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Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (L98)

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Old 12-19-2003, 02:17 PM   #1
shotchkiss
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Default Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (L98)

L98 motor. What is the best way to stop the motors from turning over when trying to remove the bolt in the center of the balancer? When I try to unscrew it, I keep turning the crankshaft instead. Can I just put a pair of vice grips on the flywheel to hold it, or is there a better way? I have an auto transmission.
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (shotchkiss)

If pressing on the serpentine doesn't give enough resistance you might try putting three bolts into the three crank pulley holes and use a bar across them to hold the carnk from turning as you break the center bolt free.

I have a pulley puller set and have used the three hardened bolts from that set effectively.
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (65Z01)

Can't do the belt thing because everything is off the front of the engine now, will try some longer bolts. That center bolt has to come out before the pulley will come off, correct?
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (shotchkiss)

The easiest way is to use an impact wrench. I donít have one so I had to of my friends hold the pulley while I broke the bolt loose.
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (shotchkiss)

This CAN get tricky. The bolts in the pulley holes can work, but because you can't remove the pulley, the bolts have to be pretty long. They are likely to get bent if the center bolt is tight enough. I tried one of those rubber strap wrenches around the outside of the damper, and it broke the strap, instantly. A lot depends on what else you may be doing besides removing the damper. The lsat time *I* did this I was changing the bearings in the engine. I just waited until the pan was off and used a crowbar to prevent the crank from turning. The vise grips on the flexplate ought to work, OK if you are planning to remove the converter cover. If the starter is going to come out, you could hold the flexplate with a prybar or large screw driver. If all you are doing is removing the damper, probably the easiest way would to feed some rope into a spark pug hole. Then just turn the engine over until it binds up on the rope. Of course if you have air available and room for the impact wrench, you don't have to worry about holding the crank from turning. Good luck, and...

RACE ON!!!
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (shotchkiss)

Quote:
That center bolt has to come out before the pulley will come off, correct?
Actually I don't think it does. Been a few years since I did mine. But I don't recall pulling that bolt.
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Old 12-19-2003, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (hippy)

Quote:
That center bolt has to come out before the pulley will come off, correct?

Actually I don't think it does. Been a few years since I did mine. But I don't recall pulling that bolt.
Yes it does on the L98 :yesnod:
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Old 12-19-2003, 04:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (Bluevette85)

A trick i use somtimes is to get a socket and a long breaker bar. Then i give the breaker bar a good whack with this heavy ole lead mallet i have.
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Old 12-19-2003, 04:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (Bluevette85)

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That center bolt has to come out before the pulley will come off, correct?

Actually I don't think it does. Been a few years since I did mine. But I don't recall pulling that bolt.

Yes it does on the L98 :yesnod:
Maybe it does, like I said it's been a few years. :crazy:
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Old 12-19-2003, 06:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (hippy)

When I have that problem I attack the other end of the engine. I have someone wedge a long handle heavy screwdriver between the teeth of the flexplate and the transmission bell housing; then I give the bolt a heavy, but sharp turn. A really long steel pipe placed on the ratchet handle will give you more leverage for a sharp pull/push.

When I'm alone (or can't convince anyone to crawl under the car), I find a way to wedge the screwdriver and leave it there. I then crawl out and do the bolt loosening.

Another way I've done in the past is to let the starter break the dampner bolt loose. I use a 1/2" ratchet and socket, put the socket on the bolt and bump the starter. In cases where the ratchet handle isn't long enough to lock onto a suspension point, I attach a piece of steel tubing on the ratchet handle so that it can reach some really solid point.

Gotta be careful with that trick though; just a bump is all you'll need

A desperate man will tryabout anything. lol.

Hope this helps.

Jake


[Modified by JAKE, 4:48 PM 12/19/2003]
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Old 12-19-2003, 07:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (JAKE)

I well know about that "derparate measures" thing. Years ago I used the "starter bump" to break a damper bolt loose but wouldn't try it today.

Guess I've gotten a bit conservative with age. :lol:
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Old 12-19-2003, 11:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harmonic balancer removal question - how to get bolt loose? (65Z01)

Got the bolt out finally. Pulled the radiator out and got it with a borrowed impact wrench, really had to crank up the pressure on it and it took a few minutes, but it finally rattled loose. Since I'm doing a cam change, the radiator had to come out anyway, so that didn't bother me. Lots of crud under it also, so a good time to clean it out. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:26 AM   #13
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I just saw a vidio on another sight, they removed a spark plug, then inserted some nylon rope to block the rotation of the engine. Still need a lot of leverage on the breaker bar. Then remove the rope. I'll try it next time I get stuck.
c5 bill

Last edited by wburgle; 03-02-2014 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburgle View Post
they removed a spark plug, then inserted some nylon rope to block the rotation of the engine
Easiest way if engine in car.
Also works to hold valves up if doing valve spring change and not having compressed air available
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Years ago I used the "starter bump" to break a damper bolt loose
Still works the same way. I've "seen" it done many, many times.
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:41 PM   #16
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Impact
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:45 PM   #17
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8 year old thread guys
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