Cheap and Easy Engine Stop Tool

Have you ever had to remove a harmonic balancer or remove a pulley from an engine but the engine keeps rotating. there's an easy way to prevent the engine for moving while you're unbolting your pulley, balancer our in my case torquing a fly wheel on to this small Ford engine. I work on a lot of engines everyday, they do make engine stopped tools. however it is difficult to find them cause most the auto parts stores don't have them. so they become a specialty part order.

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Step 1: Material You Need

you need to purchase a small length of 3/8 inch nylon rope. Or if you have some lying around that's even better. Mine is approximately 20 inches long

Step 2: Spark Plug Removal

You will need to remove the spark plug preferably I like to remove either cylinder 1 or the last cylinder in your engine. In this case it's cylinder 4

Step 3: Insert Your Rope

Rotate the engine to bottom dead center (BDC) and insert your rope using a thin flat head screwdriver. Leave a length of rope exposed so if you have to walk away from the project hopefully someone sees this and does not try to start the engine.

Step 4: Tighten or Loosen Your Bolts

Now slowly rotate engine until the piston compresses the rope and the engine will no longer rotate and finish your project. When your finished just pull on the rope and it will come out. I've used this inexpensive trick about five times and has worked flawlessly.

If you have any questions or comments please list them. Also let me know if this trick worked for you.

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    It was the only way to get my aluminium cylinder head off the barrel, the head nuts tend to crimp the soft metal into the stud threads and hitting on the head with a wooden mallet is liable to break the cooling fins, likewise levering with a screwdriver was also out of the question.

    Nicely documented.

    Tex Arcana

    5 years ago

    good idea, thanks for sharing

    Tex Arcana

    5 years ago

    hence why he put it at BDC (bottom of compression stroke)...


    5 years ago

    when the engine is on TDC but the valves are open, you can bend them.