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Stuck Harmonic Balancer SBC

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rsg2506, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. rsg2506
    Joined: Mar 6, 2005
    Posts: 359


    I'm trying to remove a harmonic balancer from a SBC and the damn thing won't come off. I'm using a puller (yes the center bolt is removed) and I've leaned on the breaker bar pretty good and it doesn't seem to budge. I tried tapping around the balancer with a hammer and running the impact gun it for awhile. I've never had one fight me like this. I just soaked the thing with penetrating oil, left the puller on it under load and went in for the night. Any suggestions guys??

  2. cru_zn_29
    Joined: Jul 11, 2010
    Posts: 71


    Try hitting the head of your puller with a hard swing
  3. 548camaro
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 8


    with a bunch of preload on the puller,you can heat up the balancer hub as best you can reach

    it's important that you heat just the balancer and not the crank snout

    in other words work fast!

    dont get crazy with too much heat,just warm it up and tap on it,apply more torque on the puller

    oh yeah,2 hammers at the same time 9 and 3 o'clock
  4. rsg2506
    Joined: Mar 6, 2005
    Posts: 359


    Thanks guys..I'll try a "little" heat tomorrow.

  5. Heat it tonight, might be free tomorrow when it has all cooled down. This has worked for me on 4" worth of spline contact on big truck driveshafts stuff. A lot more contact area than a harmonic balancer on the tip of a crank.
  6. If somebody used loctite on it your in for a fight !! The advice of heating it will work. Just use a small amount of heat right at the crank snout and the inside diameter of the balancer. Good Luck >>>>.
  7. BulldawgMusclecars
    Joined: Jul 15, 2010
    Posts: 508


    Just a thought...I have run into this on some late small blocks, and it may not apply here, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Sometimes the puller itself can block the balancer from coming off (especially the cheaper ones). The piece that goes onto the threaded rod in the center (especially the flat style) can sometimes cover the inside edge of the balancer, and keep it from coming off, no matter how hard you crank on it. They usually come off pretty easily with the right puller.
  8. gasserjohn
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,219


    using a impact socket &a strong hinge bar [add pipe if nesc to reach frame]
    lay bar on frame bump starter [w/ing off]
  9. rsg2506
    Joined: Mar 6, 2005
    Posts: 359


    I gave it a little heat and cranked on it with a breaker bar/ 4ft pipe. I then tapped around the puller and also around the balancer. It still won't budge. I might try an air hammer and piece of flat stock on top of balancer to vibrate it loose.....
  10. dave lewis
    Joined: Dec 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,372

    dave lewis

    This has happened to me a few times in the last 40 years or so....
    I have had to fix or replace several balancers and crankshafts due to improper removal methods. ( not my methods )
    Heat will destroy the bond between the inner hub and outer ring, and hitting the balancer anywhere with a hammer is a recipie for problems..
    Unless you are not EVER going to re-use it ...NO heat , NO hammer.
    Here is the proven method...
    Install the puller using good quality, proper size bolts ( no grade zero butter bolts ) Tighten the puller as tight as you can. Impact or breaker bar OK , just get it REALLY tight !
    Using a good size hammer ( 2 lb, small sledge ?? ) Whack the center bolt of the puller a couple of times....Re-tighten the center bolt, Whack it again..
    It may only move a small amount at first, keep whacking and re-tightening.. It will move a little more each time, and eventually not need the hammer....
    A few tips....1st thing make sure the puller has a foot with a swivel on the end. (just a point or a ball will ruin the threads in the crankshaft and cause more friction)
    2nd, lube the threads of the puller before you start ( less friction, again )
    3rd, beg, borrow, or buy a good quality puller to start with, because a cheapo unit will fail before you get it to budge...

    Lessons learned the hard way, no charge to you !!
  11. 61bone
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 890


    Hammering in any direction is a good way to damage the crank snout, front main or the thrust bearing. I know you said you took the bolt out, but did you take the washer out too? Don't ask.
    A good puller is a must. Lube the puller bolt with a high pressure lube such as open gear grease. Lube the swivel with a quality chain lube Use a push plate between the bolt and the snout. Use as short of grade 8 bolts as you can and still have full thread engagement in the hub. Ideally, the puller body should be tight against the hub, but full thread engagement in the puller is more important. Using a tapered swivel directly in the crank snout taper can expand it, effectively wedging the damper in place.
    A 3/4" puller bolt will take about a 265 lbs of torque, AIR, but a rattle wrench will strip one out with much less. When up to torque, TAP the end of the puller bolt with a brass hammer. You are not trying to ring the bell, just set up a little vibration. After 2 or 3 taps, recheck the torque. It'll come slow at first, but it will come, probably.
    I did have to pull the crank and press on off with a bearing splitter and a 50 ton press once, but thats another story.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  12. PRoz
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 240


    What year SBC is it? The Gen 2 motors the hub only has a hole big enough for the bolt itself to go through. If you try and use a standard puller you will never get it lose. On the gen 2 style motors you need to put a long bolt or rod down in and push against that in order to get it to move.
  13. dbradley
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 1,036


    You said you removed the bolt..... did you also remove the THICK washer?
  14. rsg2506
    Joined: Mar 6, 2005
    Posts: 359


    Thanks guys...I'll give the recommendations a try. I broke the cheap chinese puller this morning. I'll hunt down a quality one the next couple of days. The engine is out of an 89 suburban. I did remove the washer too...but thanks for wouldn't be the first time I did something dumb :rolleyes:.

  15. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    At this point, dont hammer any more. As said before that can damage the crankshaft snout. With puller in place and a REASONABLE amount of tension on it, no need to break it!, enough heat on the damper to make it smoke and it will come off. then buy a new damper.
  16. rsg2506
    Joined: Mar 6, 2005
    Posts: 359


    I got it off! Quality puller = no problem. No heat, no banging, just a breaker bar (and maybe a beer or two.) Thanks again for everyone's help.


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