How to Replace a Harmonic Balancer

The purpose of a harmonic balancer is to dampen the harmonic vibrations that all engines produce. On many engines, the harmonic balancer is integrated into the crank pulley. They do not fail often, but excess engine vibrations and misaligned timing marks are among the symptoms of a bad or failing crankshaft harmonic balancer

Although the steps provided below are similar for most engines, there are many different engine designs, so please refer to your vehicle’s factory service manual for detailed instructions on your particular vehicle. For this example, we will discuss how to change a harmonic balancer on a typical “V” style engine with rear wheel drive.

Part 1 of 1: Replacing a harmonic balancer

Materials Needed

vehicle placed on jack stands

Step 1: Prepare the vehicle. Jack the vehicle up high enough to obtain access to the harmonic balancer, located on the front of the motor and attached to the crankshaft.

belt tensioner being rotated to loosen it

Step 2: Remove the accessory drive belts. On many modern vehicles, there is an automatic, spring-loaded belt tensioner that can be rotated to loosen the belt.

You may need to use an open end wrench or ratchet handle, depending on the design. Older vehicles, and some newer ones, require you to loosen a mechanical tensioner.

  • Note: Use your cell phone to take a picture of the belt routing for future reference.

strap wrench used to loosen bolt

Step 3: Remove the harmonic balancer bolt. Remove the harmonic balancer bolt by using the strap wrench to hold the balancer still.

Hold it still while loosening the bolt with a socket and ratchet handle or breaker bar. It will be very tight, so pull hard.

Step 4: Remove the harmonic balancer unit. Using the gear puller, place the hooks in an area that will not easily break, like the lip of the pulley section.

threaded holes

Some vehicles have threaded bolt holes in the balancer that can be used to attach a puller. Tighten the center bolt with a ratchet handle or breaker bar until the balancer breaks free.

woodruff key and slot

  • Note: Most harmonic balancers are kept from rotating on the crankshaft by using a woodruff key. Don’t lose the woodruff key; you will need it for reassembly.

Step 5: Install the new harmonic balancer. Align the woodruff key slot in the new balancer with the woodruff key, and carefully slide the balancer onto the crankshaft.

Make sure the keyway remains in its proper position.Install the center bolt and tighten until the required torque specification is obtained.

Step 6: Install the belts. Rotate or loosen the belt tensioner to reinstall the belt.

  • Note: Refer to your previous photograph or service manual to determine the correct belt routing.

Step 7: Lower and start the vehicle. Carefully remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle, starting the vehicle to ensure proper reassembly.

If you are not comfortable doing the work yourself, have one of YourMechanic’s certified mechanics complete the crankshaft harmonic balancer replacement for you.


Next Step

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Recent Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(397)

Rating Summary
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Ronald

41 years of experience
301 reviews
Ronald
41 years of experience
Chevrolet Corvette V8-5.7L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Houston, Texas
Ronald Little was awesome! Very nice and extremely knowledgeable about my Corvette. I will request him in all my future repairs.
Honda Odyssey - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Cypress, Texas
When Ronald came in to repair my car, he analyzed that the actual problem making noise on my car is the damaged crankshaft harmonic balancer and not the timing belt that I though was the problem. He was very honest with his analysis and told me that it is my option if I still wanted to proceed with the timing belt replacement which I replied that if it is not the problem right now, I would have it fixed later. Ron gladly changed the job order accordingly and had completed the job fairly quickly. He came with another mechanic and he too was very professional and seems to be an expert mechanic as well. Also since Ron does not have the harmonic balancer parts (of course), he waited for me to buy the parts in a nearby auto parts store. Again, great experience from YourMechanic.com.

Manuel

32 years of experience
580 reviews
Manuel
32 years of experience
Toyota Camry L4-2.2L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Bellflower, California
On time. Worked diligently. Even under 5 minutes diagnosed why my car was misfiring which he was there to replace the harmonic balancer
Kia Optima - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Tustin, California
Manuel was awesome. I will use him again. He was early and I needed different parts and he went and got them and came back to do my car. I definitely recommend him he's professional and reliable. Could not beat the price., and to have the work done at my home was great!

Michael

27 years of experience
478 reviews
Michael
27 years of experience
Oldsmobile Alero V6-3.4L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Queen Creek, Arizona
Michael was an absolute pleasure to have working on my daughter's car. He was down-to-earth, easy to talk to, and made my service seem like his highest priority.
Dodge Ram 1500 - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Gilbert, Arizona
Mike is very nice guy, dependable and knows a lot about cars. He can get the job done. Highly recommend him to anyone needing work done on their vehicle. Thanks Mike!

John

27 years of experience
1019 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 V6-3.5L - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer - Pearland, Texas
Highly highly highly recommend John. He is truly the most honest hard working man that I’ve met. He treats you like family. He fixed my Benz in a timely manor. He is nice and will go the extra mile to ensure your happiness.
Ford Explorer - Crankshaft Harmonic Balancer Replacement - Pearland, Texas
John was very professional, knowledgeable, and personable. He got the repair done even faster than estimated and everything worked perfectly. Would highly recommend and will request him for my next issue or service. Thank you.

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