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to balance or not to balance: 360

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WesternRed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WesternRed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/10/2019 at 7:11pm
If you were happy with how it ran before, just change the balancer and be done with it. A stock balancer is directly interchangeable with another stock balance for the same engine capacity.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote purple72Gremlin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/10/2019 at 8:24pm
get the correct 360 flexplate....the 304 flexplate will not work.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/10/2019 at 9:10pm
The torque converter is a hydraulic motor/pump, it does not balance the engine.
If someone previously "balanced" the engine for the 304 flex plate that does have balance weights then any new flex plate will have to be match balanced to it. If the 304 flex plate was balanced to what a factory 360 flex plate is, then you don't need to do anything but change them. If you don't know, match balance the old flex plate to the new.
The balancer if original, can be replaced or repaired. If being repaired - match mark the inner hub and outer counterweight. Then when it comes back you know it is exactly in the same alignment.
  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/11/2019 at 6:32am
Your problem is mis-matched parts. So you need to get a 360 balancer and flex-plate for starters. It will run with a 304 flexplate, may or may not cause a noticeable vibration. The motor mounts will absorb some, as will the damper on front, but there will be a vibration going through the crank and that will eventually destroy the bearings -- thrust part first apparently. The thrust bearing is one of the main bearings, #2 or #3.

Your first problem is the flex plate. Did you install the 304 flexplate? If you know for sure it's a 304 flexplate (engine swap?) and it wasn't altered when it was installed, you should be able to just get the correct 360 flexplate and balancer and call it good. A stock to mild build 360 will be fine for over 100K miles, no other issues withstanding.

Is it a good idea to balance? Well, it doesn't cost that much any more, and it will add some life to the engine (mainly bearings) even with a stock rebuild. Not sure I'd do a full balance on a stock rebuild that wouldn't see hard use, but would do a "poor man's balance" even then -- during a rebuild with the engine apart. That's just making sure all the pistons and rod ends are within a gram or so of each other (weigh all, match to the lightest weight). It helps and is cheap and easy, just takes some time. I wouldn't disassemble a low mileage engine and do that or any balancing unless I was going to spin it at high rpm (5000+) often though, or I was unsure of what was done with the mis-matched parts, as may be your case.
Frank Swygert
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