98 Montero 2.5 Harmonic Balancer broke


New member
My Montero lives on!

All I know is that in OK, 2 belts were off the pulleys and HB appeared cocked/off sideways.
Had it towed to mechanic in OK and Dustin(owner and tow driver - great guy) said that his guys thought the timing jumped and it would be very costly to repair. So I went up there to bring it home on trailer.

When I got to Dallas mechanic and popped the hood - all pulleys and belts were intact and engine would turn but not start.
My Dallas mechanic said that a little pin #18 in the pic broke/sheared and caused the timing to offset by 2 teeth, but there was not any further engine damage. He did say that the harmonic balancer appears fine - still running the same one for now. He fabricated a new more solid pin from a U-Joint he said and I'm up and running again.

Thanks guys for all the info

98 Gen 2.5
What I've had done - New plugs, timing belt, water pump kit, valve cover gaskets, thermostat

I've done so far -
1. replaced about 4qts tranny fluid so far(2qts at a time) - I'll do about 2-3qts more, then eventually pan fluid, filter.

2. Oil/filter.

2. Pulled front seats/carpet - power washed carpet for now. Big improvement.

3. installed new head unit, cerwin vega(on sale) 6x9s and 6.5 components - a little noico. sounds great

4. New antenna - big pain to replace old one but done.

5. New HF cross bars(super sturdy) and Arsken cargo rack.

Today after I picked it up - had aftermarket alarm installed and front windows tinted.

Have new rotors/pads - no rush, so waiting to piece some new front end parts to do all at once Never done front end/suspension but I think i'll manage.

So much more, gotta take it slow.



Monterror Pilot
There was a huge recall on the bolt that holds your HB on, you need to get the new bolt and make sure it is torqued properly or this could happen all over again.


I'm unclear on exactly what happened that would allow the timing belt to jump teeth. The sheared pin you're showing only aligns the harmonic balancer with the crankshaft sprocket and the trigger wheel for the crankshaft sensor. All three of those are keyed to the crankshaft and the sprocket won't move even if the harmonic balancer comes off. Did the crankshaft bolt break or come loose? Did the harmonic balancer come apart? I'm really not sure that you've found a mechanic who really understands what's going on with your engine, or perhaps something is being lost in translation.

If the crankshaft bolt came loose then you need to have a serious conversation about liability with the shop that just did your timing belt, because their tech apparently doesn't understand what a torque wrench is or how to use one.
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New member
I'm sure a lot is lost/missing in translation.

When it happened - the PS belt and AC belts were off, the HB pulley looked cockeyed.

Being 2hrs away from home, I closed hood and called tow into Davis, OK mech shop the tow driver owned. We spoke 3 days later and his guys thought the engine might be done due to timing being off and said it could get very pricey if they continued.

They stopped at that point and I went and towed it back to Dallas on uhaul flatbed to mechanic that did TB/wp kit about 2mos earlier.

They got me up and running and best explained the aforementioned to me. I can plug and play some things mechanically but dont know the timing setup.

I'll try and get ahold of the mech in OK and ask what it is they found initially so that maybe it can help anyone who might have a similar issue.

Hopefully I can provide some better info.

PS - the uhaul flatbed worked great towing the Montero although not recommended - I thought I was towing a 2wd Montero Sport(wink)

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk


New member
How many miles before a shop is still liable for torquing the crank bolt? Mine fell out after maybe 8k miles? This was back in 2014 so way in the past, now. But at the time, it was a shop in SoCal that did my timing belt/water pump before my move to TN, so I had the cross-county drive plus however many miles added living in TN. When the bolt fell out I called my old shop and they pretty much offered zip as far as help with getting it fixed. Being several states away posed a problem, I get that. But they said it had been long enough it wasn't really on them anymore (if I recall correctly)
That all being said, when mine fell out, same thing, no warning. Just a weird noise (sounded like the torque converter failing at the time), a shudder, and the dash lit up. But the balancer fell clean off and caught on the sway bar. I drove the 20ish miles home on battery power and no power steering. When I finally found a guy to fix it, he used the updated bolt, a new HB, and I've put thousands more miles on the engine since then with no issues.
*Note- I'd had one shop try to fix it and they failed. Bolt fell right back out (they refunded me). When the guy who finally fixed it went in, he pulled out 2 quarter-inch pieces of bolt, one from the original bolt and one from the shop that failed to fix it. I had also tried to fix it myself as I could thread the bolt in without taking anything apart, but not realizing there were pieces of bolt still in there, I couldn't get the new bolt to torque, which seems to be why the first shop failed, too.