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Engine Rattle

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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:18 pm   
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Ok, not having anything smart a$$ or politically hot to get into ;) I actually have a mechanical post for a change!

For a while now I have been noticing a bit of an odd rattle from my engine. At first I thought it was an exhaust noise, but it seems to be coming from the area where the bell housing meets the block. (I have the auto-stick automatic trans).

Power in the car seems unchanged. The rattle sounds like a tin can inside another tin can being shaken, is most prominent at idle, and out of gear. Once in forward gear, it quiets way down, and with a little RPM rise goes quiet. I hear it again when I coast down, if there is a Jersey barrier to reflect the sound. It is quite prominently heard outside the vehicle. It varies with RPM as well.

I am hoping it is not a bearing issue: I do not think it is, anyway... I did an engine rattle search, and found one similar posting(out of 2414, well, the 100 or so I went through) where someone wrote about a flexplate defect(?) or issue that sounded like what I have.

Anybody have any more comments on this flexplate issue? How to determine, etc?

Thanks!
Robbie

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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:24 pm   
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my initial thought was a loose bolt on the flexplate... have you had any tranny work recently?


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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:24 pm   
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Sounds like your cat converter is rattling .Mine does.. but only when its cold outside.
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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:26 pm   
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Have you had any work done within the last year in the trans area? I had a noise that was first diagnosed as flex-plate but turned out to be sloppy installation at the stealership and the bolts holding the torque converter were backing out. It got louder and louder as I limped into their garage. BTW....they tried to charge me to fix their sloppy work.
FAT CHANCE THERE! :twisted:

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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:31 pm   
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Only tranny work was a fluid change: and I did that one...

I was thinking along the lines of the cat, but we put it up in the air, and it sounded like the flexplate area. Rattles hot or cold, seemingly more noticible when warm...

RR

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 PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:39 pm   
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I can't seem to find the thread, but I have read a few threads since been here that specifically reference the "tin can" noise you're describing. I can't seem to remember what the problem was either, but I do know that others have mentioned the problem and described it very similarly.

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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:54 pm   
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As focused as you've gotten with the area where the sound seem to originate, I'd lean on the flexplate having developed some flaws. When I had my tranny work done last November, mine was replaced due to some developing cracks. And it hadn't made any sort of noise at this point.

Keep in mind that this plate also has the reference points for the crankshaft sensor on its outer edge. You might also be able to work the location closer with an automotive stethescope.

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 PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:09 pm   
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I agree. I have also read in other areas that the Sebring flexplate can develop cracks at the bolt holes.
Glenn


ViperDave wrote:
my initial thought was a loose bolt on the flexplate... have you had any tranny work recently?

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 PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:08 am   
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I'd agree with all the above on the flexplate issue-or bolt backing out. More likely cracks on the flexplate itself forming-it happens to alot of different cars, not just ours. On alot of cars there is a cover that you can remove to inspect this (but I'm not sure it will help if there is one). It will be a pain to remove it as you have to unbolt the torque converter, transmission housing, and then remove the flexplate from the crankshaft. As you know any car can have issues- it's just a car and we seem to have it racked up to just ours.....get a manual/stands, and tools and dig in. If you need help you know where to come-this site is the best I have found for our cars. Good luck and be safe.

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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:39 pm   
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Put her up in the air, gave a listen with a mechanics stethoscope. Sounded like the starter might have been motoring, so I pulled that to check it. Had to pull the oil filter to get the starter out, but I was doing an oil change anyway, so that was no problem...

Starter was ok, so I looked in the hole, then pulled the flex plate cover. Yep, as suspected the flex plate to torque converter bolts had loosened: one had backed out enough that it was striking the cover as it went around! That was my noise... (No cracks in flex plate holes.) Removed and locktighted an retorqued each one, put it all back together, finished the oil change, and started her up.

Nice and rattle free.

RR

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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:46 pm   
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Quote:
Sounds like your cat converter is rattling .Mine does.. but only when its cold outside.
john


I'm with ^ When the bricks come loose inside the cat it will make that noise. You could drive for a long time like that, then again if one of the pieces end up blocking the cat you come to an abrupt halt.

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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:01 pm   
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Love a happy ending, Robbie! :D

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