Harmonic Balancer Removal a Bear! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-17-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Harmonic Balancer Removal a Bear!

This is on my 97 PA Ultra. I need to replace the crank sensor but I'm stuck trying to get the bolt out of the HB. I don't know how many times I cycled my air compressor using the impact wrench on that bolt last night but it just isn't letting go. I expected it to be tough but that it would come off after a couple of cycles of using the impact wrench, but I must have tried at least 20 times.

So... I'm looking for all of the tips and tricks that you have used in the past to encourage these bolts to come off. Until I get it fixed I'm having to bum a ride to work --- I need my car!
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:16 AM   #2
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Remove the flywheel cover and slip a big bolt or a big phillips head screwdriver through a hole in the flex plate on the front side of the engine. Turn the engine backwards (CCW) with the crank bolt until the jam bolt or screwdriver shaft is set solidly against the engine block. Get a cheater bar on a good strong handle with the correct size six-point socket on the bolt and apply some serious torque.

You may need to remove the RF wheel and the plastic splash shield. Then, set up a jackstand so that the cradle is level with the bolt. Use the jackstand cradle as a bearing point for the extension. This will allow you to use a humongous cheater bar outside the fender.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:17 AM   #3
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Unless your impact wrench is in the 500-600 ft/lb range, it isn't going to work for you. You need a BIG gun.

If you don't have one, you need to remove the dustcover from the flywheel and wedge something in there to keep the engine from turning while you use a large breaker bar with a pipe extension on the HB bolt.

Then use a puller. The 3 bolts you need to hold to the HB are 6mm. They are NOT 1/4". If you strip one by using the wrong thread, you will ruin it and make it alot harder to remove. The bolts that come in most kits are not the correct bolt thread pitch.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:50 AM   #4
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And...when you find those 6mm bolts..get them at least 80mm long or you will have further problems.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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[quote="willwren"]Unless your impact wrench is in the 500-600 ft/lb range, it isn't going to work for you. You need a BIG gun.

. thats not true i got my bolt off with a cordless 24 volt 225-250 foot pound torque wrench from goodyear racing.. and people from this club told me it would not work. in my opinion one of this power will work as well as a 500-600 ft/lb
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:29 PM   #6
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All good comments.

Wilwern- Although it is a Campbell - Hausfeld Pro Tool , its just a consumer grade impact wrench.

Bill Buttermore - I had seen photos of your setup using a jackstand and I was looking last night at how many extensions I had to have to get outside of the fender. I do have a good 6 point impact socket that fits well. I was also looking at removing the flywheel cover last night too. There is one of those plastic pins that expand once you drive in a pin, or something similar that was giving me a hard time and was in the way of getting the flywheel cover off easily - I may have to revisit this option.

Wilwren - BillBoost37 - I have already been down that path before and I stopped at a good hardware store and picked up several 6 mm bolts that were in fact 80 mm long (the longest they had).

Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:59 PM   #7
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88...while it is possible that yours came off, it is our normal experience that it takes about 400-500ft lbs of force. It'* good to know that some of them haven't torqued too far past the factory spec.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:04 PM   #8
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if you put any amount of extension on the end of your impact wrench it will absorb most or all of the torque
its best to not use one at all
if possible
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:34 AM   #9
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Just make sure you use something you may be willing to part with(for the jamming). The torque on those bolts, as already stated, is insane. Retorqing is also fun. I think the L36 I worked on required 150 lb/ft + another 90* of rotation? Maybe it was only 70* rotation after the torque, but it was nuts.... to put it lightly.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:45 PM   #10
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my HB bolt would not come out with Snap-On impact, I had to use high-powered Ingerlson-Rand, it would give up right away under the power of that baby
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