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Hello All,

Working on the 89 Dakota 4x4 3.9 engine 4 spd Auto Transmission again.

A little history reminder. A little over a year ago turned key and could hear starter turn but, engine didn't. Removed starter and found torque converter/flexplate bolt keeping starter gear from moving out to catch flexplate. This happened again. Found same thing. This time removed dust cover on front of transmission. Found of 4 torque converter/flexplate bolts that 1 was twisted off, 1 bolt was gone and threads were bad had to tap new threads and larger bolt, 3rd bolt out just put new bolt in and last bolt was just loose so tightened it.

Back to present. Saturday morning got in to go to work. Turned key and same thing. Could hear starter turn but, engine didn't. Just removed starter and found a torque converter/flexplate bolt head in the starter keeping the gear from engaging the flexplate.

After all this, I guess my actual question is what could be causing me to breaking off these bolts?

Thanks for reading!
Danny
 

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I wonder if they've been torqued down enough, and had threadlocker if required. Maybe they walked out until they fell or got mangled.
 

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There is quite a bit of information about this on Google.
Chrysler supplies fresh hardened T/C bolts with every T/C and transmission. They do use the blue threadlock and I don't ever reuse the old bolts. Throw them away and buy 4 fresh bolts (Dealer or Trans shop).
If the converter and/or flexplate holes are damaged in any way, replace them as well. Some have learned the hard way and it affects all manufacturers.
You have been lucky so far with a bolt just blocking the starter movement. It could potentially take out a transmission case or cause personal harm.
 
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