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Engine/transmission mating issue

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by JW, July 19, 2012.

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  1. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    Trying to button up the engine replacement. Engine is fully in the mounts, torque converter-to-flexplate bolts are where they need to be, but the gap between the back of the block and the bellhousing is inconsistent - up tight on the right, but about a 1/8 - 3/16" gap on the left - and I can't get it to close up. Any ideas what could be holding it up? With the engine this close to the trans, is it likely or even possible for the torque converter to be far enough off the input shaft as to be out of alignment with the splines? Is it advisable to muscle the gap shut? Am I about to work my way into a transmission replacement also?
     
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  3. tower

    tower Active Member

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    Do not force it and yes I would look at the torque converter it may not be seated correctly. If you force it in then yes you could wreck the pump on the tranny and that would be bad.
     
  4. matt0248

    matt0248 Active Member

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    Typically the engine and transmission should bolt flush together and the torque converter will still move when it is not bolted to the flex plate. that is to say you can push the TC forward and rearward a little bit. unbolt the TQ from flex plate and see if you can push it back and forth. If not chances are it is not seated all the way. also, make sure all the engine and trans mount bolts are still loose as to allow them to move.
     
  5. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    The torque converter should slide into the transmission so far that the adapter plate is almost touching the transmission case. If that is not that close, rotate the torque converter until it will slide further in. You are using the torque converter adapter plate for your V8?

    There is also an alignment dowel on each side of the engine. Make sure that the transmission is properly seating on both of them. Check for anything else on either side that might be binding against the transmission and preventing it from bolting up.
     
  6. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    Engine is back out. I think Josh was right about the dowel pins (but I checked them before!...) But it's hard to tell since it's so tight in there. The torque converter won't slide back anymore on the input shaft and the splines are aligned. I'll post a pic of how it sits later on.
     
  7. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    Ok, it's back in. Torque converter was really far forward on the shaft. My guess is it got hung up on the engine during removal, because I didn't handle it until last night. The dowel pins being out of alignment probably saved the transmission. Tomorrow I put the intake and other upper parts on and this ordeal should be over.
     
  8. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    Glad you got it worked out. If the converter was not seated properly, you would have bolted up the transmission and realized the issue when you tried to bolt the converter to the flywheel. The converter would not have spun! ;)
     
  9. jayton

    jayton Active Member

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    That is good news. I am glad it got worked out too. I was starting to think that because of this issue, that maybe I should drop my transmission and bolt them together outside the truck and then put them in together. Now that I see it was just TC sliding forward, I will continue on as planned.
     
  10. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    It can be done, especially with practice :D. The technique that worked for me is this: turn the crank until one of the torque converter bolt holes on the flexplate is at the 6:00 position, and position the tc the same way. Tie a long piece of string or thin wire to that bottom tc bolt. Then drop the engine in until it's about 3-4" above the mounts. Then go under and guide the string through that bottom hole. Then, have someone lower the engine while you guide it. It helps to raise the front of the engine up some; I used an extra strap below the harmonic balancer. Slowly guide it to that bolt while watching the mounts, especially the left, and use the string to help move the tc into position. From there it sort of falls together. The left mount is the tricky one; you have a lot more play room on the right side. And if you're still running the stock manifolds, make sure you don't let one of the bolts get wedged into the downpipe like I did the first time...

    I also cleaned and oiled the dowel pins on the engine; it allowed the two to go together a little easier.
     
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  11. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    And for seating the torque converter - mine was so far forward on the shaft that it was tilted down, which prevented it from easily going back into the bellhousing. I had to lift, spin, push and wiggle all at the same time. Not as much fun as it sounds. It moved back in two distinct steps and, as Josh said it would, the front plate nearly contacts the bell housing on its outer edge.
     
  12. jayton

    jayton Active Member

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    How important is it that the flexplate holes go back on the lined up with exact same torque converter studs as it came off? I tried to get the red marks lined back up when putting the engine in, but it looks like I got it off by one hole during the wrestling match to get it in.
     
  13. zerodevil

    zerodevil Well-Known Member

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    not that important, just make sure you dont tighten one bolt super tight. spread your torquing in a star patern like with lug nuts, and do go super tight untill all of them are seated on the back of the flex-plate.
     
  14. Frank8337

    Frank8337 New Member

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    I am having sort of the same issue w/ the 03 Explorer I'm doing an engine swap on. Except that the gap I have in between the block and the bellhousing is roughly 1.5". Everything seems lined up, I am not able to close the distance between the two. I can get the 2 lower bellhousing bolts (by the bottom of the oil pan) to thread in, but that's about it. Any suggestions, advice, direction is appreciated.
     
  15. Raviator

    Raviator New Member

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    when you yank the motor is it the body off way or is it typical out the engine bay, bought an 05 aviator that needs a swap i have all the tools except a hoist, sounds like you can do it with a crane or chainfall, am I correct?
     

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