balancer bolt broke while driving, im 500 mi from home. - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-23-2003, 05:08 PM
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balancer bolt broke while driving, im 500 mi from home.

My balancer bolt broke off in the crank snout what are my options? Im currently about 500 miles from home and the nearest machine shop is about 100 mi away. I have a 79 camaro with a 355 in it. completely rebuilt with the stock balancer and pully ( good move there on my part it looks like.) The crank is a stock type, forged crank so I hate to get rid of it but I herd something go flying( probably the bolt head) about 50 miles or more from where I am so the thing was wobbling around a while and the balancer is pretty ugly looking on the inside. there is a crack in the balancer and a bearing looking(thin metal ring) sleeve that seperated off it and was stuck on the seal. it is the same diameter as the balancer surface that reaches into the timing chain cover. I fear my crank might be bent now and I don't know if i want to trust the thing. i have about 3,500 in the engine and I would hate to screw up my rods,heads, or block. any and all help is greatly appreciated. I have until Sunday to get home for school and work. so I need to get this thing going or find some other way of getting back. thanks for your help in advance.
I cant spell

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Old 10-23-2003, 05:29 PM
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Re: balancer bolt broke while driving, im 500 mi from home.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jared
there is a crack in the balancer and a bearing looking(thin metal ring) sleeve that seperated off it and was stuck on the seal. it is the same diameter as the balancer surface that reaches into the timing chain cover. I fear my crank might be bent now
Major Bummer!!!

The thin ring sounds like a repair sleeve for Harmonic damper. The cracked damper is trashed. The bolt will more than likely come out very easily if the head has broken off. The torque is released when that happens freeing the rest of the bolt. Try gripping the body of the bolt and turning it out. Remove the cracked damper and buy a new one. Check the crank snout for runout with a dial indicator to see if it's bent. Look for a reading less than .003. If you can't find an indicator use a piece of stiff wire. A metal wire coathanger will work. Place one end under any bolt head to hold it in place. Bend the wire so that the other end is close to the OD (outside diameter) of the crank snout near the end. Rotate the crank and observe the clearance between the OD of the crank and the end of the wire. If you actually see a change in the clearance, then the crank snout is bent. If the crank isn't bent, install the new damper and a new bolt and flat washer and you're on your way. The bolt size is 7/16-20 UNF.

Good Luck!!!
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Old 10-23-2003, 10:26 PM
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the only problem is the bolt isnt broken off far enough out to grip the rest of it. it is sheared off about 1/4 in or so in the crank. we have no easy outs here and no place to get a new damper. also i think the front seal is trashed. the thin ring has a crack in it and so i think it cut it up good. Now that i think about it though there is a 305 around, i could use its damper. but i dont know if i have a new key for the crank I started the engine and the crank was spining but the pully and damper werent. so i think the key is gone. I am concerned about the crank though id hate to mess something else up. the balancer was boltless for around 50 miles so im thinking it vibrated the crap out of the crank and judging by the balancers inner area it isnt going to be pretty. I was getting dark when i pulled it off. but the balancer is beat up good inside. Im running about 3500-4000 rpm on the highway and any little vibration at that rpm cant be good. im paranoid as it is. I think so far my dads idea is best, he knows some one out here who has a car trailer. I think my best bet is to pull it home yank it out and have the machine shop check the crank over. I have wanted to find a forged crank that didnt need to be cut any way. thanks for the help.
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Old 10-25-2003, 04:33 AM
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Trailer sounds like a good idea. If you can use an 8" balancer, there's a place on Ebay who sells new (take-off) ZZ4 balancers for $50 plus shipping. I bought one a month or so ago, & have also bought 3 ZZ4 water pumps from them. The timing tabs for the big balancers are fairly cheap, but Chevy used the big ones on trucks, so that might be a source also. The ZZ4 units are degreed, so you really just need a pointer.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=33616
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Old 10-25-2003, 05:16 AM
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Balancer bolt broke off?

Spelling problems easily resolved, use the spell checker. Trailer it home and fix it there. Use the Bus for now. Good luck.


Todd


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Old 10-25-2003, 01:14 PM
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Use a center punch to back the bolt out, should turn easily.

Old machinist trick.
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:33 PM
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I tore the engine down and found the key way is torn up badly. it is rounded off on one side and the key is all over in my engine. I found 4 pieces in the oil pump screen. The rest i found in the filter and inside my crank. all the oil holes in it had metal in them and the bearings were down to brass where the oil holes met them.
looks like i need a new one. not to mention bearings. I am thinking of going to a roller cam too while im this far. I also found one of my harland sharp roller rockers circlip broke into about 4 pieces thats in my oil too. 200.00 for 3000 mi. hows that for value.
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:56 PM
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OUCH!
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:20 AM
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SO ...what if you get a piece of steel flat bar, say 1/4"x 2" about 6"long. Drill a 15/32" dia. hole at one end. Then place this drilled hole over the broken bolt. Do a "plug" weld on top then twist the broken bolt out. What do you guys think? the 2" wide flat bar should protect the noise of the crank. Good Luck! ...Mark
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Old 10-27-2003, 11:51 AM
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check around the machine shops in your area they end up with extra parts all the time. i found a forged crank polished ready to run for $200. i would get the front main clearance checked before i went to far with that block though. mine did the same thing your's did and it was run less than a 1/4 mile at idle or just enough to get it on the trailer. this much made a measurable difference in the front main cap clearance. in my case was still barely within specs.
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:13 PM
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Buy a lottery ticket Jared, your lucks gotta turn anytime now. Sorry to hear about the damage, that sucks.
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