How to Remove the Harmonic Balancer from a Chevrolet

by John Stevens

Because engines create a substantial amount of power, they also generate a tremendous amount of vibration. Left unchecked, these vibrations will quickly rattle the engine apart. The harmonic balancer, sometimes referred to as the "vibration dampener," is responsible for absorbing these vibrations to a tolerable level. Removing a harmonic balancer is a fairly straightforward task, particularly on a Chevrolet, as a Chevy balancer is easily accessed once the lower drive pulley is removed.

Remove the accessory drive belts from the lower drive pulley. The lower pulley is bolted to the front of the harmonic balancer. This pulley transfers the energy produced by the crankshaft to the engine's accessories, such as the power steering pump, alternator and air conditioning compressor, via a number of belts. To remove the belts, locate each accessory's mounting brackets which are used to hold the accessory to the engine. Each mounting bracket features a number of bolts. Loosen the mounting bolts with a wrench, then push the accessory towards the engine to slacken the drive belt. Once slackened, the drive belts can be pulled away from the lower pulley.

Remove the lower drive pulley from the harmonic balancer. Chevrolet pulleys use three bolts to hold the pulley to the face of the harmonic balancer. Remove the three bolts with a wrench, then pull the pulley off of the harmonic balancer.

Remove the harmonic balancer's single retaining bolt. The retaining bolt is located in the center of the harmonic balancer and is used to hold the harmonic balancer to the end of the crankshaft. Before entering the harmonic balancer, the bolt is inserted through a large washer, which is used to evenly distribute the pressure created by the bolt against the crankshaft. Remove the bolt with a wrench, taking care not to loose the washer once the bolt is removed.

Assemble the harmonic balancer puller. A harmonic balancer puller consists of a large metal piece shaped like a triangle, a single threaded rod and a number of different sized bolts. Insert the threaded rod into the threads located in the center of the harmonic balancer puller, then twist the rod in a clockwise direction until the rod threads through the center of the puller.

Attach the puller to the harmonic balancer. The puller attaches to the face of the harmonic balancer in the same manner that the lower pulley attached to the balancer. Harmonic balancer puller kits come with several sets of bolts of varying size. Only three of the bolts are required to remove the Chevrolet balancer. Find the set of bolts which fits the three holes that were used to attach the pulley to the balancer, then place the puller against the face of the balancer. Insert one bolt through each corner of the puller and into the balancer. Tighten each bolt with a wrench.

Remove the harmonic balancer. To remove the balancer, turn the threaded rod which runs through the center of the puller in a clockwise direction with a wrench. The threaded rod will eventually contact the tip of the crankshaft. Continue to turn the threaded rod until the puller slides off of the crankshaft. As the threaded rod pushes against the crankshaft, the three bolts which attach the puller to the balancer will pull the balancer off of the crankshaft.

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About the Author

John Stevens has been a writer for various websites since 2008. He holds an Associate of Science in administration of justice from Riverside Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino, and a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School. Stevens is a lawyer and licensed real-estate broker.