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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rebuilt my 48re 20k ago. I welded on the Goerend stiffener and put back the stock small ring. All was fine till last weekend the undercarriage went from dry to oil soaked in 20 miles.
I just finished putting a two post lift in so I put it to work.
After pulling the trans I found the 6 flex plate bolt heads have worn about .010 into the converter. Less than the thickness of the small ring.
The main seal has backed out, and the cam seal is leaking.
Thoughts
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Those flex plate welds look horrible. Did you put those on? Was it cracked? You need to replace that with a brand new one or the problem will never go away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You missed the point of my question. With adding the Goerend stiffener, are you supposed to remove the lock ring? Or shallower head bolts?
The welds are fine. I preheated, did short welds in a pattern to prevent warping, and they have good penetration. What I may have missed was continuing around the entire stiffener, it came with no instructions on welding the stiffener, and I couldn't find any on Goerend website.
No it was not cracked. Yes it is flat (no warp).
I was on a budget, and was close to 3k in parts so I skipped a new flex plate.
If I was convinced the flex plate is the problem, I'd buy a new one, but I'm not. I don't think it would take 20k for an oil leak to start. Engine has 220k on the original seals.
Am I delusional? Can the flex plate really cause this? Convince me why.
 

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You are missing the point. The cracked weld repaired flex plate is way out of balance causing your failures. I’m not sure about the lock ring, but you absolutely need to do something with the flex plate.
 

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Don’t know the answer to your question but you can get a flex plate off eBay for $90. Lots of people have used them for a long time making decent power with no issue. I’ve had mine for 70k+ miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are missing the point. The cracked weld repaired flex plate is way out of balance causing your failures. I’m not sure about the lock ring, but you absolutely need to do something with the flex plate.
Cracked weld? I just double checked it, there are zero cracks. Yes, I wandered off the weld line in two places, but no cracks.
The center hub fits perfectly, no slop. The crank centering tabs fit perfectly, zero slop. I can't see welds being barely larger or smaller than others causing an out of balance enough to cause problems. Does it have to be that precious?
I will look into other options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Don’t know the answer to your question but you can get a flex plate off eBay for $90. Lots of people have used them for a long time making decent power with no issue. I’ve had mine for 70k+ miles.
Stock stamped, or HD for $90?
Seems cheap. Napa wants $300 for a stock one.:ROFLMAO:
 

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I used the goerend stiffener plate on my 48re build as well, welded it with a wire welder to help prevent warpage. My welds did not look perfect as I was having a feed issue in my welder at the time, but so far with 18k on the rebuild I've had no issues. Did you replace the rear main seal when you did your rebuild? Also, how does your harmonic dampener pulley look? That can cause seal leak issues as well.

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Ok, I went to Goerend’s website, yes I see where they instruct how to install the stiffener. Their welds look like TIG, but they say MIG can be done. Yours are wandering, and may cause out of balance issue, causing the problem you are having. I can’t tell from your pics, but do you have cracks in the 4 small openings nearest the torque washer on the flex plate? I see some small black lines which could be cracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I used the goerend stiffener plate on my 48re build as well, welded it with a wire welder to help prevent warpage. My welds did not look perfect as I was having a feed issue in my welder at the time, but so far with 18k on the rebuild I've had no issues. Did you replace the rear main seal when you did your rebuild? Also, how does your harmonic dampener pulley look? That can cause seal leak issues as well.

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Did you fully weld the whole diameter of the stiffener?
I did not replace it. Figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but with 200k I probably should have. Dampener looks fine, but it's next on my list of valuable upgrades.

Ok, I went to Goerend’s website, yes I see where they instruct how to install the stiffener. Their welds look like TIG, but they say MIG can be done. Yours are wandering, and may cause out of balance issue, causing the problem you are having. I can’t tell from your pics, but do you have cracks in the 4 small openings nearest the torque washer on the flex plate? I see some small black lines which could be cracks.
No, zero cracks. Must be the picture.
 

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Did you fully weld the whole diameter of the stiffener?
I did not replace it. Figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it, but with 200k I probably should have. Dampener looks fine, but it's next on my list of valuable upgrades.
No I did not weld the whole rim, just where the 'spokes' of the plate meet. Figured the main reason for that plate is to strengthen the TC to Crank connection area so really just need to tack it in place so it can do its job.

I rebuilt my engine at the same time, also around 200k, so I did obviously go ahead and do the rear main while I had it out, so could just be your seal was going bad?
 

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I jumped to conclusions about your dilemma. Take a look at the picture below. Do you have cracks at the black lines shown by the yellow arrows? Does the surface in blue look worn or deformed? Have you test fit the flex plate onto the crankshaft to make sure there is no slop in the centering tabs? It looks like you have a Suncoast torque converter. I don't know if it requires installing a new billet flex plate. Are you sure it was seated properly into to transmission? Have you test fit the flex plate, torque washer, and bolt heads up against the torque converter, to confirm a good tight fit without interference from the bolt heads? Somewhere you appear to have an assembly stack-up problem that is pushing the bolt heads into the torque converter. This may also be bending your flex plate. If you don't have a good tight fit on the crankshaft, and a good tight fit on the torque converter, and a good seated torque converter on the transmission, then you need to further investigate why. Obviously, you need to repair the crank and camshaft seal, but there is concern for how the transmission was assembled onto the engine.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
TC hub center to Flex plate is perfect. Flex plate center on crank is perfect.
I found the instructions from Goerend on the stiffener plate, it says to reinstall the small lock ring.
The amount the 8 bolt heads wore into the converter face is less than the thickness of the small lock ring. I think that's the clearance issue.
The converter is D&P out of Sacramento Ca. I spoke to them this morning and their style of converter face does not require any specific flex plate.
I think it was just a hair to much with all 3 thicknesses.
Or... The rear main seal wasn't seated properly. It does show markings of spinning in the aluminum housing.
I put everything back to where it's supposed to be, and a touch of glue on the seal to hopefully hold it in place better, and I reinstalled without the small lock ring.
 
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