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  #1  
Old 07-29-2012, 02:37 PM
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Default Is the Harmonic Balancer life limited?

My Father-in-law just replaced his Harmonic balancer in his '01 V-10. The idler pully (larger one) spun it's bearings and froze, this locked the serpentine belt which in turn seperated the two piece harmonic bal. Luckly, being an old man (HA!) he was driving slow and stopped. The outer side of the balancer dropped to the ground in front of him. Dealer and others have said this needs replaced after about 100K, otherwise they tend to go through the fan and into the radiator. Reportedly the H.B. is hard to get and is a dealer item only ....due to being in high demand. This is new news to me, never heard of it before. Anyone else? My '01 5.9 has over 150K on it....
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:04 PM
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1st I've heard of that problem, but it's not the balancer you'd be concerned with, it's the idler pulley. The balancer doesn't "wear out" but the idler pulley setup sure does.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:23 PM
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I've seen the idler pulley go bad and cause the balancer to separate where it's pressed together with the rubber spacer. The outer part spins loose from the balancer where it's bolted to the crank. I haven't seen it happen on a Ram yet, but quite a few caravans.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:25 PM
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Yes the life is limited and they dampen worse as miles get higher. Most use a rubber "cushion" to transfer the dampening out of the shaft via heat. Like anything else it gets worn from high heat and vibration. 100k sounds about right to me, but it's just a guess. I'd get an aftermarket one if I were to replace it, probably be the same price or cheaper and will be better(as long as you get a good one....maybe ATI). You could do an underdrive pulley at the same time to free up 10-20 hp.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Yes the life is limited and they dampen worse as miles get higher.
Learned something new this evening -- that's not a problem I've seen before. But I sure have seen problems with idler pulleys.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:53 PM
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^It depends on driving habits and many other things as well. If the engine is used at low rpm's it's whole life then there is less stress/vibration/heat in the dampener and it should last longer. I have an 81 F100 that was still using the oem balancer and had 200,000 miles on it, and I did a lot of modification to the engine and reved it to 6,500 rpm(stock was more like 4,500 rpm max) and I didn't have any issues, but I can guarantee that it was not dampening as good as a new one would. I'm sure it was causing more wear on the bearings than should be allowed.

ATI makes rebuildable dampeners, so after so many miles you take it apart and install a new insert and it's like brand new. I want one for my truck(also an under drive pulley) but it's like $500 so for now it'll wait lol.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:56 PM
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Also just want to say it's not like it's "required" to change them as they age, they will still dampen even if not as good as they are supposed to. Just having a weight on the end of the shaft provides decent dampening.

It's like shocks, they aren't required to ride around town but the vehicle performs much better with them.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:50 PM
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I have had a few Harminic Vibration Dampners go bad, both on pickups & a Semi truck
the one in the semi took out the radiator & other parts

the rubber between the 2 metal pieces dries out & they are always under a stress & some people tend to like their fan belts to be real tight
If you wash your engine often & use a chemical, like engine brite or any engine cleaner or degreaser, it tends to dry that rubber ring out even quicker
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:56 PM
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I like the under drive idea... summitt has the H.B. for $204 & the other pullys for $164.!
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