Choosing a Crankshaft Gear
When it comes to shopping for something as important to running your automobile as a crankshaft gear is, you simply cannot leave anything to luck or chance. Since the crankshaft controls the up and down motion of the cylinders, and the crankshaft gear controls the timing of the motion relative to the camshaft, you have to be extremely careful in making this purchase-get it wrong and your engine could simply stop working.
Will it fit?
While it is true that all engines operate in more or less the same way, there are actually a lot of differences in size and form that makes the question of fit very important. You just can't get any crankshaft gear as it might not fit in your engine! In fact, even if you get the size right, you might run into trouble if the teeth of the gear don't synchronize with your timing belt.
So, when choosing a crankshaft gear, the first thing to look at is the size of the gear relative to your engine. The second consideration is the teeth of the gear itself. A good guide to making the right selection is the gear that you are trying to replace. What then, if you're shopping online? Well, that's even better! Online retailers allow you to refine your search down to the specific year, make, and model of your vehicle.
Does material matter?
The answer is, of course, yes. Now, a lot of crankshaft gears sold online and in-store-especially from well-known brands-are actually guaranteed to be made from premium stainless steel an d the like. There are, however, some cheap replacement gears out there that are made from equally cheap, easily broken sheet metals. These fly under the radar fairly often and are a danger more than anything else.
The best way to avoid them-short of materials testing-is to look at the price tags. A good-quality branded gear will set you back around the neighborhood of $25-50. Any more is alright for the higher-end brands. Lower-by $10-should raise red flags. This is too important a part to skimp out on.
All You Need to Know: Taking Out and Putting In a Crankshaft Gear
Crankshaft gears are critical to proper engine timing and without them, you go nowhere real fast. The great news is that-despite of the complexity of your engine-the gear is easy enough to put in given a lot of patience, all the right tools, and a comprehensive guide like this one. Any etermined DIY-er can get this installation done in an hour, so let's get to it.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Stuff you will need:
- New crankshaft gear
- Your vehicle's owner's manual
- Tommy bar
- Screwdrivers-Philips and flathead
- 22-19mm socket
- 12mm socket
- 3-arm puller
- 22x19 open-end wrench
Part I: Removing the old crankshaft gear
Step 1: Disconnect the negative terminal of your battery as you will be working with a lot of metal parts-this can spare you a nasty shock.
Step 2: Locate the crankshaft gear on the front side of your engine.
Step 3: Carefully bend the crankshaft washer down using the Tommy bar-this washer helps secure the gear in place.
Step 4: Slowly insert a larger-sized screwdriver between the teeth of the flywheel and the engine casing.
*Note* This is very important as it will keep the flywheel and crank from turning when you pull out the crank gear.
Step 5: Remove the crankshaft gear's retaining bolt with the 12mm socket installed on the ratchet-use an extension to help the tip reach the bolt.
Step 6: Carefully place a pulled over the crankshaft gear-use the 22-19mm socket to push the bolt.
*Note* Use a 3-arm puller to lessen the chance of damaging the engine during gear removal.
Step 7: Remove the old crankshaft gear.
Part II: Installing a new crankshaft gear
Step 8: Align the "key" on the new gear to the "key way" on your vehicle's crankshaft.
Step 9: Press the new gear into place flush and tight-use the hammer to tap the gear onto the crankshaft if necessary.
Step 10: Insert the washer you tool out in Step 3, making sure that the hole and locking tooth line up.
Step 11: Place a 22x19 mm wrench in the lighting hole of the flywheel to prevent it from moving.
Step 12: Tighten up the securing bolt for the crankshaft gear using a 12 mm socket and ratchet.
Step 13: When you are satisfied that the gear is secure, use the Tommy bar and/or wood chisel to bend up the lock washer to complete the installation.
Step 14: Reconnect the battery, and test if the engine starts.
- Cover those eyes with safety goggle to guard them from anything that may fly about.
- Wear insulated gloves as a precaution against electric shocks.
- Since you are working with some heavy parts and tools, do not go for open-toed shoes.