Harmonic balancer clearance

Jayz63

Well Known Member
#1
I was wondering if someone can tell me if my harmonic balancer is pressed on all the way. For some reason I think it needs to go back a bit more. I installed it by lining up the key way and grove and lightly tapping it on until it passed the key and then got my BFH and hit it a few times with a wooden block. It doesn’t seem to go back anymore and there is literally no clearance between the front sway bar to install a belt. It is an aftermarket bar 1-1/8” so I’m not sure if that’s the problem.
 

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Jayz63

Well Known Member
#3
Yes it is drilled out but it doesnt seem to want to go on more. Maybe Ill pull if off again and see if the keyway is binding on something.
 

tenxal

Well Known Member
#7
Yes it is drilled out but it doesn't seem to want to go on more. Maybe Ill pull if off again and see if the keyway is binding on something.
When you're hammering that balancer on, visualize what's happening.....you're also pounding the thrust flange of the crank against the thrust surface of the rear main bearing. Bad, bad JuJu. :thumbdown

A few bucks spent for a quality balancer install tool is money well spent. Pro Form makes a decent one and it's under $75. With a installation tool, you'll know when it's on all the way as you'll feel it get tight and solid.

The dimensions between front crank snouts and aftermarket balancer hub I.D.'s are all over the place. :crazy Ideally, you're going to want about .001 press fit. I've seen as much as .007 difference between hub I.D. and the crank snout. Just yesterday, I had a new ATI balancer hub honed to fit the snout on my crank. As delivered, there was .0028 difference which, if not addressed, would have resulted in pretty severe galling when it went on.

Hope this helps.

 

Jayz63

Well Known Member
#10
So I went over to autozone and rented a puller and installer. My harmonic balancer is installed all the way back onto the lower timing chain gear so I’m not binding on anything so are there different sizes of colors on the balancer. I applied grease to back of t he balancer and when fully installed it was displaced when it touched the lower gear. I have two off of a 409 one is from a truck and the other a car motor both are the same size. I’m thinking my problem is this front sway bar. Has anyone come across this problem.
 

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427John

Well Known Member
#11
Something you may want to check if you didn't assemble the engine is pull the timing cover and check to make sure the timing gear is seated all the way on the crank it doesn't take much of a nick or burr to lock the gear or balancer and prevent full installation.If the balancer is not seated to the correct depth it will also throw off you pulley alignment.
 

Jayz63

Well Known Member
#13
I think I have figured out the problem. The sway bar has to be for a sbc engine. I took a picture of my btothers 63 impala 327 and it looks to be about 4” shorter than the 409 when you look at the upper a-arm to the front of the block. . This bar that I have in the car now is straight across and I’ve seen some of the newer bars out there and most have a angle bent in them where the balancer would be at so that will allow me to get the clearance for the belts. I did confirm that the lower gear is on all the way and my balancer is butted up against the lower gear.
 

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Jim Sullivan

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 8
#14
The sway bar on your car looks bigger in diameter than a stock sway bar. Could be an aftermarket one which is causing the clearance issue?
 

tenxal

Well Known Member
#17
Something you may want to check if you didn't assemble the engine is pull the timing cover and check to make sure the timing gear is seated all the way on the crank it doesn't take much of a nick or burr to lock the gear or balancer and prevent full installation.
I've seen a couple of lower gears that didn't have a chamfer to mate against the filet radius of the crank snout. That will cause about 1/8" of alignment issue.
 

Mearl

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 6
#20
I'm a big fan of sway bars and have the biggest ones I can get on almost everything. All I could find for the 61 was a 1", I'm a little embarrassed at having to go so puny but it does clear the balancer on the big block by about 1/8". The Camaro, GTO and Nova all have 1 1/4" bars with quick ratio boxes, much more manly!
 
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