Serious Explorations Ford Explorer and Ranger Message Board
#1 Resource for Ford Explorer and Ranger Owners - By Enthusiasts, for Enthusiasts.


Ford Explorer Generation Guide

EF Swag Store 2015 Ford Explorer Forums Elite Membership Chat Room My Posts Reviews Explorer Photo Gallery
Go Back   Ford Explorer and Ranger Forums "Serious Explorations" > Ford Explorer Ranger Repair - Troubleshooting - Modifications & Detailing Forums > Under the Hood

Notices

Under the Hood Ford Explorer and Ranger, Engine, troubleshooting, modifications, performance and accessories.

Harmonic balancer failure

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
2000StreetRod
Greenville, SC
 
2000StreetRod's Avatar
2000 Sport SOHC 2WD
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,975

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
Harmonic balancer failure

Recently some Sport Trac members have reported experiencing harmonic balancer failures that have resulted in repairs ranging from minor to moderate repair costs. In one case the repair was limited to replacement of the failed balancer and reinstallation of the serpentine belt. In another case the balancer, crankshaft position sensor and serpentine belt had to be replaced in addition to a towing bill due to being stranded on the highway.

The harmonic balancer failure has not been limited to Sport Tracs. It has also occurred on 1st generation Explorers.

I have not read anything in Ford's documentation about the expected life of the harmonic balancer nor the warning signs of its impending failure. I suspect that the serpentine belt slipping off track may be an indicator.

I think it would be helpful to members if those who have experienced a harmonic balancer failure would share their experience with emphasis on the age and mileage of the engine and any warning symptoms realized in retrospect. Did you notice that the belt tensioner was moving in and out due to the balancer rotating off center? Was there a sound coming from the area of the balancer due to it rubbing against the crankshaft position sensor? Please post any photos you may have of a failed or damaged balancer.

Thank you in advance for sharing!
2000StreetRod is online now   Reply With Quote
( Join the Elite Explorers )

For only $20 per year you can become an Elite Explorer member. Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose and fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications really work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members can change the forum "styles" to eliminate most ads, including blue underlined links, and no ads on photos. Other benefits include the ability to store 1000 Private Messages, upload photo attachments directly to your posts and to our Photo Gallery and more. Join the Elite Explorers today.


Old 01-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
2000StreetRod
Greenville, SC
 
2000StreetRod's Avatar
2000 Sport SOHC 2WD
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,975

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
One type of failure

Below is a photo I found in a thread after doing a search. It shows the balancer inner and outer parts have separated and the outer part has slipped toward the rear. Apparently the serpentine belt had come off and the owner had reinstalled the belt to run on the inner section of the balancer not noticing the grooved section had slipped to the rear.
Name:  HarmBalancer.jpg
Views: 14912
Size:  51.7 KB
As soon as it quits raining I'm going to see if my inner and outer sections are still aligned. Below is a photo Aldive posted in the thread showing his still good stock balancer before it was replaced with an underdrive damper.
Name:  GoodDamper.jpg
Views: 14186
Size:  47.0 KB

Last edited by 2000StreetRod; 02-02-2010 at 05:20 AM.
2000StreetRod is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
petetheengineer
london
97 4.0 SOHC 99 4.0 SOHC
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 45

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you may be able to inspect for play in the rubber by using a spanner on the bottom. I have seen a few where the rubber had perished and cracked and possibly may have led to this sort of failure if left on the vehicle.
petetheengineer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 08:54 AM   #4
cdvorcek
2001 Sport Trac
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000StreetRod View Post
Below is a photo I found in a thread after doing a search. It shows the balancer inner and outer parts have separated and the outer part has slipped toward the rear. Apparently the serpentine belt had come off and the owner had reinstalled the belt to run on the inner section of the balancer not noticing the grooved section had slipped to the rear.
Attachment 57891
As soon as it quits raining I'm going to see if my inner and outer sections are still aligned. Below is a photo Aldive posted in the thread showing his still good stock balancer before it was replaced with an underdrive damper.
Attachment 57892
cdvorcek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2010, 09:01 AM   #5
cdvorcek
2001 Sport Trac
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a 2005 Sport Trac that experienced a harmonic balancer failure. Your pictures are right on target. The first thing that happened is the balancer burnt a hole through the Air Conditioner manifold hose. I believe this to be a design flaw. The AC manifold hose should never have been installed in such close proximity to the crankshaft pulley. Secondly, the crankshaft pulley slid back farenough to eat the crankshaft sensor. Cost for a new crankshaft pulley/harmonic balancer, new crankshaft sensor, new AC manifold hose, new serpentine belt, evac and re-charge of the AC system was $980.00. The only saving grace is that it did not totally separate. That could have possibly taken the rediator and AC condensor as well.
cdvorcek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
stang354
Massapequa, NY
2004 XLT 4.0
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know its an old thread but my balancer looks just like the one above! It look like the belt is suppose to be riding on the rubber because perfect ribs are worn on it! Thanks for this thread! New balancer is on the way.

Only symptom was a belt squeak that just started yesterday. God only knows how long this has been like this. I noticed that one of the ribs on the original belt had seperated from the rest of the belt in a 12 inch section. This led to more inspection and noticing tiny pieces of rubber stuck to the frame and surrounding hoses. Now that I see the picture of the main pulley walking off of the rubber I see that its not suppose to look that way lol! My 04 XLT 4.0 has 82K on it.
stang354 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 01:52 PM   #7
2000StreetRod
Greenville, SC
 
2000StreetRod's Avatar
2000 Sport SOHC 2WD
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,975

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
balancer retaining bolt

The balancer retaining bolt is a torque-to-yield bolt on the SOHC V6 and should not be reused. I don't know about the other engines.

Last edited by 2000StreetRod; 05-09-2011 at 06:20 PM.
2000StreetRod is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
stang354
Massapequa, NY
2004 XLT 4.0
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000StreetRod View Post
The balancer retaining bolt is a torque-to-yield bolt on the SOHC V6 and should not be used. I don't know about the other engines.
Hmm..anyone have a part number of the bolt?
stang354 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 03:21 PM   #9
stang354
Massapequa, NY
2004 XLT 4.0
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Got the bolt..now before I go at it, is it revrese thread or standard?
stang354 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #10
2000StreetRod
Greenville, SC
 
2000StreetRod's Avatar
2000 Sport SOHC 2WD
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,975

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
(Original Poster)
loosens counter-clockwise

The balancer retaining bolt loosens counter-clockwise. Here's a link to a thread I just finished on pulling it off a SOHC V6:
Under timing cover inspection
2000StreetRod is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2010, 11:15 PM   #11
ranger7ltr
Elite Explorer
Great State of Texas
1999 Sport
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,154

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
TTY balancer bolts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000StreetRod View Post
The balancer retaining bolt is a torque-to-yield bolt on the SOHC V6 and should not be used. I don't know about the other engines.
To clarify the harmonic balancer bolt on ALL Ford 4.0 liter v6 engines is torque-to-yield and should be replaced when removed...

The 5.0 lter V8 Ford engine does not use a torque to yield bolt for the harmonic balancer...




__________________
When in doubt, use a bigger hammer!

2014 Jeep Compass Limited [Company Vehicle]
2003 Ford F-150 XLT Supercab
1999 Ford Explorer Sport [new playtoy]
1983 Ford Ranger V8 [soon to be gone]
ranger7ltr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #12
ibjammin
Hartselle, AL
2010 Sport Trac
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Harmonic Balancer on 2010

I bought a New Sport Trac in March 2010, and immediately started having problems.

400 mi had the front right rotor turned.
500 mi had the drive shaft replaced. (vibrations)
550 mi had the front right tire replaced (vibrations)
Last week at 5,300 mi had the harmonic balancer replaced...started making a squealing sound upon starting.

Scouring the WEB I see that there is quite a large problem with the harmonic balancer. Ford seems not to want to admit that there is a problem, but I have the local Maintenance manager admitting on hidden camera that it is a known (large) problem, and that the new part may have the same problem as the old part!

Thinking of trying to start a class action suit against Ford.
I am a disabled Vet with three life threatening illnesses and I need a dependable vehicle to transport me to, and from the VA hospital numerous times per year...I did not get dependable from Ford.

ibjammin
ibjammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 09:20 AM   #13
nhmercracer
Boston. MA
2005
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Copied from another thread to document.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmercracer View Post
The balancer in my 2005 failed the other day. It started with the usual squeak. I, like many others here, replaced the belt, and the squeak went away for a short time. The chirping returned, but louder. The noise seemed to be rpm related, so I assumed the alternator bearings had failed. I observed the tensioner bouncing, as others have. I removed the new belt, and turned the alternator by hand. It seemed to squeak when turned in one direction. I should have observed the noise was present when turning the pulley in the wrong (counter-clockwise) direction. I researched the parts, and was prepared to R and R the alternator. While on a short errand to procure some parts, I started the Ex, and upon turning the steering wheel, got a charging system error, which promptly went away.

I had my g/f turn the wheel, with the lights and A/C on. The entire belt system would completely stop for 1/2 second immediately as the wheel was turned.

When we returned home, I removed the belt again. Every pulley seemed OK. However, when I attempted to thread the belt back around the bottom of the crank pulley, the outer ring, where the belt rides, turned without turning the engine!

I have the failed balancer/pulley.

Called Dorman. I was told the 4.0 pulley P/N: 594-111 which they have listed, will not work on the later SOHC.

Finally called the local dealer. There is a new style pulley from Ford. P/N: 8L2Z-6B321-A retails for $198.91.

I picked it up, and ordered a replacement bolt. I removed the defective balancer using the process others have perfected here on ExplorerForums.

This work included the starter bump/breaker bar method for bolt removal. I disconnected the coil pack wiring connector, as well as removed the crank position sensor, to prevent starting, and damage to the sensor. I covered the radiator to protect it as well. Works excellent!!

I'll get it finished when the new bolt arrives on Monday.

Pictures for now:



New part on the right. There is a huge change, the outer hub is now fully vulcanized to the inner hub.



The exciter ring is totally different.



Another view.



Close up of the failed bonded joint.



I'll update when I am finished.

Sean
nhmercracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 09:22 AM   #14
nhmercracer
Boston. MA
2005
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
2000's reply to my post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000StreetRod View Post
Sean, thank you for posting the information and photos. Apparently Ford has recognized that there is a reliability issue with the 3rd generation SOHC V6 balancers. I started a thread some time ago in an attempt to document the deficiency: Harmonic balancer failure

I'm curious about the first photo (front view) you posted of the new balancer. There appears to be an non-symmetrical, unfinished metallic piece on the left side of the inner section. It appears rather crude compared to the rest of the assembly.

I checked the part number on the Ford database and it shows the balancer as a replacement for all of the SOHC V6 engines from 1997 thru 2010 and the Sport Trac from 2007 thru 2020.
nhmercracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 09:23 AM   #15
nhmercracer
Boston. MA
2005
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A better picture of the replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmercracer View Post
I think it is just my picture making it look like that. Here is a better view.




The worst thing is I get charged full retail at the Ford dealer.
nhmercracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #16
ahodges
Elite Explorer
Oregon,OH
 
ahodges's Avatar
1996 XLT - 347 V8
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,072

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
I have a 96 4.0 OHV and also had to replace the harmonic balancer. My truck had 122,000 miles on it at this point. My symptoms were that the tensioner was oscillating as if one of the pulleys had a wobble to it.. I inspected the balancer and the rubber was dry rotted. I went to the dealer to order a new one and the replacement was the balancer you see above.

When you use the new design balancer, the crank shaft position sensor also has to be replaced due to the redesigned exciter ring.

Once I replaced it the tensioner pulley stopped oscillating.

I believe that the harmonic balancer is the same for all of the 4.0 explorer engines since they all use the same block and stroke..

By the way.. Don't pay the $198.00 for that balancer.. If nothing else you can get it through a vendor on here for only 10% above cost and that comes out to somewhere around $120..




__________________
1996 Explorer XLT Supercharged 347 w/ BW4406 Build Thread, 8000K HID Headlights and Fog Lights, Custom electric fans with painless controller, Stainless running boards, etc...
1999 Ranger XLT manual 2WD 3.0L (DD). Window visors, 35% front tint & 20% stock rear tint, 6000K HIDs, 96 explorer rims.. mostly stock
1997 Mountaineer (Swapped 4x4 4.0 OHV from my 96 Explorer) (Sold)
ahodges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #17
nhmercracer
Boston. MA
2005
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I could not wait as I needed the vehicle running asap. I reused the original CPS with no issues. The truck has been running daily for almost a week.
nhmercracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 08:47 AM   #18
ahodges
Elite Explorer
Oregon,OH
 
ahodges's Avatar
1996 XLT - 347 V8
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,072

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmercracer View Post
I could not wait as I needed the vehicle running asap. I reused the original CPS with no issues. The truck has been running daily for almost a week.
Hmmm.. well then the dealer's computer lies when they say you need a new and improved CPS.. oh well..




__________________
1996 Explorer XLT Supercharged 347 w/ BW4406 Build Thread, 8000K HID Headlights and Fog Lights, Custom electric fans with painless controller, Stainless running boards, etc...
1999 Ranger XLT manual 2WD 3.0L (DD). Window visors, 35% front tint & 20% stock rear tint, 6000K HIDs, 96 explorer rims.. mostly stock
1997 Mountaineer (Swapped 4x4 4.0 OHV from my 96 Explorer) (Sold)
ahodges is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #19
nhmercracer
Boston. MA
2005
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 8

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My Ex is a 2005, perhaps it is a different (or newer) unit than the one originally installed on your Ex?
nhmercracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2010, 07:13 AM   #20
ahodges
Elite Explorer
Oregon,OH
 
ahodges's Avatar
1996 XLT - 347 V8
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,072

Vehicle Specs

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhmercracer View Post
My Ex is a 2005, perhaps it is a different (or newer) unit than the one originally installed on your Ex?
That is very possible seeing how there is a 9 year difference.. Im not too concerned about it. I still have the old one as a back up maybe, ya never know! lol




__________________
1996 Explorer XLT Supercharged 347 w/ BW4406 Build Thread, 8000K HID Headlights and Fog Lights, Custom electric fans with painless controller, Stainless running boards, etc...
1999 Ranger XLT manual 2WD 3.0L (DD). Window visors, 35% front tint & 20% stock rear tint, 6000K HIDs, 96 explorer rims.. mostly stock
1997 Mountaineer (Swapped 4x4 4.0 OHV from my 96 Explorer) (Sold)
ahodges is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Suggest this thread to friends:



Join the "Elite Explorers" Today!



Search Explorer Forum


Top of Page

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:38 PM.



US Flag
We Support Our Troops!

Explore the site!


Copyright 2014 - 1996 Rick Horwitz Photography



Ford Motor Company is not involved in the management of this site in any way.



All tips on this site are for use at your own risk and discretion.

Modifying the suspension on any vehicle will cause changes to its handling characteristics.



Vendor Tools vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.