Harmonic balancer scoring behind main seal

Lawdawg86

Member
Sep 30, 2020
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Arkansas
I will say in all the years of being ASE certified I’ve never in my life seen a goofy harmonic balancer as my 2000 3.8 has. It had a massive oil leak around the main seal and timing cover area so I took it apart and found what is either scoring grooves or I’m just going nuts over nothing. The main seal itself doesn’t look all that bad, I mean it’s by far not new looking but wasn’t rough enough to wear a channel on the collar of the balancer/dampener. When I saw it I had already had the timing cover off and immediately put the balancer on and snugged it up to see what it was hitting. There wasn’t one place I saw it hitting, and where the scoring is at is behind the main seal. So anyone have any clues? Ever seen this before? The new balancers are expensive as all get out for these year model cars. If it’s going to cause me an oil leak I may just take it down to the local machine shop and have them fill in the grooves and then slap it back on, or try and find someone with a donor car with a harmonic balancer for sale. I’m a disabled law enforcement officer, and vet, and was literally screwed over big time by the shop that put a new clutch in it yesterday and didn’t have the flywheel turned. Never told me how much it was gonna cost or what was wrong with it, and I get there and it was almost $700 for a clutch. I documented all the parts they’d messed up, and what all wasn’t put back together, and plan on showing the city council members it this month. He wiped out nearly half of my months check and didn’t even fix it right. He knocked around my trans so much that he actually caused a exhaust leak at the collector. Here’s a few pics of the balancer. If anyone has one for a 3.8 in the years specified let me know.
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HemiRick

Active Member
Jun 28, 2020
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Memphis TN
Those marks are inconsequential. i.e. ignore them, not a problem. I'd be more concerned about what got loose and caused them and what's in the bottom of your oil pan. Are you sure the front line isn't where the seal rides? Looks like it to me. Otherwise there's no mark from the seal anywhere to be seen. I'd use a repair sleeve with the new seal for sure.
 

Lawdawg86

Member
Sep 30, 2020
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I’ve checked everything up front, the timing chain is good, it’s tensioners are in great shape. Where can I get a sleeve? I did notice a small rope like look around the middle of the main seal, kind of like the spring was trying to wear through but didn’t. May have rode on that for a while. I’ve got it all cleaned out and just waiting on what to do with the balancer now.
 

Lawdawg86

Member
Sep 30, 2020
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I got this one from autozone. One thing I did notice after talking about it and going to look at the cover. The dang front main seal doesn’t have the hard cover on the outside. Almost as if it flew off at some point in time. I don’t know how it would have but all that’s left is the rubber and a the small spring behind it. I always thought the front seal was a metal press in one that you tap in with a large socket. All I’ve got is just rubber and spring left. Photo is the old main seal as it sits in there now.
 

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zookeeper

Founding Member
Aug 25, 2001
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Seals scoring dampers is very common and easy to fix. Either use a sleeve or an offset seal. Any machine shop worthy of the name will have either one.
 

Lawdawg86

Member
Sep 30, 2020
84
12
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Arkansas
Seals scoring dampers is very common and easy to fix. Either use a sleeve or an offset seal. Any machine shop worthy of the name will have either one.
Already fixed it, just forgot to post. Now I’m working on a idle issue. It’s idling below 1000 rpm and bouncing