View Full Version : Trouble removing harmonic balancer key...

06-09-2013, 04:02 AM
I have a 2004 Dodge Sprinter Passenger van. I am replacing the harmonic balancer and I am having trouble removing the key. I assumed when purchasing the parts that I needed to replace the key along with the bolt and the pulley, since I have read that keys have been a common failure. Everything went smooth in taking off the pulley, but when I tried to pull out the key, it is just completely stuck. I am somewhat worried that I will damage the keyway.

I cannot find any info on removing and installing the key. Any ideas?

06-09-2013, 07:14 AM
If the key isn't chewed up don't touch it.
The crank pulley must be tightened up to spec then angle tightened.
To achieve this we have a crank pulley holding tool. You will need something similar too!
If the fixing bolt is correctly torqued you should be OK.

The trouble begins when the crank bolt isn't secured to spec correctly. The pulley comes loose on the crank stub and tears up the key. Doesn't do the crank a lot of good either.

06-09-2013, 05:27 PM
Unfortunately I have already pulled and pulled on the key to get it out, and it is a bit chewed up...not too bad, but it's also bent upwards a bit. I now realize I probably should never have touched it, but having already done that. Is there a way to get it out so I can put the new one in? I should also say that I have the rear ac unit so my crankshaft pulley has the extra v belt groove. Because of this, I thought with the extra torque on the pulley and stress on the key, I would replace the key.

So, yeah, I still need to get the key out...:-/

06-09-2013, 07:26 PM
That "bent upwards" is most likely the key lifting itself out of the groove key slot due to you working on it.

Normally speaking the trick of the trade is to tap it with a suitable bluntish chisel in the end of the key and this will cause the key to ride up out of the slot.

Now be careful because you can launch the key into the timing case/pan--that would not be good.
Your fun will then be to get the key back into the slot.

06-09-2013, 07:51 PM
Hi Dennis,
Thanks for the quick replies. This forum is a lifesaver, especially since I cannot afford to take this to the dealer. I have found the diagrams for the new and old key and bolt designs and I definitely have the old design. I will continue to pull on it. It seems like it must just be caught in the rear groove somehow. A couple of questions while I have you here:

1. What is the procedure for putting the new key back in? I will push it a bit, hopefully it goes in easy.

2. Does this key also fit into a slot on the timing gear that also rides on the crankshaft? So, if I pull the key, will it misalign?

3. Do I need to replace the crankshaft seal? I noticed a small amount of oil on the pulley when I pulled it out, but no leak or anything.

Thanks for the help, I've been reading the service manual and all the posts, and there isn't much info on pulling the KEY...just the pulley.