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Crankshaft balancer removal

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
Crankshaft balencer removel

I got the rad out, I got the water pump out, now I want to pull the distributor out. I have the bolts pulled off the crankshaft balencer (outside ring) that connects to the center hub. The dang outer ring will not come off. Very MILD tapping on the edge didn't help.

Any sugestions on how to yank that outer ring off?? I don't have access to raise the engine if I have to.
 
R

rcdk

Guest
The hub and balancer are usually frozen together.

The shade tree way is to get under the car with a rod and a big hammer. There exists the possibility of breaking something this way. You have to put the rod in the right spot, inside the rubber ring but outside the hub.

I just used a puller and managed to get the whole assembly out far enough to pull the opti. This takes careful planning, because you might end up with the puller stuck between the balancer and the frame, or just interfering with getting the balancer assembly out far enough to R&R the opti.

If you go the puller route, you need 7/16" bolts, not a common size.
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
Thanks FX3FX3 and rcdk, I hope to get some more sugestions while I soak that thing in PB buster. I am getting that feeling that I will be pulling it off as a unit and not separate (?) Is that possible?

How easy is to remove the motor mounts to lift the engine?
 

Jack

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Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
96holly:
I've never taken a good look at an LT4 ... much less wrenched on one. But all other chevy I know of have a harmonic balancer/damper that is an integral unit ... the outer ring is intentionally bonded to the inner hub with an elastomeric rubber sandwiched between the hub & ring ... the outer ring & hub are not meant to be separated. Trying to separate those parts on a typical damper will ruin it. Once that bond begins to break ... the damper parts will further separate under engine load and damper will fail. A typical damper requires a puller to be bolted to the inner hub only(I think 7/16" -20 thread) ... never pull or pry at the outer ring of a typical damper. Maybe the LT4 has a damper with significantly different design ... if so then maybe disregard my thoughts on damper removal.
JACK:gap
 

Jack

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Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
Solvents can ruin dampers

If a harmonic balancer/damper is the type that has an elastomeric rubber sandwiched between outer ring and inner hub ... BE CAREFUL using any solvent around it. Solvents (PB Blaster included), oils, kero, engine degreaser, gas & other petrochemicals (also excessive heat) can quickly degrade the rubber and cause the rubber bond to fail ... ruining the damper.
JACK:gap
 

Topless

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Joined
Nov 12, 2001
Messages
444
Location
San Diego, CA
Corvette
1992 Convt w/hard top; 2004 Z06 Z16; 1962 327/300
BE careful. The dealer bent my balancer when they removed it.

They replaced it but it is not aligned correctly. Long story, but with the belt one rib narrower, and one grove back on the balancer, it has stopped "jumping" grooves. :hb

-Mike
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
Thanks topless and jack. The balencer and hub to separate.... in theory of coarse. We are talking about rusty parts here. As far as the solvents I have only sprayd the inner portion were the two parts are attached. I almost sprayed the whole unit.... glad I didn't and won't in the future. :)

However, I took another look last night. I hope rcdk will pick up on this. The frame rail runs about 2" infront of the balencer. Is that enough room for a puller? :confused

Also, if I were to raise the engine I would have to raise it about 6" to 8" to clear that rail?!?! As well as disconect cats etc to get the room to raise the engine...... :confused

I REALLY APPRECIATE all the help I get from this site!! Thanks to all!!
 
R

rcdk

Guest
Yes, the balancer is close to the frame. It took some craftiness to get a puller in and out of there. Be careful, since it would be easy to get the puller stuck in there. If I ever do this again, I may just go buy a new balancer/hub before I start and work harder at seperating the two.

You can supposedly unbolt the motor mount and raise the engine to remove the balancer/hub assembly as a unit, but I didn't do that so I can't really comment on that method.
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
rcdk, to pull the ring did you take out the bolts that connect the ring and hub or are there provisions for a puller? Also, did you just use a standard puller or special one?

I really really appreciate this. I am also thinking about buying a new ring/hub and using anti-seize in the ring/hub surfaces for future disassembles.
 
R

rcdk

Guest
I took out the bolts that hold the balancer to the hub and got some longer 7/16" bolts to use with a standard "harmonic balancer puller."

The puller was configured like a chicken foot, and I was able to turn the balancer to the point where the open part of the puller just barely interfered with the frame, popping right up over it.

However, be aware that if you do not separate the balancer from the hub, you can't fully remove the whole assembly without raising the engine about 2". I used the puller to pull the hub/balancer flush with frame and it didn't come off.

If you can get the balancer off the hub first, there should be plenty of room to remove the hub and you may be able to use the balancer bolts with the puller.
 

96Holly

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Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
I am assuming the you took the center hub bolt out? I would assume the assy. would not pop off with out that.... I know it is a dumb question but this is the first time for me, actually it is the first "big" (by my definition) job on the car let alone other engines.

Thanks again...
 

96Holly

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Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
Also, did you allign the number 1 cylinder (TDC w/ valves closed) before you took off the balencer and distributor?
 
R

rcdk

Guest
I never got the balancer/hub all the way off. I pulled it flush with the frame, and that was far enough to replace the distributor. Since I didn't get it all the way off, I can't speak to realigning it.

By the way, important note: To use a puller, you have to take the center bolt out, then screw it back in a few full turns and allow the puller to push against that center bolt since the center of the hub is not big enough for the puller's push screw to go through and push against the crank snout. If you don't put that center bolt in, you will be pulling on the ears of the hub and pushing on the hub's center. Crank hard enough and you will snap the ears off the hub.
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
I will be attempting to pull it this weekend..... what better way to spend a part of a holiday weekend then to wrench on your Vette!!! :s

I will post the results next week. I am a little stumped of taking out the bolt and reinstalling it with a few turns......

:eyeroll

Oh.... the puller bolt is probably to big for the threaded hole for the center hub bolt.....AAAAaaaahhhh yes... now grasshopper understands. boy I don't know how I read that wrong.

Thanks rcdk, you have been a big help!! :beer
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
No luck at all looking for a puller. I am down to a few specialty tool shops. Everyone acts like I am talking through my teeth when I say "two piece" balencer...... "Oh ya, they mold them with a rubber seal in between the two parts..." NO two parts bolted to gether!!!...

:hb
:mad
:eyerole

:)
 
R

rcdk

Guest
You just need a standard harmonic balancer puller.

If you can get the balancer off the hub, it will pull the hub just fine.
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
I bought the standard puller and tried it last night. I learned a ton from trying it. I couldn't really seam to make it sit flat to the balencer so I am going to make my own puller with a drill press. I will make the puller so that it fits into the bell of the balencer so I have room to pull it out of the car.

I'll post the results when it's done.

Man that car has been apart for about 3 weeks now!!!! I am having withdrawls....I need a treatment soon!!!! The effects of this treatment, :drink , don't work anymore.
 

69MyWay

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Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
This thread has been driving me crazy :crazy because I have done this job before several times (on LT1 engines, just not in vettes), and don't remember EVER having any difficulty with the balancer.

I am currently looking at the STreet & Performance sales/parts catalog. They sell new Corvette balancers, hubs, and spacers to adapt the Impala or F-body LT-1 to the Corvette style accesories.

The center hub is machined to fit tight on the snout of the crank, has a bolt hole in the center for the main crank bolt, and three threaded holes for bolts on the outside part. The balancer hub is round, has a hole in the center for the crank bolt, and three holes for the balancer to hub mount.

There is a pointer/marker on the hub that must be lined up with the balancer ring as the outer hub can be bolted back in any direction on the three bolts. You must pay attention to the parts when they come apart.

Please note that the outer ring should simply pop off the center hub when the three bolts are removed, and maybe the center crank bolt if it has a large washer that overlaps the outer ring.

You should not need any special tools for this. I don't remember ever using a puller when simply changing the outer ring. On the Lt1 conversions I have done, I started with F-body engines, and had to change the balancer to the Corvette for the accesories.

If you put the puller on this, you will in effect pull the entire assembly off including the center hub, then without the correct reinstall tool, you will resort to banging it with a hammer to get it back on. Not good for the crank.

Go back, take a fresh look at this project and see if it aint so.


Good luck,
 

96Holly

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
117
Location
Livonia, Mi, USA
Corvette
96 LT4 Polo Green Coupe
What you discribed is exactly what I have been told and read. However, when I remove the bolts I get no movement from the outer ring....frozen together by rust?!?! (More than likely)

I did take out the center bolt and tapped (lightly) from behind on the outer ring to make sure that the center bolt was not holding it on. The center bolt had a fat washer with a diameter the same size as the bolt head. The outring did not budge.

I have seen the "arrow" on the outer ring. This arrow can be allinged up with an arrow on what I beleave to be the timing chain cover. I beleave that this is to indicate #1 cylinder in TDC. The center hub can only go on one way to the crank via a key. I need to varify this however.

My thought is that I could remove the entire unit and replace it with new, using anti-seize on the ring and hub for future desassemble, and installing it with the tool that I make... I beleave that I need to make the push/puller bolts the same size as the ones on the vehicle. If not I will pay just about any thing for the installer at this point... but still wont pay a person to do the job.... yet. :)

I will look at it again tonight with your thoughts in mind for a fresh look. I have "moved" the hub/ring about 1/4" or less with the puller last night but stopped because I was getting close to the frame rail.

Anyway, I will look tonight. I thank you for sharring your insights. They help me a ton at learning to work on these lovely cars. I just have to find a way to keep my frustration down!!! :hb
 

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