Dampening For Diesel: Selecting A High Performance Harmonic Balancer

Eric Rosolowski Articles, Diesel

By Brian Wagner

With diesel performance and drag racing continuing to grow, more people are looking at ways to get the most power out of their diesel-powered rides. While stacking up horsepower is fun, there are important areas of the engine that need to be upgraded along the way, such as the harmonic balancer. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lower your times at the drag strip or make additional power for towing, having the right harmonic balancer needs to be a priority.

The stock OEM balancer on a diesel engine is more than likely going to be of the elastomer variety and only good for a certain amount of horsepower. If you do start to add power you will need to ensure your balancer isn’t cracked, bulging, or missing rubber….but you might be better served to upgrade to a viscous-style damper. These viscous dampers have an inertia ring that cuts through the fluid inside to provide better control of an engine’s harmonics.

Brian Lebarron from Fluidampr explains this a bit more using the 6.7-liter Cummins engine as an example.

“Here is an important distinction. The 6.7-liter Cummins is becoming a very popular competition engine. It comes equipped with a viscous damper. This is an excellent factory feature for stock power levels because its 5.9-liter predecessor had a 30,000-mile elastomer damper inspect/replace interval. But, the stock 6.7-liter viscous damper is not intended for high performance or competition use. Viscous dampers are not created equally. We develop Fluidampr Performance Diesel dampers to provide optimum protection under the extremes of professional diesel drag racing and sled pulling. Installing one also ensures you meet SFI 18.1 specifications. ”

Diesel engines are capable of putting up massive horsepower numbers these days through advancements in technology and parts. This has translated into impressive performances at the track and allowed diesel owners to increase their towing capacity. Using a good harmonic balancer for these applications is key to keep an engine performing correctly.

“A high-quality damper will protect against destructive engine harmonics. It will also provide greater engine efficiency and durability benefiting both drag racing and towing. When drag racing, it will help reduce wear on critical engine components. An upgraded damper will improve timing and release lost torque and horsepower. In towing applications, it creates a more comfortable ride and smooth power delivery. Fluidampr Performance Diesel dampers are a popular upgrade for tow rigs, too,” Lebarron explains.

Making a damper that can survive the savage horsepower a diesel engine can create isn’t something you just accomplish overnight. Fluidampr has been working hard within the diesel world for many years to make sure their products perform as needed when the boost comes in.

“Our partnerships with champion engine builders provide continuous feedback. This began during the early days of performance diesel and the collaborative effort has been great for the industry. The exciting thing is, diesel drag racers and pullers are always raising the bar. For example, what was fine with factory mounting hardware is no longer the case. To provide the quality they need we refined the damper and developed new installation kits. The recommended Full Power Kit for high-performance Cummins applications (+1,250 lb-ft, +750 horsepower) has become very popular because it ensures no fretting or movement once the damper is secured to the crankshaft,” Lebarron says.

If you’re ready to add more horsepower to your diesel-powered machine and need an upgraded damper, make sure to check out Fluidampr’s website to see what they have for your application.

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