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[General] How To Remove and Install the Harmonic Balancer on a VR Commodore

Dan & Stacey

New Member
Dec 8, 2013
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Byron Bay
Members Ride
VR Commodore Station Wagon
Hey guys,

The Harmonic Balancer on our 1994 VR Commodore was rattling and needed removing and replacing with a new one. After browsing the forums here & on youtube we decided we could do it ourselves, which we did successfully. So we thought we would share how we went about it.

Parts Required:

3 Bolt Puller Kit - $40 from Repco
Harmonic Balancer - $180 from Repco
3 long Bolts to fit in the holes in the back of the new Harmonic Balancer (The bolts supplied in the 3 Bolt Puller Kit from Repco are too wide)
Philips Head Screwdriver
Flat Head Screwdriver
Socket Wrench - Various sized sockets
Long Handled Socket Wrench
Rubber Mallet
Engine Coolant

Preliminary Steps:

1. Disconnect electrical cables to Thermal Fan
2. Use Philips Head Screwdriver to unscrew Thermal Fan Screws (4 of these). Place screws to one side.
3. Lift out Thermal Fan and place to one side.
4. Use Flat Head Screwdriver to remove Radiator Hoses. Place to one side.
5. Use Flat Head Screwdriver to remove smaller hoses from radiator. Only remove end attached to Radiator as fluid/oil will come through one of these. Rest these small hoses facing upwards so fluid does not leak on your floor.
6. Use pliers to remove overflow hose to radiator.
7. Use pliers to remove Radiator Clips (2 of these, 1 on each side of the radiator)
8. Lift out Radiator and place to one side.

Removal Steps:

1. Choose socket to fit size of bolt in the middle of the Harmonic Balancer. Attach to long handled Socket Wrench.
2. Attach Long Handled Socket Wrench to Bolt and move wrench so that it is tucked under Drivers Side of the Chassis, resting by itself.
3. Put the key in the ignition and without actually starting the car, tick the car over gently a couple of times. The Harmonic Balancer will move, whilst the Wrench will remain in place, its movement blocked by the Chassis. This should loosen the bolt on the middle of the Harmonic Balancer. Please make sure people stay well back from the engine whilst doing this step as there is a chance the wrench may come loose and fly out.
3. Another option for step 3 is to use a rattle gun to remove the bolt. We tried to use a 1/2 Inch Rattle Gun however this did not work. A 3/4 Inch may work.
4. Use wrench to lift Tensioner and remove Fan Belt. Place to one side.
5. Remove bolt from Harmonic Balancer using Wrench.
6. Place 3 Bolt Puller over Harmonic Balancer so that the holes in the puller line up with the holes on the Harmonic Balancer and wind middle bolt on puller through the Harmonic Balancer using Socket Wrench.
7. Take 1 of the Bolts you purchased to fit the new Harmonic Balancer and fit this bolt through one of the holes in the 3 Bolt Puller and Harmonic Balancer. Screw into place.
8. Repeat step 7 with 2 other bolts.
9. Use Socket Wrench to screw the middle Bolt of the 3 Bolt Puller in until the Harmonic Balancer is pulled off.

Installation Steps:

1. Place new Harmonic Balancer on. The keyed section of the new Harmonic Balancer will ensure it lines up correctly.
2. Gently tap the Harmonic Balancer on with a Rubber Mallett.
3. Place the Harmonic Balancer Bolt through the new Harmonic Balancer and tighten using Wrench and/or Rattle Gun.

Final Steps:
1. Put parts back in car in converse order to what you took them out in the Preliminary Steps.
2. Put new Engine Coolant into Radiator.

These are the steps that we took so hope that helps anyone who is looking to do it themselves. Everyone we spoke to at Supercheap Auto, Repco, Etc, said that it was too hard to do it ourselves, however it was actually quite simple.

Good Luck! :)


Can't live without smoky bacon!
Staff member
Apr 15, 2006
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Sth Auck, NZ
Members Ride
HSV VS Senator, VX s2 Calais S/C
Not a bad write up. I Would recommend that you find an old bolt and put it in the snout of the harmonic balancer so that the thrust bolt of the puller doesn't damage the snout of the crank or the internal thread. I find that cap screws work well here.

Some times folks recommend using a little sealer on the crank snout before fitting the new balancer to prevent leaks, either that or a little oil to help the balancer slide on. I would also recommend using the original balancer bolt is used to pull the new balancer on rather than hitting it with a mallet as you risk damaging the crank thrust bearing in the engine.



Sep 17, 2008
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Central Coast, NSW
Members Ride
2010 VE SV6
Save your Coolant, leave the Radiator in, no need to remove it, Enough room with it in.