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  • Damper or Harmonic Balancer install tips

    Hey everyone. I’ve just removed my old harmonic balancer with a steering wheel puller. I’m ready to install the new damper from CVF Racing to begin building my serpentine kit. Researching, it seems there’s a tool that pushes it on flush without doing any damage. They are fairly expensive for a one time use. How have you guys installed them in the past?
    SquareBird in BirdCity

  • #2
    I simply use the crankshaft bolt for drawing the damper back on.
    My latest project:
    CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

    "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
    --Lee Iacocca

    From: Royal Oak, Michigan

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
      I simply use the crankshaft bolt for drawing the damper back on.

      Since one was able to remove the damper using the wrong tool of generally not adequate pulling capacity, an indication of apparently only limited if any interference fitment (not good), this process may "work-for-ya", but this is not generally good advice, and not the proper procedure!

      I only wished to clarify this fact, as this is a forum, where sometime in the future someone may reference these instructions, but be in different circumstances which could lead to a failure.

      Scott.



      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by pbf777 View Post
        ...I only wished to clarify this fact, as this is a forum, where sometime in the future someone may reference these instructions, but be in different circumstances which could lead to a failure...
        We welcome your opinions as our forum is open to everyone's input.

        I read Wondro's post carefully and my initial thoughts kind of paralleled yours, Scott. Then, it dawned on me that maybe Wondro is using the correct puller but calling it something else. Regardless, the post isn't about taking the damper pulley off, it is about putting it back on. I will go through MY procedure:

        By far, the hardest task is to remove the crankshaft bolt. There is only one fastener with higher torque and that is the nut on the pinion gear at the rear axle. Some cars definately need a puller (like Ford and Chevy) while others don't (like Pontiac). When I was a kid, I could not get the crank bolt loose. Being young and dumb, I put a long breaker bar on the bolt, wedged the breaker bar against the frame, then I hit the starter. After a loud, 'crack' the bolt came loose. That was nearly sixty years ago. Today I use more sensible techniques. The last FE damper I removed was on an engine on a pallet. I simply put a 'C-clamp' on the flex plate, wedged against the block, and used my torque wrench on the crank bolt:

        DSCN7054a[1].jpg

        DSCN7058[1].jpg

        There is an advantage with working on old engines because they leave witness marks. The washer under the bolt is THICK because it contacts the damper, not the bolt. I use that concept to my advantage when pulling the damper off. I take the washer off the bolt and screw the bolt back in so I can use it to push against my HOME MADE puller. (Many of my best tools I make myself.)

        DSCN7064[1].jpg

        Notice the bolt head has a mark in the center? It's from my puller:

        DSCN7063[1].jpg

        This is simply a few nuts, a few strips of mild steel welded together and a few bolts. The slotted screws are finger-tight while the 'heavy lifting' is done with the center bolt. The center bolt also has a nut welded on the under side (that you can't see). This puller works VERY well.

        If I found it impossible to stop the crankshaft from turning, I would make a steel strip with a long handle that looks like a fork with two holes that fit under two of the slotted screw heads. That would work against the center crank bolt.

        Again, to install the damper, nothing works better or is safer than using the original crankshaft bolt and washer. That is how they installed dampers in Dearborn Engine Plant when these FE engines were new. Remember, DEP had to produce over 1,000 good FE engines per day just to keep up with the assembly plants. - Dave
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey Scott. Since I am the one you refer to, enlighten me as to where I went wrong.
          Ryan
          SquareBird in BirdCity

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wudro View Post
            ..............Im ready to install the new damper from CVF Racing ................ Researching, it seems there’s a tool that pushes it on flush without doing any damage. They are fairly expensive for a one time use. How have you guys installed them in the past?
            I'm not implying that you have done anything wrong (yet), just attempted to clarify the previous response you received on how to install a damper, but not finding that it was necessary to explain "properly" because you already seemed to possess this knowledge as you are aware of the proper tool, but rather seemed to just be attempting to avoid the expense.

            And yes, if the interference fitment is not great, with the use of a good high-pressure lubricant, turning the threaded fastener slowly but with constant progression so as to not generate excessive heat (friction), then one will often succeed. But particularly with after-market dampers, one may experience an interference fitment greater than that encountered on your disassembly of the O.E.M. unit which may prove in excess of what the original damper bolt to crankshaft snout thread may tolerate,..........what happens then?

            And B.T.W., often the proper damper installation tool can be barrowed/rented from many parts stores.

            Scott.


            Comment


            • #7
              Gotcha. Thanks for the advice.
              I assume you trash the threads and have a bigger issue, which I was trying to avoid.
              A rental tool isn’t available from any of the 3 or 4 main auto parts stores in AZ, especially for an FE. At least that is what they say at the counter and online. I wasn’t sure if the thread pattern was different or what. This isn’t a small block Chevy like they’re used to.
              I’ll just put an end to this thread by saying I got it installed yesterday, before any of these responses. I did my research as I mentioned, and didn’t want to pay $89 for a one-use tool, so I cleaned & lubed up the snout and damper per many instructions online and went for it. I aligned the key and gently pushed it on. Then, with a rubber mallet and a block of wood, started tapping it in straight and true. It went on like it should, then I torqued the bolt to 90 ft lbs and I’m on to the rest of assembly.
              Much appreciated for all the input everybody. Now I can build the remaining components and hopefully get this thing in my engine bay soon!
              Ryan
              SquareBird in BirdCity

              Comment


              • #8
                Again, I am responding if only for the purpose of someone else's benefit in the future: the damper installation tool utilizing a thread of 5/8" x 18t is the same for FE's, S.B.F.'s, 335 series, 385 series and even the Flat Head V8 Ford engines. Note that "Y" blocks are 9/16" x 18t.

                And be careful of the use of the "block of wood & mallet" installation process as this, if overly aggressive can displace the thrust bearing position or even cause direct damage; therefore one cannot make this a recommended procedure anymore than the previous process discussed, as although one might get away with it, another might not!

                Scott.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If I used every special tool that is suggested in the Shop Manual, I'd have a fortune in tools and they would rarely EVER be used. I'm not going to beat this dead horse either. I use a lot of home-made tools that cost nothing. For example, in stuffing pistons, I put rubber electrical cord insulation around the rod bolts. It is thinner than air hose, it costs nothing and it works just as well to prevent crankshaft 'dings' that will wipe out a bearing. I've never used a cam insertion tool because I install the cam before the crankshaft. Therefore, I can put my hands inside the block and gently guide the camshaft.

                  The damper pulley to crankshaft bolt is a simple 5/16"-18 X 1-1/2" cap screw, (355721-S for 1960 FE engines). In 1961, Ford changed the length to 2" (377850-S). When the bolt is screwed into the crankshaft it is 'centered' and the 1/4" thick washer under the head of that bolt applies even pressure all the way around. I do NOT use hammers on damper pulleys, not even with wooden blocks. These are machined parts with an interferrence fit by design. I have never cross-threaded or pulled threads out of a crankshaft and I've never needed an installation tool.

                  Use your common sense. If the bolt you are using is too short and you cannot screw it in at least three or four threads, BUY a longer one for two bucks, to start your insertion. After the damper is pulled in a sufficient distance, switch back to your OEM bolt and torque to spec's (60ft-lbs). I don't know of a difference in hole depth between FE crankshafts in the post end but Ford probably changed the spec's to a 2" for faster assembly (DEP produced 143 engines per hour). DEP simply used the bolt to pull the damper in and torque it all in one shot. Aftermarket shops don't do 143 engines in a MONTH. The numbers are mind-boggling. That's 2,288 rocker arms, pushrods, and lifters per HOUR. How about 2,860 head bolts and 1,430 main cap bolts per hour. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ok. A lot I want to say, but I won’t. It’s done.
                    Wudro
                    SquareBird in BirdCity

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ryan, this is an open forum. Go ahead and say what is on your mind. The only bad posts are the ones that nobody writes. Remember, many of our members have the same questions/concerns but are reluctant to post. Even the car manufacturers change their operations (process engineering) and their products (product engineering) in favor of a better way, a faster way or a way that saves money. Sometimes they get it wrong and they revert back to the 'old way'. I'm thinking of a block with the deck cut on an angle, like the MEL 430 and the Chevy 409 (neither company ever did that before or since). - Dave
                      My latest project:
                      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                      --Lee Iacocca

                      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                      Comment

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