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Harmonic balancer

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  • Harmonic balancer

    I've been reading about the signs of a bad harmonic balancer and it sounds like that's the trouble with my Sky Hawk. There's this rythmic kind of a shudder or thrumming sound above about 55, and also at idle. It's been suggested that its a bad U-joint but there's no clunking sound when I go into different gears on my Automatic Drive. There's a company which advertised that they specialize in this particular repair.
    peter lee

  • #2
    If it’s coming from up front like you think it would be the rubber that your balancer is mounted on and you can get them from SI
    sigpic

    Home of the Fried Green Tomato

    "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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    • #3
      It's a harmonic "damper". The Stude assembly does not "balance" anything.

      Second, the way the Stude damper is designed, if things start to wear, it will not create harmonics. It will not induce vibrations.
      If the rubber cushions/pads go bad, it will make a lot of noise, any time the engine is running, low rpm or high rpm. Actually if the separate sections that are around each fastener go bad all at once (very unlikely), then a small vibration might be felt.

      While the Stude damper isn't very racer friendly, it does to a very good job for the daily driver. Unlike many.most of it's competitors, that can actually come apart while driving down the road.

      From your description, sounds like you more than likely have driveshaft problems.

      Mike

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      • #4
        Originally posted by plee4139 View Post
        I've been reading about the signs of a bad harmonic balancer and it sounds like that's the trouble with my Sky Hawk. There's this rythmic kind of a shudder or thrumming sound above about 55, and also at idle. It's been suggested that its a bad U-joint but there's no clunking sound when I go into different gears on my Automatic Drive. There's a company which advertised that they specialize in this particular repair.
        I will go out on a limb and say that your problem is not a harmonic dampener.
        You are now saying "at idle". Do you mean with the car standing still? If so, we can eliminate anything beyond the transmission, such as the universal joints or differential. Disconnect all of the accessory drives and see if you still have the problem (with a short period of engine operation).
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          this rythmic kind of a shudder or thrumming sound above about 55,
          Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
          From your description, sounds like you more than likely have driveshaft problems. Mike
          Yes, No, Maybe. Agree with MVV, the damper is the least likely for the 55 MPH noise. U-joints, motor mounts, transmission mounts, pinion alignment are also possibilities.

          But then you also say, "at idle." That can't be any of the above other than motor mounts.
          There's also the water pump or bellhousing alignment.

          Easy enough to check the front damper. Wiggle it, tap it with a hammer.

          jack vines
          PackardV8

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          • #6
            Also could be something as simple as an exhaust pipe kissing the frame, or car body, under certain conditions. I'd look that over carefully, from where it bolts to the manifold all the way rearward, to where the tailpipe runs alongside the gas tank and rear gravel shield (or whatever it's called). By design, there are some real close clearances, which sometimes close up with time/operation.

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            • #7
              You have previous posts of engine problems, rebuild, garage/mechanic delays, etc. Do you have enough history on your car to know of its past mechanical work? Many of our Studebaker vehicles have been worked on by lots of folks with varying experience, and knowledge. I don't think there are many folks accustomed to working on the "big-three" brands of vehicles know about Studebaker's engine-bellhousing "dial-in" requirements. Do you wonder if someone has changed parts, or even lost/left out a dowel pin? Even if that is done properly, I wonder if a less than skillful starter ring replacement on a torque converter, or imbalanced flywheel/pressure plate could cause a vibration hard to track down?

              For years, I was lucky in working on my Studebakers by separating engines from their transmissions, putting them back together, etc., with no lingering problems. For the most part, I gave very little thought to "balance & alignment," on any part other than wheels/tires. Then, one day, I happened to read an article in Turning Wheels about the "dial-in" procedure to match fit engines to bellhousings. I suspect there are many folks who remain unaware of this. Those of us who have taken the time to read our factory manuals, and Turning Wheels technical articles, should know. Furthermore, participating here in the Studebaker forums has provided us a third opportunity to drive this point home. Another great benefit of the computer age.

              As for your particular car...don't forget the wheel bearings. From my experience, most harmonic "thrumming" (your word)...comes from a failing wheel bearing. No matter what corner of the car it comes from, your best ear can deceive you. The last serious one I encountered I could have sworn it was coming from my right rear axle bearing. Not until I had removed both rear axles, then the right front wheel, and lastly, the left front, did I find that the culprit was a failing left front outer wheel bearing!

              By the way, I kinda like the word thrumming. It pretty much nails the description of such a mysterious ghost-like vibration that develops almost perceptively and increases over time.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                There COULD be issues with the Crankshaft Balance, (lets hope not) but always check the simple things first.
                A Loose or warn/cracked Torque Converter to Crankshaft FLEX PLATE could be a possible cause, allowing the Converter to run in an different circle than the Crank.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  I'm with Jack, don't forget to check the water pump!
                  Ron Dame
                  '63 Champ

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