Weight is often the enemy of horsepower, especially in the world of high performance. Racers and chassis builders shed weight from their machines wherever they can safely and within the rules. Engine builders also look to shed weight as well, by reducing the mass of parts, those parts require less energy to move. Another area that many look to shed weight in is the drivetrain, and that’s where this latest product from Fidanza Performance comes in.
The EcoBoost Mustang has been gaining traction as a popular alternative for many who can’t afford a Mustang GT, or for those just curious to tinker with Ford’s latest Mustang powertrain innovation. We’ve seen EcoBoost Mustangs running low 10 second quarter-mile ETs, and the cars are becoming increasingly popular for track day and autocross fans due to their lighter weight and better balance than their GT big brother.
Tipping the scales at 30.5 pounds, the dual mass flywheel in the Mustang EcoBoost is not only portly, but is also a weak point in the car’s driveline. DMF’s in many applications are often unreliable when horsepower is increased or under the stresses of high performance driving.
While the EcoBoost is a few hundred pounds lighter than the GT, there is always room for improvement. To help reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and allow for a smoother feeling clutch, Ford outfitted all manual transmission-equipped with a dual mass flywheel (DMF). While a DMF is all well and good for those who only plan to commute in their EcoBoost equipped Mustang, and will never modify or compete in any kind of motorsports with it, it’s not ideal for applications where power output is greatly increased. It’s also not as well equipped to handle the shock loads of rapid shifting and launching associated with performance driving. DMFs also tend to weigh a considerable amount more than a comparable standard style flywheel.
Made in the USA from USA sourced materials, the Fidanza lightweight aluminum flywheel for the 2015-16 Mustnag EcoBoost is constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum and uses a replaceable 1050 heat treated steel friction area (green). The friction area can be serviced and replaced easily, allowing owners to retain the flywheel and eliminating the need for the fylwheell to be machined and balanced.
[quote align=”alignright” width=”200″]The lightweight flywheel allows the engine to use horsepower that’s already there. Since the engine doesn’t have to move as much weight, it revs faster and will accelerate the car more rapidly.[/quote]We recently spoke with Dan Jenkins at Fidanza Performance about the company’s latest innovation for the Mustang EcoBoost, an all-new lightweight aluminum flywheel for this application. This single mass or more traditional style flywheel has several important features and benefits that make it an obvious choice for Mustang EcoBoost enthusiasts who prefer to row their own gears.
The most noticeable difference is weight. The manual transmission EcoBoost dual mass flywheel weighs in at a hefty 30.5 pounds -that’s just the flywheel weight and does not include the weight of the pressure plate and clutch disc. Conversely, the Fidanza flywheel features a core constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum, and a friction area comprised of 1050 heat treated steel. The result is a durable, lightweight flywheel that weighs in at just 13.5 pounds, a 56 percent weight reduction over the OEM part it replaces.
Jenkins tells us that the reduced weight helps to free up horsepower by reducing the rotating weight the engine has to overcome, “The lightweight flywheel allows the engine to use horsepower that’s already there. Since the engine doesn’t have to move as much weight, it revs faster and will accelerate the car more rapidly.” The video at the top of this article is a brief demonstration of the difference in an EcoBoost engine free-revving before and after a Fidanza lightweight flywheel install.
[quote align=”alignright” width=”200″]This new flywheel maintains enough mass to keep it street or daily driver friendly, and it has excellent street as well as performance characteristics. There’s no vibration, it’s completely street friendly.[/quote]The Fidanza lightweight flywheel for the Mustang EcoBoost is also compatible with any clutch disc and pressure plate that will bolt to it, including the OE parts. The steel friction surface is bolt-on, allowing the flywheel to be rebuilt when needed, according to Jenkins this saves end users from having to have the assembly machined and rebalanced when it needs to be serviced such as when the clutch disc and pressure plate need to be replaced.
Another design feature that Fidanza has built into this new flywheel is the use of a stepped style dowel pins. The pins are captured between the pressure plate and flywheel which means that they can not come free under severe use, keeping everything in place under severe-use conditions. An OEM grade heat treated ring gear is also in place to ensure proper starter engagement without damaging the starter pinion gear.
A major concern among many street-going enthusiasts when switching to a lightweight aluminum flywheel is difficulty taking off from a dead stop. In a racing scenario this usually isn’t an issue since engine RPM is high for starting line launching. However, in stop and go traffic, if a flywheel doesn’t have sufficient mass to get the rest of the drivetrain moving a stall often occurs. Jenkins says that Fidanza’s new flywheel is street friendly, “This new flywheel maintains enough mass to keep it street or daily driver friendly, and it has excellent street as well as performance characteristics. There’s no vibration, it’s completely street friendly.”
Fidanza builds this flywheel in the USA with USA sourced materials, and anticipates global demand for the product as the EcoBoost Mustang continues to make its way around the globe. The flywheel is available from Fidanza authorized dealers now.