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Old 07-01-2009, 10:15 PM   #1
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Grosse Pointe Park , Michigan
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Moho alignment, etc - a little help please

If you read my other posting under Classic Motorhomes, you'll know I just had my broken flywheel and torque converter replaced after breaking down en route to the AS factory. I've been advised to make sure to have it precision aligned. In all honesty, I am way over my head.

I want to make sure this doesn't happen again and I take care of this issue properly. I will call the guy who replaced this stuff and see if he aligned it. If not, what do I do?

Also, who do I go to for the installation of the aluminum brackets that Airstream gave me that help hold steady the junction between the engine and transmission? They are sort of triangular and the transmission guy said they would be helpful, he just didn't see them before he had everything back together at 2 a.m. last night. He recommends that I get them installed and estimates a couple of hours.

What can I get away with (what's the cheapest, safest, smartest option)? I have blown my entire budget and then some for now on getting back to Michigan and having the motorhome fixed (hotel, meals, rental, ride to the factory when the tow truck couldn't take us all, etc.).
We'd like to continue using her, but not if we are causing damage that could lead to a repeat of us stranded on a major highway cursing AAA of Michigan.

Any technical advice that I could use when making calls tomorrow would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that before yesterday, I'd never heard the terms flywheel or torque converter. Someone mentioned AAMCO and there's one not too far. I am just outside Detroit, so there are loads of car and truck shops. I'm just not sure what type of shop to contact--transmission, diesel engine specialist, GM, Isuzu?

We are hoping to be leaving tomorrow evening to cross the state, but won't do it if it's not safe. The guy in Ohio didn't indicate it was a matter of urgency. Thoughts? Suggestions?


1982 280 Turbo Diesel Limited
Classic Motorhome
"A Silver Lining" or Silvie for short
"Ah, well. I'm off to get my life sustaining supplies - cornmeal and gunpowder, hamhocks and guitar strings."
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Find a truck shop.

Hi, I would try to find a truck shop; They would be more used to working on things like this. Basically a flex plate / flywheel is doing it's intended job of flexing. After so much flexing, it will eventually fail. If the engine and transmission don't line up correctly, this will happen quite quickly. Sloppy work from mechanics leaving the guide dowels out, loose bolts, or tightening one bolt before pretorqueing all the rest can cause the transmission's bell housing and the back of the engine to be slightly out of alignment. Being out of alignment causes a constant, rotating flex. This inturn shortens the life of your flex plate greatly.

Now as for the brackets; On some engine to bell housing mounting and mateing surfaces, the bolts, are for the most part near the crankshaft area and above. This allows for flexing because there is little or no support on the bottom half of the bell housing to engine. So an after thought of brackets supporting the lower half of the engine to the lower part of the bell housing would stop excess flexing between your engine and transmission. These brackets are for the longer life of the flex plate from the original design which was considered somewhat weak.


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Old 07-02-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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What Robert said is entirely true. On an auto engine the rear of the engine block is designed so that the transmission/bell housing bolts directly to the engine. On most truck engines and the Isuzu, the rear of the engine is a seperate removeable part so that different transmissions can be installed for different applications. This part must be alligned so that the crankshaft and transmission shaft rotate in a straight line. Any qualified truck mechanic should be able to do the job.

On our Isuzus there is another part added to fit the engine to the Chevy transmission. Once the alignment is done, you should be able to remove and reinstall the transmission without disturbing the alignment. On our AS the engine had been worked on, removed and reinstalled, and the realignment was not done properly. After the second flexplate we were fortunate to have a good transmission specialest who mounted the transmission housing with all the insides removed and using indicaters, a precision measuring instrument, aligned everything to run true.

If you can be sure no major engine work has been done on your AS you will probably be ok. Even if there was work done if it was done properly you should be ok. Unfortunately the privious owner of our AS was not so luckly. By the way the time to perform the alignment is while the transmission is out of the vehicle not after it has been reinstalled.

I hope everything is fine on your AS and that you have many miles of trouble free driving. If you do have a problem again make sure that it is thouoghly checked out before the transmission is reinstalled. Flexplates should last as long as the transmission or longer.

Good luck, Dan
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