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wildcat65401

63 Riviera with a bad flywheel/ring gear ???? Please help

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Hi all,

Happy holidays !

So it seems the ring gear/flywheel has gone bad in my 63' Riviera . I have never had this problem before and don't understand whats involved , I would be thrilled if anyone could give me the low down on whats going to be involved in getting back on the road again . How much this will cost me , difficulty of obtaining a new part etc .

Thanks , Paul.

post-31239-143137881286_thumb.jpg

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I just read somewhere that the ring gear from a 400 or 455 will work with my 63' 401 . Any help on this subject would be awsome , thanks .

Paul.

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Pete !

That sounds great , if you could give me a day or two to confirm that your 400 flywheel will work for me , I'll take it !

Thanks , Paul.

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Well ,

Let me try to explain what happened . My Dynaflow would every now and then make a

rattleing sound in park or neutral . When I came back to the car hours later the noise would be gone . I have heard this is common with ring gear problems . Anyway I was warming up the car and it started to make the noise again so I thought if I switched it off and on again it would go away . It didn't , when I turned the key , it made the classic started grinding sound . The guy at the shop looked at my starter and said ;"oh , your flywheel has gone bad".

Then I called a gent at a transmission adaptor company thinking he would have the part I needed. He said ;" well, dynaflow's do not have a fly wheel as such . its a ring gear ."

So I'm a little confused and I know this is not the best way to diagnose a problem but you people on here know more about these problems than anyone else I know . I'm just really trying to figure out what parts I need to track down . Do I need a flywheel , a ring gear a converter ...all three???

Do I really just need to remove the transmission and look at it to find out what needs to be done . Is it even possible to remove the trans from a 63'

Riviera without a lift or a pit ????

Any answers would be a big help .

Thanks , Paul .

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I'm sure the tranny has to come out for this repair regardless if you have a flywheel or a ring gear. While you can get a dynaflow out without a lift or a pit, prepare for some heavy work. I only have experience with a 56 Dynaflow and that thing weighs more than my wifes 93 Regal. Or it seems that way when lying on your back trying to align everything for the reinstall.

I would suggest before you go crazy that you pull the starter and take it to a reputable rebuild shop. You could have a weak solenoid or even a weak armature in the starter itself. And that would be a lot easier to try before committing to yanking that tranny.

JD

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Hi Paul,

The ring gear IS attached to the converter drum. The manual says that it can be tapped off with a drift and replaced. Your dynaflow does have a triangular flywheel that bolts to the converter. I can't help you with the cross reference with the 400, but I can't imagine that it would be the same. I would agree with John D. to check your starter first before dropping the trans. Also, take the inspection plate off of the bottom (front) of the transmission to check to see if all of the teeth look to be in good shape. If you do need to remove the transmission, at least you are dealing with an open driveshaft instead of the earlier closed version. Good luck.

Mike

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Thank you both for your help ,

I forgot to mention that when I removed the starter , the teeth were ground off it . This is probably what led to the bad flywheel comment from the starter rebuild guy .

I think I'll go outside and pull off the trans inspection plate and have a look at the flywheel etc .

Thanks , Paul.

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Okay ,

Well , I had my starter rebuilt [$90] . I removed the inspection plate on the tranny , the flywheel did not appear to be too bad so I installed the starter .

It started all right but it just did not sound right and after about ten or eleven starts it failed to work . Now it sounds like the starter is spinning freely . We turned it over by hand to see if it was just a bad spot on the flywheel but to no avail .

So I think I just need to get a new flywheel and mabye another starter .

Can anyone tell me all the relevent info for my flywheel so I can order a new one from the gentleman at transmissionadapters.com . He said he could provide me with a new one, but he needed me to remove mine and take a bunch of measurements so he could "match it up"with a new part. I would like to be able to just order a new one now so I can get it here a.s.a.p. My 68' Skylark is in the shop aswell at the moment so my cars are kinda ganging up on me . I hope someone can advise me of the best thing to do .

Thanks , Paul.

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Did you shim the starter when you put it on. If you put the starter on the car and it sounded funny then it probably needed to be shimmed. Most starters have a note with them that tells what you have to do to shim it tighter or looser, to get it right is mostly just trial and error until it is right. You can move it down just adding shims to both bolts or move it closer to the flywheel by adding part of a shim to the outside bolt. Most auto parts stores sell shim packs for starters. It sounds to me like the gear was too far away from the flywheel and wasn't meshing tight enough. After turning the motor over a few times it ground off enough of either the gear on the starter of the teeth on the flywheel that it is not longer meshing enough to start the car. Pull the starter down and look at the gear on it. If it is not too bad you may be able to put it back on the car and shim it tighter so it works. If it is damaged too much you will have to get another starter or find a shop that rebluilds them and they can just replace the gear. Be carefull if the teeth on the starter gear are beat up very much it could damage the teeth on the flywheel over time even if you get it to start right and that would be a lot more expensive than just the starter.

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Nope , I did not shim the starter . It was never shimmed so I assumed that it didn,t need to be . But if it will work I'll do it . I'll let you know if it works . I'm just waiting for my buddy to get back to his shop so I can go over there and pull the starter off and see what the story is .

Thanks , Paul.

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I have taken starters out of cars and most recently a pickup and there were no shims in them and had to shim the new started. I think it may be a slight difference in the milling on the head of each starter. Anyway I hope it works for you.

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I hope it works too , both of my cars being off the road at the same time !!

I'll let you know . Is that riv in your pic the one you just got ??

Paul.

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???

If this car has the original nailhead, I see no reason for shims. The starter bolts on horizontally, unlike later models that bolted on vertically and may have needed shims.

???

Willie

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Hey Willie ,

Thats kinda what I thought about the shim idea also . I've had a couple of these era 401 powered Buicks and never had to shim any of them . But I'm willing to listen to any ideas that may help me get back on the road . It is the correct 401 for the car and the starter is too , I had it rebuilt instead of buying a new one because I am aware there is an issue with there being two different starters around 63' & 64' with a slightly different length bendix or something.

I don't know where I stand right now other than I can hear the starter spinning freely obviously in no contact with anything . I'm starting to hope when I look at it tonight there is something screaming "broken" at me , at least then I'll have a better idea what to fix .

Paul.

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