Effect of Light Flywheels on Engine Performance

The working of flywheel is similar to the wheels of toy cars used for revving up and then releasing to let it zoom. The heavy wheels which are located between the gearbox and engine generate rotational force with momentum and speed.

This helps the car in resisting changes in the speed of engine and efficiently saves the energy, it is good for driving at a stable speed but it is not good when fast engine response is required.

The drawbacks are that it requires to effort to rotate the wheel and halts the revs of the engine quickly slowing down or increasing. The wheel which is light in weight will help the engine to freely rev more and will decrease the strain from the engine. As a plus point, when the weight the less, the engine will be able to generate more power.


It can be noticed that the rev of a race-tuned engine will increase and decrease more quickly as compared to a normal engine. A major problem with a lighter flywheel is that the inertial spin or engine momentum is reduced; this can observed more on a hill.

While a heavy flywheel maintains the engine momentum, the momentum gets decreased and the engine output has much more direct effect from the hill. It is best suitable in racing situation where the track is even having a demand for rapid changes in engine speed and the engine is supposed to be tuned up to match the output power and the capacity of flywheel or high revving.

The braking and gear change can be often heeled and toed taking advantage of the engine’s greater responsiveness. Different weights of flywheel are offered that allow the best torque and capabilities of free revving.

For different situations, there are different types of flywheels that are available. Even the standard flywheels are balanced that are used in cars. The engine can have a disastrous effect if there is a vibration in the flywheel, it will also significantly reduce the red line.   If a flywheel breaks then it will sand a metal buzz saw through the car that can cause injury to the passenger or driver.

The lightened flywheels which are off the shelf are balanced carefully and are formed of different alloys mixed for lightness and strength. Some are available having gaps and holes like an alloy wheel. The flywheel would have to be sorted if you want to replace a clutch.

If you desire pieces and lightning bits for having free revving engine, then a drive shift of carbon fiber should be tried. They will reduce the strain on the engine and they will flex more rotationally. In case the metal drive shaft breaks, this will be easy observed as the parts will be thrown through the car. The strength of the carbon fiber one is much better but even if it breaks then there will be less damage to the car as it will broom into harmless fibers.

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Filed Under: Car Parts


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