How to Remove Crankshaft Pulley Bolt Without an Impact Gun?

how to remove a crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun

If you’re a car enthusiast, you probably know the frustration of trying to remove a crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun – it can be an absolute nightmare! But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly how to remove that pesky bolt and get on with your project. So buckle up and get ready – it’s time to tackle that crankshaft pulley bolt!


Removing a crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun is a challenging task, requiring patience and the right tools and techniques. Knowing how to do it can be an invaluable skill, particularly when working with older vehicles that don’t have the modern features found on more recent models.

In this guide, we will discuss how to remove a crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun so that you can tackle this job yourself with confidence. We will cover:

  • The supplies you’ll need
  • Methods for loosening and removing the bolt
  • Tips for accommodating difficult scenarios

With the information presented here in hand, you’ll be prepared to expertly remove your crankshaft pulley bolt – whether in your home garage or elsewhere.

Tools and Materials Needed

To remove the crankshaft pulley bolt from your vehicle, it’s best to use the right tools for the job. The following is a list of items you’ll need to safely and effectively complete this task:

  • Hammer
  • Socket Wrench (the correct size for your bolt)
  • Wood Block
  • Pry bars or large screwdriver
  • Penetrating oil
  • Flashlight (optional)
  • Impact gun (optional but recommended)

Once you have all the necessary tools and materials ready, you can begin working on your crankshaft pulley bolt. Be sure to wear protective gear such as safety glasses and gloves when performing any type of automotive maintenance or repair.

Steps for Removing a Crankshaft Pulley Bolt

If you’re working on an engine and need to remove a crankshaft pulley bolt, you may find that you don’t have access to an impact gun. Fortunately, there are some solutions for this situation. By following these steps, you should be able to remove the bolt without needing a power tool.

  1. Start by lubricating the crankshaft pulley bolt with penetrating oil and allowing it to soak for approximately 15 minutes. This will help weaken any rust buildup or other debris which might be making the bolt difficult to remove.
  2. Once the oil is finished soaking, use a socket wrench and breaker bar in order to apply torque pressure on the side of the bolt head while turning it counterclockwise (left). If possible, use two wrenches instead of one – using two provides extra leverage which can help break through any stubborn resistance.
  3. Use WD-40 or a commercial spray-on penetrating oil in order to break through any resistance in the bolt if it still won’t come loose with wrenches alone. If necessary, consider using a pipe wrench or locking pliers as an alternative way of applying torque pressure on the head of the bolt as well as increasing your chances of success in removing it without needing an impact gun or other power tools.
  4. Finally, always remember safety first and wear safety glasses when attempting this type of repair on your engine in case something unexpected happens during removal of the crankshaft pulley bolt such as flying debris from more aggressive attempts at removal with pipe wrenches etc..

Tips for Removing a Crankshaft Pulley Bolt Without an Impact Gun

In some cases, the crankshaft pulley bolt may be difficult to remove without an impact gun. If you don’t have an impact gun or a vehicle that is compatible with an impact gun, you may need to make use of some tips and tricks to get the job done safely.

To start, the crankshaft pulley bolt should be soaked in penetrating oil several hours before you attempt to remove it. Additionally, if available, you may use a serpentine belt tool or breaker bar wrench to help with the removal. Make sure that you select a socket size that fits snugly over the head of the bolt.

Once in place and making sure not to snap off any edges of the hex head part of this bolt, proceed with loosening it counterclockwise with a steady firm grip. It is important to note that this job requires patience as it might take quite a bit of effort for this bolt nut to come loose from its threads due to rust and corrosion build up over time from its constant contact with engine fluids and thermal expansion from heat cycles during engine operation over time.

If all attempts fail using these methods, you can use vice grips clamped onto one side of the nut while using your hand wrench on another side then gradually loosen and unscrew without risking damage on any other parts such as flying debris created by tapping it with a hammer that could end up in uncomfortable places and requiring further repair work down road like when eventually replacing spark plugs again or getting into deep cleaning out naturally occurring buildups inside intake runners!

Alternatives to an Impact Gun

When attempting to loosen crankshaft pulley bolts without an impact gun, it is important to use the correct size and type of wrench or socket. Impact guns generally provide higher torque, making them ideal for particularly stubborn bolts. If an impact gun isn’t available, there are several alternatives that can sometimes work just as well.

One option for removing a crankshaft pulley bolt without an impact gun is using a breaker bar. A breaker bar combines long length with increased leverage to apply more torque than a regular wrench can provide at the same pressure point. Additionally, you can apply more downward pressure on the end of the bar which helps remove stubborn bolts.

Another alternative is using an air ratchet wrench which provides a rotating motion that shifts back and forth while continuing to put pressure on the bolt head. This method uses compressed air rather than impacting its rotation, thus removing the risk of putting too much stress on its internal components from sudden impacts.

Finally, some mechanics prefer traditional techniques such as using penetrating oil and heat in order to loosen rusted bolts or effectively break surface rust away from their contact points before applying any other tools in their toolkit to loosen them up further.

Safety Considerations

Before attempting to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt, it’s important to take some safety precautions. To avoid potential injury or damage to the vehicle, always ensure that the engine is turned off and allow the engine to cool down to a safe temperature before attempting any repairs.

In addition, be sure that the area around the pulley is clean and clear of debris, as loose parts may cause unexpected problems. Additionally, protective clothing including steel-toed boots, gloves, eye protection and a face mask should be worn while working on this project.

Finally, take care when using power tools and make sure that appropriate protective equipment is utilized (e.g. hearing protection).


If you are in a situation where you need to remove a crankshaft pulley bolt but do not have an impact gun, such as in a no-start situation, other tools can be used to break the bolt free. It is important to take all necessary precautions and remember that safety is the utmost priority.

Most crankshaft pulley bolts are reverse threaded, meaning they turn counter-clockwise to remove. Because of this direction opposite of what most mechanics are used to, it is easy for them to miss this fact and end up breaking something extra when using traditional tools that require clockwise motion. The first step in troubleshooting should always be visually inspecting the bolt for any signs of looseness or corrosion before beginning any attempt at removing it with alternative tools.

Once you have determined the bolt shows no signs of willingness to move on its own or has been overtightened due to an extended period from previous repair attempts, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Apply penetrating oil such as WD-40 or PB Blaster over the entire bolt length and allow 10-15 minutes for soaking.
  2. If available, use a breaker bar or powered ratchet with sockets designed for the size crank pulley gear sizes available at most auto parts stores (such as 12mm JIS Sockets). Apply force in a clockwise motion requiring extra precaution that it does not slip off suddenly and injure yourself or anyone standing nearby during the operation.
  3. If the breaker bar or powered ratchet cannot generate enough force, then use an impact drill with the appropriate head bit installed centered properly overtop against the pulley surface, covering as much surface area against the weakest point of tension as possible with constant pressurization applied continuously until bolt becomes free and falls off crankshaft system.. Be sure that adequate protective equipment is being worn during operation (such as glasses/goggles).


Removing a stuck crankshaft pulley bolt is a job that requires patience and the right tools. Before attempting to remove the pulley, inspect the components around it for signs of wear. If any wear is noted, replace it with a new part before attempting to remove the crankshaft pulley.

If you’re confident in your method, it’s possible to remove the stubborn bolt without an impact gun, but it will take some time and effort. However, if you want the job done quickly, using an impact gun is highly recommended.

By following this guide, you should now be ready to tackle this common automotive task without an impact gun and get your vehicle operating smoothly again in no time!

Leave a Comment