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What Is A Harmonic Balancer, aka Crankshaft Damper?

590601-angleA harmonic balancer reduces destructive crankshaft torsional vibration, which is the end-to-end twisting/rebound motion, that is naturally generated during each power stroke.  A harmonic balancer contributes to greater valve train and timing efficiency, plus reduces wear of critical engine components such as main bearings, oil pump and the crankshaft itself.
 
A harmonic balancer often incorporates the main drive pulley and by appearance is often overlooked as having no essential function to the life of the engine. If the drive pulley is incorporated with the harmonic balancer, removing or changing it to a lightweight design, or using a low quality product MAY BE THE SINGLE BIGGEST COSTLY MISTAKE YOU CAN DO TO YOUR ENGINE.