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Broken Balance Shaft Belt

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Old Feb 13, 2018, 06:10 PM
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Broken Balance Shaft Belt

So I thought Iíd share a story with you, EvoM. Saturday night I was in Orlando (about 4 hours from where I live in Tallahassee) visiting some friends. I was driving my IX hard for a bit, did a launch, and then cooled down by driving to Taco Bell for that $5 cravings deal... lol
well lo and behold I pull into the parking lot and notice I have an engine light. Luckily I had my laptop on me and pulled the code with evoscan: P0011 ďVariable Valve Timing SystemĒ
Of course, I Immediately run to the Internet looking for an answer or similar problems. What this lovely forum pointed me towards was possibly a jumped tooth or some sort of issue with the timing belt/cam gears/etc. I cleared the code, but it came back on when I restarted the car. The car, however, idled fine and was drivable, though It was incredibly sluggish above 3500 rpms and boost would come on super slow. After a couple little max-boost test pulls I decided the car was most definitely not right and this was a serious issue that I needed to get fixed ASAP.
I headed to my GFs house to spend the night, then left the next day for Tally. Went 70-75 the whole way and hit only 2psi the entire trip (Incredibly I got 24mpgs lol)
I get home, relax, and rest. Yesterday I took the car to get looked at because messing with the timing is certainly not something I wanted to do myself, especially not having a garage or many tools at my current residence. Not to mention the car is my DD and I canít afford to Uber everywhere. Today they finally got around to looking at it... and well Iíll just let the pics speak for themselves....










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Old Feb 13, 2018, 06:16 PM
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As you can see, my balance shaft belt was OBLITERATED. In fact, there was another chunk on the other side of the timing tensioner and it marred the oil pump pulley.
Astonishingly, though, it managed to explode and not damage any of the timing components in a catastrophic manner!! I found this incredible and I am very lucky. That would have been it for my motor if it had destroyed that belt.
anyways, thought Iíd share my great fortune.
Should have it back on Th/Fr, so I wonít be able to confirm if all is truly well until then. Iím going to follow up with a compression test, but I doubt any harm could have been done considering the timing was spot on and the components were still functional. My only worry is with oil pressure though... Doesnít the balance shaft belt have some part to play in that system? Not sure, maybe someone can chime in on that

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Old Feb 13, 2018, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by captiveis1 View Post
Doesn’t the balance shaft belt have some part to play in that system? Not sure, maybe someone can chime in on that[/left]
Looks like it was caught in time as you noted. The oil pump is driven off of the timing belt

Not sure why that happened. Looks like you have an aftermarket timing belt? Was the BS belts changed as well?


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Old Feb 13, 2018, 07:45 PM
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Iím not sure, all I can say is that the BS belt was a POS lol
Im having them replace a lot of parts in there so I can sleep easy lol
-Serpentine Belt
-Timing Belt
-BS Belt
-BS Tensioner
-Timing Tensioner
-Oil Pump Pulley
-Timing Pulley
-Lower Timing Cover

hopefully she will run better than ever when itís all done!
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 07:55 PM
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How many miles on the clock?
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 07:56 PM
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Do your self a favor and don't bother putting another balance shaft belt in. skip to 7:45 to see my advice on the rear shaft.


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Old Feb 13, 2018, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by captiveis1 View Post
Doesn’t the balance shaft belt have some part to play in that system? Not sure, maybe someone can chime in on that[/left]
Not the rear balance shaft. Only the front shaft drives the oil pump and that shaft is ran directly off the timing belt.

You got lucky once, i would not bother putting that rear balance shaft belt in again if you remove the front shaft as well.

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Old Feb 13, 2018, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MinusPrevious View Post
How many miles on the clock?
Just over 80,000
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DontStopMe View Post
Not the rear balance shaft. Only the front shaft drives the oil pump and that shaft is ran directly off the timing belt.

You got lucky once, i would not bother putting that rear balance shaft in again.
Yeah, I played with the idea and read a couple threads on why to/how to delete it... but it just wasnít feasible for me at the moment. I needed the car ASAP and couldnít wait for extra parts to come in to complete the delete. In the future when I build the motor though, I will definitely be removing it
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 08:30 PM
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This generally happens when someone neglects to change the BS belt when doing a tbelt service. Be sure they replace the hydraulic tbelt tensioner too, not just the pulley.
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 08:31 PM
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You don't need to delete it. Just don't put the belt on, no harm in it. I ran my car like that for a while, no issues, just a hair more vibration.
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DontStopMe View Post
Not the rear balance shaft. Only the front shaft drives the oil pump and that shaft is ran directly off the timing belt.

You got lucky once, i would not bother putting that rear balance shaft in again.
I dont know this thats why I’m asking.

Are the two Balance Shafts working together to reduce vibrations for the same RPM range or different ? Example , rear shaft reduces vibrations only “A” rpm range and front reduces for “B” rpm range. Not where both are working together for the same range...

So if removing just that rear balance shaft will that allow more , less or non vibrations felt compared to removing both front and rear ?

Thanks for your Boosted Film videos, I like the VLOG’s and howto’s you made/share with us.
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Old Feb 13, 2018, 10:29 PM
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There's always someone who swims upstream. I recently did my 120K timing belt service and went without the balance shaft belt. I didn't like how the engine responded to this change and put a belt back on. It was loud at higher rpms.

Yes, the balance shafts work together and at the same rpms. They're used in an attempt to correct what is called a second order vibration that all inline fours have. I'm not saying I understand this but the explanation is that the pistons going down undergo a different acceleration than the pistons going up.

My experience is that the balance shaft belt, having no tensioner, can be pretty loose after 60K of use and I am now in the habit of going in and retensioning this belt after 30K.
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Old Feb 14, 2018, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by captiveis1 View Post


Yeah, I played with the idea and read a couple threads on why to/how to delete it... but it just wasnít feasible for me at the moment. I needed the car ASAP and couldnít wait for extra parts to come in to complete the delete. In the future when I build the motor though, I will definitely be removing it
I left out the word belt, my bad. You can keep the shaft in, but you don't need to put the balance shaft belt back in.


Originally Posted by barneyb View Post
There's always someone who swims upstream. I recently did my 120K timing belt service and went without the balance shaft belt. I didn't like how the engine responded to this change and put a belt back on. It was loud at higher rpms.
Did you notice a vibration or was it just audible? How long did you run without the balance belt? Daily driver?


Originally Posted by barneyb View Post
My experience is that the balance shaft belt, having no tensioner, can be pretty loose after 60K of use and I am now in the habit of going in and retensioning this belt after 30K.
Sounds like a smart option!
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Old Feb 14, 2018, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by barneyb View Post
There's always someone who swims upstream. I recently did my 120K timing belt service and went without the balance shaft belt. I didn't like how the engine responded to this change and put a belt back on. It was loud at higher rpms.

Yes, the balance shafts work together and at the same rpms. They're used in an attempt to correct what is called a second order vibration that all inline fours have. I'm not saying I understand this but the explanation is that the pistons going down undergo a different acceleration than the pistons going up.

My experience is that the balance shaft belt, having no tensioner, can be pretty loose after 60K of use and I am now in the habit of going in and retensioning this belt after 30K.
Ive turned into a real believer in keeping the BS's, especially after reading Jacks article here: https://www.jackstransmissions.com/p...balance-shafts

I would be concerned about the fretting damage that is likely occurring. If youre sensing vibration running w/no BS's, imagine the fretting damage that is occurring

If youve built a hard core race engine that has a short lifespan, I would say OK & leave off the BS's. But if youre trying to maximize your engine life or have a built motor & want it to last, consider leaving the shafts in

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