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1998 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L engine - harmonic balancer replacement - mrflash818
1998 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L engine - harmonic balancer replacement
Here is the procedure I used to replace the harmonic balancer on my wife's 1998 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L engine.

1. Purchase harmonic balancer
2. Purchase puller tool

Here are pictures of the tool and new replacement part. I tried to make sure to get the part numbers (DA-242) in the shot.

Remove the old harmonic balancer
3. Remove metal splash guard/rock guard that protects the underside of the engine.
3a. Remove the three 13mm nuts
3b. Remove the two 15mm bolts
4. Put the car in 4th gear if you have a manual transmission. Chock the wheels for safety.

Here is a picture of the original harmonic balancer. You can clearly see the elastomer failed, as only the inner part is still attached to the car, and the elastomer looks torn along the diameter of the inner part.

5. Using a 19mm socket and breaker bar, remove the bolt and washer holding the harmonic balancer to the engine. Use a small bladed standard screwdriver to gently (gently!) pry off the center washer
6. Use the puller tool to remove the balancer from the crankshaft.

Install the new harmonic balancer
1. Place the balancer into the end of the crankshaft, and make sure the slot on the balancer is aligned with the key on the crankshaft.

2. Using a longer bolt of the same thread pitch and diameter of the bolt that held the harmonic balancer to the engine, or an installation tool, drive the balancer into the crankshaft.
3. Remove the tool
4. Install the correct washer and bolt.
5. Install the fan belt according to the correct routing diagram. On my car, it is a sticker on the fan guard
6. Install the splash guard/rock guard.


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4 comments or Leave a comment
D. Christopher Paul From: D. Christopher Paul Date: September 1st, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

That simple?

Thanks for this post, it's exactly what happened to my Jeep this morning. I have a 98 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0L as well, and the balancer came apart just like yours. My question is, did you have to prevent the crankshaft from turning as you removed the old balancer? If so, how did you do it?

Also, did you have to remove the radiator and fan?

Thanks for your reply!!

D Christopher
mrflash818 From: mrflash818 Date: September 2nd, 2012 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Didnt have to pull radiator, just use the puller and installer tools

Just use the puller tool, and installer tool.

My jeep has a manual transmission, so putting it in 4th gear prevents the engine from turning. If you have an automatic transmission, get an electric impact wrench and impact socket (get at a Harbor Freight Tools or equiv store) to 'break free' the crank bolt.

I do not remember having to pull the radiator. I am sure I would have mentioned it in my procedure, if I had needed to.

Basically you have to do it from underneath the car, so have to remove the 'under car rock guard' to get to it.

The tool has a fine thread, the engine itself shouldn't turn. Pre-lubing the tools threads with a light coating of oil or grease will help.

Edited at 2012-09-02 03:06 am (UTC)
jason5876 From: jason5876 Date: December 31st, 2014 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Changing harmonic balancer

Thanks Mr Flash for this post with details of wrench sizes and all. I have the same exact issue with my 1998 4.0 Cherokee and was prepared to start with pulling the radiator first as was suggested by other sources. Your instructions will surely turn what was going to be an all day plus deal to that of an hour or a few. As I don't have all my tools in the mountains where I will be doing the work, if I tried to tackle it today a 45 minute round trip a time or two to town for buying more tools was a going to be a certainty as is usual when I feel my way through something. Packing my 13mm, 15mm, and 19mm sockets and breaker bar up now at my place in the city, I will make quick work of it next visit.
mrflash818 From: mrflash818 Date: January 1st, 2015 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Do not forget installer tool's needed tools

If you look closely at the pix, you'll see that when using the installer tool, I used a 'big' crescent wrench to drive it.


don't forget to take the installer tools's needed tools, and lube (motor oil or some automotive grease), eye protection, chocks, etc.
4 comments or Leave a comment