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Dreaded stuborn Crank bolt

Ok, I am trying to replace the timing belt on my 06 Solara. I can’t get the crankshaft pulley bolt out for the life of me. I have used an electric impact that I have used on several jobs in the past, but with no luck. I have tried an air impact with my 150psi small pancake compressor and have borrowed an air compressor with 120 psi/30 gal take, also with no luck. I tried the breaker bar against the frame and bumping the starter, also with no luck. Any ideas? This has been an ongoing problem now for a while, I would really like to get it fixed and move on to something else.

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Get a hand-held propane torch, like the ones plumbers use to sweat copper pipes. Heat up the bolt (not the balancer, just the bolt) good and hot and hit it with your impact. It should come right out.

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You might get some reasonable replies but as a last resort you might call one of those mobile mechanic services. Ask what the service call would be if they loosen the bolt and also if they will charge if they can’t.

Years ago, I bought this impact gun just for the removal of stubborn crankshaft bolts.

This gun produces 1000 ft/lbs of torque.

But now they make one that produces 1350 ft/lbs of torque.


Asemaster, if the OP gets the bolt out after heating it should the bolt be replaced by a new one ? Just curious.

What size socket are you using?

Once you tell me, I’ll post some pictures and part numbers of special impact sockets, specifically made for removing harmonic balancer bolts . . . exactly what you need


I would think the OP knows the proper socket size.

The problem is, the OP can’t provide enough torque to that socket to break the bolt loose.


Here’s how I did it on my Corolla. In my case the problem was the pulley would move as I tried to unscrew the bolt. I had no impact wrench at the time.

I noticed there’s two small holes on the side of pulley. For no apparent reason. Maybe that’s the case, but they can be used to hold the crank pulley steady while removing the bolt. I made a tool out of a piece (sort of shaped like a stick, about 12-16 inches long) of 1 inch thick plywood. I drilled holes and placed some screws going through the stick that just fit those two holes in the crank pulley. (Harbor Freight sells a similar tool, called a pin tool I think.)

Anyway, then I braced that stick somehow (either against the floor or a framing member, forget) so it held the pulley fast. Then I was easily able to remove the bolt with a ratchet and socket. I think I might have had to use a long handled 1/2 inch drive to get it to start moving.

Another way I’ve heard to prevent the crank pulley from turning is to remove the starter motor and wedge something against the flywheel teeth.

Removing the pulley after the bolt is removed can be perplexing too. If you are uncertain how to do that, ask for some ideas.

Try this socket instead

Since you didn’t reply yet, I’ll assume you’re using a 22mm socket

And use your 1/2" drive air impact with that “borrowed” air compressor . . . the one with the big tank

Your air impact needs to be ingersoll rand titanium, or better,

A newer version snap on 1/2" drive cordless impact might work . . . some of them have serious power

Also, be sure you’re using at least a 3/8" air hose.

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Agreed . . .

I’ve seen guys struggle to get a job done, and they were using a 1/4" air hose

I watched a few minutes, then walked over and said “Try my 3/8” air hose"

It worked like a charm, and they thought I was a genius

“Common sense, my man”

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About the socket, play in the socket or extensions will result in the impact pecking away with no results. But the shade tree trick using a breaker bar and bumping the starter never failed for me and I’ve pulled the balancer from old rusty dump trucks and ancient flat bed farm trucks. packing a few layers of corrugated paste board between the socket and the fender/frame will hold it in place.

That won’t work on Honda 4 cylinder engines because they turn counter-clockwise, and I have personally done Honda V-6 engines where a healthy starter and new battery still weren’t strong enough to break the crank bolt loose using that trick. Out came the blue wrench to save the day.

Nahh, this application isn’t a TTY fastener, and you’d never (common sense applies here) get the bolt glowing red hot enough to affect the strength of it. Just hot enough to get it to budge.

Sorry for the late reply, I am using a 22mm socket. The impact was borrowed from my brother in law, so not sure of the brand since I didn’t see any markings on it. When using the impact, like the bolt, the pulley isn’t turning. When I tried the breakover bar with the socket, the pulley turns, go figure. My neighbor has told me that he has a heavy duty impact wrench I am going to try. I am using a 3/8" air hose. I am not using any extensions with the impact. Also, the socket is a 6 point.

If I were you, I’d use the strongest 1/2" air impact wrench you can get your hands on

And get that socket I mentioned

My weak old impact will loosen the crank pulley bolt on a 3MZ engine except for when someone has over tightened it. When the bolt won’t easily loose I remove the torque converter cover and lock the ring gear with a large screw driver, then loosen with a breaker bar, takes 3 minutes.

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The bolt holes are there to remove the crank pulley with a bolt grip puller.

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That doesn’t apply to 2006 and newer models.

Edit: And, it might only be for Civics (I’ve owned both kinds).

Edit2: Looks like the Accord switched in the '03 model year.

You’ve re-discovered “rotational inertia”! An impact wrench takes advantage of the effect. Inertia is the resistant-force imparted by something being accelerated. By turning the bolt with a jolt with an impact wrench, the rotational inertia opposes the rotation of the pulley and prevents the pulley from turning. Using a breaker bar, unless you knock it with a hammer, you can’t accelerate the bolt quickly enough, so you got no rotational inertia to work against. Even knocking a breaker bar w/a hammer usually won’t work b/c it is too flexible. :Pipe wrenches are constructed using an I-Beam design and don’t flex nearly as much, so it’s possible you might could use a big pipe wrench and a hammer to loosen it. But I wouldn’t try that b/c you might round over the bolt instead.

I did the same thing but with a 1x4. The pulley bolt wasn’t all that hard to loosen as I recall.

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