Harmonic Balancer Stuck!! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-24-2003, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Harmonic Balancer Stuck!!

I have a '93 SSEi with a bad harmonic balancer, the rubber inner portion is clearly separated from the pully portion and the car makes a horrible rattling sound at idle.

I achieved access to the balancer easily enough through the access panel in the right wheel well. I jambed the flywheel and removed the center bolt of the harmonic balancer..so far so good. Then, I used a parts store loaner harmonic balancer puller. The kit didn't have the right sized bolts so I used some 1/4" bolts I had laying around. The balancer seemed REALLY stuck as I used the puller and finally, I popped on the hold down 1/4" bolts out. Now the bolt hole in the balancer is stripped so I can't get the puller on squarely AND the pointed/beveled end of the large center bolt on the puller is stuck in the cranck snout!!

Any ideas on how to proceed? I imagine I'll need to use a self-tapping screw in stripped hole but the balancer is still stuck. Can I use heat MAPP torch. Do you think I've ruined the crank by getting the puller center bolt stuck in the snout?

Please help before someone (probably me) gets hurt or a car gets torched.

Thanks,
Gabriel
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Old 07-24-2003, 02:14 PM   #2
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Firstly, I hate to tell you this but there is a "SPECIAL" Ballancer puller that only GM shops have! It'* designed to use the existing holes in the ballancer.
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Old 07-24-2003, 03:18 PM   #3
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My HB separated like yours also...I used a loaner tool from Autozone...it had the right combination of parts to pull it properly...

I would not recommend using a torch...but it is YOUR car...Good Luck...

Mine had slots that you would use long carriage bolts to pass thru the slots...try going to a hardware store for matching them up with your new HB....

Good luck again
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I finally solved the problem. I'll tell you what I did in case this ever happens to you.


The standard puller that you buy/borrow from the parts store doesn't fit these balancers. The point that attaches to the center bolt on the puller is too large to fit THROUGH the balancer and push against the crank shaft. So, when you tighten the center bolt to pull the balancer it jams is the center hole of balancer. When that happens you're pulling against the balancer and not pushing it off the crank shaft. So....after I drilled out the stuck point, I stuck a short metal rod into the center hole on the balancer and used the puller WITHOUT the point on the center bolt (driving against the metal rod). Once I was actually pushing off the crank, the balancer came right off.

Oh, by the way, the balancer for the VIN 1 (supercharged) engine is not the same as the one for the VIN L engines. Unfortunately, the the VIN 1 balancer is $220 at the dealer and doesn't seem to be available at any local parts stores or wrecking yards.
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Old 07-25-2003, 02:30 PM   #5
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glad you figured it out - thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 07-26-2003, 12:12 PM   #6
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I got the "OEM" brand puller from Autozone to pull mine and it worked. Putting on the rec torque back was not fun. 110LBS + if I recall correctly.
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:08 AM   #7
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this may be my problem but does anyone have a picture of the harmonic balancer so i can see where it is?

thanks
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:11 AM   #8
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You cant really see it from up top.. but its just a thin cylinder on the bottom of the engine connected to the crankshaft.
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:18 AM   #9
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thanks..i'll look for it tomorrow!

what problems would this cause if not taken care of immediately?
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Old 08-28-2003, 01:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I finally solved the problem. I'll tell you what I did in case this ever happens to you.


The standard puller that you buy/borrow from the parts store doesn't fit these balancers. The point that attaches to the center bolt on the puller is too large to fit THROUGH the balancer and push against the crank shaft. So, when you tighten the center bolt to pull the balancer it jams is the center hole of balancer. When that happens you're pulling against the balancer and not pushing it off the crank shaft. So....after I drilled out the stuck point, I stuck a short metal rod into the center hole on the balancer and used the puller WITHOUT the point on the center bolt (driving against the metal rod). Once I was actually pushing off the crank, the balancer came right off.

Oh, by the way, the balancer for the VIN 1 (supercharged) engine is not the same as the one for the VIN L engines. Unfortunately, the the VIN 1 balancer is $220 at the dealer and doesn't seem to be available at any local parts stores or wrecking yards.
Kudos on your creativity, I would have screamed yelled and paid a shop to take care of it from that point. I did however take my car into the dealer to replace my crank sensor recently and they said it was a real pain to get the harmonic balancer to do as they wished.
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