Harmonic Balancer

A harmonic balancer is connected to the crankshaft of most engines

To reduce torsional vibrations and to be the pulley for the drive belts

I had never heard of such a thing

Since one had never needed to be replaced on any car of mine

Which is the only way I know about car stuff

By having to pay outlandish bills for parts unknown

I happened to see Bob my neighbor with the hood up

We started talking and he mentioned harmonic balancer

Whoah! WTF

Harmonic balancer made me think of some kind of Tibetan temple

Resonating with the thousand prayers of the robed faithful

I learned it’s true that at certain engine speeds the torque from the cylinders

Becomes synchronized with the vibrations in the crankshaft

Resulting in the phenomenon of resonance

Resonance that the crankshaft can’t withstand

I understand that cranky process

Having had both a marriage and a career suffer harmonic catastrophe

I get the chronic impact of torsion and tension

Of being twisted into an unbalanced state

I know the horror of watching cracks develop

As energy builds up through lack of dissipation

Age, heat, cold, or exposure to oil or chemicals play their part

In the inevitable crankshaft failure

Which can be pretty spectacular

So I am developing my own harmonic balancer

Damping vibrations rhythmically

As I fire on all cylinders, barely resonating at all

Stress free



David Trudel   ©  2013




Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Harmonic Balancer

  1. Wonderful poem! I did not know of this until my stepdad got me a rather old car, which stopped balancing harmonically shortly after I took it home. The name intrigued me at the time, too.

    • Thanks Susan. I love that you also know about the harmonic balancer. I’ve been doing Hawaiian Huna chanting to bring myself into harmonic balance…and spoken word which helps too.

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