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Need new harmonic balancer for supercharged 302

2357 Views 62 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Fast4Eye
I took a look at my current harmonic balancer and its looking pretty rough, definitley think it would be a safe idea to get a new one since I don't want to grenade my engine the first time I take it out.

What are everyone's suggestions for a good VALUE balancer. I don't want the cheapest or most expensive. Say under $300 what is the best value balancer I can get without risking my engine or bank account lol

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Youre getting good advice in here regarding which balancer to buy. Plenty of people run blowers on stock cranks and have no issues but some people rip the snout off of them. Any time you add more power, its a gamble. I did it for years on a stock bottom end 302 that went from my fox to my sn95 before I dropped a valve and then switched to turbo but I also was only making like 8psi (375whp) and didnt have the belt cranked super tight. The more boost the more load placed on the crank and the more chance of the key shearing, or the balancer cracking at the keyway or breaking the crank. The better the balancer, the less chance you have of the cracking happening but even if you use a special blower specific balancer, breaking the snout is always a possibility. I can tell you from experience, breaking a crank is no fun. My turbo 306 broke on the inside edge of the #1 journal and took out the whole front of the motor... Timing cover, block, oilpan, waterpump all destroyed in a matter of seconds. Mark and Strokeme have experience with probably thousands of builds. Their advice shouldnt be taken lightly.
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I know, that's why when StrokeMe said to buy the PowerBond, I did. I'm running a bone stock engine with MAYBE 8psi. I understand that there is a chance that the snout could break off but there are probably other things that will break before then. I'm guessing I'll be learning how to do head gaskets and some ARP studs in the coming months lol

I try to word my posts to avoid coming across as dismissive as I understand it's difficult to read from the other person's perspective. I simply don't have $600 to spend on an IW balancer, unless I wait another month but I also need to get this car together so I'd rather buy a balancer of equal performance for my power level than spend unnecessary money and I'll never see the performance.

But who knows I may look back at this post in 6 months with my front end torn apart seeing I was a stupid teenager, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
IF your tune is safe your headgaskets should be just fine unless they are on their way out due to corrosion or just being super old and never been replaced. The felpro 9333 pt1 are excellent gaskets for boost and super cheap. If you blow the gaskets that are in it or just want to replace them before adding boost, those are what many of us running mild to medium power builds use. I run them in my car and im making way too much power for a stock block. I always use copper gasket spray on them before installing. Ive never blown one in all the boosted applications I have built but the tunes are always safe. ARP bolts or studs are a good idea. I personally like bolts more than studs since its easier to remove heads in the car with bolts and i have had better luck with bolts not wheeping coolant but thats just my personal preference.
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23 years ago, my 302 did the same (without a turbo) in the middle of an auto-x run. Luckily it was just a practice event so we could move some cones around and keep going after a quick mop up. That was an expensive auto-x run. Loud noise, lots of smoke, metal scattered everywhere. 0/5 stars, do not recommend.
I still have nightmares of the noise of all that metal bouncing off the road and my undercarriage. I agree, 0/5 starts LOL. Ive had some pretty spectacular failures since ive been building these cars.
To be completely honest, the engine is like 40,000kms and uncracked only really had the water pump off of it since it managed to start leaking. The gaskets are probably done already so the boost will just push it over the edge.

I feel like throwing boost at this engine will probably leave me stranded at some point whether it's an engine or transmission issue, but I guess that's a gamble I take daily driving a blown car with a glass transmission.
If youre talking about a T5, im still running one and my car is heavier than yours. Granted I rebuilt mine and I installed a billet countershaft bearing retainer but if you dont power shift, the T5 can last a long time. You can easily disassemble your own t5 and upgrade the bearing retainer. Its like 40$ for the part. When the stock stamped retainer stretches the countershaft rocks back and forth causing inconsistent gear meshing issues which leads to breaking. If youre interested in the info, PM me and I can send you some videos that will walk you through a complete rebuild and the bearing retainer install. The bearing retainer install is really easy to do. You dont need any special tools to do it either, If you want to do a full rebuild you need access to a press, good snap ring pliers and a bearing/gear separator. The t5 is so easy to rebuild. I think the 86 was the first year for the WCT5.
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bro... the trans is super easy to pull, remove the shifter handle (2 or 4 bolts depending how you do it) drop the h-pipe (8 bolts), drop the drive shaft (4 bolts), unbolt the trans from the bell housing (4 bolts) remove the crossmember bolts (2 bolts thru the chassis, 2 to the trans) disconnect the speedo cable, its out. I can pull a trans with hand tools in less than an hour laying on the floor. its like 75lbs so its not even heavy The fox chassis is extremely easy to work on. I can do my car in about 30 minutes since I dont have to pull the exhaust.
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Same. Was cruising at 40mph in the city and the serp/blower pulley from ASP sheered/cracked and fell off. I was even more stupid waiting for traffic to clear so I could retrieve the gigantic hunk of metal before someone hit it. Now I torque my tensioner to as light as I can without any slip. Around 65ft-lbs.

I’m in the process working with a machine shop to save cobra lower pulley cages without going Metco when bushings fail in them. Hopefully it’s a hit and I can market what we’ve made.
Im going to do a vortech on my 57 f100 since I already have the blower kit that has been just laying around after switching my sn to turbo and now i have all the brackets and pulleys from a 95 mustang. I have an 8 rib pulley for the crank so I am going to use an 8 rib on the blower and see if I can get away with very little tension and get no slippage. Im not trying to make a ton of power with it. Ill be happy with it in the 375 whp range again somewhere in the 8 to 10 lb range. This truck is a bagged cruiser that will lay the pinch weld when aired out. No need for crazy hp.
The 8 inch lower pulley will allow you to run a bigger pulley up top which equates to more surface area contact between the pulley and the belts. You can run less tension with larger pulleys and not have slip. You just need to ensure there is a pulley combination that will get you where you want to be regarding boost. I have an 8 inch lower pulley but I dont remember what the upper 8 rib pulley is any more. I would have to go measure it. I dont know how much available space there is and if you can get away with a 10 rib pulley without converting to a low profile electric fan. I am pretty sure the 8 rib fits without any modifications. YOu can probably find some old thread on here with 10 rib setups and if they are still using the stock shroud and fan.
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