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Harmonic Balancer help

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by APAmike, January 27, 2008.

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    1. APAmike

      APAmike New Member

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      Hello, I am in the process of rebuilding my sons 98 explorer w/ 4.0 SOHC.

      I have pulled the engine, Have it on a engine stand.

      I am having the hardest time pulling the harmonic balancer, I have removed the bolt and purchased a Harmonic balancer puller, But still cant get it loose.
      The last time I tried it stripped the bolts out, So now I am going to need a New Harmonic Balancer.

      Any Suggestions on how to remove it?

      Thanks in Advance,

      Mike
       
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    3. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      The two pulling bolts need to be metric, and long, about 3.5" in length. Using a long smaller bolt in the crank to push on is common. Using the OEM crank bolt partially in can often result in it rotating in while pulling, thus tightening and holding the balancer in place. So hopefully you still have some threads in the balancer, they are needed only for removal. Good luck,
       
    4. rocket 5979

      rocket 5979 Resident Gearhead

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      I am a 4.6 V8 and 5.0 V8 guy myself. I am used to working with different design balancers. The first time I swapped a balancer on a 4.0 SOHC I assumed it woudl be the same process. I didn't look at the hole in the front of the balancer. It is much much smaller than the 4.6 and 5.0 ones.

      The hole through which your main plunger bolt has to go through is pretty small on this engine. Make sure that you are only pushing off of the front of the crankshaft and not on the small hole in the balancer itself.

      The way I got around that was I loosened the stock crank bolt and backed it out a few threads and then put the pulled on and put the tip of the plunger bolt on the head of the bolt and backed the balancer off till it made contact with the bolt head. Then loosened the puller so I could get a finger in there to back the crank bolt out some more. Then I just repeated this process until the balancer came off. Be mindful of the thread in your crankshaft when you are getting near to having the balancer come off. You will want to keep the crank bolt in far enough so that no damage is done to the threads while putting that little bit of pressure on it to pop the balancer off the rest of the way.

      I opted not to go with a real skinny bolt in place of the crank bolt so as to minimize the possibility of it walking around and harming the threads inside the crankshaft while removing the balancer. Overly cautious on my part but I would rather be safe than sorry.
       
    5. winsorcoke

      winsorcoke Member

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      Make sure you use a balancer installer when puting it back on. Don't just use the bolt to pull the new one on. The problem is the bolt doesn't catch enough threads. It can strip them right out. Trust me, you don't want to deal with that mess!
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      These 4.0 balancers have many odd aspects.

      Rob, I went the other route. I have always pulled a balancer the way you just described, using the old crank bolt to push on. The 4.0 took three steps doing that, twice. This last time when I changed balancers, the lubricant on the crank bolt allowed it to turn in with the puller. It took me three attempts to realize that it would not stay in place. With the crank bolt so slick, the puller ran it in, ending with the puller trying to pull with the balancer held in.

      I chose to find a long small bolt to push on. I ended up with a grade 5 bolt just smaller than the crank hole. That worked fine for most of the pull, but I had to find another shorter bolt to finish the task. The bottom line is that these usually require very special care and ingenuity. They may be no trouble sometimes, but that will be rarely.

      Take your time and be sure of what you are doing. Use the correct bolts and don't use too much pressure. If the turning effort becomes very high, likely something is not right. Regards,
       
    7. rocket 5979

      rocket 5979 Resident Gearhead

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      Both methods have their merits. One item I did not mention above is that since the stocker bolt is TTY and I will be junking it anyways I always remove it and drill a countersink in the very center of it. This will guide the tip of the puller and also minimize friction between the puller and the bolt. I had no problems with the bolt spinning back in after doing that. Either way it is just a crank damper, not rocket science. Either way will likely be just fine 99% of the time.
       
    8. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Some pullers have a flat surface on the pushing tip, the cheaper kits usually. My friend's did, I think mine has both kinds of tips.

      Yes, go buy a new crank bolt to start with, you are not supposed to reuse them.
       
    9. rocket 5979

      rocket 5979 Resident Gearhead

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      Those flat surface ones are terrible. I didn't even realize they sold those anymore. They allow the puller shaft to walk all around hell's creation in there. That can cause the damper to get marred up, and also doesn't allow a totally straight pull which can lead to issues of getting the damper off, stripping the damper bolt holes, and bending the damper puller bolts. Much better to get the one's with the pointed plunger tip that pops into the threaded puller shaft. :thumbsup:
       
    10. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Yes, those cheap sets, likely from places like Harbor Freight Salvage, they only cost about $5, literally.
       
    11. APAmike

      APAmike New Member

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      Thanks

      Thanks to all the help, The Harmonic balanacer came off with ease why I put the bolt back in and put the puller against the bolt. The way I was doing it was adding pressure to the pully

      Thanks
      Mike
       
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Excellent.
       
    13. jimstewartjr2008

      jimstewartjr2008 New Member

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      Just to clarify

      OK, so i just rode this ballancer merrygoround!!
      Yes this one is hard to get off if your pushing on the button that looks and feels like a crank snout. NOPE, that is not the crank, there is a washer/button pushed into the ballancer that does not come off/out easily.
      You can put a mirror down there and look, you have been pushing on the washer, with a hole only big enough for the ballancer bolt to slip through.
      Confirmed, (2) 8mm x 1.25 threaded holes are there for your puller. Use bolts about 4.5" long.
      Most important is pushing on the crank as others have said, I used the original ballancer bolt backed out 1/4" at a time in steps until I was down to a couple of threads, then drilled a center into the head of a 8 mm bolt x 120 mm long to slip in and finish pullin it.
      My first attemp was like yours and I broke off one of the puller bolts.
      For my second attempt I drilled a 3/8" hole across from the extra hole that was already there. Anyway, you should look at it closely, mabee with your cell phone. good luck.
       
    14. Sedition

      Sedition Engine Repair Guy Elite Explorer

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      AHA! Thats why my balancer wont come off, because of that round washer type thing that feels like a crank shaft opening.
      Now to pull the Radiator and get the snapped puller bolt out with a very small easy out.
       
    15. Sedition

      Sedition Engine Repair Guy Elite Explorer

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      Snapped puller bolt.

      So, It appears to be real hard trying to drill the stuck bolt out when the balancer is still attached to your vehicle and your only going by feel and what a digital camera can show you.

      To Hell with that, turns out you can use 1 HIGH TENSILE bolt at the top, do it up nice and tight being real liberal with the washers.

      Now as you wind on the main puller bolt, the bottom tab of your puller bracket that you havent bolted down will start to sit up from the face of the balancer a bit. Take your lump hammer and bash it down. The balancer will then slide out as you hit the bottom tab back down flush with the balancer. dont need to hit it hard just a few gental knock should do it.

      Just keep doing a couple of turns then a couple of knocks, dont wind it up so much as to bend the bolt your pushing off out of the crank shaft bore.

      Once its out say a half an inch or so, you wont even have to hammer it anymore it will just slide easily as you wind up on your puller. you will feel it when it comes loose. The smile on your face once you dont have to drill it till its off your vehicle....;)
       

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