will12

89 TC bolt fell into bell housing....

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Help!  I am wondering what to do when a bolt goes down into the bell housing near the transmission? My dad and I were replacing the valve cover gasket when my dad accidentally dropped a bolt from the valve cover into the bell housing. We tried to see if we can get it to fall out at the bottom where an inspection plate is... but it doesn't have enough room to fall it appears. We are trying to see if we can move the transmission over 1-1 1/2 inches to allow room for it to fall hopefully! Its a 89 TC with the 8 valve Turbo II engine. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! I have included a pic, if looking from the front of the car...this would be to the right of the engine.

IMG_2189_LI.jpg

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So, yes, I would first pull the bottom dust cover (inspection plate) and turn the engine over by hand to see if it falls out. If not, then the next move would be to slide the transmission off of the engine to give some room in the bellhousing in relation to the ring gear and torque converter.

 

I would make some long dowels to put in the top 2 bellhousing bolt holes for the transmission to slide on, that way the alignment stays in tact and the transmission doesn't try to fall on the ground. I would leave the torque converter bolted to the flex plate and just slide the 2 apart in the car. Gotta loosen up the engine mounts on the right side of the engine bay and the front radiator support. I suggest marking where they were located so you get the alignment of the driveline correct in the car after retrieving the bolt. That way when you put it all back together you're not chasing strange vibrations during driving and turning. I think you should be able to get a good inch of space out of moving the engine to the right and the tranny to the left. The left side transmission mount doesn't need to be messed with. 

 

Keep in mind, pulling the two apart with the TC still attached to the flexplate will pull the converter out of the front pump and most probably leak. I highly suggest NOT turning the engine in this condition as realigning the drive splines to the input shaft and the drive lugs to the front pump will be a MAJOR pain in the butt. You will also probably leak some transmission fluid. Use MOPAR ATF +4.

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If you intend on moving the transaxle back away from the engine, YOU MUST remove the flex plate to converter bolts. 
I see one mounting bolt loose in the picture. I would also recommend 4 longer bolts, 2 like the upper and 2 like the lower LARGE bolts, an inch & a half longer than the original bolts, be put in as guide and support bolts while you attempt this.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY GONE BEYOND THIS POINT AND EITHER HAD SUCCESS OR ARE STUCK, GET BACK TO US FOR HELP.
 

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Hemi, just curious, why are you adamant about unbolting the converter from the flex plate?  I can't think of a reason this is critical.

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4 hours ago, Reaper1 said:

Hemi, just curious, why are you adamant about unbolting the converter from the flex plate?  I can't think of a reason this is critical.

 

If Will plans to move the transaxle any distance back from the engine, the torque converter will pull out of the transmission front pump.

As you Reaper stated, oil will start to flow, but WORSE THAN THAT, he will very likely not to be able to fully re-engage the torque converter hub back into the transaxle front pump.

If he forces it, HE WILL BREAK IT, and he will also very likely destroy the front seal in this process.

In any event, HE WILL REGRET IT!  

I don't know yet how far along in this process he is so he may want to give me a clue. Another thing, how does he intend to support the engine separately from the transaxle and visa versa?

One last thing, I have been a Torqueflite Transmission rebuilder since 1965, you and he might give that some thought.  I'm just trying to prevent a disaster here.

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Today is the first chance i have had to work on it since Tuesday. I will keep in  mind removing the flex plate to converter bolts. We are also changing the struts, all belts (including timing) while we are here and she is at 50,000 miles.I think we we were planning on supporting the engine with a floor jack. I will check back in when i see her again today and update whats going on.

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Again thanks for the heads up about the torque converter!We feel it’s best to move the transmission with the torque converter separated from the flywheel/flex plate. We are going to use floor jacks to support the engine and transmission.

 

Do you think we are on the right track? And we are also looking for a tool to tension the timing belt. The blue manual suggests c-4703... I have only found it online for around 90 bucks. Does anyone know where I can rent this tool or have different ideas? I have called a few dealerships, but they don’t have it. I am in the Denver, Colorado area

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The weight on the tool to adjust the tension is rather light, as in not heavy.

If you can find a crescent wrench that will fit onto the tensioner, let it stick out toward the rear of the engine at a 9 O'clock position. The weight of the wrench should be "about" enough to tension the belt properly.

Most people put TOO MUCH tension on the belt and you end up with a 'harmonics' sound from the belt. I would think that you are installing a new belt? 

 

For the movement of the transaxle, did you get yourself some GUIDE BOLTS long enough to allow the movement you need? If you do that, you will have no problem repositioning the transaxle afterwards.

Also, mark the location of the torque converter to the flex plate as there is only 1 way the 4 bolts will line up. Since you have the blue manual, you should be OK as ling as you follow the instructions.

Good luck and I hope you are doing this job indoors.

 

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@Hemi Dude The timing belt is new, as of today we were able to successfully detach the torque converter and moved the tranny an inch using longer bolts still attached with the engine and tranny supported. The converter didn't move and the bolt didn't drop. We think the converter needs to move toward the engine enough for the bolt to drop. How far can we safely move the converter? 1/2 inch? The top dead center on the cam pulley and flex plate and converter are marked.

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On 11/22/2019 at 5:11 PM, Hemi Dude said:

 

If Will plans to move the transaxle any distance back from the engine, the torque converter will pull out of the transmission front pump.

As you Reaper stated, oil will start to flow, but WORSE THAN THAT, he will very likely not to be able to fully re-engage the torque converter hub back into the transaxle front pump.

If he forces it, HE WILL BREAK IT, and he will also very likely destroy the front seal in this process.

In any event, HE WILL REGRET IT!  

I don't know yet how far along in this process he is so he may want to give me a clue. Another thing, how does he intend to support the engine separately from the transaxle and visa versa?

One last thing, I have been a Torqueflite Transmission rebuilder since 1965, you and he might give that some thought.  I'm just trying to prevent a disaster here.

Agreed, the converter will pull out of the front pump and it will leak tranny fluid.

Agreed, should NOT force the engagement and yes, I have done it this way before, and yes, it sucks!

Agreed, damage to the front pump seal can occur if not careful.

Engine is supported by the passenger's side mount and the front mount (4-clyinder, V6 is different), but yeah, probably needs an upper support or floor jack.

 

I figured just backing the transmission up wasn't going to allow the bolt to come out. It probably is back up behind the converter in the bellhousing and the clearance isn't enough for the head to squeeze by the body of the converter and the transmission case. A flex shaft magnet *might* be able to be worked in from the top timing window behind the converter to try and retrieve it that way.

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"A flex shaft magnet *might* be able to be worked in from the top timing window behind the converter to try and retrieve it that way."

If that doesn't work, try an air nozzle blowing in at the rearward side of the bell housing and the magnet stuck in at the front side.
That bolt is so small, it should move easily. Remember not to rotate the torque converter unless necessary.
 
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That's a good suggestion! I forget about air power a lot because it hasn't been until recently that I've had a compressor at the house.

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Thank you @Hemi Dude and @Reaper1 We were able to get the bolt out today once we had room, using an air compressor and turning the torque converter slightly :)IMG_2208.thumb.JPG.8137f253507b1921f974fc6fc99d88be.JPG

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