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2000 XLT 2WD 3speed auto, 3.0L v6 2wd breaks flexplates


theant

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2000 XLT 2WD 3speed auto, 3.0L v6 2wd breaks flex plates.

I blew a head gasket and radiator neck a few years back and had to let it sit until I could afford to fix it.
Heads were beyond cleaning and rebuilding, from rust because of radiator water leak internally.
Replacing the heads cost enough that I opted for a used engine.

The replacement was a used 70000 mile Engine installed into my 170000 mile chassis and body.

The first flexplate broke soon after the engine swap and started by making the zipping, high pitched, sound when the starter teeth were disengaging from the plate teeth. Soon the broken flexplate made a knocking noise that went away as I accelerated from idle, but the knock got louder as days passed and still would go away under load.

I don't think I got 3000 miles before that one broke.

I do recall a statement that the first one broke because the bolts they used were too long. Kinda made me think there was some sort of spacer or something missing because I found untorqued bell housing to engine bolts, a loose tranny cooling fitting, a loose engine ground cable, and some other overlooked things so the job was suspect.

I took it to a transmission shop hoping trained eyes would find a reason and provide a reliable fix and I had them also replace the torque converter hoping that may help as I was looking for a reason and solution, what we call "shotgun technique". I also mentioned the alignment pins and was told they were still there. The shop said they could not see a cause for repeated failures.

Less than 4000 miles, that one broke.

I took it back to that shop with an OEM flexplate and starter... more shotgun technique.
From research I knew to ask that they verified the crankshaft did not have excessive endplay. They said the crank checked out OK but I sensed that was not really verified.

So after maybe 5000 miles it has broken again. I think I got all the breaks and replacement info right.

Since all of this started with the engine replacement and I have had the starter, torque converter, and flexplates replaced, I have to think maybe all the parts are not there or in the wrong position or the replacement engine has a crankshaft or some other problem.

At this point I just want a reliable expert diagnosis and fix.

I live an hour south of Houston, TX but will take it hundreds of miles to get the best. This crap has gone on way too long. I like my truck and can't afford a new one so I need this one fixed so that I can go about paint and body and interior work.
 


pjtoledo

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start with detailed pictures of the broken flex plates, if possible.
a flex plate can fail in 4 ways:
rotating, like the bolts are loose and the holes start to get elongated.
forward/rear displacement. where the torque converter either pulls or pushes the flex plate, causing it to resemble a dish. (exaggerated)
I seriously doubt your 3.0 has enough power to rip the center of the plate out.
any chance the transmission and engine are not aligned? that would be hard to do.

the goes away under load suggests the bolts are loose. the cranks rotational speed is actually quite choppy at idle so if the bolts
are loose they may eventually move back 'n forth in the holes.
from what I remember there should be a ring under the bolts.
locktight?? proper torque??

I have a 2000 3.0 on a stand, I'll try to get some measurements of the rear area.
 

RonD

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All engines and bell housings have two Positioning Dowels
The point of these is to Center line the crank shaft and Input shaft of transmission
These need to be EXACTLY in line or................you break a flexplate or tear up pilot bearing and input shaft bearing, on a manual

The Dowel can be a separate pin or a sleeve around a bolt
They need to be in perfect condition or alignment will be off


Input shaft on transmission, the one that falls out, lol, can be put back in either way and "look" OK, but there is only ONE WAY it should go in, with only 1" sticking out, not 1-1/8" or 1-1/4", ONE INCH :)

Seen here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/sonnax-dev/uploads/mercury_image/image/1943/figure4__7_.jpg
Pic on Left is correct


I think Ford called it a reinforcement ring since flexplate goes on to the crank first and then the "spacer" with the longer bolts


Yes, could be crankshaft has a wobble
 

pjtoledo

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Hmmm, I didn't think about wobbling.
I should have since I'm an 'ol guy and walk with a limp. :icon_thumby:
 

RonD

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Hmmm, I didn't think about wobbling.
I should have since I'm an 'ol guy and walk with a limp. :icon_thumby:
Yes, me too
My flexplates moan and grown more often now :)
Darn ground is getting to far away these day to pick stuff up that I drop, I blame it on climate change
All the flooding...............obviously ground is getting lower
 

theant

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I really said too much in my OP. Maybe wanted to vent, cry on somebody's shoulder...

What I want to do is put a new or reman (better be a great one) and think that will fix my problem. Like I say slow rabbits and all the tips have been checked and replaced.

I would even consider getting an engine and transmission together.

Who sells good engines? JEGS, JASPER?

Thanks
 

theant

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Nevermind, I will sell my Ranger and find something else to drive. I love my old truck but have nobody who I KNOW can repair it.

I have tried all the things listed anywhere. Multiple threads in different places, and I think 2 of them have most of the drawn out saga in addition to threads by other people. I researched hard.

Since the problem started when a used motor was installed, I have to think it might be the motor. I was willing to buy a new one if said repair person told me that is what is needed.

Thanks for your attempts to help.
 

theant

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This evening I went to pick up pecans at a nearby school. Pecan pie time in Texas!

Tried to start and nothing but the squeal of a starter that can't reach the teeth well enough to engage. So this flex plate plate is gone.

I will sell it, maybe to those who take trucks like this to Mexico and buy me a used truck.

I would likely want to put complete drivetrain since the tranny slips sometimes and I wanted a 100% sure fix.

I bet that would cost 7-10 kilobucks and then there are all the things I wanted t o do to sort of restore it, paint, any bad bushings and so forth. The rack and pinion leaks but that is relatively easy and low cost if I do it myself. PS Pump and A/C pump are noisy as many are but I was figuring on attacking those over time.

As you can tell, I love my old truck as I have driven it for I guess over 15 years.
 
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pjtoledo

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so it's a rust free Texas truck????
being up here in the rust belt it brings tears to my eyes when a rust free vehicle is put out to pasture. :bawling::bawling:
 

theant

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not rust free but not 23 years bad for sure. Nothing in danger of failing.

I bet you have rust buckets with good drive trains, right?

Maybe I need one of those since mine can't roll!

It could use a paint job though. Dead paint.
 

pjtoledo

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yep, eventually we all drive "light weight specials" until they just disappear while still running..
I actually have a 3.0 long block in the basement, sorry, it's a keeper.
 

theant

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Plate finally centered out. Selling for whatever I can get. If somebody is interested in the salted road land let me know.

Otherwise it will be sold to one of the Mexico outfits that look through all the neighborhoods for trucks that they take to the valley and clean and repair them and sell in Mexico
 

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