Jump to content


Harmonic Balancer Slip

- - - - - Timing base timing harmonic balancer crank pulley 1.6 engine long nose short nose

  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic




  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 179 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA
  • Car Year:1990

Hey everybody, 


Its been awhile, but I'm back to consult the experts. 


After checking the base timing at the garage, I noticed it was about 2 deg different from what I set it months ago. (usually run at 12-13 deg BTDC, but it was sitting between 10 and 11 deg BTDC.)


I then checked the Crank Pulley TDC mark against the piston TDC using the screwdriver method.  

The TDC marks were clearly off by about 1.5 deg. When Piston was at TDC, the crank pulley marks were at least 1.5 deg Before TDC. (2 deg maximum, checked it 5 times). 


I reset it to 13 deg BTDC, per Haag's recommendation.  After my first day of racing on Saturday, I noticed it was back at 10-11 deg BTDC.  I reset it again to 12-13 deg, and will check to see if it moved again today. 


I've heard stories on this forum of the harmonic balancer rubber getting old and slipping.  I have no idea how old this engine is, and if it got a new harmonic balancer when it was rebuilt by Haag Motorsports in Northern California. 


How real is this harmonic balancer slip? Does it happen all the damn time? Or just once in a while after 150,000 miles? What is the word from the experts here? 


Trying to refrain form buying a new balancer from Mazda Motorsports for $100. 


I will check the TDC marks on Crank Pulley vs. Piston TDC with dial indicator and see if it moved more. 


Jut looking for guidance on how often these things slip. 


Luckily the 1.6 doesn't have crank position sensor attached to this area so I'm not suffering any performance loss, but I don't want to advance the engine too far. which is what I'm worried about. 


If it didn't move again, it could just be a loose adjuster bolt on the cam pulley timing adjuster. 







    Blue Eyes, Aquarius, hates being squeezed to the grass in SowDiv

  • SMembers
  • PipPipPip
  • 404 posts
  • Location:Austin, Tx
  • Region:Lone Star
  • Car Year:1999
  • Car Number:92

It definitely does happen. If you keep resetting the timing after it slips you're going to kill your motor with timing.


It's the combination of 150k miles and living at 7k rpm. I can't imagine that a new one would slip within the rest of you racing that car.


Buy a new one and make a reference line with a paint pen.


$100<new motor that will also need a new balancer...

Steven Holloway

Artist formerly known as Chief Whipping Boy for Lone Star Region

Donor - Made PayPal donation Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver




  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 182 posts
  • Location:St Paul MN
  • Region:LOL
  • Car Year:1993
  • Car Number:81

file under "cheap insurance" 

Gordon Kuhnley: Driving miata's in all conditions, courses, and motorsports that I can. 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Timing, base timing, harmonic balancer, crank pulley, 1.6 engine, long nose, short nose

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users