Anyone have an OEM harmonic balancer nearby they could look at? (1 Viewer)

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
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OCD is a legitimate condition caused by MUD and its always okay to go see a doctor?
Whether the Toyota part was made in China or not is moot. All parts need to pass Toyota quality standards. The pulley in question is a very simple part that could be made good enough anywhere. The information in this thread does not indicate that we should buy the cheapest parts we can find on the internet.
 
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To clear up the original point of the thread: it was not to buy the cheapest part available. I rarely install anything other than OEM Toyota parts in any of my Toyota vehicles and have spent well over $10k in the last six months on OEM parts.

Having said that, I'm resurrecting a horribly maintained/neglected 95 model that needs just about everything replaced, and my local dealer lists the OEM Harmonic Balancer for $500. So, going out on a limb, I ordered a Harmonic Balancer from O'Reillys, Dorman brand, to check it out (was planning to send it back if it looked like junk). But when it arrived it said on the box "Made in USA" which was a big surprise, but then again Dorman does have plants in the US so I thought maybe it was made here.

But I also noticed the Dorman Balancer appeared to be a an exact duplicate of the balancer I just pulled off this 95 model, with the same casting marks (AT). So that didn't quite fit as Dorman is not AT. And the price was super low ($70), again didn't quite fit for a made in USA part.

And as another member had just bought a new Toyota balancer I asked him for photos to compare the Dorman part and his new recently purchased OEM part. And they do appear very similar, however if you look very closely at the visible rubber markings (numbers and the molded in patterns) they do not match exactly.

However the inspectors pencil marks do appear similar, almost as if they were made by the same person and in the same general locations. So the question then was, were they both made in the same factory??
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Example of a (possibly) similar situation: I recall talking to a Denso tech a few years ago, he told me that the Denso aftermarket fuel pumps are made in the same factory (in Japan) on the same line with the same high quality parts as the Toyota fuel pump, however that there may be a slight difference in the pressure range depending what Toyota specs are for that particular pump.
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So I called Dorman to ask where was their Harmonic Balancer was made, and the answer was Chyna.

With further searching I found that AT (Aisin Takaoka, thanks to Onur) has factories (Joint partners) in Chyna to produce some auto parts. Not proof by itself however whether or not the Toyota balancer was made in Chyna.

So the thread started out of pure curiosity, was the Dorman part the same as the Toyota part and where was the Dorman part manufactured (turned out not in the USA, contrary to what it says on the box).

Clear as Mud?
 
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What's interesting is that the box that the Dorman part came in says Made in USA,
I bought an OTC gear puller the other day, the package said my new gear puller was "made in the USA" but was in fact assembled with parts, and pieces sourced world wide. So I'm thinking the hub for you're Dorman made balance, was made in the same Japanese foundry that makes the hub for Toyota's HB, but that hub was assembled with the outer Vee pulley, and rubber isolator ring here in the USA. So that way they can package it as "made in the USA" but the truth of the matter, it was only put together in the USA, with parts made in other country's.
 

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