18

Project Golf R MKVII: Fluidampr Test

by Isaac Sandoval

 

The Golf R is back for another round of modifications. Now that we have addressed the suspension and feel the car is handling the way we want it, it is time to move on to the powertrain. We are not entirely sure which direction the powertrain modifications will ultimately go, but the best place to start is by making sure our foundation is solid. In this article, we are going to be installing the Fluidampr crankshaft pulley, as well as doing some baseline Dyno testing on Project Golf R.

 

 

Some may be wondering why we are starting with the Fluidampr crankshaft pulley as the first drivetrain modification, and the answer is simple: vibrations rob horsepower and kill engines. The stock power level of the Golf R should produce thousands of miles of reliable performance, but we are not going to stay stock. As the power levels increase and the stress and force increase on engine internals, the weak points will eventually surface and likely in a catastrophic manner. This is where the Fluidampr crankshaft pulley comes into play. We are not going to go super in-depth into the complexities of rotational dynamics (mostly because it is way beyond my level of comprehension), but we are going to talk lightly about how vibrations kill engines. 

You can also read the Fluidampr test we did on an FR-S for more info

The Fluidampr uses a sealed and balanced housing containing a free spinning tuned inertia ring floating in a viscous silicone fluid, much like a viscous LSD. Fluidamprs technology results in a harmonic balancer that is capable of absorbing much more vibration over a wider rpm range. More than your typical balancer whose inertia ring is suspended by rubber and fixed in place. The Fluidampr is also amplitude sensitive, the larger the harmonic whip of the crankshaft, the harder it works to attenuate the whip. The folks at Fluidampr told us we would probably experience some level of power increase, but we were just hoping that we could reduce some of our engine's vibrations. The Fluidampr is SFI approved for safety and to satisfy tech requirements of race sanctioning bodies

.

Even the most stout of crankshaft designs will still experience some degree of torsional vibration due to the changing velocity of force being applied to the crankshaft from each cylinder power stroke. As the crankshaft rotates, the angle and effective lever applied to the crankshaft changes. Even though the piston moves up and down, the connecting rod angle changes a bit during the power stroke. 
Image borrowed from: www.strand7.com

 

Engine crankshafts are generally very strong hunks of steel with a lot of mass and strength. Despite the inherent strength of even the most robust designs, the tremendous forces exerted on crankshafts will always produce some torsional vibration in the crankshaft. For more information on torsional vibrations we will simply quote the summary from the SAE study on torsional vibration design.

“The problem of crankshaft torsional vibrations is inherent to the reciprocating internal combustion engines. Till date, in multi-cylinder internal combustion engines torsional vibrations which increases vibratory torque is the major reason for the failures of crankshaft due to raised fillet stresses. The torque applied to crankshaft is not constant in time, but it varies in a complex manner as a function of crankshaft position for each cylinder. The excitation that causes torsional vibrations of crankshaft is the Gas firing pulse phasing in the cylinders of an engine. The Crankshaft natural frequencies get excited several times throughout the operating speed of engine by different components of firing pulse harmonics, called orders of an engine. The vibration amplitudes at these critical speeds are commonly high enough, so that the crankshaft as well as any accessory coupled to the crankshaft may fail.”

 

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Comments
spdracerut
spdracerutlink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:25 AM
Wow, those power gains are nuts! Really fascinating because on the FR-S, there was essentially no gain but overall smoother running. Of course, that engine is a flat-4 and this is inline. I wonder with the Golf R being boosted, maybe the car stock was getting some false knock and the Fluidampr smoothed out the engine enough to eliminate any false knock and free up some power.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 11:23 AM
It's interesting as when I put the Fluidampers on our Evo IX and STI the engines were remarkably much smoother in operation and especially on the Subaru, better response, but I could not measure a horsepower gain on the dyno.
ivan@fluidampr
ivan@fluidamprlink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:00 PM
My name is Ivan and I work for Fluidampr. It is important to note that each application is different. There are so many variables that go into any one particular engine set up that can change the results from a minimal gain to a large gain. Also, yes spdracerut, Fluidampr does not make power, it frees up lost power. Which again can be the cause of many different aspects or characteristics of an engine . If there are any specific questions that I can help with, please reach out to me at ivan@fluidampr.com or by calling 716-592-1000.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:02 PM
The gains are probably better on more highly modified engines as well.
ivan@fluidampr
ivan@fluidamprlink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:25 PM
Yes, depending on the mod. but typically that is the case.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:54 PM
ivan
do you guys have any plans on making a fluidampr for the NC Miata application? Lots of people are starting to do the 2.5L swap which reuses the 2.0 oil pan and crank pulley. The use of the 2.0 rwd style oil pan forces the removal of the balance shafts that the 2.5 has.
I think a 2.0 rwd style damper for the 2.5 would greatly benefit the engine and would be a strong seller since people are swapping that part anyway.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:41 PM
Nice one journal crank in the graphic.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:44 PM
Ok rear amd center journal crank.

Where is to power spike that happens when the inertia mass breaks loose. I guess downplaying it since any remote damper functionality completely dissappears at that point.
Isaac
Isaaclink
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 6:19 PM
@unorthodox

I think that the inertia mass may break loose under free revving conditions as the speed of RPM increase outpaces the inertia ring, but this car is a DSG and I can honestly say that in the 30K plus miles I have put on it, there has never been any instances of aggressive engine free revving.

I think that DSG equipped cars respond very well to the viscous damper technology.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:19 AM
The vibrations that balance shafts and dampers fight are two separate things. The balance shafts cancel out up and down shaking and the dampers, torsional twist.
rafa
rafalink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:01 AM
This is very interesting. Those gains are gigantic for what it is, 3% power loss from pulley vibration! I might have to get one for my MK7.
By the way, a tune is by far the best bang for the buck mod on those cars, a simple stage 1 makes the car better at everything, including fuel economy, looking forward to more updates on this project.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:22 AM
The mass is known to break free at higher rpm. If the damper truly functions to protect the engine it loses all it functionality when the mass breaks loose. So at the most critical point in operation it is just an expensive paper weight. Free revving has nothing to do with this as revving to those high rpms makes no sense nor does the engine make any power in free rev. DSG also has nothing to do with responding better to a supposed need for a damper.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:25 AM
By all means this is a great performance mod based on the numbers. A solid aluminum pulley would likely double those gains due to the dramatically lighter rotational weight.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:58 AM
how often does this "mass breaking free" thing happen?
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:57 PM
I first heard about it from a Euro market Tuner late last year and then recently from an employee at a Supra shop. They both had FD visit them and feed them the theories ans marketing BS. But in the end you have to ask the experts at FD, but since the problem is out of the bag they may try to deny it now. They were trying to market it as a benefit but oops they forgot there are still a few people left in the industry who care about the truth.
SM_Clay72
SM_Clay72link
Thursday, September 21, 2017 7:43 AM
So you don't actually understand this concept that you say makes the damper a "paper weight"?
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Thursday, September 21, 2017 8:37 AM
Not really sure where your question comes from as I fully understand how the product functions and how this claim is a very, very bad thing.

In the end its not my product so I would prefer FD try to dislodge their foot from their mouth. It should be interesting since this scenario means total failure of intended functionality in the most critical part of the RPM band (according to them).
Paul@fluidampr
Paul@fluidamprlink
Thursday, September 21, 2017 9:03 AM
Accidentally posted this on a different thread, but here goes. As you wish.


There are a lot of misconceptions in this thread about weights “breaking free” at higher RPM ranges, which is not the case at all. The internal inertia ring oscillates back and forth, shearing through the silicone which turns that energy into heat and dissipates it out the damper housing. The silicone is 45,000 times thicker than SAE 30 weight motor oil, there is no way to “break free” with that kind of viscosity. When we clean our silicone off of parts we have to scrape it with a putty knife, then scrub it with scotch brite and solvent to get it to come off. There is no way for the parts to break free at the surface finishes we use.

Viscous dampers can be found in some of the highest revving racing engines on the market today such as the Lexus LFA which uses a 10” viscous damper and is commonly known as one of the fastest revving/smoothest engines ever made. The engine revs from idle to redline in just .6 seconds, so fast that the engineers had to fit a digital rev counter due to the conventional needle couldn’t keep up. Also add the Audi R8, Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Gallardo, McLaren’s, high end BMW’s and one of the Big 3’s endurance racing team cars, not to mention the vast majority of all diesel/natural gas engines (some of those engines cost more than most families homes). Viscous vibration dampers like Fluidampr provide excellent vibration control because they operate on a bell curve of vibration control, rather than a start stop narrow frequency band like most tuned rubber parts. This frees up power robbed by the vibrations in the engine. Vibratech TVD (Fluidampr’s parent company) is a global supplier to our military, OEM’s and aftermarket based out of NY in a 130,000 Sq. Ft. facility with over 70 CNC machines plus robotic damper manufacturing cells to keep up with OEM demand.

Furthermore, if OEM’s were able to use just a pulley to control detrimental vibrations they would. It is much more cost effective to mass produce a one piece pulley than a bonded rubber or viscous type damper. We have been working with global OEM’s for over 60 years and they care most about 3 things; 1. Safety, 2. Cost savings, 3. Weight reduction.

The purpose behind a damper is that a pulley cannot do anything to protect against torsional vibrations. As previously stated a damper’s job is to counteract crankshaft twist by taking that energy and converting it to heat. There must be a force to counteract combustion pressure put on the crankshaft with each ignition fire as this is what causes the crankshaft to twist ahead of its natural rotation and rebound back subsequently transferring vibrations back through the crankshaft and vital engine components. A damper is not there to make power, this is just an additional benefit as you decrease or minimalize these vibrations.

We trust MotoIQ’s audience will make informed decisions. Some of whom are professional engineers themselves. Fluidampr and Vibratech TVD offers our resources to help them solve torsional vibration challenges, which includes being commissioned by OEM’s and professional engine builders to perform TVA (torsional vibration analysis) in order to design an application specific product and provide the best vibration control available.

Our goal is not to highjack this comment section with who is “better”, we are happy to discuss any of this in greater depth – please contact us @ sales@fluidampr.com

Sorry about the long read =)
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Thursday, September 21, 2017 12:40 PM
This is purely an excercise in exposing the truth and considering the apparent misinformation that has been exposed quite frankly FD should thank me.

I'm glad to hear FD setting the record straight because someone within FD or its outside support has been pushing this as a non-benefit. I hope FD will take this opportunity to permanently end the persistence of this fallacy.

All of the info you provide is great but it relies on mis-applied thoery and falsities. The most important fact with respect to crank dampers is they must be interference fit (there are levels within this fit) to the crank in order to function fully. In applications where the crank pulley is not interference fit the pulley serves solely as an audible NVH damper that has no engine protection function what so ever. The same as every bonded weight OE's mount to the chassis or driveline to control audible NVH. The same as every baffle or resonator or engine cover or interior or exterior fire wall padding or under hood cover.

When a non-interference fit factory crank pulley is replaced by a light weight solid pulley, aside from a slight increase in audible NVH (much lower than an aftermarket cold air intake or exhausts NVH change) nothing detrimental occurs. The engines rotating mass and moment of inertia (MOI) are vastly improved which results in freeing up of the HP/TQ previously wasted turning the formerly higher weight and MOI. In fact one of the most comment things we hear is my engine feels smoother. So where is the broken engine? We have yet to see one after 20+ years and hundreds or trillions of miles driven with our product.

I applaude that FD has figured a way to reduce weight or improve on the MOI in the damper it applies to the VW 2.0T TSI. This is the only way the power gains seen could happen.

Our products are totally different and are at totally different price points. The gains the enthusiast will see with our products will always be factors higher because of the vast difference in product weight between us. Since we are usually half the price or less it also (aside from tuning on a boosted engine or an overdrive S/C pulley or ntirous) means our product offers the highest HP per dollar cost ratio of any bolt on mod in the industry.

Nobody has high-jacked this thread nor does this have anything to do with who is better. This has only been about the facts. The mis-application of damping to engines with non-interference mounted crank pulleys has solely been an excercise in fear mongering and market manipulation. It has served only to fill damper manufacturers pockets through half truth and outright fictions told to those who insist on group think (many engineers and engineer types) and of the unfortunately uneducated enduser.

The sad part of this is how deep this manipulation and fiction can go as seen in the willingness of some media companies to publish articles prepared and submitted by Vendors without clearly revealing to the readership that the info published is really a "Special Advertising Section."



unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:49 PM
Also find the request by you on behalf of FD to take this off thread question wise, especially since this article is about FD, quite disingenuous.
Sootfoot
Sootfootlink
Thursday, September 21, 2017 3:30 PM
:( I was about to get a bucket of popcorn
Paul@fluidampr
Paul@fluidamprlink
Friday, September 22, 2017 12:09 PM
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Dampers do NOT need to be an interference fit (press fit) to control torsional vibration & NVH. If that were the case the engineers at just about every OEM manufacturer would be wrong, and the millions of dollars of engineering, testing and extra costs in manufacturing would be redundant.

Quick list of non-interference dampers; FA20/FR-S, Mitsubishi EVO 8, 9, 10, 4G63/DSM, Honda B-Series, K-Series, S2000, most Volkswagens, Dodge 5.9L/6.7L/8.3L, Audi 3.0, 2.7T, Ford 6.4L, 6.7L, 6.0L and just about every industrial engine on the planet uses a bolt-on damper to control NVH. This includes all over the road trucks, agriculture, locomotives, vessels and basically anything high or low RPM. Not to mention the Clark TCVC-20M engine which is one of the largest engines ever manufactured, an engine with a crankshaft which is 37,000 lbs accompanied by a 7000lb viscous bolt on damper.

Here is some testing data. Upon releasing any new damper, we conduct extensive testing to evaluate performance. The charts below show the reduction in twist when doing head-to-head testing. All of which are bolt-on type dampers.

http://www.fluidampr.com/new/Images/570701-tva-comparison.jpg

http://www.fluidampr.com/new/Images/571101_6th-order-fd-v-pulley_10x8x300_labeled.jpg

This will be our last comment. If anyone has any questions, our contact information is above. Have a great weekend.
Paul
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Friday, September 22, 2017 1:35 PM
How do you explain the Ford GT500's flat plan crank V8 not needing a damper? The TVR Cerbera'a flat plane V8? How about the Porsche GT3? More professional racing engines than we can shake a stick at through Formula 1? I could go on and on and this doesn't include engine families with solid pulleys from the factory. Honda D & B Series (including the Type R in Japan), Nissan KA24DE FWD, VW 1.8 8/16V, Ford 2.3L SOHC 8V from inception and on and on.

Low revving engines you mention don't have the upward and downward extremes and shifting stresses so being bolt on is irrelevant in those categories.

The engines we deal which exert extreme shearing forces on the connection to the crank pulley, from up and downshifts especially in manual transmission. This is why engine builders see elongated keyways, bent dowels, and side compressed bolts from the hammering of the crank pulley from both sides. This major minor movement eliminates the dampers ability to oppose/absorb the true motion of the crank there by rendering it useless. This is a cold hard fact. Otherwise Newton was a fool.

Domestic V8's with their quirky firing order are the engines that really need a damper. This is why on these engines the Damper is interference fit/press/heated and shrunk onto the crankshaft.

Your answers are self serving non-backable jibberish! Theories that don't amount to anything provable in the grand scheme of durability.

WHERE IS THE BROKEN MOTOR PAUL?

Typical end comment for a Goliath to a David!

Kind of like the Vatican to forward free thinkers over the years that were executed but later proved right. A round earth versus flat group think, the solar system not being earth centric, etc, etc, etc....

Since your supposedly done I'm done too.



unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Friday, September 22, 2017 1:35 PM
Oh sorry!

Have a great weekend :)
RedX
RedXlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 3:13 AM
Is the person under the "unorthodox" nickname supposed to represent the Unorthodox Racing company, maker of lightweight pulleys?
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:41 AM
Yes I represent the UR Brand.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 11:39 AM
@unorthodox

your posts sound a lot more like "self serving non-backable jibberish!" than anything FD posted on here.
RedX
RedXlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 11:52 AM
unorthodox, can you share your name and position within the company?
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:41 PM
@warmmilk

If you truly read all the posts, without bias, FD provided no such mia culpa. If you wish to have an open discourse about the facts I'm sure MotoIQ could provide a new thread for further discussions. Coming in here making a biased statement with no supporting points is not reasonable nor helpful.

My intent is to protect the industry from urban myths and legends that serve only to mystify and confuse the end user. This industry has been abused enough with inferior off shore knockoff products which have served to undercut the industries long term viability.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:42 PM
@RedX

Shawn Baumgartner / Founder
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:15 PM
@unorthodox

as opposed to you, who makes a competing product, coming in here and saying their stuff sucks and the stuff you sell is the stuff everyone should buy?

unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:35 PM
@warmmilk

As opposed to nothing, we don't compete with FD on any level. We have a newly patented Damper technology that will be brought to market at some point. When it is it will be applied to automotive engines that need one.

People buy UR because they want to maximize performance by reducing rotating weight. Same idea as light weight wheels, flywheel, etc. We make the best light weight pulleys you can buy period, 20 years and counting, hundreds of trillions of user miles and counting.

Look I'm not interested in battling with you. Its obvious you have a bias towards FD or dampers in general since you are reading deeper than was meant or seeing things I never said.

Again I don't see the comparison....
Jeff Naeyaert
Jeff Naeyaertlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:46 PM
trillions??? 🙄
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:54 PM
@unorthodox

you make crank pulley's, they make crank pulley's. therefore you compete.. pretending you don't see that is just another example of a dick move on your side.

I didn't have a bias one way or another, but I do now. If I ever do buy a crank (or really any) pulley, dampened or not, I can tell you it won't be a UR pulley now. I'd have considered it before though.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:13 PM
@warmmilk

I appreciate you taking our side and saying we both make crank pulleys but I'm pretty certain FD won't agree with that assessment.

You lost me on "dick" since we were talking on what I thought was a civilized level. Thank you for clarifying your tendencies, it reinforces your legitimacy.

Have fun with that and your hate.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 2:17 PM
you keep telling yourself that buddy
engineered
engineeredlink
Sunday, October 01, 2017 8:08 PM
@unorthodox, you may be correct, but your ramblings (while passionate) sure don't represent your company well.
You may want to do some reading on effective online PR. It certainly isn't slandering other companies when their products are reviewed.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Sunday, October 01, 2017 8:54 PM
@engineered

What are your credentials with respect to the facts I presented. Truth is the only way I operate, I don't buy opinions or loyalty. The aftermarket is destroying itself by feeding into mindlessness and group think. I'm not here to make friends with those who operate on spin we intend to clear the air and cover or uncover the truth though open discourse. The the disingenous "We'll talk if you call us" which serves nobody but thier self interest aspects. The was no slander and annyattempt to say there was is indiscriminate
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Sunday, October 01, 2017 8:59 PM
In the mind of the righteous there is no such thing as bad press.

That saddest part is the language condoned by MIQ in regards to the allowance of profanity within discussion.
engineered
engineeredlink
Sunday, October 01, 2017 9:58 PM
@unorthodox, If you read my post, I didn't comment on your facts. In fact I said "you may be correct". My point is that your are not presenting your argument well. All you needed to do was post a link supporting your position, not argue with everyone on the internet. Everyone know that's a bottomless pit to nowhere.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Monday, October 02, 2017 11:40 AM
@engineered

I read your post. Your comment/opinion about my supposed ramblings serves no function but to stir the pot and foment discontent about the facts. I am correct, there is no alternative to this fact. This is not an argument, it is a presentation of the facts in which your opinion about how it was presented is neither accepted nor warranted. I didn't know that MIQ was the whole internet. But if ever there was a place for facts and the truth it is MIQ.
engineered
engineeredlink
Monday, October 02, 2017 12:17 PM
@unorthodox
As a potential customer with no skin in this I'm trying to help you by telling you how you're coming across but you clearly aren't willing to listen.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Monday, October 02, 2017 1:13 PM
@engineered

If you are a potential customer then you should be thrilled we even risk the potential negative attention to bring you the facts. Its obvious these facts need more than just the UR.edu section of our web-page to get the points across. We tried to do it that way but the marketing propaganda has silenced these facts for profits sake. Nothing that has been said here is crude, rude or misplaced. This is about truth not popularity, we are here to make cars faster. I made FD aware of "the mass breaking free" that they need to clear up on their end. It was the decent thing to do, even though I think they put it out there as another form of performance propaganda. If end users want the most performance then there is only one choice given the facts. If they don't then why bother modding in the first place, may as well just STANCE. This is about maximum power and having the quickest strip time or fastest lap time, etc. Anything else is baseless rambling at twice the price and 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 times the weight with 50% or higher moment of inertia. In equals cars with the main pulley being the only difference we always win. Simple physics.
rafa
rafalink
Wednesday, October 04, 2017 6:47 AM
Id like to see some facts backing up all the statements, from both sides.
But I must say, Unorthodox really lost me with the hundred of trillions of miles. Seems like an exaggeration, and just rambling, 100 trillions is 100,000,000,000,000 - if every pulley they sold drove 100k miles that would be at least 10 million pulleys sold? Either way, like I mentioned, would be nice to see more testing and facts from both sides, if gains are what is mentioned in this article it is crazy bang for the buck.
unorthodox
unorthodoxlink
Wednesday, October 04, 2017 7:55 AM
We would like respectfully extend our sincerest apologies as rafa and Jeff Naeyaert are dead on. We should have been quoting "billions of miles." We will correct all our e-literature effective immediately. If anyone sees this not corrected somewhere by the end of the week please assist us by sending an email with a link to info@unorthodoxracing.com

As for proof the burden is not ours. Over 20 years of real world use easily usurps theory. As we have said previously "Where are the broken motors with UR crank pulleys? " There should be tens of thousands of broken cranks out there after 20+ years.

Again please accept our sincerest apologies for the mileage usage mis-calculation!
BrainTangler
BrainTanglerlink
Thursday, October 05, 2017 2:47 PM
Okay, this is confusing. Can someone explain how bolting something substantially heavier to your rotating assembly possibly makes more power? Sure, if your engine was going to shake itself to pieces at higher RPM's, I might buy into the harmonics taking away power by introducing unwanted vibrations into valvetrain components theory. Yep, that would rob power. But I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars reducing rotational mass to increase horsepower, and it works. Lightened crank, rods , pistons, flywheel, etc. How in the name of physics can adding mass (which is simply resistance to acceleration) possibly make more power? That's like telling me that going from an aluminum flywheel back to a steel one will make more horsepower - which I can state for an absolute fact that it will not.

Here's what I would like to see: Temperature differences between a stock damper and the aftermarket one (before and after equal dyno runs) to see exactly how much of this is being converted to heat. That will offer data that can be directly translated into energy absorption. There should be a measurably higher difference if it is absorbing all this energy. I would also like to see apples to apples dyno runs comparing a damper change. Keep in mind, dyno' s are just too easily manipulated - remember the Tornado air swirler breather thing? Piece of sheet metal supposed to swirl more air into your engine. Lots of before and after dyno runs in their marketing, but strap tension, raised hoods, and fans can make a significant difference between pulls. Real life did't see any of their claims come true. Don't forget pulley size either. Bolting on a slightly different pulley size can make a big difference here as well.

Just asking here. I am genuinely interested in seeing the data on this. Because removing weight has always worked for me. And the worst torsional vibrations possible came from my supercharged stroked big block V8, and it ran absolutely no damper - the blower drive did an excellent job of damping. A simple belt and pulleys took care of it, and it also took rotational mass off the crankshaft. Well, except for having to drive a blower...

I am new here, but forgive my skepticism about believing what someone writes on a forum. Testimonials don't tell the whole story... Back in the day, there was this "cut the pink wire" theory spreading through the Hayabusa forum world. Post after post testified to the unbelievable power gains and 1st gear acceleration. Lots of people did it. Then someone realized that this did free up some timing in 1st gear, but leaned the engine out significantly in 6th. Lots of heart ache when people started burning pistons. Actual dyno pulls showed an overall loss in horsepower, but people still did it...because it "felt" faster. That is why I am asking... show me the data.
RedX
RedXlink
Friday, October 06, 2017 2:59 AM
Brian,
I believe the experiment you are proposing would not provide the results we are looking for.
First, temperature and heat are two very different things. Reading the temperature of two different torsional harmonic balancers would not give you straight answer to the difference in horsepower they cause. Yes, both converted some amount of mechanical energy into heat, but that is about all we can tell. Their temperature at the end of a run depends on their mass, the material they are made of and their ability to transmit heat into the surrounding environment (the most important factor here is surface area, but there is more to consider). But there is another difference we would not probably be able to account for in our measurements, a big one.

An absorber and a damper are two devices with different principle of function.
An absorber accumulates mechanical energy and is able ti release it later, with some loses in the form of heat.
A damper converts mechanical energy directly to heat.
Therefore, heat output of these two devices must differ significantly (for the same input).

So, with this out of the way, we all should now be able to use proper terminology in order to have a proper discussion.

To make it clear for everyone:
Harmonic balancers:
Elastomer-type: an absorber
Viscous-type: a damper

Generally, elastomer-types have the best damping capability at one specific frequency and are able to counteract quite a big amplitude of torsional vibration. Viscous-types have their damping capabilities spread more throughout the frequency spectrum, but with arguably lower maximum amplitude compared to elastomer-type. But this really is application-specific.

Does this make one type of balancer inferior to the other? NO.

If you are OEM, you want your balancer to be safe, cheap and have a long life. Rubberband-type absorber is perfect for you.
If you use your engine to its fullest most of the time, in quite a narrow rpm range (motorsport, aircraft etc.), a heavy-duty rubberband-type balancer should do a fine job for you.
If your engine exhibits high torsional excitation at several frequencies or maybe, you are not sure at which rpm your engine gets excited, viscous-type damper should be your safest bet.

By the way, there are more types of torsional dampers and absorbers, but the two discussed here are the ones most used in automotive.

So, where does this leave us in the "UR vs rest of the world" battle?

Is a lightweight single-piece pulley inherently good or bad for your engine?
I believe none statement is true.
If your engine produces low amplitude torsional vibrations (short and stubby crankshaft; non-turbocharged, low torque; etc.) and you want more acceleration from your vehicle, then a lightweight pulley will help you and should do no harm.
Is your engine the opposite of described previously and/or you need additional safety measure because you are not sure your crankshaft is a high-quality, high fatigue resistant piece? A proper harmonic balancer might be a good choice.

If an engine fails after installing a lightweight pulley, is the pulley to blame?
I don't think so. It is only the final straw for an engine that was already being stressed close to its limits.
If an engine or most engines do just fine after installation of a lightweight pulley, does it mean a lightweight pulley is harmless or even beneficial to all engines?
HELL NO. I hope there is no need to explain further.

So, how come, in this particular instance, this Golf's engine gained some horsepower after the installation of a viscous-type damper?
I do not know, frankly. My guess would be that the power lost by adding more rotational mass was lower than the power gained by supressing some of the torsional "whip".
Maybe people from Fluidampr could investigate deeper in this case and come up with more data and explanation, as it surely is ouf scope of an internet discussion.
But I believe they stated many times that a horspower gain should not be blindly expected and is no way guaranteed. A harmonic balancer is merely a safety/durability device and should be looked upon that way.
engineered
engineeredlink
Saturday, October 07, 2017 9:28 AM
@RedX, thanks for posting some good info. What I'd like to see is to remove the Fluidamper and re-verify the stock one. It's also be nice to see data on the engine knock with and without the Fluidamper. Maybe also vibration of the engine if that's meaningful?
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