harmonic balancer?????


Old 02-15-05, 06:34 AM
mike norsic
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harmonic balancer?????

my engine is making a a rattling noise like something is loose in the engine. just
had the tensioner replaced and the serpentine belt. took the car back to the mechanic and he said that it was the harmonic balncer. what is this and is it easy to repair
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Old 02-15-05, 07:47 AM
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The harmonic balancer is the pulley on the front of the crankshaft that provides the power to run the belt. It's made up of three pieces. There's the steel inner part, which bolts to the crankshaft; there's a rubber sleeve around that which dampens crankshaft vibrations; and then there's the outer steel part, which has grooves for the belt.
And what happens is that the rubber sleeve wears out and pushes the outer part of the pulley away from the engine. That pulls the belt off of the other accessories, including the water pump, which is what ultimately shreds it.

A: What you need to do is see if the pulleys are in alignment. Using a piece of string, or a straight edge, look down from the top and see if any of the pulleys are not in the same plane. It could be any pulley, but it's most likely to be the harmonic balancer.

Unfortunately, it's not a job you want to do yourself. Ford engineers, in their wisdom, put the engine about an inch away from the car's frame. And the harmonic balancer is 2-inches deep. So you have to disconnect the motor mounts and move the engine in order to change it.
It'll cost you a couple of hundred bucks to have someone else do it for you, but it's one of those jobs where it's well worth it. Unless you don't really need your knuckles.
Good luck

Old 03-07-05, 04:20 PM
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I replaced the balancer on my 93 cutlass cierra. Wasn't all that bad a job. Took me an afternoon, once i figured out what needed to be done. Had to remove the passenger wheel, and a plastic guard. And I had access to some very nice pheumatic tools.
Old 03-08-05, 06:47 AM
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I think it depends on the make/model as to whether or not it's a DIY job
I have 3 Fords in the yard right now none of which you need to move the engine to replace the harmonic balancer, but 2 of which are easier than the third
On those 2 I'd actually recommend DIY, as they are good, not too tough, projects
The third you could do with a little experience and a good tool set
Of the other 3 cars here now one other is super-easy, the other 2 I haven't done a HB on so I won't comment

The balancer is just a weight that sits on the end on the crankshaft
It 'balances" the turning crankshft keeping it from, well from what it's doing to you now...vibrating

The balancer is usually separate from the crank pully, but attached to it
Often you need a "harmonic balancer puller" but not always
And they are cheap and are often loaned at DIY parts stores

So...what's the vehicle?
Old 03-08-05, 08:14 PM
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I had a mech tell me it was my harmonic balancer that was going to after he replaced the tensioner. What he did not tell and I actually caught him doing was suddenly letting the tensioner go once he got the belt in place. This could kill a new tensioner. Try taking the serpintine belt off and running the car breifly to see if any noise exists this will tell you if it is the balancer.
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