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How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

 
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Old 31 May 2016, 11:14 am
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Default How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

Is there an easy way to access the bolts to the Flexplate for inspection on a 2002 PT Limited Automatic? There is a rattling noise which seems to be coming from an area where the engine and transmission meet and I suspect either the flexplate bolts need to be tightened or or it's cracked.

The link to the video around the engine while the noise is audible:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7V...1rWmEtOHM/view


Thanks.
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Last edited by bennyc; 31 May 2016 at 03:58 pm. Reason: Updated Video, changed text of message
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 11:00 am
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

I found this image of what appears to be the flexplate inspection panel location on a PT, but I am not completely sure yet:
809372ab.jpg

Looking under my PT my best guess is that the area circled in red is, according to this post, the oil pan to transmission bracket. Once removed the inspection cover is accessible:
IMG00563.JPG.jpg
IMG00553-med.jpg

I guess I'll take a peek this afternoon.

Can anyone provide insight into this? Am I on the right track? Help?
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Last edited by bennyc; 01 Jun 2016 at 11:15 am. Reason: minor wording change for clarification
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

Based on your video, it might be the starter drive too. But I believe removing the starter is about has hard as removing the oil pan. So go with your gut on this one.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 01:34 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Based on your video, it might be the starter drive too. But I believe removing the starter is about has hard as removing the oil pan. So go with your gut on this one.
Thanks Handy_cruiser. I am going out on my lunch break and troubleshoot the starter and see if I can isolate the sound enough to narrow down the area.
Guess I was hoping ruling out an issue with the flexplate would be easy.
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 03:26 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

I was able to better isolate sound within certain areas of the engine using a lapel mic instead of the built in mic on the camera.

What it sounds like to me is the rattling is coming from the back of the engine on the passenger's side around 0:23 seconds into the video.

Also at 1:04 I put the mic very close to the starter.

Any ideas what might cause this noise and how to troubleshoot?

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Old 01 Jun 2016, 03:49 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

The 23 sec. noise sounds like my Sebring when the timing belt tensioner went bad. It was the loose belt slapping the inside of the case. However, without a good reference to the volume of this specific noise, it could well just be normal noise from the belt and sprocket. You could remove the top part of the plastic timing cover pretty easily and see if there is undue slack in the timing belt. It might also help you pinpoint the noise better.

As for 1:04 clicking sound, again it's hard to know since I cannot tell how loud the sound it in relation to the engine as a whole. But it does seem to be louder at the starter rather than underneath the flywheel cover.

Listening to strange noises coming from a high-mileage engine at idle speed can drive you crazy. Do these noises get louder around 1200 RPM or do they seem to go away?
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Old 01 Jun 2016, 04:46 pm
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Smile Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

A cheap engineers stethoscope might get you some mileage, that's what I use to isolate and find unusual noises in awkward spaces. That is when the long screwdriver to the ear trick can't be used
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
...Do these noises get louder around 1200 RPM or do they seem to go away?
It seems the noise dissipates a bit over 1400 RPM. Though, I can't tell if its just being drown out by the increased engine noise. I am going to pull off the upper timing belt cover and check the belt tension per your suggestion.

With that in mind what do you think?
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Last edited by bennyc; 03 Jun 2016 at 12:08 pm. Reason: split into two posts
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 12:09 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

Just to understand how to inspect the flexplate, it was driving me crazy not knowing, I dove into dropping down the cover. Sure enough, it's right where it's circled in the previous pictures and is being held into place by two 15mm bolts, securing the bottom of the cover, and two long 18mm on the front and back. Using a 19mm socket with extension, I rotated the crankshaft with my right hand while under the car looking at the plate spinning. All of the bolts seemed tight.

It took about 15 minutes to open and about 45 minutes to inspect and put back together.

Took video of it all and can post of anyone is interested.
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Old 03 Jun 2016, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: How to Inspect Flexplate for Loose Bolts

I haven't/can't watch the video, but isn't the timing belt and tensioner on the opposite side of the engine from the flexplate/starter?
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