The physically easiest way to get the bolt loose
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An impact wrench. The best
method by far.
DeWalt 325lb electric impact wrenches are
available from any industrial rental place for less than $20 per day.
You might have to buzz back-and-forth (tighten for a bit, loosen for a
bit, etc.) for a minute or so, but it will probably eventually come
free. Mine did, and I live in the Rust Belt. These are very handy as
they require no $1,000 compressor.
If the bolt does not let
go no matter
how long you buzz with the DeWalt, you'll need some heavier artillery:
An air impact wrench backed
up by a big compressor. If
regular 1/2" drive air wrench won't work, try the Big Bertha of impact wrenches: A
3/4" drive 600 ft-lb
job. If even Big Bertha fails, or you can't get your hands on a
gun that big, a blow or two on the crankshaft bolt with an air hammer
(rentable) will break the seal that's locking things up. Don't
worry, you won't damage anything by whacking it with the air hammer.
Garages do this on a daily basis. You can even try a hard whack with a
regular 16oz claw hammer, but don't miss, or you'll bend something
If you don't have an air
compressor, you can go to a nearby garage and ask them to buzz the bolt
loose for you, then snug it up again, just enough for you to get home.
Might cost you five or ten bucks or so, and the mechanic/garage may not
even charge you if they don't have to put the car on the hoist. Worth a
The beauty of any
impact gun -- air or electric -- is that
because of how it works, the crankshaft and the engine itself will not
move very much at all as you
attack the bolt. This means that your careful TDC setting won't be
disturbed, and you don't need to worry about trying to keep the crank
from turning while you work.
methods: Not as desirable, but if you have no access to the
electric impact wrench or air
tools, the only way
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With manual tools, a new
How to stop the
engine from turning when you apply the necessary torque with a
half-inch drive tommybar whose handle has been extended with a length
of pipe. Just having the car in gear won't cut it. Jamming a big
screwdriver into the teeth on the flywheel works sometimes, but it's a
good way to risk tearing up the ring gear.
One possible serious problem with any manual approach to removing the crank bolt is damage to the engine mounts. Since you'll be applying a large amount of force over a large amount of time, you will end up pulling the engine in the direction of your efforts. Pull it enough and I'd wonder if you would run the risk of over-stressing the mounts. In the majority of cases, just pulling with all your might is futile, anyway. I'd try an impact gun, or the pulley-holding tools mentioned below before simply hauling on it with a breaker bar.
Luckily for us, Honda has
thought about this. Honda has used a
number of pulley designs over the years, and they have included features on the
are designed to receive pulley holding tools. These tools are available commercially,
or are easily
constructable by you.
The point of these tools
is to keep the crank pulley still, not only for the obvious reason that
you can't undo a bolt that won't keep still, but also so that the
mounts are not stressed.
A warning here: It's my
understanding that there are aftermarket shop manuals out there that
suggest the use of a strap-type "belt wrench" to hold the pulley still.
This is a bad idea. At least some Honda crank pulleys contain a rubber
vibration-damper insert. A belt-type wrench can damage that.
pulleys with a hexagonal center aperture
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For Hondas with a hex
aperture in the
pulley, the proper way is to use the tool pictured at the front of the
shop manual. It's essentially a length of hexagonal pipe with a handle
welded to it. It will fit into the hex hole in the pulley and allow a
deep socket of the proper size to pass though and get hold of the bolt.
I don't know how many sizes of hex Honda used. The text below deals ONLY with the 50mm (2") size. Any advice from readers?
With the prevalence of Hondas on the road today, more and more tools outfits are offering pulley holders. They've become so mainstream that they're often readily available at consumer outlets like AutoZone, NAPA and Canadian Tire.
And below are more:
|These two came from Canadian Tire in Canada, photos
courtesy of Curly. I saw
identical ones at AutoZone, Kragen and Pep Boys in California.
The photo here shows both the hex tool on the left and the "ring of holes" tool on the right.
Apparently the blister packs have text on their back that indicates the models that they fit.
Cost is around $20~$30 each,
|This tool is very close (if not identical) to the one
shown in the autopart.com
link above. The view here is from the side, so the hex opening is up
You don't have to buy a tool though. If you're adventurous, you can roll your own...
Two posters, "jamieson"
and "Curly" combine here to
offer this clever version of
the Honda "special tool".
|How It Was Done, from "jamieson":
"The local hardware store sells a 1 1/2" threaded plumbing adapter with a hex flange on one side of it. With a little bit of filing, the hex flange fits into the 50mm hex depression in the crankshaft pulley. Then I took a pipe wrench and cranked it down on the plumbing adapter threads sticking out of the crankshaft pulley. It works just like the Honda crankshaft pulley holder tool, only costs a lot less."
More detail from "Curly":
"It's not actually called a 2" fitting, but it is 2" across. ANY plumbing shop has them, just get the one with the largest internal thread, since your 19mm deep socket has to fit inside. You'll also need a 17 mm _DEEP_ socket for the motor mount. Make sure you have it ahead of time. I 'painted' the faces with jumbo marker, then used a bench grinder to grind off about 1/32" off all faces, so it would fit (same tool for first generation Odyssey), BTW. "I also removed the outside threads, but that was for looks.
A buddy welded it to the steel bar, then blew the hole thru the bar for the socket to go thru. "
This is simple enough that pretty much anybody with an acetylene torch or MIG welder should be able to stick these parts together for you and cut a hole in the middle of the bar. A muffler shop would be ideal for this. The hole in the middle has to be large enough to allow a socket to pass through.
|There's another way
to make a tool from plumbing parts, one that doesn't require welding. Safety Steve shows us how:
"I liked the [other] homemade pulley tools you showcased, but I don't like to weld in my garage. So I used all plumbing parts. Start with the 1.5" adapter, fit it into a tee, and add a short pipe for a handle. Removing the nut tightens the adapter into the tee hard enough so that it won't unscrew when you use it to tighten the pulley bolt, since it takes way more torque to get it off than what is required to tighten it. Still a cheap tool!"
pulleys with a ring of holes around their center aperture
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|Yes, you've seen this
in the hex tools section above.
The one on the right is the one for the
"ring of holes" style of pulley.
|jim beam supplied these pictures
of an expensive professional tool.
It appears that your socket would fit through the large center lug on the tool, holding it centered while the pin locks in one of the perimeter holes.
What kind of damage can occur
if the wrong tool is used?
jim beam shows here, in this
How to tighten the bolt back up again
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