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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Flexplate replacement

Ok, first let me say thanks to everyone here who has posted anything on the topic. I've been reading and learning.

09 impala lt 3.5L

Was driving and car slipped out of gear on highway. Was making a rattling noise that a mechanic said was probably the flexplate. Well the next day is when it slipped out of gear. Pulled over and still no gear so I turned off the car to call a tow. After turning it off, when I try to crank it just makes a long whining kind of noise (I can record it in the morning if needed) but the engine never starts.

So today I got the new flexplate in and started tearing down the car to replace it. While under the car I looked at the flexplate and the teeth look fine. I also found it strange that I can turn the flexplate very easily with just one finger... is that normal?

And also, anyone have a write up on doing this? I'm currently using the "remove stuff till I can slide this off" method that I've always used when removing something new from anything lol. I'm asking if anyone has tips, a write up or any just general knowledge you think I should know.

Thanks again.

Edit: I forgot to add this is a brand new transmission. I paid someone to put it in and they did a terrible job

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 09:28 PM
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If you can spin the flexplate easily with one finger, the bolts securing it to the engine are gone or stripped out?
Are you spinning it through the starter hole?
I believe the engine needs to be removed to gain access to the flexplate.


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 06:27 AM
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Agree with missing bolts as well, but, I believe there was a member on here a while back that had similar issues and the center portion of the flex plate was actually cracked and broken allowing it to free spin. Made the devils own noise as I recall until it failed completely.
It may also have been a previous generation Impala as well but cant recall exactly.

Just wondering if trans may not be an easier removal than the motor.

Either way it's gonna be a "project" as one of them will have to come out.

I think if I was that far I would put a converter in it as well. Your there, and who knows what injuries it may have been subject to.

If in fact the bolts have come out then your assessment on the "terrible job" is correct.

If that's all that's happened then the fix "may" be fairly simple if, the bolt hole threads in the converter are not messed up, and, you can locate all the missing bolts from said converter.

I think if it was me, I would be pulling transmission back out to make sure that no other drama has taken place in there with the bolts being flung around etc.

Make sure you use the correct Loctite for the crankshaft bolts if in fact the flex plate has to be replaced, or you will be doing this again.

Just my $0.02
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Some things are better left unsaid, which I generally realize right after I have said them.

Last edited by retiredpauly; 02-08-2017 at 06:45 AM.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredpauly View Post
Agree with missing bolts as well, but, I believe there was a member on here a while back that had similar issues and the center portion of the flex plate was actually cracked and broken allowing it to free spin. Made the devils own noise as I recall until it failed completely.
It may also have been a previous generation Impala as well but cant recall exactly.

Just wondering if trans may not be an easier removal than the motor.

Either way it's gonna be a "project" as one of them will have to come out.

I think if I was that far I would put a converter in it as well. Your there, and who knows what injuries it may have been subject to.

If in fact the bolts have come out then your assessment on the "terrible job" is correct.

If that's all that's happened then the fix "may" be fairly simple if, the bolt hole threads in the converter are not messed up, and, you can locate all the missing bolts from said converter.

I think if it was me, I would be pulling transmission back out to make sure that no other drama has taken place in there with the bolts being flung around etc.

Make sure you use the correct Loctite for the crankshaft bolts if in fact the flex plate has to be replaced, or you will be doing this again.

Just my $0.02
I agree with Pauly. If you can turn the flex plate, but it's staying on axis, then it's become separated from the crankshaft while still being attached to the torque converter.

I would take the transmission out rather than the engine. You'll need to remove the subframe and use an engine holder to hold the engine up.

Also, keep in mind: there are usually 5 bellhousing bolts that go in from the driver's side, but one hidden one that goes in from the passenger side.

Doug

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredpauly View Post
Agree with missing bolts as well, but, I believe there was a member on here a while back that had similar issues and the center portion of the flex plate was actually cracked and broken allowing it to free spin. Made the devils own noise as I recall until it failed completely.
It may also have been a previous generation Impala as well but cant recall exactly.

Just wondering if trans may not be an easier removal than the motor.

Either way it's gonna be a "project" as one of them will have to come out.

I think if I was that far I would put a converter in it as well. Your there, and who knows what injuries it may have been subject to.

If in fact the bolts have come out then your assessment on the "terrible job" is correct.

If that's all that's happened then the fix "may" be fairly simple if, the bolt hole threads in the converter are not messed up, and, you can locate all the missing bolts from said converter.

I think if it was me, I would be pulling transmission back out to make sure that no other drama has taken place in there with the bolts being flung around etc.

Make sure you use the correct Loctite for the crankshaft bolts if in fact the flex plate has to be replaced, or you will be doing this again.

Just my $0.02


Yes I'm in the process of pulling the trans... I found a loose bell housing bolt, a disconnected sensor in the wheel well (witch I believe explains the abs light that came on after I got my car back) and about two missing bolts (one on shifter arm, one on duct of intake) so that guy will 100% never touch my car again.

I still need to go get an atv jack to lower the tranny once it's all apart. I think I only need to remove the ps rack bolts, and then the subframe bolts and I think the tranny will be ready to drop. Engine is supported by a few 2x4s and chain.

Kind of a project though... hard working on it around my work schedule so I might be out there Valentine's Day morning trying to finish (good thing the wife works that morning? Lol)

Still mad that transmission was installed about a week ago and already has to come back out



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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:10 AM
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Sadly

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

I think the guy on y'alls 100 dollar bill may have said that.
or so I am told.

IIRC there are one or two "hole specific" bell housing bolts that you need to be wary of.

Just remember to NEVER pull the trans into place using the bell housing bolts. Make sure that it's seated completely against the back of the motor before you tighten it up. Prevent pump damage. That can make you really sad.

Some things are better left unsaid, which I generally realize right after I have said them.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got more time to work on this... subframe will drop but the passenger side ball joint will not come out! I've beat the hell out of it but it won't separate. Driver side popped out with no problem...

Also what's a good way to stop the flexplate from spinning while I'm trying to unbolt it from the tc. It spins ssssooo easily its hard to stop it...


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:00 PM
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Got a pickle fork for the balljoint? Use the fork or penetrating lube or heat depending on if you are saving that balljoint.
Screwdriver in teeth of flexplate or vice grips on the flywheel holding it. I've never taken one out that spins really free. If it's loose off the crank couldn't you just get the engine off and it'll stay on the TQ?


~Joe~

04 Impala LS

LED cluster, HVAC, headlights, interior lights
Dual Flowmaster Super 44s
Vibrant Resonator
ZZP DP
ZZP PCM
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Flexplate replacement

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Originally Posted by 04Imp38 View Post
If it's loose off the crank couldn't you just get the engine off and it'll stay on the TQ?

Yea I'm trying to save the balljoint but if I have to break it to get it off then oh well. And I didn't even think about the fact I may not need to disconnect tc from the flexplate yet. I'll probably try to lower trans with it still hooked to tc and just watch to make sure it's not pulling anything in there.

Oh yeah no pickle fork... might have to go pick one up...

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Looking like I may need to buy a pickle fork ... another hour of banging on this thing with the biggest hammer I had has still not freed it.. smh lol.


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post #11 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:40 AM
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Looking like I may need to buy a pickle fork ... another hour of banging on this thing with the biggest hammer I had has still not freed it.. smh lol.
I bought one of these. I think i gave about 20 bucks for it on ebay.

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#s...parator+j41820

It's not a pickle fork. But it is made for this job. I'm afraid you're gonna end up damaging something hammering on it. With this tool, it's much easier.

HTH.

Doug

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:41 AM
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You could buy it locally as well if you're in a pinch. The separator is great if you want to save the balljoint tho.


~Joe~

04 Impala LS

LED cluster, HVAC, headlights, interior lights
Dual Flowmaster Super 44s
Vibrant Resonator
ZZP DP
ZZP PCM
ZZP 180 drilled t-stat
Optima Red Top battery
Tubular trailing arms
Police LCA's
Police brakes
Dorman solid sway bar
Many more mods to come!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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You could buy it locally as well if you're in a pinch. The separator is great if you want to save the balljoint tho.


I was looking for somewhere local that sells them... looks like there's a napa close that has the pickle fork but I would definitely feel more comfortable with one of those separators. Haven't found anywhere with them local though.


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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 09:44 AM
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Does napa rent tools? They may have a renting thing where you buy the tool and they give you your money back when you return it. Sometimes they have a front end service kit or something that may work.


~Joe~

04 Impala LS

LED cluster, HVAC, headlights, interior lights
Dual Flowmaster Super 44s
Vibrant Resonator
ZZP DP
ZZP PCM
ZZP 180 drilled t-stat
Optima Red Top battery
Tubular trailing arms
Police LCA's
Police brakes
Dorman solid sway bar
Many more mods to come!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:36 AM
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Does napa rent tools? They may have a renting thing where you buy the tool and they give you your money back when you return it. Sometimes they have a front end service kit or something that may work.
I haven't tried borrowing at NAPA, but I've borrowed many times at Oreilly and Autozone.

That said, I was not able to find much for ball joint tools at those places - they seemed to have mostly the generic stuff - ie, pickle forks. Hence why I've collected some of the special purpose tools over the years - it makes working on my old cars a bit easier

Doug
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