DT Tested: Fluidampr Performance Damper

Published in the February 2009 Issue February 2009 Products

The Fluidamper is a replacement crankshaft flyweight for your Duramax, Cummins or Power Stroke diesel.

How Much:
$595 MSRP for Duramax, Power Stoke and 98-02 Cummins; $620 MSRP for 03-07 Cummins.

How it Works:
Your engine puts a hell of a load on the crankshaft and its bearings, especially if you are running above stock horsepower output levels. During the combustion process, the downward force on the piston puts enough load on the crankshaft to actually twist it beyond its rotation briefly. That is known as torsional vibration. The idea is that when these vibrations sync with the natural frequency, critical torsional harmonic vibrations can occur and do major damage to expensive parts.

The Fluidampr is a tuned harmonic vibration damper that utilizes silicon fluid as opposed to rubber to absorb and cancel these vibrations.

Ideally, if your truck has over 100,000 miles on it, you should have the crankshaft damper replaced regardless. The rubber materials on the stock damper deteriorate like any rubber under such harsh conditions would. And if you're going to replace it, you might as well replace it with an upgraded component like a Fluidampr. On the other side of the spectrum, if you have modified your truck's engine, you've placed more stress on the crank and internal bearings due to higher forces of inertia caused by a more powerful combustion process. For that reason, a tuned harmonic balancer should be used on a modified engine in place of a factory one.

What Stands Out:
We are running Fluidampr balancers on most of our project vehicles. We did some dyno testing on a modified Duramax prior to and immediately after installing a Fluidampr. The result? Six horsepower at the rear wheels. Big deal, right? Actually, it is. Not because it's six horsepower, but because we gained that by installing a part that has nothing to do with producing power. What we saw in our test results and felt in driving tests is that the vibrations of the engine under load are under control. That makes for a more efficient power delivery process, since less energy is wasted in flexing metals, stressing bearings and fighting inertia. That will also result in increased longevity of internal engine components.

The Downside:
The only downside is the installation. You need to remove the fan to access the factory balancer in most cases. And the bolt that holds the factory balancer in place is tight. Like 3/4-drive breaker bar tight.

The Bottom Line:
A round chunk of metal that adds power, smoothes out engine vibrations and increases engine components' longevity? What's not to like?

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