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rickyrt 08-24-2010 07:12 AM

Harmonic Balancer Bolt Stuck
Hi everyone,

First time posting - please help...

In the middle of changing the timing belt on my 1999 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 Petrol.

Everything is fine - except the bolt on the harmonic balancer/crankshaft pulley bolt is stuck on completely.

Impact gun won't take it. Don't have space to get a breaker bar big enough to take it off.

What are my options?

will consider grinding the head off the bolt - anyone done this? How easy was it to get the rest of the bolt out afterwards?

Also will consider taking engine out as last resort. But even this won't guarantee getting it off....

Cam is locked by the pulley itself.

Have sold the car and advertised it as timing belt recently replaced - guy is coming tomorrow to pick it up...

please help...

disciplerocks 08-24-2010 07:38 AM

Put your breaker bar on the bolt and rest it on the suspension. Then unplug the coil pack and crank it over. That will knock it loose.
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rickyrt 08-24-2010 07:40 AM

Hi Thanks for your reply.

Tried it already - doesn't budge it.

Any more suggestions please keep them coming - running out of time...

disciplerocks 08-24-2010 07:42 AM

Wow really? Ok then sorry.
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rickyrt 08-24-2010 07:47 AM

No worries - yeh at my wits end on this one....

At the moment can see only 2 options remaining - take the engine out or grind off the bolt.

Neither are options i want to take...

Can't believe Ford would design like this...

I'm a big guy as well - 6'5" - no problem with the ammount of torque i'm putting on this one...

disciplerocks 08-24-2010 08:17 AM

The first time it comes off, you can't do it by hand. And unless you can keep the motor from turning over, then an impact isnt going to help much. The way I suggested is the only way I know of taking it out the first time. And its the same as the how-to on here so I don't know what else to tell you.
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Egz 08-24-2010 09:45 AM

I just hope you have better luck than this guy:

whynotthinkwhynot 08-24-2010 09:54 AM


Originally Posted by disciplerocks (Post 3385552)
Put your breaker bar on the bolt and rest it on the suspension. Then unplug the coil pack and crank it over. That will knock it loose.
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That's how I do it. If that didn't work, and the car was a manual transmission, I'd chock the wheels and put it into gear to keep the motor from moving. That might give enough resistance to help the impact do it's magic.

If not, then remove the starter and see if there's some way you can secure the flywheel. That is much easier to do on AT's where you have holes in the flex plate to grab.

Ford makes a special tool for this IIRC, but I think you have to remove the transmission to get it to work. If I was faced with that predicament, I'm not sure which one would cause more trouble- drilling out the bolt to remove it, or removing the transmission to secure the crank.

rickyrt 08-24-2010 11:10 AM


Forgot about that poor guy from Hull, didn't realize his thread was on here....laughed my ass off reading through that a few months ago....was gonna go down the same route and buy that crankshaft locking tool myself till i read his account....

He made me give up at the time - put it all back together - left it for a couple of months, now i am selling it sent it to the local mechanics...and laughed in the face of their arrogance when they told me it would be a piece of piss.....

sure enough the impact gun in the garage wouldn't take it and they came back with their tails between their legs after i'd told them no way they are gonna shift it.........

now unfortuneately it is back to me to find a way...

gonna try the lowering the car onto the jack techniquie forgot about that one...

actually have a homemade pulley locking tool which locks it no problem....

and it is still not shifting - guess this is the problem of leaving it 11.5 years and not 10....

whynotthinkwhynot 08-24-2010 10:46 PM

Wow... I never read all of that. I've never had that happen to me- not that it couldn't. That would be a total bugger too in a FWD where if you did remove the transmission- there's not much left holding the engine in place.

When all else fails- it's new (but used) motor time.

Have you thought about heating it in case there is some thread lock in there? It's a shame there's not an easy way (without a possible oil fire) to get heat to the crank itself as that would be the way to assist removing that bolt.

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