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LS balancer removal & install

7188 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  terryd67
This one may sound silly to anyone who has already been here first time to dig into an LS engine. I am getting ready to install a Vintage Air Front Runner set up. It comes with it's own harmonic balancer. I am not sure what the correct tool is for removing the balancer, I have heard that these suckers are difficult to remove. I figure that there has to be a tool out there for these engines. Also in reading the directions it appears that there is no key on the crank, so how does the balancer index? or does it not matter on these engines?
Thanks in advance. It seems the answer to any question is on this site, awesome!
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I pulled my LQ4 balancer with a 2-3 jaw puller,and yes they are tough to pull off.If your new front drive has a more conventional looking balancer your safest bet it to use a harmonic balancer installer.DO NOT PULL IT ON WITH the bolt!!If you can find a long threaded bolt youi could make something.It is an odd pitch metric thread,cant remember the exact size.Balancer does not need to index,no timing to adjust andf neutral balance.If you will be using a blower you will need to pin the balancer in place.
There is a hub removal tool and installer specific for LS engines.

Make sure you use the new bolt, the bolt is a torque/ yield bolt.

I used a standard balancer removal/install tool and cut the old bolt and modified it for use with the install tool.
A three jaw puller works well for removal, at least on the truck ballancers I have removed. There is no keyway and no indexing necessary. You will need a new bolt for the crank as they are one time use, and torqueing the new one down is a bit of a challenge.
x2 i used a 3 jaw puller on my LQ4 worked fairly easy. I do have a Harmonic puller but it wasn't long enough to reach.
I rented a 3-jaw tool from Oreilly's and it worked just fine.
Now, throw that torque-to-yield bolt away when you get it off. Buy an ARP bolt to replace it.
Putting the balancer back on can be challenging. I bought a long threaded rod w/bolts & washers from a guy on LS1tech. You can also buy a fancy one right here:
Pulling it off was pretty easy, get the LS Balancer install tool and dont beat it on:no:
Thanks for the input all. I have a three jaw puller and that seems to be what I see most have had sucess with for removal so I will go with that option.

For installing the new balancer... it is an ATI two piece model. The Vintage Air instructions suggest putting the hub in boling water before installing to help open up the clearance a bit. Then using the original bolt to pull it on and torqing to 240 ft/lbs. Then removing the bolt and using the new torque to yield bolt. I think I will get an ARP bolt for the final bolt. The balancer ring bolts to the hub afterwards.
I'd be careful with that original bolt to pull the balancer on. Slide the balancer on as far as you can. It won't go far. Screw in the old bolt to see how many threads engage. If it's like the old balancer it won't be many. Good chance with only few threads engaged you will pull threads out of the front of the crank. Fastenal has "hardened" redi rod the correct pitch. Buy that so you screw it all the way in the crank and then using a well lubed nut pull the balancer on.

Fastenal has it only in 3 foot? lengths. Cut it up and sell leftover lengths to your other LS buddies.
Thanks for the advice, I will drop the $55 for the installation tool.

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