How to Remove a Pulley Without a Puller? (Explained!)

Pulley and puller go hand in hand at all times. Thus, it can seem complicated and even sometimes impossible to remove a pulley without a puller. Now, the thing is that users don’t always carry a puller all the time. For this reason, you may wonder if it’s possible to remove a pulley even if you have no puller at hand. Thus, you may ask:

How to remove a pulley without a puller? If you want to remove a pulley but don’t have a puller, you can use a wrench and place it upon the bolt. Do it while blocking the other end against the floor or the frame. Afterward, use the starter motor to turn your engine. Cranking it a couple of times would be enough to loosen the pulley.

One thing to note is that taking a pulley without a puller entails quite a lot of risk. For instance, you may break the pulley along the process or even bend it, making it unusable anymore. For this reason, you may want to get a puller or borrow one from someone you know.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of removing a pulley without a puller. This way, you can understand how it works and also the risks involved in doing such. It will also offer you an idea if it’s all worth doing without the right tools.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

How to Remove a Pulley Without a Puller

Can You Remove a Pulley Without a Puller?

The short answer is yes. You can remove a pulley without a puller, but it is pretty risky, and it may end up with your pulley being bent or broken. 

It is possible to remove a pulley without a puller, but it will also depend on the type of pulley you are using.

The thing is that you can do so by extracting the bolts holding the pulley. In general, pulleys usually have a couple of extra holes. So you can put some removed screws in these holes.

After doing all these things, you’ll need to tighten everything properly. For instance, you may see the screws against the pulley backing. Such tightening will allow you to work on pushing the pulley, eventually loosening it.

How to Remove a Pulley Without a Puller?

If you want to remove a pulley without a puller, you can do the following steps. One thing to note is that this procedure entails many risks, especially from damaging the pulley itself. Thus, you may want to proceed with caution.

Extract the screws that hold your pulley.

The first thing you’ll want to do is locate the screws that hold your pulley. Once you do, remove each one until you take out all of them.

Insert the removed screws in the pulley’s other holes.

Another thing to look for is the extra holes that are present in your pulley. In most cases, you can find around two to three extra holes. Afterward, you’ll need to use these extra holes by placing the screws you removed earlier. 

Tighten the screws.

Once you put the removed screws on the extra holes, you’ll need to tighten them. This way, you can have the screws pushed against the pulley. By doing so, you’ll eventually loosen the pulley for removal.

Use an impact tool.

If you plan on removing a power steering pulley, you’ll want to use an impact tool. However, the process will indeed remove the power steering bolt. 

Use a wrench to unbolt.

If you have a wrench, you can also use it to remove the bolts in your power steering pulley. Again, you’ll only twist the bolts counterclockwise for removal. Then, once you need to put it back and tighten it, you can twist it the other way around.

You can also watch this video clip which will help you see how to remove a pulley without a puller:

What Tools Can You Use to Replace a Puller?

If you don’t have a puller and you want to remove a pulley, you can find other tools that can replace a puller. One thing to note is that the tools below can help you remove the pulley. However, it won’t be able to do the same work a puller can do.

  • Jaw-style pulley remover
  • Pickle fork-type pulley remover
  • Threaded rod or bolt-type pulley removers

You’ll need to consider the kind and size of the pulley you’ll remove before choosing the removal tool you’ll pick.

In general, many pulley removers are re-adjustable, which means they can work with different types and sizes. However, if your tool works only on a particular shape, you’ll want to consider checking your pulley first before using it.

One issue with pulleys is that, in most cases, they are readily destroyed if they are pulled incorrectly or with the wrong pulley removal equipment. 

The job of extracting a heavy steel pulley from a shaft frequently necessitates using different kinds of pulley removal equipment.

The teeth of this equipment are situated below the pulley’s outer edge, with an adjustable, screwed center bolt positioned in the pulley’s attaching shaft’s core. 

The puller’s core and teeth are pushed upward on the screw as the bolts are tightened on the axis, detaching the pulley from the pipe.

Another type of pulley removal tool, similar to flat steel with a bolt-on on each side or in the middle, can be used to optimally allocate the pressure of the pulling motion across the whole length of the pulley for lightweight pulleys.

The pulley-bolts pullers are adjusted, and the flat pulley-puller core is pressed upward against the pulley’s surface with the flat pulley-puller core behind the pulley. 

The pulley is pulled away from the axis as the puller is lifted. This concept is used in other pulley removal devices, but the pullers are C-shaped to glide around the axis.

How to Remove a Power Steering Pulley Without a Puller?

If you want to remove a power steering pulley without a puller, you can do by following these steps:

Remove the significant pulley before reinstalling.

The first step is to ensure that the primary drive pulley is removed before reinstalling it. Then, to improve the effectiveness of the inner pump, you must fit the reinstalled pulley into the input shaft. 

The automobile engine must connect the inner shafts and pump to deliver data from a tensile force to the power steering pump pulley.

Attach and align your chosen removal tool. 

Place your removal equipment in front of the pump, which can be up to 12 inches away. The removal device must be attached in front of the pump and then aligned in the proper fitting.

Allow the removal tool to pop and work.

When you turn on your remover, you will notice a snap, indicating that it has begun to function. Repeat this procedure until you’re sure the pulley is free to pump the input wheel.

It would help if you heated the pulley to a temperature of 120–130 degrees Fahrenheit. Following that, you may replace the pulley.

Work on a clean shaft.

Ensure that the pulley is installed in a clean, rust-free space. It is because a filthy or rusted pulley and the shaft might make the setup procedure more complicated.

Caution: Do not use any lubrication on the pulley or shaft, including fluid, water, or oil. As a result, you must first wipe away any grease or oil available before proceeding with the setup.

The logic is simple: oil or any other type of lubricant might cause the pulley to slide, which will lead to your setup attempts failing.

Place the pulley into the shaft.

It’s necessary to attach the pulley to the shaft when it’s been warmed to precisely 120 – 130 degrees. 

You’ll need to rotate the pulley until it softly fits onto the shaft in a balanced way to guarantee a flawless fit. As a result, the line will precisely develop before you start the setup.

Turn on the pulley and remove the wobble.

This stage entails turning on the pulley and removing the wobbling. It would indicate that the pulley has perfectly connected symmetrically. 

Then, in front of the shaft pump, attach the installation equipment. The setup will be complete after this is completed.

Ensure that the collar is tight and fixed.

After you’ve completed the setup, double-check that the collar against the pulley is securely fastened. To tighten it, you’ll need to use a ratchet and wrench. Again, make an effort not to leave any areas exposed.

Flush all the things with the pump input shaft.

You’ll have to fit everything together with the pump input shaft after you’re confident the tool is completely adjusted and the power steering pulley is correctly placed.

How to Pull a Power Steering Pump Pulley Without a Puller?

In general, you’ll find it impossible or quite complicated to pull a power steering pump pulley without using a puller.

If you have to make your puller, it will likely waste your time and effort. Most of the other large boxcar parts stores will reset one for free. You may play about with your puller until you’re bored and have all the time or energy.

In the end, the best way to pull a power steering pump is to buy the puller or borrow one from your friend. 

It makes the process easier than if you tried to do it without the tools and damaged the pump and pulleys. In addition, the tools may be leased for a few dollars or purchased outright for a modest fee at your local auto parts store.


In a nutshell, you can remove a pulley without a puller, but it entails many risks, and it’s not something you can do with every pulley available. However, you can find specific tools that can help you remove the pulley. Also, you can follow some steps to remove it.

In the end, all the tools will not be the same as working with a puller. So the simple solution is to get a puller, whether you buy a cheap tool or borrow one from a friend or a service center.

Take it, as a rule, to use the puller whenever necessary and not look for other alternatives that can damage your pulley.

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Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more