Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-3544

Deriving Wheel HP and Torque from Accelerometer Data 2000-01-3544

Enthusiasts, accident reconstructionists and racing personnel have always been interested in wheel torque and HP values for vehicles. Modifications to the engine and/or driveline cause factory data to be in error, and special racing engines have no such data available in any case. Engine dynamometers provide useful information, but require the engine to be removed from the car before any testing can occur. Of more interest, particularly in competition situations, is the effect of changes at the driving wheels.
We focus here on a simple method of deriving rim torque and HP values from accelerometer data. The data can be acquired using nearly any sufficiently accurate accelerometer package, and the calculations involved can be done by hand or with a spreadsheet program. Unknown vehicle characteristics can be extracted from coastdown tests. Use of a chassis dynamometer is not required.
We compare calculations and data obtained from a strictly stock, high performance passenger car and a modified passenger car. The modified vehicle rear wheel torque and HP readings were, in fact, verified through the use of a chassis dynamometer.


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