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Thread: Holding flywheel for crankshaft bolt?

  1. #1
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    Holding flywheel for crankshaft bolt?

    Hello all, my timing belt stripped and have everything apart with a new water pump installed (180,000 miles). After putting on the crankshaft pulley to bring the engine back to TDC (should have done this step before removing the lower cover) anyway, can not get the crankshaft bolt loose without losing timing. Hopefully an easy question, how do I hold the flywheel stationary, where do I gain access? I am capable with tools and am not intimidated by the job but have little automotive experience. Manual transmission.

    Thanks for any and all responses in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 60130_P5 View Post
    Hello all, my timing belt stripped and have everything apart with a new water pump installed (180,000 miles). After putting on the crankshaft pulley to bring the engine back to TDC (should have done this step before removing the lower cover) anyway, can not get the crankshaft bolt loose without losing timing. Hopefully an easy question, how do I hold the flywheel stationary, where do I gain access? I am capable with tools and am not intimidated by the job but have little automotive experience. Manual transmission.

    Thanks for any and all responses in advance.
    For me it was best to loosen the crank bolt before setting timing. ( Breaker bar positioned forward of engine bay and cranked it once worked in the absence of compressor ).

    I believe it's not a huge deal to set your crank then pulleys independently. ( I have done this before, my problems stemmed from the idle tensioner spring ).

    If you have the engine on a stand it's easy to brace the flywheel/mount on stand it's self.

    Any help ?

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    Thanks for the response, I bumped the starter to get it loose originally. So I can remove the cover/ pulley and loop that up to the tensioner, then install the lower cover bring it to TDC and put on the idler pulley and hold the cams in place, finish with the belt. Sorry for the terrible run-on sentence. Then once the belt is in place (on the timed cams) just crank that bolt down to 125# without causing any issues. I was under the impression that I had to hold the flywheel while torquing down the crankshaft bolt.

  4. #4
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    The crankshaft pulley has been known to slip, throwing off the timing marks.
    The outer part off the pulley is rubber mounted to the inner part and it can slip or rotate.

    It's better (and easier and more accurate) to use the mark on the crank gear.



    If after setting the timing and you find your pulley and cover marks don't line up, it means your pulley has slipped and you really should replace it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 60130_P5 View Post
    ..., then install the lower cover bring it to TDC and put on the idler pulley and hold the cams in place, finish with the belt...

    Just leave all the parts off,... Line up your three marks,.. And put your belt on.
    Last edited by pcb; 04-28-2018 at 08:14 PM.
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  5. #5
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    This trick might help to hold the cam gears in place while putting on the belt.
    The gears like to spring load themselves about 1-2 teeth out of alignment.

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    pcb---thanks for the insight on the pulley slipping, i was planning to hold the cams just as in the photograph. Once the belt is on and tensioned, it does not matter about about if the crank gear and camshafts turn while tightening the cam bolt, because the engine is timed, correct?

  7. #7
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Correct,.. If the T-belt is on, the cam gears will follow the crank gear and stay in alignment.

    Make sure you turn over your engine at least twice after the belt is on then check the timing again.
    Screw the bolt into the crank gear (no need to install the pulley) and rotate the engine by the crank bolt.
    Mine looked dead on but was off by a tooth after rotating the engine over (I had the damn belt on and off a dozen times till I finally got it right)
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    pcb---thanks again, I just had my eureka moment. I can use the bump start to loosen the crank bolt once the belt is on and aligned without worrying about the flywheel or losing timing. Let everyone know how things go tomorrow.

  9. #9
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    You will need to remove the pulley and cover to get the T-belt on.

    When you thread the bolt into the crank gear ( like in the diagram) it doesn't take much torque to turn over the engine to check your timing so removing the bolt should be easy.

    Tightening the crank bolt to 125 ft/lbs. at the end can be difficult to do.

    The engine will turn over a bit.

    You can put it in gear and or get someone to hit the brakes so you can torque it.

    I just smacked the big socket wrench with a hammer to snug it up. (the shock from a bunch of hits was enough)
    Last edited by pcb; 04-28-2018 at 10:57 PM.
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    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    This is the SST (specialty shop tool) the dealership uses to hold the crank pulley.



    I threaded a bolt into one of the holes then wedged a crowbar between it and the socket to hold the pulley when I took my crank bolt off. I didn't know about using the starter motor to do it.
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    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    When I did mine, I hooked up the tensioner spring to the pin, after I got the belt on.
    I tied a string to the spring so I could pull on it to line up the spring and hook then used a small flathead to pop the spring onto the pin.

    I didn't want to stretch my spring and the tensioner needed to move all the way to get the belt on.

    That spring has been described as the most important $2 part on the car.
    If it gets stretched, you belt will most likely skip teeth.
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    pcb---thanks for all the assistance. hooked the new spring to the tensioner and did not loop it up to the pin, while tightening down the tensioner I crushed the new spring and tried to use the old one but when I turnover the crankshaft it is losing timing. Ordered two new springs so another weekend adventure. Let you know in a few days about the outcome, appreciate the insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 60130_P5 View Post
    pcb---thanks for all the assistance. hooked the new spring to the tensioner and did not loop it up to the pin, while tightening down the tensioner I crushed the new spring and tried to use the old one but when I turnover the crankshaft it is losing timing. Ordered two new springs so another weekend adventure. Let you know in a few days about the outcome, appreciate the insight.
    Those springs are a pain. It helps to have an assistant when doing, I've had good luck sliding belt on and then gently easing the tensioner from below once it's timed. It's taken me a few goes to get correct, but the spring is $8. Lol.

    Good luck, it's tricky !

  14. #14
    The Diagram Dude pcb's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 60130_P5 View Post
    ,... and tried to use the old one but when I turnover the crankshaft it is losing timing,...
    Don't do that !!

    That spring is far too important to reuse an old one.

    It's not losing timing because of the spring,.. You didn't have everything lined up proper...

    Try to keep a bit of tension on the string so the spring doesn't fall down then get crushed.

    I had my belt on and off a dozen times...
    If you're always off by one tooth then set your cog one tooth ahead...
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  15. #15
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    To hold the pulley when putting the crank bolt back on you can use a chain wrench, always works great. I always keep a spare (junk) belt cut up for it... wrap it around the crank pulley and then put the chain wrench on it and it keeps the chain wrench from gouging into the grooves for the belt.

    Works great for removing the bolt too, but i always find it easier to rest my ratchet on the frame rail and bump the starter

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