How To Remove Crankshaft Pulley Without A Puller?

Have you ever imagined what a bad crankshaft pulley can be like in your vehicle? It’s horrible, right? Since the crankshaft pulley is connected to the harmonic balancer, which is responsible for absorbing vibrations of your car’s engine during faster acceleration while you drive, a bad crankshaft pulley will alter the harmonic balancer’s ability to absorb your car’s engine vibration as you accelerate faster while driving.

Suppose you have also experienced power steering pump failure, alternator failure, and irregular idle engine speed. In that case, these are signs that you need to replace your vehicle’s crankshaft pulley, which is most likely responsible for those challenges.

Among many components of your car’s engine, the crankshaft pulley is a vital component due to its responsibility of distributing engine power to other systems of your car. If you have a bad crankshaft pulley that needs to be replaced and you don’t have a pulley removal tool, sufficient information has been provided on how to remove a crankshaft pulley without a puller.

How To Remove Crankshaft Pulley Without A Puller

How to Remove Crankshaft Pulley without a Puller

It is essential to ensure that you take safety measures as you prepare to remove your vehicle’s crankshaft pulley without a puller. Remember, “safety first.” You need to wear your safety gear, hand gloves, and eyeglasses for the protection of your eyes. Then, park your vehicle on plain, leveled ground, turn off the engine, and engage the parking brake. After that, you can engage in the following steps on how to pull a crankshaft pulley without a puller.

Step 1: Take off the serpentine belt

First of all, you need to remove the serpentine belt, also known as the drive belt or accessories/ alternator belt, to access the harmonic balancer. To do this, take off the car’s engine cover and the shrouds or plastic guards used to cover the engine working area. Then, locate the serpentine belt beneath the spring tension to exert pressure on the belt, which helps ensure that it is secured.

After that, use a wrench socket to push the tensioner toward the opposite direction of the spring to enable its release. Shift the belt off the pulley closest to it. Then proceed to remove the drive belt from the pulley at the bottom and other pulleys. This is also the first step in how to remove the harmonic balancer.

Step 2: Identify the center bolt

The center bolt can be found in front of the crankshaft. It is responsible for holding the harmonic balancer in its position. The center bolt is very tight, and you would need some other tools to enable you to loosen it.

Step 3: Loosen/remove the center bolt.

Use a socket to loosen the center bolt by breaking free the bolt with a hammer after placing the socket on the bolt. If this isn’t working, you can also place the socket on the bolt tightly and start the car’s engine to rotate and loosen the bolt. This strategy works faster when the bolt is very tight.

Step 4: Remove the crankshaft pulley

Although most people use a crankshaft pulley removal tool or a puller for removing a bad crankshaft, you can also use a cheater bar and a socket to remove the crankshaft pulley. Fix the socket on the bolt inside and stick the cheater bar on the end of the socket. Then, snap it in. Turn the cheater bar in the same direction as the engine. Ensure to find out which way the car’s engine turns.

Endeavor to wedge it against a solid metal in the engine compartment. As you crank the engine, the bolt will start to turn since the bolt holds the crankshaft pulley as a right-hand thread. After that, put your car key in the ignition and turn it. By doing this, it will loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt. You can take the bolt off by hand once it loosens.

You can now use a big screwdriver behind the crankshaft pulley to carefully drag it out. You may also use a ½” or ¾” powerful impact gun to hammer it out.

You can also follow the step-by-step guide above if you are wondering how to remove a harmonic balancer without a puller. The information above also provides a glimpse of how to remove a power steering pulley without a puller.

how to remove crankshaft pulley bolt with impact gun

How do you remove a stuck crankshaft pulley?

Do you have a stuck crankshaft pulley that needs to be removed immediately? Here’s what you need to do.

Use a long breaker bar: One of the ways is to get a three-foot breaker bar or a longer breaker bar to bust the crankshaft pulley bolt loose. Ensure to use a solid breaker bar that will not break as you attempt to bust the bolt.

Get a powerful impact: You could rent a ½” or ¾” powerful impact drive and use it to break the stuck crankshaft pulley. Ensure to get a plug-in model because you may spend between 8 to 10 minutes reefing the bolt. Also, endeavor to spray the crankshaft pulley bolt with lubricant to enable it to free up a little. You can do this at intervals as you hammer on the bolt.

Bump the starter: If you are curious to know how to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun, you can try this method: use the starter motor to loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt. To do this, place the socket on the bolt, wedge your ratchet’s end onto the ground, and ensure that when the pulley begins to turn, the ratchet is positioned in a way that lets it turn the bolt counterclockwise so that it can loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt. Then, turn the ignition key to crank the engine.


What tool is used to remove the crankshaft pulley?

The tool suitable for removing a crankshaft pulley is a half-inch drive impact gun. You could also use a torque wrench to secure it properly. Therefore, it would be helpful to follow the service manual guidelines when removing a crankshaft pulley and observe the safety precautions before raising and supporting your car’s front portion. As the acronym “ABC” goes, “Always Be Careful.”

Is a crankshaft pulley bolt reverse thread?

A crankshaft pulley bolt is a normal thread; counterclockwise loosens the bolt. In removing the crankshaft pulley, the engine turns towards the opposite side against the removal direction of the bolt to ensure that it will not back out. If you turn the crankshaft the wrong way, it could damage the oil pump and the water pump. You may also want to find out how to stop the crankshaft pulley from turning.

How much does it cost to fix a crankshaft pulley?

The estimated cost of replacing/fixing a crankshaft pulley is around $350 to $400. The cost of parts is about $200 to $220, while labor cost is estimated between $150 and $180. However, the costs may vary from one location or service provider to another. Ensure to locate an auto mechanic in your neighborhood who can do a good job of fixing your vehicle’s crankshaft pulley without errors.

Final Words

Since a bad crankshaft pulley projects an irregular idle speed, power steering pump failure, alternator failure, engine vibration, etc., trying to manage the situation can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Why not change the crankshaft pulley instead of ignoring the problem? It would save you the energy, time, and money you may have to spend if there are any further damages.

If you are okay with this information on how to remove the crankshaft pulley without a puller, you may have to take your car to a professional auto mechanic to help you fix the issue. Never ignore little problems for too long; they can escalate and cause more damage.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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