Latest News  »  When To Upgrade Your Harmonic Damper In Performance Diesel Applications

With the DIESEL Motorsports season winding down, now is the time to include a harmonic damper check or upgrade with your post-season maintenance.  This commonly overlooked part is essential to achieving optimum performance and engine life.  The harmonic damper protects from destructive crankshaft torsional vibration that occurs naturally from internal combustion and improves overall efficiency.  Properly controlling torsional vibration increases torque and horsepower, improves main bearing life and valve train operation, plus reduces the risk of crank failure.


When To Upgrade Your Harmonic Damper In Performance Diesel Applications

From the factory, Ford Power Stroke, Chevy/GM Duramax and 5.9L Cummins applications use an elastomer style harmonic damper.  These low-cost, rubber-based OEM harmonic dampers are tuned from the factory to protect only a narrow band of the worst harmonics and are intended for stock conditions.  Performance upgrades that increase torque such as an air kit, exhaust, tuner and injectors will increasingly accelerate elastomer harmonic damper failure.  Performance upgrades that change the composition of the rotating assembly such as, pistons, rods and flexplate/clutch or flywheel/torque converter will cause the OEM damper to be out-of-tune to provide optimum protection.

The harmonic damper is a fundamental building block of diesel engine performance.  An upgrade should be done in conjunction with your basic air kit, exhaust, and tuner setup for optimum long term performance.  If you have already performed this set up without upgrading, then the stock damper is working harder to compensate for the added torque.  Routinely inspect the rubber layer of the stock harmonic damper for signs of cracked, bulging or missing rubber.  These signs indicate that an elastomer damper is deteriorating and may not be properly protecting your engine.  Elastomer damper age, exposure to the elements, oils and solvents, and excessive towing/hauling will also accelerate the breakdown of the rubber layer.

signs of harmonic balancer wear 
Cracked, bulging and missing rubber are early warning signs that your stock elastomer style harmonic damper needs to be upgraded to a viscous damper.


Beyond a basic performance set up, a broad band viscous damper upgrade, such as a Fluidampr Performance Diesel Damper is a requirement and needs to be installed with any rotating assembly changes.  The reason is that different pistons, rods, crank, flywheel/torque converter or flexplate/clutch will potentially shift the damaging harmonics out-of-range of where the stock tuned elastomer damper is designed to protect.  By design, a viscous damper provides long lasting protection across a broad range of harmonics and is the most cost effective approach.  Only a professional torsional vibration analysis based on your specific parts combination will determine the durometer needed for other aftermarket o-ring based performance dampers, then rountine o-ring replacement is required.

5.9 Cummins torsional vibration testing

6.0 Power Stroke torsional vibration testing

6.6 Duramax torsional vibration testing

Comparative crankshaft torsional vibration and dyno testing results.  Fluidampr provides better damping over stock elastomer dampers.  This advantage directly results in reduced internal component wear and improved torque and horsepower. 


Why Choose Fluidampr Performance Diesel Dampers

Leaders in performance diesel including Haisley Machine, Scheid Diesel, Industrial Injection, Bully Dog, John Robinson/Texas Diesel Power, Stuckey Racing/Phillip Palmer and many more all trust Fluidampr.  “Fluidampr, you have the best damper on the market.  Quality product from a quality company,” cites champion Jarid ‘Ironman’ Vollmer of Bully Dog.

Why do these leaders in performance diesel choose Fluidampr?  They look to the high horsepower diesel engines that dependably move our economy and know that they are protected with a viscous damper.  A leading manufacturer that provides torsional vibration analysis and viscous damper design to OEM powertrain divisions in on-highway, off-highway, rail and public transit, oil and gas, and the military is Vibratech TVD, the parent company of Fluidampr.


Where To Buy Fluidampr Performance Diesel Dampers

Fluidampr Performance Diesel Dampers are sold through quality diesel performance service shops and parts retailers.  Click here to find one near you.  If you have questions or need assistance, Fluidampr technical support is available 8:00am – 4:30pm EST, Monday through Friday at (716) 592-1000 or email here.


Fluidampr cut-a-way

Inside a Fluidampr performance damper.