T1N Harmonic Balancer Failure

bad_assr

New member
I removed the fan so I could take advantage off the 3 foot long 3/4" torque wrench. I needed the working room from the top. Using a torque wrench that long from the bottom was very awkward and limited.
I drove my van up on ramps to allow an extra bit of clearance from underneath. I had plenty of clearance with my 32" 1/2 drive torque wrench. It's actually easier to get the +90deg from underneath. You can use one of the wheels for leverage with your foot. I used a framing square, marked the 90deg on the pulley and made the turn in one clean pull. start the 90deg mark as high on the pulley as you can get your ratchet to go as a starting point.
 

Sgt Ret

2005 ,2500 SHC
Do you have to change the HB and the key and bolt as a set or can you use the old key?
 

bad_assr

New member
I don't think you can get the key out. It should stay in place on the crankshaft. You definately want to replace the bolt as it is torque to yield and shouldn't be reused. It is also recommended to replace the front crankshaft seal while you have the HB out. It is very simple to do.
 

marquimarl

Member
I believe you should have replaced the key while it was apart as it has been shown to be the weakest link.
The Bolt needs to be replaced also as it is a stretch bolt.

For preventive maintenance.
I am replacing the Water Pump, Two Idler Pulleys along with the Belt Tensioner and Spring.
I am also replacing all of the rubber hoses.
I would like to know....
Should I replace the Timing belt Tensioner also while it is apart?

The H.B. I am replacing was looking close to new and is an OEM H.B..
The Van also shows other signs that the HB was replaced.

Hopefully I will be getting an upgraded key and H.B. if there is such a thing.
The parts would have arrived by now but they were shipped to northern Nevada by mistake.
 

skill3

2006 Dodge T1N 2500 118"
Do you have to change the HB and the key and bolt as a set or can you use the old key?
You can use the old key. You do not want to remove it unless it is damaged. I replaced the seal, HB, bolt, and washer. I bought all of those items from Berry Dodge. Parts total with shipping was $315.16.
 

plumber1

New member
I changed the balancer and front crank seal on my 04 3500 today. The rubber had completely failed and the outer ring was getting ready to come loose and make a big expensive mess of the front of my engine. I found that 3- 1 1/4" flat washers ($2.00 each) and the old (or new) balancer bolt make nice seal installers, and they dont cost way too much money as most of the special tools to work on these incredible vehicles do. It is not self centering so you have to guide the washers onto the snout of the crank but works nicely and easily after that. The bolt should turn easily and the seal should press in easily. DO NOT FORCE IT AND MAKE SURE THE seal starts in the hole in the front cover and the first two washers are not pinched against the end of the crank prior to using the bolt and washer to press the seal in place. I used a large flat screw driver with the flat part of the blade resting (not scraping to cause damage) against the crank snout, a small block of wood as a fulcrum to protect the front cover and oil pan lip, pried gently on both sides of the crank (180 degrees) from each spot and one time a little harder and the seal popped right out. The puller I used to pull the balancer I have had for years. Something like it should be available at your local auto parts store. It has 3 legs and a pushrod looking piece that bottoms out in the bolt hole on the puller and crank. The removable legs it has were a big help to get it in place quickly. I am not going to say what i used to hold the crank but it was not the MB or miller tool which would have been easier to use and probably safer than my method. I am attaching photos of the puller i used for the balancer and seal remover and installer. Auto Zone had the front seal in stock at their hub store near me. I used the National/ Timkin seal 710289 ($9 and change) and got a Dorman balancer from Napa next day for $230. I had to go to a local dodge dealer to get the new bolt, it was $12.99 (next day) where freightliner wanted $18.99(next day). I used a torque wrench to gain the initial torque spec and a breaker bar with a 3' or so piece of pipe to get my 90 degree final. Hope this helps someone out there. I hate paying out the nose for tools and parts just because they are "$pecial".:crazy: I also enjoy the challenge of making tools to do jobs that require them. Here are some pics that may help
 

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Coast2Coast

2006 158 Cargo
Is a Mercedes Sprinter Dealer capable of doing this job with all the right tools and knowledge? As much as I'd like to do this on my own I don't have the tools and wouldn't want to screw anything up. I got a quote for $290 which seems reasonable for labor.
 

Turbo John

New member
On a positive note, the spokes look great. No sign of fracture.

Thanks for taking the time to snap the pictures and post them. :thumbup: vic
So Vic.....You have an 04 I believe? Have you replaced the HB and if so when?... and if not how many miles do you have on your 04?
 

cobyreid

VANOMAD
Re: 2006 vanomad

A little pre-road trip knuckle busting....

Replacing cam shaft pulley (harmonic balancer) and water pump... add a little salt in the wounds...just had the front of the van torn apart replacing the radiator a month ago.... but I think I caught the harmonic balancer in the knick of time... was about to explode! The outer ring was completely separated from the inner pulley...
 

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cobyreid

VANOMAD
Re: 2006 vanomad

You are a man of many talents.
Would it be prudent to replace the tensioner?
I would highly recommend replacing the idler pulleys and tensioner whilst in the heart of the beast...I however, being antsy to roll on a road trip and not having the parts... went with the aint broke don't fix it mentality.... I am sure I will learn to regret this decision down the road :bash:

How hard and how long did it take to remove the front end? I have seen several in that state at Freightliner but not by diyer.
There is nothing particularly hard about tearing the front end off a sprinter.. i think the hardest part is just committing to remove everything in your way to get to the part you are after... And having the proper tools... fly wheel lock, puller, huge cheater bar and massive torque wrench for pulling the harmonic balancer... for example.

Took most of one Saturday's daylight hours in October in my outdoor shop... to replace water pump and crank shaft pulley, and reassemble ... could have thrown in a new radiator, tensioner, pulleys in the same amount of time. I had the advantage of just doing 50% of this job a month ago... replacing the radiator. Unfortunately... I can field strip the front end to the fan in about an hour...
 

cobyreid

VANOMAD
Re: 2006 vanomad

How did you know the harmonic balancer was about to go?
I noticed a new rattly pinging sound .. sounded like the turbo heat shield or something was loose... also a bit more vibration.

I tried to find the noise for days... finally whilst laying on my back looking up at the motor i reached up and grabbed the outer ring of the harmonic balancer.... and it was loose.. could almost spin it independently of the inner pulley and could rock it back and forth....

Parked the van went and logged in to europarts.sd...
 

plumber1

New member
I changed the balancer and front crank seal on my 04 3500 today... I used the National/ Timkin seal 710289 ($9 and change) and got a Dorman balancer from Napa next day for $230.
WARNING I HAVE GOTTEN 6 months each out of the Dorman balancer I put on when I made my original post (oct 2013), and the one i replaced with a warranty part in late june 2014. I now have another failure and im tired of changing this thing.:yell: It is my experience that the Dorman Chinese parts are total garbage!!!:bash: I am debating on OEM dealer or europarts-SD.com to source my next and hopefully permanent replacement. :idunno: Id like some feedback here Please and Thank You!
 
Is this something every t1n owner should be concerned about ? I have a 2006 cargo tall and long no rear Ac.


Howboutcha-
 

obie

'04 long & tall passenger
I got mine from the local Dodge dealer, had a new updated part number. Hopefully that means this one will last. I read I think every hb thread on here. I don't recall any good coming from ANY aftermarket HB. Stick with the MB unit.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
WARNING I HAVE GOTTEN 6 months each out of the Dorman balancer I put on when I made my original post (oct 2013), and the one i replaced with a warranty part in late june 2014. I now have another failure and im tired of changing this thing.:yell: It is my experience that the Dorman Chinese parts are total garbage!!!:bash: I am debating on OEM dealer or europarts-SD.com to source my next and hopefully permanent replacement. :idunno: Id like some feedback here Please and Thank You!
I chirp on about this and Chinese parts on MB products@!~
For the mostpart they don't work or have a very short life.
Rubbish is expensive at any price!
Dennis
 

aspen

Member
My harmonic balancer fell apart completely on my 2004 3500, I just removed the ring from the rest of the pulley. Is it safe to drive before new part arrives?
Val
 

aspen

Member
More pictures of the old part and the box the new one came from europarts-sd.
I used a new bolt and a new washer, didn't remove key, just kept the old one. The old balancer wasn't super tight on the shaft and I didn't need a balancer puller. I have a standard puller, but it probably wouldn't work anyway, since there are no threaded holes in this balancer.
 

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ECU

Well-known member
I had driven all day, about 1000 miles. I pulled in to the city of Shasta and was looking for a diner. At the slow speed and my window down, I could hear a noise others have described as it bounced off the buildings. By the time I got another 1000 miles the next day, I could hear the noise at idle. Putting on the brakes hard made the noise go away for a moment.
I tracked down the sound to the HB. I stuck some caulking in there and the noise went away for a day. Since I was on the road, I didn't have many options and took it to the local dealership...
 

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