Flywheel Integrity, would you run this one?

Indian made flywheel

Would you run this one?

There is a lot of mystery surrounding how Rajkot and their slow speed engine market is stitched together. I believe there are people who visit there and leave with little additional understanding of how it all works and what causes the industry to ignore Quality issues year after year. 

The people you talk to are generally office workers and they will not understand technical questions, nor will they typically have influence over which flywheel gets fitted to the engine you ordered.

The flywheel above was received by a retired Mechanical Engineer, one who is facinated by flywheel inertia, integrity issues, and all mechanical topics that surround flywheels.  We’ll call our engineer John, just to give him a name, and I’ll explain how John came to dig the filler out of this flywheel.

John is in his seventies, retired, and of course afflicted with that engineering desease that cause Mothers to cry when they first learn of the diagnosis. While other kids are at play, Johnny sits quietly on the sidewalk curb staring at a bridge girder visualizing how the load is distributed.

Of course.. a mechanical engineer can not be trusted to take much of anything at face value, and more often than not, they even read liteture that came with their new toaster.

So… why did John start digging a prodding? Why did he question the integrity of this flywheel? He started with the ‘RING TEST’ lightly strike the flywheel with a hammer and listen to the sound, a clear ring is a good thing, a dull sound or a ‘thud’ is a bad sign, and it should cause you to question the flywheel’s integrity. This is exactly what John found, “a ring and a thud”.

The question for you… would you line up your family members in front of this flywheel and run it at full rated speed? Note, this is not the only flaw found..

As for the filler they use, it’s possible it’s the same stuff they make molds out of with a binder of some type added. I doubt it’s applied to add integrity to the wheel, and it’s purpose is likely to hide the defects and provide cosmetic appeal.

Some who read this have the opinion that all things made in Rajkot find a home.  There are grades of parts and most of the time the very best are boxed as spares. The poorest parts are often fitted to engines for markets where they can barely afford any effort made by India to erect an engine. Managers rationalize sending off poor quality and even unsafe parts as they say “these customers can not afford a better effort”.

I leave you to sort out the truth of the matter, but here is one example of a premium assembly ordered, premium price paid, and a flywheel I’d have expected to be exported from India to Pakisthan ending up here in North America.      

Are you an engineer or in the market for a lister type? Your comments will be helpful.

George B.

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3 Responses to Flywheel Integrity, would you run this one?

  1. George,

    I recently order spare flywheels for listeroids from JKSon – my specs were no body filler ot be used – reluctantly they agreed they would be balanced and painted only. As you will recall from an earlier conversation – the flywheels were omitted at the last mniute because JKSon failed the flywheels and did not send me crap flywheels for obvious reasons when you examine the picture of Johns flywheel.

    A case of caveat emptor – and body filler hides a multitude of sins 🙂

  2. For those you who contacted me off forum – the point is that JKSon in Rajkot were reluctant to supply me with CS flywheels unless they were of an acceptable quality – if you spec no bodyfiller you get to see them as they really are without any engineering makeup. Make no bones about it – flywheels good or bad are to be respected. JKSon indicated to me there are different grades of flywheel castings in the market and it takes some time to filter out the ones you don’t want- rejection is an easier more transparent process if they have no body filler

    • George B. says:

      JKson has delivered some of the more consistent work here.
      The best work comes out of India when the erectors have adequate orders . Not too many, and not too few.
      Some Erectors will send you junk when they can find no better. it appears JKson took the ‘high road’ in your case. As for my example of a poor flywheel; we don’t mention the errector by name, but it wasn’t JKson. It’s beign replaced BTW..

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