Flex plate is the term for a flywheel mated with an automatic transmission.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
The ring gear is replaceable only on engines mated with a manual transmission. Engine with automatic transmissions have ring gears which are welded to the flex plate.
- Remove the transmission and, on 4WD Vistas, the transfer case.
- Remove the clutch, if equipped, or torque converter from the flywheel. The flywheel bolts should be loosened a little at a time in a cross pattern to avoid warping the flywheel. On trucks with manual transmission, replace the pilot bearing in the end of the crankshaft if removing the flywheel.
- The flywheel should be checked for cracks and glazing. It can be resurfaced by a machine shop.
- If the ring gear is to be replaced, drill a hole in the gear between two teeth, being careful not to contact the flywheel surface. Using a cold chisel at this point, crack the ring gear and remove it.
- Polish the inner surface of the new ring gear and heat it in an oven to about 600°F (315°C). Quickly place the ring gear on the flywheel and tap it into place, making sure that it is fully seated.
Never heat the ring gear past 800°F (426°C), or the tempering will be destroyed.
- Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the bolts a little at a time in a cross pattern, to the torque figure shown in the Torque Specifications Chart.