Spazzaroth

Is there a problem with my harmonic balancer?

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So I went to go replace the cam and crankshaft sensor today and when I got the bolt off the harmonic balancer it came right off.  I just barely pulled it with my hands and it popped out.  it looks like oil has been leaking around the seal of the balancer and my sensor has been getting hit by the teeth on the harmonic balancer.  Has anybody seen anything like this? Am I missing something or is this normal?

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Your missing the year on your signature line. Every year Reatta has some differences. I know I asked you before, so please help us so we can help you.

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The balancer bolt should be extremely tight when you loosen it. About 225 foot pounds if I remember correctly. Was your bolt tight?

 

Once the bolt is removed the balancer should just slide off as you describe. The balancer is made in two parts held together by rubber between them.  It is common for that rubber to crack loose causing the balancer to start making a knocking noise. What is the condition of your balancer?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It looks like it's in good shape. It was never making a bad sound I just pulled it off to replace the sensors. The rubber seal around the outside of the shaft looks like it's in one piece it hasn't cracked but it's very dry and stiff   I used the starter to loosen the bolt. What's the best way to get the balancer back on once I replace the sensors?

Edited by Spazzaroth (see edit history)

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Putting balancer back on is just a matter of sliding it on and tightening the bolt. To tighten the bolt I removed the plastic cover on the flywheel and clamped vice grips on it to prevent it from turning. I tightened the bolt to 150 (the highest setting on my torque wrench) and then used a 24" breaker bar with a long piece of pipe on it to get the bolt a little tighter. You need to leave the crankshaft sensor slightly loose while installing the balancer and then adjust it proper gap on the balancer shutter rings before tightening it down for good. The photo taken from the bottom of the car might help.

 

crank_sensor.jpg.d6bbd1975cdbbb26071c2a5a576310e5.jpg

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Take your time getting the sensor adjusted correctly. If the ring on the balancer rubs it you will be doing it all over again.

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Pulling the old sensor out I discovered the bracket was totally loose and the sensor was sliding around in the bracket.  I think I've got it adjusted right I've got a light on both sides of the teeth and as I rotated it it seems to stay pretty centered.  One quick question. Where is the flywheel on this motor? I don't seem to be able to figure out a place to put the vice grips.

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Posted (edited)

The flywheel is at the end of the oil pan on the driver's side of the car. Looking from under the car you will see a narrow plastic cover over the flywheel.  I believe it is just held on with one bolt. Once you remove that you will see the teeth on the flex plate that engages with the starter.

Edited by Ronnie (see edit history)

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BTW there is a woodruff key that aligns the balancer to the crank. Make sure it is there when you put the balancer on (when there you cannot rotate balancer on crank before tightening bolt).

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Got her done.   After 3 months of replacing every electronic part in my Reatta I finally got her back on the road.  When I first bought that car I let a mechanic replace those sensors.  He had put the crank sensor on without tightening it so it was sliding around getting chewed up by the balancer.  Never would have guessed.

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I think I messed up the install on the cam sensor. I noticed when I installed it that it wasn't fitting tightly into the hole in the side of the engine so I hammered it in with a screwdriver wedged in the metal part of the sensor.  Is there a way to tell if the sensor is operating properly even though it's not throwing any codes?

 

Right now I'm getting about 13 mpg and the exhaust smells really strong.

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If not getting code 41 then the cam sensor is working.

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Good to know.  I just burned half a tank of gas going across town and back home. So something's wrong but I can't nail it down.  The fuel economy is slowly climbing so I'm wondering if it's just a symptom of having a new ECM.  But it's weird because I don't get power to the engines if I only slightly depressed the throttle I have to floor it before I start getting any power to the wheels.

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A bad oxygen sensor may cause excessive fuel consumption.

possibly an injector sticking open but not a common issue.

 

My '89 runs perfectly with fuel pressure of 46 psi   Check it

Disconnect the battery overnight to make it "relearn" its fuel programming and IAC settings. Not sure how smart the ECM is or how capable it is re-programming itself.

 

Mass airflow sensor is also part of the fuel calculation. Try disconnecting it

 

Good luck

Let us know.

Always curious about such problems

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If the fuel pressure regulator is leaking, the engine vacuum will pull the leaking gas into the engine, making it run rich.

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I swapped out the MAF for a new one that I had bought a while ago. My MPG has been steadily climbing the more I drive it so I think it might be all right. It went from 14 to 15 MPG on the way to work this morning. I'm going to check the fuel pressure regulator tonight. There's a new O2 sensor in it as of a month or so ago. And the ECM is brand new so I'm hoping that it's still programming itself.  while I was trying to figure out my timing issues I had some pretty serious backfires and misfires during some test runs of the engine. I'm thinking maybe I need to check my spark plugs and my spark plug wires and possibly my catalytic converter.

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11 minutes ago, Spazzaroth said:

My MPG has been steadily climbing the more I drive it so I think it might be all right.

 

I think what you are experiencing is normal operation after the battery cable has been disconnected. The reading you are seeing is an average MPG that starts out low and will increase gradually the more you drive the car. It takes awhile so give it some time before doing anything drastic.  My average MPG is around 22 the way I drive, which is mostly backroads where I rarely get over 60 MPH with a lot of stop and start driving.  Interstate driving would be much better but that's not what I bought this car for. Smiles per mile is more important to me than miles per gallon. :)

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Smiles per mile it is. After a couple days of driving the car just started working right. I didn't do anything to it and now it runs perfectly so... success!  Must have just been the ECM getting broken in.

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After power has been removed from the ECM and reconnected it does have to go through a learning process before the engine runs it's best. I think that might have been what you were experiencing.

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