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Thread: Bad harmonic balancer?

  1. #1

    Default Bad harmonic balancer?

    Ive had to use my 87 mgm as a daily so Ive started noticing more things. The biggest thing is the damn vibrations I can feel throughout the car whether parked or driving. Looking at the crank pulley I can see it wobble a lot. Ill post a video later. How can I know for sure its a bad balancer? The pulley wobbles but the weight doesnt. Also how hard is it to change one? Im assuming mine is as old as the car so I might as well change it anyway. Thanks.


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  2. #2
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    Check the timing with a light, if it's way the eff off on the balancer, but running just fine, the outer ring probably slipped loose.

  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If the outer ring looks like its wobbling, climb under there and have a good look at the rubber between the inner and outer ring. If its cracked or pushing out, replace the balancer.

    The pulley bolts to the center hub, so there isn't much to fail there. Not to say someone hasn't managed to bend the crank pulley. Its just stamped steel and its definitely possible to bend it if you try. If the fan clutch has ever been replaced, make sure the bushing is there. The aftermarket ones have a larger hole in the center of the clutch and without the bronze bushing installed, the clutch will not sit centered on the water pump. You get a lot of vibration if thats gone. If you let it go long enough the water pump shaft will break and the fan will try and drive itself through the radiator. You can ask Lincolnmania about that one. I fixed mine before it self-destructed.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  4. #4

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    Ill check the timing when I can thanks.

    I replaced the fan clutch myself but I dont recall any sort of bushing. And speaking of which, my water pump pulley wobbles a lot too. Maybe thats the issue then.


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  5. #5

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    Also what does the bushing look like and can it be purchased seperately? I dont remember having this bushing when I installed the new fan clutch.


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  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If the fan pilots nicely on the water pump, you don't need it. If it moves all around until the bolts are tight, it needs the bushing. Maybe someone is making proper sized clutches now but the last several I've bought all came with a bronze reducer bushing that had to be installed in order to center the fan on the pump correctly. If you know the ID of the fan clutch and the OD of the water pump shaft, you can order one from McMaster-Carr but you'll need a set of calipers to measure it.


    the pullies and such should not have significant wobble, but some minor imperfection is ok. These are stamped steel parts, they're not super precise.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  7. #7

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    Ok, the water pump pulley itself has some wobble to it but nothing too bad. I have a video from last night after work but you cant see the wobble too much.

    I bought the fan clutch off ebay and I think it was like an open box part or something. It might have been missing the bushing like it was supposed to have one for all I know. Ill have to mess with it when Im off.

    The balancer doesnt seem to move much but the crank pulley itself moves a lot. Also out of the blue I have a lot of belt squeal and it takes a while to go away. It definitely wasnt there before.


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  8. #8
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    you might have a bent pulley or loose bolts. Could even be a wad of crap between the pulley and balancer if its been off, or maybe someone pried against it. You'd be amazed at the dumb things that happen to belt drive parts. Usually its pretty easy to see that kind of thing if you pull the belt off and give it all a close look.

    does your power steering pump leak at all? If the front seal goes it can put a very small amount on the pulley and then the belt on that side slides. A wipe on the pulley with a paper towel will usually show oil if thats whats going on. Clean the pullies with a rag soaked in brakleen.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  9. #9

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    As a matter of fact it does and has leaked for some time. Its pretty low on my to do list since it still works but I might just have to bite the bullet and replace it. It seems to not really leak anymore like it used to since I added a little seafoam trans tune. Probably not the best idea but it quieted the pump down and slowed the leak.


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  10. #10
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87GrandMarq View Post
    Ill check the timing when I can thanks.

    I replaced the fan clutch myself but I dont recall any sort of bushing. And speaking of which, my water pump pulley wobbles a lot too. Maybe thats the issue then.
    You may not need a bushing. Depends on what hubs they had on hand that day.
    Without the bolts in (or nuts tight) the fan clutch hub should fit snug over the snout that sticks out of the water pump and not wobble side to side, if there is side to side motion and you just bolt it up the fan clutch hub will be off center and have a very noticable side to side wobble. The bushing fits over the water pump snout and fits in the fan clutch hub centering the whole works for the mismatch in size. Save those bushings in the event you don't need them. Caught a counter guy once who had no clue what that was and thought it didn't belong to the fan clutch and was going to leave it on the counter.

    Alex.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fan clutch bushing.jpg  

  11. #11

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    Oh wow ok thanks Ill check but Ill have to wait now. If my luck couldnt get any worse today on my way to work I spun out and went up on the median. Luckily there was no damage but the front drivers side tire decided to deflate as I was limping it back home. When it rains it pours...



    It looks worse in person but it did a 360 and went up on the median. It started right back up and I was able to back up off the curb and keep going. Luckily there wasnt much traffic though the little there was decided not to stop and the passing fire truck apparently couldnt be bothered... Everything that was in the center console went flying towards my feet, it sounded like glass smashing but it was just screws and other miscellaneous stuff.


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  12. #12
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    might be time for some better tires.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  13. #13

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    Welp to be honest its my fault. The po installed slicks and it was raining so I really cant blame the weather or my car. I shouldnt have been driving it but I couldnt get another car in time. My 17 gt is at the dealer and my other cars arent registered. Oh well I have turbines and two new tires waiting to be thrown on. Im lucky my stupidity didnt total it.


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  14. #14
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87GrandMarq View Post
    Oh wow ok thanks Ill check but Ill have to wait now. If my luck couldnt get any worse today on my way to work I spun out and went up on the median. Luckily there was no damage but the front drivers side tire decided to deflate as I was limping it back home. When it rains it pours...



    It looks worse in person but it did a 360 and went up on the median. It started right back up and I was able to back up off the curb and keep going. Luckily there wasnt much traffic though the little there was decided not to stop and the passing fire truck apparently couldnt be bothered... Everything that was in the center console went flying towards my feet, it sounded like glass smashing but it was just screws and other miscellaneous stuff.


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    I done it first time taking the Crown Vic to college after I had it painted.....DUMP truck behind me luckily stopped in time as I was trying to get back on the road facing the proper way.


    BTW kick panel tucks under the a pillar trim.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
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  15. #15
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    Won’t hurt to give the front end a good inspection after that party.

    Glad you and the car are okay.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
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    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  16. #16

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    Yeah lucky for me there was no traffic or else it wouldve been totalled for sure. As for the kick panel I never noticed that, someone mustve taken it out at one point.

    Thanks Tiggie, Ill do an inspection once I get it back. The shop I took it to is supposed to realign it so hopefully theyll be competent enough to check it so I know about issues before I get it back. I did a quick once over after it happened and everything looked ok but you never know.


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  17. #17
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    Good thing there was not a cop around. I could see you getting citation for a couple of things. Glad you and the car are intact.
    Looks like the "may pop" you were driving on, popped !

  18. #18

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    No kidding lol. And funny thing is that is the tire that was plugged but the plug was in tact. I think the rim bent upon impact. Luckily I had a set of turbines at home.


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  19. #19

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    I got the car back today, I like the turbines but almost miss the steelies lol. I feel like it drives better on street tires but it could just be in my head. As far as I can tell theres no damage and it seems to drive well. It pulls to the right a bit but Ill bring it back when I can, I had no time today.

    Back on topic, I noticed today that the vibrations Im feeling are only at idle and cruise. If I push the gas while parked the vibrations go away until it drops back to idle. Does that still sound like a balance issue or something else?


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