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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are some super purty looking shiny billet aluminum looking balancers on the car part sites.
I'm aiming for 280HP on my engine build (heads, cam & intake) but used forged pistons just in case I want to go with a 6 or 9 PSI supercharger later on.
So, 400-500HP is a possibility for my 351W.
But I also installed 4.56 gearing. And it'll be 95% highway with some random offroading here and there in Central Texas.

My heads/intake/cam are all good up to about 5000-5500RPM.
So, my engine won't be spinning at 6500RPM where you might want a super fancy balancer.
So,,, there are no other reasons for me to want one, right?

I can get by with the cheap, basic balancer that my short block builder sent me even if I end up with a 9PSI supercharger?
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Btw, that ARP balancer bolt is bad assed.
 

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Ford Hoarder
78 & 92
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8,151 Posts
A blower will change the load on the crank, a little. However ideally the rotating assembly would of been balanced with whatever you were gonna use.
Assuming the stock one is good do you need an aftermarket one, no. Have I used them with noticable results, yes. After tearing one down before and after. Bearings much nicer looking. But that was on a more abused engine

My opinion it's a nice to have, not a have to have. I also like that the timing marks are usually nicer on the aftermarket ones too
 

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Man of endless projects
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i had my 96 (with the special 4-point tone ring) rebuilt by a DamperDudes and rebalanced for internal balance for my stroker. i dont really care to have a special balancer on it.

ive had plenty of Dorman balancers on different mild engines no problem. my friends Dorman on his stock engine did fail within a year but jsut replaced it.

i think on more of a racing engine thats changing RPM at fast rated or seeing high RPM, then a better balancer might be good. when inertia of the counterweight changing RPM is constantly wearing at the rubber layer then i can see it. or if you are balancing an engine and want it to be balanced better then it might be good.

in the end its really your call. its kinda like aftermarket fuel rails. at a certain point it will be required to change but the stock one can be fine for quite a decent amount of power. but people like to change them anyways

thats a weird crank bolt, i dont like it being a smaller 12-pt bolt. the crank bolt with the 1/2" square in center is great.
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Premium Member
1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 mostly stock
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1,699 Posts
I agree with everything that has been said...I too ran fluidamper on my drag car, but it was getting beat on everytime it was cranked. I have run plenty of street engines with good ol OEM dampers.
That one sent will be A-O-K.

I will add that doing any rebuild on an engine i don't know, if there is any sign of a groove from an oil seal on the snout of the balancer...i replace it. That way i know its good, and that way i know i'll enjoy a leak free engine that much longer.

I just bought one for my 5.0 rebuild, a Dorman and it had nice timing marks etched into the surface, i was pleasantly surprised, i rubbed some white paint on them, then wiped it off and they pop really nice now when i shoot the timing.
 

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I just bought the dorman as well and am very pleased with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone.
I stuck with the new stock damper.

thats a weird crank bolt, i dont like it being a smaller 12-pt bolt. the crank bolt with the 1/2" square in center is great.
View attachment 190418
It's an ARP and felt really nice and solid.
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I have noooo idea what happened to my original bolt.
I probably would have re-used it if I had not lost it.
 

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Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
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Dorman balancers suck ass. The one i put on my 300 came apart on me after just 1200 miles. ...While i was 900 miles from home in the middle of the Utah wasteland.

Had to order one from the Moab Napa.

Fancy fluid dampers are nice for offroading where the throttle gets lots of work and the engine is at weird angles. Engines are made to be run as they sit in a car, relatively parallel to the ground. When you start throwing 30° angles at it, gravity will affect the bearings slightly.
 

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I had a wonderful engine builder explain a similar question to me when I was 16 like this: "Think of me as a travel agent. If you tell me you want to go to Florida, I'll get everything lined up to get you to Florida. If you call me on the way to Florida and tell me you want to go to California instead, we can do it, but it'll cost more than if you said California out of the gate. If you get to California and decide you wanted to go to Hawaii instead and wish you were there right now, well then you better start swimming, because we only planned on getting you to California."

Decide what you want to do, it sounds like you already have. If you're putting a blower on it later, get a decent balancer now, before the rotating assembly gets balanced. As you mentioned, these engines in general aren't going to high RPM, so there is no need to have the same balancer a funny car would have. However, you're already past what the OEM spec for the balancer was. So OEM is out too. Pick one from one of the reputable performance brands and you'll be fine. The issue with the cheap ones in this application is that they just aren't as good at dampening, which is what they are supposed to do. On a new rotating assembly, it's cheap peace of mind IMO.
 
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