Removing the harmonic balancer on any car is akin to trying to skin a cat with a hairbrush. To accomplish this Herculaneum feat you need massive leverage, fire and a mouth like a sailor.
I did this about a month ago with my Lexus ES300 and thought I would post the how to here and the video. The bolt that holds a harmonic balancer in place is quite large and about 2″ long. It generally will be rusted in place and if, like my car, yours has 150k in miles, then the screw has been screwed down even more with time.
Things you will need:
- Rent or buy 1/2″ large breaker bar ( 3 feet ought to do it. Autozone has them for free with a deposit)
- Extension rods to bring the clearance out enough to work with the breaker bar. I used 2 12″ to get the job done.
A jack to leverage against
- A high temp torch, no cheap ‘ole propane torch will do the work
- A breaker bar to hold onto the harmonic balanceer ( I made my own after watching a youtube video
I watched all sorts of videos to figure out how to do this and I had to try all of them to come to a solution that worked for me. I would under no circumstances suggest starting the car with a breaker bar attached to the balancer. That simply
didn’t pass the smell test with me and sounded like a great way to fuck up the engine. I opted for elbow grease and fire. Once the harmonic balance is exposed and ready for removal, you need to set up the system with a large breaker bar and a jack that will support the load of you standing on the breaker bar and trying to torque the nut off. If this doesn’t work after several tries ( I applied well in excess of 300lbs of torque with no luck then it is time to try fire. I broker out my
oxygen/ propane kit and got a nice hot flame and set it on the bolt for about 20 seconds to
get it really hot. I then tried standing on my breaker bar again and successfully broke the connection.