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1953 Studebaker Champion 4 Door Sedan

Vibration Dampener - In Situ Project

Before I put the old girl into storage a few years back I started noting a squealing coming from the front of the vehicle. After ruling out the common suspects (Belt, waterpump, generator) I realized that it was most likely the vibration dampener. On these old flat head sixes the vibration dampening wheel is attached to the crank at the front and is sandwiched in between two rubber gaskets. Before I get too far into the article I'll have to apologize as I seem to have lost some of the photos from this work.

As mentioned previously, the dampener is located on the end of the crankshaft. You can see it in the photo above below the fan pulley.

In order to make accessing the dampener easier, it's best to remove the fan and pulley. The assembly is held to the water pump with four bolts.

Here I have the fan pulley and fan up on the bench. Since this is a restoration, and not a repair, it's best to take care of every piece that's removed.

A quick trip through the sandblaster returned everything to a clean slate.

Now,a few coats of gloss black engine enamel, and it's ready to go back on the car!

The trick to getting the vibration dampener off of the car is having enough tension on the crankshaft to keep it from rotating. An old trick, which is employed above, is to hold an old broomstick against the pulley. While pulling it against the pulley you can generate enough pressure to hold everything in place whil the bolt on the front of the crank is removed.

Here you can see the dampener and front cover removed from the car. Because the dampener is held in place by the two rubber gaskets, it may take a fair bit of wiggling to get it off of the dowels.

Finally, here is the last rubber gasket that needs to be removed.

Now on the bench is the entire vibration dampener assembly. This is also the point at where I lost the rest of my photos. I ordered a replacement rubber set from and a spray can of green engine enamel from SASCO.

Just like the fan and pulley, I passed all these parts through the sandblaster and treated them with a few coats of the green engine enamel. Once these parts had an opportunity to dry a little dish soap on the rubber gaskets and they slide on to the dowels and press in to the vibration dampener. I found that it's easiest to fit the rear gasket on the dowels, press fit the dampener and then apply the front gasket. Once that and the retaining plates have been pressed into place you can reapply the broomstick to the crank pulley to tighten the bolt.

With the vibration dampener replaced, you can bolt up the fan and pulley, and then put the belt back in place. Short of sandblasting and painting the process takes no more than an hour.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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