Damaged crank shaft

Asked by Sep 06, 2016 at 01:10 AM about the 1996 Nissan Pathfinder 4 Dr LE 4WD SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

At 180k the crank pulley on my 96 pathfinder got loose and then quit turning a block from
my house.  I limped it home then towed it to my mechanic. He was able to get a new key
seated and put on a new harmonic balancer.  He said the crank shaft was damaged and
the fix may not hold.  Sure enough about 50 miles later pulley is wobbling had again.  My
question is what could have caused the pulley to come loose in the first place.  Can I
replace the crank shaft or is there likely another problem that is causing this issue.?
Would it be best to just replace the motor?

2 Answers

23,145

First question first: A Harmonic balancer can fail over time allowing the rubber-mounted pulley to slip, wobble and cause an imbalance (and damage) to the crankshaft. Second question: You can replace the Crankshaft - it is a very big job and best suited for a professional; requiring the engine to be removed from the vehicle and precise measurements to be made for bearing fitment. A replacement engine is more economical and usually has a better warranty. My question: is a 1996 vehicle worth the $2 - 3000 it may cost to repair it?

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Best Answer

Thanks for the responce, I was leaning towards just finding a used motor and swapping it out. My concern of course like you say is continuing to dump money into a vehicle 20 years old, although for a '96 it's in really great shape, (Crank shaft exluded of course). The kicker is I just bought the pathfinder 2 months ago so I'm on the fence about wether to cut my losses. My mechanic who is also a good friend says he should be able to drop in a used motor for $1200 to $1500. I was just hoping to get some other opinions on which way to go with it or find out if this is a common issue for that model era. As it stands I'm into it for $2000 after a new set of BFG A/T's and the cross your fingers fix job my buddy did on the pulley. Like anyone buying a high mileage vehicle, I knew I was taking a risk when I picked it up at the dealership but I just wanted something I didn't mind beating up a bit. Where I could just throw my dogs and gear in and head for the hills while my 2014 stayed nice and clean in the driveway. I think if I could finess another 50k out of it with another motor it would be worth it but IDK.. my auto mechanic skills are basic at best, so any other major problems and it's back to my buddies shop.

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