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1995 Corolla DX
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know the procedure -
Situate a breaker bar onto the crankshaft pulley bolt, crank the engine.
That is how I ended up having to remove mine during a recent water pump job.
It didn;t take much, just barely tap the key and the bolt comes loose.

So the question is - is this a particularly bad idea? Is there much chance it would ruin the front main seal?

The engine seems to run fine now without any extra noises or anything.

So anyways, is it a particularly bad idea or just a "possibly" bad?
 

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1997 Corolla
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Others will disagree with me, but I always use this method, and I don't think it risks damaging the starter or flywheel teeth. I don't think the starter can generate enough force to damage the teeth, like if the engine were seized, cranking the starter wouldn't damage the flywheel.

I challenge anyone to find on any forum or any video on the Internet where someone damaged their starter or flywheel teeth using this method. I can see damaging the bolt if it's not braced correctly, or the bolt breaking if it was previously overtightened, but in that case it may have broken with an impact wrench too.

I don't see any way that it would ruin the front main seal.

On the other hand, it was pointed out to me that you still need to hold the crank pulley somehow when tightening the bolt to the proper torque, so whatever tool you use to hold it while tightening you could use to loosen. It's just easier to set it up to loosen using the starter-bump method.

I did it a few days ago. Just one bump of the starter and it was loose! I first heard of this method by a Toyota mechanic at my local dealer many years ago.

 
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I have seen lots of concerns expressed about what might happen, but I agree with my fellow Arizonian.

I've done it many times and never had a problem or even heard of anyone who actually caused a problem by doing it that way. I don't see how it would affect the main seal at all.
 

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I've done it in a pinch, but I use it as a last resort, mostly because the chance of the bolt rounding. I'll always hit it with my biggest impact before I go this route. If it rounds you're really SOL.
I agree 100%

A six point socket is an absolute must... and make darn sure it's situated correctly. I've done it in a pinch, but prefer to use an impact.
 

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1997 Corolla
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I used a 12-point socket in the picture above. A 6-point would have been better. In either case it would be hard to round off the bolt with this method. It will either hold it and loosen, or it will fall off because it's not braced correctly. That's been my experience. When a bolt gets rounded it's usually from applying the torque while not holding the socket/wrench squarely on a bolt/nut or the bolt/nut is rusted. I mean it takes a human holding the wrench at a slight angle while turning to round it.
 
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