Never in a million years would I have thought that with less than 47,000 miles on the odometer, the balancer on a (nearly) stock 2005 Corvette would come apart. We’ve all made the unwise decision at times to add parts that we knew were going to decrease our ride’s reliability, but in a car with only a few driveline upgrades and even a factory air filter, this type of thing can catch you off-guard. I had already replaced the A/C belt once a while back, after it was ripped to shreads, and now there was a squeaking in the accessory drive. Having heard this noise before, I initially thought this had to be a bad tensioner. The Comp Cams manual tensioner was an easy solution, a phone call away, and bound to add reliability over the factory automatically adjusting one. However, with the freshly installed tensioner, not only did the noise not go away, but now the main belt wouldn’t stay on. I took a look down at the A/C belt, which was pretty mangled and out of place. Apparently that was rubbing up against the compressor (and its electric plug—yikes!), causing the squeaking. I wound up having to cut this belt off to remove it. Put the main belt back on, started the car up, and off comes the belt again.
At this point, I decided it was time to put a fresh set of eyes on it and I called for reinforcements, as usual Greg Lovell from AntiVenom came to the rescue. Greg looked under the hood with his flashlight, and within a minute stepped back in shock and said, “wooah!” While shocked at how damaged the stock balancer was, Greg said he wasn’t at all surprised that it needed fixing. Though it is more common on C5s, if I had a nickel for every wobbly Corvette balancer that has been replaced I might be able to pick up a second C6 or a fifth-gen. That being said, I decided it was high time to look around the car for some other trouble areas and show the best way to fix them. Of course we didn’t have to look far to notice the water pump was leaking, perhaps a casualty of the wobbly balancer. Still at the front end, it was easy to see the cracks around the factory drilled rotors. With the heat and stress that the front rotor in particular sees, perhaps a dimpled or slotted rotor would be much better. Next on the list, I happened to notice a crack or hole in one of the CV boots (on the left rear axle), which was slinging grease all around the wheel and control arms. It was just a matter of time before the grease ran out, and the bearings were shot. Once these issues were all squared away, I planned to put many more miles on the C6 and begin some light modifications.