Component construction, degeneration in vehicle performance and implications for road safety were among the major issues debated by Corteco product experts and mechanics at the OESAA (Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association) stand at the MECHANEX Manchester show in May.
Mechanics were invited to witness and observe the case of two aftermarket components with vastly different performance capabilities.
The first item on show was a cross-section of a decoupling Torsional Vibration Damper (TVD), later revealed to be the Original Equipment design from Corteco, which is available for aftermarket installation.
TVDs are increasingly installed on front-end auxiliary drives. Mounted on the crankshaft, they control vibration and noise, which is generated by several sources, including the engine and other components within the drive system.
Note the Rubber Medium on Exhibit A (Fig 1). This acts as a noise and vibration damper. Mechanics were also shown that depressing the ‘decoupler’ on the left hand side raises the level of the decoupler on the right hand side. This is because the decoupler is designed to Move. The reason it must move is because crankshaft vibration is more pronounced at low engine speeds. The TVD decouples the belt drive from the crankshaft at the appropriate speed. This action significantly reduces component wear and allows the TVD to provide maximum damping performance.
The second item (Fig 2), later revealed as an alternative available in the aftermarket, provided a quite different operational perspective. A rubber medium is visible but the ‘decoupler’ element cannot move. It cannot provide any decoupling capabilities and no dampening takes place.
In cross-section, the evidence is clear. The operational differences between the two exhibits are exposed.
As the OE product, Exhibit A is a TVD with damping and decoupling capabilities. It will fit perfectly and can be installed with confidence.
Exhibit B is a pulley and nothing more. It may fit perfectly but it is both technically and physically incapable of doing the job of a TVD.
The number of garages installing components like Exhibit B every week is unclear, but they should all be aware that installing an ineffective TVD is bad news for the garage and the customer. It exacerbates wear at the crankshaft. The consequential damage includes premature drive failure and leads to:
- Road safety issues
- Expensive rectification jobs
- Tarnished reputations
- Restricted profit margins
As with all components in the front-end auxiliary drive system, TVDs are subject to wear and they should be examined closely as part of a preventive maintenance schedule. They must be replaced with a component that is up to the job, along with all recommended ancillary components.
Corteco points out that its OE pulleys are supplied complete with mounting instructions. Essential details such as tightening torques, tensioning screws and the use of special tools are also included – all supplied at an aftermarket price.
OESAA stand set to deliver again at MECHANEX Donington Park – Stand C40