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Old September 15th, 2008, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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removing and installing harmonic balancer/front oil seal

hi
I was wondering if someone could explain to me how to remove and install the harmonic balancer and front oil seal on a 425. According to my repair manual I need some very specific tools but I doubt they are still readily available to be bought. Do I absolutely need these special tools? I have a harmonic balancer puller which screws into the harmonic balancer and an impact wrench as well as impact sockets. What other tools will I need? I want to change the gasket between the timing chain cover and the block because it is leaking, and I also want to paint the timing chain cover and harmonic balancer. I'm also planning on removing the oil pan, painting it and replacing the gasket. Anyways thanks for any help you can send my way.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Balancer puller with the right bolts is all you need. The rest is hand tools
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Old September 15th, 2008, 10:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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.....or if you are cheap like me, 2 prybars - one on each side of the balancer and slowly pry forwards. I dont care what other people say about this method as it has always worked for me.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hmm ok...but how about getting it back on? Do you need to heat the balancer in order for it to slide back on or do you just hammer it home? Also, the front oil seal can be removed and a new one installed properly without any special tools? Thanks
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am a firm believer in the proper tool for the proper job, A puller is cheap and I recommend. The balancer is actually a 2 piece unit and a pry bar on the outside of the balancer could damage the rubber that holds the 2 pieces together. An install tool of some sort is also recommended else you will be hammering the balancer and also moving the crank to the rear a bit and possibly cause a bit of damage....40 dollars for a couple of tools that you will always have could save off problems down the road. The seal in the timing cover is no sweat. Hammer out the old one...no matter if it gets destroyed. The new one can be hammered in as well with a large socket or the like on the outer shell of seal. I usually wipe some permatex on the metal ring before driving it in place....No heat on anything here....clean and a bit of grease on the crank will help things slide.
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Last edited by Oldsmaniac; September 16th, 2008 at 08:02 AM. Reason: added info
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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agreed! Never pry a balancer off. Run to Sears or autozone and pick up the right tool cheap.

As for installer its very easy to make one with a piece of all thread and few nuts and thick washer.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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agreed! Never pry a balancer off. Run to Sears or autozone and pick up the right tool cheap.

As for installer its very easy to make one with a piece of all thread and few nuts and thick washer.
Liberal use of grease on the washers will make life easier, too.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...I have a harmonic balancer puller which screws into the harmonic balancer...
There's big bold letters in the book that say don't pry on the balancer. Great idea about the threaded rod, nuts, and washers...thats what I'll use to put the balancer back on along with some grease. Thanks for the help!
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Old September 16th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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There's big bold letters in the book that say don't pry on the balancer. Great idea about the threaded rod, nuts, and washers...thats what I'll use to put the balancer back on along with some grease. Thanks for the help!
The problem with the threaded rod is that you might have trouble finding one with the correct thread size to fit the crank snout. I bought a balancer installation tool and it comes with a variety of replaceable end tips to fit the crank snouts of most engines.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The problem with the threaded rod is that you might have trouble finding one with the correct thread size to fit the crank snout. I bought a balancer installation tool and it comes with a variety of replaceable end tips to fit the crank snouts of most engines.
Any bolt supply will have or can quickly get what you need as far as all thread. I have a few sizes in my box for various motors. The grease on the washers and moly lube on the threads works wonders too.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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yeah that is a pretty unique looking bolt and thread but I know where theres a bolt place nearby so I should be all set. I'm pretty lucky I got it off...on my friend's olds 350 the center bolt won't crack loose whatsoever.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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on my friend's olds 350 the center bolt won't crack loose whatsoever.
Thats what impact wrenches or long breaker bars are for.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The impact wrench was no match for this stuck bolt...haven't tried the breaker bar
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The impact wrench was no match for this stuck bolt...haven't tried the breaker bar
Not enough air pressure???
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It's crappy and its hard on the gun. When I was busting tires for a living, and ran into nuts that would not break free, We would either load up the gun with oil, jack up the pressure or both. Not something to make a habit of, but works in a pinch...usually. Also you might want to try tightening the nut and then loosen it, I don't know why it worked, but it did
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Are those balancers not set up the same way as an Olds 350? I have been able to slide it on and off with no tools. Of course the bolt is a different story when I have no impact
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Are those balancers not set up the same way as an Olds 350? I have been able to slide it on and off with no tools. Of course the bolt is a different story when I have no impact
All Olds balancers, including the ones on 350 motors, are pressed on. If yours is loose, someone has honed it to slip fit. Unfortunately, this looseness defeats the purpose of a harmonic balancer by preventing crank harmonics from being transferred to the balancer.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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All Olds balancers, including the ones on 350 motors, are pressed on. If yours is loose, someone has honed it to slip fit. Unfortunately, this looseness defeats the purpose of a harmonic balancer by preventing crank harmonics from being transferred to the balancer.
Would there have been anything abnormal that I would have noticed when I took apart the engine? Would that just cause a vibration problem or would it damage anything in the engine?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I remember removing several Olds balancers from relatively new engines with my bare hands back when I was working at the dealership, so I checked the manual. The closest manual I came across was a 1972, and it states the crankshaft to balancer clearance as ".001" tight to .0007" loose." I agree that's not very loose, but if no one has 'boogered' the key or the balancer, they sometimes will slip off after you remove the bolt, and still be within factory tolerance.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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hmm ok...but how about getting it back on? Do you need to heat the balancer in order for it to slide back on or do you just hammer it home? Also, the front oil seal can be removed and a new one installed properly without any special tools? Thanks
Heating them in boiling water is a trick I learned from my auto shop teacher. He would demonstrate by having us try to get a balancer on cold, of course it wouldn't slip on without persuasion (BFH). Then he would put it in boiling water for a minute then grab it with some tongs and rags and the thing would slide right on, we all had a turn and it works. I did it with mine and it didn't hurt anything, now a torch would melt the rubber I would think.
I worked at a gas station and the mechanic would do the same thing. We cooked giant Kielbasa for lunch in the same pot he used to boil balancers, the best I ever had.

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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:28 PM
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