1993 mercury topaz harmonic balancer

I am new to this group and I want to ask a question. I have a 1993 Mercury Topaz and from what I was told the harmonic balancer/front
pulley is having problems. The noise that is coming from the area is sort of like a grinding type sound or more like a when a pulley is shot. Anyway, I took it to garage and they determined that it was the harmonic balancer and quoted me a price. Mechanic said that it is a common problem with this make/model. The normal garage I take my car to said that the price is in the ballpark. I asked if this was something that should be replaced right away or can I wait until I have the money to pay for it. He told me that it is not a safety concern such as brakes ect. as he has know of people driving cars with the harmonic balancer noisy for a while until it is repaired. This has been going on for about three weeks and I am trying to make a determination if I should actually get it fixed or perhaps get another beater car. (this car is used only for work and back..not many miles are put on it). So, the question I have is this..any other Topaz/Tempo owners ever have the same problem and did you wait to get it fixed or get it fixed right away? If you did wait, what problems did it cause down the line if any?
Thanks for your response...Gary Smith Cleveland, Ohio
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How expensive is the timing cover? You will very soon have to replace whatever the balancer is grinding against.
Also be aware when it does grind through the cover, you could lose the oil really fast.
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view! Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id !15147590 (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)
snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net wrote:

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Mike Romain wrote:

Well, actually when they put it up on the lift, there was a lot of oil under the car, but several months ago before this problem started I had brakes replaced and the mechanic said it was leaking oil at that time. That being said, what is a timing cover?

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snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net wrote: ( 1993 Mercury Topaz )
The harmonic balancer/front pulley is making a grinding noise. A garage quoted a replacement price which my regular mechanic says is in the ballpark. But he says I don't have to replace it right away because it is not a safety concern; that some people have driven cars with noisy harmonic balancers for a while before repairing them.
There is a lot of oil under the car. Several months ago before this problem started it was leaking oil.
Mine has been noisy for 3 three weeks and I want to decide whether to get it fixed or perhaps get another beater car. Other Topaz/Tempo owners: Have you ever had the same problem? Did you wait to get it fixed or get it fixed right away? If you waited, what problems resulted, if any? __________________________________________________
Mike Romain wrote:
How expensive is the timing cover? You will soon have to replace whatever the balancer is grinding against. Also be aware: when it does grind through the cover, you could lose the oil really fast. _______________________________________________________
snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net wrote:
......... what is a timing cover? _______________________________________________________
It is often called a timing chain cover. It is the housing bolted to the front of the engine to contain the timing chain oil as it drains back down into the crankcase.
Near the bottom of the timing chain cover is a hole for the harmonic balancer shaft. There is a seal pressed into the hole to seal the spinning balancer shaft from oil leakage. The seal must always be replaced when replacing a bad balancer.
If the balancer is actually grinding against something, it may be more than the seal that is being damaged.
Good luck.
Rodan.
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That is the front engine cover the balancer ring is grinding a hole into. If the balancer went the other way, it would 'walk off' (cause the belt to wander off) the belts and not make noise.
Mike
snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net wrote:

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After I wrote this, I talked to a person who lives down the street about this problem. He his a mechanic and once in a while he does work out of his garage. He has done some work for me in the past and work had been good, but I rarely see him. When he came over, he said to lift the hood and start the car. A few seconds later he said to stop the engine and after feeling down by the area were the noise was coming from, he said my water pump is bad. The more I was thinking about it he may be right due to the fact that for the last week I would smell anti-freeze after parking the car. He said that in the years of fixing cars it was rare to see a Ford with a harmonic balancer bad as opposed to a Chevy or GM product. I bought a water pump and today or tommorow he will replace it for me. Hopefully he is right.
Thanks Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.net wrote:

BTW..when I did take it to garage that said it was the harmonic balancer, what they did was the same thing except that they put it on the lift, one mechanic was in the car, the other under the car. The car was started, the mechanic looked up and said that noise was the front pulley/harmonic balancer. He told the other mechanic to stop the car brought the car down and again said harmonic balancer was bad. That is how I thought they determined the part was bad...by sound.
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