Couple questions re: harmonic balancer

Hi everyone,
I've got a 2000 3.8L V6 Automatic. Engine has an EXTREME vibration. After checking several other things & reading thru forums, I believe it's been narrowed down to either the harmonic balancer or the flywheel. HB is easier to get to, so decided to start there first. There's no timing indicator, so timing light is useless. Is there a way to check the harmonic balancer? I've already got it pulled it off now. Had hoped that a visual inspection would give some indication. Was not aware beforehand that the HB is attached to the pulley . This seems to have made finding a replacement not only difficult, but rather expensive as well. I'm not looking for mods or performance. And don't have the cash to buy expensive new parts. I love my pony & she's my only ride. Really hoping I can fix her. If there is a way to verify that the HB is the problem, my next question is does anyone have any suggestions as to where I can one to replace it? I'm not against used part. In fact I'd prefer it. Local Pick n Pull price is only $16.99 vs the $300+ part I found new online. (And was only able to find a total of 2 at all) I'm just not physically strong enough to get the bolt loose, so going to a junkyard & pulling one off myself isn't really an option for me. (Can't exactly drag an impact around a junk yard & being December, nobody wants to go with me either). Bottom line is, even if the problem is diagnosed & I'm able to do the work myself to put it all back together, without an affordable replacement part (new or used) I'll have to junk her
Quite frankly, I really can't afford to do that either. Any suggestions at all are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! -Sorry so long


Active Member
If your motor has as bad of a vibration as you're describing then your crankshaft pulley should be literally flopping around on the hub of the balancer.

If the rubber ring around the balancer hub looks to be intact then i suggest that your engine vibration is due to a misfire. Now whether that misfire is spark, fuel, or mechanical such as valvetrain related is another story.


Active Member
As far as where to get a balancer. I went to the junkyard with a long 1/2" ratchet, a hammer and prybar to remove balancers in the past. Stick the prybar thru the open slots in the crank pulley so when you loosen the large balancer bolt, the prybar wedges itself against the accessory bracket to prevent the motor from turning while loosening the bolt. Once the bolt is out, place the prybar behind the balancer and tap the front of the crank pulley with a hammer until the balancer comes off.

The timing cover may get ****ed up doing it that way but its a junkyard and you're only interested in the balancer anyways.
I've got a puller. That's what I used to get mine off. It's just a matter of getting that big bolt out first. That's my only concern, for the most part. My brother suggested basically the same technique. Called it a "cheater pole". Lol. Unfortunately, he doesn't live nearby.
Before I go putting in all this effort to get a replacement tho. How can I tell if mine if bad?


Active Member
I guess post some pictures. Like i was saying if the balancer is really bad enough to cause excessive vibrations, it should be pretty obvious. Not to come across condescending by any means, but all a balancer is is a hub that slides over the front of the crank, a rubber bushing and a pulley. (More or less). As long as the pulley is firmly attached to the hub via the rubber it should be good.
Doesn't exactly look bad, huh? And I don't feel any play between the hub & the pulley. So I guess that means this was not the culprit causing the vibration :-\
I def appreciate your help, btw. Thank you
Update: I've replaced the balancer with one from the salvage yard. Made a huge difference. Seems to have completely fixed the problem. No longer shaking or vibrating. Only cost $16.00 for the part. Car runs smoothly now & is much more quiet. Thank you to everyone for your help.