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How to remove crank pulley


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17 replies to this topic

#1 ndu

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:26 PM

I am in the process of changing my timing belt and water pump. I have losened my crank pulley bolt. But my crank pulley seems to refuse to come off easily. I have tried screw driver to pry it off but do not want to force it too mcuh because I do not want to damage the timing belt cover. I have read some posts here warn people not to use pulley puller....I am just wondering how you guy took it off the crank shaft.....

#2 grossgary

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 12:24 AM

usually grabbing one side with one hand, the other side with the other hand will work for me. gradually just keep wiggling it/rocking it back and forth. at first sometimes it seems like it's not even moving but after a bit it will eventually work loose.

be very careful, and don't do this if you don't know what you're doing but i have used a prybar to gently work it off. i'd get as close to the crank as possible without touching the crank or anything else of importance. sometimes the first time taking one off is really tight, after that it's never as hard later.

if it's a harmonic balancer do not use a pulley puller, unless you know what you're doing. in generaly i don't think you should need a pulley puller for anything subaru related unless you're inside an automatic transmission.

did anything strange happen to the front of the motor before?

#3 ndu

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 12:53 AM

no, nothing really happened at the front before other than I have to replace the water pump....

I used two screw drivers on either side of the pulley and try to work it lose but it did not work so far...there must be a better way than this....? my pulley seems realy tight and I am really afraid of damaging the cover....

any suggestions? any body used puller before. I have seen some boday saying pullers damaged their pulleys....

#4 ballitch

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 02:44 AM

use some penetrating oil and soak it good, may just be gummed in there, then use a soft rubber mallet and smack it decently all the way around, should loosen up, if it doesnt then i dont know.





~Josh~

#5 ndu

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 07:53 AM

I used some penetrating oil and still no go.....I am alsking for any suggestions.

#6 Tiny Clark

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 08:15 AM

A pulley removal tool. I used one with two jaws, worked fine.

#7 quocfixescars

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 05:52 PM

Thought this might help you if you should have any further issues.

http://www.main.expe...1c5da5.jsp.html

#8 bearbalu

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 08:38 PM

I had similiar isssues. I could not figure out how to use a pulley removal tool - doesn't seem they are desiged for Subaru.

I finally used PB Blaster and it popped right out.

#9 BigMattyD

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 08:56 PM

I used a 2-jaw puller, but ended up breaking a small portion of the rearmost rib on the pulley, so I gave that up and used a box end wrench to pry between the timing cover and the pulley.


I cracked the timing cover after a few tries, so I figured what the hell, and got more aggressive, since I already knew I sacrificed the cover. I tried not to do any damage to the timing components, so I worked slowly and carefully. I found a used t-belt center cover at a junkyard for 15 bucks.

The pulley was stuck very tight. after I got it off, I found there was some gunk cementing it to the shaft. Could have been a little bit of oil or grease worked its way in and cooked. I cleaned the parts afterward and gave them a slight buffing with some ultra fine steel wool.


It was well below freezing when I changed my timing belt (1st week of Jan) so I also used a small propane torch to gently heat the center of the pulley to help break it loose. I probably heated it to about 200 degrees, If that. I didn't want to overheat it and cause more problems.

I also used PB Blaster to begin with, but a lot of force and patience were still required..

Matt D

96 Legacy L 2.2 MT AWD 116,000 miles

P.S. That was the hardest part of the disassembly process. Everything else went well. If you decide to change the oil seals, be prepared for more frustration!!


Thanks to all the help I got on this message board!!

#10 ndu

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 01:21 PM

After a lot of effort and bad language, I eventually got it off without damaging the timing cover....I used a lot of penetrating oil and let it sit overnight (what choices do I have?). I tried to remove it several times and stopped because of exhaustion. I think the way to do it is to use a screw driver work on both side of the pulley alternately, each time you can not use too much force otherwise you are going to damage the cover. This is a lengthy process and I think what a stupid design is this from Subaru. It is apparent that Subaru Engineers did not think about maintainability issues when they did their pulley design. Sure, if engine is fairly new, it should not be a big problem, But look at my engine of 12 years old, it is obvious the pulley was never been pulled before. The pulley was stuck very tight. after I got it off, I found there was some gunk cementing it to the shaft. The pulley was designed such that there is no easy way to use a puller without potentially damaging it (there are no holes with thread, the rim is so thin you can easily damage it)! What a stupid design. I did the same job for my Toyota and their pulley design was much better with tow pulleys (one for alternator, water pump and the other one for power steering and A/C) bolted together by 4 bolts. You remove those 4 bolts and you have threads to use pulley pullers-It is none issue at all! I am a engineer responsible for maintainability issues for the system we provide. There are requirements (the term for this is called MTTF "mean time to repair") for those kind of things. Subaru engineers did not think about those things carefully or may be they only thought about newer cars! The repair manual did not help much either! The Haynes manual I have show that the car they took apart are almost brand new! The point is, little consideration when they design the car can make many peoples life much easier! For me, I wasted so much time for almost nothing! also, simple things like these Subaru can not get it right, I am not sure they can get other things right either. I worked on Toyota a lot and I know because of the space limitations, it is not always easy to work on them, but after a while, you realized there is always enough room and there are a lot small things make your repair life easier. It is obvious Toyota engineers thought about them in some detail and I always appreciated it after a while.

OK, enough complaints, I guess I have to run off my steam......I guess my next step is to replace the water pump. I have a question, do I need to remove the cam sprocket and cover behind it? Also, since I am this far, I also think about replacing all the front oil seals (even though there is no oil leak now). But my bad experience with the pulley make me think twice.....can somebody share their process of getting them out? I read some posts suggesting drill a holes and drive in a screw, but I do not think I have enough room for a electrical drill there...also can you get the seals out by using a screw drive with radiator on? the space seem to me a concern....

But first, I need to take a rest. I am still having muscle pains. I guess my first working experience with Subaru is not particularly good...I hope the car will treat me well after I am done......The timing belt seems very worn with cracks and yellow dusts, I think it the the original belt.....The car is no good chape otherwise.


I am really, really disappointed with Subaru on this one!

Sorry for a stupid question, what is PB Blaster?


#11 BigMattyD

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 03:21 PM

PB Blaster is a type of penetrating oil.


I changed my water pump, too, so I removed the radiator/fan assembly since I was going to replace the hoses too. That gave me a couple extra inches of room, and it is really easy to remove. There are only two bolts on the top of the radiator holder. Once those are removed, the whole assembly lifts out.

I removed the water pump after I had already removed the cam sprockets and rear covers. I don't think you need to, though. I can't honestly remember.

To remove the cam seals, I used a small jewelers or precision flathead screwdriver and poked it into the soft part of the seal, digging into the seal (damaging it) and prying it out, being careful not to scratch the shaft or seating area. It took many jabs and pries over and over around the seal to loosen it. I used penetrating oil to help slide it out. Once I got the seal out far enough that it started to protrude past the engine block, I could get leverage with a large flathead screwdriver. By the time I got to that point, it was easy. I spent about 15 minutes of poking and prodding to remove each seal. You have to be patient.

I hope this info helps. Remember to replace the thermostat and hoses when you change the H20 pump. They are cheap.

Matt D

#12 MorganM

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 04:29 PM

Yeah those main crank pullies can be a PITA. Who needs a gear puller? You got it off with out one :) It would have been easier to take off had it been serviced properly before. Timing belts arent ment to last 12 years. I dunno if you can blame Subaru for lack of prevenative maintanace by owners :(

Of course the Toyota one is designed better. Thats how Toyota is :drunk:

#13 97subaru936

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 06:49 PM

Matt D


You can find PB Blaster at Advance Auto parts and it is like acid to rust but stinks like 10 day old socks.

Charley

#14 john tomasiewicz

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 05:21 PM

After a lot of effort and bad language, I eventually got it off without damaging the timing cover....I used a lot of penetrating oil and let it sit overnight (what choices do I have?). I tried to remove it several times and stopped because of exhaustion. I think the way to do it is to use a screw driver work on both side of the pulley alternately, each time you can not use too much force otherwise you are going to damage the cover. This is a lengthy process and I think what a stupid design is this from Subaru. It is apparent that Subaru Engineers did not think about maintainability issues when they did their pulley design. Sure, if engine is fairly new, it should not be a big problem, But look at my engine of 12 years old, it is obvious the pulley was never been pulled before. The pulley was stuck very tight. after I got it off, I found there was some gunk cementing it to the shaft. The pulley was designed such that there is no easy way to use a puller without potentially damaging it (there are no holes with thread, the rim is so thin you can easily damage it)! What a stupid design. I did the same job for my Toyota and their pulley design was much better with tow pulleys (one for alternator, water pump and the other one for power steering and A/C) bolted together by 4 bolts. You remove those 4 bolts and you have threads to use pulley pullers-It is none issue at all! I am a engineer responsible for maintainability issues for the system we provide. There are requirements (the term for this is called MTTF "mean time to repair") for those kind of things. Subaru engineers did not think about those things carefully or may be they only thought about newer cars! The repair manual did not help much either! The Haynes manual I have show that the car they took apart are almost brand new! The point is, little consideration when they design the car can make many peoples life much easier! For me, I wasted so much time for almost nothing! also, simple things like these Subaru can not get it right, I am not sure they can get other things right either. I worked on Toyota a lot and I know because of the space limitations, it is not always easy to work on them, but after a while, you realized there is always enough room and there are a lot small things make your repair life easier. It is obvious Toyota engineers thought about them in some detail and I always appreciated it after a while.

OK, enough complaints, I guess I have to run off my steam......I guess my next step is to replace the water pump. I have a question, do I need to remove the cam sprocket and cover behind it? Also, since I am this far, I also think about replacing all the front oil seals (even though there is no oil leak now). But my bad experience with the pulley make me think twice.....can somebody share their process of getting them out? I read some posts suggesting drill a holes and drive in a screw, but I do not think I have enough room for a electrical drill there...also can you get the seals out by using a screw drive with radiator on? the space seem to me a concern....

But first, I need to take a rest. I am still having muscle pains. I guess my first working experience with Subaru is not particularly good...I hope the car will treat me well after I am done......The timing belt seems very worn with cracks and yellow dusts, I think it the the original belt.....The car is no good chape otherwise.


I am really, really disappointed with Subaru on this one!

Sorry for a stupid question, what is PB Blaster?





PB Blaster is an aerosol can of very effective penetrating oil/solvent. It works
great, especially if you can give a little impact to the stuck together assembly. Strike the part with a soft metal hammer,or a plastic hammer filled with metal shot ( like BBs ). Back up the part you are striking with something heavy so the force of the blow is applied to the stuck part. The vibrations and the PB Blaster will do the job. If not then you must consider the 'flame wrench' !

#15 xyzgeoman

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 02:14 PM

Even with the radiator out and a puller I still had to resort to the flame. She was on there! Glad you got it off.

#16 scoobyclimbs

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 01:04 PM

I used two large bolts to stick in the holes(not threaded) and a prybar . then wedged between the two and rocked back and forth changing locations . it took me about 15min then it finally walked out. This was on an '03 outback ! I then dressed the shaft with emery cloth and a touch of anti seize.

#17 grossgary

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 10:59 PM

prybar is the way to go. use 2x4's, bolts or whatever to gain leverage and avoid pressure on the timing cover. screwdrivers are two small and not stiff enough to get good leverage behind the pulley. they work, but they aren't very efficient. you'd be amazed how much more leverage a prybar offers you, they are designed for that. i used one two days ago to pull a crank pulley off.

#18 sussman00

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Posted 22 February 2005 - 08:11 AM

I found myself in a similar situation. What worked for me was two large screwdrivers (and I mean large screwdrivers - 12'' plus) on either side of the pulley with the handles on the bottom. I just alternated lifting with each screw driver until the pulley was worked off. Worked like a charm. Before trying that I spent about 30 minutes prying from just about every direction I could think of with no luck.




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