ZR1 Runs Over Shop Tech On Dyno: A Lesson In Safety

Can we talk about safety around the dyno for a second? Far too often we see videos of people standing startlingly close to vehicles on the dyno. Sometimes even standing in front of the vehicle or leaning into the window as the car makes a pull. We know better than most that it’s pretty easy to get complacent around a dyno, since we have one in-house. But let this video serve as a reminder that they aren’t toys and things can go wrong at the most unlikely of times.

While the video isn’t what we would normally expect to be a hazard of running a dyno — you’re far more likely to be struck by parts if a car lets go, or be struck when one of the tie downs shifts or lets go — the principle is the same. When you’re around a dyno, you’re talking about a typically powerful vehicle, that weighs in excess of 1.5 tons, turning parts of itself at astounding speeds which create equally astounding g-forces.

With that said, this particular video is fortunate reminder that these things are no joke. The video comes to us from a Weapon X dyno day as a crowd has gathered to watch Chevrolet’s latest flagship, the ZR1, hit the rollers. The car sits on sticky Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that typically like to pick up pebbles due to their composition. This in and of itself can be dangerous on a dyno as the rocks can go flying at immense speeds.

The 8L90’s 1:1 gear ratio is Sixth gear. Combined with a tall rear end ratio of 2.41:1 —if dyno’d in Sixth gear — you are likely to see wheel speed in excess of 140 mph. At those speeds, even a pebble can become a deadly projectile.

Ironically, to ensure the crowd’s safety, Weapon X has a shop tech using a broom to brush the pebbles off the tires with a broom while the tires spin slowly on the dyno. The passenger side goes fine but as you watch him do the same on the driver’s side you can anticipate what’s about to happen. The broom eventually gets sucked between the drum and the ZR1’s massive rear tire. Instead of just letting go of the broom, the tech takes the ride the whole way through as the Corvette runs over his arm.

We’re not quite sure how it didn’t break anything and the tech appears to be alright as he is helped to his feet after the ordeal. However, we are absolutely sure that the incident had to have at the very least left a serious bruise. We’re glad the tech escapes with minor injuries as this could have been a lot different. Remember this next time you’re around a dyno.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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