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How to Use a Harmonic Balancer Puller

by Joe McElroy

A harmonic balancer, or vibration dampener, attaches to the front of the crankshaft of a car's engine. It is designed to reduce the vibrations of the engine, both making it quieter and extending its useful life. The balancer has a metal exterior, usually aluminum, but is mounted to the crankshaft with rubber, which is part of its interior. The device is particularly difficult to remove without a special tool, called a harmonic balancer puller, which is available in auto parts stores for less than $50, as of 2011.

Slacken tension on the belts that surround the lower pulley of the engine. The number of the belts vary, depending on how many accessories the engine powers. Loosen the bolts that attach each accessory to the engine and push the accessories toward the engine to reduce slack.

Remove the belt of each accessory from the lower pulley of the engine. The lower pulley has one groove for each accessory belt. Completely remove the belts from the lower pulley by pulling each of them away from it.

Remove the retaining bolts that attach the lower pulley to the harmonic balancer. The number of bolts can vary depending on the type of car, but usually the pulley is attached with three bolts. When you have finished removing the bolts, remove the pulley.

Remove the retaining bolt from the harmonic balancer. The balancer is attached to the crankshaft with a retaining bolt and washer. Do not remove or loosen the washer after you have used a wrench to remove the retaining bolt.

Attach the puller to the harmonic balancer. The main metal piece of the puller is often called a duck's foot and resembles a capital "I" and "Y" superimposed on each other. One side of the duck's foot is flat and the other is curved. The flat side should face the engine when you align it. The large threaded bolt of the puller should be screwed into the center of the duck's foot.

Locate the correctly sized bolts from the puller kit that will fit the threaded holes at the front of the balancer. Insert these holes into the slots of the duck's foot and screw each into the threaded holes of the balancer. Make sure that they are each screwed in the same distance, so that you will pull it straight.

Turn the large center bolt of the puller clockwise very slowly with a wrench until the harmonic balancer has been completely pulled from the crankshaft.

Tip

  • You can also use the harmonic balancer to remove other engine parts that have threaded, tapped holes, such as fly wheels, crankshaft pulleys and steering wheels.

Items you will need

About the Author

Joe McElroy has been writing on politics and culture since 1983. His articles have appeared in a diverse array of publications, including the "Chicago Daily Observer" and "Immaculata" magazine. McElroy works occasionally as a strategic consultant to federal candidates. He majored in American history at Northwestern University.

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