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  #1  
Old Aug 12th, 13, 09:10 AM
sgthawkusmc sgthawkusmc is offline
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Default 396 harmonic balancer

I zipped my 396 apart this weekend. The cam was suspect and sure enough I'll be replacing it. The rest of the motor is in excellent condition. Everything came apart as it should except for the harmonic balancer. I've never seen one so tight. Has anyone else run into this? The balancer and steel crank are perfect. No scratches, so I suspect it might be the key. It didn't even want to slide back on the crank half way. Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 03:59 AM
buenymayor buenymayor is offline
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Brian
 
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

How did you remove the balancer? Hopefully with the correct tool and not a 2 or 3 jaw puller around the outside ring of the balancer. To put it back on, I'd emery cloth the ID of the balancer and the OD of the crank snout, slide it on as far as you can by hand, then thread the bolt/washer into the crank, and draw it on. You may need to get a longer bolt from the hardware store.
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  #3  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 04:31 AM
KevinK7 KevinK7 is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

...what Brian said. Also check to be sure the keyway is 'clean' so the key sits down completely. It should slide on pretty smoothly just tightening the bolt, so (as you're doing) go slow...
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  #4  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 04:59 AM
sgthawkusmc sgthawkusmc is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

I pulled it off the right way (not a jaw puller), so no worries there. It came off ridiculously hard right to the very end. That's why I suspect it might have something to do with the key. I cleaned the key way, and ID of the pulley real well, but I didn't pull the key and clean under it. I got the balancer back on enough to to thread the bolt in at least 1 - 1 1/2", but when I drew it down to about the 1/2 way point I didn't like how hard it was going on so I stopped. I'd go nuts if I ruined my nice steel crank. I'll pull it back off and give the emery cloth a try. Do I "really" need an installer or should the bolt and washer be alright to draw it back on? I've never had a problem just using the balancer bolt and washer to reinstall a balancer... Thanks for the replys.
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  #5  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 07:56 AM
en69ss396 en69ss396 is offline
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Eric
 
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

I would use the harmonic balancer installation tool. Drawing it on with a bolt and washer can work but you build up a lot of friction trying to turn the bolt and washer against the balancer. The installation tool uses a bearing that spins when drawing down on the balancer. You can try using some anti-seize or some lubrication under the washer and bolt which can make it easier.
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  #6  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 09:54 AM
Fred Ficarra Fred Ficarra is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

Yeah, the right tool is the way to go. We used to use the snout bolt in the '70's and it was scary.
I've had good luck using a hone in the balancer. The jaws get wrapped with wet-or-dry sand paper. That means you don't have to find something to bridge the key-way to keep from breaking the hone stones. Use a aggressive paper grit. The balancer can take it,. Don't forget the oil on the paper. Also be sure to wind the paper in the right direction that the drill will spin so it doesn't catch on the key-way. Then all you have to do is trial fit and hone as needed.
Now I'll bet your balancer is no where near as tight as the ATI Super-duper SFI balancer I have. It would barely wiggle onto the tip of the crank. What were they thinking? Without using the above honing method I would have had to send it back, and I bought one of the good bearing installers.

And another thing about that ATI. I had to buy it because my car was too quick. OK, great. Rules are rules but my original was perfect for 43 years. After installing the ATI and stagging during the second weekend since it was installed, I didn't even make it to the water box. It fell apart and dropped onto the track. (the outer ring) It damaged my original pulley's too. How's that for NHRA required safety stuff? ATI said I must not have used Loctite on the retaining bolts. WHAT? Why could that be needed to keep a major part like that from falling apart while idling?! How is it an improvement from the original balancer? How many originals fall apart,, ever? Not to mention when just moving to the water box. Grrr
No, that isn't a vendor bash, it's a parts bash. Did I mention that they put the crank trigger magnets in the wrong place? Oh well, human error, right?
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  #7  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 10:33 AM
sgthawkusmc sgthawkusmc is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

That's quite a story Fred. Too bad you had to go through all that work for nothing!
Thank you both for the tips. Bummer, looks like another tool needs to be bought lol. You can never have enough tools.
Any suggestions on an installer that won't break the bank?
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  #8  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 10:49 AM
Fred Ficarra Fred Ficarra is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

At least they fixed the magnets with a new ring so it wasn't a total loss.
The tool that seems to be the prefered choice is something like this from Summit:http://www.summitracing.com/parts/otc-4531/overview/
They have 40 to choose from.
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One owner 69 Camaro,(yep, bought it new)
RS SS Hugger Orange, L88, 4:10's tru-tack posi, ducted hood, Endura, spoilers.
TH400 (CX) with Coan 8" converter, GV-OD, 8 track still on console and best et 10.495, 128.79mph 1.428 60'
All with 1960's stuff. (except tires and converter)
+ MT Super Scavenger headers & 3" full exhaust with X pipe.
1000cfm AED and HD Harold-Lunati SR, 725 lift with shaft rockers too.
http://epitomesrebuild.com/
http://ss427.net/
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  #9  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 11:01 AM
en69ss396 en69ss396 is offline
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Eric
 
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

I have used the free loaner from O'Reilly Auto Parts.
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  #10  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 02:09 PM
67-396sbc 67-396sbc is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

x2 on the freebi money saved is more go fast parts later
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  #11  
Old Aug 13th, 13, 04:59 PM
X-77 keith X-77 keith is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

The balancer that I had on my old 396 was the hardest I have ever came across. Mine was hard coming off and hard going back on. I used the tool from summit I think it was preform, and my 396 ate it as a snack. Borrowed the one from advance auto and it made it on. Lube, antiseize, emery cloth tried it all . It was just plain hard.
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  #12  
Old Aug 14th, 13, 06:13 AM
sgthawkusmc sgthawkusmc is offline
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Hawk
 
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

Thanks gents. I think I'll give the freebie route a try for now. That $70 - $100 can be put to better use in other places for now. Eventually I want to pick one up though. Glad to hear it wasn't just me that thought the balancer was a bear! I was starting to think time was getting the best of me...
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  #13  
Old Aug 14th, 13, 06:27 AM
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parkbrau parkbrau is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

That freebie should also be an installer as well. Does both.. removes and installs balancers.
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  #14  
Old Aug 14th, 13, 03:23 PM
Fred Ficarra Fred Ficarra is offline
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Fred
 
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

Ya know,,, just thought of a trick; Put the balancer in the oven at about 250 for a half hour or longer. Grab your mittens and quickly slide it on.
__________________
One owner 69 Camaro,(yep, bought it new)
RS SS Hugger Orange, L88, 4:10's tru-tack posi, ducted hood, Endura, spoilers.
TH400 (CX) with Coan 8" converter, GV-OD, 8 track still on console and best et 10.495, 128.79mph 1.428 60'
All with 1960's stuff. (except tires and converter)
+ MT Super Scavenger headers & 3" full exhaust with X pipe.
1000cfm AED and HD Harold-Lunati SR, 725 lift with shaft rockers too.
http://epitomesrebuild.com/
http://ss427.net/
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  #15  
Old Aug 14th, 13, 05:02 PM
markw markw is offline
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Default Re: 396 harmonic balancer

As far as ATI goes...http://www.atiracing.com/instructions/Super-Damper.pdf
"Hub bores are tight to accommodate aftermarket cranks and most hubs will require honing."
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