: need help Removing Harmonic Balancer



brad3378
03-08-04, 02:57 PM
I just purchased a 98 Deville with the 270 Horse version of the Northstar.
It has a blown front headgasket, but I'm having difficulty removing the
darn bolt from the center of the Harmonic Balancer / pulley.
(Need it off to set the cam timing)

I even bought one of those new 1,000 Foot pound Titanium Ingersol Impact guns and can't get that thing to budge. Does this have left hand thread or something? I'd sure hate to snap a bolt inside that crankshaft!!

Air Compressor is putting out 120 PSI of pressure.
I'd swear somebody welded that thing.
Is this normal?

I'm tempted to just buy a borescope to set my cam timing and just leave the front cover on!

Lawrence
03-08-04, 03:11 PM
You need to use a breaker bar, while holding the flywheel. It is right hand thread coming off CCwise.

I am not sure if it is acceptable to use an impact wrench on this car or not, but I make it a practice not to.

BeelzeBob
03-08-04, 03:19 PM
erase

BeelzeBob
03-08-04, 03:21 PM
erased

BeelzeBob
03-08-04, 03:22 PM
erase

BeelzeBob
03-08-04, 03:27 PM
I just purchased a 98 Deville with the 270 Horse version of the Northstar.
It has a blown front headgasket, but I'm having difficulty removing the
darn bolt from the center of the Harmonic Balancer / pulley.
(Need it off to set the cam timing)

I even bought one of those new 1,000 Foot pound Titanium Ingersol Impact guns and can't get that thing to budge. Does this have left hand thread or something? I'd sure hate to snap a bolt inside that crankshaft!!

Air Compressor is putting out 120 PSI of pressure.
I'd swear somebody welded that thing.
Is this normal?

I'm tempted to just buy a borescope to set my cam timing and just leave the front cover on!

It is a right handed thread bolt like normal...it is just very tight. The bolt takes about 300 ft lb to get it to the correct torque and angle to tighten it so it is undoubtably tight. Generally, locking the flexplate and using a large breaker bar (and pipe cheater) is the easiest way to loosen it.

I would say that it is not normal for it to be that hard to remove, however. See below....maybe someone had it off before and used the bolt to install the damper and deformed it so that it has seized.

Remember to NOT pull the damper on with the factory bolt and especially do NOT put the damper on and try to pull it on with that impact. When the damper first starts onto the crank you can usually just start the production bolt so the temptation is to pull it on with the bolt but that is NOT what you want to do. The damper has a high press load and you can deform the first few threads of the factory length bolt and then it will jam as it screws into the crank and seize. I have seen cranks ruined that way. Pull it on with a correct puller (don't hammmer it on either to start it) and then install the factory bolt to the correct torque and angle AFTER it is already seated. The damper and the damper bolt clamp the oil pump drive sleeve so if the bolt is not correctly tensioned or the bolt is not correctly installed the engine will loose oil pressure.

You really have to take the front cover off as the cam chain tensioners have extended and locked when the chains are removed. You have to remove the cam chain tensioners and retract them by unlocking the mechanical rachet (move the little link to unlock it) and then relock them in the retracted position to reinstall the guides and chains by inserting a golf tee in the little link to hold it. When the chains are installed then pull the grenade pin golf tee and the rachet will snap out and tension the chain before the oil pressure comes up.

Did you timesert the block and/or what was wrong with the head gasket??

brad3378
03-08-04, 03:58 PM
I haven't installed the Time-Cert kit yet - before I invest the $300, I want to make sure the block is okay.

The shop manual says to drop the engine assembly to change the headgasket, but I've managed to pull the head with the engine in place. Anyway, the strange thing is this headgasket doesn't look blown all to hell like most headgasket jobs. The fire-ring looks fine - not blown, not burned - not even rusted. Something is definitely wrong though -

**Coolant is in Oil,
**Burning Coolant (large white clouds of smoke)
**cylinder leakdown test - air leaked to coolant reservoir 1st cyl. left bank
**"dry" compression test was normal ( probably coolant in cylinder boosting reading)
**Cylinder head warpage in spec - max. warp is .003 over the entire length.
**All headbolts were removed without problems (none snapped)

have not yet checked the block/deck warpage - Sure hope it is okay though!

The cylinder wall looks fine - it even has the original crosshatch marks from cylinder honing.


I don't know about this one. Call me paranoid, but something just doesn't seem right with this 130,000 mile motor.

BeelzeBob
03-08-04, 04:30 PM
I haven't installed the Time-Cert kit yet - before I invest the $300, I want to make sure the block is okay.

The shop manual says to drop the engine assembly to change the headgasket, but I've managed to pull the head with the engine in place. Anyway, the strange thing is this headgasket doesn't look blown all to hell like most headgasket jobs. The fire-ring looks fine - not blown, not burned - not even rusted. Something is definitely wrong though -

**Coolant is in Oil,
**Burning Coolant (large white clouds of smoke)
**cylinder leakdown test - air leaked to coolant reservoir 1st cyl. left bank
**"dry" compression test was normal ( probably coolant in cylinder boosting reading)
**Cylinder head warpage in spec - max. warp is .003 over the entire length.
**All headbolts were removed without problems (none snapped)

have not yet checked the block/deck warpage - Sure hope it is okay though!

The cylinder wall looks fine - it even has the original crosshatch marks from cylinder honing.


I don't know about this one. Call me paranoid, but something just doesn't seem right with this 130,000 mile motor.


Did all the head bolts "crack" when you loosened them about the same. Usually the head bolts are tight enough that they really "crack" when first turned to loosen. If one didn't then possibly that bolt hole is suspect. The block is fine...not much that can happen to it. Get the kit and timesert...if you are already having a problem with sealing then I would not hesitate to timesert for insurance. Use the OEM gasket with the new head bolts that come with it.

Given the uncertainty here I would recommend pulling the rear head. While you are this far in it would be a real waste to put it back together to find out there is still a sealing problem on the rear side.

Lawrence
03-08-04, 04:35 PM
Given the uncertainty here I would recommend pulling the rear head. While you are this far in it would be a real waste to put it back together to find out there is still a sealing problem on the rear side.

I might just add that you can pull it from the top too.

Lawrence
03-08-04, 04:42 PM
The fire-ring looks fine - not blown, not burned - not even rusted. Something is definitely wrong though -

I don't know about this one. Call me paranoid, but something just doesn't seem right with this 130,000 mile motor.

I am having the same experience with mine, and in trying to determine what happened. I learned a long time ago that you don't put anything back together until you find out why it failed, and I can see you are looking for the same. Unfortunately it seems there is no real answer to that question in my case. You can search some of my posts for more.

Good Luck

zonie77
03-08-04, 07:27 PM
Definitely timesert the block. Someone who isn't on anymore had been telling the story of torqueing the last head bolt and having it strip.

brad3378
03-08-04, 11:09 PM
Okay - I FINALLY got that bugger off tonight!!
Finally some closure to this thread!!



I still can't believe my brand new 1000 Ft. Lb. Titanium Ingersol impact wouldn't budge that thing.

This is how I finally managed to crack that sucker loose.
Picture this.....
The engine is still in the car with the right front wheel removed.
I attached an 18mm socket to the end of a 36 inch 1/2 drive extension.
That is connected to a long craftsman 1/2 drive rachet.
The long rachet still didn't give me enough leverage, so I slipped a snug deepwell socket over the handle and another extension inside that socket.
(dangerous as hell, but it worked)

That sucker gave out the loudest snap I ever heard a bolt make.
My heart sunk as I thought I had just snapped the bolt in the Crank, but it quickly turned to joy as I realized that it had finally come free.
I bet that 36x 1/2 inch extension had a full 90 degrees worth of twist in it before it finally broke free!

Anyway,
back to my headgasket:
The gasket itself really doesn't look too bad, but like the guys were saying,
KEEP A DAMN CLOSE EYE ON THOSE THREADS!! As it turns out, I'll also need to be getting one of those Time-Sert Kits.
I'll move my discussion to the Time Sert thread after this message :)