It can take quite a bit of force to install a damper on the crank and get it to fully seat.
Small block Chevy's have a really small 3/8" or 7/16" shank bolt, where small block Fords have a huge 5/8" shank bolt.
Damper installation tools were originally designed for the Chevy, because the bolt would often break when trying to get the damper to fully seat against the crank. You can purchase installers for Fords as well, but I've never had a problem seating the damper with that big 5/8" bolt.
If the threads in the crank or the bolt itselt are in bad shape or rusty, you might want to consider one, but otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it. To be extra safe, I do run a tap through the crank to clean its threads and then brush off the bolt's threads before installation. I also lube up the crank snout and the inside of the damper with oil. If it sticks really bad for any reason, stop and see what the problem is.
I'm sure the factory just slams them on with an air wrench.
I'm keeping a tight grip on my zipper so I don't get into a pissing match here........Don't know how they do it around where you are, but only the hacks around here that claim to be mechanics use the hammer/beat it on/trash thrust bearing method!!!!
I helps to put the balancer in boiling water and coat the crank snout with antiseize. The balancer will go on much easier if heated up first and tightening the bolt to seat it is very easy. The heated balancer inside diameter enlarges a little making it much easier to install.
I have to do this!!! lol:
Here is what you need to install the balancer. (1) 4x4 piece if pressure treated lumber approximatley 12" long.(Size does matter!)Must be green so it will not split!! (1) 5lb. hammer with short handle. (1) friend to hold the block of wood. Place block on end of balancer. Swing hammer with enought force to seat it with one swing. Hit it again to make sure it is seated. Install bolt, you are done.
This procedure works well if you initally do not have enought crankshaft end play!!!