Your car engine’s harmonic balancer actually helps your crankshaft to last longer as you’ve ever imagined. This simple piece of equipment rolls out to minimize vibration, wiggling, and counter the resonance and torsional vibrations coming from the crankshaft.
Also called as crankshaft damper, harmonic damper, vibration damper, or torsional damper, the harmonic balancer must endure the force exerted by the crankshaft. One of the most hardworking parts of your car’s engine, the crankshaft turns the engine’s power into rotational motion that turns the wheels of your car.
The harmonic balancer is supposed to be the first to wear out before the crankshaft does. The crankshaft is more expensive and more elaborate to replace, it is only proper that you know how to remove a harmonic balancer to keep it running smoothly. This article will show you how it is done easily and quickly.
What is a harmonic balancer?
A harmonic balancer is a circular device made from metal and rubber. It is bolted at the front end of the crankshaft that aids in absorbing the vibrations. This device is also used as an accessory drive belts that keeps other essential systems of the engine running (like the alternator, air conditioning, water pump, and other devices driven by the crankshaft).
In other words, the harmonic balancer keeps the crankshaft from failure. But, as other parts of your engine, the balancer also suffers major setbacks. The first to give in is the rubber as it absorbs more of the vibrations giving up by the crankshaft, then it would be the metal that will bore signs of fatigue.
If the rubber wears out, the metal is sure to be next to wear. If this system fails, even the serpentine belt may be lodged out of its track, rendering other car accessories to fail. That is why it is necessary to check the harmonic balancer occasionally during your routine maintenance or if needed.
What are the common symptoms of a failing harmonic balancer?
Here are some of the warning signs that your damper is failing:
- Unusual engine vibration.
- Lopsided timing marks.
- Separated harmonic damper
- Unusual sound.
- Loose or worn out serpentine belt.
If you experienced two or three of these signs, better not to ignore them and bring your car to a reliable mechanic or the one you trusted the most, asap. Or you can do it yourself if you want to gain knowledge and discover more the parts of your car.
Tools you will need in replacing a harmonic balancer
- A new set of harmonic balancer
- Safety goggles
- Safety gloves
- Socket and ratchet
- 14” Wrenches
- Gas oven
- Impact wrench
- Pulley puller
- Harmonic balancer installer
- Serpentine belt replacement
Here’s what to do in replacing a worn out harmonic balancer
Some car requires the dismantling of the fender or front bumper, and in some cases, even the radiator to gain access to the harmonic balancer. Check out your manual if this is the case in your car.
Wear the proper safety gears, like goggles and gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) before you do this activity. Use your flashlight to the dark areas of your workplace. Disconnect also the battery from its terminals (to avoid electrical shock while you work on your car) and make sure the engine is turned off and the parking brake is set.
Here are some unsolicited advices
For a more specific tool, you probably want to own the harmonic balancer installer kit, known as the OTC 6505 Master Balancer Installer, this one comes with 11 adapters and widely used by veteran mechanics across the US. All products are available on Amazon which could be ordered with free shipping. What a great relief, really!
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Some car owners have never imagined the importance of the harmonic balancer in an engine. While it plays second fiddle to the crankshaft, the harmonic damper really performs a great job easing out the burden on the crankshaft. To make the crankshaft more relaxed and less intense in the effects of the dissipation brought about by torsional and resonance vibrations.
Keeping you informed on how to replace a harmonic balancer will probably make you realized the value of this hardworking part of your engine. And reading this article will broaden your reach for more reliable spare parts that you did not perceive to be more economical and reliable. Just like what other dealers have to offer.