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Technical How can I turn over 283 by hand?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Greasyman, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 126

    Greasyman
    Member

    I want to turn my engine by hand, because I need to index the distributor. Many times I've seen people write that they turn the engine with the harmonic balancer, but mine has no bolt installed. Pepboys has one available, but I don't know if the crank is threaded for it. I read that the 283 never used a bolt, it was pressed on and held with a Woodruff key, so I don't know if there is thread for one in the crank snout.

    Even if it doesn't need a bolt, if there is thread for it is it ok to get one to turn the engine, any danger of damaging anything? If it's safe, should I leave the bolt in there and tighten it down, as a modification?

    If the bolt won't work, any ideas on how to turn the engine? If I turn the fan, it just slips in the belt. I suppose bumping the engine with the starter will work eventually, but that can take forever.

    How about if I take the pulley off of the balancer, install a couple of the bolts about halfway into the balancer, and wedge a screwdriver between them? Would that work?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,079

    squirrel
    Member

    If is has a bolt on lower pulley, you can take off the pulley, put three 3/8 fine by 1" long bolts halfway into the holes, and use a pry bar to turn against two bolts at a time.

    Or you can take out all the spark plugs, and should be able to turn it with the fan.
     
  3. if the crank has been drilled it's probably 7/16 fine thread...you could try one , but i doubt it's been drilled/tapped
     
  4. paul55
    Joined: Dec 1, 2010
    Posts: 2,639

    paul55
    Member
    from michigan

    Could also turn via the flywheel
     
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  5. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,317

    B.A.KING
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    Done it this way many times, using 3 bolts. fairly easy.
     
    olscrounger likes this.
  6. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 374

    30dodge
    Member

    I have turned them over by wrapping a V belt around the crank pulley. Grab the belt tight and use it for a bit more leverage (like a oil filter wrench). You cad also just loosen the spark plugs.
     
    alanp561 likes this.
  7. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 9,589

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Bandit Billy and Hombre like this.
  8. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 126

    Greasyman
    Member

    Thanks, I have a cheap one of those I bought out of the bargain bin at Autozone or wherever. Haven't used it much, might finally come in handy. Thanks to everyone else for their advice, too.
     
  9. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 629

    Ralphies54
    Member

    If it's stick shift just drop it in 1st gear and push on the fender or pull depending on the direction you want to turn the eng.
     
    alanp561 likes this.
  10. I had an old ford where I couldn't get good access to the balancer to turn it, so I took the spark plugs out and turned the generator/alternator, and the belt was tight enough it turned to whole motor.
     
  11. long island vic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2002
    Posts: 2,147

    long island vic
    Member

    ralph,, engine only turns one way,thats what a trans does..we all learned it the hard way
     
  12. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,727

    Mike51Merc
    Member

    If you have access under the vehicle, you can remove the inspection cover on the bellhousing and turn the engine with a pry bar or big screwdriver against the ring gear.
     
  13. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,352

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Turn it with the flywheel
     
  14. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1,958

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Depends on how tight your belts are, but I have often turned engines by grapping the fan with one hand and pushing the belt with the other. The added tension will help to avoid belt slipping. If you don´t have extreme compression or hard valve springs, you will be able to turn your 283 that way.
     
    CapeCodBob likes this.
  15. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 696

    392
    Member

    Bingo
     
  16. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,543

    BJR
    Member
    from Minnesota

    How about the starter?
     
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  17. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,390

    sunbeam
    Member

    If it is a standard trans just put it in high gear and rock the car until the marks are reached.
     
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  18. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 1,022

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    The center on generator or alt , with no plugs is the easiest . I had an Deuce and a 1/2 , years ago . Service manual instructed turning that huge engine this way also . I laughed my Azz off at this until I tried it . Spun it over with a 12 Adjustable Wrench . Notice I didn’t say Cresent Wrench !


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. Fly wheel with a big screw driver against the bell housing will do the trick.
     
  20. Greasyman
    Joined: Oct 23, 2010
    Posts: 126

    Greasyman
    Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I just got lucky and bumped it with the starter, took only a couple of tries too. Didn't get it exactly on tdc, but close enough. I put a fairly large piece of paper towel in the #1 plug hole, and when it popped out I knew I was on the right stroke and looked at the timing marks, which were in a good place.
    Once I got that done it was fairly easy to drop in the distributor, and the car fired right up. I've removed and replaced distributors quite a few times, but it's been years since I installed one, at least fifteen.
     
  21. Ralphies54
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 629

    Ralphies54
    Member

    Sorry Vic, I believe if you move the car backwards in a forward gear the engine will turn backwards. I could be wrong and I'm sure tons of HAMBers will jump on me if I am. Ralphie
     
  22. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,352

    porknbeaner
    Member

    You're not wrong, you just have to think differently when you do that. An old mechanics trick is to put it in second and bump it backward to set valves for instance, the motor turns more easily backward. But it takes a little more thought for ignition, the exhaust will be closing when you are on the correct stroke as opposed to the ignition, the marks will still be in the same place. ;)
     
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  23. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,069

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Spit on your hands and turn it at the flywheel with no plugs in.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,069

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    I've been told if it's stuck some try to give it a small turn toward the "wrong way" and bring it back the right way. I've broken loose and engine working it back and forth a out 4 inches. Was i in the wrong doing this?

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  25. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 771

    fortynut
    Member

    Make a tool. Wheaties box. Starter end. Busted or crap 1/2" socket from pawn shop. Measure width of dampener. Cut circle of cardboard. Bump holes for alignment. (Precision here will make this a sane process. That means don't goof off, think what you are doing one step at a time. Don't let your template slip. Find the center of the holes, after aligning the template on a suitable metal circle. I used a starter end cover. Center punch the holes. Drill oversize. In this case slop is your friend --- to a point. Weld socket to drilled plate. Make sure the bolt/nut end faces the plate. Easy way to center is scribe lines from center past center of holes. Eyeball engineering of location makes it easier to turn. Use OEM bolts. Add washers. This home made tool is a life saver. Use pull bar to turn. Shade Tree Engineering at its best.
     
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  26. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,352

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Rocking one is as easy a way to break it loose as any. Sometimes you can fire one right up after the fact as all that stuck it was a little moisture and nearly zero damage is done, but to be right you are always better off to find out what stuck it and if it needs to be addressed. Never the less you have to get it unstuck to do that and rocking it always works. ;)
     
  27. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,069

    Donuts & Peelouts
    Member
    from , CA

    Thanks Bud! The first engine I played on was so blown from the inside, she was stuck good. Pulled the oil pan and saw pieces of the cam at the bottom. Rookie me didn't turn it before I bought it.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  28. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,404

    nunattax
    Member

    if your crank is threaded A R P do a nice balancer bolt arp#134-2503 jega#170-134-2503 .deep hex head you can fit a 1/2 square drive ratchet directly into.works great with a power bar.no skinned knuckles
     
  29. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,352

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I am sure that I own one (for a small block) and doubt that I know where it is but they actually make a tool that slips over the crank snout for about almost any American engine in existence. They are usually not very expensive and probably a good tool to own.
     
  30. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,404

    nunattax
    Member

    these will work1,triangular plate bolts to the balancer can be turned with a ratchet or power bar.home made
    2nut slides over crank and woodruft key can be used where there is no balancer in place crank turning tools 003.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
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