So, what is the purpose of a harmonic balancer? The balancer’s primary role is to absorb vibrations transmitted to the engine’s crankshaft. In a four-stroke engine, every piston performs four separate strokes when turning the crankshaft: intake, compression, power, as well as exhaust. The crankshaft speeds up as a piston travels downward during a power stroke.
During the compression stroke, another piston is going upward, causing the crankshaft to be able to slow down. As a consequence, opposing forces are transmitted to the crankshaft, resulting in a potentially harmful resonance.
The high-frequency vibrations that are acting on the crankshaft are moderated by the harmonic balancer. A center core, an inertia ring, as well as a rubber insulator are all common components of a balancer (some designs utilize viscous fluid rather than rubber).
The end of the crankshaft is bolted to a center hub. The inertia ring, as well as the rubber ring, does absorb some of the vibrations caused by the crankshaft’s twisting and turning. A pulley (either the integral or the bolted on) attaches the harmonic balancer to the engine’s drive belt.
The pulley spins the belt while the engine is working, which allows the engine-driven gadgets (alternator, A/C compressor, etc.) to be able to rotate.
Here is how to tell if the harmonic balancer requires replacing
There are three sections of the harmonic balancer. The inner portion is composed of molded steel and has a hub that attaches to the crankshaft with bolts. 3- threaded 3/8-inch holes on the harmonic balancer are utilized to remove the balancer from the crankshaft. The third element is separated from the hub by a rubber insulator.
The fan belt, the final component, wraps around the outer ring. The engine, pistons, rods, and anything else attached to the crankshaft would vibrate if the harmonic balancer was not present. This vibration is kept out of the engine by the harmonic balancer.
Start the engine and assess harmonic balancer to determine if it does wobble while your engine is running. Using a flashlight, shine the flashlight directly onto a balancer to determine it does go in and out while it is rotating. If you verify it wobbles, your harmonic balancer is bad. You can now turn off the ignition.
Remove the fan belt, then grab hold of the outer ring on the harmonic balancer and try to move the ring in or out. If the ring moves in and out, the harmonic balancer is bad.
Inspect the rubber insulator between the inner hub and the outer ring. If the insulator is cracked, showing signs of wear, or is missing, the harmonic balancer needs to be replaced.
Common Failure Warning Signs of a harmonic balancer
Engine vibration is among the first signs of a possible problem. The engine can shake violently if your vehicle’s harmonic balancer cannot withstand the harmonic vibrations properly. The shaking would become even more intense. As a result, the engine becomes dangerous at high speeds.
Leaks Caused by a Worn Seal Surface
The seal can become hard and lose its sealing capacity as a result of heat as well as engine vibration. As a result, the oil will pass through the seal as well as out of the engine due to residual engine crankcase pressure. Since the seal does ride against the balancer’s inner hub, grooves in the sealing surface may form.
Even though the harmonic balancer appears to be simple, it can cause serious problems if it fails. Engine failures, like worn rod bearings as well as a broken crankshaft, can occur if the balancer does not dampen the unwanted crankshaft vibrations.
A defective balancer can cause damage to the belt and also engine-driven accessories. It’s also probable for the balancer to fly apart, causing a number of under hood elements to be destroyed. Driving with a faulty harmonic balancer is not recommended. The key bearings would be worn out by the bouncing crankshaft. It can also rip drive belts and cause them to disintegrate, posing a risk to people as well as property.