This FAQ applies to UR MAXX Power Pulleys.

Others may look similar but they are not.


UR PULLEYS: Your First Stop on Mod Road

It’s mid-2020, 23 years after Unorthodox Racing® was founded, all the spin and marketing hype about what your first mod should be is still raging. Since most cars today have supercharged or turbocharged engines an ECU tune may seem like a first mod choice. The truth is UR MAXX Power pulleys are the best first mod and we are going to explain why.

Unorthodox Racing® MAXX Power pulleys make the most HP/TQ per dollar of any mechanical bolt-on freeing up even more power the more mods you do. UR pulleys are like steroids for your other mods. Our pulleys make that ECU tune, air intake, header/s, intake manifold, exhaust, etc. better because UR pulleys let the other mods take advantage of the engine's lighter rotating weight. UR pulleys have unlimited power potential and all other mods are limited by their design, flow, or programming limitations.


Air intakes & intake manifolds have a limited amount of air they can flow and how fast it flows. This can help or hurt response to throttle inputs. The design may make it better in one part of the RPM band or another, not across the entire band. Header/s are similar as they are limited by the amount of exhaust they can flow and how fast it flows. Headers tend to have more flow capability than an engine with basic mods can move. This can lead to improvements in very specific rpm bands (low, mid, high, or mid-high). Headers usually mean a loss in low-end torque, due to back pressure reduction. For smaller engines, this seriously hurts driveability and off-the-line performance.


The exception is for turbo cars where a downpipe/s and exhaust mean reduced back pressure leading to quicker turbo spool and more exhaust flow across the entire rev band. Header/s and exhaust need to be done later in the mod process for normally aspirated engines after pulleys, air intake, ignition upgrades (coils/plugs/grounding systems), intake manifold, cams, etc. For supercharged engines header/s and exhaust are a perfect third, fourth, or fifth choice.     


Mod noise has to be considered, everyone has a different ear for how loud they want their ride to be. Pulleys are the clear winner as there is little to no change in engine noise compared to other mods. Air intakes usually remove the stock air box which leads to significant noise increases. Many may like this change but others like a stealth approach and use drop-in style high-flow filters. Today stock air boxes are designed very well and with a high flow drop can perform equal if not better than air intakes replacing the stock air box. The same goes for a header/s, they increase noise due to being thinner than the stock exhaust manifold/s and add a raspier tone too. Exhausts can radically change the exhaust note, sometimes just loader, other times throatier, and other times just different. Exhausts are too oversized meaning low-end power loss for normally aspirated engines.


All the mods mentioned can work together but be sure you do them for the right reason/s. Mods should offer HP/TQ gains across most of the rev band. Don’t sacrifice power in one part of the band for another unless you have a very specific reason/s. If you are sensitive to noise you should research the noise changes (ex. air intake vs. high flow drop-in). For header/s and exhaust, there are usually options offering compromises to the amount of additional noise or change in exhaust tone.


We hope these facts make it much easier to understand why UR MAXX Power pulleys should be your first mod choice. UR pulleys free up the most initial HP/TQ and keep freeing more the more mods you do. What are you waiting for? Move to UR and see what our pulleys can do for you and your future mods! 


Engine Protection Dampers: The Lies Continue to be Exposed

It is comical how the propaganda the damper manufacturers continue to try to feed you is beginning to collapse under the weight of the lies. For years they have been trying to frighten you with urban myths and legends about how all engines will fail without the use of an engine protection damper. They say a damper must be tuned to an engine and its output; meanwhile, they only offer a one-size-fits-all for each engine. Seems strange considering no two engines, let alone end-user-modified engines, have the same output or run characteristics. It all started long ago, in a galaxy far far away, with an article damper manufacturers like to quote written by Steve Dinan about how engines need an engine protection damper. Steve Dinan developed products for BMW's including supercharger kits. Steve's kits dramatically increased engine output but yet Steve never bothered to change the "supposed" engine protection damper. This broke all the rules he talked about in his article and exposed the lies damper manufacturers tell about needing a damper. If a tuned damper was necessary, the BMW engines his supercharger kits are used on would break. All these years later, time has proven both Steve Dinan and the damper manufacturers wrong. Unorthodox Racing® has over 23 years of servicing the aftermarket with pulleys, billions of miles have been driven and yet we haven't heard actual verifiable proof that our pulleys cause engine damage.


The facts continue to pile up on the damper manufacturers and naysayers who have been swallowed whole by this propaganda. In the past 10 years, and longer in some cases, the car manufacturers have been simplifying production for themselves. The most relevant change is the use of the same base engine in multiple car types but with dramatic output and run characteristics. One of the first was VW with the 1.8T and then the 2.0T. Many followed like Ford with the 3.5L Eco-Boost, and Honda with the B & K Series and now with the 1.5L Turbo. You are probably wondering where we are going with this. Well, the dirty little truth damper manufacturers don't want you to know is the factory crank pulley, specific to each engine of course, is the same part# whether it is the lowest output, low-rev base engine, or the top-of-the-line high power, high rev version. So to be clear, all the Honda 1.5L Turbo engines from the base Turbo to the SI Turbo use the same part# of crank pulley. SURPRISE!!!!! The truth hurts and hopefully, this will be the final nail in the coffin of the propaganda and lies being spread by damper manufacturers. 


As we have mentioned previously many engines had no damper from the factory: Chrysler 2.2/2.5 SOHC, Ford 2.3L SOHC 8V, Honda B & D Series engines, Mitsubishi Eclipse 1.8L, Nissan Altima K24, 996/997 911 GT3, Ford GT500, MKI VW 1.8L 8/16V, TVR Cerbera and more. We want to add another engine to the list of engines not using an engine protection damper from the factory. The output and rev-ability of this engine should make the damper manufacturers and naysayers cry. Take a close look at the crank pulley, it's solid ;)



The engine makes 500 horsepower and boasts a rev limit of over 9,000 rpm






Continental confirms crank pulleys are only for NVH


In formal testing completed by Continental, they expose a dirty little secret aftermarket Damper manufacturers don't want you to know about. This data proves that OEM crank pulleys are designed to control audible NVH. The OEM-accepted level of engine noise under the hood is to be no more than 80 dBA. This data confirms what UR® has been saying for 20 years. No application we make pulleys for requires an engine protection damper. Only a crank pulley that is interference fit to the crankshaft can function as an engine protection damper. Since no OEM crank pulley UR replaces is interference it confirms what our Founder has been saying all along. He first confirmed this after witnessing testing done by his brother-in-law, an engineer, at the Honda engine plant in Anna, OH. During testing work done for the 1996-99 D-Series engines many different NVH control crank pulleys, including solid pulleys, were tested to determine which provided the quietest engine operation. Not one of the pulley versions tested had any effect on the engine's durability. The graph also shows that no other belt brand can match the performance of Continental belts. The jig is up, the lies, urban myths, and legends have been exposed once and for all!


UR Pulleys, your first stop on Mod Road


It’s 2021, and after 24 years all the spin and marketing hype about what the first mods should be is finally dying down. Now our whisper about the truth behind what the mod order should be may actually be heard. Unorthodox Racing® MAXX Power pulleys give you the most HP per dollar of any mechanical bolt-on performance mod and free up more power the more modding you do. UR MAXX Power pulleys are like steroids for your other mods. Our pulleys will make that air intake, header, intake manifold, exhaust, etc. better because our lighter pulleys allow these other mods to take advantage of a lighter rotating assembly. UR MAXX Power pulleys have unlimited power potential, unlike other mods that are limited by their design.


An air intake or intake manifold is limited by the amount of air it can flow. Its design can help or hinder its response to throttle inputs. Their design may also make it better in one RPM band or another, not necessarily across the entire RPM range. A header is similar as it is also limited by the amount they can flow, this is not usually a problem as they tend to have more flow capability than an engine with basic bolt-ons can move. Headers tend to give improvements in specific rpm bands (low, mid, high, or mid-high). Headers also usually mean a loss in low-end torque, due to the reduction in back pressure, which for smaller displacement engines can seriously hurt driveability and off-the-line performance.


An exhaust is also limited by the amount it can flow, again not usually a problem with most bolt-ons. Exhausts also usually mean a loss in low-end torque like a header, leading to more loss of back pressure. The exception to this general rule of thumb is for turbo cars where back pressure reduction means quicker spool up and for the turbo to be able to flow more across the entire rev range. Headers and exhaust should be done later in the mod process for normally aspirated engines, after pulleys, intake, ignition upgrades (coils/plugs/grounding systems), intake manifolds, cams, etc. Although if you have a supercharger a header and exhaust would be a perfect third and fourth choice after the pulleys. Engines with stock or aftermarket supercharger systems push significantly more air than the factory exhaust manifold/header(s) and can usually handle.    


There are also noise factors to be considered as everyone has different preferences as to how loud they want their ride to be. Pulleys are the clear winner here as there will be little to no change in noticeable noise especially when compared to the other mods discussed.  An air intake usually removes the stock air box will lead to a significant increase in throttle noise. Most of us like this change but others like a stealth approach and use drop-in high-flow filters in the stock air box. Today's stock air boxes are designed quite well and for most of your early mods may perform better than an air intake that replaces the stock air box. The same goes for a header(s) as they tend to have a noise increase under the hood and a raspier note out back too. This also holds for exhaust systems, which can radically change the exhaust note, sometimes just loader, other times throatier, and other times just different.


Now of course all of the mods mentioned are fine and can work together but be sure you are doing them for the right reasons, especially as far as power output is concerned. You don’t want to sacrifice power in one part of the rev band for another unless you have a very specific reason to do so. If you are sensitive to noise you may want to research noise changes (air intake versus, drop in high flow filter). On the header and exhaust side, there are also usually options that offer compromises to the amount of additional noise and changes to the exhaust tone.


With this being said we think it's much easier to understand why UR MAXX Power pulleys should be your first choice in mod. They free up the most HP and keep giving more in one install than any other performance mod. So what are you waiting for make the move to UR and see how much our MAXX Power pulleys can do for you and your future mods! 


Engine Protection Dampers: Facts Not Fantasy

Much of the science behind dampers is based on theories in books, applied in a vacuum, not actual real-world facts. Most people buy a damper because they heard they needed one or out of fear of the unknown. The problem is people don't know why they do or don't need a damper. There is no mystery here, just cold hard facts so let's get started.

First, what is a damper? The most basic definition comes from Webster's, which says; a damper is a dulling or deadening influence. Now that's pretty simplistic but it's a great start. A damper is designed to counteract motion and absorb bad frequency (harmonics) created by the crankshaft and the rotating assembly (rods, cams, etc). The most important aspect/element of a damper is how it's mounted to the crankshaft. A damper must be interference fit to the crankshaft snout. This means the damper must be pressed onto the crankshaft snout extremely tight, making a fit so tight it's like the parts were made from one piece of metal. Without being interference fit a damper cannot function according to the most basic law of physics, "every action must have an equal and opposite reaction." Without an interference fit a damper will move on the crank snout and lose all of its ability to counteract crankshaft torsional movement.

The purpose of a damper is to protect the crankshaft from cracking due to excessive torsional movement and harmonic frequencies. A damper does not affect bearing wear, it is the engine's balance and build tolerances that control bearing wear. Dampers are not necessary in most modern engines because of the many advances in engine design but more importantly the quality of the materials and quality of the machining tolerances. Factors such as shorter stroke lengths, short piston TDC dwell time, no piston pin off-sets, forged crankshafts, and the engines being balanced to blueprinting specs or better (Honda engines are 0 gram balanced). Another important factor is the actual tune of the engine, especially when modified. Poor tuning leads to detonation which is an engine killer and no damper can stop this damage.

Now that these important facts are out in the open you need to figure out if your engine does or doesn't need a damper. If your factory crank pulley is not interference fit onto the crankshaft you do not need a damper. A great example of this is the 4G63 engine (1990+ Eclipse, Evo, Laser & Taon) which has its crank pulley mounted to the engine with four small M8 bolts. The 420A SOHC/DOHC crank pulley (Chrysler Neon, etc.) is interference fit but not because it needs a damper but because there is no key or dowel pin to hold the pulley from spinning on the crankshaft. Still confused? If you unbolt your crank pulley and it slides off the crankshaft you do not need a damper. There are a few engines where the crank pulley is sometimes slightly tight (VG30DE & DETT, VQ35DE, VQ37HR) but these engines also do not need a damper.

Now let's cover some damper terminology misunderstandings. The term "Harmonic Balancer" is often used but no such part exists, the term was created by putting two terms together. The words are harmonic damper and engine balancer. A harmonic damper is just a fancy name for a damper. The term engine balancer is for engines that are externally balanced and have a counterweight cast into or bolted to the crank pulley or damper. A good example is the old 5.0L OHV engine. The term used should be Harmonic Damper or Damper with or without external balance weight.

Now many people will still have lingering confusion even after all the facts above. It takes time to educate and change people's misunderstandings through real facts, not urban myths and legends. As discussed above many of the pulleys on import and smaller domestic engines have an elastomer (rubber ring) incorporated into the pulley making them look similar to a damper. The elastomer in these OEM pulleys serves as an NVH damper suppressing noise from the engine accessories; the A/C compressor, P/S pump, and alternator. This noise is what car manufacturers call NVH (Noise Vibration & Harshness) which they want to keep out of the passenger compartment. See the Continental graph above relating to under-hood engine noise. It's the same reason OEMs use of dual-mass flywheels to quiet transmission noise and special freewheeling alternator pulleys to quiet alternator noise.

Many earlier-generation crank pulleys on domestic & import engines have no rubber at all. We have samples of many of these from Acura/Honda B & D Series engines, 2.4L Altima, 1.8L Eclipse, 2.3L Ford, 2.2L Chrysler, and 1.8L VW just to mention a few. Some might worry that because we remove the NVH damper they will start to hear more engine accessory noise. The amount of noise increase is very small and will be far higher from aftermarket air intakes, header(s), or exhausts. OEM intake and exhaust systems use baffles and resonators to quiet the air intake and exhaust noise. Aftermarket systems eliminate these baffles and resonators to increase HP but they also increase noise from the throttle opening and the additional size of the freer flowing exhaust. To most people, the increase in NVH makes for a sportier driving experience not to mention more HP.

For engines that need dampers, and non-flat plane V8s, UR will finally be offering the most innovative new damper technology in 20 years. The Ultra Damper will be in a class by itself offering unmatched absorbtion and damping capability from idle to redline. Even more amazing is the Ultra Damper will be lighter than the factory damper or any other aftermarket damper currently available. Once again UR is leading the industry in advanced lightweight solutions helping increase engine efficiency, saving you money in fuel and maintenance costs.


The facts provided on our ur.edu page only apply to Unorthodox Racing® products, other products may look or seem similar but they are not.
Underdriving is one of the simplest but least understood performance modifications. We hope this blog lays out the facts in an easy-to-understand format and finally lays to rest the most common misconceptions.
Underdrive means to slow the speed of a pulley/s with another pulley.
                 - The first method of underdrive is from the drive pulley (the crank pulley or the pulley driving the other pulleys). In this method the drive pulley is made smaller, the same as the rear gears on a bicycle. As you move from the bigger rear gears to the smaller rear
                    gears the crank turns slower.
                 - The second method is from the driven pulley (the alternator, power steering, or water pump pulleys). In this method the driven pulley is made larger, the same as the front gears on a bicycle. As you move from the smaller front gears to the bigger front gears the
                    crank turns slower.
UR underdrives from the crank pulley for most of its import applications. This means our crank pulleys are smaller than the stock crank pulleys. The amount of underdrive can have a major effect on the output of the accessories (alternator, power steering, and water pump). By slowing down the accessories less power is being used to turn them so more power gets to the wheels. Before we go too much deeper we need to explain that car manufacturers tend to over spin or overdrive the accessories. This is called planned obsolescence, so they can sell you new parts as they wear out. These are two reasons why underdrive is an important part of many of our pulleys.
When UR develops a pulley for a new application we start with a baseline underdrive percentage and test the prototype on the vehicle. We verify that accessory output/function is within factory-specified levels. For the alternator output, we check voltage with everything on in the car, even items that will never be on at the same time. This also includes a simulated voltage draw of up to a 600-watt RMS aftermarket stereo system or auxiliary lighting system. UR pulleys always will maintain enough voltage, no overheating, your a/c will still be cold and your power steering will give you all the boost you need. The percentage or amount of underdrive can vary from as little as 5% to as much as 20% depending on the test results.
A commonly misunderstood fact when it comes to voltage and electrical systems is the dimming that can occur in the dash, headlights, and interior lights. Your vehicle's electrical system is 12 volts but car manufacturers overcharge these systems to as high as 14 to 15 volts. This extra voltage is unnecessary for the lighting as it reduces bulb life and sometimes dramatically. As an example, most people can attest to seeing a relatively new car with a tail light, turn signal, or headlight out. After the installation of a UR underdrive pulley, it is possible you may notice a slight dimming at idle but realize it's because your electrical system was overcharged. Simply put instead of being at 14 to 15 volts you may now be at 13 to 14 volts which is perfectly fine. Remember we specifically test each car to make sure we maintain factory-acceptable outputs and function to keep you safe.
* For cars with an aftermarket stereo over 600 watts RMS or auxiliary lighting with a draw over 600 watts or you've added a supercharger you need to use our stock diameter crank pulleys.
That's it folks now you are an expert on underdrive and why UR MAXX Power underdrive pulleys are completely safe for use in your car.
The facts provided on our ur.edu page only apply to Unorthodox Racing® products, other products may look or seem similar but they are not. 
We hear the following phrase from time to time, "a pulley is a pulley is a pulley." Oh if only it were that simple. The first problem with this assumption is of course that all pulleys are the same, the biggest problem with this statement is when someone buys a cheap knock-off or copycat pulley and it fails the buyer thinks that all pulleys are bad. Boy have we heard our fair share of horror stories over the years from customers about other similar-looking pulleys that didn't fit properly, that caused vibrations, that broke and even disintegrated. With a little re-education and encouragement, these customers are now happy users of UR MAXX Power pulleys.
The reason other pulleys fail is due to simple structural weaknesses. Although we will admit pulleys are not particularly complex to design there are some fundamentals that companies who dabble in pulleys always fail to follow. Cross-section thickness is essential, especially the further out from the centerline the belt/s are from the mounting face. After years of testing and finite element analysis before coming to market in 1997, we established strict minimum thicknesses. These minimum thicknesses are also extremely important on big power cars because during spool up enormous forces are put on the pulleys during rapid acceleration. Another key element in the design process is how the weight reduction is done. After exhaustive testing, we primarily use holes, the copycats tend to use slots on their parts. The problem with slots is they concentrate all the stress on a few small areas which is a recipe for disaster as cracks will form eventually causing catastrophic failure. By using round lightning holes without slotting we can evenly spread our stress loads guaranteeing structural integrity. Now we are certainly not saying slots can't be used but only in appropriate circumstances. We do use slots for a few accessory pulleys because they are smaller in diameter and most importantly the belt is at the center line of the pulleys mounting point assuring the necessary strength.
So next time you hear or read someone saying all pulleys are the same just smile then try and pass on a little education but if they won't have it then hopefully they will learn the second time around.
Here is a saying we love: "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the happiness of a low price is forgotten!"

It couldn't be more true and many of you reading this have unfortunately found this out the hard way! In our early modding experiences, during the 80's, we fell for the gimmicks too!
Can Unorthodox Racing® products seem expensive? Sure but when you realize what determines the price of a quality product, like UR, you begin to appreciate its true value. First and foremost there are development costs which in our case started accumulating years before we even incorporated or even sold our first product. We spent close to $100,000.00 in man-hours, equipment, software, and materials in the mid-1990s. Then there are all the other costs before we opened our doors to sell in May of 1997. Incorporation, registering our name as a trademark, insurance, website development costs, lease costs for our facility, electric, water, gas, worker's compensation, disability insurance, and credit card processing. We haven't even paid any salaries yet, nor the matching taxes for those salaries, payroll taxes, health insurance, and a 401k program. What it comes down to is we spend over $50-75K just to open the door each year, not including salaries.
We've heard many numbers thrown out over the years by armchair experts about what things should cost and what profit margins are. The best one we've heard, which was focused at our pulleys, was a 300% profit margin all said and done. If that was the case we would have been retired a long time ago! The fact is that profit margins are nowhere near that percentage unless, of course, you are a manufacturer of clothing, jewelry, beauty, software, or computers. I would like to know if these armchair blabber mouths even justify the filth they spew. We are tired of the baseless, clueless crap these jealous hatemongers throw out for other impressionable clients to read and stew over. Many of these clients don't have the experience to realize these blabbermouths have no idea what they are talking about.
What's even worse is the copycat manufacturers try to convince you that their products are ok through marketing lies and propaganda. Our favorite lie is that underdrive pulleys are bad for your engine. There couldn't be anything further from the truth than this insidious marketing myth! We specifically test every vehicle we make underdrive pulleys to make sure that with everything turned on in the vehicle that voltage stays over 12 volts. No other manufacturer, copycat, can claim this level of testing. This testing includes items you would never have on at the same time and it also includes having an additional draw of up to 600 watts RMS or an equivalent lighting or auxiliary electrical draw. In special circumstances, some modders need electrical output above these levels or because they have bolted on an aftermarket supercharger, and from them, we make stock-diameter crank pulleys. We were the first to bring these stock-diameter pulleys to the market in 1999 for cars with these special needs. Our second favorite lie is that copycat pulleys are lighter than UR MAXX Power pulleys. We are always lighter than the competition and we focus weight reduction measures on the outer diameter of the pulley where they have a greater effect on the moment of inertia. A comical fact about weight reduction is it means more machining which means higher cost which is impossible at the prices the copycats charge.
What it comes down to in the end is if you can't currently afford to buy a quality brand don't go out and buy a cheap copycat because you'll end up paying twice to do it right. Save your money and try to be patient which will save you a lot of hassle and aggravation in the long run. Realize with pulleys you are bolting on a critical component to your engine so it is not the place you want to cut a corner. UR parts cost what they cost because we take the time to design and manufacture them right from US-made materials ensuring proper strength and most importantly balance. No other brand can make these claims. UR has been making pulleys since 1996, we always keep our customer's best interest first and we back it up with 5 5-year guarantee. In the end is it worth it to save a few bucks when compared to the thousands it will cost you to repair the damage inferior parts will cause your engine? Maybe the part won't cause any damage, maybe the engine can handle the inferior quality but is it worth the chance?

UR Response to "The Danger of Power Pulleys & Understanding the Harmonic Damper" by Steve Dinan


Before making such a subjective judgment with such wide implications it is important to recognize the fact that long-term real-world use outweighs theoretical assumptions. Simply stated the UR staff spent two years doing pre-production testing before our pulleys were offered to the consumer. Coming from a domestic V8 modding background we were also concerned about the ramifications that the small displacement domestic & import crank pulleys were dampers. We have worked with engine builders, many of whom have been in the industry since the mid-fifties. The founder’s brother-in-law even worked for Honda, as an engineer in engine durability testing, during our product development period. He was instrumental in our understanding that the factory crank pulleys were for occupant NVH control. Meaning at the most basic level they were designed to reduce and quiet the accessory drive-related noises the vehicle occupants hear in the car's cabin.  We have been a trusted aftermarket manufacturer for over 20 years and our customers have accumulated billions of miles using UR pulleys. Not once in this period have we ever had even the slightest problems with engine longevity. The fact is if there were a problem with our pulleys we could never have kept it from the public because of the Internet, we would have disappeared within 12 months or less after the launching of our pulleys on the market. Unfortunately because of fear and marketing spin by damper manufacturers, we have been the brunt of many urban myths and legends around the Internet.  It always seems to be that someone's cousin whose girlfriend’s brother has a friend who had a problem with a UR pulley. Needless to say, we never get a phone call, which we would think would be the first thing an owner would do if they have a problem with our pulley or any product that supposedly caused a problem. Remember the old adage “Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.” The UR founder spoke with Steve Dinan and he apologized to him for any problems his article may have caused as he never intended the article to be directed toward UR pulleys. Unfortunately, once the cat is out of the bag, even though it didn't apply to UR the damage was done. Since that time we have always focused on educating the end user about the UR facts. 

The first mistake with Steve Dinan’s opinion is the majority of the power gains from pulleys come from underdriving. The majority of gains from UR MAXX Power pulleys, 85-90%, come from weight reduction or removal of rotational mass from the crankshaft. We also do not cause problems with accessory output either, as each kit we manufacture is tested to maintain factory-specified output (voltage, engine/cabin interior cooling, and power steering assist). So each vehicle underdrive is tailored to maintain factory specs and does not exceed 20% underdrive. This is important as CARB (California Air Research Board) made it clear to us as long as we do not push beyond 20% underdrive we will remain street-legal by maintaining factory output specs. The second mistake in Steve’s opinion is the power gains from pulleys are small. UR pulleys see gains from as little as 5 HP & 3 ft/lbs on a 1993 Civic with a 1.5L SOHC 8V engine to 37HP & 45 ft/lbs on a 1990 300Z Turbo. Heck on the E36 BMW M3 we regularly saw 5-9 HP on a stock motor and from 13-18 HP on boosted versions.

In our early years, we worked with many SCCA Speedvision race teams on many different vehicle models. One was Last Minute Racings E36, driven by Alain Chebeir. Last Minute Racing ran our 4-piece pulley kit including the crank pulley for the entire 1999 season. Not once did he ever encounter a problem with our pulleys. We also worked with The Wheel Source/Hikari Supra, driven by David Schart. They ran our pulley set for the entire season making 500-550 HP compared to 320 HP stock. They never had any problems with our pulleys. We also worked with Trac Racings two VW's, running the VR6 engine. They have run our pulleys for two seasons now with no problems. We also worked with High Speed Racings two VW's and they had no problem whatsoever. All of these teams have disassembled their engines at various times throughout their race seasons and have found no abnormal wear or crankshaft cracking. Now those were just the road race teams. We also work with many drag racers (Vinny Ten, Adam Saruwatari) and Rod Millen Pikes Peak Supra, and none of them have ever had problems. At the time of Steve's article release, we had over 100+ sets in the field on street, strip, and track BMW's including many models with turbos installed. 

Steve's association on the stock crank pulley being the primary damper is incorrect. But maybe given the problems the Turner Motorsports Speedvision cars had with pulleys, we could see where Steve got off on the wrong track without knowing the facts. The Turner vehicles were running underdrive pulleys from another source. Interestingly enough there is a story behind why they even knocked off our pulley. We had originally engineered two designs for the BMW crank pulley. One crank pulley design used the factory six-bolt hub and the other design was a one-piece replacement of both pulley and hub sections. We sent this one-piece design to Mr. Turner for evaluation. The main idea behind this one-piece design was to eliminate as much weight as possible which meant the steel hub had to go. Unfortunately, this design had a problem because the aluminum would crack in the corner of the keyway because of the torque being so high on the bolt. Mr. Turner instead of letting us know this detail decided he would not tell us. We found out at about the same time from another local owner we worked with. Mysteriously the following race season, with the copycat pulleys on their cars they began to have crank cracking problems. Multiple motors were broken from what we understand. We were able to get a sample of the pulley they used and the machining quality was frightening not to mention the pulley was unbalanced. Turns out the company Turner worked with was cutting the cast factory timing ring off the stock pulley and simply remounting it assuming the ring was balanced. When we made our pulley we laser cut the timing ring and checked the balance during the machining process and after assembly.

It unfortunately comes down to the old adage that you get what you pay for when it comes to quality. There are offshore and onshore copycats of our pulleys out there. All of these products are sub-standard but why do enthusiasts keep buying them? Unfortunately, it's a lack of understanding of the problems these inferior parts can cause and plain old dollars and cents. UR pulleys are more expensive because we don't compromise the design of our pulleys in any way. UR pulleys are always the litest, they have the finest finish, are perfectly balanced and we back them up with the longest warranty (5 years) which is also transferrable. Our crank pulley and pulley sets include the part# of the necessary belt/s for installation. We only recommend the use of Continental Elite belts as they use the best materials, have the most innovative design for quiet running, and last the longest. For cars that have an engine where the crank pulley rides and oil seal we press onto the pulley a 316 stainless sleeve that will never corrode and we include a new SKF oil seal. SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services.

One other important issue not acknowledged by Steve is how this ultimately ends up being a rather random attack on a specific performance adder without looking at power adders in general. So let’s get technical about this issue and look at how all power adders must be looked at under a more rigid standard. Based on factory testing and design even changing something as simple as the oil to non-factory tested oil puts the power plant or driveline into a completely different set of parameter results. It seems a stretch but we know from first-hand discussions with the OE's this is true. This can be seen from a slight viscosity change which results in an increase or decrease in engine power output. Another example could be aftermarket intake systems. By increasing the intake airflow, response parameters are changed to some completely different set of parameters from what the OE’s intended in stock form. This does not even take into account the change in intake resonance frequencies, which again creates deviations from the OE design and will very likely increase engine throttle noise changing occupant NVH levels. This does not even take into account that the engine may make more power which again leaves us with a deviation from the parameters the OE’s designed the engine to be within. Since Steve happens to like adding superchargers to normally aspirated engines we need to look at forced induction. Boost means more power, which in turn means more engine and drivetrain stress. The OEs never designed their normally aspirated engines to be used in conjunction with these power adders. Driving a supercharger puts more stress on the front of the crankshaft. Turbos put more stress on the exhaust valves from back pressure and heat. Turbos can also be trickier as far as boost control goes, tending to spike which causes severe engine strain. This additional stress was never included in the OE design of the crankshaft or pulley system. If the factory pulley were a damper the additional stress from any modification let alone adding boost would negate any damper function the factory pulley supposedly had. We can go on and on with how non-factory parts, even regular service parts that are non-factory can affect a vehicle. The fact is end users want more power and they assume the risks. All the products they use to achieve these improvements never entered into the engine's original design equation.