Flywheels, also known as momentum wheels, are specifically designed to store rotational energy by resisting rotational speed changes, thereby stabilizing shaft rotation when fluctuations in torque occur (as is commonly the case within a reciprocating motor). Flywheels are crucial components that play a significant role in the way an engine functions, ensuring that the clutch assembly, drivetrain, and transmission work together in synchronicity without being overloaded. The primary purpose of a flywheel within an automobile is to maintain a consistent angular velocity within the crankshaft, thereby promoting greater acceleration and top speed. By switching from a standard steel or iron flywheel to an aluminum flywheel you'll be able to accelerate through the lower gears in less time and reach your top speed faster than ever before. The following paragraphs discuss the benefits, types, costs, and installation of aluminum flywheels.
Benefits of Aluminum Flywheels
Aluminum flywheels present a number of advantages over steel and iron flywheels, particularly because they weigh less and are more durable than the two aforementioned counterparts. Conventional flywheels, such as those comprised of stainless steel, add a significant amount of drag due to their weight combined with the weight of other parts within the drivetrain such as the clutch assembly or crankshaft. This heavy weight causes relatively slow acceleration in comparison to an aluminum flywheel, which decreases weight, maximizes efficacy, and heightens acceleration without increasing the actual horsepower of the engine. This increased acceleration is especially noticeable within the lower gears as the car takes off from the starting line. Thus, aluminum flywheels are most commonly seen in professional racing cars, as even the tiniest boost acceleration can mean the difference between a loss or victory. In fact, aluminum flywheels may be the easiest way to increase acceleration without spending more than $1000 on a project.
Types and Costs of Aluminum Flywheels
A typical aluminum flywheel ranges in cost from $200-$650, depending on the size, manufacturer, and specific vehicle compatibility. Popular brands that manufacture and distribute aluminum flywheels are Centerforce, Fidanza, Hays, SPEC, Ram Clutch, McLeod, and Honda. Although each flywheel is compatible with a certain range of vehicles, this compatibility is not extremely narrow. For example, some aluminum flywheels are intended for vehicles ranging from years 1955 to 1985. Nonetheless, aluminum flywheels are not a "one-size-fits-all" part, so as a vehicle owner you should conduct the necessary research to ensure that you're purchasing a suitable flywheel for your automobile. Although aluminum flywheels have been proven to offer better performance than steel and iron flywheels, they are usually not required by the average driver, and are therefore not seen as stock parts. Thus, you may have to purchase aftermarket aluminum flywheels for most vehicles, and then pay for the cost of installation.
Installing Aluminum Flywheels
Of course, if you'd like to save money on the project you could perform the installation yourself. Before undertaking any type of mechanical project you should ensure that you have the proper tools, experience, knowledge, and/or expertise. A typical aluminum flywheel installation will require the usage of several socket wrenches, a hammer, an open end wrench, and maybe a puller. Mechanics will usually isolate the part of the drivetrain that the aluminum flywheel attaches to and work on the part outside of the vehicle for enhanced convenience and simplicity. Due to the fact that the flywheel is located on such a crucial part of the engine, individuals that are inexperienced or are unsure of their ability to repair or modify an automobile should strongly consider hiring the assistance of a professional mechanic for their aluminum flywheel installation.