Vibra Off – An engine damper thing

Can you imagine all the activities going on inside a running engine? Think of cylinders moving up and down on the journals of a crankshaft. Some cylinders are going down to gain power, while the others are working upwards to build up compression. These movements cause the crankshaft to vibrate. The degree of vibration varies depending on the how strong the engine is running.


Dampers are installed for the sole purpose of absorbing all the vibrations created during the engine’s operation. In so doing, the use of dampers is expected to minimize these vibrations. Damage happens, when vibrations by an engine running at certain speed, eventually builds up and matches the cranks natural frequency.

You’ve probably heard or even seen glass breaking with a high pitch sound.  That is because the frequency of the sound matched the natural frequency of the glass. This is called resonance and this is the same thing with the crank. Once this happens, a lot of problems can occur.

Controlling resonance can be done by either energy dissipation, or energy absorption. Dampers lessen the presence of vibration, first by absorbing them, before they are converted to heat energy.

Dampers are specifically installed to the crank’s front area because timing chain is also located at the same area. Vibrations can affect the behavior of the ignition and valve train that can lead to power loss if a damper is not hooked up.

Regular dampers have a rubber ring around the damper body, bonded with steel ring. The rubber ring absorbs the vibrations through the application of inertia by the steel ring, which causes the rubber to stretch.

However, regular dampers won’t just work with race engines. This is why with performance or race dampers, the outer ring is attached to the hub with the use of o-rings. This method permits the damper to be matched to the size of the engine and its speed range according to how hard or elastic the o-ring is. When rebuilding is required on an engine, rebuilding a performance damper is also possible.

A new damper design has been currently introduced by TCI. This design is different from the regular performance dampers. Instead of turning vibration to heat energy, TCI’s design allows the absorber to also control the vibration. This is done with the aid of special rollers. Twisting energy, which results to vibration, is cancelled out with the aid of rollers located inside the absorber.

This new design has been proven to be effective for all engine speed levels. TCI’s absorber can be used on any car without having to worry about fit.

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