Removing flywheel to converter bolts in a 1958 Chevy Impala 348 Cast Iron Powerglide - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:00 PM
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Removing flywheel to converter bolts in a 1958 Chevy Impala 348 Cast Iron Powerglide

I want to remove my transmission: I can remove the sparkplugs; detach the coil wire to distributor; use a push button jumper starter switch (S post to battery positive) to rotate the flexplate(flywheel) and see the 3 bolts holding the flexplate to converter through the little oval inspection hole to the right of the starter. I know I can rotate the engine this way. This would allow me to loosen and remove the 3 bolts with a 9/16 inch socket. I could mark the 3 bolts and flexplate holes to insure the same re-assembly of each bolt to its respective bolt-hole. However, how does one mark the corresponding three converter nuts which are behind the flexplate to insure the same re-assembly of bolt to nut?.

I have seen an advertised and pictured "flexplate (flywheel) turner tool" which is advertised to turn a flywheel (to use in removing the 3 bolts). It seems like removing the starter would be a requirement to even think about doing this. With the starter removed, there is an starter opening hole about 4 inches in diameter where one can see the flywheel teeth. That pictured flywheel tool seems too big to use in that starter opening hole. Does anyone have any comments about this tool with respect to the starter hole opening? Can it even be used there?

I've also seen sites and threads where people have recommended a flat blade tip screw driver that can be used to turn a flywheel to see and remove the 3 bolts. One adviser from another site said: "with plugs removed a screw driver angled in the bottom hole in the flywheel extension housing will allow you to turn the engine a little at a time. You can also turn the engine with the fan blade on the top side by pushing down on one side of the fan belt." The referenced bottom hole looks like a drain hole (half inch) just ahead of the actual transmission drain plug. I can't get that fan blade approach to rotate the engine yet. I also haven't gotten that screwdriver approach to rotate anything.

What am I missing? Does anyone have any more experience or advice about using this special flywheel tool or using the long flat blade tip screw driver technique or even using the fan blade approach? Is the flywheel tool even applicable in the starter hole opening? Could these techniques be engine size dependent?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-20-2004, 08:23 PM
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As one of the Moderators here.....let me be the first to WELCOME YOU here.


I am going to go out on a mechanical limb here and ask........does your iron PowerGlide have a removable dust cover ?

Most GM transmissions do. If so................you can turn the flywheel with the flywheel turning wrench there.



It would look like this BUT not as shiny ....


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Old 11-20-2004, 08:28 PM
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Deuce.....at your age you ask about a dust cover of that pictured style on a cast iron glide?

1958imp..... spin the flywheel any way you can with the tools you have
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Old 11-20-2004, 09:43 PM
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im no professional mechanic but ive replaced trannys 350s and 400s in trucks, atleast half a dozen times and am currently battling my first rebuild. if it does have a dust cover once you remove it i use a short fat flat head screwdriver in the teeth of the fly and turn the fly by prying off the head of the starter. a longer one would make it alot easier if you have enough room. i have to hold the screw driver in place to brake the first loose then rotate the flywheel aroud to where i can get to the remaining 2 at the same time. you can then put a wrench on each using one to hold the fly from turning and the other to break the other loose. it only takes me about 5 minutes to do this, and ive never taken out the spark plugs to do it but im sure it would help. but then again trying to get around my headers to remove them while straddling the engine w/ one knee on the brake booster and the other on the radiator is not worth it in the end in my book. and i have no idea if a glide has a dust cover? i would assume but dont know.

ohh .... turning with the fan blade only works if you have a direct drive fan. like an after market flex fan mounted on a solid spacer. if you have the original fan/fanclutch the fan will just spin freely it locks on the fan once hot. and pushing on the fan to turn your engine could bend your fan if you have a flimsy flex fan..

you could make the fan approach work even with the stock clutch fan set up by not turning the fan but grab onto the water pump studs wit ha 1/2" wrench (typically 1/2 GM) and turning the water pump pulley. or better yet get your breaker bar out with a socket to fit the crank pulley i think this would be a little easier since youd be directly turning the crank instead of indirectly turning the crank through you whole belt system and also you could do it this way from underneath the vehicle so you wont have to climb in and out of under you car to see if the bolts are where you can reach them

Last edited by oklowride; 11-20-2004 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 11-20-2004, 10:01 PM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Crosley
[B]Deuce.....at your age you ask about a dust cover of that pictured style on a cast iron glide?

QUOTE]


At my age...........I have trouble remembering a lot of things.....

I NEVER worked on a iron Glide PowerGlide..........All of my 55's and 57's were manual shifts......except one 6 cylinder 55 glide coupe................which I never HAD TO WORK ON. It was as dependable as a Timex.
Never had a 58 either........


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Old 11-21-2004, 03:54 AM
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There is a small access hole to remove the bolts.
You can " bump " the starter with a deep socket to get the bolts lined up.
I have a 9/16 socket that has lots of battle scars to prove my point.
Or you can use a wide blade screw driver through the large hole in the bottom of the bell housing.
Jamb it against the convertor and pry.
To align the holes once reassembly takes place is very easy.
Position one of the holes in the approximate area.
Using the same screw driver wiggle the convertor until a hole is visible and install a bolt.
Do not tighten the bolts until they are all installed.
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:47 AM
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Comments on Replys to My Original Post

Re: Comments on Replies To My Original Post To Date

Re: Deuce:The dust cover is directly behind the starter, oil pan and oil filter; is secured by the 3 starter bolts plus three 1/4-20 half inch blade pan head screws. The dust cover is about 4 inches wide and is not like Deuce's big dust cover picture at all. To remove the dust cover, the starter and oil filter need to be removed and then the screws.

Re: Stu: The little inspection hole's cover which covers the small access hole is to the right of the starter that I mentioned. The little cover pivots (without removal of whole dust cover) on one of those pan head screws. When Stu bumps the starter with a battle scarred deep socket to see the 3 flywheel to converter bolts, I think that is analogous to my push button starter in my original post. When Stu mentions using a wide blade screw driver through a large hole in the bottom of the bell housing, I see only a "small 5/8 inch pipe thread inspection hole" at the bottom of the bell housing which doesn't seem very large. I'm still puzzled by that screw driver approach. It seems like jamming a blade screwdriver up in that small hole could severely scratch or damage the converter if one is not careful. Any comment?

Re: Oklowride: When I try to turn the fan blade carefully, the fan blade's water pump pulley turns. The water pump is secured by 9/16 inch socket head bolts to the engine. There are no bolts in that water pump pulley (which might mean the bolts themselves are 1/2 inch). In addition, the bottom crankshaft pulley is installed with three 9/16 inch socket head bolts on the face of that pulley. There is no one large bolt in the center of that pulley to turn the crankshaft.
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Old 11-22-2004, 07:56 AM
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Don't worry about scratching the convertor.
It's only the outside and won't hurt it one bit.
Done many many of them. Thousands in fact.
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:21 AM
stu stu is offline
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trans pic.

Here is a pic of the bottom.http://members.troublecodes.net/stuart/CIPG.jpg
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Old 11-22-2004, 03:18 PM
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Re: Stu's Trans Pic

Stu: Thanks for the picture. I did happen to be aware of it already from visiting a post at chevytalk.com which showed several pictures of that transmission. The bottom view of that transmission is the way mine appears. Thanks again.
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