Harmonic Balancer Bolt

I have a 1993 buick century with the 3.3 engine and I can’t break loose the harmonic balancer bolt. How do I access the flywheel to keep it from turning?

Can You Use A Harmonic Balancer Holding Tool On The Balancer Itself ?

Does it have “spokes” ? They are designed to hold the balancer by its “spokes”. Holding it by the pulley can damage it.

Without air impact tools, I’ve successfully whacked a breaker bar handle with a dead blow hammer in the “loosen” direction to break the bolt loose, being sure the socket is firmly seated first.


Take a rag, fold it into a small and thick square, and put it in the belt at the balancer pulley, so the belt will run over the rag when the bolt is turned. If the tensioner can compensate for that, add another rag. The point is to cause the belt and rag to prevent the engine from turning, and this method usually works well.

Yikes !

How well equipped is your tool box?

The rubber “damper” inside of the crank pulley is split all the way around so the inner and outer pulley have enough play in them that I can’t put enough force on it to break the bolt loose. I’ve seen on other sites to use a large screwdriver between the teeth of the flywheel and the frame/ground, but I can’t see how to access the flywheel. I’ll throw the belt back on and try your method but If not I’d really appreciate any insight on the flywheel.

Remove a spark plug. Rotate the engine so that piston is at the bottom of the cylinder. Take a nylon rope and fill the cylinder thru the spark plug hole. When you go to remove the crank bolt, the piston will come up against the rope and prevent the engine from rotating.


Tester’s idea is a great one. But make sure, when the piston comes up, that it’s on the power stroke, and not on the exhaust stroke. If it’s the latter, you risk bending your exhaust valve.

I’ve also had to resort to removing the starter motor, just so I could wedge the flywheel teeth.

At Your Own Risk, The “Manual Impact Wrench” Method (Socket, Breaker Bar, Dead-Blow Hammer) I Mentioned Above Should Work Without Having To Hold Anything From Turning. I’ve Done It.