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Old 01-26-2020, 01:31 AM   #1
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Default Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

I am about 400 miles away from home and just started to hear some noise up front at idle. It is intermittant for now. I am suspecting harmonic balancer. There is a very little play when I push the outer ring. Below are two photos. Can I still drive 400 miles and fix it at home in your opinion? Drive 75mph or 65mph? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 01-26-2020, 01:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

Pictures aren't working for me. If it was me and it is the harmonic balancer not something else, i'd run it, but not beat on the engine. Keep it around 60 and pull over and reinspect every 100mile or if the noise changes.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

Mine went on a trip. While cruising slowly, looking for a hotel, I could hear the scraping noise echoing off the buildings in town. When we got another 600 miles the next day, I found the HB loose. Since I was at a place where I would be a month, I had it fixed at a local dealer. $2700. I wasn't going to drive it another 1700m to get home.
The noise comes from the loose part scraping on the engine block. If you're not seeing this, then maybe the noise is something else. I was able to prove to myself it was the HB by putting some silicone caulking around that part of the HB. It worked for a couple days.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

My sound is just louder engine noise than normal, no metal sound. I can hear at idle only and once I start driving, noise disappears.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

If it goes it can cause some major damage. Must be in the air, someone reached out to me yesterday with the same issue. They were in dallas and in a time crunch $1200 but same day repair without any sort of refferal and I thought that was alot of $$. The risk is really up to you. I think these guys made it from Colorado when they first started hearing it and made it to dallas. It was really bad when they sent me a video. Youve confirmed its for sure the balancer?
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

My theory is that balancer is somewhat out of sync at idle but when it spins faster it seats itself. My rubber seems to be in better condition than those I saw in this forum. I replaced idler pulleys, tensioner and alternator not too long ago so those are not the likely suspects.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

If it were me, and it truly is the harmonic balancer, I would remove the serpentine blet and remove the loose ring. It is a proven temporary fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
REMOVE THE RING!! The ring can be removed to allow driving many hundreds of miles without issue. Pressing on with a loose ring has danger of further damage. Removing the ring gets you home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
If you need to press on there may be a response to a loss of rubber bond on the harmonic balancer. The ring can be removed and the Sprinter driven with the ring missing.

At least it worked for Alexk243. I personally would keep my speeds/rpm down a bit. I have no data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexk243 View Post
So the outside ring on the harmonic balancer is loose and spinning freely... Appears the bolt is tight... How much time do I have? I am 500 miles from home.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
How high is up?

The proper answer is that it needs to be repaired. If it comes loose it can do a bunch of damage.

One possibility. If the ring will pass over the serpentine belt pulley. Remove the serpentine belt, remove the separated ring, and re-install the belt.

That should get rid of the balancer failing.

Were I to try that I would keep my speeds down to 55 mph to keep engine rpm's down. That said, there may be rpm ranges where more vibration is noticed than in others. If discovered I would avoid those ranges.

There must be many people who have run the T1N with a partially failed harmonic balancer which wasn't doing the job.

To be clear. I have never tried what I suggest above. I have no idea what the risks of trying it may be.

Good luck.

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexk243 View Post
So I have no reception and Wi-Fi but I guess I reached the same conclusion that you guys did. I drove 50 miles on it to an awesome diesel mechanic shop and they took the belt off and removed the ring. They also made sure the harmonic balancer was on there tight. After that (10 mins or so haha) I headed back and made the last 500 miles or so safely. Noticed a lot higher vibration as I approached 70 mph so stayed well below that.

You can see the ring removed on the floor of the shop by the driver door.



Thanks for the quick responses guys. Sorry I could only check it when I was at a place with Wi-Fi

Now my next question is what harmonic balancer is recommend for replacement? I am fine paying more so this does not happen again. Any thoughts?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
All you need is a proper tensioner tool or just a 17mm 12 point box end wrench to release the tensioner, remove the belt, and remove the loose ring. The tensioner has a cast in 12 point fitting.

If DIY isn't possible any decent small shop can do it. Refer them to the link that I provided above. That will allow you to get back home without any major expense. The repair can be scheduled once home.

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Old 01-26-2020, 06:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by koenb View Post
Pictures aren't working for me.
The links he used only return one by one pixel-sized images.
Perhaps the originals didn't make it, or were later removed?

Here's one of the links (as a URL, not as an IMG, which was the original proper choice)
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/pi...pictureid=6623

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Old 01-27-2020, 02:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

Doesn't sound like the balancer to me. When the rubber bond starts to go, you can move the ring 1/8" in/out. I would suspect something else in the belt drive if its not obviously coming loose.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Can I still drive 400 miles with noisy harmonic balancer?

I made to home 400 miles. I can move the ring in and out less than 1/8" and the ring is intact. So maybe it is not the balancer but I went ahead and ordered balancer, washers, seal, bolt, woodruf key from Europarts as preventive maintenance. Also ordered flywheel lock from Amazon. It sounds like something is grinding, not constant but is intermittant at idle and as soon as I start to drive, it disappears. What would be the best way to check which one is the problem? I can try hand-turning each and see which one makes the noise?
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