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Hot Rods October Banger Meet on the Model T Centennial!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrodfil, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. I can't see the point of the balancer on a 4 cylinder. To me the balancers are a novelty item.

    Balancers come as standard on "V" engines from the factory so they must be of use in that application otherwise the factory wouldn't fit them. But I can't think of a single examaple of a 4 cylinder engine that came from the factory with a balancer.

    4 cylinders are big business over here because thats what we've always had and again I don't of any form of after market harmonic balancer for any make or model of 4 cylinder engine.

    Are the balancers just not a carry over from the world of V8's? The attitude that its works on 8's, so it must work on the 4's?
  2. They used the famous disappearing ink again this year but I think the ET's were pushing 8.9 and the speeds were pushing 62 at the end. Started out around 8.7 and 59 MPH
  3. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,319

    Bobby Green

    At high RPM, any crank can build up a dangerous harmonic vibration, V-8 or 4cyl, but especially a 2-up, 2-down 4 cyl. crank. So anything that can "dampen" this vibration is a good thing.
    Also, to clarify my earlier post, any Harmonic balancer should have a press fit on the crank. The Winfield is a slip on with a collar, and it just rattles itself loose. If your balancer doesn't require a press to put on, don't run it.
  4. There is a comment in the FAST newsletter regarding a fellow that was running a Cook head on a "B" block. He had problems with his flywheel coming loose also screws on his carbs loosened he installed one of Vic Kings liquid filled SBC dampeners and his problem was solved. Also saw a quote from and Auto engineering professor who stated that the fluid dampeners would work on the 4 cylinder engine but those with rubber or springs would not last. As I stated I have had 2 "A" cranks break and was told that the addition of a dampener would help prevent this. So I figured the dampener was cheap insurance.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  5. wak53
    Joined: Jan 15, 2006
    Posts: 76

    from aus

    Would a size for size hub with the appropriate fastner work to addapt a balancer on?There was a promenent drag racer here years ago that used a massy ferguson tractor fluid balancer addapted on his inline 6 use to spin very hard 8500 in 1972ish. 2 rings machined into the flywheel mounting face could eliminate flywheel coming loose I think a company called cosworth use this method on there high spinning late model banger.
  6. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,997

    from Brum...

    Clark, pretty sure I've seen balancers on four-pot Mazdas, Toyotas & Volvos. Maybe on modern 4-cylinder Fords too?

    Now that sounds familiar!
  7. I'm going to add this about vibration, I hesitated to include it in my previous post. I used to find the intermediate adjusting screw on my rear carburetor opened up about 10 clicks and at first thought some one had done this. After it happened again I replaced the the screw with a modified one (deeper notches) but I would still find it off a couple of clicks. After the installation of the SBC dampener it hasn't moved. I forgot this until after the last hillclimb. I checked it and it hadn't moved.
  8. Ok, so there is some evidence to suggest that they may work.

    What about back to back, with and without. Is there a difference you can feel in the seat of your pants?
  9. Flat Ernie
    Joined: Jun 5, 2002
    Posts: 8,410

    Flat Ernie
    Tech Editor

    Sorry for the late add, but Oct is now in the Tech section.

    Got a couple small bits & bobs in and may try to fiddle with mine some later this month - other projects are still taking priority.
  10. 28hiboy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 397

    from milton fl

    Chevy 250 inline 6 uses a balancer -put one on my 153 4cyl. since it's a 6 minus 2. Can't hurt
  11. Wildfire
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 827


    My banger is going together with a balancer. However, mine is going on the flywheel end. Not sure how that all works, but my engine builder has done it this way for years with significant success - top finishes in the Great Race and 60-100K miles between rebuilds on the engines.
  12. Michael_e
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 428


    Can you, or anyone else, explain how the flywheel balancer attaches, who sells them, and any pics or links would be greatly appreciated. Just looking for options and ideas. Thanks,

  13. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,997

    from Brum...

    I've had the three machine screws that hold the main body to the base of my 97 come undone on two seperate occassions, but both times were at the drags after a run, revving to 3500rpm. I'm running a counter-balanced A crank with an lightened A flywheel. This engine is mounted using a float-a-motor kit.
    I know Clark is using a B crank and V8 flywheel and stock engine mounts, and he has had this happen with his 97's at least twice also.
    I don't know what this proves or shows, but I think it is worth noting all the same, that we have had similar issues with different banger bottom ends.
    I like the idea of a balancer on my engine, but I'm in no rush to pull mine apart to get one pressed onto the end of the crank.
  14. CoalTownKid
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,024


    I'm running the Winfield style balancer on the front, far its fine, though a friend has one that is all mushed up where it connects to the crank,.....

    I'd like to keep running one as Bill and i had talked a while ago about them, opinion is that they DO work,....all the explanations that have been given me regarding them make sense.
    I'm going to be looking at the Taylor one though for the future B I'm planning on!

    Yes I picked up my Diamond B at almost stock bore a few days ago along with a nice drilled counterbalanced crank!
  15. ebtm3
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 837


    The purpose of a harmonic balancer is to dampen the torsional windup that occurs when the forward cylinders fire, and the crank gets twisted trying to overcome the flywheel inertia. If modern cast iron cranks ( which are inherently stiffer than our wimpy steel ones) benefit from the damper, there is no contest in my mind whether our engines should use them. Also, I can not see any reason to put one in the flywheel area. In theory, it should add to the problem, because it would add to the flywheel mass. Too many times, the amount of time or money spent influences the preceived benifits.

    Herb Kephart
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,586


    Iam building my A motor this winter.TO STROKE OR NOT TO STROKE?????? More cubes more power but is it good power for the $$$$$$$
    thanks for the input
    How much hp is a real fast street flat head?
  17. wak53
    Joined: Jan 15, 2006
    Posts: 76

    from aus

    I have looked in to this a little bit more it seams that torsional vibration is the problem that needs to be solved I lifted this from a teck book not that I am a book head but I figure they get paid more than me (The nodal point, a position at which the shaft is rotating at constant velocity, is generally situated some-where between the flywheel and the crank pin nearest to it and it is here that the streeses in the shaft will be highest and fatigue failure most likely to occur.) guys if you have broken a crank at or near this area
    Do you have a balancer?
    The text also mentions that (a light flywheel will move the node towards the middle of the shaft and therefore tend to raise the natural vibration frequency).
    maybe a balancer on both end could work ?
  18. Crazydaddyo
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 3,132


    Both of my cranks have broken at the #4 throw. No balancer both times. I brought up the issue with my engine's builder about running a balancer again after my first crank broke. He still says they don't work.

    It is my inclination to believe that they do offer benifit. The counter weights added to the crank help smooth vibration by countering the weight of the piston and rod moving up and down. The 65# stock flywheel helps absorb some of the vibration too. But as we remove weight from the flywheel to reduce the rotating mass, we also reduce the flywheels dampening effect. I and others that I have talked too have rpm ranges that the engine runs smoother at. I think that if a balancer was run on our engines that these vibrations at sustained RPM's would be reduced.
  19. I found a website regarding 4 cylinder diesels and it goes into various formulas and equipment used to test theories regarding balance and vibration dampening in 4 cylinder diesel engines as used in tractors. 2400 RPM's being the upper limit they concluded that a vibration balancer definitely helped. I'm starting to feel like I'm getting over my head on this subject as this was a very technical article. Also it commented on how lightening con rods and other reciprocating parts helped. This was all towards reliability and power.
  20. Crazydaddyo
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 3,132


  21. Thats just reminded me....

    If the engine is fully balanced and balanced properly by someone who knows what they are doing, blue printing if you will, then there shouldn't be any stray vibrations and no need for a balancer.

    Could this be why the factorys fit them? It cheaper, easier and quicker to bolt an auxiliary dampener on the front of an engine than have a man balance the whole assembly (Costly and time consuming).
  22. Crazydaddyo
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 3,132


    Even with the best balanced matched components you will still get harmonic vibration. The only way to completely eliminate these vibrations is to have all reciprocating components mounted in rubber. I read an add from an early model A brochure stating that Ford spent so much time balancing the crank that you could place the crank on a balance stand and regardless of were the crank was placed in its rotation it would not fall to a "heavy spot". And yet the Model A still had vibration.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  23. I hope this opens up This was sent to me about a year ago after a discussion of crankshaft problems on another forum. Check out the size of the dampener. He stated that he was turning 6500 RPM's twice a lap. [​IMG]
  24. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 1,997

    from Brum...

    18lb? Phew!
    What is the weight of the SBC balancer?
  25. I am not an engineer but I pay extra to have my engines zero balanced at a shop that specializes in balancing performance engines and this applies to the 2 that have broken the crankshaft. I think that different forces apply at different RPM's and the vibration dampener helps to cancel out these forces.

    Daddyo, I don't seem to be able to open the page but but you will Google 4 cylinder diesel vibration balancer research you will quite a bit of info. I used diesel because of a comment regarding the use by an engineer from Cummings. Might be interesting to Google 4 cylinder gas engines also. I remember hearing about a counter rotating shaft in Honda auto 4 cylinder engines. I don't think they would have gone to the expense if they could have bolted on a dampener for the same effect.
  26. That engine was built by Pete1 on here.

    Hopefully he chimes in with his opinions on why he used a balancer and a balancer of that weight?
  27. oldsplicer
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 37

    from mexifornia

    Seems like around the mid 70's mitsubishi started using counter balance shafts in their 1.6 banger (Colt) and that seems to be the state of the art in current banger production, obviously no room in a A or B block for that but perhaps an external shaft reverse driven off the cam gear at crank rpm might fit in, engineering the weights on the shaft would require some heavy math........
  28. Bluto
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,114

    Member Emeritus

    Because I'm working to build a hill climber. I am doing a bunch of thinking toward not only reducing the weight of the con rod and piston but a couple other things like rod center to center and wrist pin size. Has anyone ever seen a broken pin in a Ford four? I mean one that broke on it's own not after the rod let go. Reducing pin dia. is a god way of cutting weight unless the pins are prone to fail stock size

    Making the rod longer reduces the side loads and makes the dwell tdc/bdc closer to the same.

    On my motor there is no room for a dampener. And to be honest I have run some motors very hard without a damper of any kind. All with the lightest flywheel I could get. We have fit a B&B multi disc clutch to an automatic flexplate in one Trans Am Chevy. Never broke a crank.

    I must admit I keep a close eye on this stuff and have my own crack testing equipment. But I have never found it nessary to put a limit on service time racing this way

    Don't expect any of you want to strip an engine every few hours and crack test everything. But that is just part of racing as I see it.

    Don't forget that it is really a fresh, clean, supply of oil at about 80C that keeps everything happy........ When the crank is flexing(an it does) it is the the oil that keeps things from touching. As long as you have enough oil between the crank and bearings everything moves together. If this oil wedge is not strong or even one area may flex more than other and this causes stress too. In the mains this can translate into twist. If you have damaged or reduced radii it will flex the most in that area and fracture in time.

    Thick bronze shells don't transfer their heat as quickly as a thin-wall steel backed shell this means, among other things, the oil's job is much harder

    The strongest racing shells have no babbit ard steel backed and copper bronze or copper lead alloy but you must have a very good oiling system to run them. Most street drivers aren't willing to wait to reach proper oil temp before hard use.

    The other side of this is letting the oil out to maintain a proper wedge. Most racing engines require not only more room between the bearings and crank but also on the sides of the con rods. People often provide enough crank bearing clearance but don't increase the side clearance on the rods. My general rule is the rods have a third more clearance than the mains and the side of the rods are at least 2X stock

    Remember I'm talking racing here. Hard use street engines? Well you must ask youself ..... How hard do I drive? How much work do I want to do to keep from breaking things? And keep doing?

    Just my .02
  29. wak53
    Joined: Jan 15, 2006
    Posts: 76

    from aus

  30. Simon
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 137

    from London, UK

    No had time to do any work...

    I am going to do the following:

    Fit a AA overdrive units to an old rear axle I have in the workshop. cut down the tube and make a support bracket for it as it is heavy.


    Find some cheap 16" white walls - anyone in the UK got any for sale?

    Find time to work in the workshop...

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