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Old 08-22-2009, 03:26 AM   #1
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1982 31' Airstream310
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Angry Bad flexplate in a 82 Airstream 310 Diesel

I have a mechanic giving me total grief in repairing my motorhome transmission. Does anyone know what flexplate to use with the diesel motor?
Airstream factory says use a turbo 350 flexplate but the bolt holes do not line up. He is also charging me an additional $500 to install a new torque converter and pilot bearing. He said they are warn and scored and It will leak. Originally he charged me $500 to fix the noise in the tranny. He tightened torque converter bolts and fixed a couple of leaks. The noise was still there. I took it back and he discovered a crack in the flexplate. He quoted me $800 to repair it at a discount because of not finding the problem the first time. I found an other shop that would do the job for $500 he matched it. Now he is heisting me for additional $500 to do the torque converter. Any ideas?
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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I had my trans rebuilt not long ago, I'll check the paperwork when I get back from work.
Off the top of my head, I thought the trans was a 370 turbo. Some Allison parts fit that unit, including a torque converter. I'm not too happy they way the trans mechanics are jerking you around.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:05 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forums.
A couple of questions:
1: Does the transmission leak now?
2: Does the motor home move under its own power now?

Without seeing pictures, it's hard to tell, but it's possible the current mechanic may be trying to find something else wrong to make up for the discount he gave you. If the motor home will drive, take it to the shop that quoted you the lower price, and let them look at it. Try not to tell them about the grooves (all torque converters get them to some extent), and see what they say.
If it doesn't leak, drive it the way it is until you start noticing fluid leaking from there, then get it fixed. At least you will know what it is, and about how much to fix it.


BTW, I've never seen a pilot bearing on an automatic transmission, they are pretty much exclusively a manual transmission part. The pilot bearing goes in the end of the crankshaft, and supports the input shaft of the manual transmission when the clutch is released.
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Pilot bearing? You don't need no stinkin pilot bearing! Terry is correct, they are for the input shaft of maual transmissions. LJH
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Old 08-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Mechanic here that has done more than my share of transmissions. This guy sounds like he is running you through the ringer. There is no pilot bearing with an automatic only standards use them. So he didn't happen to see the crack in the flexplate the first time you brought it to him, but what reasoning does he have to replace the torque converter? If the trans is working but just has a noise than what makes him think the torque converter should be replaced. Usually, in the repair field, torque converters are replaced when the transmission is rebuilt or replaced or if there is a specific problem with the torque converter. Even then, if the converter has a problem internally, it usually sends debris throughout the rest of the trans and it would need to be pulled apart and gone through anyway. Sounds like he is not sure what is making the noise and is looking to narrow the possibilities by just convincing you to replace parts that you might not possibly need before he even starts the job. Also, not sure why he would charge an EXTRA 500 if he already has the transmission out for the flexplate, it only takes an extra five minutes to put the torque converter into the front of the trans. I cant imagine the converter itself costing that much and its really no extra labor since he would already have it pulled down that far for the flexplate.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #6
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I'm thinking both mechanics are full of it, including AS. This your transmission.
Mine was rebuilt in 03, it has 125K on it and works perfect: built by a old timer
who really knew his gearboxes.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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Did the first mechanic have the transmission out of the MH for the first round of repairs? It would not have been necessary if he only tightened torque converter bolts - unless one of the orginal leaks was at the front pump. How does he know that the convertor hub is scored? It would seem that he either had it out once and didn't mention it. Or he is guessing now. Or he has the transmission out now. Does he?

By pilot bearing he may be meaning the front pump bushing.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
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Those are great transmissions, twice the size as Ford. I'd sure bail (if you can) and find a gearhead that has extensive experience with Chev/GMC/Allison transmissions. Watch how the cooler lines get back and forth; I had one rub a hole and just happened to notice the leak. If it makes you feel better, I spent lotsa $$$ before I found someone to get the airbags squared away.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:06 PM   #9
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Hi: I am not sure if this will be helpful, but my flywheel and torque converter were replaced by Custom Transmission in St. Mary's, Ohio. I think the guy's name was Steve? I can't find his number.
He charged me $215 for the torque converter and $60 for the flywheel (parts). The labor to remove the transmission assembly and reinstall it was $495.00. He might be able to tell you what you need and what is a fair price. The total for everything, including trans fluid and engine mount was $866.00. The price before he discovered the broken torque converter was $600. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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I guess it's how many miles you want to get out of that hard-working transmission.
Our re-do was around eighteen hundred $, parts & labor. I'm pleased to have paid it.
If the trans guy knows about Allison, you're home.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:25 PM   #11
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If you have the TH400 trans you should use the TH400 flex plate. There is no pilot bearing however there is an adapter that connects the flex plate to the crankshaft. There is an adapter plate/ring that connects the Isuzu to the GM transmission. It is about 3/4" thick. This is the reason for the adapter that moves the flex plate 3/4" back from the crankshaft to reach the torque converter. The spud on the front of the torque converter fits in a recess/register in this adapter for support and location (alignment). If your torque converter comes loose and rattles around a bit it can damage the fit of the torque converter to this adapter. This can cause the torque converter to not run true and damage the input bearing/front pump. If one of the leaks he originally repaired was the front pump he would have had the trans out to replace the o-ring seal.

When my flex plate broke it damaged the crankshaft to flex plate adapter and broke the alignment spud off the front of the torque converter. The torque converter had to be replaced and the adapter had to be welded up and re-machined as there are no replacements available.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:20 PM   #12
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The person that started this thread hasn't been online since they made the post. Maybe we should wait for them to check back in before speculating further.
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
The person that started this thread hasn't been online since they made the post. Maybe we should wait for them to check back in before speculating further.
Why? Good information is being exchanged for everyone's use. Do you have a mo/ho?
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Why? Good information is being exchanged for everyone's use.
Because speculating without sufficient info is pointless. Do we know if they have a Turbo Hydramatic transmission? Is it an Allison? Has anything been altered "under the hood?" We have someone in this thread thinking it may be one, and another thinking it may be the other. The original poster doesn't say.
What we have so far is someone saying "tech A says this, and tech B says that. Which one is right?" We need more info.
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