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how to remove crankshaft key?


Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Anyone have any ideas about how to get the key out of the slot on the crankshaft? It's the one under the timing chain gear.

I can't get that bugger out of there, and need to take it out to get a couple more shims in there to line up the timing gears. Thanks for any ideas!


Jedi Knight
If your talking about the Woodruff key shaped like a half moon, on my TR4, it is only resting in the slot on the crankshaft. Try a solvent or WD40 to loosen it up. If it is rusted in there, you might need to bump it with a drift.


Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Hmm... it looks more rectangular to me. It's 1.75" long. I've tried tapping it on the end to loosen it with a drift, grabbed it with vice grips and hammered the vice grips to pull it out, but the vice grips just slide off and the key is getting pretty beat up.

I suppose I could just cut a notch in the shims, but at this point the key is damaged enough I think I'll have to get it out anyway.



Country flag
Use a good sharp pair of dykes. Lay it flat on the crank around the key. Squeeze tight to get a good bite, then lift the handles up. This usually works for me. The trick is SHARP dykes, coupled with the leverage advantage of using the length of the handles prying up.


Great Pumpkin
Soak it with penetrating oil overnight and tap a flat punch down and into to it to drive the half moon shape out of the crankshaft machined slot.

It looks rectangular on top, but the bottom is a half moon shape.


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
I've had good luck using a cold chisel as a pry bar. Place the cutting edge against the end of the key, give it a whack with a BFH, then pry the key up.

But if the above tricks don't work out, use a Dremel and an abrasive cutoff blade to cut the key in half.


Jedi Hopeful
Country flag
Hey thanks for all the ideas... although I should have had a V8.

After scoring up the key, and putting some new marks in the crankshaft filing them out, I realized I could simply cut two slits in the shim to make a little flap through which the key could slide while installing the shims. Then it flaps back down once the shim is past the key. OK, so I wasn't using my brain...
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