In our previous blog, we introduced how to remove an old flexplate and how to install a new one. However, there still remain some important things that you’d better pay attention to. These are starter, engine and electrical issues.
If you would like to make your new flexplate perform better, we ZNDmotor highly recommend you to check some particular systems around flexplate. Here are items that you should inspect.
Starter engagement and condition
The inspection should be conducted after the new flexplate has been installed, but before installing the transmission. Inspecting the starter gear to ensure it is not worn, broken or sloppy prior to checking clearance. Please repair or replace the starter gear if needed.
You should engage the starter gear physically into the ring gear to check engagement. And you should be able to grab the gear with pliers and pull it out. The gear should be able to fully engaged without any interference and have some slight gear lash. Too much gear lash will put excessive load on gear teeth. To the contrary, too little gear lash will lead to starter gear hanging up in the ring gear after starting engine. You can add starter-to-block shims to increase lash and decrease them to decline lash. But if there is no shims on hand and the lash is too much, special machining might be needed to starter mounting block. In a word, you need to do whatever necessary to guarantee proper clearance.
The appropriate clearance is useful and helpful to keep the starter gear from engaging under G-loads, but it should not be too great since gear can’t be fully engaged during starting.
Starter electrical circuit
If not getting proper voltage and current, starter is unable to perform to its potential. An inspection can figure out whether starter wiring is correct or wrong. In this inspection, you need to disable the engine from possibility to start.
You need to check vehicle’s battery voltage while cranking. And then the starter terminal’s voltage should also be checked while cranking. The starter voltage should be within half volt of battery. In all of circumstances, starter voltage should not be less than 9. If there is an excessive voltage drop, you need to check each connection’s voltage in the system and repair it. A low volt system can lead to excessive load on starter and excessive heating the armature.
An improperly functioning fuel or ignition system, or a false starting sequence can lead to overload to the starter gear and ring gear. With displacement and increasing compression ratios, this issue can magnify. The following things should be take into account.
You need to ensure fuel system doesn’t leak raw fuel into cylinders before starting. You need to always allow the engine to rotate completely without ignition before starting. If igniting, a cylinder with fuel would kick back and overload starting system components. You also need to ensure ignition system has a start retard function to back timing down when starting, which can considerably decline the load on starter gear or ring gear.
With daily use, flexplate converter bolts would be loose. Loosing these bolts would lead to poor contact and metal transfer between converter and flexplate. You need to re-torque these bolts regularly to make sure proper clamping.
Hopefully these two blogs can bring you some knowledge and ideas about replacing flexplate.