Because it connects the engine to the automatic transmission, a broken flex plate is a problem you should not ignore. Thankfully, replacement flex plates are not that hard to find nowadays. Here, we are going to give you some tips on finding the right flex plate for your car's transmission.
What to look for
Of course, when buying a flex plate, it is important that it matches the specifications of your car. Some of these include:
- Gear teeth. Different cars have different number of gear teeth on their flex plates. Cars that have a Ford 289 engine, for example, have flex plates with 147 to 157 teeth, while those on small block Chevy engines have 153 to 168 teeth.
- Diameter. The flex plate needs to be in the right size in order to mate properly with the starter motor. Thus, the replacement flex plate should be the same diameter as that of the old one. Also, the flex plate's diameter correlates with the number of teeth it has: the more teeth on the flex plate, the bigger the plate becomes.
- Imbalance weight. Flex plates are balanced with both the engine and transmission, so make sure to check the imbalance weight of the flexplate before buying one. You can usually find the weight identification on the face of the plate, opposite the drain hole.
- Starter bolt holes. Large plates are compatible to starters with either offset or staggered bolt holes, while smaller plates are designed for starters whose mount holes are adjacent to one another.
Performance flex plates
When shopping for replacement flex plates, you may have encountered performance or heavy-duty flex plates. This type of flex plate is made of thicker steel compared to the OEM flex plate, making it less likely to crack under high torque and RPM conditions. What's more, heavy-duty flex plates also zinc plated for additional corrosion resistance. However, because they do not match the exact specifications of your car compared to OEM flex plates, there is no guarantee that performance flex plates will work properly in your car's transmission.