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Old 04-25-2011, 06:26 PM
Skookum61 Skookum61 is offline
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Another Flex Plate?!

Hey Everybody,

Well, I made it as far as the Outer Banks of NC, back down to Louisiana and now I'm in New Mexico - Roswell of all places. I can't believe I'm writing this, but the same exact sound as was happening right before the flex plate went south in AZ about 2 months ago started up again. I tried leaving town yesterday but only got about 30 miles before it got worse and decided to come back to town to be safe.

The "resident mechanic" of the RV Park where I camped last night seemed to know a lot about old cars (in fact his family - two adults and five kids - drove a '62 Falcon from Oxnard, CA to Oklahoma in the summer of '69 with a cake pan full of ice and the vent open on the passenger side open for AC!) and figured I could tightened down the Flex plate bolts and be set. I did that today - there were some small cracks around some of the bolts but I was optimistic - and tried to get on the road. Well, I got about 30 miles outside of town (where there is NOTHING) and the sound got REALLY bad. I limped back to town on the shoulder! What's the right punctuation for tears? ==?

I guess all this - aside from hopefully being entertaining - is to ask if any of you know of someone in NM that might have a flex plate. I dealt with Dave of Antique Automatic Transmission Parts before and was pleased but he had to overnight it from the east coast. Not sure I'll have any luck around here, but figure it is worth asking.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Grant
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:56 PM
Skookum61 Skookum61 is offline
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More Details....

I got a reply from Dave who I got the previous flex plate from and he says that those are for 144 and 170s only, that they were never meant to hook up to a 200 and that it not matching up right with the torque converter might be where the problem came from.

The other part of the story is that 3 of the 4 bolts holding the trans. in place were missing. I figure that the guys that installed the 200 were either totally negligent and forgot to replace them or only slightly less so and didn't tighten them down enough. Either way, I figured that it was the trans. moving around that caused the damage to the flex plate. Now I'm not so sure.

Any thoughts?
Grant
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:11 AM
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Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
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The transmission moving around would certainly cause the flex plate to fail. Tightening the bolts is important.

As to what fits what, and all, that I don't know. Here are all the things to watch for:

1) It needs to have the right diameter for the ring gear.
2) It needs the right hole spacings for the the converter bolts.
3) It needs a hole for any drain-plug on the converter.
4) It needs to correctly bolt to the crank.

I've seen more than once a car I worked on where they didn't have the converter drain plug in the hole - at all - and tightened all the bolts up, which tweaks the flex plate.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:33 PM
Skookum61 Skookum61 is offline
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Thanks for the reply, Roger.

Did you mean there was a hole in the flex plate but they didn't line it up correctly?

Had to make the call and ordered another one same as is in there. Honestly, it was cheaper and knew the guy was prompt.

Don't know if my thinking is right here but if it didn't line up, etc. wouldn't I have noticed much less than 8000 miles into it? Seems the trans. bolts (or lack of) were probably the culprit. Kind of all beyond my knowledge level. At any rate, it will likely get me home even if I have to deal with it in the future.

Grant
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:49 PM
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Luva65wagon Luva65wagon is offline
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Yes, there was/is always a hole, which is between two of the four holes used for the torque converter mounting studs.

Most (I think all) torque converters have drain plugs that stand off the back side of the converter about 1/4-3/8" depending on the number of times they are removed and tightened. They are tapered pipe plugs and these will go a little further in every time you tighten them because of their taper. These need a hole so you can take the access plate off the bottom of the bell housing, rotate the flex plate to expose the drain, and drain the dirty fluid out.

The studs for the converter (4 of them) are about an inch long. So you can get them in their holes, get nuts on them and tighten the heck out them - and maybe never know you forgot to align the drain plug first. It will bend the flex plate between the two holes where the drain is wedged between the torque converter and the flex plate.

Whether you notice it depends on how proud the drain plug stands from the surface of the torque converter and how much it forgiveness there is in any warp the ring gear sees - as it engages the starter.

You should be good to go if you make sure these guys doing the work know you know this stuff.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:07 PM
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I'm certainly no expert one the L6. From my experiance with my old 170, the ring gear is part of the converter. The flex plate is actually quite small and looks almost square with the points sticking out to line up with the mounts on the converter.

My C4 behind the V8 has the ring gear on the flexplate and has a hole that lines up with a drain plug.

There are not that many bolts holding the whole thing in so a loss of four would be bad.
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