This is a critical component and should be replaced, see text for an explanation as to the function of the harmonic balancer.
A harmonic balancer (also called crank pulley damper, crankshaft damper, torsional damper, or vibration damper) is a device connected to the crankshaft of an engine to reduce torsional vibration.
Every time the cylinders fire, torque is imparted to the crankshaft. The crankshaft deflects under this torque, which sets up vibrations when the torque is released. At certain engine speeds the torques imparted by the cylinders are in synch with the vibrations in the crankshaft, which results in a phenomenon called resonance. This resonance causes stress beyond what the crankshaft can withstand, resulting in crankshaft failure.
To prevent this vibration, a harmonic balancer is attached to the front part of the crankshaft. The damper is composed of two elements: a mass and an energy dissipating element. The mass resists the acceleration of the vibration and the energy dissipating (rubber/clutch/fluid) element absorbs the vibrations.
Over time, the energy dissipating (rubber/clutch/fluid) element can deteriorate from age, heat, cold, or exposure to oil or chemicals. Unless rebuilt or replaced, this can cause the crankshaft to develop cracks, resulting in crankshaft failure.
Monday, December 29th, 2008 AT 10:18 PM