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Tips: Harmonic Balancers Can Go Bad on Willys Flatheads

• CATEGORIES: Tips & Tricks

I have received a variety of useful tidbits that Sam has been sharing with me, though either Sam or his employee Lee deserve credit.  Lee worked for many, many years in military motor pools (as did some of his family members) and now works with Sam to have some fun.

On to the tip …. One day Sam purchased and trucked a flattie to his shop with an engine that sounded problematic. In fact, he got a great deal on the jeep because both Sam and the Seller though the engine had a problem.

Now Sam, who is no stranger to engines of all types, suspected something inside the engine, but as soon as Lee heard the sound, he said it was the harmonic balancer. Sam looked at Lee and said, “really?”

Lee probably responded with something like, “you young whipper snappers don’t know anything!”  (Note that Sam and Lee are about the same age).  So, Sam proceeded to swap out the balancer with another one they had and, sure enough, within short order Sam had a perfect running flathead.

Lee told Sam that the harmonic balancers can go bad on a Willys flathead engine.  So, before you have that flathead rebuilt because it is making a noise, check out the harmonic balancer.


One comment on “Tips: Harmonic Balancers Can Go Bad on Willys Flatheads

  1. Steve E.

    I’ve had that problem many times over the years. In fact, my L6-226 in my ’60 Willy Wagon needs a new one now. The trick is to find where to buy new ones (I don’t know where), or repair the old one, or buy a used one that may fall apart soon or has already slipped to the point that the timing marks are off. Does anyone know where you can get the outer ring of the harmonic balancer re-vulcanized to the pulley? I will eventually my parts cars will be out of them. **Steve E.**

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