Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 4-CYL 1981-1995 Repair Information

Flywheel/Flexplate and Ring Gear



The flywheel on manual transaxle cars serves as the forward clutch engagement surface. It also serves as the ring gear with which the starter pinion engages to crank the engine. The most common reason to replace the flywheel is broken teeth on the starter ring gear.

On automatic transaxle cars, the torque converter actually forms part of the flywheel. It is bolted to a thin flexplate which, in turn, is bolted to the crankshaft. The flex plate also serves as the ring gear with which the starter pinion engages in engine cranking. The flex plate occasionally cracks; the teeth on the ring gear may also break, especially if the starter is often engaged while the pinion is still spinning. The torque converter and flex plate are separated so the converter and transaxle can be removed together.

  1. Remove the transaxle from the vehicle. For more information, refer to Drive Train .
  3. On vehicles equipped with manual transaxles, remove the clutch assembly from the flywheel, as described in Drive Train .
  5. Support the flywheel in a secure manner (the flywheel on manual transaxle-equipped vehicles can be heavy).
  7. Matchmark the flywheel/flexplate to the rear flange of the crankshaft.
  9. Remove the attaching bolts and pull the flywheel/flexplate from the crankshaft.

To install:
  1. Clean the flywheel/flexplate attaching bolts, the flywheel/flexplate and the rear crankshaft mounting flange.
  3. Position the flywheel/flexplate onto the crankshaft flange so that the matchmarks align.
  5. Coat the threads of the attaching bolts with Loctite® Thread Locker 271, or equivalent, to help ensure that the attaching bolts will not work loose. Install the bolts finger-tight.
  7. Tighten the attaching bolts in a crisscross fashion in 3 even steps until the following torque values are reached:

    1986-95 Chrysler Manual and Automatic transaxles-70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm)
    1988-89 Premier transaxle-40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) plus an additional 60 degrees (one bolt head flat)
    1981-85 Automatic transaxles-65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm)
    1984-85 Manual transaxles-65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm)
    1981-83 Manual transaxles-50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm)

  9. For manual transaxle-equipped vehicles, install the clutch assembly. For more information, refer to Drive Train .
  11. Install the transaxle, as described in Drive Train .