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Any Tips On Removing Crank Balancer Bolt?


UKGT500
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Well I've been putting this job off for ages while my Ford Racing crank balancer has been sitting in a box and yesterday I decided to do it.

 

I had both coolant reservoirs drained, hoses out of the way, both belts removed and my fan assembly out.

 

I was amazed actually at how much access I had to the balancer bolt - much better than I expected.

 

And here's the problem: I could not, for the life of me, remove that crank bolt.

 

I tried the car in first gear, in reverse, emergency brake pulled right up, tires chocked so they couldn't move and even with the help of the world's longest breaker bar all that was happening was the car was groaning against the gearbox/brakes/tires and was trying to move. (Battery obviously disconnected too).

 

I think it was trying to run me over actually as I could not stop the car moving.

 

So what's the technique? Do I definitely need an impact wrench? Is it best to jam the car in first or reverse?

 

Unfortunately I had to put it all back together as I wanted to take the car out last night. I would say that having dismantled everything carefully I don't reckon it will take long to get it all apart again so am planning it again next weekend.

 

I think I saw somewhere that someone put a wrench on the bolt and cranked the starter but are there any tips on doing this? I don't really fancy that to be honest as knowing my luck the wrench will go through a hose or hard line or fly through my hood or something...

 

Maybe there was a lot of play in the long breaker bar I was using 9it's new and about 3 feet long!) but the crank was turning but I couldn't stop the car moving with it...

 

Thanks to anyone who has done this and has some tips to stop me swearing...

 

Malc

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I have always used an impact gun to remove the bolt and a Balancer puller to pull the balancer

Also use a balancer installer to reinstall the pulley

 

Get a long breaker bar and a cheater bar (a length of pipe that slips over the end of the breaker bar). Put it on the crank bolt and move it to the side of the car that it will hit when you spin the engine over with the starter. Using a remote starter, crank the engine and the crank bolt will break loose.

 

BE DAMN SURE YOU HAVE THE BREAKER BAR ON THE CORRECT SIDE OF THE FRAME!!!

 

I've done it like this a zillion times and never had a problem.

 

 

Phill

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I just did mine and used and impact with no less than 500 torque 750 guns out there will take right off no problem. use a deep well impact 6 point to remove it makes much easier too!!! and not strip it.

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Thanks to all. Think I'll try the 4th gear approach first (why didn't I think of that while I had it all apart?!), then try my long breaker bar with a jack handle on the end.

 

I think an impact wrench is OK as Justin at VMP says it's OK too as long as you use one with some nuts to it.

 

I'm a bit scared cranking it with a wrench on still...

 

Probably have another go this weekend.

 

Malc

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When I replaced mine It was fairly difficult. When I finally got it out the issue was Ford installed the bolt with a large amount of rubberized sealant type material that really increased the torque required to break that stuff free. I was able, with some difficulty to reach in around the bolt head somewhat and try to cut some of the rubber sealant material away.

 

I too tried to use an impact wrench, however my impact was too large to fit without removing the raditor, I caulked all my wheels, set the brake and had the car in 4th gear using a 3 foot breaker bar!

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Might be just me, but not keen on the idea of using an impact gun on the crankshaft, and unnecessarily hammering on it and the crank bearings.

 

The hammering is torsional so there isn't any hammering on the bearings. As far as the torque is concerned, the engine produces over 500 lb.' of torque and it doesn't harm the bearings. Not too many (1/2" drive) impact drivers out there that produce more than the engine does.

 

The reason the starter works so well is, it has a 200:1 ratio (starter pinion vs. flexplate teeth) so it has a tremendous torque advantage over your arm. The biggest caution I will give if you use my method is to have the end of the bar up close to the correct side of the frame because when it cranks, and if you have it on the wrong side....you WILL lose some teeth!

 

 

Phill

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I removed and installed mine without the use if an impact gun but a extension was needed. My balancer was rusty so I painted it. There is a tech note about using tread sealant or RTV on the install if someone out there can remember better than me. The only issue I had was the car wanted to roll way on install. 4th gear will help but I would set the ebrake and chock the tire. I was by myself during the install. -Kevin

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally done this job. Put the car in 6th and a long breaker with an extra jack handle on it did it (was very careful not to hit the hood).

 

Funniest bit was spending $210 equivalent on a 450nm cordless impact gun then finding it wouldn't fit with the deep impact socket I bought unless I pulled the radiator (great).

 

So I gave it one last chance with a huge bar and it came undone, leaving my nice new power tool unused but unable to be returned as I had opened the box. Sure it'll come in useful for something....

 

Yep Ford sure do put some RTV on the bolt and I had to get grips on it and pull it out even after it was completely unthreaded! Also I was supplied with the wrong replacement crank bolt so I've just ordered another one....

post-42446-0-60110100-1397311472_thumb.jpg

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Some vendors supply a longer bolt that you only use for installing the new balancer.

You should be able to get the oem bolt from any Ford parts dealer, but the longer installation high grade bolts are harder to come by.

If you picked up the balancer and bolt from VMP, chances are that you received the longer install bolt.

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Btw, make sure you follow the recommended install/torque procedure too.

It don't believe that is just a simple tighten bolt to recommended torque deal, if I recall correctly it involved a few more steps than that.

It should be on other threads, or maybe someone in the know can post the proper method, if you don't already have it.

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Btw, make sure you follow the recommended install/torque procedure too.

It don't believe that is just a simple tighten bolt to recommended torque deal, if I recall correctly it involved a few more steps than that.

It should be on other threads, or maybe someone in the know can post the proper method, if you don't already have it.

Cheers. The company I bought the crank pulley from supplied the wrong bolt: right thread and tensile strength (10.9) but just way shorter than the stock one. I have just ordered a bolt that is m12 x 1.5 x 100mm (10.9)but meanwhile I have reinstalled the original one, tightened it up, loctited it, silicone it (similar to how the factory did it) and put a yellow blob of paint on the bolt and balancer so I can check if it moves.

 

Just went for a spin and it hasn't moved. Only planning on one gentle trip out tomorrow then the new bolt should be here in a couple of days so that will go on before I start spinning up that 5.4!

 

Thanks for your help, everyone on here.

 

Malc

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Be careful with that.

Having that bolt break on you would ruin your day for sure.

It doesn't necessarily have to be under heavy load to let go too, if that is a reused one-time-use fastener.

The balancer coming off at 2500 rpm or so could do a ton of damage.

Personally I wouldn't take the chance on it, just sayin.

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Be careful with that.

Having that bolt break on you would ruin your day for sure.

It doesn't necessarily have to be under heavy load to let go too, if that is a reused one-time-use fastener.

The balancer coming off at 2500 rpm or so could do a ton of damage.

Personally I wouldn't take the chance on it, just sayin.

I know - a bit naughty took it for a 2gentle" drive to a major Mustang meet today. Ended up hitting the gas a few times! I made a mark with yellow paint on the bolt and checked about 2 times on the way and once back and then when we got back, passing my phone down and taking a picture each time.

 

The bolt hasn't moved but I won't drive it until my new bolt arrives later in the week...

 

Malc

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  • 9 months later...

Just in the process of doing this now myself, decided to go with an ATI 10 over lower.

That bolt was on there tight, with the car in 6th gear and the emergency brake on, an extension on a breaker bar did the trick.

Overall length was around 4 feet, and the amount the bar bent was a bit scary.

Just over 127 mph in the 1/4 mile last fall, hoping to bump that up a bit :)

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Just in the process of doing this now myself, decided to go with an ATI 10 over lower.

That bolt was on there tight, with the car in 6th gear and the emergency brake on, an extension on a breaker bar did the trick.

Overall length was around 4 feet, and the amount the bar bent was a bit scary.

Just over 127 mph in the 1/4 mile last fall, hoping to bump that up a bit :)

Yeah what really amused me was, after trying several times with an extra long breaker bar with the trans in 1st, 2nd, reverse with nothing happening I spent about $250 on a 400+ ft/lb cordless impact wrench. Ironically it would only fit on the bolt if I used a regular socket rather than the long impact socket I had.

 

So I thought I would give it one more go with the bar and "hey let's try it in 6th". Guess what? It just gave a tiny bit of resistance then "donk" off it started to come.

 

Shop wouldn't take the cordless back but that is great for undoing suspension bolts (no good for doing them back up as it doesn't have adjustable torque and I'd be destroying everything with that sucker....

 

Malc

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Never been a fan of impact tools other than the odd removal, always like to use a good quality torque wrench for installation.

Did you get yourself a new bolt and do the torque to yield method?

It seems unusual rather than just torquing to a desired spec, but I guess bolt stretch factors into their reasoning for it.

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The 08 balancer is more difficult to remove than the 07 one, at least in regards to finding a puller that fits.
The 07 uses a bolt-style puller and the 08 requires a 3-jaw puller that can grab on to the little "wings/tabs" in the center.
Found an inexpensive 4" 3-jaw puller locally, but had to modify it so the jaws could swing closer to each other, and be able to fit inside of the balancer without binding.
Also had to make up a push piece to put up against the crank, so the puller's main bolt (with point) could safely push up against.
I ended up using a 13/16" socket with a wrench adapter on it to push against.
Its a little tight working with one of the AC hoses directly in front of the balancer, but it can be done.
I carefully ground the tab on the block down to make clearance for the larger lower & belt, and then cleaned up the face and edges with a small hand file.
Going to use this opportunity to clean up the front of the motor, with the extra room around there at this time.
Still looks pretty clean after 6+ years though, just a bit of belt dust around the idler area.
Need more parts before I can finish the install, a new crank bolt, a Torx 40 plus bit and a 12 point 3/8" socket to be able to put together the ATI balancer assembly.
No rush in any case, good driving weather for us is at least another 3 months away.

08 Balancer Remove.jpg

Tab Grind.jpg

Edited by msb64
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