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Technosquare ECU Dyno Tuning - Racer's Secret Weapon

Technosquare Dyno Tuning Day Torrance, CA | March 7, 2009

Jay Chen
Jul 1, 2009
Photographer: Henry De Kuyper

Everyone eventually gets to a point when making your car run right has gone far beyond the average mechanic. That's when we all need a real go-to shop to fix our automotive headaches-a place that can do race fab without the race budget. But if there's one truth in car tuning, finding a reputable shop you can trust is just as hard as building the car itself. Those who have found reliable shops often keep them closely guarded secrets to give them the edge over the competition.

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We found one such shop during its coming-out open house dyno day. Located in Torrance, California (the hub of Japanese import car culture for both tuners and OEMs), Technosquare, Inc. is just one such hidden treasure. We've always known the company as a top chassis fabricator that time attack veterans, Formula D drifters, Bonneville and rally nuts, and road racers rely on, but Technosquare's fortes extend far beyond that.

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Founded by the Watanabe brothers, Howard and Richey, who ground their teeth decades ago in rally racing old Toyota Corollas (SCCA rally champion '86-87,) Technosquare specializes in Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota performance platforms. In addition to race and street car chassis fabrication handled by Richey, Howard specializes in engine and powertrain building, while the third member, Tadashi Nagata, specializes in ECU tuning on their Superflow two-wheel-drive chassis dyno. Their list of motorsports involvement covers everything from time attack, professional drift, SCCA rally, to even factory-backed Baja 1000 trucks.

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For their inaugural open house (even though the company has already been in operation for eight years), the Technosquare staff put on a discounted dyno and ECU tuning special. In total, eight vehicles were either strapped to the dyno for three power pulls or custom-tuned with the Technosquare Technos ECU reflash system. The day's highest-powered pull went to Cale Walker's Nissan 350Z equipped with an HKS supercharger kit, which gained a healthy 56 whp (with no change in boost pressure) for a final peak output of 351 whp.

With the cacophony of dyno and engine noises in the background, the Technosquare team also showcased some top-ranked tuner cars like Steve Mitchell's 800-whp Unlimited class 350Z, Taka Aono's Drift Pro turbo AE86 and Cheston Chiu's almost USCC-winning Z33 which they had a big hand in building. Big-name industry drivers like Billy Johnson (Grand Am and time attack), Taka Aono (Formula D) and all-around tuning geeks like Mike Kojima were on hand to mingle and answer questions throughout the day as well as during the open Q&A session.

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Also on site were displays and representatives from close Technosquare affiliates like Stoptech brakes, Drift Speed and their DG-5 suspension, as well OS Giken. Technosquare also unveiled its largely unknown line of products for the Z and G like roll bars, brake ducting, race-ready aerodynamic components and its all-new 370Z demo/R&D car.

So if you're looking for serious race-quality fabrication, engine building and tuning performed by a team of well-seasoned professionals who are still in touch with the street, you can either wait till the next Technosquare Dyno Day, or just drop in and say hi to the guys. Chances are, you'll see some well-known cars and tuners secretly loafing about.

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By Jay Chen
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