Dodge Omni/Horizon/Rampage 1978-1989 Repair Guide

Flywheel 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. To remove it, remove the transaxle. Then, unbolt and remove the clutch and pressure plate. Finally, support the flywheel in a secure manner and then remove the eight attaching bolts and remove the flywheel.

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. Remove the automatic transaxle. Then, remove the attaching bolts and remove the flexplate from the flywheel.

Install the flywheel in reverse order, tightening the flywheel-to-crankshaft mounting bolts to the specifications.

When the flywheel or flexplate is back in position, reinstall the transaxle.