Best Practices-Harmonic Balancer swap. For those who have - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-04-2004, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Best Practices-Harmonic Balancer swap. For those who have

If you've swapped your Harmonic Balancer (crank pulley, or dampener), share your procedure for pulling the sucker. This is a tight spot, and many questions have been asked about it.

Assembling input for a Techinfo article. Please reply ONLY if you've done it before.
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:06 PM   #2
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Jack up passenger side of car.
Put jack stand under frame rail.
Remove accessory belts.
Remove right front wheel.
Remove flywheel cover.
Use special tool J-somethingorother (flywheel holder tool) or something else to hold flywheel in place.
Remove right front fender well shield.
Remove center bolt of balancer pulley.
Attach harmonic balancer pulley puller to pulley.
Turn three small bolts on puller a few cranks at a time to pop pulley free.
Put new pulley in place.
Adjust flywheel holder to prevent opposite direction rotation.
Put loc-tite on pulley bolt.
Torque bolt to FSM specs.
Reassemble fender well shieldl, remove flywheel holder, replace flywheel shield, attach right front wheel.
Lower car.
Put belts back on.
Giddy-up.

Did I forget anything? I guess Series II would need to remove the motor mount and jack the engine up to remove belts, then replace mount before jacking the car up.
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:21 PM   #3
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The procedure is the same for the series II engine too. You do not need to remove the passengerside mount. After you take off the wheel well sheild the Harmonic balancer is right there.
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:12 PM   #4
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Exact same a jwikoff, But i used a screwdriver in the flywheel, And a cheater bar on the harmonic bolt.
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:55 PM   #5
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Or an impact wrench. You don't have to keep the motor from turning that way.

Can someone post a picture or a diagram of the pullers you each used? Or a simple description?
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Old 10-05-2004, 01:54 AM   #6
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I don't have a picture but i hope this helps..
The puller i used had a disk that was roughly the diameter of the balancer with 4 slots that made a peace symbol on the disk and a hole in the middle. There was also a long threaded pole with a round nut on the pole. The disk slid down the pole untill it rested on the round nut.
After the crank bolt is off you place the one pole end where the crank bolt screwed in. Then turn the round bolt, with disk ontop town till the disk lies flush with the balancer. The three slots of the peace symbol that form a benz symbol are the slots you have to use. There should be 3 small bolts that go through the 3 slots on the disk and into the three threaded holes in the balancer. Now you can tighten the bolt at the end of the pole untill the balancer slides off the crank. (that is of course if you keep your crank/freewheel from moving)
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Old 10-05-2004, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
The procedure is the same for the series II engine too. You do not need to remove the passengerside mount. After you take off the wheel well sheild the Harmonic balancer is right there.
I guess you could leave the belts hang there.

I've got a pic of one. It'* even on the pulley!!

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Old 10-21-2004, 05:56 PM   #8
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I concure with jwikoff99 with a few minor additions:

First, make sure you know the VIN code for your engine when you order the new HB (I believe it is the 8th digit or letter in the VIN - someone verify this please?). There are different HB'* for different VIN codes. At least that what I learned from the stealership I bought my HB from.

Second, you will have to go to the hardware store and buy (3) 6mm x 3 inch bolts to fit the treaded holes on the HB. This is a must as the HB pulley kit from your local auto parts store does not contain the correct size bolts for this procedure on a 3800 Bonneville. A safe thing to do is to bring the new HB with you for a trial fit. 6mm bolts are a little sloppy but will get the job done with no problems. I would buy a half dozen of so cheap washers to use as spacers for these bolts against the HB pulley as well (two or more on each 6mm bolt)... The reason for this is if your new 6mm bolts are too long you will run out of threads on the center pulley puller bolt before the HB comes off.

Third, the cover for the flywheel has (3) 10mm bolts holding it in place, not just the two that are plainly visible from the bottom side of the engine. The third is located on the tranny side of the cover (or rear facing) and will require an extension to access it.

Fourth, this is a good time to check your crank sensor and replace it if necessary. Also check to make sure the crank sensor magnets are clean and not loose in anyway.

Lastly, when tightening the new HB in place, make sure the HB key is lined up and that the HB is tightened to factory specs. Note: Make sure the HB is *tight* meaning you can't turn the bolt anymore... simple I know, but it takes forever to tighten the HB all the way properly by hand and just want to be sure the shade tree mechanics out there don't give up on it too soon. If the HB is NOT tightened all the way, your belt alignment will be off.

Oh, I got my HB center bolt loose with a 1/2" drive braker bar and a 15mm(?) socket. I also had someone holding the flywheel from turning as I could not locate the *special flywheel magic keep-it-from-turning tool* anywhere. Feed your helper some beers and steaks to keep him around... you will need his help getting the new HB on the engine too!

Just my two cents worth.

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Old 11-01-2004, 11:06 PM   #9
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Yes, I did this as well. Just make sure you get the right year, as I found out the hard way. A 1992 one WILL NOT fit a 1993!!!
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Old 11-06-2004, 03:31 PM   #10
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Also, do NOT screw the bolts in too far. Two bolt holes are straight through. A third
is covered by the reflective material on the back of the HB.
I turned one about 1 round too much and distorted the reflective material.

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