don,t beat that damper!


Staff member
use the correct tool, beating the damper onto the crank, snout frequently damages both the damper and the thrust bearing in the engine, and while the resulting damage is not critical in all cases or instantly obvious it DOES damage and stress the blocks main caps and the crank and the trust bearing


damn the gal in that video, makes that process, look a whole lot more difficult in the video that it generally is,
and yes its very easily possible to over tighten the interchangeable central adapter screw,parts
if your not careful, and yes they do sell replacement adapter screws

(never lend tools to your friends, or you'll be buying , and replacing those replacement threaded, adapter components)
use moly grease on tool threads


Rick I have to say... thank you for posting that bit of info......

I never would have thought too even try assembling the damper tool that,way,
but I'm sure your not the first, nor will you be the last guy to do that,
so its a damn informative picture for those members, that might never of had seen that tool in use, most of us learn by making mistakes.. yeah Ive made my share also!




look at the picture carefully, the tool is available from several sources

"You put the damper on the crankshaft after oiling the crank snout and inner damper as far as you can get it with a few soft taps of large plastic mallet.

You thread grumpy's tool into the crankshaft as far as possible.REMEMBER TOO OIL THE THREADS...with the roller bearing against the damper, the washer next, between the nut and roller bearing, then the nut,outer most, you turn the nut forcing the damper on, but be aware the damper generally slides on and the tool makes it fairly easy, so easy in fact that first time users over tighten the tools smaller diam. snapping off the tools threaded section in the crank on occasion so carefully watch as over tightening the tool once the damper bottoms against the cranks shoulder will brake the tool..........the picture depicts the tool set up for a sbc, youll need to use the larger end and reverse it for the bbc

If you want to make installing the damper easier, especially on the very early SBC engines that didn,t have those threaded,retainer bolts in the crank snout) youll find that if you put the damper in boiling water (a running engines easily that hot) and if you pack the crank snout in a bag of crushed dry ice (most grocery stores will sell you a couple pounds if you ask, just don,t touch it without gloves it can stick to skin)that in most cases you can take the pot of boiling water with the damper out to the car location, dump the balancer out spray it with a good penetrating oil and pick it up with insulated oven mitts and just an instant before you install the damper remove the dry ice and slide the damper onto the crank snout, in most cases a couple good whacks with a rubber mallet will seat it as the intense cold on the crank shrinks the steel a bit and the hot water enlarges the damper gaining you most of the required clearance, to make installing the damper far easier, for up to a minute, before the damper contracts and the crank snout expands, but you need to be quick as the temps tend to equalize fast. I,ve done this on a couple very early SBC engines with no damper retaining bolts and it does work a great deal easier than the block of wood and 3 lb hammer Ive seen other guys use!

You then turn the real big nut, and the balancer walks on to the crankshaft

they also make combo puller/installers Proform 66514 - Proform

there's a TOOL designed expressly for removing the damper and its NOT a conventional swing jaw type gear puller LIKE THESE


they tend to bind and distort the damper, frequently damaging it

youll need something like this (you can get a cheap version at most auto parts stores for under $40 but the one from summit better quality



the crank gears requires a 3 or 4 jaw gear puller ,because the two jaw style tends to try and fold/bind the gear into the crank snout, a lighted propane torch applied briefly to heat the crank gear tends to expand & loosen its hold on the crank

BTW the stock damper has an inner hub and outer ring with an elastomer band glued between and effectively cancels most of the engine harmonics only at one rpm range, which is far lower than you'll be during high performance driving simply because stress is cumulative and the factory knows you'll spend far more time below 4500rpm than above that in the engines life.
there's several far more effective damper designs that work over a greater rpm spread:thumbsup:


stock oem style with elastomer ring


internal roller design (RATTLER)



the stock TYPE balancer has a rubber ring glued between the inner hub and outer inertial ring and yes they do deteriorate over time and have been known to slip, especially if subjected to being oil soaked over time



over time solvents like oil, exposure to heat , age, and constant vibration will cause the flexible elastomer band separating the inner and outer damper weights to degrade, this can cause the dampers outer TDC line to move


YOU can do a quick test to see if the inner and outer damper ring bond is loose,degrease the damper with some carburetor cleaner spray, then grab your wifes bottle of brite red or orange nail polish, and Draw a line on the front of the balancer across both the inner and outer hub rings, with the little paint brush under the cap, . Start the car , once it warms up reve the engine to 3500 rpm or so 6-7 times and inspect that nail polish line location, too see if the lines continue to align using the timing light. or turn off the engine and and use a brite flash lite ,If the lines are not,still lined up, the outer hub ring is slipping which misaligned the timing mark. So you end up the timing well out of speck and who knows where in relation to true TDC,.
Id suggest replacing your balancer immediately if its outer ring is loose with an SFI certified damper matching your application.

if your front crank seal leaks, over time it can dissolve the elastic, between the inner and outer damper hub weight, beating on a damper tends to hurt the flex ring seal alsos



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Staff member
dampers with the stock design ELASTOMER ring only work effectively at one set rpm range, usually in the 2400rpm-3000rpm band where the stock engine and gearings designed to cruize at in most cars. oil , heat,time and fuel can degrade the damper elastomer and make it fail.
the IDEA is that the inner ring accellerates with the power strokes, the flex the crank but the outer ring being connected with a rubber ring and glue tends to resist and absorb the shock loads,lowering the shock loads on the crank, the absorbtion frequency naturally depends on the outer rings weigh, and dia. and the thickness and flexiability.
some of the aftermarket dampers are much better designs and opperate at all rpm ranges.

Silicone performance from Fluidampr.
Using only 3 parts--a laser-welded sealed housing, an internal inertia ring, and a highly viscous silicon fluid between the two--these SFI-approved Fluidamprs can control all crankshaft vibration, not just a limited frequency range. As a result, you get reduced wear on the main bearings and timing gear, more stable valvetrain operation, and less chance of crank failure.

the aftermarket FLUID DAMPER has a INNER RING suspended in an extremely thick silicon grease,and incased in the damper housing so the damping effect of the friction of the heavy ring trying to move thru the grease works to slow accelleration of the innner ring and absorbs the shock loads from the crank flexing at all rpms as the ring moves inside the damper to absorb the frequency changes
naturally youll need to sellect the correct one for your particular application, and PROVIDED you DON,T GET STUPID and use A HAMMER to install them, that might BIND the outer housing to the inner ring rather than the correct installation tool,the fluid dampers tend to work really well

the RATTLER type uses ROLLER WIEGHTS in the HOUSING rather than a thick fluid and a ring

Effective balancing from a name you can trust.

These Rattler torsional vibration absorbers by TCI are pendulum absorbers developed to control amplitudes of vibration and angle of crankshaft twist like no other design. Their ability to absorb, rather than dampen, is the key to their success. The Rattlers are effective for the entire rpm range, and they extend crankshaft and bearing life. The Rattlers also allow the engine to run more smoothly, which can potentially increase valvetrain stability and life. Their design does not utilize viscous fluids, and they require virtually no maintenance. You can always depend on the Rattlers' timing marks to be correct, because they're etched onto the body and cannot move relative to crankshaft centerline. The Rattlers are also lighter in weight than most units of the same size and material construction, plus they're SFI 18.1 certified

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Staff member
how does a crankshaft damper work ... ctions.htm ... icle-2.pdf ... index.html ... 7/10002/-1




models916 said:
The bolt will work if you start out with a longer bolt and then transition to the shorter one. In the old days, before the crank was threaded, GM called for a big hammer to install the thing.

while thats true in most cases, if its only done a few times and your very selective about the thread engagement, its also true that using the bolt to pull the damper into place frequently causes problems,
FACT bolt threads must have about 1.5 times the diameter of the bolt threads fully engaged too equal max tensil strength, any less length of threads engaged significantly reduces the resistance of the threads to strip out under tension.

look at the two bolts below, the upper GRADE #8 ARP bolts stronger but with a minimum of 1.5 times its thread diameter already threaded into a crank snout ,too reduce the chance of stripping threads how much farther can it be screwed in, to pull the damper in place before the threads bottom out?


if the threads bottom out and you applie torque shearing off the bolt or stripping the threads in the crank is a common result

using a bolt and a washer to draw on a damper can occasionally allow a slightly out of alignment or cocked damper to bind on the crank snout this frequently results in stripped threads a sheared bolt or a broken damper

beating on a damper with a hammer will frequently induce stress cracks that can and do eventually result in crank shaft or thrust bearing failures, these may not become apparent for tens of thousands of miles but are there none the less and should be avoided

Since I'm going to be replacing the damper bolt with the bigger BBC component, I'm also going
to upgrade the balancer while I'm there.

I'm trying to decide if the gold Race Series dampers is any better than the black Streetdampers ....
without the consideration of money.

I found the below info on the Fluidampr website.

Fluidampr Dampers Performance over 6,000 RPM

the damper is engineered to allow for quick acceleration and the rapid increase in torsional vibration frequency associated with higher rpms. There is a clerical difference between “meets SFI standards” and “SFI certified”. The former means we construct our Streetdampers to the same rigorous standards as those that are SFI Certified. The later means, we have worked diligently with SFI Foundation Inc., who sets the rules and regulations for most racing organizations, to have our Race Series dampers independently tested, officially certified and regularly scrutinized by SFI. SFI Certified is a very scientific and costly endeavor to ensure that the construction of our product will hold up in the racing world. Regardless of terminology, the engine owner wins because our Streetdampr are manufactured to the same high level race quality outlined by the SFI Foundation Inc.

I found this, but it's still not conclusive about which damper would be better.

LeBarron: Fluidampr offers a value-priced line of non-SFI rated Streetdampr brand dampers for popular small block Chevy and Ford applications. Streetdampr products can be used from mild to heavily modified applications whenever SFI 18.1 specs are not required because they provide similar benefits of broad range protection coverage and superior durability as Fluidampr just without a final protective finish. With some select applications we also offer different diameters and weights. It’s a compromise; a larger, heavier damper will provide more damping but slower throttle response and a smaller, lighter damper will improve throttle response but provide less protection. It is always best to consult with your engine builder or damper manufacturer if you need assistance.

Any Opinions ??? Which one would be better ???

If I was making the choice ID call fluidamprs tech line and ask....
several questions ,
simply because
if your not sure its simply that you don,t have enough facts,
to make a logical fact based decision.

For Technical Support and Product Information Call or E-mail us at:
(716) 592-1000
Office Hours:M - Fr 8:00am - 4:30pm EST.
If after hours, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
but ID certainly be looking harder at the gold version simply because it looks like theres,
been a few minor improvements made and the cost difference is insignificant in the long term
be aware theres internal and externally balanced damper and several diameters from about 6.25", 7" and 8" so ask pointed detailed questions, and know what you need.
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