'88 GT Convertible - Croatia, Europe

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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That isn't normal at all. You could install a washer between the torque converter studs and the flywheel. This would be the easiest way to tell if it's the problem. Seems like it is the knocking noise you heard. If the torque converter was bad it should've shown some other driving issues.

In one of the videos you posted it sounded like a scraping noise. The photo also looks like the spacer plate that goes between the flex plate and block is rubbing also. I'd pull the flex plate off and check the spacer plate and back of flex plate.
 
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snovak

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Put it back together and retest it after new or modified bolts
They knock real bad with those bolts contacting the converter
I don't know if knock is from here... chasing it from lifters to bottom bearings.... None of it helped. If it ain't gonna be from flexplate or exhaust manifold only thing left is a wrist pin.

I have new pioneer heavy duty flexplate to change it eitherway when I am down there, and new ARP bolts arriving. ARP bolts should be sized according to TSB I suppose?
 

snovak

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That isn't normal at all. You could install a washer between the torque converter studs and the flywheel. This would be the easiest way to tell if it's the problem. Seems like it is the knocking noise you heard. If the torque converter was bad it should've shown some other driving issues.
IIRC I had some occasional felt like "shaking of the back end" at ~40mph and cruising throttle.
I also had something like very rare misfire.
I didn't contribute that to TC....
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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IIRC I had some occasional felt like "shaking of the back end" at ~40mph and cruising throttle.
I also had something like very rare misfire.
I didn't contribute that to TC....

A bad torque converter can cause shudder at 40mph. It'll feel kinda like running over rumble strips. It usually just happens at a certain speed range and goes away when you go faster or slower. Was a common issue on some newer 4.6 liter ford's like the crown victoria. It's a failure of torque converter lock up for overdrive. Very rarely have I ever heard a torque converter or flex plate knock. Especially without being obviously cracked or the torque converter to flex plate or crank bolts being loose.

I don't mean to feed your anxiety.
 
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snovak

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I don't mean to feed your anxiety.
You can't, the beast eat enough chasing this knock source :)

I found this behing flexplate...was this rubbing enough to make a knock? ..or to pull crank back so the thrust bearing was worn more in front?
Where did this aluminum came from?!
 

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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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Looks like you found it.
 
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manicmechanic007

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Damn straight
You be more careful than they were installing the motor as to not bend the crap out of the block plate
After all the work you have done this will be a relief
 
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ChaseRoads

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I looked a this car's twin last week. I was very excited and thought I had finally found a fox. Got there and found out someone has used a roller and painted the lower half with single stage.
 

snovak

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Hi guys!

So, the parts arrived from Rockauto and CJPony parts... after cleaning the hell out of back engine and AOD, I may have found out oil leak source.... surprise, surprise - back side of valve covers.
TBH You could never really see them without passanger side engine chain support bracket away from #4 exhaust port, and also exhaust manufold and AOD dipstick plus SMOG downpipe away contributed to nice piece of engine visible and accessable to analyze leak source....

I just hope that knocking was from aluminum bellhousing / engine plate and therefore proceed with assembly:
- I changed rear main seal, wasn't leaking much but it was stearing in my face... method I used was a really really thin layer of black RTV on outside perimeter, white grease inside on contact with crank flange... we will see the results
- I don't dare to take out the torque converter (read some scary stories about people not setting them it properly all the way in and destroying a pump), so I just cleaned front of TC and bellhousing, also a pivot and crank hole from rust and... shall I lube it with a bit of red hi-temp gearing/joints lube to avoid rust in future?
- aluminum bellhosing / engine plate from CJ Pony parts arrived but I had some test-fit issues with dowel pins (does not fit due to too wide dowel pin holes distance), so I need to ream the holes a bit to outside and as I read on reviews I am not the only one...
- for a flexplate I got nice ARP 12pt bolts which have thinner head than stock ones, and I hope TC won't touch them anymore as it did the OEM ones...
- I also got some ARP stainless bellhousing bolts, but unfortunately they are only 1.500" long. OEM ones are longer so I am affraid to use them...
- Then I got stuck with new flexplate....

I took Pioneer FRA-214HD heavy duty flexplate due to corrosion protection.

Unfortuntely (and luckily) I made a test-fit of a plate to TC, and the studs are a tad more to outside than holes on brand new flexplate!!
I would roughly say that the flexplate is ~11.45" and TC studs 11.5".
Yes, I turned it several times around and we are talking about the torque converter studs to the flexplate holes.
Just in order to explain how small the difference is: I can get the flexplate on converter with two studs in, third one on the way and fourth has problems... guarantee You that a rubber mallet would get the fourth stud in if I would be crazy enough to hit the plate towards TC, but there is 99% danger or chance of stripping a TC bolt...

Only soltion is using die grinding/reamer to carefully extend all four flexplate holes a little bit (0.5mm or like 0.02") to outside... anybody been there, done it?
Or shall I just use an old faitful 32 year old OEM flexplate... ?

Thnx...
 

manicmechanic007

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A fifty year old flex plate can be used if it is not cracked or bent
They never really go bad per say
The starter gear teeth go away and that is the reason to replace
Seeing as you have bought a new one and the China Bolts are a tad wrong
I would modify (grind) the clearance you need
The factory nuts have a built in washer that should accommodate .050 no problem and still look good
Every China motor mount I get from CheckerPepZone I have to die grind the bolt holes to make it fit
See the same thing with expensive 9" housings and pumpkins that will not even bolt together from Summit Et al.
Grind away
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I get leary when new stock spec parts have to be modified to fit, where did the used flex plate come from?
Older 302s have a different balance.
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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I was about to say the same thing as thief. I also get a little leary when things don't fit. I have had to wallow the holes in a new spacer plate. Never had to do that to a flex plate. Might need to make sure it's the right one before grinding on it. If it is off center at all it can cause a vibration and wear the front pump out.
 
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snovak

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@manicmechanic007 thnx, I actually did it.
I can see that You also have a similiar problems in US like we have here: You are never sure, included if You buy expensive part from high quality vendor, that at the end You won't receive cheap chinese part.
Things are changing, started with pandemic - bad for our pockets, but good for quality - there is less and less hardware from China.

@General karthief it is not used flexplate, but brand new one from rockauto.com Pioneed FRA214HD as stated above.
@90sickfox You used a bit too harsh term "grinding". It was not like I made brand new holes. I literally took chromatic coating away from hole pointing outward and flexplate slid on TC studs. I used carbide reamer for few seconds, just a slight touch.

So at the end of day I adjusted flexplate holes with reamer, adjusted CJPony spacer plate on dowel holes with same reamer and mounted flexplate.
Blue loctite on 6 ARP bolt threads, grease on head and tighten them with 85 ft/lb in cross-pattern. I lifted AOD in place, pushed on dowel pins hand tighten bellhousing bolts.
BUT then saw that I forgot bellhousing throttle cable bracket and called it a day :)

Checked converter to flexplate play on studs - it is like 1/8 - 3/16"
Turned the engine few times with wrench, no strange noises apart from ones that were present before teardown:
- liquid in TC
- hissing from engine (spark plugs in)
- and squeal (something like turning dry rubber on metal rod) from the back of the engine

To be continued.... bellhousing bolts, exhaust, valve cover leak repair.... I am affraid to crank the engine... knock will mean - rebuild.
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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+2 on man stamp card.

You are working hard to fix your car. You say fear but I think you are telling us lies. Lol
 

snovak

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After all you been thru Snovac I am surprised you are afraid of anything
Man card stamped
Don't be so sure... I am painting manifolds, grinding and painting h-pipe, draining and resealing AOD pan just to postpone cranking... :-(

Please see pictures. Lighter one is with flash.
This is HQ Liqui Moly 1200 ATF ~1500 miles old.
I think I made first ATF change EVER (90k miles) last winter. Is this normal sediment from cleaning or I have something wrong internally?
Shall I change or only "coffee filter" ATF?
 

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manicmechanic007

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I see nothing horrible in the pan
Replace the fluid and filter
I would just smile and start it up with you standing there
Then say Ye of little faith as it runs great
 
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90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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I'd throw a magnet in the pan to catch any metal trash. Most newer cars have them. Cheap cell phone holders, the ones that magnet to a little disc that sticks on the phone, have 3 or 4 little super magnets. They work well stuck to oil filters, oil pans, or trans pans. They're small but really strong.
 
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snovak

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I'd throw a magnet in the pan to catch any metal trash. Most newer cars have them. Cheap cell phone holders, the ones that magnet to a little disc that sticks on the phone, have 3 or 4 little super magnets. They work well stuck to oil filters, oil pans, or trans pans. They're small but really strong.
Now really postponing turning the key... I wire brushed and painted h-pipe in silver 1100F HT rattle can, closed AOD pan for second time on this car and I got a nice ATF leak on one of the bolts (rear passanger side) the day after...

I used new WIX rubber gasket (as I also did for the first time).
Also, as when I done it for the first time after few hours, I saw a wet lip between rubber and pan (bottom connection). I saw it this time also.
@90sickfox I teared down one bad corporate disc drive and I am going to throw into the pan one or two pieces of strongest magnets on earth (neodymium magnet) :)

Don't know how You guys seal that, but today I'm gonna pull it down again when I have all apart and due to this wet lip carefully put some ATF resistant RTV I have in garage between pan and rubber gasket....
 

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