<VV> Harmonic Balancer

Smitty Smith vairologist at verizon.net
Tue Jul 18 19:41:40 EDT 2006

Smitty says:  Questioning the harmonic balancer is a crock as far as I am concerned.  Here's some of GMs best engineers studying a problem of early failure of crank shafts.  They discover that there is a torsional harmonic in the crank at certain rpms and they come up with a solution that is proven to work on other engines.  They test it and it works.  25 or 30 years later they start coming apart.  Oh My Gosh, it's a crappy design.  Another ten years and few are left due to failures.  Somebody believed in them though and one company starts rebuilding them and I believe they give a lifetime guarantee.  Another company contracts to have some made and to the best of my knowledge their failures are zero.  But Mr Corvair master mechanic says, I don't like them,  they can leave you walking.  Let me tell you buddy you haven't walked till you have had a broken crankshaft in the middle of southern South Dakota.
  It is possible that the engineers were forced to deal with a space problem as they did with flywheels and torque converters which forced them to narrow down the thickness of the damper giving less square inches of bonding.  I don't know.  I'm not an engineer and I didn't read anything on the subject in the SAE papers.  I do know that with the 110 in my wagon I can snatch a brand new fan belt in too and I have had no failures yet.  You think that's not some stress?  I don't mean flipping it off.  I mean just jerking it in too.  I guess in 20 years or so when it fails I should start complaining about the design-----------------Or quality.  Won't be complaining about bad crankshafts though.  

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