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Mopar flexplates breaking like glass

tomjelly

Stainless
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
GA
Second one in 4 years/50k mi. '11 Dodge Caravan 3.6L. What's going on with this material, does it need to be annealed? Cheap part, but it costs $600 to get to it. OEM MOPAR. This was supposed to be the updated part. I haven't taken a file or center punch to it yet, but it looks like glass....flex plate not flexing, apparently.
 

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That's wild to see on a stamped part. The crack isn't even propagating from stress risers or defects. There must be some gnarly resonance going on there, or other repeated flexing.

Dumb q
 
That's wild to see on a stamped part. The crack isn't even propagating from stress risers or defects. There must be some gnarly resonance going on there, or other repeated flexing.

Dumb q
Dumb question, but any chance the torque converter is off angle or otherwise misaligned with the engine centerline?

Could the flexplate be getting installed off of the engine centerline?
 
Trans was replaced about 2 years after the first flex plate broke, along with the torque converter. This is apparently a widespread issue with this powertrain, yet no recall, of course.
 
Fatigue from misalignment and flex would be my first guess too. Probably stamped in a die by the look of it. An annealing of the stamped center part would be good; not so much for the gear though.
 
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Looks like its too rigid .....maybe a few cuts in the right places might improve things.................I just did a tractor converter where it was driven by flexible steel strips bolted to the flywheel.
 
The fact that you say it's a common problem, and there is an updated part, indicates someone somewhere must already have discovered the issue. I'm surprised there isn't a TSB issued by Mopar that discusses this (?).

A flexplate, by nature, doesn't see much of a difficult job. If one is breaking, as others noted, something is causing it. In the hot rod world, it's common to see guys get proud that their bad-ass engine broke a flexplate...but really, it just shows they did something to screw up their drivetrain.
 
Doh!

 
It's a dodge thing, you wouldn't understand:D
"Dodge Disease" some call it.
Currently own two mini-vans and before that two more. They certainly do have issues that in most cases causes one to consider replacement depending on miles traveled. Usually, in this area of the country rust-out usually beats wear-out.
The flex-plate thing I have not experienced and had not heard of before but checking it out on the 'net it's quite common. Now I'm gonna experience paranoia listening for tell tale flex plate noises.

No doubt someplace within the previous/current Chrysler management group knew/know about it and likely what causes it. Considering the massive number of vehicles probably involved I doubt they will come forward to admit/accept responsibility. A re-call usually only results after fatalities occur. Would be a BIG buck callback.
 
For many years, GM built their S10 Blazers to where rain would run down the cowl area, drip onto the top of the dipstick, and then run into the auto trans. People would come in with a 40K mile vehicle with the trans acting up...full of water. GM had to know about this - all the independent shops did - yet they never did anything about it. The aftermarket came up with revised dipsticks that wouldn't allow water to enter, and a few companies made rain deflectors that rerouted that water.

And let's not get into the catastrophic Ford 6.0L diesel faliures...

The bottom line is ALL auto companies have their skeletons in the closet.
 
This happened to me and it winded up being that I forgot to reinstall the two alignment bolt shims/rings that go into the bell housing bolt holes for the transmission. If the engine and transmission are not perfectly aligned the plate will crack at those positions.
 
<snip>GM had to know about this - all the independent shops did - yet they never did anything about it. The aftermarket came up with revised dipsticks that wouldn't allow water to enter, and a few companies made rain deflectors that rerouted that water.
<snip>
Possible, but I wouldn’t be too sure. I used to be the product engineer over a couple steering components at a large Tier 1 supplier. Every one that failed inside the warranty period came across my desk. I learned a few things:
1. The OEM (Detroit big 3) engineers had a disappointingly poor understanding of how the product worked, particularly as they had official design control in many cases.
2. If you had a vehicle in Canada, forget having your warranty failure help us. The dealers in Canada all had to send parts to some OEM transfer center that got the parts into the USA and then sent them to us for analysis. From what I can tell the only thing they did at that facility was open the box from the dealer, remove all of the identifying paperwork describing the issue, and then close the box.
3. While every dealer mechanic I’ve personally met has been pretty sharp, you wouldn’t know it from the parts sent back in. The vast majority of them had absolutely nothing wrong with them. Those that did were usually misadjusted by the dealer mechanic, suffering from a loose hydraulic fitting where they were connected, etc.
4. We had zero insight into what else was going on with the vehicle, and the OEM wasn’t about to let us talk with a dealership employee.
5. The level of dishonesty and lack of transparency all around was impressive. We got one assembly back as just a housing with half the internals missing. Think getting a hub with no wheel bearings or spindle. We had to prove we didn’t ship it that way despite being literally impossible to drive it off their assembly line as we received it. We got interrogated about one that came back cracked once. After lots of back and forth we eventually found out nearly the entire corner of the vehicle body, suspension, radiator, and all front linkages had been replaced on the same service call. Well of course it was cracked, they crashed the truck!
 
It's a dodge thing, you wouldn't understand:D
MOPAR = most our parts are rejects :rolleyes5: it would be nice if you could cheek the run out ! but how involved do you want to get ? crank to face of block parallel . flex plate to block parallel .then there is the converter is the hub on center with the pilot support . is the hub concentric with the flex plate mounting pads . then there's the in side of the converter is the statro support and turbine drive lined up and concentric . and is the transmission case true .
 
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if you inspect a new plate ,you may find a lot of surface cracking in the curved part where its formed ......its quite common for a designed in fail at four years to aid sales .....used to be rust ,but that was too obvious and got their asses kicked ,so the need for subtelty.
 
Same torque converter in both cases? Are the flex plate mounting bosses on the TC not true with the bore? Something is flexing the flex plate too much......................
Perhaps the mounting bosses on the torque converter are not in the same Z-axis plane with each other? Would that cause a great deal of flexing as the crank spins or am I thinking this incorrectly?
 








 
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