What is the logic of banging DOWN on a crankshaft to remove a flywheel?

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On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 10:01:27 -0700, "James H."

If you applied for a job at pretty much any small engine shop - and they asked you how to remove the flywheel on a lawnmower engine, - and you told them you would use a flywheel puller, I PROMISE you would not be hired.
They would instantly know you had no experience or expertise working on small engines.
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 10:22:44 -0700, Smitty Two wrote:

Hi Smitty, I think we all agree at this point on two things: 1. Most experienced people use the pry-and-bang method to remove flywheels 2. Clearly it's embossed on my flywheel to use the tap-and-lift method
Further, since I had never worked on a lawnmower before (that's why I asked for advice from you wonderful guys), the pry-and-bang method turned out to be dangerous (since I broke many things trying it) and that the tap-and-lift method turned out (for me) to work wonderfully.
So, I hope we can agree that advice to newbies should include not only the most-often-used pry-and-bang method but also the suggestion to consider the more appropriate tap-and-screw method.

Thank you. My only goal is to get the right answer and to post the results to help the next guy. That's what the USENET is all about, isn't it?
If I had known what I know now, I would never have needed to ask the question. Now I consider myself well versed on the various methods (both good and bad) to remove a flywheel on my particular Craftsman Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine.

Yes. Completely. I'm sorry it took me so long to understand. I appreciate your patience. I hope the next nntp reader benefits from our wonderful and polite technical discussion.
Jim
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James H. wrote:

Someone else mentioned the vibration/shock of whacking something with a hammer. It's an old trick that works for things like plumbing. Hold one hammer on one side of the plumbing, hit the other side with another hammer. Doing it in as many places as possible loosens up the fittings. Hitting a bolt head sometimes helps loosen it. It's seldom that I hear of things vibrating tight. If nothing else whacking something with a hammer a few times is a good stress reliever.
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On Mon, 12 Jul 2010 20:05:58 -0500, Dean Hoffman wrote:

By now, I'm convinced the shock and awe method of hammering and prying works, but I wouldn't recommend that method except on someone elses' mower! :)
Pictures here of my mower. I learned a LOT from you guys! Thanks! Direct Link:
http://img251.imageshack.us/g/image001ol.jpg/ Short Link: http://yfrog.com/6zimage001oljx Web Player: http://img251.imageshack.us/slideshow/webplayer.php?id=image001ol.jpg
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The "preferred method" is to use a puller because the risk of damaging other components is lessened. But, the "traditional method" also works well for those with experience.
The experienced mechanic will probably use the traditional method due to the TIME it takes. Time is money for the professionals. They can remove a flywheel in a couple minutes as compared to having to tap holes and use a puller which may take much longer.
I have used both methods on various engines. Most motorcycle engines use a totally different type of puller and MUST be used because of the weak metal surrounding the flywheel to pry on (replacing a motorcycle case gets expensive and time consuming.
On some of todays generators, the only way to get the armature off the engine is to use a hammer.
In closing, whatever works for ya! You can't argue with success.
Hank
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On 7/13/2010 4:55 AM, Hustlin' Hank wrote:

It actually takes about 4 seconds.

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Steve Barker
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Yep, if you don't count the time to loosen the nut and spin it out far enough :)
Harry K
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On 7/13/2010 3:36 PM, Harry K wrote:

I was counting that time. <G>
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Steve Barker
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Hustlin' Hank wrote:

I think he has clearly proven you can. I you don't mind looking like a .....
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I uploaded some pictures which show the Briggs & Stratton flywheel and even the instructions on the flywheel itself to tap the holes.
Direct Link:
http://img251.imageshack.us/g/image001ol.jpg/ Short Link: http://yfrog.com/6zimage001oljx Web Player: http://img251.imageshack.us/slideshow/webplayer.php?id=image001ol.jpg
It's pretty certain by now that the traditional shock and awe method works; it's just not the correct approach for this type of engine (according to Briggs and Stratton and Sears).
I ruined my flywheel and intake manifold trying that hammer & pry method, so, if you are going to use the brutish approach, it's best you use it on someone elses' engine. :)
Thanks for all the help. I learned a LOT about lawnmowers. I'll let you know when it's all back together (parts haven't arrived yet).
I realized I didn't have actual pictures of the flywheel being removed, so I'll re-enact them tomorrow in the daylight and add them.
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 01:59:44 -0700, "James H."

No, you ruined your flywheel by doing the right things the wrong way. You are simply inept.
I'm sure there are probably some things that you are good at. There may even be some things that you are VERY GOOD at. Fixing machinery, however, is OBVIOUSLY not on that list.
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 07:48:41 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@mickymall.com wrote:

:)
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You are 'assuming something not in evidence'. That they say to use a puller in that stamping does _not_ say 'not to use the traditional pry/ hammer method'. I gaurantee you that if you were to take that mower to a shop and point out the instructions they would laugh and when you turned you back there would be a thump and the flywheel would be off.
Harry K
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At this point I wonder if you are a troll. You come here for advice, you get it, it is confirmed by everyone who ever actually worked on small engines, you then spend hours trying to prove them wrong. There is little doubt a puller does a fine job on that task, I have a box full of them, many do only one specific task, box must weigh over 50 pounds, there are some tasks that they are the only way to accomplish. This task was was, deliberately I think kept to minimum tools required. This is a tried and true method. I have a friend like you; he comes up with a problem and goes person to person asking for advice. He never takes it, he does what he was going to do anyhow, he just likes asking and getting advice. He is more polite than you, he doesn't argue, he just ignores everything you say. By any chance are you a Sagittarius?
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On Tue, 13 Jul 2010 06:48:03 -0700 (PDT), Eric in North TX wrote:

Actually, I took the advice I was given.
I even bought the recommended Briggs & Stratton flywheel puller tool which is supposed to protect the threads of the crankshaft as you bang on it (see the photos). http://yfrog.com/6zimage001oljx
It just didn't work for me.
Partly because I screwed up royally (I always said this is the FIRST lawnmower engine I've ever worked on). But also partly because I found out after the method failed for me that it isn't the recommended method.
To be precise, I'm SURE the method works for most of you. I'm absolutely positive of that, even if I'm not quite sure HOW it works - it certainly must work for most of you because you all say so.
Anyway, I took all your advice. I screwed up. I found a better way (at least from my perspective). And I took photos of it. I annotated those photos. And I responded to all the serious queries.
I do thank you all. Jim
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So you think using the proper tool is the way to change a flywheel?
You know nothing!
This is how real mechanics work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQhfcdQf1QA

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James H. wrote:

What do you do when hammer or axe is loose on the handle? Same principle!
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