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Old 07-03-2012, 12:56 AM
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flexplate repair

to start i was having some issues with my starter which a starter brace fixed.
the remaining problem is it chewed up the starter ring gear on my flexplate.

if u were to measure were it ground the teeth off id say its aobut a 4inch long section the rest of the teeth are fine.

normally id would just install a new flexplate and be done with it but the problem i have is i just moved and cannot work on the car outside were i am and do not have access to a garage. so dropping the transmission is in no way possible.
ive actually had the car sitting cause of this.

so i had an idea well 2 actually

the first idea would be to crawl under the car with my mig welder and weld up the ground down teeth then file/grind them back to the right size and shape.
the only problems i have are the only welder i currently have is a flux cored mig which i suspect will make it alot harder to file and grind after i build them up with weld.

ideally for something like this i would use a tig welder but i dont have one and cant get access to one, though i could try some of the local auto shops in town but i dont think any of them have a tig welder


my second idea is i have a flexplate that i was going to install.

well why cant i just grind and cut the section of ground down teeth off and cut a section of the ring gear off the other flexplate and weld it on as a temporary repair until i can remove the trans to install my new sfi flexplate

or instead of cutting a section of the ring gear off my other factory flexplate i could buy just the ring gear from napa for about 10-15 bucks which i could cut a section out of to weld on


the flexplate that in the car along with my spare, the ring gear is stitch welded every few inches on one side only so i figure removing just asection wont be that hard


and again i know this isnt the proper way to fix it, but i have to do whatever i can to get some sort of solution for the time being, untill i can remove the flexplate and replace it with a new unit.


any ideas on which method would be best, or any other ideas on some sort of temporary fix would be greatly apreciated

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Old 07-03-2012, 03:41 AM
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Personally i would not be welding segments of teeth in, although it would probably get you going if you could match up the pitch between the teeth exactly. I f you dont match the pitch exactly you will probably bind the starter pinion gear and fry your starter motor.
Assuming you have the car up in the air on ramps to weld it and the car is off the ground anyway, why cant you jack up the rear and slide the trans back on a trolley and bolt a new flex plate on.
Should the flexplate spin out of balance after you have welded it , out of balance problems could occur.
In my opinion you could do more damage than just replacing the flex plate.
Al.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:19 AM
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flex plate

make dowels out of longer bolts install dowels in place of trans bolts slide trans back on dowels replace flexplate
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:51 AM
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MIG weld/build up the bad teeth. Then carefully re form with a hand held air abrasive cut-off saw. I have repaired several flywheels on vehicle this way. It works.. Not rocket science.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:27 AM
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4 cyl fix

4 cyl engines tend to stop with no. one cyl up or down and would always wear out the same spot. A buddy in college had either a triumph or Mg , just pulled his flywheel and rotated it 90 * , the bolt holes lined up , , most crank shaft today have bolt locations that are not symetrical. Until you get the Flywheel changed,(That is what I would do) you can rotate the crank with a wrench on the front bolt to get to a good spot on the ring gear. if you have trouble geting it to engage
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothale View Post
4 cyl engines tend to stop with no. one cyl up or down and would always wear out the same spot. A buddy in college had either a triumph or Mg , just pulled his flywheel and rotated it 90 * , the bolt holes lined up , , most crank shaft today have bolt locations that are not symetrical. Until you get the Flywheel changed,(That is what I would do) you can rotate the crank with a wrench on the front bolt to get to a good spot on the ring gear. if you have trouble geting it to engage
Your are spot on Tim. Last century i owned an MGB for a long time. I think i was upto my third ring gear when i sold it. Yes , i rotated it 90 as you say so the other side of the ring gear could be chewed out by the English p o s "crash" type starter motor, spin first, and then throw into mesh , instead of current s motors that engage first and then rotate.
My Ford flexplate with a 280z weight can only be mounted one way to be in sync with the front harmonic balancer.
Al.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:43 AM
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You can set up a welder and spread out tools to make a repair to the car, but you can't slide the tranny back and replace the flexplate? Sounds strange to me.
I'd never repair the flexplate, especially under the car. I'd pull the trans back and install the new plate.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
You can set up a welder and spread out tools to make a repair to the car, but you can't slide the tranny back and replace the flexplate? Sounds strange to me.
I'd never repair the flexplate, especially under the car. I'd pull the trans back and install the new plate.
The main factor is LABOR cost. In this Michigan area of over 25% unemployment. Things have to be done a bit differently. I get these jobs and make money on them. Quick, fairly easy on most common vehicles ( I get mostly GM vehicles, 4.3-5.7). Never had a failure..The material you deposit is much tougher than the original gear. Plus save customer many $$.
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:09 PM
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All I can picture is that ring gear failing, breaking loose, then wadding up at the worst possible place in the bell housing, i.e. , the top. No way would I repair something like this attached to an engine that has the potential of 5000+ rpm. Translate that to feet per second - say for instance a 14" diameter flywheel/flexplate has a circumference of 44" and it will move 220,000 inches in one minute/60 seconds in that minute will equal 3667 inches in one SECOND (or 306 FEET in that second). That's a lot of energy - and my toes curl when I think of those blown flywheels(and flex plates)
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothale View Post
4 cyl engines tend to stop with no. one cyl up or down and would always wear out the same spot. A buddy in college had either a triumph or Mg , just pulled his flywheel and rotated it 90 * , the bolt holes lined up , , most crank shaft today have bolt locations that are not symetrical. Until you get the Flywheel changed,(That is what I would do) you can rotate the crank with a wrench on the front bolt to get to a good spot on the ring gear. if you have trouble geting it to engage
thats what ive been doing ,ive been sliping a wrench on the waterpump pulley and rotating the motor past the bad spot on the flexplate for now to get it started, its still anoying to have to get out pop the hood and do when the starter wont engage but its been working so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com View Post
MIG weld/build up the bad teeth. Then carefully re form with a hand held air abrasive cut-off saw. I have repaired several flywheels on vehicle this way. It works.. Not rocket science.
thanks ive done similar repiars befor ebut never with a flux cored machine


and for whoever said install long bolts and slid the trans back, i will get in alot of trouble if i put the car up on 4 jackstands and im under it for a while.
possible to get fined and even evicted from were im living atm.i figure if i weld the teeth up i can jack up the car like im changing the front tire crawl under the car weld them up real fast and be done with it until my house is finished and i can move in. at that point i will have a garage and be able to install my new 4l80 trans and sfi flexplate.

also the motor will never see over 2,500-3,000 rpms for the time being as i dont take the car out of town, the highest speed limit in town is 35mph .
but i would deff worry less about anything comming loose welding the teeth up versus replacing just a section of the ring gear

edit i should have added this is in a 3rd generation camaro, so i also have the tq arm and other things to deal with to drop or slide the trans back. so a lil more work then say if i was doing it in a monte carlo or say an s10 pickup etc

Last edited by Project89; 07-03-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:37 PM
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Project89,

I would worry about balance, and distortion. When you weld the heat will
cause the flex plate to get a wave in it and as the engine rotates around it could disengage from the starter teeth.
Maybe if the flex plate were on a work bench I would weld it.
I think the best bet is using the long bolts on the bell housing and pushing the transmission back. I know it isn't much fun working on your back BUT once you are finished then you will not be worrying it your weld will hold together or if something will fly off at the speed of light injuring some one standy near by.

Scholman
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkey View Post
make dowels out of longer bolts install dowels in place of trans bolts slide trans back on dowels replace flexplate

DUDE....Alky is right.take the bell bolts out, put 2 long bolts in the bottom 2 holes of the bell, one on each side, be sure to take the 3 flex play bolts out as well, Take the bolts out of the rear trans mount and then slide the trans back about 1-- 1 1/2 inches.You can then put a long box end wrench on the bolts in the crank in between the space you just made.Smack it with a hammer to get em moving, then skinny your hands up inside and tickle the bolts out,do them one at a time,each time turning the crankshaft enough to bring the next bolt around to the bottom.
When all 6 are out, you will be able to slide it out between the gap you made by using long bolts and sliding the trans back. I have done it a hundred times.
Dont bother messing with trying to weld it, they are like 50-75 bucks new. Get a new one.You could probably get a good used one for 20-25 bucks.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:21 PM
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DUDE....Alky is right.take the bell bolts out, put 2 long bolts in the bottom 2 holes of the bell, one on each side, be sure to take the 3 flex play bolts out as well, Take the bolts out of the rear trans mount and then slide the trans back about 1-- 1 1/2 inches.You can then put a long box end wrench on the bolts in the crank in between the space you just made.Smack it with a hammer to get em moving, then skinny your hands up inside and tickle the bolts out,do them one at a time,each time turning the crankshaft enough to bring the next bolt around to the bottom.
When all 6 are out, you will be able to slide it out between the gap you made by using long bolts and sliding the trans back. I have done it a hundred times.
Dont bother messing with trying to weld it, they are like 50-75 bucks new. Get a new one.You could probably get a good used one for 20-25 bucks.
already built the teeth back up with my mig, was really simple took all of 10 mins to jack up the one side slide under the car and do. i didnt bother reshaping the teeth yet with a file/lil dremel grinder but i will tommorow, figured i got it done so fast noone noticed the car on a jackstand so thats why im waiting till tommorow


this way there is no fear of anything flying off the flexplate. prolly take me 15 -20 mins to reshape the teeth and now i wont have to worry about it till i move into my new house and can replace it in the garage
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:37 PM
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i wouldn't do it, it will throw the engine out of balance. it not feel like much more from in the car but to the bearings and crank the 1 or 2 oz is alot!. I have seem daily drivers come through the shop with damaged bearings and a broken crank from being out of balance. Is the half *** repair really worth the cost of an engine?
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
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already built the teeth back up with my mig, was really simple took all of 10 mins to jack up the one side slide under the car and do. i didnt bother reshaping the teeth yet with a file/lil dremel grinder but i will tommorow, figured i got it done so fast noone noticed the car on a jackstand so thats why im waiting till tommorow


this way there is no fear of anything flying off the flexplate. prolly take me 15 -20 mins to reshape the teeth and now i wont have to worry about it till i move into my new house and can replace it in the garage
A file won't touch the stuff. A dremel will but you will use a few abrasive cutters.. Thats why I use an abrasive cut off wheel..

As for the nay sayers.. Many vehicles require a lot of other work/hours to move the trans back three inches. S-10 Blazer for instance. Why? When the ring gear can be accessed/welded thru the starter hole? NO heat distortion.. Mig doesn't impart big heat. The flexplate is virtually the same as a regular stock unit when finished. How many stock flex plates have you seen wadded up in a belhousing? Never..

I learned this trick 40+ years ago while repairing heavy construction equipment.. Just used an arc welder then.. Saves countless hours and $$$
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