Stuck crankshaft pulley

Discussion in '2.3L (N/A & Turbo) Tech' started by CuddaWuddaShuda, Dec 5, 2003.

  1. I am trying to change my timing belt on an '85 Mustang LX (without a turbo). I can't figure out why the pulley on the front of my crankshaft won't come off. I have the bolt off, and can move backward and forward about 1.5", but it gets hung up coming forward and it won't come off.

    I thought once I got the big bolt off this would be easy... no such luck. I have sprayed around where the pulley was with Liquid Wrench, hit the pulley from all directions with a rubber mallet, and pulled the pulley forward with my hands with all my strength. I'm fairly strong, and I pulled on that pulley so hard I strained an ab muscle. What's up?

    If getting the pulley off is really this much work, I'd almost rather wait for the stupid timing belt to break. At least I'm pretty sure I could get the head off, which is more than I can say about the crank pulley. Does anyone even know if the 2.3L is even an interference design? Maybe I should just blow the whole belt change off.

    Incidentally, I am amazed at how hard this whole process has been. The manuals I have (Haynes and Chilton) just say to pull the crank pulley off... there's no mention of how to do this. A puller tool would have helped... but none of the auto parts stores around here had one. They're too busy selling $250 Euro taillight kits to actually throw me a frickin' bone and sell some real tools, I guess. I finally just put a long breaker bar on the bolt, jammed it into the ground, and bumped the starter. That got the bolt off. But as far as I can tell, that bolt serves no purpose whatsoever. It's almost like the crank pulley is press-fit on.

  2. I broke the belt on my 96 Ranger 2.3 one time.... And yes it was a chore to get that pully off, I thought I was the only one !! I got the bolt out, and yes my manuals all said just pull it off... well I tried for 2 days, pounding prying spraying etc... Everybody kept telling me to get the puller ((THERE IS NO PULLER FOR THIS PARTICULAR PULLY !!!!)) I was ready to start pounding some faces if they kept telling me to get the puller.... So I ended up getting that big 3 jaw puller from autozone, and it was a **** to use, but I eventually got all the jaws to line up right, turned the puller about two turnes and the pully just slid right off into my hand.... I put a little dab of grease on there for that next time, just in case, and it slid right on and off no problem... the bolt is the only thing holding it on
  3. I finally got it off. It was a matter of applying Liquid Wrench over and over again, pulling as hard as I could, attacking it with a prybar, etcetera. Once I got the bolt out, I think the hangup was the "key" that fixes the pulley in place on the crank. The key is not supposed to hold the pulley on... it just turned out that way.

    I read a post somewhere saying that a prybar wouldn't work because it applies force to one side of the pulley and serves to bind it to the crank. Nevertheless, I was using a prybar when the stupid thing finally came off. Applying the prybar right at the "key" did the trick.

    I think there is a puller tool for that bolt. I swear I have seen them before. It has two handles: one to hold the pulley still, the other to apply torque to the bolt. The procedure is to push the handles in opposite directions. But that tool wouldn't do anything to get the pulley itself off, only the bolt. And besides, they don't sell this tool at any of the national auto parts chains. But there are two slots at the extreme front of the pulley that are obviously intended for such a tool. I bet you could get it from Snap-On or a similar company... but your typical vehicle owner is going to try to get the tool at AutoZone or O'Reilly's. To me, this seems like a conspiracy to keep "mechanics" (a.k.a. quicky-lube hacks) who really aren't any more skilled than I am in business.

    I can see where the 3-jaw puller might help get the pulley off once the bolt it off: it basically uses its central bolt as a lever / ramp to force the pulley off. But without a threaded hole in the center of the crank nose, it must be awfully difficult to get the 3-jaw puller align correctly.

    The bigger issue is this: I can't believe how hard this job was. It was almost like no one had ever done it before. It's hard to believe Ford made this motor for something like 20 years. I guess when the auto industry is spitting out tens of millions of new cars every year (each one crappier than the last), there's no incentive for people to maintain anything. Someone like myself, who is bound and determined to get one particular car running again is destined for some serious pain and aggravation.

    But guess what... IT IS RUNNING! Put that in your stupid yuppie pipe and smoke it! You can't make me buy a Lexus because I've got a 2.3L 1985 Mustang that RUNS and (oops) sorry if I'm not stimulating the [email protected]##@%$#$ economy!
  4. i used a crowbar to pull mine off. put some vaseline or oil all over the crank shaft infront of the pulley before you start trying to move it. if you can get the pully moved a little bit it will get much easier.
  5. I've done it a few times never had a problem, use an impact on the bot 3 jaw puller on the pulley. Never been more than a 5 minute job for me. :shrug: