Fluidampr – The Independent Test
I was honestly very intrigued when I read the article here on MotoIQ about the Development Of The Fluidampr Crankshaft Damper. Seeing the dyno charts showing improvement in power and torque on a Stock FRS and having a pulley/damper that should reduce harmonic stress on the engine would be the hot ticket. It really almost looks too good to be true.
Here is the thing, Subaru claims that the boxer motor is supposed to be balanced due to its boxer engine design. “The pistons face away from each other in a 180º symmetrical layout around the crankshaft and work to balance out each other’s vibrations, delivering a smooth, shudder-free feel. “ Knowing this, can the Fluidampr improve on what Subaru uses from the factory to further smooth out the engine harmonics while making more power? Could this damper honestly live up to what its dyno numbers claimed? Me being the skeptic I am, I wanted to give it a go on a proper modded BRZ to see what it would do and how it would perform.
First things first though, I needed to get my hands on the BRZ/FR-S Fluidampr!
With that thought I reached out to one of the MotoIQ militia and inquired about the acquisition of the BRZ/FR-S Fluidampr. Next thing I knew there was a package at my front door waiting for me. I will say it was one of the best if not the best packaged products I have ever had the pleasure to open. It really would be able to survive the worst handling UPS, FedEx or USPS would be able to throw at it. Big props to the Fluidampr packaging dept.
Open it up and see what is inside! What you can’t really see though is the expanded foam that is behind the instruction envelope that fully encased the heavy plastic bag that the damper was in. It is the best “void fill” when shipping items like this.
The weight game:
Weight, it is part of the age old debate that has been argued amongst gear-heads forever. Does lighter equal faster and what do you sacrifice by going lighter? Every give has a take. When replacing the crank damper/pulley with a lightweight undamped unit you are removing rotational mass. Your engine in theory should rev faster and lose revs faster, however you do sacrifice the damping aspect of the of the stock unit which lessens the harmonic vibrations in and on the engine. Another side effect of the vibrations may be increased wear on internals. There is a reason that the OEM manufacturers don’t use solid crank pulleys and I would put money on it that a solid pulley would be way cheaper to make than a damped one.
Our contenders for this bout will be the Perrin Performance Crank pulley, our OEM Subaru damped pulley and the pulley of the hour, the Fluidampr.
Perrin claims are simple and straightforward: “The PERRIN Performance Crank Pulley weighs just 1.2 lbs, which is 3.7 pounds lighter than the stock OEM crank pulley. This reduction in weight from the crankshaft is equal to removing more than 100 lbs of vehicle weight! Throttle response, horsepower and torque are all increased with this easy to install part.”
The OEM Subaru crank pulley is a standard OEM multi piece rubber dampened unit. It is what the engineers design for the FA20 engine.
The Fluidampr pulley does make some claims about their crank damper:
“Protect your engine. A Fluidampr performance damper provides premium, broad range control of destructive crankshaft torsional vibration for optimum performance and durability. Install as an upgrade to OEM elastomer style harmonic balancer, when horsepower is gained, or when rotating assembly parts change to reduce wear on critical internal engine components. Features high quality, long lasting viscous silicone damper technology with precision CNC machined and computer balanced high-grade steel components. No tuning or maintenance required. SFI 18.1 approved, race proven for over 25 years. Made in the USA.”
That stated let's have the weigh in.
Perrin's crank pulley was our only non-damped unit and is also the Flyweight at a whopping 1.20 lbs.