Not so long ago, engine building software was only available to highly paid engine developement teams in Formula 1, Indy car, Nascar and other professional racing series. With the inexpensive and very powerful computers now available to the general public, a wealth of engine building and other automotive software packages have come on the market.
If you are planning to build a performance engine for any type of racing, these programs can help you decide the types of parts to use without ever having to spend a penny for buying parts and testing them.
Or just have a blast designing your dream engine !!!
Engine Dyno simulation software is so good now that as long as you have the correct specifications of the parts you will use, you can determine the horsepower and torque output of you engine very, very accurately. A few years ago we built a Supercharged Big Block Chevy marine engine and used one of the dyno simulation programs to get an idea of the power output. Once we actually ran the engine on the Dyno, the power and torque curves were within a couple of percent of what the software predicted !!!!
Performance Trends is one of the oldest and best known companies supplying engine building software. There are many others.
Camshaft selection is one of the most critical decisions in planning an engine build, Most of the major camshaft manufacturers have programs available to help you choose a camshaft for you application. This software is remarkably accurate. Competition Cams even has their Camquest Cam Selection Software available to use on line !
If you own an automotive machine shop and are not using a shop management software package, you dont really know how much information you are missing. The AERA's Prosis PRO is a complete machine shop management program along with thier engine specification software.
There is software for carburetor selection, fuel injector selection, you name it, its available.
There is also software available for professional engine builders that allow them to keep track of all of the engines they build.
One big help to me in the shop has been crankshaft balancing software that makes it much easier to determine where to install heavy metal etc.
No matter what type of engine you are building, more than likely there will be some type of software to help you make the correct decisions before you start spending your hard earned money !
A lot of people do not realize that in order for any type of software to give accurate results, you must supply accurate information. As they say in the computer world "garbage in, garbage out"
An engine building software package cannot accurately predict horsepower if you do not tell it how the cylinder head flow, or which carburetor will be on the engine etc. The more accurate information that you can supply, the better the results are. Most of these programs offer some generic "guesses" at information such as specifying a "mild performance camshaft" and "mild performance cylinder heads" but will only give an estimate without complete camshaft and cylinder ehad specifications. Most of these numbers are easily available from the parts manufacturers so there is no excuse in not being able to accurately model the engine you want to build.