You may know that I am building a ZX motor for my 240z with a euro SU carburetor configuration, but I am stumbling over the harmonic balancer I should use here. I've read about thirty threads on this topic, from the 5 or 6 forums that I follow, and none of them is actually comparing the options against each other.
I only need one pulley, so I had initially intended to go with a standard 240z balancer, and if I could find one from Europe with just one pulley, even better. However, I've read in a lot of places that the factory balancers are prone to failure. I don't plan to hang out in the high revs all day long, but I'll definitely be getting into them periodically and I don't want my balancer flying apart.
I also read somewhere that the timing marks from my '83 ZXT engine aren't in the same location as 240z timing marks, so I have to use something meant to go on a ZX.
So now to my actual question: has anyone done a comparison of the various option for balancers?
Snooping around the internet yields three basic options: a factory balancer, the Powerforce balancer on MSA, or the $350-$500 options like ATI, BHJ, and Kameari.
I can't imagine that a street car should be running a $500 balancer, so I guess what I want to know first is are the two Powerforce balancers high quality (like Motorsport claims they are) or do they fly apart all the time like I've seen people on some forums claim?
Right now I'm leaning toward one of these, but if they are crap, or if there's a brand out there with something sub-$150, I'd love to know before I buy something.
To add some clarity to the discussion and perhaps help some other people with this, here are the options for a street application I have identified so far:
OEM by price
- '82-83 280ZX Turbo Factory Crankshaft Pulley ($259.87 @ Motorsport!)
- '75-83 280Z/ZX Factory Crankshaft Pulley (Double Pulley, $219.00 @ Z Car Depot)
- '73-74 240Z Factory Harmonic Balancer, US-Spec ($274.95 @ Motorsport!)
- 240Z Factory Harmonic Balancer, Rest-of-World (NLA)
- Nismo L-Series Harmonic Damper (NLA)
Street Aftermarket by price
- Professional Products PowerForce Harmonic Dampers, 70-83 Z/ZX (Single Pulley, $105.95 @ Motorsport!)
- PowerBond Premium OEM Replacement Harmonic Balancers (Double Pulley, $183.97 @ Summit Racing)
- Powerforce SFI-Spec Racing Damper, 70-83 Z/ZX (Single Pulley, $199.95 @ Motorsport!) - Note that I have read threads about these being too small and not fitting, but this is 10-12 year old information and may have been rectified by now.
- Pioneer Balancers DA-41(Double Pulley, $249.97 @ Summit Racing)
- ATI Super Damper Sport Compact Harmonic Balancers ($359.97 @ Summit Racing)
- BHJ Dynamics Street Performance Special L-Series Datsun Harmonic Damper ($497.00 @ BHJ)
Racing Aftermarket by price (for posterity)
- Kameari L-Type Super Racing Damper Pulley ($382.40 @ RHD)
- BHJ Dynamics Race Special L-Series Datsun Harmonic Damper ($497.00 @ BHJ)
- Kameari L-Type Super Racing Damper Pulley Full Kit ($637... @ RHD)
I have also read that the Nissan Quest, Maxima, Laurel, and Cendric pulleys/ballancers will work, but I don't know if they require modification, nor if the timing marks are the same.
Another wrinkle is the 280ZXs that came with factory installed AC had the timing indicator on the passenger side (light) rather than the driver side (left). I'm not sure if that means the balancer is different, or if it means timing was maintained by aligning gear teeth differently.
Edited by matthewabate, 3 weeks ago.