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How to Remove a Stuck Crankshaft Pulley

Updated July 19, 2017

Crankshaft pulleys are always attached to the harmonic balancer. There are, however, several ways that are used to secure the pulley to the balancer. Some are held on with a series of bolts while others are secured by a centre bolt and alignment pin only. Those that are positioned over a protruding centre hub are the most prone to rusting in place and required some sort of persuasion to extract.

Loosen the belt tensioner using a socket. Remove the accessory belts. Loosen, but do not remove, the lug nuts on the wheel using a lug wrench. Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and place the jack stands under the sub frame. Lower the car onto the stands.

Continue removing the lugs on the wheel and the wheel itself. Remove the inner splash shield to access the pulley using a socket. Spray the bolts with rust penetrant and allow five minutes to penetrate.

Remove the bolts in the crank pulley using a socket. Attempt to pull the pulley off the harmonic balancer. Place a chisel between the back of the pulley and the balancer and hit the chisel with a hammer to separate the two.

Assemble the wheel puller from the kit with the long centre shaft. Place a flat tip on the bottom and place the tip on the centre stud. Place the correct size long bolts through the outside of the puller and into the pre-existing holes in the outer edges of the pulley.

Thread the centre stud in clockwise with a socket and it will draw the pulley off. Place the fingers around the edges of the pulley if it had no holes, and turn the centre stud clockwise to pull withdraw the pulley.

Place a large socket on the centre stud and use a prybar to remove the large centre bolt. Try to pull the pulley loose from the harmonic balancer.

Spray the back and centre of the pulley with rust penetrant.

Place the chisel between the back of the pulley and hammer the tool until the pulley separates from the balancer.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Wheel pulley extractor kit
  • Prybar
  • Ratchet
  • Set of sockets
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Rust penetrant
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About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).