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Harmonic Balancer Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Harmonic Balancer Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

30mm socket, steering wheel puller or Volvo tool, torque wrench, breaker bar or impact wrench, penetrant oil, safety glasses, electric or air impact wrench

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Harmonic balancer

Hot Tip:

Soak the bolts and retaining nut in penetrant oil before hand

Performance Gain:

A smoother, balanced engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace timing belt

The harmonic balancer is used to dampen torsional vibration and drive the engine belts that turn the alternator and also the air conditioning compressor. The balancer is essentially two pulleys in one, connected by a rubber core. The rubber helps to cancel out vibration as the engine spins. The rubber core can sometimes crack and eventually separate. When this happens, the balancer separates into two pieces, causing the accessory items driven by the engine belts to stop spinning and possibly damage the belts.

Due to the rotational force it is also possible for cracks to form in the metal portions of the balancer. When this happens, centripetal force can cause the cracks to expand. It is also possible for portions of the balancer's edge to break off; such was the case on our project car.

People tend to swap out the harmonic balancer and replace it with either a lighter or different sized pulley. While this does work to free up power from the engine, it often comes at the expense of no dampening being engineered into the design. This can eventually lead to wear on other parts of the engine. If you want to use a lighter, different sized pulley, be sure to use one that has dampening built into the design. I recommend ATI balancers if you choose to go this route.

Getting access to the harmonic balancer requires removing a few components in the engine compartment. Jack up the car and remove the left front tire as well as the front wheel liner. You'll also need to remove the engine belts. See our articles on Jacking up Your C30 and Engine Belt Replacement for more information.

Begin by locating the 30mm nut (green arrow) holding the center of the crankshaft pulley to the crankshaft.
Figure 1

Begin by locating the 30mm nut (green arrow) holding the center of the crankshaft pulley to the crankshaft. I recommend using an impact wrench to loosen the nut. Otherwise, the whole motor will turn. Volvo makes a special tool that holds the crank stationary. However it costs about as much as an electric impact wrench. When re-installing the 30mm nut, torque the nut to 180Nm (132 ft.-lbs.).

Next, loosen and remove the four 13mm bolts (green arrows) from the pulley.
Figure 2

Next, loosen and remove the four 13mm bolts (green arrows) from the pulley. You should be able to break these free without having to secure the crank pulley. When re-installing these nuts, torque them to 25Nm (18-ft/lbs.) plus an additional 60-degree turn.

You may want to hit the open thread holes and the area around the pulley with a good penetrant spray and let it sit for a while.
Figure 3

You may want to hit the open thread holes and the area around the pulley with a good penetrant spray and let it sit for a while. I found it very difficult to remove the pulley. Again, Volvo sells a special tool to remove the pulley. I simply used a steering wheel puller threaded into two of the outer holes. If you're careful enough, you can tap around the backside of the balancer to remove it.

Shown here is the edge of the balancer on our project car.
Figure 4

Shown here is the edge of the balancer on our project car. You can see where a chunk of the edge is missing. If you see something like this, replace the balancer. Installation is the reverse of removal.


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