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MG MGB Technical - Crank Pulley Removal

I checked all the previous BBS archives and read most (there were tons!) of them. What I want to know is with the engine in the vehicle, is it possible to remove the crank pulley/bolt without removing the radiator, steering rack, etc.? I have already flattened out the locking tab on the crank bolt and of course, when I turn the wrench, the crank turns backwards without any effort at all! I tried wedging a block of wood under the pulley between the frame but it doesn't hold. Because of my illness I am unable to spend a lot of time under the car to do this properly. I don't want to have to get into all this disassembly just to check the timing chain and replace the chain tensioner. As it is, the steering rack is rust covered and after an ill-fated attempt to remove the bolts to pull the rack down, I pulled a muscle---they are completely rusted in place. (Used breaker bar with a length of pipe on bolts.) Any suggestions?
Don DiRienzo

Loosening the crank pulley bolt is simple. Place a socket on the bolt and let the bar rest against the left-hand-side frame rail.
Disconnect the high tension lead to make sure the engine cannot start and briefly turn the ignition key to kick the starter. The bolt is now loose.

David Overington

Thanks David. I did see that mentioned in the archive but not with as much detail. I'll give that a try. But what about the rest of my questions? Will I be able to get the pulley out without removing other components?
Don DiRienzo

Don If you cant loosen the steering rack you may have to unbolt the engine mounts and lift the front of the engine with a plank and bottle jack. The rack is usually easy.

Why not put in 4th gear with the handbrake on? You don't say the year, but even in a car with the rear-mounted rad I can get a socket and ratchet onto the crank pulley nut. Even easier with the front-mounted rad. Whether it can be *removed* with the rear-mounted rad and rack in position I couldn't say. If the rack nuts and bolts are unmovable then I'd expect the nuts for the round mounting rubbers, if you have a 77 or later, to be at least as bad if not worse, if you think about raising the engine instead, and you will probably need to remove the rack to get the drivers side undone anyway!
Paul Hunt

Thanks Denis; I thought about that. As long as I can handle reaching in to remove the mounts, I may try it. And, as always, another thanks to Paul for your input. Sorry I left out the details: 1968 mgb roadster. I managed to get a 1 5/16" socket on the nut but I couldn't prevent the engine from turning with it. Of course, that's because I couldn't spend enough time underneath the car to lock the engine up. I had it in gear, with the brake on so there's a good chance my clutch isn't holding.(?) Anyway, I appreciate the advice and will try to attempt it myself this weekend.
Don DiRienzo

To lock up the motor so I could remove the pulley on my pickup, I did the following.
Rotated the motor just pass TDC.
Removed the #1 spark plug.
Fed a length of rope into the #1 cylinder. I left some rope dangling in the hole so I could remove the rope when finished.
Using a breaker bar and socket I removed the bolt holding the pulley. The motor initially turned as the piston compressed the rope and locked the motor. Use even pressure to break the bolt loose, if you have to, use a length of pipe to give you more leverage. You don't want to risk the wrench slipping and causing unwanted damage.

I like using this method as opposed to wedging a breaker bar in place and using the starter to bump the motor. There is no risk of the breaker bar slipping and going through the radiator.
I have used the bumping the motor method to break loose the bolts on several Volvo motors after removing the radiators without problems.

This thread was discussed between 21/08/2008 and 30/08/2008

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