give back to the community; He was once an Automotive Tech student (not at LB,) and understands what it’s like.

His table sat next to his car where the hood was up for people to get a look at its engine. He had a high-power code reader hooked up to the engine and it scanned the codes of the circuits to his computer. 

He explained that this is how service technicians can decipher which issues are happening where in the car. He also had printouts of the types of circuits and explained a bit of how they worked. There were simpler ones, like for the horn, that only had a few modes of communication and then the more complicated ones like for the overheating alarm, which had multiple modes of communication to where the circuit was connected.

Arnole also collects cars, and likes to buy project cars. He said that when he has some extra money, he looks for and purchases cars with issues that he is less familiar with so he can work on them and get better at it. 

The Corolla he brought to the show was purchased from a customer who didn’t want to spend the time and money it’d take to repair its issues. He has two other cars he’s currently working on. Arnole says that he thinks it should be a requirement for every service technician to have at least one extra car to work on.
If the Heavy Equipment and Diesel Technology and Automotive Technology programs interest you, be sure to look into registering for it. If you want more background about both programs, be sure to check out this informational article on page two of The Commuters March 2, 2022 edition.

Photos by Avery Leon-Castillo.