Jump to content
FINCHASER

F150 owners keep and eye on your balancer

Recommended Posts

Or rather an ear.... last 2 trips out my motor just seemed to sound and act a little different at idle, seemed it was shaking just ever so slightly more than than it used to and had a barely perceptible different sound.  Thought I was being over sensitive at 1st but it kept bugging me so I ran it on the trailer and took the cowling off,  I could hear a slight sporadic rattle with an almost chirp sound and at just above idle it made a faint "whirring" sound coming from the front of the motor.  

  After some research I was thinking I may have an issue with the balancer assly... took it into a shop and sure enough the drive gear was about to blow!  its split longitudinally right down the middle for about a 3rd of its circumference and the gear itself was loose and able to wobble a quarter inch.  For those that dont know educate yourself on the balancer issues.... if it had blown apart it would have sent plastic shreds into the crank case which will clog the oil pump screen.  Best case scenario is its shut down in time when the low oil pressure alarm sounds to avoid damage to the motor BUT itll cost several thousand dollars to pull the power head and get it all cleaned out.  

  Scary stuff... I was aware of the balancer issues and thought I was well versed on it.... thought my 2011 had the most up to date balancer, WRONG.  Turns out the most recent improved part did not come out till sometime in 2013.  So pay attention to your motor and run it with the cowling off periodically and listen to the balancer at the front of the motor.  Also if you have an older gen balancer (00, 01 and 02) they do not have an oiling tower that bathes the gears in oil.... that wasnt changed until the 03 p/n was intro'd so you might consider having it replaced soon even without symptoms.

   

20180830_191419.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good catch, had to be the best one for you all year!

What about the gear to the right?  I understand one is new but will having the mating surfaces different harm one or the other? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve heard such good about these motors minus this issue. When I was looking used recently I never could find a definitive answer of when it was no longer an issue. Best I could kinda figure from reading online was  ‘08... guess that was wrong. Good catch

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The harmonic balancer includes all those gears.  It comes as a complete assembly.  The latest generation of the balancer begins with "04" in the part number.   And on older engines, the fewer the hours, the more suspect the harmonic balancer is.  So, for example, if you find a cream puff F150 that is 10 years old, but only has, say, 75 or 100 hours, the prudent thing to do would be to immediately replace the balancer.   Which is what I did when I bought my 2007 2200V a few years ago with only 79 hours on the motor.  A $400 part is cheap insurance against a $4000 powerhead.   I think the reason is that if it wasn't run very much, oil was not splashed on the phenolic gears allowing them to dry out, which shortens their life span. 

untitled.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my 2004 TE with f150 I replaced my balancer for peace of mind. I bought it used with 450 hrs and didn't know what generation balancer was on it so replaced any way. Prior to that I was always listening for any change in idle or noise engine would make. I would think that if you where running may not hear anything and if it comes apart would do more damage. I did it myself wasn't that hard and there is a step by step  procedure on line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My F150 had 635 hours when my mechanic replaced my balancer (around $1000 parts and labor) with no symptoms. He said " seen too many engines freeze up and need new head replacement because of bad balancer". Why would Yamaha make a gear out of plasitic ??? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Lowcountry Joe said:

My F150 had 635 hours when my mechanic replaced my balancer (around $1000 parts and labor) with no symptoms. He said " seen too many engines freeze up and need new head replacement because of bad balancer". Why would Yamaha make a gear out of plasitic ??? 

Why?  Why of course, so the dealers can make money!  😀

But seriously, I have heard a reason, just don’t remember it.  Seems maybe for noise reduction, but not sure......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The F150B a commercial heavy duty F150 (sold in Japan) version does not run the two plastics balancer gears ,  the Rev limiter is set 250 RPM less that the F150 . Seems strange that the heavy duty F150B operates fine without the balancer gear design , wonder if the F150’s that are not having balancer gears problems are run not running above the 5750 RPM  ?  There are many F 150 Yamaha’s out there running that the owners have deleted the gears.  The problem maybe more of a design than material fault. Small block Chevy motors had a nylon upper timing gear for decades but they didn’t run nylon gear to metal gear they connected the two with a chain . Than a harmonic balancer was bolted to the end of the crankshaft . 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I have an 06 F150. It is kind of a cream puff at 300 hours. Clean and maintained well. Just not run enough. So all are suggesting to check if not immediately replace?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 "Why would Yamaha make a gear out of plasitic"

Well Joe that's the $64,000 question! Not to upset the many....as in majority of MBG folks that are Yamaha fans on this forum and from someone who has owned two of them, but Yamaha is a long way from the only engine out there! When I re-powered last October they fell from one of the top two engines I was interested in to the bottom of my "want list". Simple reasons, way too expensive up front, very poor dealer attitudes in my area when I was looking, way too much for installation, way to much for "their" required maintenance costs, etc. One of those each to their own!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, rubble said:

So I have an 06 F150. It is kind of a cream puff at 300 hours. Clean and maintained well. Just not run enough. So all are suggesting to check if not immediately replace?

I would replace of it were me. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you guys might have saved my Rear but you still cost me some $$$.   Took my F150 in for the 1 year service yesterday (had under 30 hours in 12 months) and told them to check balancer and my impeller (replaced in 2015).  Dealer is near Norris Lake in Lafollette, TN.  He said you should be fine.  You changed 3 years ago and can go about every 5 in this good clean water.  I said I'm not always in clean water.  Service guy said well unless you are somewhere in S.C. or L.A. where you have some sandy or dirty water, you will be fine.  Told him it was in Venice, L.A. 12 months ago and will be back there in 2 weeks and was in the Everglades in Dec.  He said we'll change it.  Then he said the balancers were replaced under a recall, HE THOUGHT.  I told him I never had a recall on that motor so still had original. He then explained that they never have issues with them so I told him about this thread and that I had been hearing a high pitched noise that sounded like the prop was not greased well.  Got the call today that the sound was the balancer and it was pretty expensive.  They are trying to get it covered under warranty but it is much too old for warranty, I would think (2006).  However, he thought it was possible to get some help.  I hope so.

Whatever the case... Thanks for the head's up.  Hate to spend that kind of cash now but it could be a pretty big gamble if I don't.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are hearing the high pitched whine, you are in the short rows.  If you allowed that gear to shred, instead of $ now, it would have been $$$$$$ shortly!

It would not have been a gamble.....it would have been a sure thing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re Rubble- well good that was the whole point of posting this get him to send you a pic of the inside of the balancer if you can I for one am interested in the ways these gear fail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picked up boat today. Service manager showed me my Balancer and one they just took off of a TVA boat which had over 1000 hours while mostly idling shocking up fish. Their boat was an F200 or F250. Couldnt remember. You can see how their balancer completely wore down the fiber gear. You can see the shavings in the oil filter. My balancer looks good in the pic but up close in person you can see where the surface of the gear is wore down and pretty shiny. He said the filter was clean in mine but it was just a matter of time. They put in the newer balancer that has the additional oil feed. The TVA engine was toast!

DD8512B1-29FF-4AB5-8029-E48C5F5C8363.jpeg

3283205E-A02D-4A80-9D88-3605844525F0.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He said that lots of low RPM use or low idle speeds cause this to happen because the gears arent getting enough oil. The newer balancers have the extra oil feed at the gear to help with that because I guess it isn’t getting enough oil to the gears with the lower pressures. 

He said one thing they are doing is for boats that sit they are pulling the kill switch and cranking the engine in order to get oil on the gears without the gears rotating because if the engine fires right up the gears can spin with little oil on them.  Sounds good in Theory. He doesnt know if that will make a difference but they feel like it should. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 10:45 AM, DonV said:

 "Why would Yamaha make a gear out of plasitic"

Well Joe that's the $64,000 question! Not to upset the many....as in majority of MBG folks that are Yamaha fans on this forum and from someone who has owned two of them, but Yamaha is a long way from the only engine out there! When I re-powered last October they fell from one of the top two engines I was interested in to the bottom of my "want list". Simple reasons, way too expensive up front, very poor dealer attitudes in my area when I was looking, way too much for installation, way to much for "their" required maintenance costs, etc. One of those each to their own!

Amen to that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×