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Jerry, Master Mechanic
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 17213
Experience:  ASE Master tech. 30+ years mechanic, shop forman, service manager
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Removal of harmonic balancer to replace cam sensor

Resolved Question:

removal of harmonic balancer to replace cam sensor
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  Jerry replied 8 years ago.

HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on JustAnswer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:
-What year

What model?

What engine?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
97 buick lasabre 3.8 liter im attempting to replace the crankshaft sensor i need some step by step instructions. plus if there are any special tools ill need to get it off also on the harmonic balancer does the bolt turn to left or right (hopfully thats not a stupid question)
Expert:  Jerry replied 8 years ago.

The only stupid question they say is the one that we don't ask, (lol) Embarassed


No problem. The bolt does go to the left, (like a normal thread) and the engine may want to turn also. If you don't have an air gun to do it, then what I nornally do is put a pull bar on it and lock it against the floor, then turn the key so the engine will turn and the bolt will not. That will get it loose. Unless of course, you have a flywheel holding tool, (or prybar)


The puller that you need you can normally borrow from Autozone through their loan a tool program. Here are the instructions for the sensor, thanks










  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the serpentine belt(s) from the crankshaft pulley.
  3. Raise the vehicle on a hoist.
  4. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly.
  5. Remove the right inner fender access cover.
  6. Hold the flywheel with J 37096 or equivalent Flywheel Holding Tool.
  7. Using 28 mm socket, remove the crankshaft harmonic balancer retaining bolt.
  8. Remove the crankshaft harmonic balancer using special tool J 38197 or equivalent Balancer Remover. (Do Not use a pry bar)
  9. Remove the crankshaft position sensor shield
  10. Disconnect the sensor electrical connector.
  11. Remove 2 attaching bolts from the crankshaft position sensor.
  12. Remove the crankshaft position sensor from block face.


  1. Position the crankshaft position (CKP) sensor to the block.
  2. Install the bolts to hold the CKP sensor to the block face.
    • Tighten the bolts to 20-40 Nm (14-28 lb ft) .
  1. Install the crankshaft position sensor shield.
  2. Connect the CKP sensor electrical connector.
  3. Position the crankshaft harmonic balancer on the crankshaft.
  4. Hold the flywheel with J 37096 or equivalent Flywheel Holding Tool.
    • Using J 36660 or equivalent Torque/Angle Meter, tighten the harmonic balancer bolt to 150 Nm +76 degrees (111 lb ft +76 degrees) .
  1. Install the right inner fender access cover.
  2. Install the right front wheel and tire assembly.
    • Tighten the wheel nuts to 140 Nm (104 lb ft) .
  1. Lower the vehicle.
  2. Install the serpentine belt(s).
  3. Connect the negative battery cable.
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