When it comes to building an engine, the first thing every enthusiast thinks about is horsepower. I get it, I’m the same way. The more power, the better. But when was the last time you seriously considered your engine’s harmonic damper? It’s a common part found on all engines, and according to Fluidampr, should be more than an afterthought.
A harmonic damper (or harmonic balancer, as they are often called). Is found at the front of the engine attached to the snout of the crankshaft. These simple, round harmonic-vibration reducers are used to quell the harmonics of the crankshaft when the engine is running. While we would all like to think a balanced rotating assembly spins smoothly during operation, unfortunately, that’s never the case.
As the engine is spinning, and when a cylinder fires, the connecting rod exerts an enormous amount of force (slams) against the crankshaft. This shocking jolt makes the crankshaft twist while it is spinning. After every crankshaft-twisting jolt in one direction, there’s a rebound as the crank “bounces” back. This twist/rebound cycle is known as torsional vibration. If it is not controlled, it will result in rapid bearing and crankshaft journal wear. This can eventually even lead to a broken crankshaft. A harmonic damper’s function is to control that destructive torsional vibration. However, not all dampers are created equal.
In a previous interview, Nick Orefice of Fluidampr had this to say, “high-performance balancers are necessary to prolong the life of your engine. You need a damper that will perform as it should in the most extreme conditions that stock dampers cannot do. Constantly changing and tuning race engines is what keeps teams competitive. With every change made, the harmonics of the engine change with it. A Fluidampr performance damper removes the guesswork. It is engineered to protect against a wide band of frequencies throughout the entire RPM range. That means you can modify the engine and not worry if your harmonic balancer is properly tuned.”
In the aforementioned previous article, we had readers ask Fluidampr any question they wanted, and you might be surprised at some of the answers. You can read that article by clicking here.
A Fluidampr is designed to provide maximum control of all engine-harmonic vibrations, regardless of the RPM at which they occur. This translates to maximum protection of the crankshaft, main bearings, and related engine components. What’s more, quelling harmonic vibrations can lead to more consistent power output. Also, Fluidampr is maintenance- and repair-free, and is effective when used on both race and street engines.
While stock dampers are very effective when used on a stock rotating assembly, under stock conditions, make any performance changes and not upgrade the damper, and you’re asking for failure.
If you are planning any performance upgrades to your current mill or building a new one, considering the inclusion of a Fluidampr harmonic damper could be the difference in whether your engine lives a long and healthy life or ends up in pieces under the workbench.