last September I installed a junk yard motor in my Escort. Since then I have been chasing weird noises.
At first when I go up a steep hill at around 60 MPH the transmission would downshift into a lower gear and I would hear a "clang". I took it in to the shop and they said the motor mount was loose and tightened it.
But still the "clang" persisted. I decided that I would have to wait to see what it really is so I kept driving the car. Then in December a new sound arrived. This time the sound was far more scary.
At first it only happened while driving down the highway at around 60 MPH. I would let of the gas and a rata tat tat should will come from the engine. It was kind of like a marble in a tin can. The first noise was louder and followed by less pronounced sounds as it faded away...
So I asked around and they thought the sound was coming from the catalytic converter mounted in front of the engine. So I investigate the cats and when they were "repaired" the sound did not stop.
This time I went to the place that helped me with the engine. The next day I get the phone call:
. I have bad news for you please come into the shop so I can show you. I walk in and they say sorry Mr.
but I have bad news for you. We think you have a bad crank in that junk yard engine you just installed. The put it up on the lift. Remove the access port for the torque converter and point at the driveplate a/k/a flexplate a/k/a flywheel. Look at the flexplate it is up against the engine. The back of it is all scratched up. Oil is leaking all over the place. The crank is moving back and causing it to rub. He then gets a crow bar and tries to move the crank from the front of the engine by pushing the pulley. It barley moves. In fact, I am not sure if it moved at all. So I say "an 1/8" movement is normal in a Ford". He says "well if I start up the engine and push here you can see it move". I reply "Oh no, that will ruin my pulley". (NOTE: I SURE HOPE HE DID NOT DO THAT BEFORE I WAS THERE)
I proceed to tell him by the noises I found up front I thought the clang was the flexplate. So I call my mechanic counsel and we discuss the topic, He tended to agree with me that it was a high chance of being the flexplate. But really there was not way to tell. The car was still drivable so I took it home.
I then did some research and found another person who had the same problem. I emailed him and he said:
You aren't gonna like this one bit! I did an engine swap, and the problem began within a few hundred miles. What actually ended up happening is the flex plat broke in two, with a small disk in the center and a (no longer connected) doughnut around it. The solution -- pull the tranny and bolt in a new flex plate. As I recall, the damaged flex plate trashed the rear main, (fortunately I noticed it!) and so I replaced that while I was in there.
Read up on feoa on the tranny replacement -- it's a pain, but not as bad as the book says. You can remove the tranny (drop, I think) without removing the engine as well. Something about loosening mounts and pushing the engine to one side to get clearance, if I recall correctly.
Good luck. You'll need it.
So I called my man Ricky at Level 10 Transmission
and asked him if he could replace the flexplate and rear oil seal. He says "No problem bring it in".
By this time the car was getting real bad. Not the noise but it was difficult to start. The flexplate was so far against the engine that I had to put the key in the ignition, wait a minuet for it to charge up before the started will turn. Ricky had none of this and simply pushed the car in.
Here is the old flexplate...
The car no longer makes as many weird noises as it did before.