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Dave Nova
Dave Nova, Buick Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 19452
Experience:  ASE Master Certification. GM World Class Certification
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Buick Riviera: I have a 1996 Buick Riviera 3.8l sc I just finished

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I have a 1996 Buick Riviera 3.8l sc I just finished replacing the accessory belts tensioner pulley which was quite a job in itself. I dont know for sure if the problem im having was or was not happening before the changed pulley. After the new pulley was installed and we went to start the car there was a lound clanking sound. We turned the car off and tried rotating thd belts to find the roation is comin to a dead stop feeling every 1/3 or so of a crank roation. We pulled off the belts and tested each component by hand and everything spun freely except the crank so we dropped the oil pan to get a look. What we found was that when the crank pulley was spinning freely there was no actual crank movement but when we felt what we thought was a dead stop it was actually just nearly a dead stop and that was when there was actually internal movement. Would this be caused by a bad harmonic balancer? Would the belt and bad tensioner pulley have caused it or vise versa?
Hello and thank you for trusting me with your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you with your Buick problem.

The problem you are experiencing is due to a bad harmonic balancer. The rubber portion of the balancer shears and the outer ring is no longer attached to the inner hub. Replacing the harmonic balancer is the fix for the problem. This is usually just due to age and likely did not have anything to do with replacing the belt or the tensioner pulley.

Customer: replied 3 years ago. that we have narrowed it down how hard is the change? It appears to be relatively easy and accessible without pulling the engine. is this relatively simple knowing that my knowledge has been capabke of this thus far? Are there any special tools and precautions?

The balancer is fairly easy to change. You will need a balancer puller, available at most parts stores as part of thier tool loaner program. You can remove the balancer without pulling the engine, just remove the passenger tire and splash shield.

I believe you have the technical ability to do this repair.


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