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You'll never guess what I broke today

2788 Views 22 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  tateos
I was messing around, following my friend in his Subaru WRX. He gassed it, so I played along and gassed it also, just to keep up. Well we get to a hill and all of a sudden the engine breaks free from the transmission. The revs go all the way up but it feels like the car is in neutral. So I pull over and we tow the car to the college auto shop. I removed the inspection plate covering the bottom of the bellhousing of the tranny and found that I apparently ripped my flex plate. I could turn it with my pinky because it was only attached to the torque converter.

So now the cradle is out, and I need to pull the engine off of it to take whats left of the flex plate off and repair the damages.

Pictures to come!
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Never heard of this happening on ANY regular car (non-racing application).

Lots of oddball situations popping up on this forum lately...
Hmmmmmmm.......If you could turn the flexplate through the inspection port - was that by spinning the starter gear ring ? If that's the case, then the flexplate is still attached to the torque converter and not connected to the crankshaft hub. Curious.

(Yep, you said that........weird, nonetheless. I sure hope the crank is OK.)
My sister had a flexplate that broke - I think. The starter would turn the flexplate, but not the crankshaft - that sounds like the same as yours. Hers failed very shortly after she had the transaxle rebuilt - it was a '81 Pontiac Phoenix 4 cylinder - 82 HP if I remember correctly. It was originally my car - I bought it new. It was actually a pretty good car in it's day - I drove it >100K miles, and then my sister drove it another ~50K miles. I think they somehow damaged the flexplate when they replaced the transaxle - soon after, it cracked - that was the final blow - my sister called the junkman after that.
Here's some pics:

I was amazed at how cleanly it it was cut. I was expecting some folded metal and carnage. But no, it had a nice clean disk cut out of it... :hmm:
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Damn !!!! That's weird - a flexplate that didn't. See what 1,000 hp will do to stock parts ??? :sneaky:
Nice pics Krashed - thank you for that - we appreciate it
Sorry bout your troubles. Thanks for the pics!
Great pics, that is so weird
Krashed - this is the second or third time you have dropped the cradle on that beast - does it seem like it's getting easier at all?
I didn't realize that, but I'd bet he can do it blindfolded and in half the time it first took him.
Not common but I'm sure we had that on the forum some time ago.

I've seen them break on RWD cars, again, not common.
Wow. Thanks for the pictures. Glad it didn't cause any other damage. Seem like an easy fix for you. Took you less than 3 hours?(going by the time stamp)
Don't you think the flex plate are somewhat thin?
Haha yeah it's getting easier and easier... it took me from 1:40pm to 5:40ish pm to drop the cradle this time, so about 4 hours. I have cuts and scrapes all over my hands from it though. I'm going to grab the flex plate from my donor car this weekend and then begin reassembly on monday. I'm just thankful I have some awesome friends that have been driving me around everywhere this past week.

I'll take more pics as I go. Right now it's just taking up space over at the college, lol.
wow Krashed! that is some breakage, its a good think that you have access to this nice shop to work on it for you!
I think they recommend you change those bolt that go into the crankshaft flange, or clean them and use some sealer on the threads at the least - I guess you already knew that.
Hey Krashed - have you got that ring gear replaced and the engine back in the car yet? I don't remember seeing any updates from you lately.
Actually I just got it back on the road today! I figured that I would change some gaskets while it was out, and I'm very glad I did (reusable waterpump housing gaskets aren't that reusable after 15 years of daily driving, lol). I also changed the rear main seal. The only thing was that the dealership had to order the gaskets and they were being really extremely slow about it (they close down on the 15th).

Let me see if I can get some more pics up.

Edit: here's some pics

This is one of the better looking waterpump housing gaskets. The others disintegrated.

The waterpump housing with the new gaskets on it.

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I find it amazing that after doing a job like this all I had to do was turn the key to the "on" position a few times to prime the fuel system and then it fired right up and settled down to an idle at 700 rpms. It just makes you smile when you see it happen.
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