View Full Version : 2003 T1N Harmonic balancer won't slide off

05-14-2018, 10:25 PM

I need some help. I removed the tight harmonic balancer 10.9 bolt from the crankshaft, then out came the big washer. Next, I expected the pulley to slide right off. Van as 110k on it and I'm only replacing the HB as a maintenance item due to all of the scary crankshaft key failures I read about. And Doktor A recommends that HB be replaced every 100k or so. He has helped me with everything and my van is pretty great now. Anyway, I have tried to wiggle this pulley off by using hand forces 180 degrees from each other. I have used a couple of screwdrivers to try to wedge it off but I'm afraid to use a lot of force. Again, I'm just wiggling. I'm at the point were the pulley can be slid forward and backwards about 4-5mm. When sliding torwards myself the pulley just gets caught. When I slide it towards myself I can even hear the audible clunk as if I forgot to remove the loosened bolt/washer. It reminds me of an interference fit.

What is going on here?

I bought a 3 arm puller from the auto store and I plan on removing the radiator to make more room and try to pull it off. Before this, I made a puller out of wood and some nuts and bolts I had laying around and i was too scared of applying so much force and I couldn't really keep it square - but I was able to get the pulley to bind when I did this. I am able to slide the pulley back towards the rear of the van after this so it's not binding as bad as you'd think. I'm afraid to use brute force here.

I believe that it will take a lot of force to remove the pulley. I can tell that the crankshaft key is alive and well when I move the pulley back and forth clockwise and anti- clockwise (1mm of play or so).

I can't be the only one!

05-14-2018, 10:40 PM
Heat the hub/spokes to 300-400f. Then try spinning it with a steak wrench. It may slide off.

05-14-2018, 10:53 PM
I have tried heating it. No dice though. Maybe I will reinstall the bolt and washer halfway and get it really hot. I noticed that the crankshaft was as hot as the pulley when I did it.

What's a steak wrench?

05-14-2018, 11:05 PM
Sorry, strap wrench.

They can be hard to remove. Tried any penetrating oil?

05-14-2018, 11:52 PM
I did try some CRC Screwloose oil. I even put some in the keyway. I can't wait to get it off to understand what it keeping it on. The pulley is so free within that 4-5mm and then it finds interference with something. I wonder if the key is free and then binds as the pulley is forced out. Also, I don't want to spin it off, I want it to slide off to preserve the key. Somebody on this form said that the key is nearly impossible to replace if it's stuck.. It was the Lindengineering guy, he said if it's intact, don't touch it.

05-14-2018, 11:57 PM
These are a tight slip fit, so any slight rocking will cause it to jam. A bit of wobble while pulling might help?

Some slight damage to the keyway? Maybe the key is seized to the shaft due to some corrosion? A bit of tapping clockwise and anticlockwise with a hammer and punch might free it up?

05-15-2018, 12:06 AM
I work on Saab and Volvo and am pretty comfortable with this stuff. I'm also used to woodruff keys. The removal of this Benz crank pulley is perplexing to me.

I worked 6 hours on it the other day, trying lots of things, lots of wiggling, lots of movement in many ways, even some shaking of the pulley. Lots off, "this should just slide right off.":hmmm::hmmm::hmmm::hmmm::hmmm::hmmm:

05-15-2018, 12:07 AM
Maybe it's stuck to the timing gear? That would be scary...

05-15-2018, 12:20 AM
Wait, the pulley could be stuck to the timing gear? But it's an oil bath in there!

05-15-2018, 12:22 AM
Wait, the pulley could be stuck to the timing gear? But it's an oil bath in there!

Yeah, not likely. Only a sheared key and spun pulley would do that. Maybe if someone put Loctite on there...

My factory pulley had less than 90ft lbs on the bolt, the pulley slid right off. In amazed it didn't spin actually.

05-15-2018, 12:26 AM
I sent Lindenengineering a private message. He has had some insightful posts in the past.

05-15-2018, 03:24 PM
Talked to Dennis this morning. I'm a man with a plan. He said to just pull it off with a puller and explained what to expect. I'll post some pics for funzies.

05-19-2018, 06:58 PM
The issue was interference from the water pump pulley. I ended up bending the water pump pulley a little bit. Im surprised I didn't damage the nose since the harmonic balancer came off in an off kiltered manner. But that is a strong piece of metal. I'm humbled, embarrassed because I didn't inspect more and it was right I front of my face. Once I took the water pump pulley off the HB slid off like butter. I put a new seal on, new HB, washer and bolt. I'm tempted to measure for wobble once I torque things down - I'm a little paranoid.

05-19-2018, 11:15 PM
With the torque and tight clearance I doubt it could be off axis. If it looks true running it will be fine.

05-21-2018, 04:05 PM
Attached are pics of a T1N crankshaft after removing pulley and harmonic balancer.