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Old 08-23-2015
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Icon4 Crankshaft Thread Woes

CRANKSHAFT THREADS AND SMASHED DUE TO INCORECCT USE OF HARMONIC BALANCER REMOVER TOOL.

So I made probably the worst mistake of my life working on my 2001 Ranger 3.0L V6. I had a coolant leak from the front timing cover and decided to do the work myself. Everything was going smoothly until I decided to install the harmonic balancer. Both the original nut and the harmonic balance too would not screw onto the crank.

After much thinking and going through my steps, I determined I used the harmonic balancer remover tool incorrectly. I did not put the pointed tip on the end and ended up smashing the first 1-2 threads down in the crankshaft!

So basically I now much figure out how to repair those threads in order to get the balancer back on.

My main question is am I totally screwed or is this repairable? Do I not need to remove the entire engine and eventually the crankshaft in order to get it to a machine shop to repair the treads? I have a tap and die set but have been unable to trade in the chaser to repair the treads.

I read last night that I could get a triangle file and cut through the first two buggered up threads to get the thread repair chaser in there.

I've never made this mistake before and am feeling defeated. I'm questioning all my steps now and don't know what option I should take. I would like to get this fix myself if possible but won't hesitate to take it to a shop if required.

Any and all advise is appreciated.
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Old 08-23-2015
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Take bolt to auto parts store and use it's threads to get the correct Tap size for the crank holes threads.

Taps are tapered so you can get them into the hole even with damaged end threads.

Just go slowly and make sure Tap is going in straight, use lots of oil, and back Tap out often and clean off metal filings then reinsert.
Shouldn't take very long to get damaged threads cut out or rethreaded with the Tap, so each time you pull it back out try the bolt, don't forced it

And yes you could also use a drill bit, NOT a file, that is slightly larger than the hole to drill down to remove damaged threads.
You would use the bolt to get correct size drill bit.

A file would be very hard to use and not damage the threads farther down the hole.

No matter what method you use make sure to clean out the hole before final threading and tightening of bolt

Last edited by RonD; 08-23-2015 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-23-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Take bolt to auto parts store and use it's threads to get the correct Tap size for the crank holes threads.

Taps are tapered so you can get them into the hole even with damaged end threads.

Just go slowly and make sure Tap is going in straight, use lots of oil, and back Tap out often and clean off metal filings then reinsert.
Shouldn't take very long to get damaged threads cut out or rethreaded with the Tap, so each time you pull it back out try the bolt, don't forced it

And yes you could also use a drill bit, NOT a file, that is slightly larger than the hole to drill down to remove damaged threads.
You would use the bolt to get correct size drill bit.

A file would be very hard to use and not damage the threads farther down the hole.

No matter what method you use make sure to clean out the hole before final threading and tightening of bolt
Your response makes me hopeful. I went to ace and got a 9/16"-18NF TAP. Is that correct? I took the bolt but couldn't verify the size becaus i think the treads on it are messed up a little too.

Does anyone know the correct size of the bolt for a 2001 ranger 3.0L?

Furthermore, Ive never done this repair before. Would you mind explaining the process for me? What oil do I use? Is the tap cutting new threads or just cleaning out the smashed ones? Do I have to heli coil at this point? There's a lot of good threads farther into the crank past the two or three damagad rows.

I may of never done this but am here now and want to fix my error. One I hope not to repeat :) thanks for all the help!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf tap 1.pdf (1.90 MB, 89 views)
File Type: pdf bolt 1.pdf (1.42 MB, 84 views)
File Type: pdf bolt 2.pdf (1.42 MB, 55 views)
File Type: pdf bolt 3.pdf (1.54 MB, 62 views)

Last edited by shadetree4; 08-23-2015 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-23-2015
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Tap won't be right, 3.0l vulcan engine was all metric if memory serves.
You will need to hit the wrecking yard or Ford dealer to get another bolt if threads are not perfect, and then get correct Tap size.
If bolt threads are damaged you will be worse off if you try to use it, it will get hard to turn and then break off in the hole.

Motor oil is fine, even olive oil, lol, just any slippery substance that will stick to the tap threads.

A Tap is made of harder steel than the crank, a tap is what Ford used to make the threads at the factory that made the crank.

You thread in the Tap by hand as far as you can then use a wrench/socket on the square end to continue turning it, but make sure it stays straight.

Tap will break off unusable threads and clean out the usable ones.

No you won't need helicoil
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Old 08-23-2015
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Edit

So I got the threads cleaned out and the bolt goes in, thank god!

New problem is that the harmonic balancer won't bottom out against the timing cover. I installed a repair sleeve on the balancer, it came with the timing cover set.

Do I need to lube the crankshaft and/or harmonic balancer? What about in the groove for the key?

Last edited by shadetree4; 08-24-2015 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 08-24-2015
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Does the key way in the crankshaft come out? I'm thinking the key way or shaft thing in the crankshaft is pushed up just a little keeping the pullu from going on. Just a thought and I'll take off the front cover tonight to check the key
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Old 08-24-2015
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The Woodruff key will move when you tighten the bolt to push the balancer on all the way, so if it is "raised" in the back it will "level out" as the balancer's slot pushes it down
Yes, the Woodruff Key does come out.
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Old 08-24-2015
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
The Woodruff key will move when you tighten the bolt to push the balancer on all the way, so if it is "raised" in the back it will "level out" as the balancer's slot pushes it down
Yes, the Woodruff Key does come out.
Ron,

Thanks for all the help. I replaced the timing chain, is it possible that I did not push the lower timing gear that slides over the crankshaft not all the way back against the engine?

I'm stumped, but I think I'll just take the timing cover back off and check my work.

What might cause the harmonic balance to not slide all the way onto the crankshaft? I am using the correct installer, rented from the local auto parts store.
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Old 08-24-2015
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I think you would have noticed if the chain was at an angle, which it would be if crank gear wasn't in line with cam gear.

Never used an "installer" for the main pulley/balancer, "remover" yes, usually you just slide it on and put a 2x4 across it and tap it with a hammer a few times then use the bolt to pull it in the rest of the way.

Crank position sensor "could" get in the way if it is installed.
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Old 08-24-2015
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
I think you would have noticed if the chain was at an angle, which it would be if crank gear wasn't in line with cam gear.

Never used an "installer" for the main pulley/balancer, "remover" yes, usually you just slide it on and put a 2x4 across it and tap it with a hammer a few times then use the bolt to pull it in the rest of the way.

Crank position sensor "could" get in the way if it is installed.
Ron,

CPS is not installed yet so it isn't the problem.

I also think I would of noticed if the chain was at any angle.

I guess my next step is to take it all apart and investigate.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-24-2015
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Yes, better safe than sorry, parts ain't cheap, and you are ready used up all your luck on the crank bolt, lol
Joking, doesn't take any luck, just some common sense.
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Old 08-26-2015
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So I took off the timing cover and checked the chain, crackshafe and key. Everything seems to be in order. I checked to see if the harmonic balancer went onto the crankshaft smoothly with the cover off and it bottomed out exactly like it was supposed. Please see the pictures.

I will install again later today with cover and see where I am at.

Is there supposed to be any type of gab between the back of the balancer and the timing cover or does it sit flush?
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Crankshaft Thread Woes-ranger-1.jpg   Crankshaft Thread Woes-ranger-2.jpg   Crankshaft Thread Woes-ragner-3.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2015
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not going to bottom out on cover, just want to make sure it lines up with accessories (alt, power steering and a/c )
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Old 08-26-2015
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Originally Posted by hall View Post
not going to bottom out on cover, just want to make sure it lines up with accessories (alt, power steering and a/c )
My God, I've been thinking it's supposed to bottom out and thinking I did something wrong! O well you live and you learn. Thank you so much for setting this straight!
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