Bottom (crank) pulley removal

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Please read in conjunction with Lotus Service Manuals

dapinky methods

Not only does this have to be removed to change the timing belt anyway, but it will make life a lot easier to remove it in order to remove the right-hand engine mounting, which needs to come off to get to the cam-belt cover to gain access to the water pump!!!

The single bolt is tightened to 170Nm / 125 ft.lbs.f

The manual simply gives it one sentence “Remove the crank pulley bolt” but it isn’t that easy!

Without going into a tale of woe, here are a few options to try –

1. Air impact wrench

Put the car in 5th gear, chock the wheels, handbrake on. Jack the front of the car up and place on firm axle stands using the correct Jacking Points. Take the front right-hand wheel off, use a 17mm impact socket on the bolt and an air impact wrench on maximum torque. (Only works with a good compressor / air wrench!). Do not use an 11/16” AF socket – it is half a mil too big and may shatter.

Lots of bars and plenty of leverage…….

2. Willing assistant

Put the car in 5th gear, chock the wheels, handbrake on. If you have an assistant handy, then removal of the front O/S (right-hand) wheel (car on FIRM axle stand using the correct Jacking Points) would give better 'straight' access to the bolt. Get the assistant to apply pressure to the brakes from the driver’s seat whilst applying force.

3. Billy no-mates

Keep all wheels on the ground, handbrake on, chock the wheels, car in 5th gear.

There is just enough clearance in front of the tyre to get a socket, 5” bar, 10” bar, another 5” bar & swivel wrench on the bolt and apply some pressure. Use the old proverb “Don’t force it, use a bigger hammer!” I used a 5’ scaffold bar for leverage on the breaker bar.

With the extra leverage it won’t take much to twist all of the extension bars, causing one of them to snap (poor quality tools = grief). Only use good quality tools with high force loading, and DO NOT be tempted to use a ratchet wrench (it will break!) or a Torque wrench (it will take it out of accurate use for the future).

4. Friendly garage

Overall, I think that car on a 4-post lift, all wheels on the ground (ramp!), assistant on the brakes and a scaff bar for leverage from underneath would be the best bet. That way there would be no need for any extension bars, just a 17mm impact socket and a good breaker bar. With that much torque on lots of extension bars, they're almost bound to twist and make the job harder (as I proved).

Unfortunately, this wasn't an option on the driveway - should I ever need to do it again, I think that I'll use the ramp at my local friendly garage to at least 'crack off' the load.

5. If the engine is in a stand

If your engine is in a stand the chances are that the gearbox and fly wheel are removed.

Where the attaching bolts locate for the fly wheel, refit two of the eight bolts (opposite each other). Place a 19mm ring spanner over one of the bolts and it should react against the other bolt, at the same time it should contact the mounting frame. This will now lock the pulley.

Undo the pulley bolt as normal.

Once the bolt is out, remove the crank pulley - I needed to put a 3-leg puller on mine to get it off, it was quite a tight fit! – Do not force it with a hammer/mallet etc from behind as it may crack, warp etc, causing the engine to run ‘out of balance’ upon re-assembly.

Once the bottom pulley is off, it gives plenty of access from underneath to get to all 4 bolts on the Right Hand engine mounting bracket.

saska's Alternative Method
This is adapted from the method suggested in Aamir BT's Isuzone write up on how to change the cambelt, tensioner, idler, water pump, crankshaft seal and camshaft seals. you can get the full article at The basic method relies upon the starter motor having a lot of torque via the flywheel. Put a good quality 17mm socket on the cranshaft bolt, rotate the engine until the handle faces forwards and down towards the large hole in the plastic under tray under the front bumper. Fit a strong bar/breaker bar to the socket so the handle goes through the hole in the undertray. Then fit a length of strong scaffold pole or whatever to extend to the ground in front of the engine. Ensure the car is in neutral, rear wheels chocked and hand brake on. I pulled the spark plug leads so the engine can't start. Then just turn the key to hit the starter briefly (1 second), just enough to spin the engine a bit. Mine made a ping noise when it cracked the tension on the bolt. After that the bolt should be cracked loose and you can easily remove it with your hand. Note: it is essential the bar is going toward the front of the car. Photo is HERE