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Old 10-11-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
crazeetxn
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Installing harmonic balancer on 327

Howdy all -

Well, we've been working on my son's '69...pulled the engine so he could clean it up and repaint it. After looking at the numbers, I found out he has a
'62 327 in there. No problem. Looks close enough to the 350 in my '86

He's taking everything off and we've come to the balancer. I know I can rent the tool to pull it...that's the ez part...how the heck am I supposed to get it back on? There's no bolt or hole (that we've noticed yet).

I've searched the threads and most talked about heating it up and "gently" tapping it on. Those threads were 8-10 yrs old and I was wondering if there has been a better way thought of since then?

Since the engine is out, I guess we could take off the crank and have it drilled to accept a bolt, but I'd rather not do that unless that's the safest way to go.

Thanks for the help...

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Old 10-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

if the crank snout is not tapped (I ran into this situation with an old small block also) then gently (or not) tapping may be the only option. Recommend maybe putting a butane torch to the balancer metal snout (i.e. the part that goes over the crank) to get it to expand ever so slightly. But will still require a decent sized hammer. I WOULD put some wood over the face of the balancer such that the hammer blows focus the force onto the center of the balancer and also protect the rest of its face. Probably not feasible to "freeze" the crank snout to get it to contract slightly, but heating the balancer a bit may help. Normally when I have to do an interference fit like that, I put the offending part in the freezer (i.e. like a pilot bushing, etc) overnight - but you want the balancer to expand to fit looser AROUND the crank.

That's about all I can think of. I'll be honest, if the crank is out, it might not be a bad idea to get er tapped.... Could save a lot of headaches and wouldn't cost much. Could probably do it yourself, but make sure you know the correct tap size and that it will work with the puller you're gonna use.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:31 AM   #3
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

The way I was shown many years ago, was to drive it no with a block of wood on the balancer and a 5# hammer. I'm not saying that is the best way, as it is hard on the thrust flange of the crank. I haven't had the opportunity to install a small journal balancer for a long time, but if I were to do one now I would try heating up the balanacer some first. You don't want to get it too hot, so maybe submerge it in water and heat the water to a boil. That should expand the hub of the balancer at least some. At the same time you could try and shrink the crank snout some by tying a rag or towel to the snout with some ice cubes inside. You will still likely need to drive it on with a hammer, but the heating and cooling will certainly help some. A little oil or grease on the surface will help also.
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:17 AM   #4
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

If the engine is already out, I would highly recommend drilling and tapping the crank. It can be done with the crank installed in the block. As a matter of fact, if you're going to do it at home, the block makes for a nice fixture for holding the crank in position while you drill.

Tapping the balancer on is about the only way you can install a non-bolted balancer. Heating the end of the balancer definately helps, but you have to be careful not to overheat it because it'll melt the crank seal in the timing cover and you'll almost be certain to have a leaker when it's running. Don't wail on it when you're tapping it in place. Remember, as Captain Fab said, the bearing face on the thrust flange of the crank is taking some abuse when you do that. A crank will move ever so slightly from front to back (it's called end play), and when you hammer anything onto the nose of the crank, the crank is being forced rearward to the limit of it's end play. Take your time and be careful.

If your crank is drilled, there are balancer install tools that are a breeze to use.
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Old 10-12-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I've always heated the balancer in the oven about 200*, then use block of wood/hammer/gloves.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

i always do the 2x4 and a 5lb sledge oh and i lightly lube both the crank and pully with some engine oil.
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

Thanks for the replies ya'll. I don't mind tapping the crank, I'm just a bit nervous about getting absolutely dead center. I had to drill out and retap my 350 a while back, so I've got some bits and a tap. Does it have to be dead center? Not sure what other problems I could create if I actually removed the crank to take it somewhere.

I'll try the heat/tap method first. He's taking his time to clean it up and paint it back. Figured since it was out, might as well make sure he changes the timing cover gasket cause it's sure alot easier to on a stand than in the truck
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:48 AM   #8
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

explain dead center? if you mean on zero it should be keyed so there is only one way to put on. if you mean by how far to go in, i usually measure where it was when i took it off.
most of the time there is a ring on the crank where you can see where it was at or inside the balancer should be some type of marking, ring mark , burr mark or so
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #9
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I think he means drilling and tapping the hole dead center of the crank snout...
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

ah ya you're prob right hehe ... i'm not quite awake yet, still waiting on coffee
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

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I think he means drilling and tapping the hole dead center of the crank snout...
Yup. That's where I was headed with it. So I'm wondering if I'm pretty close if that's good enough. That'll be a hail mary if I can't do the heat/tap method though.

By the way...when you borrow a puller from the store, you're going to need 3 bolts that fit your balancer as the ones that come with it DON'T FIT
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:17 PM   #12
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

According to everthing I have read , the factory method was a good sized LEAD hammer . I had one for years and used it for this purpose only it is still in the bottom of my tool box and it now resembles more of a pancake than a hammer but it still works for the intended purpose... I would recommend drilling and tapping and the best way to insure drilling straight is to thread some threaded rod into the holes in the bolt bosses on the front of the block and have a friend sight it from the side while drilling.. I did lose one off a 327 once drag racing it so if you plan on useing it hard I would drill it ...
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Old 10-13-2011, 08:36 PM   #13
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I would definitely suggest bolting it, there was a reason the factory started doing it. I have seen the aftermath of one coming off under normal usage and racing and neither one ended with a pretty or cheap result...
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:10 PM   #14
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

Heat is the trick. I've used that method before to deal with all kinds of stuck stuff, including stubborn bolts, balancers and pulleys. If anyone has ever done a mid-60s Thompson/TRW power steering pump, you know what I mean.

Throw the balancer in a PREHEATED oven and cook it for 20 minutes at 200-220 degrees. The heat won't hurt it, just make sure the oven is preheated first. With regular pulleys, I go as high as 300-350 which usually results in it slipping right on without much force. But since the balancer has a rubber ring, it needs slightly lower temps to be safe.

The big problem is usually getting it from the oven to the vehicle without burning yourself or losing too much heat.

A torch can be used, but it doesn't allow you to heat it evenly and you also have no idea if you are overheating it.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

i vote for drilling and tapping... i have done a few of these.. its really not so difficult
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:26 AM   #16
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

Reckon I'll see if there's a center mark, dimple, anything id'ing the center on the crank when I pull the balancer off. Got the tools to drill/tap it out, guess I'll see now if I have the skills.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:37 AM   #17
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

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Originally Posted by storm9c1 View Post
Heat is the trick.......Throw the balancer in a PREHEATED oven and cook it for 20 minutes at 200-220 degrees. The heat won't hurt it,.....
Ditto, engine oil on a hot day in traffic is EASILY 220-240 Ideal is a press so your not 'hammering' on the thrust bearing,, but what'cha gonna do if you can't put the engine in a press.

Drilling and taping is a SIMPLE task for your machinist, and really not that hard at home. Just have someone help keep an eye on your entry angle for the first 1/2" or so. What looks like parallel when your leaning into the drill isn't always what looks nice and square to an on-looker standing back with a level perspective.

If your going to hammer it on,,,, Support the crank up against a wall or your engine stand and wedge something SOLID between the stand and the rear of the crank as you 'gently apply pressure' to the hot damper.... with a BFH and a 2x4
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:46 PM   #18
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

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Ditto, engine oil on a hot day in traffic is EASILY 220-240 Ideal is a press so your not 'hammering' on the thrust bearing,, but what'cha gonna do if you can't put the engine in a press.
I'm sure some people are scratching their heads now thinking "well if oil gets that hot and the crank gets that hot, why aren't the balancers just falling off all the time?"

And the answer to that is if you heat the crank AND the balancer at the same time, the connection remains tight because both expand together.

The heat trick only works when the item with the hole is heated and the item with the post is cool (even freezing if you can do so with smaller parts). The temperature "delta" between the two parts is key.

So if you try heat and fail, be sure to let the crank cool down before you try again.

I bet you can push up to 300 degrees on that balancer, but I was afraid of suggesting a temp that high...I've had success with 220 degrees or so. But it was still quite tight. 300 might completely free it up. I'm not sure how much heat the seal can take. It must withstand at least 250...

If you decide to use a drill and tap, do not break off the tap in the hole. Be very careful. Use the correct drill bit required for the tap, center punch the crank (if there is no dimple there already), drill a pilot hole with a small bit and make sure it is straight and level, then go to the larger bit. Use lots of oil on the tap. And finally, use a grade 8 bolt to pull the balancer on.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:38 PM   #19
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

There should be a center in the in the crank, it is used when they grind the crank. A big brass hammer or leather mallet also works well to drive the balancer on. If you bolt an aluminium plate on the face of the balancer you will have a "soft" surface to beat on, not the face of the balancer. Be careful to not hit the outer ring, that will ruin the balancer.
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:04 PM   #20
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I just pictured the wife walking in the kitchen after being gone on a Saturday to find a 327 sticking out of the freezer and a damper in the oven. WTF are we having for dinner!?

If you drill the crank, look into a balancer installer so you don't wipe your new threads...
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:11 PM   #21
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

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I just pictured the wife walking in the kitchen after being gone on a Saturday to find a 327 sticking out of the freezer and a damper in the oven. WTF are we having for dinner!?

If you drill the crank, look into a balancer installer so you don't wipe your new threads...
LMAO,,, true story,,, Wife came home early once,, and I got CAUGHT,,,, Rocker covers, plug wires / looms, thermostat housing and such 'pretty parts' and a basket of bolts in the dishwasher. DOH,, I think it would have been better if I had been caught with another woman!!!! She was NOT happy. Was not long and I had to buy her a new dishwasher. I was told 'the dishes were never getting clean enough' after that!!! LOL, yeah I learned my lesson! but if you don't get caught,, it works real well.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #22
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I could probably sell the balancer in the oven or boiling water, but any other parts anywhere else they shouldn't be...yeah...that's a lot of couch time there

Got it off. Good news is there about 1/4" hole already started for me. So I guess I'll drill it out...stepping up my bits to a 7/16". Tap it and put a bolt on it.

Then definately going to get the installer. Learned that the hard way when I changed the timing cover on my 350. Lets just say it's now drilled out to accept a 1/2" bolt.

I certainly do appreciate all the replies. I'll let ya'll know how the drill out goes.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:49 PM   #23
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv D View Post
LMAO,,, true story,,, Wife came home early once,, and I got CAUGHT,,,, Rocker covers, plug wires / looms, thermostat housing and such 'pretty parts' and a basket of bolts in the dishwasher. DOH,, I think it would have been better if I had been caught with another woman!!!! She was NOT happy. Was not long and I had to buy her a new dishwasher. I was told 'the dishes were never getting clean enough' after that!!! LOL, yeah I learned my lesson! but if you don't get caught,, it works real well.
Classic....., be careful Marv dishwashers are for dishes, not truck parts!! ....at least thats what my wife said when I got caught with the upper rack full of assorted parts, and the silverware bin full of nuts and bolts
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:10 AM   #24
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

I got busted baking some paint on the pipes for my Harley in the oven....I think she even called my by my middle name (you know like Mom did when you was in it big!) crazyL
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:23 AM   #25
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Re: Installing harmonic balancer on 327

CrazyL, with as much as I'm called by my middle name, you'd think Ryan Charles was one name if you didn't know me........RYANCHARLES, THERE'S ANOTHER BOX ON THE PORCH, WHAT DID YOU BUY FOR THAT TRUCK THIS TIME!!!
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