2017 Monster Factory Off-Road Challenge: Dynamometer Testing

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By Brian Wong

As part of the testing for our 2017 Monster Factory Off-Road Challenge, we put each of our six contenders on a mobile chassis dynamometer from a Tuscon-area dyno shop to record our test pickup trucks' peak horsepower and torque figures.

Impressively, both the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor and 2017 Nissan Titan Pro-4X half ton experienced the least amount of parasitic loss when calculating rear-wheel torque, losing only 2 and 4 percent, respectively, when compared to their factory numbers. And maybe even more impressive, the 2016 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro rear-wheel torque beat its factory rating of 401 pounds-feet, testing at 409. Regular PickupTrucks.com readers might remember this to be a very different dyno number than we had before with a similar pickup in our 2016 Texas Truck Showdown: Max Towing Challenge. In that contest, the dyno results for the V-8 Tundra TRD Pro were 289 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. As a partial note of explanation, for each of our Challenges, all the tests were conducted with the same equipment at the same time with the same experts at the controls for each truck.


Where the Raptor, with its twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engine performed the best, the truck that struggled the most was the 2017 Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X, with its turbo-diesel V-8 Cummins engine. It tested at a 31 percent loss when compared to factory horsepower numbers and experienced a 24 percent loss when comparing to its factory torque numbers.

The truck that seemed to give the controller from Turn4 Automotive the most problems was the half-ton Titan; he experimented in several gears before finding an accurate reading. But once we did get the Titan's numbers, it performed quite well. According to our readings, the smaller gas V-8s from the Tundra and Titan outperformed the larger V-8 Hemi in the 2017 Ram 2500 Power Wagon.

How We Conducted the Testing

We like to put all the pickups on the same dyno under the same conditions with the same tester to see how their engines compare to each other and against their factory power ratings. To do this, we enlisted the help of Turn4 Automotive, which uses a mobile dyno setup where the massive rear-wheel dyno is housed on a heavy-duty trailer frame instead of being mounted permanently in the ground at a shop.

We should note there was a fairly wide variance in the transmissions, axle ratios and tire sizes for each truck, so our controller had to do some experimenting to find the right gear and methods to get the best numbers. For example, the Raptor, with its segment-exclusive 10-speed transmission, did its runs in 6th gear while the Titan half ton and the Power Wagon, with seven-speed and six-speed transmissions respectively, were both tested in 3rd gear. We also should note each truck had its tires filled to factory specification before the test, and we put the same person behind the wheel for each test run while instructed by our Turn4 dyno expert.

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Overview | Track Testing | Off-Road Performance | Daily Driving | Dynamometer Testing Results

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears



It just tells me, you don't have the right tools to measure Torque and Power.

Measure at the axle. {that means take the wheels off}

Twisting force is twisting force. Some trucks just made a poor showing

Don't have the tools??? Why cause your big bad hemi can't out muscle a little ol v6. Fiat crap is garbage

These mobile dynos definitely aren't the best for measuring power, especially when the vehicles all have 6-10 speed automatics.

Mr Knowitall: Vehicles on chassis dynos typically run in their 1:1 gear. In this article it states the 6 speeds ran in 3rd gear while the 10 speed ran in 6th gear. Either way they aren't looking for rear wheel torque they are looking for Engine calculated torque. Even if these numbers are not correct the differences between the trucks are correct.

Some of these numbers are highly questionable. Toyota must be under rating the 5.7 by quite a lot if that # is accurate.

Josh, most of these trucks don't even have a 1:1 ratio. That used to be true where you'd turn the OD off or put it in high gear and run it, but not anymore. Now, you just get close

the hp #'s on most seem reasonable, maybe a bit high considering 2 other people have dynoed the raptor at ~335/380.., but the torque numbers are off.. before each dyno run with new vehicle you should calibrate the dyno by doing a speedo test. its almost as if the raptor and trd is making the dyno think it has smaller wheels than it actually does

This test is old, but some will still read this. Gear selection when running a truck like you see here isn't about just picking a 1:1 ratio and running it. Most of these trucks have a speed limiter just below 100mph or just over which means you pick the highest gear that will allow you to run it out without hitting the speed limiter.

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