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180 Zoar Valley Rd.

Springville, NY 14141
(716) 592-1000 |
Quality Protecton, Proven Performance
In todays economy, keeping your work truck
operatng at optmum efciency over the long haul
translates right to the botom line. One of the most
important overlooked parts on professional light duty
diesel truck engines is the crankshaf damper. While
it may seem disguised as the main drive pulley, its
true purpose is to prolong crankshaf life and reduce
wear of critcal internal components by reducing
harmful torsional vibraton caused by combuston.
As combuston forces contnue to increase in modern
diesel engines, so does the need to protect it for
reliability and durability.
The majority of light duty diesel trucks contnue to
come stock with an elastomer base crankshaf damper.
This cost-efectve approach uses a tuned rubber strip
bonded between a hub and outer inerta ring. When
a predetermined peak vibraton resonates the rubber
strip, it throws the inerta ring to counteract the
twistng/rebounding of the crankshaf. Performance
upgrades, heavy towing/hauling, age and weather
may all have adverse efects on an elastomer damper.
A stock elastomer damper is tuned to functon
within a narrow predetermined frequency range
under stock conditons. Performance parts that
increase torque, such as air kits, exhaust, injectors
and tuners and/or contnuously operatng in peak
powerbands during towing and hauling, may cause
the damper to overwork itself. As the damper works
harder, heat generated becomes trapped longer in
the rubber material and causes it to dry crack or heat
bulge. As the rubber in the damper breaks down
its ability to protect the engine diminishes with the
real possibility of catastrophic failure. Uncontrolled
torsional vibraton can accelerate the wear of main
bearings, tming components and even break the
crankshaf. A simple preventatve maintenance tp is
to routnely inspect an elastomer damper for cracked,
bulging or missing rubber. Some manufacturers even
recommend this in their Owners Manuals.
A more severe and unnotceable shortcoming is
when rotatng assembly parts such as the pistons,
rods, fywheel/fextpate or crankshaf are changed.
This will cause a change in the assemblys resonate
Industrial Grade Engine Protecton
For Your Diesel Work Truck.
MARCH 2013
Fig. 1. Viscous dampers feature a free rotatng inerta ring
enclosed in a housing. The inerta ring combats torsional
vibraton frequencies across the entre rpm range by
constantly shearing through a layer of viscous fuid. This
converts the energy into heat which rapidly dissipates through
the housing. The beneft is enhanced engine protecton,
performance and durability.
Inerta Ring
Viscous Fluid
frequency and may negate the
efectveness of the damper
during peak torsional vibraton
From over-the-road trucks to
heavy constructon equipment
and agriculture, the majority of
dependable high-power diesel
engines that move our economy
rely on a viscous damper. Viscous
dampers are the premium
choice over an elastomer style
because they feature broad
band frequency protecton,
rapid heat dissipaton and can
become more efectve as torque
increases to provide contnuous
long lastng engine protecton,
performance and durability.
Viscous damper technology
uses a free rotatng inerta ring
inside a sealed outer housing.
Between the two, an area
referred to as the shear gap is
flled with a heavy viscous fuid.
The outer housing rotates at
engine rpm, while the inner ring
absorbs varying frequencies
of vibraton throughout the
rpm range. As the inner ring
constantly atempts to catch up
to engine rpm the shearing acton
through the fuid transforms the
vibraton into heat which rapidly
dissipates through the housing.
Professional diesel motorsports
teams have long upgraded from
the stock elastomer damper to
a viscous damper. Fluidampr,
the ofcial damper of DIESEL
Motorsports, is a competton
quality viscous damper
engineered for popular light duty
diesel trucks, including all late-
model Power Stroke, Duramax
Fig. 2. Torsional vibraton analysis conducted on various Fluidampr Performance Diesel
dampers illustrates their efectveness to reduce destructve torsional vibraton over
stock. Dyno testng further shows that reduced vibraton improves overall engine
efciency and unleashes lost torque and horsepower. Not a bad side efect!
and Cummins engines. Fluidampr Performance Diesel
dampers are made in the USA and feature precision
cnc machined and computer balanced components,
a laser welded cover and are fnished in a corrosion
protectve black zinc chromate. The fuid within
the shear gap is a premium silicone approx. 45,000
tmes thicker than 30w oil. Silicone provides thermal
stability across extreme temperature ranges, high
shear strength and excellent heat dissipaton.
While you may not be putng your work truck
through the paces of professional diesel drag racing
or sled pulling, your engine can stll beneft from the
added protecton, performance and durability of
upgrading to a viscous damper, partcularly if power
modifcatons have been made. Even under stock
conditons, many daily diesel truck drivers report
smoother idle, less in-cab vibraton and reduced drive
line noise when upgrading to Fluidampr.
Next tme youre under the hood of your work truck,
check your stock damper. Fluidampr Performance
Diesel dampers are available through many quality
truck parts and accessories distributors.
Know Your Vibratons
Torsional Vibraton
End-to-end twistng and
rebounding moton of the
crankshaf generated from each
combuston event. Its efects
are controlled by the crankshaf
damper, or harmonic balancer.
Resonate Frequency
Every object has a frequency at
which it too will vibrate. When
torsional vibratons begin to
align with the resonate point
of the crankshaf, magnitude is
amplifed and the result can be a
broken crank. The concept is the
same as a glass shatering from a
high pitch note.
Rotatonal Vibraton
Rotatonal vibraton occurs when reciprocatng weights
between the piston/rod and crankshaf are not matched.
Correctng or fne-tuning this is referred to as engine balancing.
To accommodate for room inside the engine block, some OEMs
(Power Stroke and Duramax) incorporate a counterweight on
the crankshaf damper. Just because an engine is balanced,
does not eliminate the need for a crankshaf damper.
Fig. 2. Check your damper (lef). Signs of cracked, bulging or missing rubber are early signs that your stock elastomer crankshaf
damper may not be adequately protectng your engine from destructve torsional vibratons (middle). Performance upgrades,
heavy towing/hauling, age, weather and exposure to oil and solvents can undermine its efectveness. Viscous dampers, such as
Fluidampr Performance Diesel design (right), encase the inerta mass inside a sealed housing and use viscous silicone to achieve
superior torsional vibraton damping, durability and a much longer lifespan.
New Stock Crankshaf Damper Severely Worn Stock Crankshaf Damper Fluidampr viscous damper upgrade
About the Author
Brian LeBarron is a marketng representatve at Vibratech TVD, a global leader in the development and manufacturing of viscous
dampers from 5 to 56 for powertrain OEMs. Located in Springville, New York, Vibratech TVD is an ISO 9001:2008 design and
development certfed and quality systems certfed company. Fluidampr is a performance product of Vibratech TVD.