Remove lower timing chain gear, oil thrower, distance piece

Moving forward with replacing timing chains and gears. Everything is off the engine except for the lower gear, oil thrower and distance piece all still on the crankshaft , this is a 140 engine G3892
How do I remove these parts?
I’m thinking simply a gear puller on the gear should move all three at once but before I go and do something stupid I thought I’d check in with someone who has done this before!

Either a gear puller or a couple of pry bars at a pinch.


Normally the distance piece on the crankshaft comes off rather easy: note the “woodruff key” and the channel for it in the distance piece. I could slide-off mine.
The gear wheel is next and either a puller or some bars might help.
See picture of my XK 120 but this should be identical to yours. I kept the “old fashioned” chain tensioner, although I replaced it for a modern "hydraulic " version on my XK 140. Just curious what will happen over the years, but then again I don’t drive thousands of miles per year.

Bob K.

Even this rather rusty one came off without a lot of persuasion by a Harbor Freight gear puller.

Thanks all, a little preliminary poking did not give any sense of movement, I’ll soak it with some liquid wrench for a day or two and then put a puller on it…. It looks like there is a channel for the distance piece to come off without removing the front damper woodruff key…. That will become obvious at some point!

Yes, there are 3 woodruff keys in there, all in line.

I would tap that front key out anyway. Depending on what you’re doing it might need to come out anyway. It’s just one more potential binding point for the gear and spacer.


Sometimes those woodruff keys don’t want to come out easily, unless you use something like this to extract them

Rob, your rusty example does not have the oil flinger between the distance piece and the gear, the oil flinger is making it really difficult to get a gear puller on…. That and the steering rack of course!

Dave, you should be able to tap a couple of slotted screwdrivers between the slinger and the distance piece to get it to move, especially after you’ve let the liquid wrench do its thing. What’s holding it firmly in place is its woodruff key. Getting the one in front of it out of the way will make things easier.

I have a bunch of scrap five in one style blades that I use for this purpose. They have a nice sharp and strong wedge blade. It’s easy to tap that between the spacer and slinger. That gets you almost 1/8" clearance, Probably not enough for the puller arms still, but enough to the graduate to a cold chisel.

Keep widening the gap till the puller goes on. Do yourself a favor and polish the nose of the crank with some oiled emery paper, especially around the woodruff key slots (after removing of course). The slots can develop a little mushroom on the edge. The collar should move with reasonable ease. Maybe not a slip fit, but not so tight it requires a puller.

Thanks Erica, great suggestion to remove the distance piece first, but I don’t know what a 5 in 1 blade is, can you post a picture for my curiosity? I’m going to dig out whatever I have that is thin enough and strong enough to start moving this piece. Nick posted a nice picture earlier of a custom tool for removing the woodruff keys, I had a look at it while waiting for a dentist appointment this morning….

These scraper things. I have no idea what the other 4 official uses are supposed to be. I don’t think they’re counting tapping off jaguar spacers among the official and intended uses. 5 in 1
'tool" will probably yield better search results. A dull cold chisel works fine to knock out the keys, just tap it under the end to lift it up.

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Woodruff keys and their slots are round, therefore you can tap down one end with a little hammer, to make the other end rise up, and which can then be tapped up and out with a flat punch or grabbed with vise grips.

Heh. I saw what you did there.