How to lock motor while trying to remove front crank pulley bolt?

I have to remove the failed harmonic balancer on my newly acquired 1989 VdP and I am curious if anyone can tell me the best way to prevent the engine from turning while I try to remove the crank pulley bolt that holds the harmonic balancer onto the front of the crank.

Is it necessary to remove the starter to access the ring gear to accomplish this?

Thanks in advance for any hints.


No need for that. Joe has a good video on the job and I made up a locking bar (I call it Lochinvar) to help with re-installation. Bump starter method is the best way to undo it, no need for bar …bar is used to lock motor when re-torquing bolt.

OK, where do I find this instructional video?

in this long thread …

however, Joe used metric bolts in the balancer puller but the thread is actually not metric all info in the thread

Just use a breaker bar and socket on the crank bolt, position the bar against the chassis rail and remove the spark plugs, once in position bump the starter on the key, that should free the bolt. Generally worked for me.

So I tried the bump starter method today and the crank bolt came right off using this technique. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Now I will see about refitting the rebuilt balancer I happen to already have in stock.