Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Western Wisconsin
Car: '03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I think the intent of the rubber damper in the pulley (aka "harmonic dampener"?) is to minimize how much of the engine pulses (each cylinder firing produces a pulse of power) are transmitted to other engine components like the power steering pump, ac compressor, alternator, etc., as well as to the car as a whole.
This is to make the running engine power delivery "smooth".
Extrapolating, this might also--
--spare the serpentine belt and any other belts from being repeatedly pulsed/stretched, giving longer belt life.
--keep the pulley mounted on the crankshaft with less extensive mounting hardware (single bolt vs a splined shaft/pulley). (If that bolt ever comes loose, you will get a pounding racket that will make your car sound like a helicopter. Happened to my wife's Impreza. It will scare the **** out of you when it happens while driving.)
It's there for a reason. It if wasn't needed, would Subaru have spent the $$ to put one in? Unless you are an engine system designer/engineer, why would you think you could simply eliminate such a feature? Just because some company makes a part with the hope of separating you from some of your money?
Any time you put in a significantly cheaper part, you are giving up something else (performance wise) in the bargain. Just be sure you have thought thru the effects of what you are going to do, and are willing to make the trade and live with the results.
Find and support a trustworthy, experienced, competent, certified mechanic. Then when you are considering doing something like this, you have someone you can have a five minute conversation with and get a deeper understanding of the likely effects. It's still your decision and your car and your $$$$, but at least you will be making informed decisions. This philosophy has proven invaluable to me over the years.
(This board is filled with many very competent participants, offering excellent advice, but there is no guarantee that they are all right all of the time, dispensing remote advice. Nothing better than competent boots on the ground, listening to you and your car.)