Harmonic balancer choice. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Harmonic balancer choice.

In a previous thread I think we determined that changing my balancer will not affect the balance of the engine(internal balance 302) I am chaning to a Cloyes timing cover that says it MAY not work with the stock 8" balancer. What are you opinions on the aftermarket balancers, Fluiddamper, TCI, ATI, etc?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 10:42 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Fluiddamper, used for years, quality, nice balancers.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 11:39 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

I second the Fluidampr.

Keep an eye on ebay, I just bought a brand new in the box Fluidampr brand dampener for $130.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 08:04 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

I third Fluiddamper


I am running an internally balanced 383, and never even considered anything else.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 08:10 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

I personally only use ATI and many of the crank/rod manufacturers name them specifically to use. Never seen a Fluidamper fail but have heard of reasons to stay away from, but many have used them without issues. I like my ATI, and never have to rebuild!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 08:18 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Living in Northern Ontario were the Temperature Drops Below Freezing, I would never consider a Fluid Damper and have seen them fail in this climate. For the price I think, next to Romac Quality, BHJ makes about the Best Solid Damper which are SFI approved.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 03:59 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

I myself would chose Fluidamper, haven't seen any on diesel engines fail for they use the same design, silicone filled.

Years ago, ATI suggested the balancer be sent back every 10 years for replacement of elastometer in their balancer. Have they changed their policy?

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 07:21 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

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Originally Posted by Z15CAM View Post
Living in Northern Ontario were the Temperature Drops Below Freezing, I would never consider a Fluid Damper and have seen them fail in this climate. For the price I think, next to Romac Quality, BHJ makes about the Best Solid Damper which are SFI approved.
Just how do you mount a Balancer on a Sled Dog?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Thanks for the input. Any Ideas or solid data for the differing stock balancer diameters?
This engine was built with the 8" but there are at least two other balancer sizes.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 06:07 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

As long as the rotating assembly is neutral balanced, any size will work.
The timing tab is the deciding factor on diameter chosen, especially the ones welded onto the cover. Those bolted by the cover bolts can be substituted.
However, the tab can be removed and a new one to accommodate the larger h/bal can be done.

My choice, for the street, 8 inch & 6 3/4 inch, for track 6 1/4 inch.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 10, 07:18 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

I have a 8 fluid dampner on my 454 for years, no issues
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 10, 06:46 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

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Originally Posted by scblucam View Post
Thanks for the input. Any Ideas or solid data for the differing stock balancer diameters?
This engine was built with the 8" but there are at least two other balancer sizes.

I was advised to use 8" for a street and smaller that that for the Track by the Tech lines at Comp Cams, Summit, and my engine builder at Schmidt's Performance.
This 6 1/4 is what I already had, and am currently using. The Guy at the Machine shop thought it shouldn't be a problem since my engine is internally balanced. I am also running a Fidenza 10lb Aluminum flywheel.
I had to pep up the ol 383.

http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/perform...CATID=895.html

I bought the pointer with the Balancer,

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 10, 08:34 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Some of you guys know I work on big junk. Great big junk, for over 30 years and I've gone all over the world making the junk perform as advertized. And it all uses viscous fluid filled units from Siberia to Saudi. A massive flywheel on one end with a free floating weight on the other end to constrain torsionals between the 2 is the way the theory works as my feeble mind grasps the concept.

The drivers on My Junk are very similar to auto engines but there are differences in my junk and automotive that sometimes I have to learn the hard way. Normally this is constrained to stuff like "no Tim, do NOT make the bracket out of 1/2" steel plate". Which I did one time to get a PS pump back on something where a bracket got lost so I just grabbed the torch and made one out of 3/4 or 1/2" plate. Nobody liked it but me for some reason. Talk about calming down some belts.

I used to propound the fluid unit, but have learned that is one of the differences. I have theories as to why but nothing real. I theorize there is no massive weight at the rear. I theorize guys who have had fluid unit failures hadn't a clue as to maintainance(shoot the temperature of the shell, replace every 40,000 hours) and may have even possibly damaged their unit by prying or beating on it and unintentionally locking up the "free" inertia weight. The viscous fluid will reflect the amount of work it is doing in the temp of the shell, and believe it or not there are monster engines that have drilled passages to run cooling oil into the damper.

I reckon there's been problems with the viscous units or else there wouldn't be stories.

Beats me. Whatever.

I know I am not risking my junk though, even though I know viscous is good medicine.


I use ATI on good engines and Pioneer on stockerish stuff. Call ATI for a diameter recommendation and they will tell you it is based on cid. And they can use different shore hardness elastomers to make the smaller unit work for larger engines. I know this because I had a 7" unit and called them when I went from 412" to 421" and they said they could either install 70 shore orings in my small one or sell me an 8". I bought a new one even though it is a pita getting them fitted(ATI builds them with the ID on the small side) because I like having lots of extra junk.

Ron, in extreme cold you are supposed to let the damper shell reach x before loading. I am sorry I do not remember the definition of X. I do remember you risk destruction if you don't wait for it. I don't like waiting for it, I survived a wfew winters in the mountains of West Virginia and I know it gets colder where you are but -36 effing degrees is pretty cold and I can attest to a buttload of viscous units survivng that.

Ev, yup they still recommend 10 years. But viscous units on industrial engines are supposed to be heaved and replaced at overhaul(which very few actually do because they can cost $2000 on my junk). Some engine mfgrs also recommend periodic fluid replacement iirc.

If you run a viscous unit, shoot the shell temp after you make a hard run is what I would do. I would expect the temp to be at or slightly below engine water pump suction hose temp as the cold water temp is an indicator of the air temp that was hitting the face of the damper. The water temp will be above the air temp(this is called "approach" if you give a hoot about heat exchange terminolgy).

An engine with a good air cooled viscous damper that has been running at 100% load for several hundred hours will have a shell temp just slightly above ambient if the shell is NOT exposed to air that crossed a radiator. If it is an engine with a radiator(and I don't work on may of those) from memory it will be right at cold water temp or slightly below. Definitely never above engine hot water temp on the most heavily loaded engines I've ever seen. This again is a sizing deal where the mass of the inertia ring has to mate with whatever it is absorbing. And you have to remember that as the heavy fluid gets hotter it becomes less effective.

Hope this helps, and I am not recommending or dis-recommending anything OK? Just trying to pass on my hard won knowledge as I know it.

Tim Smith
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 10, 09:37 AM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Experience is the best teacher. Thank you, Tim for the insight.

Yes, I agree the h/bal weight/size is determined by CID.
265's are alot smaller than a 350's.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 10, 07:24 PM
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Re: Harmonic balancer choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Experience is the best teacher. Thank you, Tim for the insight.

Yes, I agree the h/bal weight/size is determined by CID.
265's are alot smaller than a 350's.
Very good defination from Tim. As for the 265 vs. 350 sizing, this is very true if you can remember that far back. Some 6 cly motors had barely a hub with pullies bolted on it.

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