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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a tough time trying to install this bloody balancer. From what I have read everone just uses a peice of wood and a hammer to install it.

I have tried this and it when on so far then stopped. I then managed to find a strong thin washer and used the bolt to pull it on further. That has stopped now as well. looking from the back there looks to be another 1/2" of travel left.

I am afraid to really reef on the bolt as I don't want to break the bloody thing off then I am really screwed.

Any suggestions?? One buddy suggested that I toss the balanacer in the oven and heating it to 150F to expand it and make it go on easier. Is this a dumb idea?

Please help.
 

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Not realy a good idea to wack at it with a hammer. You can damage things that way. Although we have all done it. (c'mon you know you have) Its's better to use the harmonic balancer installation tool, and it makes life alot easier. Summit carries one from Proform for around 23 or 24 dollars. Part number is PRO-66515.
 

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Here's some info I have collected.-
Installing a balancer (from Chevy Only forum)
Buy, rent or borrow the correct tool. ($20 to $30) No hammers! Autozone will loan you a puller.
Go to Radio Shack and get a spraycan of the freezing cooler for electronics. Put cam break-in compound on the shaft, inside the balancer and on the balancer where the seal rides so the seal is lubed on startup till the oil gets there. Put the balancer in the oven at 200F or boiling water (212f) for a while until it is fully hot and then use the can of freeze mist on the crank nose, cooling it as best possible (you don't want to spray the whole can at once) and then quickly get the balancer out of the oven and slip it on the crank nose. The balancer will slide on until it hits the limit point. Don't get it too hot or it will damage the elastomer part of the balancer. If you over-tighten the tool it will break off in your crankshaft- bad news.
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Paint a line on the new balancer & pulley so it will be easy to tell if it ever separates & slips.
http://www.rustpuppy.org/ttchapter6/t&t82-2.jpg
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You can easily build your own harmonic balancer installer. Get yourself a leaf spring centerbolt of a sufficient length and a nut. You can use the thick washer that goes on the bolt for the balancer. Place the balancer on the crank by hand and then thread the centerbolt containing the washer and nut into the crank until it bottoms. Tighten the nut to install the balancer. You may want to put a little lube such as grease on the bolt to prevent gaulling the threads of the centerbolt.
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Buy a moroso installation tool, they don't break.. When installing it apply moly lube to the installer threads, the crank nose (including the keyway), and the inside of the balancer.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

Ok thanks that is great info. I will give it a try tomorrow and let you know how it goes.
 

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If you mess up your crank bearing thrust surfaces or pull out the threads on the crank snout, or seperate the interia ring from the hub you will wish you did purchase the installer tool. Been there,done that. Yeah it's a tool not used a lot but worth it.
Also maybe hot the inside hole of the damper with a scotchbrite and don't forget to lube the seal.
Jim
 

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Thanks for posting this question. I will be doing the same install when my best buddy(UPS Delivery Guy) shows up with my speed shop order. Can't believe the price of these over size hockey pucks.
 

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73SSHatchMan said:
I am having a tough time trying to install this bloody balancer. From what I have read everone just uses a peice of wood and a hammer to install it.

I have tried this and it when on so far then stopped. I then managed to find a strong thin washer and used the bolt to pull it on further. That has stopped now as well. looking from the back there looks to be another 1/2" of travel left.

I am afraid to really reef on the bolt as I don't want to break the bloody thing off then I am really screwed.

Any suggestions?? One buddy suggested that I toss the balanacer in the oven and heating it to 150F to expand it and make it go on easier. Is this a dumb idea?

Please help.
I don't know what internet typewriting monkeys told you to hit a damper with a hammer, but that advice is wrong.

You are in the right place for good advice, but put your matched set of BFH's away.

  • First rule of mechanics: If something is hard to do then something is wrong!
  • Never wack a balancer with a hammer! Use the proper installation tool.
  • Pounding on a crank ruins the thrust bearing.
  • Never heat a balancer. You'll cook the rubber and hasten early failure.
  • Use the proper puller and remove the balancer. Clean the crank snout and ID of the balancer with a Scothbrite pad. Use an appropriate press fit lube.
  • You may have already ruined the balancer. The outer ring is held in place only by the elastomer. When each piston fires the crank accelerates and decelerates twisting the crank. The balancer/damper is tuned to absorb these vibrations. This energy is turned into heat. The heat (and ozone in the air) ultimately deteriorates the rubber. Pounding on any balancer strains the rubber (even if you only hit the center, inertia causes the outer ring to jolt.)

    A high mileage damper is more prone to failure especially if hit with a hammer.

    If it's damaged it will eventually fail and lead to engine damage. It's a good idea to replace a used damper at rebuilding time even if it "looks ok". They have a finite life and if it has anywhere near 100,000 miles on it, it has very few miles left if any.
I posted a link on balancer installation in Mrtimstik's distributor won't time because the balancer is wacked thread.

Here it is again: CHP balancer tech tips
 

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Guys,

I don't know what temp the balancer will tolerate before being damaged. I know I clean a lot of them in my spray jet washer and it runs about 190F.
I have considered buying an induction type bearing heater to try.

I balance a lot of engines as well as build them, so I am always installing and removing balancers. I finally built a hydraulic installer and puller. It only takes about 90 seconds to install a balancer now. If you think its hard when the crank is in the motor, try putting it on with crank out!

One thing I should mention is I always measure the crank snout and the balancer bore to make sure you have the proper fit, especially with new (or different) parts. I keep a small dial bore gage set up just for this.
For an example- crank snout on "high limit" and the balancer on "low limit" and it might not only be a bear to install, but you may actually break the balancer in the keway! I have seen this a bunch, and if you don't catch it before firing the motor it could just as well damage the crank.

Im not sure if heating the balancer before installation help prevent cracking, but it may. I talk with balancer manufactures on occasion I will try to remember to ask various ones about mav temps. I know I would love to use an induction heater and an infrared pyrometer if it would work!


Good luck

Jeff
 

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Good points Jeff! I was afraid he was going to heat it to 350-400F! I think the elastomer would melt into goo at that temp.
 

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Hey if you live by an autozone they will rent you the tool and give you all your money back when you return the tool, so 0 cost, and you wont screw up your motor.
 

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Hi,

Im sure that temp would ruin them as well Paul. I saw about 5 that were melted at about 400 degrees when a friends helper tried to clean them in thermal oven. Atleast all the peices were clean!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Broke the tool

Damn it anyway. I managed to get a tool. I was just about there and then the bloody tool (bolt) broke in the nose of the crank. Lucky for me there was enough hanging out that I was able to get a plyier on it and unscrew it out from the nose. I think that the nose or balancer or key is to big. Something is just not right. I am gonna take the balancer back and see if another one gives me the same problems.
 

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i have a strange question, not to steel the thread but since its on the topic.,
maybe paul or stock z/28 can answer.

years ago i built a 327 out of a 350 block and a 307 crank. the crank didnt have a threaded hole in the end. it didnt take a center bolt. ive never seen one this way, but i had plenty of problems , so many loose balancer probs i drilled and tapped a hole in it and finally it was fixed,

have either of you come across this?? no hole for a center balancer bolt?

i ask cause i bfh it back on so many times. never ruined anything, but it sucked.
 

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Hi,

Yes most of the early low performance cranks were not drilled and taped. I dont do as many anymore but I used to drill and tap a lot of 327 and 283 cranks. The early standard type motors just relied on "press fit". You did the right thing to drill and tap it.

Jeff
 

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I am about to purchase a damper and one of the notes states," Dampers are honed for stock cranks--steel hubs may need to be honed for aftermarket cranks....." My crank hub measures 1.247" diameter. I will check the ID of the damper before I install to see how much press there really is. A thousandth of an inch of interferance can be a buster without the right install tool. I would imagine lube helps also.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok your not going to believe this.

Well I did some measuring, which is what I should have done on the first go around. The balancer had measurements in the instructions to check to make sure all is well. I was within tolerances on everything. So what could it be?? Then I took the timing cover off so I could get at the key. I replaced the key just to be sure that it was not an issue. It didn't look right. After I put it all back together I had a look and though "I wonder if it was already all the way on?" I measured the depth of the snout and then compared it to the balancer. Well guess what, when the balancer is fully on there is 1/4" space between the balancer and the block. DOH!!!!! I broke the tool because the unit was installed as far as it could go.

I got a buddy to machine me the replacement part for the tool and installed the balancer with no issues.

Thanks to all that had good info. Btw in the instructions from the mfg says to use a hammer and wood if you don't have a tool. Go figure eh.
 

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73SSHatchMan said:
Thanks to all that had good info. Btw in the instructions from the mfg says to use a hammer and wood if you don't have a tool. Go figure eh.
now that is too funny....but it does sorta make sense the would say that as they are, after all, in the business of selling new ones...so the sooner it comes apart on you the better off they are so to speak :rolleyes: :)
 

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Hi guys,



That's cool its fixed. Im glad it was something simple. Sometimes its hard to tell if the balancer is all the way on. I have a gage that I made that measures from the front of the block to the face of the balancer, this helps when trying to figure out pulley misalignment.

One thing I probably should have mentioned earlier is that I always put a small amount silicone sealer in the balancer key way before installing it. I have seen some engines that would leak oil out the front of the balancer. I think most of the engines come sealed this way from the factory as well.

The best installation lube I have found is molly assembly lube. I us ARP but it may all be the same.


Good Luck
Jeff
 

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73SSHatchMan said:
Well I did some measuring, which is what I should have done on the first go around. The balancer had measurements in the instructions to check to make sure all is well. I was within tolerances on everything. So what could it be?? Then I took the timing cover off so I could get at the key. I replaced the key just to be sure that it was not an issue. It didn't look right. After I put it all back together I had a look and though "I wonder if it was already all the way on?" I measured the depth of the snout and then compared it to the balancer. Well guess what, when the balancer is fully on there is 1/4" space between the balancer and the block. DOH!!!!! I broke the tool because the unit was installed as far as it could go.

I got a buddy to machine me the replacement part for the tool and installed the balancer with no issues.

Thanks to all that had good info. Btw in the instructions from the mfg says to use a hammer and wood if you don't have a tool. Go figure eh.
You know....I meant to ask you how far away the balancer was from the block. They do not sit flush or even close to flush when they are installed properly. Sucks you went through all the trouble for nothing. Oh well...just chalk it off as a learning experience.

Dave
 
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