July '16

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OCTOBER 2015 PRECISION ENGINE 11 PRECISION ENGINE BRING ON THE MODS We now have a basic understanding of what torsional vibration is and how dif- ferent harmonic balancers work to control it. Let's bring on the mods and show why the upgrade is needed. What happens when you install com- ponents that increase torque? The added cylinder pressure also increases torsional vibration amplitudes. The stock elastomer harmonic balancer then works harder to control it. The extra heat generated within the harmonic bal- ancer by damping cannot be dissipated fast enough and the rubber fails. A simple check for cracked, missing or bulging rubber between the hub and inertia ring is a telltale sign to upgrade to a viscous damper. Age, elements and exposure to oils and solvents can also negatively affect the rubber. What happens when you change rotating assembly components, such as the pistons and flywheel? Then natural frequency changes. You shift where the most critical torsional vibration will occur. The stock elastomer harmonic balancer is no longer in tune to protect best where it needs to. The simplest approach again is to upgrade to a quality, broad-range viscous-type damper to ensure frequency range coverage. EDUCATION IS KEY Upgrading the harmonic balancer is an engine performance building block. You can lead your customers to understand its important role to protect the engine by establishing that there are different types of engine vibration: unbalanced, axial and torsional. Professional engine builders minimize these vibrations to ensure optimum dura- bility and performance. In addition to a harmonic balancer upgrade, you may even upsell rotating assembly bal- ancing jobs and quality thrust bearings in the process. Most importantly taking the time to do so demonstrates to your customers that you care about quality and the long-term satisfaction of their engine. BRIAN LEBARRON is a 17-year veteran of the powersports and automotive aftermarket indus- tries with applied marketing experience at the dealership and manufacturing levels. He offers technical presentations for Fluidampr.

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