crazytrain2

How to remove stubborn harmonic balancer (aka crankshaft pulley) bolt

Recommended Posts

1989 3.8 harmonic balancer has just the single bolt going through it to the crank and having a Devil of a time trying to get it loosened. I've tried putting a breaker bar w/socket on it and bumping the starter with no success. Eithe the starter doesn't have the umph or I'm not getting adequate leverage, eitherway it won't budge. I'm considering heating it up a bit with a torch and putting a bolt or something through the flywheel. Thought it best to ask first though.

Thanks much guys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are you going to heat? The center of the balancer is made if rubber. Doesn't sound like a good idea to me...

IF you can hold the flywheel, a breaker bar and a cheater pipe on it might break it loose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was gonna try heating just the bolt head and hope it wouldn't have time to soak to the rubber. But I agree with you about melting it or worset yet setting it afire. Thanks Ronnie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i used some PB Blaster and let it soak an hour or so, then used Ronnies video instuctions:

Harmonic Balancer Bolt Removal

used a 2 ft. breaker bar - loosened up on the first attempt...

i've had other car bolts (not reatta) where it took an overnight soak with PB to get 'em loose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does no one have an 1/2" impact wrench ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does no one have an 1/2" impact wrench ?

yeah, and it works great!!! would have tried it if the other didn't work... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an FYI, I had a 1/2" impact that is used for work on tractor trailers (much heavier duty than a normal one). I also had the compressor to go with it (borrowed the set up from a friend).

It didn't even start to touch it.

Ended up getting a breaker bar and about a 3.5' steel pipe. With three grown men pushing, and one under the car wedging the flywheel, we finally managed to get it loose.

It was stuck hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally had to break down and take it in to a shop to have them break the bolt loose for me. I replaced the harmonic balancer (rubber on old one was cracked and broken all 360 degrees). So all is good again :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a reply to thread. I have a 94 VOLVO Turbo 2.3:D:D, and I appreciated finding the help, here, on how others tackled the removal of the harmonic balancer and bolt. I wouldn't have room for the impact, without removing the radiator and fan, and would have had to travel to a mechanic, for that. I couldn't imaging jacking the car up on the wrench, and so, I took courage with the starter trick. That worked. :rolleyes:

I placed the 24mm socket on the bolt, with the 3/8 drive ratchet set to loosen bolt; a weight lifting bar used as a cheater bar was placed in the engine compartment, on the drivers side, against the fender, and the hood was partially closed, in case anything should fly into the air, and a quick turn of the key moved the engine, forcing the bolt free.

I had sprayed BLASTER :eek: on the bolt, a full 24 hours earlier.

Thanks for giving some courage! Now, to find the leaky seal, or whatever it is that has drank all my oil, and spit it out at every six inches from here to there, and nearly everywhere.:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 1990 Buick Electra Park Avenue 3.8 since my motor turns clockwise I wedged a breaker bar on to the frame and bump the motor broke loose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

89RedDarkGrey. Thanks for all the help on here and I do not mean to be a stickler but you need to read you post above and then look at your picture. You added text to your picture saying "18MM socket with breaker bar" and in the picture you can clearly see that it is a 24MM Socket that is on the Harmonic Balancer! Just thought you might like to know.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum Andradeinva. You have a good eye. If you read the rest of the posts on this forum that closely you will be an expert on the Buick Reatta in no time. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen two different harmonic balancer bolts, one large (15/16ths ?) and one smaller (3/4" ?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. 88 Coupe needs balancer replaced. Got bolt off but balancer does not want to budge. No bolt holes for puller. Sprayed PB Blaster in bolt hole. Nada. Any suggestions ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About the only thing that comes to mind for me is to get someone putting outward force on the balancer with a long pry bar while someone hits the head of the bolt to jar it loose. You want to have the bolt screwed most of the way in to prevent damage to the threads and you don't want to hit too hard. Don't want to damage the crankshaft bearings. That balancer should just slide off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes same way you loosen a steering wheel just do not want to go pounding on the crank. May try some heat since rubber is junk (can rotate the outer ring by hand) and have another balancer. Will let soak overnight and see what happens. Suspect is the original balancer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, padgett said:

OK. 88 Coupe needs balancer replaced. Got bolt off but balancer does not want to budge. No bolt holes for puller. Sprayed PB Blaster in bolt hole. Nada. Any suggestions ?

There are 3 holes in the front of the balancer  and they are threaded. If memory serves correct they are 1/4in  fine thread. the bolts have to be about 4" long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Phils38cpe said:

There are 3 holes in the front of the balancer  and they are threaded. If memory serves correct they are 1/4in  fine thread. the bolts have to be about 4" long.

No puller holes in the damper on the LN3. Later models have an interference fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Phils38cpe said:

Well I guess "Live and learn"  I have a 90 and that's what I looked at.

Can you get a photo of it. I know just enough to know I haven't seen everything. Any possibility it is a replacement unit from a '91 engine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a shot of my damper Those holes have threads at the very bottom. I had a 97 SC3800 in a Fiero and it had the same type of damper

damper.JPG.795b2b3a57df864736b5dccb8bc54a1d.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Phils38cpe said:

I had a 97 SC3800 in a Fiero and it had the same type of damper

Same type but I don't believe it is the same damper. I could be wrong. Starting in '91 the 3800 balancer was a tapered fit to the crankshaft and required a puller to remove it. The 3800 in the '88-'90 Reatta didn't have a taper on the crankshaft and the balancer just slipped onto the crank. Normally no puller is needed.

 

Look into the holes in the balancer in the photo below. I think it is a photo of the balancer that came off my '88 but I'm not certain of that.  I don't believe there is a threaded hole inside the slot. Padgett should soon be able to tell us for sure when he gets the balancer off his '88.

Balancerupclose2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Phils38cpe said:

Here is a shot of my damper Those holes have threads at the very bottom. I had a 97 SC3800 in a Fiero and it had the same type of damper

damper.JPG.795b2b3a57df864736b5dccb8bc54a1d.JPG

Thank you. That is different than any of the factory dampers on the several LN3's I have played with, but, it does look similar to the new one I purchased for the '95 s/c project. I also noticed that Rock Auto shows some replacement dampers for the LN3 that look like this as well. It does indeed have threaded holes on the actual hub far below those large openings on the face.  

One other item, unrelated to this specific discussion, but also different than expected: The 1995 damper I mentioned above turned out to be a slip fit on the 1989 crankshaft?? This was unexpected. The crank and damper went to the machine shop today to have the rotating assembly balanced so I will find if there are any other anomalies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...