1993 Buick Century 3.3LT GM V6

Tiny
WISCGOLFGUY
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 BUICK CENTURY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 152,000 MILES
I got this car about a year ago. It ran good at first but started having an itermitant starting problem. I was ablr to get the cae to start by taking an igniton wire off the coil at get it to start. I did replace plugs wires, all three coils and the EDM. It started but then quit running after a few days. The last time it ran it had no power and stumble a lot. After that it wont start. I was advised this car had issues with the crank sensor. I am trying the replace that but I am at the point where I need to remove the 28mm bolt on the crank dampener to get to the sensor. I am having a hard time gettting the bolt to move first and second I am not sure if it a reverse thread or not. Any advise or helpful tips?

Thanks CJ
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Monday, August 11th, 2008 AT 7:41 AM

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Tiny
JALOPYPAPA
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Hi, Golfguy. You're going to need some serious torque, generated by an impact wrench, big pneumatic wrench or a 2 foot breaker bar with an additional 2 foot cheater pipe. Obviously, you've also got to keep the crankshaft from turning, by jamming a big screwdriver in the flywheel teeth, but maybe you've already got that part taken care of. The bolt is regular right-hand threads.

After that, you're going to need a crankshaft pulley puller, and you'll probably find that ones available don't include the bolts you need. Let me know and I'll go out to the shed and tell you the size you need.
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Monday, August 11th, 2008 AT 8:32 PM
Tiny
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I had no problem removing the bolt but now the issue is the removal. I got a tool kit for removal but it wont work. There is no where to thread the three bolt to use the puller and the gear style unit is too small. I think there are some line threads in the balancer that are at a bigger diameter than the crank bolt. Is this the proper way to remove the balancer? I even went as far is trying to tap the slots to use the puller but they don't hold. I called a Buick dealer and they were of no use, as usual.

Thanks,
CJ
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 AT 8:15 AM
Tiny
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Golf: The holes are there; they're just not easy to see, and as I said, they're probably smaller than the bolts that came with your puller.

I'm not where I can check right now, but I think they're quarter-inch. If you've got some random bolts around, you can probably find one that fits but may have to go to True Value or equivalent to find the right length, I want to say two inches long or so, or at least long enough to thread and still go through the puller slots. Lowe's/Home Depot won't have them.

By the way, a gear-type puller will probably destroy the pulley/ harmonic balancer. It has two pieces connected by a rubber damper.
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 AT 9:51 AM
Tiny
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OK, CJ, I've double-checked. The bolts are quarter inch, fine threads (28 pitch). The ones I used are three inches long. The holes are inside the slots.

Hope that helps.
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
WISCGOLFGUY
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OK, iam confused. I don, t see anything behind the three slots that looks strong enough to pull the balencer off. My thought was a meteric pusher placed inside the balancer shaft that butts up to the crank threads. Could you expand on where I can find these bolt recievers to pull on? There isn't anything strong enough behind the slots that I can see to pull that hard. I could be very wrong but would like to not damage the balancer.

Thanks
CJ
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 12:24 AM
Tiny
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Yeah, it's surprising that quarter-inch bolts, especially with fine threads, could pull the balancer, but that's the only way I can see, and as I said, it worked for me. Shine a flashlight in the slots and you'll see the hole. I even double-checked last night by threading a bolt into it. I guess it doesn't really take a lot of force to pull off, just even pressure around the shaft.

By the way, if you're so inclined, after you get it off and replace the crank sensor, you might go ahead and replace the front crankshaft seal. I wish I'd done it when I had the chance, since it leaks a little now.
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 10:20 AM
Tiny
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Am I blind or is it possible that the cover plate on the out side rorated? I have looked and looked and can not see a place to put that size bolt in. I was able to find one hole with threads but no others. This is nuts could there be an issue with the balancer outside cover rotating? Otherwise there is nothing to really thread into. Frustrated beyond belief. HELP!

Thanks,
CJ

P.S. You stated the hole is there just one small one? Am I looking for too many?
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 10:38 AM
Tiny
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CJ: Each of the three slots should give access to one small hole apiece. Seems to me that if you can see one, the others must be pretty near the other two slots.

It is possible for the outer, pulley, part of the balancer (which the slots are in) to shift in relation to the inner, hub part (which the holes are in). As I said, they're connected only by rubber, which can break. That's why I had to pull mine. I was able to turn the pulley on the hub back and forth about 45 degrees. It was making a gosh-awful racket, too, with the two parts clanging against each other. Maybe yours is just starting to fail.
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 12:17 PM
Tiny
WISCGOLFGUY
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Thanks a ton. I got the bolts as you said and the balancer came off with ease. I got the crank sensor out and had it tested and the hunch was correct. Sensor was dead on the inside track. It's got a dual track, outside was good. Now comes the next part. I have read over and over about making sure there is a.025 gap for the sensor. But it has two bolts and pivot on a third peg in between. I don't want to get this far and wreck the sensor as warned, but not sure which area the gap is supposed to be or the way it's adjusted. There are no sims or and real play for the sensor to move? Any more fantastic advice?

And again thanks a ton for your help so far.
CJ
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 4:50 PM
Tiny
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OK, now I have replaced the crank sensor, and without GM tool J-they-want-how-much-for-it? It took a lot of patience and a.020 feeler gauge.

Leaving off the plastic splash shield, install the sensor in its pedestal loosely and start the balancer back on, monitoring the space between the back of the balancer and the sensor, making sure you can still reach in from above to get the feeler gauge between them. When the outer interrupter ring is within the sensor's grooves but there's still enough room, get your feeler gauge between the outer edge of the outer interrupter ring and the inner edge of the outermost groove in the sensor. Push the sensor toward the gauge until it contacts the gauge. Remove the gauge and turn the crank over. Listen for any rubbing and check clearance again on two more roughly equidistant locations around the ring. Once there's no more rubbing, tighten the pinch bolt on the sensor pedestal. Tighten the balancer down until it seats. Turn the crank again 360 degrees. If you hear any rubbing, pull the balancer off and try again (and you'll need to remove it again anyway if you want to replace the splash shield).

CJ: I haven't replaced the crank sensor on this car, so I'm sorry, I'm not sure. In general, I know there needs to be an air gap between the magnetic pickup (in this case, two pickups) and an interrupter ring (in this case, on the back of the harmonic balancer). My Haynes manual isn't much help: "A special tool which fits over the end of the crankshaft should be used to check the interrupter rings and adjust the new sensor." But it doesn't give any clues about what this tool is.

Then there's this contradictory advice at autozone. Com that refers to the.025 inch gap you mention: "The crankshaft position sensor is not adjustable for ignition timing, but positioning of the interrupter ring is very important. A clearance of 0.025 inch (0.64mm) is required on either side of the interrupter ring. Failure to maintain adequate clearance will damage the sensor."

I'm not sure whether you're saying the sensor does (in keeping with the first statement) or does not (in keeping with the second statement) have adjustment play in its installation bolts. And do the interrupter rings on the back of the balancer look adjustable to you? I seem to remember them being integral with the balancer.

I think what I would do is just rotate the crankshaft through a turn after getting the balancer back on and make sure I didn't hear any rubbing noise that would indicate the rings making contact with the sensor. That's about the only way I can imagine the rings would damage the sensor, anyway.
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
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I think I found the tool:

Hmmm. Maybe it can be rented somewhere. GM tool J-37089. Available here for a mere $495: http://www.toolsource.com/crankshaft-sensor-adjustment-balancer-checker-p-95542.html?sourceid=nextag

I think I see the configuration now, too. You've got a bracket that bolts to the front cover with a long pinch bolt that clamps two arms onto the sides of the sensor itself. Does the sensor adjust in its bracket toward and away from the crankshaft? If so, it seems to me likely you're going to need the tool to line it up. I'm sorry I didn't know to warn you about this.

The interrupter rings on the balancer are fixed, as I thought, so as long as they're not bent, they should be OK.

There's an interesting discussion here: http://www.automotiveforums.com/t618623.html
about using a thick rubber band around the interrupter rings to measure the gap.
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 AT 9:03 PM

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