I need some help deciding / buying a Harmonic balancer for my 351C.I have a warmed up CJ in 1973 Mach 1.I do drive it on the street and I do race it a few times a month. I bought this car new and have all the power steering and AC etc... still on the car. I am thinking and hoping to do the stroker 393 / 408 this coming winter. I have read Gearge P's ideas on the differant balancers to use on the Clevelands.I am still using a factory balancer and want to change to an after market that will be safe to the 7,000 range,and has all of the timing marks on it.My question is do I really need to buy a four hundred dollar balancer for what I am doing? If so who has the best buy on the ATI? I sure would rather put that money towards a strocker kit / short block, I have already got a decent set of closed chamber heads etc...on top.I need to make a decision pretty soon as I have the front of the motor pulled down for cleaning and maintenance.Thanks for any help!
You are only spinning 7000 rpm, I wouldn't worry about it, there are plenty of good balancers on the market at about half the cost. I would wait until I purchased my stroker kit then buy a balancer. You did not list the power levels you are trying to achive on the stroker build, that can be a determining factor, if it's a mild build then save your money.
I am not looking for an outragous HP number.I want to build the stroker that would live on the street in my Mach that is fully equiped with power brakes, AC etc....( very heavy car)and run into the mid to low 12's. I would like to convert to a 4R70W for the overdrive.I am running 4:22s with a C6 now,not much fun on the high way.The 7000 rpm was just a number.I was hoping I can get my numbers with out twisting that tight, thus the stroker idea.The car must keep the basic factory look as I show it, and I am running the factory ram air which limits my intake choices.Are the pioneer balancers any good? I really want one with all of the timing marks,and one that isn't 40 years old.
I've spun Professional Products balancers to 6500 on some FE's...they're not too bad of a balancer. But it just depends on how much horsepower you plan on making and how high you plan on turning it up.
The degree marks are nice the first time you set the timing, then after that, they're an afterthought. If you find a balancer that doesn't suit you there, you can buy some MSD timing tape and overlay it. I do that to the Romac/Ford Racing balancers so that the marks show up easy on the dyno when I'm playing around.
My current balancer is the Professional Products SFI, not too much money gets the job done, will probably be fine for you as well, and it does have the timing marks. Whatever you decide to use you want an SFI certified for sure. Mine went on very tight, which is what you want, and currently running it up to 7500 RPM on my stroker.
Most full stroker kits come with an SFI rated balancer. My Scat 9000 Series came with a Professional Products balancer and it is a heavy well made piece. It dampens my 408 just fine with bright white painted markings. I don't turn my engine past 6500 and makes just shy of 500HP.
You're dealing with a thin-cast block with a propensity for cracking the bulkheads above the main bearing saddles. The harmonic damper is the wrong place to save money. Testimony from several people over the years has indicated there's one damper that reduces or eliminates the likelihood of block cracking. Its one of the three dampers in the list above.
Yes the ATI damper is expensive ... but its cheaper than a BHJ damper! That might make you feel better.
Thanks for all of your opinions! I am leaning toward the ATI.Gearge just makes a good point.You are right about not seeing one come apart on the track.I have seen them slip on the street, just don't want mine to be the first I see under the hood of my Mach. Will I be able to use the same balancer on my car now and then if I get to do the stroker I want? Seems like when I had my current engine balanced I do not remeber any weight taken off of the flywheel or balancer like I had on my 428's.The machine shop I used is no longer in buisness,
Pantera International magazine is currently out of production but I'm working towards changing that. If you click on the links in my signature line they'll take you to some of my Facebook photo albums. If you click around on the pictures in the two 351C albums you'll find some of them have very long technical captions. If you have a Facebook profile you're welcome to send me a friend request, several guys here have already done so. The Concorso Italiano will run a story I wrote for them in their 2011 event magazine, this year's concorso shall celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Pantera (the Concorso Italiano is the largest Italian car event in the world). I plan to retire from my weekday carreer next year, and afterwards I shall devote the remainder of my life to writing, publishing and debauchery.
as choosing a good wife. You'll find out soon how you did with the wife, the damper may take longer. If the damper is wrong, same as wife, its never good. Choose a high dollar wife, almost always a mistake, a high dollar damper you may do better, no guarantees.
Low dollar wife, she just might be the bomb, same could be true for the damper.
If the wife works out for you, you can probably put some reason to it, no chance with the damper.
You'll never know how good or bad the damper is, only that nothing has broken yet. If something breaks you can probably blame the wife, probably not so with the damper.
You can usually test a wife in several ways before you buy, not so for the damper.
This message has been edited by F0rdmech from IP address 126.96.36.199 on Jul 26, 2011 7:39 PM This message has been edited by F0rdmech from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Jul 26, 2011 7:39 PM
If I say change it, then it's going to cost you money. If I don't say change it and it comes apart, then you're gonna get mad at me...LOL
I've never used one at that horsepower level, so I have no data to back up my claims with. The Professional Products balancers, IMO, are not as high quality as the ATI and Romac balancers. At your horsepower level, I would consider that a "street/strip" application if not a race application.
Just as an FYI to the others, the Ford Racing balancers are made by Romac if I remember correctly.
I have used an Inovators West damper for several years and several hundred runs down the quarter mile and had good luck with it. I recently bought an ATI but I have not tried it yet only because I wanted to see if it would be faster. The Inovators West damper came as standard equipment on the 2008 and 2010 Cobra Jet Mustang factory drag race cars.
According to Gearges artical / tech the main reason for the aftermarket balancer,besides the age of the factory balancers,is the weight.He says that most of the balancers are "too light" for the performance Clevelands.I am not building an all out race engine,but I do see RPM in the 6,000 - 6,500 range. I was looking through the Summitt and Jeggs catalog on line last evening and am lost! I can not find any balancers listed for the Cleveland, other than the ATI. The Clevelands are the 28oz balancer right? So does that make it the same as the small block and 351 Weezers? I am sure that mine was an enternal ballance as I remember seeing the rods and pistons with the machine work.I don't recall anything on the factory balancer or flywheel.Thanks for all the replies and info,and Gearge I really appreciate your info and tech help,I am not trying to throw you under the bus,just trying to get differant .02s before I make the leap!
All of the small block Dampers will fit a Cleveland but 1969 or older dampers had a 3 bolt pattern and 1970 and newer were 4 bolt where the front pulley bolts on. I should say that all 221-260-289-302-351w will phyiscally fit but not the ones for the Ford modular motors(4.6 and 5.4). My engines are internally balanced so I can use a neutral balance damper (this is necessary to turn over 7000 rpms) but if your going to stay under 7000 rpms you can use the 28 oz in damper and have your engine externally balanced, which is how they come from the factory. Also some of the later model 302's use a 50 oz in damper and these are not for a cleveland(too much external counterweight).
This message has been edited by winkmiester from IP address 184.108.40.206 on Jul 27, 2011 10:35 AM This message has been edited by winkmiester from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Jul 27, 2011 10:32 AM
I always seem to wonder about products like this?Does anyone have actual field experience with these balancers or are we making assumptions because they are built in China and are offerd at a reasonable price like most should be!I do remember going through this very same scenario with Japanese products years ago and now where are we with that!I have read some feedback on these Dampers on other sites and none has been negative so far.I have decided to run this balancer and if it flies through the rad i will have some actual field data for you all if not we have a another bargain for all.