- Fit for either 1JZ or 2JZ engines, this performance damper from Fluidampr is a high-quality solution.
- The company’s new offering packs the same SFI 18.1 certified, made in the USA traits as before but now features an interchangeable accessory drive pulley.
Photography by Brandon Cody
Keen followers of Front Street will remember our take on the commonly overlooked act of brake upgrades. We explained how they’re usually not high on people’s modification wish list because their perceived benefits aren’t as visual as a set of wheels. However, you can only drive your car once without properly functioning brakes, so equipping your vehicle with an arrangement fit to handle increased speeds is extremely important. Well, I’m here today to tell you about another similarly necessary upgrade whenever you increase RPMs, add horsepower, or engine torque — that’s the harmonic balancer.
Explaining It All
You see, deep inside your combustion engine’s cylinders, explosions happen during every revolution. The forces associated with these explosions essentially create the power in your vehicle, and the crankshaft and its accompanying journal absorb each and every one of them. Now, sure, even the most robust performance crankshaft is built to handle those kinds of forces, but not for an extended period. With each transfer of power down to the crankshaft, there is torsional motion deflected in the rod journal, thus causing harmonic vibration. If your engine generates more power, torque, or RPMs than stock, having this complex resonance occurring for too extended of a period will be harmful. The question changes from “if” to “when” you will damage your crankshaft, and that’s no bueno.
Not to worry, though. Fluidampr is here to the rescue with its performance dampers that provide optimum performance and durability by controlling pesky, destructive crankshaft torsional vibration. Since the mid-’80s, the company has been implementing durable viscous damping technology into motorsports and producing high-quality solutions for everyone from factory-backed teams to grassroots racers. Today’s article focuses on enhancing the harmonic damper on a Toyota 1JZ or 2JZ engine. For this, we turned to our friend Geoff Stoneback and his wondrous JZX100 Toyota Mark II drift car equipped from the factory with a 1JZ-GTE VVTi engine — now sporting some upgrades.
Given the amount of abuse this engine receives on a particular day of drifting along with its increased RPMs, power, and torque output, it was a ticking time bomb with the factory balancer in place. Enter Fluidampr with its newest solution to remedy future torsional vibration ailments for both the 1JZ and 2JZ Toyota engines.
“Our mission at Fluidampr is to help engine builders create greater durability with premium harmonic vibration control,” says Ivan Snyder, Fluidampr’s Wholesale Account Manager.
“All Fluidampr products are proudly made in the USA. Our team of skilled engineers and CNC machinists use the latest advanced manufacturing technology to deliver you the highest quality harmonic dampers available. Even prior to assembly, the outer housing and inner inertia ring are separately computer balanced to tighter than OE specs. Our quality systems are ISO 9001 certified.”
After many requests from professional race engine builders, Fluidampr revised its tried-and-true 1JZ/2JZ solution by making the accessory drive pulley interchangeable. The added flexibility allows owners to make underdrive modifications without the need to purchase a new damper.
Installing The Damper
The installation process is not very difficult at all but requires a specialty crank pulley puller, so keep that in mind if you’re attempting to tackle this yourself. First, Geoff removed his front bumper and drained the radiator’s coolant before removing the mechanical fan and radiator setup altogether.
With the car in gear and a friend operating the brakes, the crank pulley was held stationary while its bolt was loosened and removed. Now it was time to use the crank pulley puller to release the pulley from its home gently.
Seeing the factory pulley next to the SFI 18.1 Certified Fluidampr harmonic balancer, we can tell what makes this new iteration unique. It features high-quality, long-lasting viscous silicone damper technology and will help reduce wear on critical internal components. The updated model comes equipped with a removable stock size, six-rib aluminum serpentine belt pulley. The three 3/8-24 3/4-inch socket head fasteners make swapping out or securing this serpentine belt section a breeze in race applications.
As with any engine modifications, the reduction of rotating mass is always a plus. The change in pulley construction material to aluminum resulted in almost a half-pound overall weight reduction from the initial iteration, which is excellent news.
By reversing the removal process, Geoff fastened the new damper to its 1JZ home. Notice how the laser engraving process showcases its highly detailed and permanent SFI 18.1 serialization, timing marks, and Fluidampr logo.
He reattached the vehicle’s radiator setup, mechanical fan, and coolant hoses with the balancer and serpentine belt in place. Then filled the radiator with coolant and called it a day. There is no tuning or maintenance required — yet another positive about this piece. After being correctly torqued onto the engine, you’re done.
In all, due to this quality offering’s simple installation, we can’t think of any reason not to invest in a Fluidampr harmonic balancer. Your crankshaft will thank you! If you have any engine modifications completed on your vehicle that raised the RPMs, power, or torque output — or if you’re interested in finding out more information about the world of Fluidampr products — visit the company’s website and social links below.