Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Let me relay my experience. When I did it I just assumed to take off the balancer since that is what the manual said. Later, I saw in this site that people have worked around it.
I had trouble with the depth of the hook part of the puller I borrowed from Autozone having enough room to get behind the balancer. It was too "beefy." I ended up buying a cheap one from Pepboys that got the balancer out a bit, and that puller got all bent up and unusable from that. Then I was able to get the heavy duty puller behind to finish pulling it all the way out. I ended up returning the bent tool and told them it was defective. I guess it depends on the design of various pullers, but you need one that is strong enough and has clearance.