Harmonic Balancer Replacement "How-to" - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-17-2011, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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1991 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: plant city
Posts: 15
Harmonic Balancer Replacement "How-to"

Ok, so...I'm new into the whole Jeep Cherokee thing. I got one by accident a few years ago, and little by little I've gotten hooked into the whole 4X4 fever, and I would love to get some help from the seasoned people in the forum. I am in Technology, so from Engineering a network, maintenance, monitoring, to Information Security, to Website Hosting and Design is my forte...so, if there is anyone out there willing to trade some extra cosmetic parts for my expertise and services I am willing to listen.

So, being in the technology field, Documentation is a #1 key factor...my job is done following the same steps of an accountant...here are my books, notes, configurations, passwords, usernames, etc...just in case I get "hit by the bus" your next IT vendor doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. So, I was looking for information in how to replace the Harmonic Balancer on my 1991 Jeep Cherokee and I wasn't able to find an accurate "how-to". Therefore, I decided to do this one for the people who needs it.

This is the documentation for a 1991 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 with a Shift Tranny.


I. Store I used: http://www.advanceautoparts.com
I used this store because is the closest local store, and the items I will mention below I got them from there. Not as a plug in, but it will give you a visual idea of what you will need to get the job done.

II. Parts you will need:
- Harmonic Balancer: Dorman - OE Solutions Harmonic Balancer
Part No. 594-018 - Cost $46.00

III. Tools you will need:
- Pulley Set (Powerbuilt Tools Kit 45 Harmonic Puller/Pulley Installer Set
Part No. 648616): You can get this from Advanced Auto Parts as a loaner, they will put it on your credit card, but when you are done with it, all you have to do is take it back with the receipt and you will have your money back in your credit card...and definitely go with the set because you will need some of the adapters in order to get your job easier. Cost: $100.00

- Torque Wrench: (Powerbuilt Tools Kit 68 1/2" Torque Wrench in BMC
Part No. 944050): You will need this to install the new balancer. Cost: $25

- Standard Tool Set (Toolworks 75-Piece SAE and Metric Steel Socket Set
Part No. TW751). Hopefully, you will have something like this. I know I do, thank God.

- 3/4 Inch socket (SHORT) for a 1/2 Torque wrench. You will use this to remove and install steps.

- 1/2 Wrench (Gear Wrench 1/2" Drive Flex Handle 24" Part No. 81308). This is what you will use to loose the bolt holding the the old Harmonic Balancer.

- 1" Crescent Wrench (big enough to give you the necessary torque to work it. You will need this to remove the old Harmonic Balancer.

- GOOP...you will need it to clean your hands after you are done.

IV. Time Needed:
If you have all these tools and everything is ready to go, give yourself about 4 hours if have never done it before.

Now, lets assume the rubber that it's located between the damper and the belt-wheel gave out, and the wheel just moved forward, like mine. In this case, I heard a "clin-clin" noise, like if a wire was hitting the fan once in a while...it wasn't a wire...it was the bottom wheel, which has a rubber between itself and the damper bolted to the crank-shaft, I assume the rubber is to suppress vibrations. But hey...it gave out, so the wheel moved forward. So, of course your belt is all crazy and out of place, and your fan cant move because it hits the wheel. So, this is what you need to do to remove it.


1. Go under the vehicle and remove the bottom cover, and fold it back...just remove the first front clips so you can have access to the loose belt wheel.

2. Grab the loose belt wheel and remove it, it should be fairly easy...wear eye protection so you wont get any dirt in your eyes.

3. Now, with the belt wheel out of there you should be able to move the fan with your hand...now you should have space to reach the main meat on the balancer. You will be working on that 3/4 inch bolt. So, here comes the tools.

4. So, lets assume you facing the car from the bottom up and the battery is on your right hand side, on the top, of course. So grab your 1/2" Drive Flex Handle with the 3/4" socket and put it as close as you can to the under chassis with your left hand.

5. Now, MAKE SURE the Jeep is on the NEUTRAL POSITION and tell your buddy to just turn the key, little by little. This will help you loosen that 3/4" bolt. Once is loose, you should be able to get it all the way out by hand.

6. Now, if you look at the Harmonic Balancer, you will see a thick washer. Remove that with a flat screwdriver. Once you remove it, you will see a bigger hole. Now, time to use the pulley set.

7. Using the holes of the new Harmonic Balancer as a sample, look for the 3 shorter bolts in the set that will fit your balancer, the pulley (silver part), the long black bolt that screws in the middle of it, and the cone (or center thingy).

8. Add screw just the begging of the black bolt in the center hole and present the whole tool in front of the damper that you are about to remove. You will need your ratchet with a 13mm socket in order to tight them up a little, you want to make sure you have enough meat to get the process going.

9. Once you have all the bolts in the damper, and you cant move the black bolt by hand any more, use your Crescent wrench to start screwing the bolt into the middle...this will make the pulley do his job and extract the damper...get ready apply some pressure, as it will look like it is not moving, until it finally loosens up and it starts to come out. Also, now make sure your tranny is in 4th gear, this will lock the engine from turning. NOTE: take a mental picture of the gap between the damper and the engine itself...or take a pic with the digicam before you start, as it will help you as a guide on the installation.

10. It should take about 4 to 6 minutes to get the whole thing off...and watch it, cus it is heavy. So, when it comes off, make sure the keys on the crankshaft are still in place. Now, you are ready for installation of the new one.


1. From the Pulley kit, grab the big nut, the thick washer next to it, the bolt that fits on that large nut, and one of the silver color adapters. Present it on the crank-shaft, it should screw in by hand into the crank-shaft, where the main 3/4" bolt you removed in step #4 and #5 above. If you have the right one, then remove it from the crack-shaft and screw the other part (the thick part) into the bolt with the big nut and the thick washer. Get it ready...

2. Grab the new Harmonic Balancer and with a Sharpie, make a mark right outside the groove where the keys go...it will make it easier to align it.

3. Now, with the car in gear and with the help of your buddy, and of course, lets assume you are in a COMPLETELY FLAT SURFACE move the car backwards or forwards, SLOWLY until the keys are completely on the bottom, pointing south, or in the 6:00 o'clock position.

4. Now, grab your big crescent wrench, a 14mm wrench, the long black bolt with the big nut and the washer, and the new Harmonic Balancer. You are going to bring everything into position by hand first. You are going to present the new Harmonic Balancer into position, then put the bolt thru it, it will srew into the crank-shaft...so it will be the Harmonic Balancer, the bolt thru it, the washer, and the big nut.

5. Hold the Harmonic Balancer into position while you screw the bolt into place, give yourself some room to make sure you see the silver part going in all the way into the crank-shaft. Once is there, you should be able to let it rest on the long black bolt.

6. Now, make sure you align the mark you made on the Harmonic Balancer with with keys, and start to tight up the nut BY HAND, make sure the center bolt still is loose after you have the nut tight enough and ready to start applying some muscle. NOW, use your 14mm wrench to prevent the center bolt to screw into place...you want to be able to pull this by hand when the new Harmonic Balancer is in place.

7. Now, use your buddy to start turning the big nut with the crescent wrench, this will start driving the new HB in, while you hold the center bolt with the 14mm wrench, so this bolt wont get tight. Now, little by little, you will see the new balancer going into the shaft. Take your time and do it slowly...it will take about 5 to 7 minutes to do it...take your time, AND use the picture you took of the gap between the old balancer and the engine. When it reaches the spot, your buddy will not be able to turn the crescent wrench anymore. Now, loosen up the center bolt with the 14mm wrench, and you should be able to get it off by hand.

8. Once you remove the center bolt, make sure your new balancer now in place align properly with all the other wheel belts in the car (Fan, A/C Compressor, Alternator, and Power Steering). If it is, and the balancer is flush with the crank-shaft bold then put the washer back on, and put the bolt you took out earlier (steps #5 & #6). Get that bolt in by hand all the way and adjust slowly until you reach the max.

9. Now, make sure you car is in 4th gear again, and place the 3/4" socket on the Powerbuilt Tools Kit 68 1/2" Torque Wrench. Now, you want to tight that bolt until it reaches 80 pounds...just make sure you hit 80 solid pounds. Thats it! Your new Harmonic Balancer is now installed.

10. Belt; now you need to place the belt back on. This is how I did it. Following the same pattern you have outside the fan, place all the belts in place, excerpt for the one in the power steering, that will go only half way. Well, for me it was a pain in the butt to find a "tensor" so, here again we let the engine do the work for us. We put the car in 4th gear and move it forward until the belt went right over the wheel, once it was there we put it in Reverse and moved it back to make sure it was properly aligned on the damper that is right above the Harmonic Balancer, then since I was on the bottom, I noticed that the belt was not in place on the Harmonic Balancer wheel so, we went forward again about 6 or 7 inches and PRESTO!


Make sure you check your;
1. coolant or anti-freeze
2. clear everything out of the way
3. make sure the fan is not touching anything
4. Of course, get out of the bottom of the vehicle

and crack it up...you should be back in business.

I hope this "how-to" helps someone else outhere to get it done. Let me know if this was useful for you.

Some other videos you can check out as a guidance are these, BUT he is using a HUGE engine, and after seeing those videos I was a little intimidated about the job...but after doing it myself, is really not hard at all.

Removing Video:
Installing Video:

Good Luck Guys!

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-22-2011, 06:40 PM
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Location: MILAGRO
Posts: 237
Great write-up on installing harmonic balancer. As you have installed a Dorman balancer, what is the first fit when installing a new balancer on the snout? My old balancer goes on 3/8 inch and then requires installing. The new Dorman, wobbles on the lip of the snout; it can just touch the key, but this may be angling. I don't think it is placing at all or no more than 1/16th. Wanted to confirm before stripping everything trying to get a tight fit tightened on. I was told, there may be balancers machined wrong and had read on the forums, that this has happened with some Dorman balancers, even though they are common to all auto stores. Thanks_Sykes.

93 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0L S6 Auto 150000

93 XJ 4.0L S6 Auto 227000 LLANO SPORT
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-21-2011, 06:49 PM
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: dallas
Posts: 128
I was nervous about doing this replacement. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THESE INSTRUCTIONS! I COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THEM!!! THE VIDEOS AND ALL!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I had never done anything like this before. It did take a long time. I took out the radiator and fan to get access. It was a help getting access but think it was more work than it was worth. Just taking the fan out would be enough. Thank you again!
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-09-2013, 12:53 PM
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
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Good post .. Thanks man

[ ]||||||[ ] ... http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/98-green-xj-daily-driver-build-996260/
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-27-2014, 03:48 PM
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2007 JK Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: St Thomas
Posts: 13
awesome post ..i just did one too

Yeah I just happen to replace one on my friends 1999 Jeep Cherokee..and i must say after reading some of these forums i felt confident in changing it. I didn't have to remove the radiator..make sure you get the small balancer remover that has the 3 bolts on the Y prong (thats what i call it) i had to remove the starter so that i could wedge a screw driver flat head against the flywheel with my left hand while using a breaker bar with my right and loosening the bolt ..once i did that..the rest came off easy with the remover..be patient and take your time..and i used the Dorman replacement and i had to evenly tap it in the center with the washer and a little mallet to get it started..and then just used the bolt to tighten it all the way back in ..still having to wedge the flywheel so the engine wont turn..over all it was a great learning experience ..i don't do many of those..but i do work on jeeps a lot. took me about 4.5 hours when all was said and done .im sure the next time will go faster since i know what im doing haha
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-28-2014, 02:35 PM
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Thanks for this write up! I just replaced mine on a 2000 with the help of this post. I skipped a few unnecessary steps and it took me about 30 minutes with all of tools and parts sitting out and ready to go.

I have a few tricks if you're doing it on an Auto car or by yourself:

To remove the crank bolt, use Zip Ties to hold a breaker bar while you bump the key:

To tighten crank bolt back down I put a bigger sized (22mm) wrench in the pulley and wedged against the radiator support:

Here is the reason why this part needs to be checked and changed.

We got lucky that the belt didn't cause damage to any accessories, and that this didn't come all of the way off. I can peel the rubber off of it with my fingers.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 02:29 PM
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: gainesville
Posts: 2
broke pully, forgot washer!!!

6. Now, if you look at the Harmonic Balancer, you will see a thick washer. Remove that with a flat screwdriver. Once you remove it, you will see a bigger hole. Now, time to use the pulley set.
Okay, so all tutorials (not this one) I saw never mentioned the washer! oops. so now I used brute force (and I'ma smaller guy) and the whole damn thing broke off. I have heated it to touch and sprayed with WD40. What the hell?! I have both kinds of pullers and thinking the grabber kind with the 3 claws might work. Only one bolt hole left, so other kind didn't help much.

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-23-2016, 07:48 PM
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Location: phenix city
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I did the same thing and I'm stuck now I don't know how to get it out. If you find out anything to do please let me know!! My pulley looks almost identical to yours
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Last edited by Jarodlil94; 01-23-2016 at 08:11 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-18-2017, 04:40 PM
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ceiba
Posts: 933
Thank you for this great info!!
I used OEM 27187 removal tool and OEM 27144 to install it
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