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What is a Dual Mass Flywheel?

A Dual Mass Flywheel (DMF) is a type of flywheel where the rotating mass is split between two independent pieces. These two plates are joined by a damping mechanism to dampen torsional spikes and vibration generated through the crankshaft. This allows for a smoother and more enjoyable driving experience. They generally work well as long as the engine remains unmodified and the vehicle is not used beyond manufacturer's recommendations. As soon as you start to increase the engine power over stock, or load the vehicle or a trailer beyond the vehicle design specifications, overloading will occur.

Dual mass flywheels are tuned to match the engine torque curve, engine resonant vibration characteristics, and vehicle load curves. They work by having a set of springs inserted between two rotating masses (i.e. Dual Mass). The springs are designed to absorb the resonant vibration from the engine before it transfers to the transmission. The dual mass flywheel contains an excessive "Friction Torque Limiter" so that if the flywheel is suddenly overloaded, it is designed to start slipping rather than damage the springs. This works fine as an occasional safety valve, but if occurs too often, it can overheat and burn up. Dual Mass Flywheels are not a good fit if the vehicle is overloaded, exceeds towing limits, or the engine is modified to produce increased horse power over the OE Specifications.

Dual mass flywheels are designed to provide maximum isolation of the frequency below the engine's operating RPM, usually between 200-400 RPM. They are also most effective during engine startup and shutdown.

 
A typical dual mass flywheel consists of 5 components:


1. Primary Flywheel
2. Secondary flywheel
3. Arc Damper Spring
4. Friction Torque Limiter
5. Ring Gear

 



When to consider converting to a Solid (Single Mass) Flywheel:

If you have modified your engine and it generates more torque and horsepower than the Original factory specs or if you intend to exceed the towing limit of your vehicle, converting to a solid flywheel is required for you to experience satisfactory clutch life.  Once you have converted to a solid flywheel, the next time you need to replace the clutch, the flywheel is simply resurfaced which will save you money.

Please note that the original clutch is not compatible with the new solid flywheel. So converting to a solid flywheel will require a complete Solid Flywheel Conversion Clutch Kit consisting of the Pressure Plate, Clutch Disc, Release Bearing, Pilot Bearing or Bushing, Alignment tool, Solid flywheel, and bolts for the both the pressure plate and flywheel.

A Solid Single Mass Flywheel does tend to transmit more engine vibration through the drivetrain and may seem a bit noisier in diesel engine pickups. This noise is attributed to Transmission "Gear Rattle" that only occurs with the vehicle is at rest and in neutral with the pedal up. As per the OE clutch manufacturer's analysis, this rattle noise does not shorten the life of any of the drivetrain components. Solid Flywheel Conversions have been installed many thousands of times all over the world in all types of vehicles with great customer satisfaction.


Related:Dual Mass FLywheel Bulletin, Dual Mass Flywheel Diagnostics Guide