Crankshaft key removal nightmare


New Member
I guess this applies to any car in general, but in this example it's a 1999 Mustang GT(sorry Buick guys). Anyways, I'm in the process of replacing my harmonic balancer. Engine is in car. I'm trying to remove my crank key, but it's turning into a disaster of a job. About 3/4 is exposed and the rest goes thru a square cutout in the crank trigger that is behind the timing cover. I managed to chisel the key, it went straight up, now it's stuck. The metal crank trigger ring that part of it goes thru is prohibiting it from going up any more. I'd really like to do this without removing the timing cover. Any ideas? I've tried everything so far. Would heating the key up cherry red and trying to pull towards me harm anything? I don't want to do any internal damage from the heat. But it's all metal, right? I pulled the front timing cover oil seal that the balancer slides thru. Just want a few more opinions that heat won't harm the cam. The crank trigger ring is metal. I'd appreciate all input/ideas. Thanks. Btw the mustang forum guys didn't reply. Posers...
I'm thinking you are going to be removing that timing cover. Heat might work but without knowing what else is inside that cover that could get heated up like a nylon ring on the timing gear could be a new problem you create.
The key goes thru the lower timing chain sprocket too. Try not to munch up the key too much getting it out. There are several different LENGTH and DEPTH keys used in Fords. You get one that's too deep/tall and you will never get the timing gear and balancer back on! When u do get it out, post a pic with length and height dimensions and I'll send u the correct one. Or pm me. I have a selection of them. Parts stores won't have them, if ur in a hurry, locally u need to go to a machine shop to get one. The Chevy shops won't have them either, find a Ford shop. We build all muscle and vintage engines. I'll stick one in an envelope and send it.

I appreciate it. I found out yesterday that I have to remove the timing cover, timing chains, crank gear, crank trigger wheel. That damn key goes thru the harmonic balancer, trigger wheel, then lower timing chain sprocket. If I knew this last week, I wouldn't have touched it! I'll pm you since this is 4.6l 2v related.