How to Install an LS1 Harmonic Balancer

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General Motors, or GM, began developing the LS family of engines in 1997. GM used these eight-cylinder engines in a variety of cars and trucks with rear-wheel-drive until 2005. A typical application for the LS1 engine was the Chevrolet Camaro from 1998 to 2002. The LS1 engine uses a harmonic balancer, also known as a crankshaft balancer, on the end of the crankshaft to keep the crankshaft stable at high speed. The procedure for installing a harmonic balancer in an LS1 engine requires the removal of additional components to access the crankshaft.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench set
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tool J 42386-A
  • Crankshaft balancer removal tool
  • Depth micrometer
  • Torque wrench
  • Remove the battery's negative cable with a socket wrench, to avoid starting the engine inadvertently. Detach the drive belt for the air conditioner.

  • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack, and safely support it on jack stands. Disconnect the starter motor with a socket wrench to access the crankshaft. Remove the right cover for the transmission, and detach the lines for the transmission oil cooler from the radiator. Disconnect the cooler for the power steering fluid, if your vehicle is so equipped.

  • Attach Tool J 42386-A to the flywheel to hold the flywheel in place, and remove the mounting bolt for the crankshaft balancer with a socket wrench. Connect a removal tool to the crankshaft balancer, and pull the balancer from the crankshaft.

  • Mount the crankshaft balancer to the crankshaft with an installer tool. Fasten the old mounting bolt to the balancer, and tighten it to 240 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Remove the old mounting bolt for the crankshaft balancer with a socket wrench.

  • Measure the depth of the crankshaft nose within the balancer bore with a depth micrometer. This measurement should be between 0.094 inches and 0.176 inches. Repeat steps three and four until the installation depth of the crankshaft balancer is within this range.

  • Fasten the new mounting bolt to the crankshaft balancer, and tighten it to 37 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Turn the mounting bolt an additional 140 degrees clockwise with a socket wrench.

  • Attach the lines for the transmission oil cooler to the radiator, and torque the retaining nuts to 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Connect the cooler for the power steering fluid, if your vehicle is so equipped. Replace the right cover for the transmission, and tighten it mounting bolt to 106 inch-pounds. Connect the starter motor.

  • Lower the vehicle, and attach the drive belt for the air conditioner. Connect the cable to the negative battery terminal with a socket wrench.

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