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  #1  
Old 10-08-2011, 01:31 PM
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What's the difference between flywheel and a flexplate?!

Hope some of ya can take a brake from fighting on this forum and answer a mechanical question: just as the title says - what's the difference? They are similar it seems - one is heavier than the other.... is it the automatic vs the manual trans that makes the difference?

Thx,
James
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:35 PM
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Flywheel is for a manual trans, flexplate is for an auto.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:39 PM
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A flywheel bolts to the crankshaft and is typically used with a clutch with a manual transmission. It serves as the friction surface against one side of the clutch disc. It has a good bit of mass to store energy to keep the engine turning between pulses at idle.

A flexplate is very thin and also bolts to the crankshaft. It serves to mount the very heavy auto trans torque converter. The weight of the torque converter provides the mass as described above.

Both of them have a ring gear for engagement of the starter.

Hope this helps
Larry
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryBible View Post
Hope this helps...
Yes - thanks very much... Are the flex plate and flywheel specific in weight to an engine or are they fairly generic and interchangable (within reason) among different vehicles?
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:25 PM
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Different in weight. Some are balanced together with the specific crankshaft in the engine so are not simply interchangeable. Flex plates are more likely to be interchangeable I think.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Different in weight. Some are balanced together with the specific crankshaft in the engine so are not simply interchangeable. Flex plates are more likely to be interchangeable I think.

Generally Kerry is correct. This, again generally, is because a flexplate has very little weight to begin with.

Engines are either internally balanced with crankshaft counterweights and such, or externally balanced where specifically positioned and specific size weights are put on the harmonic balancer and flywheel. So, obviously, an externally balanced engine will sometimes have a balancing weight on the flexplate or maybe in some engines the torque converter.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:08 AM
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Some manual transmission cars have flex plates too, like many neons, both automatic and manual engines were assembled with a flexplate, than a clutch or torque converter bolted to it depending on what car it went in.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:08 AM
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