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1984 280SEL AMG
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701 Posts
It's the big round thing at the bottom front of the engine. It is attached to the front of the crank shaft, it purpose it to ballance the crank shaft durring rotation. The other end of the crank shft has the FLYWHEEL, where eather a torque converter attaches, or a heavyer FLYWHEEL for the clutch disk and prusser plate attaches to.

Now the harmonic balancer is KEY ( AKA a shear pin )sloted to the crank shaft, that way it's always in the right spot. Somtimes ( very rairly ) the key ( or shear pin ) will fail, that happens to save the motor ( tho somtimes it kills the motor )... Anything else you want to know about them?
 

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45 Posts
is there any chance the balancer can affect drivability? my 320 does a hesitation jerk occasionally when taking off at slow speeds. I want to take the car in for the recall, but i'm afraid their just going to tell me its fine and doesn't need to replaced. also had trouble with the heater, and some other electronic components. any advice on what to tell the dealer when i take it in, so they might go the extra mile?
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
There are lots of threads on the HB issue, do a search to find them all.

That said, I can't imagine that a failing HB would exhibit the symptom you're reporting. Could be lots of things, a CPS sounds possible, but it's probably worth a proper diagnosis. Personally I think the better thing to do is take it to an indie, the dealer will always hose you.

If you look in the general there's a sticky thread on the HB, you can look at it yourself to see if it's in the recall campaign.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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It was fun while it lasted
2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4MATIC RIP, 2010 F150 Crew Cab
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11,143 Posts
Harmonic balancer failure begins with abnormal vibration, then shortly (within minutes!) a loud clattering and scraping sound. It literally sounds as if your engine is coming apart! It'll sssscare thththe hell outta ya!
 

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'86 190E 2.3L
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1,724 Posts
I was driving back from RPI(to Syracuse) and my exhast pipe fell off and sounded like someting exploded under my car. It was only attached at one spot so it was a very ackward angle..so that the back part was still up, and the front was draging and bouncing everywhere. Now thats freaky...
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,633 Posts
Since we're now officially off-topic, one of the scariest things you can experience is to lose a front u-joint. The noise is interesting, but when the front of the shaft drops to the pavement and starts sliding and bouncing, the noise and sparks are stunning.

Of course, once the shaft finds a good hold, it bites in, transfers that energy to the differential, and then lofts the rear of the car sometimes as much as 10 feet into the air, often also at an angle to the original direction of travel, so when it comes back down it's pointed anywhere but straight in the lane.

In Jim Carrey's inflection: Yyyyyummmmmyyyyy!!
 

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'86 190E 2.3L
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1,724 Posts
Ouch, I hope nothing breaks like this on my car...I wonder if anyones engine has just fallen off...
 
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