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  • June 14, 2024, 02:46:46 AM

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Author Topic: '81 SX4 Flexplate Replacement - To drop the tranny or not drop the tranny?  (Read 1274 times)

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Offline JerrySX4

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Hi there!

Brand new to this site and have a lot of questions. But going to start with this transmission related issue first.

Owned my SX4 for the past 12 years or so and it has been sitting for at least 10 of those. Ran and drove great (after having the transmission rebuilt, due to a blown torque convertor, shortly after bringing it home) for a year or so, then wouldn't start. I replaced the starter and still just whizzed with no turning over. Now, 10 years and 2 kids later, I find myself with some time to actually look into it so here goes.

'81 SX4 w/6 cyl. Not positive what transmission but has the AWD T Case, not selectable 4WD.

I pulled the starter and looked over the flexplate through the hole. Some damaged teeth and a fair but of metal flake in the area, does look worn out. I have removed both driveshafts and am in the process of unbolting the transmission. I'm stuck on one bolt so far at the top driver side but with enough persistence I'm sure I'll get it. Basically looking for advice on what to do after I get it unbolted.

I'm no mechanic but relatively mechanically inclined. Did mention I'm also doing this on jackstands in my driveway.

Do I need to remove the bolts through the flexplate into the torque convertor before I can move the tranny back? Is it even possible to just slide the tranny back or will I have to remove it completely? If so, can I simply support the tranny/T case on the Tranny support bracket with a jack and roll back a few inches? Once the flexplate is unbolted from torque convertor, is it then still bolted to the Crank? Will I need to line up the new flexplate exactly the same as the old one when it goes on?

I am assuming this will/should resolve my starting issue, I have yet to receive the new plate, it should be showing up early this week, but I figure I will compare the size/shape of the teeth with the old one and, if longer I will continue on with the swap. Are there any online or printed resources out there that might assist me in the process? There is nothing this specific or helpful on YouTube and searching online is bringing up virtually nothing.

Thanks in advance for any advice! I'm really looking forward to getting this beauty back on the road.

Offline rmick

  • Eagle Sport
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You will want to remove the transmission inspection cover and remove the bolts from the torque converter. As you slide the assembly back push back on the torque converter to keep it engaged in the pump. The torque converter has a two step engagement. if it becomes disengaged you want to make sure it is seated all the way back in place before reassembly. If you can keep it supported you should be able to slide it back far enough to change the flex plate. May have to drop a little as you slide back to clear the tunnel. I would consider using two harber frieght transmission jacks for support
72 Javelin AMX
72 Javelin SST
72 Gremlin with 4.0
81 SX 4

Offline JerrySX4

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rmick, Thank You!  That is definitely something I would not have considered.
I managed to get the awkward bolt and am one step closer to getting the transmission separated.


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