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Discussion Starter #1
Is it possible to repair the holes that the bolts that hold the flex plate to the torque converter?

About a year ago had a bolt come out and keep the pinion gear on the starter from engaging the ring gear. Didn't worry much about it, just put starter back in. A few weeks ago same thing happened. Tore it apart and found the only bolt still there is loose, can see 1 bolt twisted off - head gone, 1 bolt found at bottom of bell housing - can see it got caught on something head bent over, and last bolt is the one that I found a year ago and had on dash all this time.

Went and got new bolts and found that holes are so stripped that the bolts just slip in. The holes are slightly deeper than bolts are long so I don't think I can tap out the holes to repair threads.

Any ideas or suggestions on how to repair? I REALLY don't want to have to replace the torque converter.

Thanks for reading!
Danny
 

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Are the holes in the converter stripped or did the bolts just come loose?
Loose bolts will tend to strip the treads in the inserts.
If the threads are OK, new bolts installed with lock-tite or some other thread fastener will work.
If the threads are damaged, you're going to need a new converter.
 

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Helicoils?

If the holes are deeper than the bolts, you should be able to tap them for slightly larger diameter bolts.
 

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Yes, next size bolt will do it, the welded nuts on the back should have more than enough material to take them up the next size. If the GMs could take a nut and make you hold it on the back while you put the bolt in the front and tightened (don't know why they never welded those nuts on the backside), you can go one size larger and locktite them for safety.
 

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Since the holes are shallow and blind holes, you need a special tap to have any success in taping them.
 

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Personally I would just replace the torque converter (remanufactured or used) and bolts. I don't think that there is any trustworthy way to repair this.
 

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Bottom tap, not that special. Hey, if there is enough room to get a nut on the back after the threads are drilled out, put a nut on the back and lock her down. Not sure how much room there really is, mine is a manual.
 

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ImperialCrown said:
Personally I would just replace the torque converter (remanufactured or used) and bolts. I don't think that there is any trustworthy way to repair this.
I agree and that's my point entirely. There is a lot of shear force on those 4 flex plate bolts...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello Everyone,

I've been working on the Dakota again. When really started working I found that only 1 hole was stripped so I drilled the hole, used a 3/8 fine thread tap and installed a new bolt. Then replaced the other bolts.

Now, I have it back together and am back to my original problem. When I turn the key I hear the starter turning but, the engine doesn't turn.

When I first started this I took the starter to Autozone and had it checked. I was told that the starter is fine. Any ideas or suggestions on what to try next? I'm at a loss.

Thanks for reading!
Danny
 

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Sounds like the bendix is broken if it spins but does not engage the ring gear to turn the engine over. If the spring inside is broken it could look OK, but when pressure is put to it to engage the ring gear, nothing. The next thing would be the selonoid which engages the bendix itself, When it was tested, did you see the gear pop out and turn?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dana44 said:
Sounds like the bendix is broken if it spins but does not engage the ring gear to turn the engine over. If the spring inside is broken it could look OK, but when pressure is put to it to engage the ring gear, nothing. The next thing would be the selonoid which engages the bendix itself, When it was tested, did you see the gear pop out and turn?
Yes, It looked like the gear popped out and turned.
 

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So the engine doesn't turn over or just no spark so the engine wouldn't fire, just to verify.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dana44 said:
So the engine doesn't turn over or just no spark so the engine wouldn't fire, just to verify.
The engine does not turn over even though I can hear the starter turning.
 

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Even though the starter turns, something is amiss. There is an access panel/plate, remove it. Have someone crank the starter a couple seconds and see if the ring gear/torque converter is rotating. You might have a broken flex plate if indeed the starter is engaging.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Everyone,

Thank you for all the help! I finally got it working last Friday. I tested the starter again and it checked out fine so I reinstalled it. It worked fine and has ever since.

Thanks again!
Danny
 

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Glad it wasn't a busted flex plate after all that. I wonder if there was some way the starter wasn't completely installed and able to engage or something. Glad to hear she is running again.
 
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