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Truck Trend Garage: 1993 Ford F-150 Harmonic Imbalance

Alex Steele
Apr 15, 2009
Question: I have a 1993 Ford F-150 with the 5.0-liter engine, E40D transmission, and four-wheel drive. The harmonic balancer is rattling loose on the crankshaft end. Is it pressed on? How do I remove it? Is a used part from a wrecking yard an option? If so, what other years will work on my truck?
Photo 2/2   |   1993 Ford F150 harmonic Balancer Rattle
Answer: Ford's 302cid (5.0-liter) V-8 harmonic balancers (torsional dampers) use a retaining bolt and are press-fit to the nose of the crankshaft. You'll need a special removal tool, a puller, to get the balancer off, and the correct installer to put it back on. It's also recommended that the new damper be placed in boiling water and then lubricated before installation. This expands the inside diameter of the damper hub so it can be pressed onto the outside diameter of the crankshaft nose with minimal force. Some torsional dampers, like those on a 5.0-liter Ford, do actually help balance the engine externally. But the original function was to dampen the twisting of the crankshaft caused by the pistons' downward force following combustion. This prevents damage to the crankshaft and other timing-related components. The question is where your torsional damper is oerattling loose. It's composed of a center hub and an outer ring separated by a rubber cushion (where the damping takes place). If the rubber cushion has deteriorated and the outer ring is riding off the inner hub, it's no big deal. Replace the balancer. But if the inner hub is loose on the nose of the crankshaft, the crankshaft may need to be replaced. If you can find the correct damper in good condition at a boneyard (automotive recycling center), buy it. They usually last a lot of miles. There are a number of different units that will fit on the end of your truck's crankshaft, but some may have incorrect balance weight, pulley bolt patterns, and/or timing mark locations. A lot of boneyards use the Hollander Interchange Manual to help determine which parts are interchangeable among cars, trucks, or engines. A Ford parts department should be able to tell you what years the correct torsional damper part number applies to, and new aftermarket dampers will be cataloged accordingly.
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If you have a technical question regarding your pickup, SUV, or van, feel free to contact Alex, a master technician with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Send a letter to him in care of Truck Trend Garage, 831 S. Douglas Street, El Segundo, CA 90245, or e-mail us at trucktrend@sourceinterlink.com. Please include the VIN with your question. Due to the volume of questions received every month, we cannot guarantee that everyone's question will be personally answered or will appear in the magazine.

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