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2006 honda element crankshaft pully removal

How do I remove my Honda Element’s crankshaft pulley so I can replace the water pump? How hard is this job?

Another question. After removing the wheel and some plastic and looking at the pump I wondered why my Honda manual says I need to remove the crankshaft pulley at all?

Look closely at the pump and if it looks like there is no need to remove the crank pulley then leave it alone…If you overlooked something and the crank pulley must come off, you can always proceed with that…

Removing crank pulley’s can be difficult for home mechanics…don’t paint yourself into a corner. On many older Hondas, the water pump and cam drive belt are part of the same job…Since you are already into it, you might as well replace the belt too…

The crankshaft pulley has to be removed in order to gain access to one of the water pump bolts. Yep! For one bolt! If you mean you’re not able to remove the crankshaft bolt, it requires a very good impact gun or a special tool that prevents the crank from rotating when attempting to remove the crankshaft bolt.


I don’t know where to get it, but there is a tool to hold the pulley still while turning the bolt. A big strap wrench might hold the pulley, and I suggest buying a good quality (forged from a bar) socket and a good breaker bar. My BIL had to buy a 3/4 inch drive impact wrench to loosen the crank pulley bolt on his Honda. His I-R 231 C 1/2 inch drive impact wrench wouldn’t budge it!

The IR 231C impact gun only produces 425 Ft/Lbs Max. The IR 2135Ti impact gun produces 1,000 Ft/Lbs Max. That’s what I use to remove crankshaft bolts from Honda’s. Hasn’t failed me yet!


I’ve done this on a Toyota, likely similar to Honda. If you don’t have an impact gun, you can still remove the pulley using a socket wrench, but you need a special tool to hold the pulley in place. Otherwise the pulley will turn as you turn the center bolt, preventing you from removing the center bolt. You can buy the pulley holding tool at most auto repair shops. Being a cheapskate, I made one myself out of a piece of plywood. Look carefully for some pins or holes in the pulley. You just need something that matches up to those and long enough so it sits against something solid nearby to stop the pulley from turning. Once you get the pulley held tight using your tool, you can undo and remove the center bolt.

Next you have to pull the pulley off. Sometimes you can do this by hand, but usually they are rusted on so tight you need a pulley puller. Don’t force it, you can damage not only your hands, but the pulley. I always use the pulley puller tooler, that’s the most simple way. This is a tool you definitely need if you plan to do your own auto-repairs, and should buy from an auto parts store if you don’t have one already. I use mine frequently. Not very expensive. Be sure to completely remove the center bolt first – otherwise you can damage the pulley – then bit by bit back the pulley out with the puller. Good luck. And be very careful anytime working on and especially under cars. Safety is more important than how long it takes.

If you choose to remove the center bolt, be very careful not to destroy the threads in the crankshaft. That’s a repair you do not want.

I normally leave the bolt in place. Back it off 1/4 inch or so. The pulley will “pop” and then you can take the removal tool off, remove the bolt, and pull it off by hand.

That’s always worked for me, anyway.

The method chaissos suggests to remove the pulley is the standard method and works fine. You just have to remember to do as chaissos says, and to only back the pulley out slightly, just so it beomes loose, then remove the puller tool, etc. If you forget and keep backing the pulley out with the puller tool while the center bolt is still holding the pulley on, well you’ve got an unstoppable force vs an immovable object situation on your hands, which can damage the pulley.

Doubleclutch Says, “A big strap wrench might hold the pulley, and I suggest buying a good quality (forged from a bar) socket and a good breaker bar.”

The problem with that is that it’s not just a solid “pulley” you’re removing, it’s a harmonic balancer. Holding it on the outside with a strap wrench and turning the bolt can damage the balancer. The center can turn in relation to the outer pulley portion. That’s why the special holders grip the center hub part of the balancer. I advise against the strap wrench idea.


Not hard to find.


Thanks all…some good information. I will order the pulley holding tool. I couldn’t find it locally. Some really good advice though from the posts.


On some cars, to hold the engine from turning, I’ve pulled the starter and wedged something between the flywheel/converter teeth and the engine block. It’s worked every time.

Another idea, which others have mentioned on this forum, is to remove a spark plug and fill the cylinder with rope. Make sure the piston is on the powers stroke (valves closed) when it’s being used to hold the engine in place.

You should probably replace the timing belt while you’re doing this, unless you want to repeat all of this work in two years or so.