This is easy job, and very difficult at the same time. In general, you just remove the serpentine belt, remove the coil pack if located over the belt for wrench clearance, use a large (approx 15/16 inch I think) socket and breaker bar, remove center bolt, pull off the old balancer, and install new, torque to approx 135 foot-pounds. However..... the old bolt may be seriously overtightened from the factory, and restraining the old balancer from turning takes a HUGE strap wrench. The balancer bolt on my 87 Park Ave took approx 250-300 foot-pounds torque to loosen it. Wow. Forces here can be large, and serious injury can result. You might consider taking to a shop-- this job can get ugly.
Behind the harmonic balancer. You will need to remove the right front tire, remove the access panel to the engine (through the wheel well), remove engine belt, remove harmonic balancer & pulley with a puller. Remove & replace crank sensor, align sensor with an alignment tool, replace balancer with an installer tool.. BE VERY careful with the balancer, the backside of it has a hall effect style blades. bending these blades will junk the balancer.
== == I do believe if you hear a knocking noise that your crank shaft could be failing. Which means you will need a new engine. Have it checked out. Replace the harmonic balancer they will make a bad knocking noise. When you start it and the oil light goes out and it knocks, this is what is wrong with it.
There are numbers stamped into the harmonic balancer, if you can't see them, take some sand paper and clean the balancer off, you should see the pointer that points at what the timing is when you look down from the top of the engine bay. The best way I've found to see your mark, is to use a white or yellow grease marker and put a line on the balancer where the particular degrees you want to set it on.
It is part the process in changing a timing belt. If you look at the instruction for changing a timing belt you can stop once you reach that point. It does not require removing the timing belt though just most of the pulleys, Idler belts and if you want to be safe the radiator. The bolt holding the pulley and harmonic balancer can be tough to get out, and getting an impact wrench in there to pull that bolt is almost imposible without removing the radiator. The engine crank will turn freely as well which compounds the difficulty. http://www.ehow.com/video_4978619_timing-belt-replacement-remove-harmonic.html http://www.justanswer.com/ford/143nf-replace-timing-chain-1989-ford-ranger.html
If it is a 2.8 or a 3.1, the crank shaft position sensor is located under the rear exhaust manifold, right above the transmission housing. Its a small sensor with a 8mm screw holding it in place. Be careful pulling it out, the are known to break off in the block housing. Then the fun really begins to get it out. If its a 3.3, or a 3.8, it is located under the harmonic balancer. You can take the sensor off without taking the harmonic off, but it is ultimately easier to take the harmonic off because you have to adjust the sensor to the timing ring on the harmonic. Its easier to do when its apart.
For model year 1989 General Motors did not produce the Buick Park Avenue. The soonest production date to 1989 was the 1991 Park Avenue. The 1991 Park Avenue was offered in 3800 engine in supercharged or naturally aspirated. The part numbers for electronic control module (ECM) or "computer" will vary based on the exact engine for model year 1991s.
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