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Pulling the balancer



Hi Folks,
I'm tearing down my motor for a rebuild and have run into trouble getting the harmonic balancer off. It just doesn't want to come loose. Anyone have any neat little tricks up their sleeve?
'72 Coupe
Most but not all V8 engines, have a large bolt threaded into the nose of the crankshaft to secure the vibration damper in position. If your engine has a bolt remove it, then use a puller to detach the vibration damper. Do not use a puller with jaws that grip the outer edge of the damper. The puller must be the type that utilizes bolts to apply force to the damper hub only. Bill Groom :Quoted from the Hanes Manual:J
use a puller!

Bill Groom's right and your 72 pride and joy was born with a center bolt in end of crank snout...many of the chain auto parts stores (autozone does) will lend you a harmonic balancer remover/puller kit...or you can buy one from as little as $10 to $75. Pull the snout bolt first...then choose a "nipple" that won't damage the snout's female threads...then choose three bolts that fit balancer's inner-most hub's female threads...assemble the contraption and turn the puller's central bolt...this will force the balancer from the crank's snout...you do NOT have to do any prying...:nono do NOT attempt to pry or wedge the balancer from shaft:nono ...use a puller!!! Otherwise you can begin to list your troubles as: :cry ruined-bent timing cover, :cry ruined balancer...etc. While you're looking, see if you've a source for a tool to INSTALL the balancer...otherwise you'll have to be REAL CAREFUL and "pound" :bang it back in to place...not the best way but acceptable if done right. Get the idea??? Use the right tools for this job, pleeez!

If you're gonna put your old balancer back on...check it's snout for any groove that may have been worn into it by timing cover seal...auto parts houses sell a sleeve to repair this groove...it's cheap and effective...do it!

But, if you're changing to another balancer...make certain the new one is for your type motor. A 327/350 h balancer is not the same as 383/400 hb, but may look alike to the unitiated. Any questions on identifying balancer???...just email me clear photos of both front & back of balancer.
ballancer removal and install

you must use a puller to remove the ballancer or you WILL damage it , heating or prying or pounding will damage it and most likely the seals on the cover to. you can NOT pound it back on even if you use a block of wood as a cushion as I have seen done because the force will either crack the glue holding the elastomer(rubber like layer) or damage the thrust bearing on the crank(thats the bearing that keeps the crank from moveing back and forth in the block which keeps the other bearings in the same spot on the crank journals( p.a.w. sells a install tool for about $23 part # prf-66515 1-818-678-3000)( puller tool $17 part #WIL-W151P WHILE iM AT IT) AND FOR ANYONE OUT THERE THINKING I pounded mine on with no problems, check your bearing clearances or have you not noticed a slight drop in oil pressure.

Does anyone have a unique way of installing a balancer on a crank that is not drilled and tapped for a center bolt? The only way I know to do that is to tap in on as gently as possible. I agree that on one that is drilled there is no excuse for tapping one on.

bubba's hb install tool

While you're looking, see if you've a source for a tool to INSTALL the balancer...otherwise you'll have to be REAL CAREFUL and "pound" it back in to place...not the best way but acceptable if done right. Get the idea??? Use the right tools for this job, pleeez!

Tom: Sorry, no further ideas short of "gently" chilling the crank snout & gently heating the hb flange.

John: In theory, I agree with grump on the install tool (re: above quote) but reiterate hb can be successfully installed by pounding (without damaging the thrust faces) & not hitting the outer ring... if done REAL CAREFUL. In practice, I have accomplished this with no op drops nor premature lower-end failures. I'll chalk this up to luck and not care.:eyerole

But, to dispell any doubt...do as grump implores...do use an install tool. A resourceful fellow might quickly assemble an install tool from a 1 5/8" dia deep socket, a 6" long Gr 8 bolt with threads same as crank snout, 2 Gr 8 nuts of same thread and a large Gr 8 washer. Apologies to all for not being crystal-clear. Hope this helps.:)
Chill the snout

Chilling the snout is probably a pretty good idea. I'll have to try that the next time I install one. I would have to take the engine to the plant but with a steady bath of liquid nitrogen -300 degrees could be attained. Shouldn't take that much though. Hmmm Got me thinking.

snout frostbite

Tom: I've gathered you haul liquid nitrogen and have plenty of access. How convenient for you now...'specially since R12 is no longer an option. I don't have a clue what the threshold temp is... surely long before it got near -300... but know that snout'll get brittle as glass at some point. If you've got the O pan off, and worried about thrust faces, maybe you could lace some soft shim stock in there to absorb any undue shock. Heck, if it's cold enough the hb might drop on. Let us know.
small aerosol snout chiller


GOODSON www.goodson.com 1-800-533-8010 is a large house that specializes in only auto machine shop tooling and engine builder supplies. Goodson has an aerosol can of stuff named "Minnesota Fast Freeze" pn MFF-8 for about $12 advertized to chill guides and seats to -50 for install and "also for bushings, pins, shafts etc." Maybe this could help...save hauling block out for HB install. BTW, the Goodson site has a nice, responsive technical bulletin board staffed by experienced, knowledgeable ASE master machinists...wonderful resource. Hope this helps.
I tried installing a "Steetdampner" with a bolt and socket arrangement. Forget it. I read that it takes 3 tons of force to properly install it. I bought an installer and it works unbelievably well. They are pretty expensive, about $40.
Regarding installing one without a pilot hole in the crank the only thing I can think of besides freezing it and pounding on it real quick (yikes) is to press it on while the crank is out of the engine.
Thanks to all. Actually, I was using a harmonic balancer puller and that's what had me baffled about the difficulty getting the darn thing off! Turns out soaking it with a little liquid wrench and letting it sit for a day, combined with an impact wrench, did the trick. It's off and the motor is at the machine shop getting a new lease on life. Thanks again.

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