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Discussion Starter #1
Cars been sitting for a while. Only half the cylinders firing, I'm trying to change out the optispark which has been exposed to couple of coolant leaks from pump over the years..
95ish LT1 Camaro engine in a Porsche 944. Very little room in front to maneuver-- trying to do as much as possible with minimal tear down.

I've gotten the water pump off.

Cannot get the harmonic balancer to budge. Center is looks coated in rust. Tried one 3-claw puller, heating the center, penetrating oil, tapping it (albeit in limited space- so not hitting it very hard)-- so far no joy.

Does anyone know the threads pitch to the 3 peripheral holes on the spoke of the balancer-- my next step is to trying a duckfoot puller by threading into those holes. other suggestions??

Is there a tool to hold the wheel when turning the bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Got it off with plenty of pounding with a crowbar and a sledge hammer. It was nicely rusted on.
Now it looks like the back of the optispark has a lot of oily seepage over the front timing cover-- can't tell if the seals are leaking or if the oil is being flung up from below.

Is this a good time to replace the front seals inside the timing cover? or even the timing chain? . If so, the next major challenge will be to get the harmonic hub off-- just as rusted.-- limited space to maneuver with the engine in the car
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If your using a 3 jaw puller to remove the crank hub, you are using the wrong tool. I've uploaded a pdf file on how to do the job.

And a pic of the hub installer tool.

NICE write up...!!!! Thanks, so much.

Few quick questions:
Length and diam of junk bolt and washer?

Length and thread pitch of the main crank bolt? What's it called (is it the "crank hub bolt" or the "crank main bearing cap bolt") so I can buy a new one?

Is TDC independent of the hub keyway pointing center up? If hub keyway is pointing up, and hub is aligned to the crank, why worry about TDC?

How do I soak the hub sleeve in penetrating oil (and have it penetrate) before trying this? Are the 2 holes on the side blind holes?
 

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Bolt for crank hub is a grade 8 7/16"-20 thread pitch. The new bolt for crank hub is called the crank balancer bolt, It is 21/4" so you should be able to get it at any hardware store. GM part number is 9440024, but may be discontinued. Be sure you get a grade 8 for crank balancer and tool.

The bolt your buying for the puller should be somewhat longer. If you get a bolt that's too long, you can use washers to get it to the correct length

You can get the harmonic balancer puller, or a heavy duty steering wheel puller to do the job.

If you haven't removed the timing chain and gears, it doesn't mater where crank key is located. The spline drive opti will drop into the correct position, if install correctly/ Pic of pin drive dowel pin at #54 in the componet views section. www.shbox.com

You just spray it liberally with pb blaster or equal to it. And hope it works. The puller you will use applies a high force to hub. It should be able to break it free.
 

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Cars been sitting for a while. Only half the cylinders firing, I'm trying to change out the optispark which has been exposed to couple of coolant leaks from pump over the years..
95ish LT1 Camaro engine in a Porsche 944. Very little room in front to maneuver-- trying to do as much as possible with minimal tear down.

I've gotten the water pump off.

Cannot get the harmonic balancer to budge. Center is looks coated in rust. Tried one 3-claw puller, heating the center, penetrating oil, tapping it (albeit in limited space- so not hitting it very hard)-- so far no joy.

Does anyone know the threads pitch to the 3 peripheral holes on the spoke of the balancer-- my next step is to trying a duckfoot puller by threading into those holes. other suggestions??

Is there a tool to hold the wheel when turning the bolts?
I just replaced the optispark on my car. I didn't have to pull the crank hub. Just unbolted the pulley/harmonic balancer.I was able to rotate the crank back and forth to clear the optispark housing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I pulled it with the intention of replacing the timing cover seals. I don't want to redo this for oil or coolant seepage from the front cover. I intend on modding the water pump too.

Seems that oem vented optispark for 96 have dried up. I'll put in an aftermarket one after locktite and rtv, and perhaps rebuild the original as a spare also.... and see how long it lasts. Jobs not so bad when harmonic is not frozen to hub.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Crud- I should have just left it alone!, Seems that getting the front timing cover off involves dropping the oil pan (son of a bitch !!-- poor design for DIY garages). I'm balancing the difficulty of this being that there is not much room to work, even with the pan dropped an inch or 2. Unfortunately there is a tiny oil seep at the front of the pan at the U- below the timing cover.

Again this 96 LT1 engine is in a 96 Porsche 944, so space to work is different.

Questions as I weigh and contemplate the future:
Can I pull the front 3 oil seals off the timing cover without taking it off the front of the block? -- especially the top water pump seal 96 LT1 (how do I get that one out)?

How do I keep the dried old RTV chunks from falling into the oil pan if I drop it and clean it to reseal it?
 
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