Another Harmonic Balancer Question


New Member
Nov 9, 2007
I was just getting ready to remove and replace the Harmonic Balancer on my 95GT. It's a straight forward swap, though I was just paging through my Haynes manual to find torque specs, etc, and I read their blurb about R&R of the balancer.

I understand that the crank pulley should be replaced with the same orientation to the HB, but then they also talk about "balance pins", which confused me.

"Note: if a new vibration damper is being installed, balance pins must be located in the new damper in the same relative positions as the original. Also, the pulley must be attached to the damper with the same orientation to the pins as on the original."

This is my first crack at R&R of the HB, but I don't see anything on the new HB that resembles PINS. I'm hoping these pins will be relatively obvious when I pull off the old HB. This might also be one of those "blanket" Haynes additions where they try to cover all the bases just in case the HB style is different from what they show in the book.

Can someone who has done this tell me what these "pins" are?? I'm guessing there might be guide pins on the pulley to line it up with the bolt holes on the HB or something.

I'm also replacing the seal in the timing chain cover as it has some oil around it.

I've selected a DORMAN HB as a replacement. Anyone have anything good/bad to say about them? They're one solid piece, so I won't have to worry about the rubber coming out of it like my current HB.

Any other tips?
Thanks in advance!
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Never heard of balance pins. The crank pulley is already centered on the HB, so that's not really relevant either. The crank has a wedge on it called the key, which fits into a slot on the HB. The HB will only go on one way. Not sure about the Dorman part.
fairly straight forward swap
couple of notes. the HB bolt is TIGHT and I mean tight. that is the hardest part about the swap.
make sure you have a torque wrench capable of getting it tight enough,( get the torque specs first)
you may or may not have to remove the rad. I did not, but I guess it all depends on the puller.
The only pins I've heard of is the alignment pins for the clutch pressure plateon the other end of the motor
Hey, I just replaced my balancer yesterday. Advance rents a kit that has both the balancer puller, and the installer in it. It's a $100 deposit. Use the 5/8 - 18 adapter in the kit to install. Don't worry about "balance pins" or whatever. The crank has a woodruff key on it, that you will see readily, and the balancer only goes on one way. Do not install the balancer by torquing it down with the crank bolt. I made that mistake, and realized it yesterday. I screwed up the the threads in the crankshaft, and ruined the bolt. I almost didn't get it out. I had to retap the threads in my crankshaft. Don't worry about the torque spec on the bolt either, just whack it down with an impact gun. You need to pull the radiator out to fit an impact gut down in there. You will need something to put between the install tool, and the top of the balancer to press it in. I found out yesterday that the factory upper strut mount for a foxbody works absolutely perfectly. I happened to have one sitting on the floor, because I had just lowered my friend's Mustang the day before. I even used the install tool to press in the seal. I know that sounds silly, but those seals can be a real bitch. Tap on one side, and the other side pops out, tap on the other side, and the other side pops out, repeat to you start using obsenities.

here's a little write up i did.
if your not comfortable with using the HB bolt to install it,autozone should rent you the HB installer for free with a refundable deposit.
i used the Pioneer stock replacement HB.

Nice write up! I searched the site before posting, but that never came up! Having read it, I'm even more confident that there won't be any surprises now. I did find some not so pleasant reviews of the Dorman HB after I started this thread, but I figure if the original part can last 15+ years, I should at least get a few out of the Dorman.

My neighbor is a mechanic for a "bow tie" dealership, so I borrowed a good puller from him. I'll give the HB bolt a good shot of WD 40 before I remove the fans. I don't have the re-install tool, but I don't see that being a big problem. Nothing that a hammer and hockey puck can't solve.

What was the purpose of the RTV sealant on the keyway, if you don't mind my asking?

Anyway, this is my Sunday project, and I'm looking forward to it.
Thanks to all of you for your advice and support! I'll post a quick post mortem Sunday night if all goes well.
Well, the job's done, and it went VERY smoothly! About 4 hrs, including a lunch break!
The biggest pain in the butt was replacing the seal that the crank and balancer pass through. I ended up fabricating a tool out of two small pieces of 2x4 so that I could apply pressure to all sides of the new seal as I pressed it in. If there's another 'trick' to doing it, I'd love to know!

Impact gun took the HB bolt out easily, and the puller did it's job removing the balancer. The new HB went on VERY easily, with a few light taps with a rubber mallet, was almost completely seated before I got the torque wrench out.

The old HB would probably shock some of you. About a half-inch of rubber coming out all the way around the inside of the HB. It must have slipped on the shaft, as the engine feels noticibly smoother now.

Thanks to all who provided tips & suggestions. VERY much appreciated!!
There's an extra $250 in my pocket (shop labor saved), and the feeling of a job well-done!
I just replaced a balancer. I found a new way to put that sleeve in. I used the harmonic balancer install tool, rented from Advance, to press in the sleeve. I used a front strut mount from a 92' Mustang, but anything that will fit around the crank, and is the right diameter for the seal will work.