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internal or external balanced


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9 replies to this topic

#1 roadkill customs

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Posted October 13, 2009 at 01:23 am

I am ordering a new 5 speed manual trans for my 440. I was asked if it was the internal or external balanced type. I do not know what the engine came out of but I do have the flywheel for it. How can I tell if it is internal or externally balanced?

#2 valiant67

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Posted October 13, 2009 at 06:02 am

There were at least 3 versions from the factory.
Cast cranks were externally balanced. I believe on those the harmonic balancer is marked for use with cast crank only.
Then the rest of the engines were either internally or externally balanced depending on year and application but those externally balanced ones where different than the cast crank externally balanced ones mentioned above.
The flywheel you have should have some indication if it is an external balance, whether it be counter weights or holes drilled on one part of the flywheel only.

I am sure there are people who know more about the exact details than I do.

#3 roadkill customs

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Posted October 13, 2009 at 09:24 am

The flywheel does not have any weight added but it does have a small spot where weight was milled out (not drilled). The area is about 2" wide by 1/2" by 1/8" deep. This is so small it makes me wonder if the engine and this flywheel are supposed to be a pair. Or the usit is internally balanced. I have seen on the internet that all cast cranks were externally balanced. If this is true, how can I tell if the crank is cast or steel?

#4 dana44

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Posted October 13, 2009 at 11:25 am

The flywheel does not have any weight added but it does have a small spot where weight was milled out (not drilled). The area is about 2" wide by 1/2" by 1/8" deep. This is so small it makes me wonder if the engine and this flywheel are supposed to be a pair. Or the usit is internally balanced. I have seen on the internet that all cast cranks were externally balanced. If this is true, how can I tell if the crank is cast or steel?



I had to ask this question once, so, look on the harmonic balancer itself. If it is exterally balanced, it will say something specifically like External balance crankshaft only, the steel crank/interally balanced crank have no words cast into them.

#5 roadkill customs

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Posted October 15, 2009 at 06:46 pm

I had to ask this question once, so, look on the harmonic balancer itself. If it is exterally balanced, it will say something specifically like External balance crankshaft only, the steel crank/interally balanced crank have no words cast into them.



Thank you all. This was a tremendous help. I found there are basically 3 things to check. First, if the crank is forged, it is always internal balance. Second, the balancer will say it is for "external balance only" usually, but not always, if it is externally balanced. And third, the flywheel will have extra weight added if it is external balanced.

#6 dana44

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Posted October 15, 2009 at 09:32 pm

Thank you all. This was a tremendous help. I found there are basically 3 things to check. First, if the crank is forged, it is always internal balance. Second, the balancer will say it is for "external balance only" usually, but not always, if it is externally balanced. And third, the flywheel will have extra weight added if it is external balanced.



Yep, a big Star Trek looking almost quarter inch thick piece of metal welded at its ends on the torque converter, small blocks have rectangles that look like stick-back wheel balance weights. A steel crank by itself and unidentified can be identified by the wide grinding mark at the seams where it isn't machined and when you tap it with something metal, like a half inch wrench, it will ringggggggg, and if it is a cast iron (cast steel for Mopars), there will be a very tiny seam or ridge on the non-machined portions and when you tap it with the same wrench, it will go khing...... no ringing at all. Cast iron will just go clunk.

#7 leon t

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Posted October 16, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Hi, the first answer was right as far as it went .cast cranks were external, steel crank with six[6] pac rods and one four barrel external, steel crank and regular rods internal. If the vibration damper has a weight offset from the bolt that holds it to the crank it is externaly balanced. hope this helps

#8 Trailmaster

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Posted October 17, 2009 at 09:41 am

Just to satisfy my curiosty and along the same lines as this thread, does that mean that a flywheel off a 440 will fit a 383?

#9 leon t

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Posted October 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Hi, the flywheel for an automatic 440 and 383 are the same .the convertor bolt pattern is not the same for 11 in. and 12in. convertors. both the 383 and 440 used either convertor,so check convertor size..The standerd flywheel from the 440 must NOT have a cast weight on it,383's never used external balance weights. Hope this helps

#10 dana44

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Posted October 17, 2009 at 11:43 pm

The external balance for the 400 and 440 cast cranks were done at the harmonic balancer and torque converter and manual flywheel, not the flex plate. The aftermarket (like B&M, TCI) flex plates allow the balance location to change so the counterbalance doesn't have to be added to the internally balanced (318/steel crank 340) torque converters.


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