T1N Harmonic Balancer Failure

alexshouse

06' 647 NAG1 3500 HT 158"
Re: 2006 vanomad

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...
Sounds exactly like what happened to me on the '06 3500 I just bought... No noises to speak of on the test drive, then drove it 300 miles home and by the time we arrived, the rattling had started. Took a while to find the source, but once I did it was as obvious as you described.

What I'm curious about is whether this is related to the 'key failure' problem that I've also read about. Having had the HB replaced with the OEM part, what are the chances of having either of these problems come up again? Currently just over 76k miles.
 
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lindenengineering

Well-known member
The key failure is caused by the damper coming loose on the crankshaft nose or stub!

Being a highly torsionally stressed area the key cannot be a substantial item otherwise it too would be a stress raiser causing potential crank failures!

Hence it is merely a locator device for the damper itself on the shaft !

The secret if you want to call it that is the very high torque applied to the retaining bolt and stepped cone washer which in effect is creating a crush style clamping condition.
Obviously then, the repair modis operandi is to recreate the factory crush condition by using a new bolt and washer plus of course a factory damper which has the correct shore hardness element.
Dennis
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Update, I can move the outer ring in/out about 3/32" with one hand. Time to replace I think. :crazy:
Update,

I replaced the balancer. The Factory bolt was definitely not torqued to the current specs, I would estimate it took less than 100ft-lbs to break it loose. :wtf:
 

GrayGhost

New member
The most frightening automotive install I have ever done was an upgraded pulley on my Merc E55 AMG . The torque spec and subsequent degree movement after took a 6 ft long breaker bar and me pushing on it hard enough that we nearly knocked the car off the lift!!
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
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.

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.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
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
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?
As always, clicking the blue arrow icon within any quote box will take you to the original post/thread.
 

alexk243

KulAdventure
To add to that I would double check the tightness of the pulley when you remove the broke ring.

As I mentioned too there was definitely a RPM range where you noticed a louder engine and vibration, just made sure I avoided that range.

my 500 miles home was all highway driving around 65mph. Mechanic said the ring was rubbing on the belt, but had not done any damage so I would look at that also.

Does anyone have advice on tools to lock the flywheel?
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Plus you will need a torque wrench with excess of 240 lbf ft capacity plus a long knuckle bar!
To angle tighten it. AND a 27 mm deep socket!

Alex just a question??
I see that picture of your van with all those bloody push bikes hanging on the back!
I hope you don't transport them like that?
That looks down right scary from what I can see especially for other road users !:thinking:
Kind takes me back to my days in the ME and when the Kuwaitis were on the move to the Haj driving their Olds 98 full size Yank Tanks.
Dennis
 

alexk243

KulAdventure
Plus you will need a torque wrench with excess of 240 lbf ft capacity plus a long knuckle bar!
To angle tighten it. AND a 27 mm deep socket!

Alex just a question??
I see that picture of your van with all those bloody push bikes hanging on the back!
I hope you don't transport them like that?
That looks down right scary from what I can see especially for other road users !:thinking:
Kind takes me back to my days in the ME and when the Kuwaitis were on the move to the Haj driving their Olds 98 full size Yank Tanks.
Dennis
Yeah the bikes were transported that way. They are really secure on the Yakima rack mounted to a 2" reciever, didn't have any issues with them...

Not sure what is so scary for other road users, they are on there really secure and cabled on to the hitch as a backup, plus they are in view of the rear camera which is always on.

Here is another pic of it on the move:

 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
DIY seal replacement with some great tips by 2004VannaWhite. :thumbup:


:idunno:

Pay close attention to the position of the existing seal before removing it. A proper seal tool will set the correct depth. Seals can be set without the correct special tool, but it does require some caution. The seal metal must not be distorted during installation. Have you checked with Harbor Freight? I think they sell a universal seal tool.

I have at times used 3/4" drive or other sockets to set a seal into place. A piece of proper diameter plastic pipe is another possibility.

Have fun.
vic

Seal driver is not the big issue you will have, its getting that crank bolt out that will be difficult for the DIYer.

Once the balancer is off you can remove the extant seal with a screw driver. Place the tip of a flat blade into the seal, so the tip is parallel with the seal face, tip tight against the back side of the face lip. Be sure you get the tip under the metal portion of the face of the seal. Use the opposite side of the opening (crank hub was just in this place) and a small piece of wood/cardboard/sacrificial material as the fulcrum for the screwdriver shaft. Pry the old one out.

Lightly lube the outside of the new seal with motor oil, as well as the inside of the spring seal groove. Using a suitable diameter THING that puts pressure on the aforementioned metal shoulder of the front face of the new seal, tap it into place. I cannot recall if the front main seal bore in the timing cover has a blind lip at the back (most MBZs do NOT). Drive the seal in until the face of the seal is flush with the cover. A slightly over sized THING (from above) will stop the seal when flush.

Lightly lubricate the inner and outer portion of the new balancers hub (machined surfaces that will be in contact with the seal and crank nose) and install the balancer by hand, paying close attention to the woodruff key alignment. Don't force anything with tools, if it gets sticky, stop, remove and go again. 50% of the new balancers for MBZ I install are incredibly tight, the other half fall right on. A quick, and I mean quick, pass with 600 grit in the throat of the new balancer will often be all it takes to make the balancer easier to install. The keyway often has a small burr that will make the fit seem impossibly tight.

MBZ makes a "special tool" to hold the balancer while you reverse torque the crank bolt (which, BTW is a stretch bolt, and some will say should not be used again). Barring that tools use, you can pull the inspection plugs off the bottom of the trans bell housing and use a pry bar to lock the flywheel by inserting its tip into a ring gear groove (requires to upright bipedal carbon based life forms). I have also seen people insert the pry bar into the space between the TQ converter and the flex plate and use the inspection window as the fulcrum. I cant say that I recommend that, but will do in a pinch.

Good luck!
:cheers: vic
 
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J.Johnson

Member
My 2006 sprinter with 189000 on it started making an odd vibration noise. Could not locate it for weeks. Finally started taking stuff off and found that the elastomer in the harmonic ballancer had become dislodged and the outer ring was spinning on the inner hub of the harmonic ballancer. I have rear ac so the new one was not cheap.
 

jsimson

New member
Awfully grateful for this thread. I replaced my harmonic balancer, no sweat. Actually, lots of sweat trying to torque that bolt the final 90 degrees! I had everything but the three huge washers recommended by plumber1 to set the seal in nicely. Didn't want to make a trip to the hardware store, so I made my own tool. I cut out some 5/8" flooring I had sitting around the shop with a 1 3/4" and a 3" hole saw to make the doughnut and then glued a 3/4" washer to it. Super quick and it did the job.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/156456544@N03/shares/R9Ht81

T1NsealSeatingTool.jpg
 
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metalman

New member
First off- Love Sprinter Forum, found it 10 years ago. Have a 2005 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Great West Van(170,000). I tell EVERY sprinter owner I run across to check the forum FIRST.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to post... Good or bad, you learn from every post.
I was headed to AZ before the deep freeze coming to MN in Jan. Engine sounded louder during idle, but went a way. Think HB was going out in hind site.
In AZ for 6 weeks, headed home, in middle of no where NE AZ for fuel, left it run & I could hear a ringing, ding, ding from under front of motor, turned off, got back under, could move HB.
Called son with my Sprinter Forum info, he found this thread & alexk's post, HUGE thank you alexk…
This is crazy even for me, I took belt off crank pully, removed HB ring, put belt back on in about 5min. & drove it home in MN 1400 miles, I never once felt ANY vibration at any speed from 0-70.
My goal was to keep it at 65 or less & keep rpm no higher than 2500, speed control only in flat land, babied it in the hills so it would not down shift & spike the rpms.
Everyone has the Dorman for sale, but found Corteco at Parts Geek(fast free shipper) & it was made in Germany, ordered bolt, washer & key from MoparPartsGiant(slow shipper)cost 16 bucks, rip off, still waiting. Dealers do not stock & double the cost. I do not see this quick fix working on any V motor(V6,V8,V10 or V12). Inline motors only? I'm still shocked it worked...
 

metalman

New member
On the HB fix. Took out grill, top metal support that has hood latch & holds top of radiator, & took off electric fan. Pry up a little on radiator & pull away from motor, you'll gain 1"-2" with out disconnecting any hoses or lines. Made a crank pulley tool to hold pulley to loosen bolt, was really tight. Used pry bar GENTLY around pulley, could see that it was moving, then used hands to get it removed. I did not have to use a pulley remover. Used a little oil on new pulley, went on easy, tighten it up, as tight as I could, I'll check on it when I do my oil changes. I could not attach a pic, I used a 5" bearing race, weld (3) 1/2 bolts that are 2" long on to bearing so they fit the wholes on pulley, weld on 20" handle.
Look up a crank pulley tool, you should be able to figure out what I made.
 

tiger108

New member
I am so grateful for all the helpful info on this forum!
I have spent lots of time reading up on the various informative threads regarding failed harmonic balancers & how to repair. I thought I did all my homework and preparation, and all was going well today until it was time to actually remove the old crankshaft pulley.
Bolt and washer are off - but I have now brought home 3 different rental pullers from O'reilly and none fit into the space I have available to use. I was able to slowly get it to budge about 1/4" with gentle use of a pry bar. Also tried a few good hammer whacks to attempt to loosen it. I am really hoping to avoid swinging out the radiator or removing the fan & shroud.
Does anyone happen to know if there is a model of HB/crankshaft puller that will fit in the given space? Or has anyone fashioned one that I can copy? Or - is this hopeless and I should just accept I need to open up the front for more space?
I will try again after work tomorrow and use metalman's approach above to get that extra 1-2" of space in hopes that will do the trick!
Thank you for any words of wisdom!
 

obie

'04 long & tall passenger
If you got it to move I thought it would come off. Mine did. It may just be bound up a little. Light tapping and pressure may get the job done. When Ichanged my radiator, getting that job done ended up a lot less effort than I had dread for a while.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Its easy to get it cockeyed. you may try seating it fully with a rubber mallet, then gently work around the edge by hand until it will move/wobble out slowly. If you have access to a welder, you could tack weld a piece of steel bar/pipe to the pulley, then use that to lever it off.
 

tiger108

New member
Thanks! I modified the puller and the extra long pry bar I came home with tonight did the trick - Now I'm scratching my head at how to get the seal off! I saw the writeup with the instructions to use a flat head to pry it out, but after 13 years & 280k mi, my seal is smushed to sh*t. When I try to get under the edge, the metal pulls apart and the rubber crumbles away. Anyone have experience with this? Any other techniques?
 

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