96-99 Nissan Pathfinder (VG33 engine) crankshaft pulley removal


#1

I’ve got everything out of the way for a timing belt change, except for the crankshaft pulley. The Haynes manual says to pry it off with two screwdrivers (doesn’t work as the only thing I can pry against is the thin sheet metal timing cover), or use a pulley puller inside the hub (but there’s no edge to grab onto). It warns not to grab the outside of the pulley with a puller…the pulley is bonded to the hub via rubber, and you’d end up destroying the bond. I did find two M6x1.0 holes on the face of the pulley, so I chased the holes with a tap to clean them out, and then screwed in two matching bolts, expecting the pulley to be forced off (similar to many old Datsun brake drums). Instead, the bolts just pushed in and bent the timing cover, because it’s so thin.



How do I get the %&*$ pulley off??? Is there a different style puller that exists and I don’t know about?


#2

It warns not to grab the outside of the pulley with a puller…the pulley is bonded to the hub via rubber, and you’d end up destroying the bond

That’s true.

I did find two M6x1.0 holes on the face of the pulley, so I chased the holes with a tap to clean them out
Good thinking.

and then screwed in two matching bolts, expecting the pulley to be forced off (similar to many old Datsun brake drums). Instead, the bolts just pushed in and bent the timing cover, because it’s so thin.
It doesn’t work that way. You can use the bolts as substitute for claws with the OEM puller.

Removing off the crank pulley is pretty hard. Good luck.


#3

I’ve done the timing belt on this engine several times…

You’re going to need a harmonic balancer puller. I go the kind that warps around pully (Sears). Once you remove the crank bolt (hardest part in replacing the timing belt) the pulling the pully is simple.