Crankshaft Pulley Bolt on 1989 Accord SE-i: My story

Discussion in 'Accord' started by justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Hello all,

    I'll try to keep this short and sweet. Last week I decided to spend
    my President's day long weekend disassembing my car to replace the
    timing belt. It has 180k on it and this is the 3rd belt change. Both
    of the previous were done by independent shops who apparently use a
    600lb impact or so to tighten the crank pulley bolt.

    With the car jacked up and pretty well opened up, it was time to
    remove the crank pulley bolt. Of course, it was near impossible. I went
    at it for a good 20 minutes with a 240lb air impact. I even tried the
    rocking technique (fwd and rev.) to no avail.

    My engine does not have the hex groove in the pulley, so I can't use
    the special pulley holder tool, so I decided to craft my own. I took
    a trip to the hardware store and got a 4 foot length (more than needed)
    of aircraft cable (that's what it was called...). It is essentially
    5/16th inch thick strand of steel cable which cost about 4 bucks. In
    addition to that, I also purchased a rope/chain clamp for 50 cents. You
    can find it in the rope/cable section at probably any hardware shop.
    I'm sure it has a simple name, but I do not know it. So I will attempt
    a little ascii art to describe it:

    / \
    / \ <- small u-bolt
    | |
    -|---\ /---|- <- Bracket that moves towards the inside of U-bolt when
    -|---|-|---|- adjusted. Note the groove in the middle that is made
    | | to hold the rope in the center of the bracket as it
    === === clamps the u-bolt.
    === === <- Nut on either side of U-bolt for moving metal bracket
    | | inward which tightens the hold on the rope/cable.

    Sorry for the crappy drawing, if someone wants I can take a picture of
    the rig this
    evening and post it to my website.

    Anyway, here's how I used the cable and cable clamp to hold the pulley

    1) align the crankshaft pulley such that one of the two holes in the
    pulley is on the top and it's essentially parallel with the
    engine's axis
    2) thread your cable through the top hole on the crank pulley and
    pull it around the left engine mount so the portion of the cable
    that's in the crank pulley hole is the halfway point in the
    3) position the cable as low on the mount as it will go
    (engine side of mount, since it's lower than the chassis
    side of the mount) and put the ends in the cable fastener/
    u-bolt thingy, pulling the fastener as close to the mount as
    possible to eliminate slack in the cable.
    4) tighten the hell out of the cable fastener until you can
    tighten no more and give it a good hard tug to make sure its
    secure. this must be secure. I selected the smallest one my
    cable would fit through to ensure I could get it good and tight.
    5) I put a floor-jack & board under the oil pan and jacked it once
    or so to take some stress off of the left engine mount since
    I'm sure this could kill it if it's old and brittle.
    6) pulley should be stationary.

    At this point, grab the breaker bar (24in +) and a 19mm impact grade
    socket and impact grade extension and go to town. Mine losened up with
    two loud pops. The first just broke it free the second made it easily
    to turn with a normal socket. Bouncing on it seems to help. I used the
    same technique to tighten it too.

    Some things to note:
    I had all drive belts removed. If they weren't, then they would've
    gotten in the way of the contraption.

    I did this from under the front left corner of the front bumper with
    the car on jackstands.

    I noticed that the pulley cut through two strands of the cable.
    The cable also stretched about 1/8th inch which required me to
    reposition my breaker bar for better leverage. I think it had a long
    way to go before the cable tore through competely, but just something
    to watch out for.

    Hope that the cable fastener doesn't slip and position your body for
    a worst case scenario (e.g. breaker bar snaps).

    So there it is. Less than five dollars to construct a decent pulley
    holding contraption.

    If my pulley didn't have holes in it, I'd be screwed :)

    Hope this helps someone.

    - Justin
    justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com, Feb 25, 2005
  2. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    chip Guest

    the pulley had holes in it though. so you just didn't have the proper
    tool, that car used a very different pulley holder, not the giant hex
    chip, Feb 26, 2005
  3. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    jim beam Guest

    that's a good job justin, and i'm all for improvisation if you're stuck
    in the backwoods somewhere with the "deliverance" banjo's twanging
    uncomfortably close by, but, as a hopeless pedant, may i ask whether it
    was worth the time, effort & damage risk compared to buying the $85
    tool? guaranteed not to [expensively] damage your vehicle.
    jim beam, Feb 26, 2005
  4. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    Gerry Guest

    Could you supply a link which shows the tool on the internet. I have
    the factory manual for a 19992 Civic and there aren't any pulley
    holder shown. My civic also has the holes around the pully.
    Gerry, Feb 26, 2005
  5. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    jim beam Guest

    Gerry wrote:

    needs the handle as well.
    jim beam, Feb 26, 2005
  6. The damage risk is a good point Jim. Believe me, as I sheared off my
    3rd Craftsman socket, I worried about damage to my car.

    Let me disclose that as I preform work on my car, I learn as I go. I've
    done a few major things so far and will continue to do more (the car
    needs it). I think the amount of time I spend on a task reflects my
    learning curve and instinct to go slowly to learn.

    It took me about 10 working hours to do the t-belt, and if I did it
    again, I bet I could do it in four. So, I go into these projects with
    plenty of time on my hands. I'd have to say the time aspect was a

    Regarding the damage for the 85 dollar tool, I wish I owned the tool.
    In fact, I have the factory manual and nowhere does it mention there is
    a tool for this car. There's also a civic 2004 in the family, which we
    have the shop book for, that clearly mentions a special tool which I've
    acquired for when the belt comes due. But let's worst case scenario:
    my crank pulley cracks and I'm out 45 bucks to the local salvage yard.
    I would definitely waste a few hours, but all in all, I'd still be
    ahead in cost. (Anything worse than the crank pulley and I'd be screwed

    As far as time wasted vs. money saved, when I'm working on the car, I'm
    quite happy and am honestly looking to spend as much time listening to
    the radio and wrenching as possible (don't tell the wife ;).

    I think my improvisation was a good little device and will post a link
    to some pics within the hour. I'm sure my risk of damage was worse than
    using the proper tool, but, hell, I enjoyed the challenge :)

    - Justin
    justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com, Feb 26, 2005
  7. Hey guys,

    As mentioned here are the links:

    Hopefully my site will be up years from now when someone is
    searching for this particular model Honda :).


    - Justin
    justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com, Feb 26, 2005
  8. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    SoCalMike Guest

    aw, cmon, man... ida never thought of that. and if anything were to get
    ruined, itd be the cable. i say "way ta go, justin!"
    SoCalMike, Feb 26, 2005
  9. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    TomP Guest

    Pretty inventive Justin. A fellow could do all that...


    Drive over to the local garage and have the bolt broken loose. Bolt
    threads lubed and then gently retorqued. You could then safely drive back
    home and do the job without all the fuss.

    Just a thought, as this worked well for me when I did the Wife's Integra.


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    TomP, Feb 26, 2005
  10. I called two shops that are within 2 miles and both refused to do that
    for insurance reasons. One of them even laughed at me, heh... The car
    was also 4 hours disassembled, so all of my around-towning happened in
    a different car. By the time I had it apart I was assuming my air
    impact would spin it right off. Oh well, that definitely would've been
    easier though... Maybe I should've offered them 10 bucks?
    justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com, Feb 26, 2005
  11. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    TomP Guest

    Way back when I worked in a repair shop, we did all sorts of short work,
    like that, for a simple six-pack of beer or soda. Or, a small cash
    donation to the "slush fund." No paper, you were never there...

    Insurance reasons? What's up with that?


    -------- __o
    ----- -\<. -------- __o
    --- ( )/ ( ) ---- -\<.
    -------------------- ( )/ ( )
    TomP, Feb 27, 2005
  12. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    gmccx Guest

    Too many lawyers running the world. If that thing came loose or fell
    off while driving back, and especially if any sort of accident happened,
    lawyers would line up to handle the resulting lawsuit.
    gmccx, Feb 27, 2005
  13. I recently did a 2.5 Acura and tried a 650FT/LB impact wrench and that
    didn't help at all. I wonder just how big and impact wrench you really
    need to loosen the nuts?

    Samething with the 2.5. Unfortunately I didn't do the right thing until
    after I had broken the pulley. :(
    I ended up doing something similar. I wrapped the old belts around the pulley
    and then wrapped some nylon sraps around the pulley. I then tied the ends
    and then wrapped that around a breaker bar. I put a 2X4 across the engine bay
    and then slipped a chaeter bar over the breaker bar and propped it against the
    2X4. I then took my other breaker bar with attached cheater and used it to
    break the nut free. It took two of use to do it, but it worked. It is really
    stupid that Honda could not come up with a better way to do this.
    Alex Rodriguez, Feb 28, 2005
  14. When I was doing a 2.5 TL, I had no choice. I could not find any place
    that had the tool. The local acura dealers all refused to order the tool
    for me. For me it was definitely worth it.
    Alex Rodriguez, Feb 28, 2005
  15. If you broke the pulley trying to get it out of your car, why do you think you
    could get it out of a car at the junkyard without also breaking it? Just
    curious. This was something I had to think about when I was in the same
    situation. I did break the pulley and ended up buying a new one.
    Alex Rodriguez, Feb 28, 2005
  16. justinreigle (at) gmail (dot) com

    jim beam Guest

    i was starting to think like this as i started the job with my usual
    1/2" tool set. but i have to say, with the 3/4" driver/extension bar,
    and the proper pulley holder, that bolt comes right off no problem.
    maybe i loosened it with the 1/2" set, but don't think so.

    regarding air tools, it's comparatively rare for domestic compressors to
    be able to supply sufficient cfm at sustained pressure for the tool to
    work as rated. once the pressure [quickly] drops, so does the torque.
    the perfect excuse to buy that really /big/ compressor you always wanted!
    jim beam, Mar 1, 2005
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