What are the benefits of a dual mass flywheel?

Written by rob callahan
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What are the benefits of a dual mass flywheel?
Dual mass flywheels increase the efficiency of a light truck's transmission. (pickup truck image by Tonda from Fotolia.com)

A dual mass flywheel is a clutch component used in light-duty trucks and other vehicles fitted with a diesel engine and a manual transmission. The dual mass flywheel dampens the torque produced by a diesel engine, optimising the engine's output while reducing transmission wear by limiting the amount of vibration and other damaging factors of the shifting process. Dual mass flywheels have many advantages over single mass flywheels.

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Elimination of Gear Rattle

By reducing or eliminating the amount of transmission gear rattle, a dual mass flywheel provides a quieter ride with fewer vibrations. This is an especially noteworthy benefit for drivers and passengers in light-duty trucks, where the suspension is often tighter to accommodate heavy loads and can lead to excessive vibration and jostling on uneven roads. The application of the dual mass flywheel significantly decreases these factors, providing a more relaxed driving experience.

Reduction of Gear Lever Effort and Damage

Dual mass flywheels isolate the spikes in crankshaft torsion that commonly occur in diesel engines with high compression ratios. These spikes would otherwise be a potential source of damage to the transmission gear teeth and could lead to the need for costly repairs over time. In addition to preventing damage, this compensation for torsion spikes also eases the transmission's effort when shifting, allowing for further preservation of the gears and longer transmission life.

Increased Fuel Efficiency

Dual mass flywheels benefit transmissions not only by extending their lifespan, but also by allowing more effective and efficient use of the power provided by the vehicle's engine. When the driver shifts into higher or lower gears, the flywheel's dampening effect diminishes the torsion surges or spikes that might otherwise cause the engine to overwork itself and the transmission, optimising the engine's output at any given speed and producing better mileage per gallon of fuel consumed.

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