How to Balance the Engine for Less Vibration and More Top RPM
The fix is two-fold. The first half of the fix affects vibration all through the rpm range. The second half of the fix lessens vibration only at the top rpm range where it is caused by the standard too-advanced ignition timing.
1. After you have settled on
an appropriate cylinder compression (in psi. more compression gives
more power) then you can change the port timing
just a bit for better high rpm power and balance the engine by removing
weight from the piston and wrist pin. (Drilling holes in the flywheels
only offsets the weight of the piston and wrist pin.) On bikes that
self-limit their mph by vibration you can easily tell if you are making
it better (more in balance) by the max velocity. The first part of the
fix is to lighten the combo of piston and wrist pin. I had my wrist pin
drilled out from a 5.8mm diameter hole to a 7.5mm hole. With these weak
engines there is no need to worry that the pin will be too weak after
drilling. The same holds true for the piston. Your machinist can use a
9/32" (7.1mm) carbide drill bit to use in his lathe on the wrist pin
(available for $8 from Grainger) or you can buy a wrist pin for the 48cc
piston that already has a 7.5mm hole in it, available from Treatland. Next are 11gm wrist pins with a 7mm
hole (1.2mm more than stock) from pocketbikeparts.com that will work in
the piston for a 55cc or 60cc Grubee engine:
You can also lighten the piston by drilling holes in it that will be no more than 5mm from the side edges of the exhaust and intake port. Drill size is 9/32" and each hole shouldn't be closer than 10mm center-to-center from the next hole. Here's a photo showing where you can drill up to 9 holes on each side. Unfortunately, if the piston wall is 1.9mm thick (as mine is), 18 holes will remove only 3.3 grams.
I have a reed valved engine and with the additional holes on the intake side mine totaled 27 holes and I have rev'd it to 37mph (8400 rpm) and it held up OK. Use an exacto knife to trim the outer edge of each hole to not be a sharp edge. I used a small bit with my dremel to grind a dent in the piston where each hole should be drilled. Then I used a small drill bit to make the pilot holes. (Otherwise the drill bit would wander off center.) Then I used the 7/32" bit to make the final size. Aluminum is very light so even 18 holes won't make a huge difference in weight but when it comes to engine balancing every little bit counts. Once you find the best balance you can change the porting a bit. With these two changes the vibration should be much less and the top rpm much more.
2. The second part of the fix is
to buy the Jaguar CDI which is designed to
spark later at rpm above 3600 to lessen the combustion/compression
forces that the piston and flywheel have to push against. This approach
is standard with 2 stroke engines. I think the CDI that comes with
these engines is made for a 4 stroke since it does not have that
essential change in timing at high rpm. That causes reduced power and
reduced rpm, both of which are wanted by the company so that it can
pass all countries regulations. But you don't want that because you
want power and a bit more rpm without having to endure excess
vibrations at the handgrips and seat.
"Is the 2 cycle [69cc] motor known for a lot of vibration? I have some rubber pads between the mounts and the frame, but anything over about 15mph is just about unbearable." post
"My seat seems to be vibrating a little too much to comfortably ride long distances at full throttle. It seems to have gotten worse recently. Any idea how I could figure out where it is coming from? The engine mounts are solid I wrapped the frame in thick leather under the mounting hardware. I'm running the Chinese 66cc 2 stroke on a mountain bike." post
"I just finished my first motored bike build- a "Black Stallion" 66/80cc from Kings Motor Bikes. ...at the end of yesterdays ride I cranked it wide open to see what it could do. As it built RPMs, it passed a certain range and the entire bike began vibrating like the engine was totally mis-balanced! The gas tank loosened and shifted, and I had trouble keeping my hands on the handlebars! I dropped RPMs, and the vibration went completely away. I tried doing this several times, and each time I crossed that certain RPM barrier, the bike would go into wild vibration!" post
"I have a huffy panama jack bicycle, with a 80cc engine on it. I have such a bad vibration in the bike, its terrible.Ive tried rubber motor mounts, does anyone have any ideas? please help!!!!!!!!!!!!" post
Crankshaft balancing (for even less vibration):
An imbalance in the crankshaft in relation to the reciprocating weight of the upper end causes vibration and a loss of power. Making sure your engine is balanced correctly is essential, especially if you are modifying the engine to work in a different rpm range than what it was designed for. Using a lighter wrist pin lightens the balance area by 4.5 grams which can make a big difference in a stock 48cc. If it has higher compression and is ported for higher revs then the Jaguar CDI will be needed.
had two different 55cc engines
using different cylinders and pistons. One was with piston port intake
and the other was reed valved. The results I got testing those, along
with online calculators for upper piston assembly inertia force and the
centrifugal force of the counter balance is what I based my old theory
balancing on. The piston port engine was way off in balance, and the
other was perfectly balanced. Using it as a base point I developed an
Excel file for calculating the rotational forces on the crankshaft
which allows you to input different counter-balance hole sizes till the
numbers are right.
In calculating the offsetting centrifugal force of the imbalanced flywheel we treat the weight removed by the flywheel holes as an additional weight because on the opposite side of the flywheels there exists that additional weight. For example, if you removed the flywheel and put it on two weight scales you will see that the non-holed side has weight in excess of the holed side equal to the actual weight removed when the holes were made. So we use that "missing" weight to make the centrifugal force calculations.
figuring the counter balance weight it's important to include
would affect it. As example: my flywheel came with two 11.5mm diameter
holes through both flywheels. The stainless steel there removed adds up
to 50 grams. The conrod pin added 3.3 grams after the weight of the
conrod pin holes weight were subtracted from it. Its weight was only
calculated using the steel weight calculator listed below, not
measured. The part of the conrod that is around the bearing, and the
bearing itself, weigh around 30 grams. The centrifugal force has to be
figured at the distances of 19mm of the conrod, 36mm of the additional
balance hole, and the distance of the two counter balance holes.
Here are two useful online calculators. The second one may be needed if you use two different sized drill bits in the same hole with the largest bit only drilling a portion of the full depth. You can do that if you need a certain amount of weight removed but you don't have the right size drill bit.
centrifugal force calculator (don't enter linear speed. change m to mm, change kg to grams, change N to lbf)steel weight calculator (multiply kgs by 1000 to get grams)
Since upper assembly inertia and
flywheel centrifugal force vary proportionally through the whole RPM
then it don't matter at what RPM you analyze for the needed counter
balance. Unbalanced engines sometimes cause the worse vibrations for a
certain RPM range but that is most likely due to the vibrational
resonance that the frame of the bike has. That and the handlebars.
Anything that can flex the slightest amount has frequencies at which it
can vibrate the worse.
is a picture of my crank assembly with an additional balancing hole
just above the conrod pin. The 6 blue holes are lightening holes for
better acceleration (although I wouldn't recommend any more than 4 if
the bike is for street use). The blue is foam filling half the hole.
The ends of each hole were later filled with JBWeld. I used foam just
to reduce the amount of expensive JBWeld used. The conrod hole and two
factory balance holes are already filled with JBWeld for increased
crankcase compression (which isn't important unless your engine revs to
9000 or more).
Concerning determining the weight of the lower conrod bearing and the part of the conrod that is around the bearing: I figured that by dipping the two into a measured amount of water and seeing how many cc (ml) they raise the water level and then multiplied their ratio by the total weight. My 48cc rod end with bearing had an equivalent 30 grams.
I have made my own crank balance calculator which you can access from the following pages but here are the results that you can readily make use of:
the following data set for a 69cc engine I see that the extra two holes
you can drill need to be close to 9.8mm in diameter. (use 3/8”)
You can drill these holes with any
good electric drill although it's a bit tough. Much easier to take it
to a machine shop and let them put it on a drill press. Also the holes
can be drilled at the TDC location of the crank wheels without even
taking it out of the crank cases. Just put duct tape on the crank
wheels (after cleaning them with alcohol) to keep metal shavings from
going into the crankcase, and then keep the crank in correct position
by using vise grips on the primary gear above and below where it meshes
with the clutch gear. Each hole should be 15.5mm deep. Measure from
halfway through the angled tip and mark the drill bit at the 15.5mm
location with black electrical tape. That way you have a visual
reference while drilling.
Click here to read more about my spreadsheet which can be used to calculate the size of counter balance holes needed in any crank.