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turning engine manually - harmonic balancer?


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hello all.

okay so in a previous post i stated that i'm trying to pull the V8 off my '53 super (thanks for the tips mark, brad, rocketraider and gene. i was told to disconnect the flex plate(flywheel?) from torque converter (three bolts). my problem is i got one of the bolts off but i can't get to the other bolts. i'm supposed to manually turn the engine. how do i do this to get to the other bolts? mark said something about a harmonic balancer? is that the same as the crankshaft sprocket that the timing chain is attached to? i can't figure out to make it turn. the timing chain cover, fan, etc. all that is removed. can someone tell me how to move the flywheel so i can to the other bolts? any tips suggestions?

thanks!

-wilbur

p.s. in case i'm sounding stupid i just want to put out this disclaimer to those who don't know: This is my first restoration, i knew NOTHING about cars before i bought my '53 super. so please bare with me when i ask a question like "what is a fly wheel?" oh and i do have manuals, but i couldn't find anything on removing the engine. it only told me where the three mounts were.

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The harmonic balancer is the same as/attached to the front pulley of the crankshaft, but it sounds like you may already have that off. Why not just grab the flywheel with two hands and turn it? That's what I do, though it is best to put on a pair of gloves first. On the other hand, if the torque converter and transmission are still attached, you may not be able to grab the flywheel. There is also a tool you can buy at any good auto parts store, which looks like a lever and a fork, to turn the flywheel with. Just insert the lever and the fork in the flywheel teeth, and pry. I think I paid $12 for the one I bought last year. You can also pry the flywheel with a big screwdriver, but be careful not to break a flywheel tooth.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Ector, Texas

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Wilbur, the easiest way to turn the engine over while your under the car is to get a large screwdriver and turn the flywheel by putting the screwdriver in the teeth of the flywheel and move the screwdriver against the engine, one or two teeth at a time. The engine should turn freely......

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Too late for that (though I was thinking the same thing I admit)-

Will, he is talking about the spark plugs. There will be no compression (which would normally hinder your turning the engine by hand), if they are removed.

What John O said is the same thing I said in the other post. Put the crankshaft bolt (aka "harmonic balancer" bolt to me because you have to remove it to remove the harmonic balancer and any pulleys which are bolted to it) back into the crankshaft, tighten it by hand, and then turn it (again tightening it, clockwise) with a socket and a large "breaker bar". A breaker bar is like a ratchet, but with without the ratcheting mechanism, and is much longer for more leverage. A socket fits onto the end of it which is pivoted so you can use it at many angles, unlike a standard ratchet drive.

Mark

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i thought skyking was talking about the spark plugs but then i questioned myself. i didn't know if there was some "special" plugs on the transmission like drain plugs or something. now my whole post looks stupid. LOL. oh well. yeah, i'm knee deep in it. so i either need to continue to get my hands dirty, gets some bloody knuckles, cuss a bunch and try to learn or sell her for parts. sorry everybody but i think i'll go with the learning part. so you're gonna have to put up with me for a long time. although i'll try to keep the questions more buick related instead of General Automotive Knowledge 101.

LOL crazy.gif

p.s. and thanks for the clarification Mark.

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Ah! :Q

Your old friend Overanalysis gave you advice on the plug thing. He made you second guess yourself! I have that same friend poking his head around here very often as well-

Glad to have you here! You'll get that engine out. You are learning the best way - by doing (and being very careful doing it, while also thinking hard about what you are doing as you go.) The fact that you second guessed yourself demonstrates it!

Mark

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Turning the engine with the screw driver in the flywheel works,

I've done it may times. You just have to put the trans in neutral so

the flywheel will turn freely. Something so obvious that can slip

by the regular practioner when explaining in writing. You could

loosen the bolts first then remove them but it is alot of turning of

the flywheel, but thats the way to do if you're worried about

damaging the flywheel.

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yes i am very determined to at least learn. anyways, it's saturday night and my night is dedicated to Naomi. got the spark plugs out last night, tonight i'll put it in neutral and get my humongous flat head and rotate the flywheel to get to the 3 bolts out and pull my V-8! if you guys think i had a bunch of questions just on how to remove the engine, just wait til i get this nailhead on the stand and start trying to rebuild it! woah nellie! shocked.gif

thanks you guys,

btw i love this board,

-wilbur

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Hey, don't worry about it--you're doing fine. And it sounds like you've got a lot more common sense than a lot of others who attempt things like this. And it sounds like you know how to use tools, etc. The 22 year old next door to me is trying to do "some stuff" to his explorer--he just had a little TV installed and wanted to make a Plexiglass enclosure for it. Not knowing much about tools, it figured a kitchen knife would be good for cutting the Plexi. Last Wed. he had the second operation to fix the severed tendon in his hand.

If this makes you feel any better, I just recently had a small block Chevy on an engine stand with the rocker arms and pushrods out, but I forgot to take the lifters out of their holes before I flipped the engine upside down to change the oil pan: the lifters all fell out. It's critical that lifters stay in order, so that's a pretty big deal. I have no idea which ones go where, so I've got to buy a whole new set of lifters and break them in. (You'll learn about that soon enough).

I also rolled over my own toes once while leaning over the front fender of my '54 Special and moving the carb linkage with the ignition in the "ON" position. You know how the starter works when you step on the gas pedal? Well, it works when you move the linkage with your hand, too. And it's really embarasing when the manual trans is in gear, because the car jumps forward. So we all do doofy things.

Saturday night in a garage, working under the car by the light of a drop cord, with good music on the radio and a beverage on the work bench. Nice, if it's not too muggy. Enjoy.

-Brad

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Wil,

Screwdriver will work fine but after two or three transmissions I did come up with a better way to turn the engine. Assuming the dust cover is off and you can see the flywheel put a box-end wrench on one of the three bolts connecting the flywheel/converter. Use it to turn the engine (definitely with the spark plugs out) pulling so that force is applied in a clock-wise direction (tightening the nut) until it is nearly turned too far to access it. Tap on wrench with small hammer, counter-clock-wise now, breaking loose. Remove nut and bolt. Use screwdriver until next connecting bolt is exposed. Use box-end wrench to move and remove as above. Back to screwdriver until last bolt is exposed. Remove it.

This saves a good bit of screwdriver prying.

Good luck, Gene

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right on. thanks. i actually decided to bolt the tranny back to the engine and take it out with the engine. and see if i can pull the transmission off now. so i did have success pulling the engine and tranny. it was pretty fun and now i can get into the engine bay to clean up repaint as well as underneath/chassis.

i'm still having great difficulty in turning the flywheel. i try the screwdriver technique and it BARELY moved. i'm scared i'm gonna break off one of the teeth. but i'll try the box wrench idea. that sounds pretty good. hey how come i can move the universal joint just fine, but not the fly wheel? what's up with that? also is there a way i can tell if the transmission is in neutral since it's disconnected from the gear shift now?

thanks all of you!

-will

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Youv've got a good gut reaction for working on her yourself. If it doesn't move or do what its supposed to do there is a reason. Don't force it. Let's see stupid things we have done--how about rebuilding the carb and leaving the fuel line off. Pumping gas all over the engine. Am I glad it didn't catch! In order for the trans to be in neutral you should be able to rotate the engine (turn the flywheel) and the back of the trans will not move. In gear it will move. Is your universal connected to the drive train? If so the only way it will spin is if you have one of the wheels off the ground and you are actually turning a wheel. Hang in there we are all here to help.

Bruce

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OR u can buy another tool!!!!!!!!! Its called a FLYWHEEL SPANNER Wrench. Check with your local discount auto store. If u have an AZO store they mite even rent one to u.

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CLARIFICATION: the local AZO store 'rents' many different tools. They SELL it to u with the MUTUAL agreement that u can bring it back for a FULL refund including the sales tax. The spanner wrenches r not expensive. probably less than $25.

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thanks again everybody for you support and information.

my question now is how do i figure out what's keeping the flywheel from turning? the universal joint turns fine by hand. but the flywheel won't budge? and i don't think i should take apart the tranny. i've heard that transmission work really is best left for a pro. but all i want to do is pull it from the engine so i can work on the engine?

any other suggestions?

thanks again,

wilbur

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The flywheel should turn freely unless the engine is stuck (in other words seized). I don't know what you are turning the flywheel

with. Pull all the spark plugs out, put the crankshaft bolt in, and turn the crankshaft bolt with a wrench. It should turn freely. If not, t

the engine could be seized or close to it. The crankshaft bolt is the bolt that holds the harmonic balancer on.

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Wil,

Good advise from JohnO. Sounds as though the engine may be seized up (rust in cylinders, broken part some place, etc. I'd start by squirting some oil into each cylinder and waiting for a day or so then socket on the crankshaft bolt and pull clock-wise. If it does not move try counter-clock-wise to see if it has jammed on something within the engine (never good - could be thrown rod, broken crankshaft, jammed timing chain that broke, etc.) and will turn "backwards." If so it will most likely jam again before going to far. If the bolt loosens before moving wait longer to see if the oil won't eventually loosen things up and try again. If it does not move after a couple of days pull the valve covers, oil pan and timing chain cover and take a look to see if you can spot the broken parts and take it from there.

Good luck, Gene

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Wil,

Did this engine turn before you deceided to pull it? If you intend to rebuild it you might want to consider some careful disassembly. I'd start by pulling the heads. Take pictures (to avoid the extra part syndrome). Don't mess with the trans. One issue at a time. If the engine still won't turn with the heads off you know your problem is deeper. Get some oil in those cylinders and let it soak.

Bruce

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