Question about 2001 Ford Mustang

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Starter or flexplate? 2001 Mustang

When this car will start, it makes a loud rattling noise at the bell housing area. Usually it just starts to turn over and stops. Sounds like a starter? But somebody mentioned a flex plate issue with this model. (V6). Anything I should know about before digging in?

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I agree inspect flexplate for cracks and go form there.

Posted on Feb 16, 2013

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Absolutely a known issue...cracked flexplate...pull starter and inspect flexplate very carefully for cracks before installing new starter and thinking its a done deal

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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Should be the flexplate has separated from the crankshaft inside the bell housing. Will require removing the transmission from the engine to examine further.

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Leaking oil, eh? Don't know if related, but while looking at the flexplate, check if motor oil is leaking out the rear main crankshaft seal. It will be fitted to the rear engine block, in front of the flex plate. Oil would be dripping off the rear of engine, or maybe collecting at bottom of bell housing, evident when inspection cover is removed.

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My 2002 Merc Sable is having issues starting. Sometimes it will turn over but it struggles, other times I have to try repeatedly to get it to start. When it miss fires it makes a loud ZZZZZZZ sound. I...


I believe by the way you describe it it does sound like STarter is freewheeling.....Automatics have a flexplate instead of a flywheel....Although it is a solid metal starter ring around a thin metal flexplate....More than likely the starter gear is spinning on the shaft rather than the FLEXPLATE or
FLYWHEEL if you prefer....I Have installed rebuilt starters that were new but didnt work ....
Having almost the same problem you are having...The metal on the starter teeth are very soft compared to the flexplate.....It will ZZZZZZZZ like you stated if the starter gear is torn loose from
a factory screw up....It does happen..I cant say which parts store has Bad parts but these stores are commonly everywhere...(IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN)...NAPA has good parts but you are taking a chance with most that are rebuilt...But not all...
In the old days you had to shim starters to or away from the flywheel...IF YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER...I would disconnect battery and remove starter.....CHECK FLEXPLATE AND STARTER GEAR TEETH...It could be installed wrong...Some I have seen installed with the starter teeth pointed away from the FLEXPLATE by accident...But if it starts sometimes...It should definitely be the Starter teeth or FLEXPLATE teeth worn in different areas................
...........Hope this helps......................Metalpoet.........LEVEL II CHRYSLER TECH.

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G'day mate , misallignment, make sure the bell housing is in good clean servicable condition also when the box is out check that the bell housing to gearbox is flat clean and serviceable by removing the torque converter and unbolting bell housing if it is posible also is the starter straight and in to the correct depth for mesh as if it is to shy or in to far it will put pressure on the flywheel as the torque converter has room to move in and out but the flywheel is under great pressure at that point and will not like being flexed bac to accomadate a deep starter, on the bell housing bolt holes there may be hollow dowels in the bolt holes make sure these are clean, in the right place and actually there,hope this helps

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2 Answers

Noise when I start Mazda MPV 2003


Well depending on the noise, it could be a starter, or it could be whats called the flex plate (assuming yours is like most and its an automatic) There is a sheetmetal plate that bolts to the crank of your engine that then allows the torque converter of your transmission to turn. This Flexplate that connects the turning part of your engine and the main turning part of your transmission also has a ring of teeth on it that the gear of your starter engages into to turn the engine round to get your car started. If its a tinging or clanking sound similar to to the metalic sound of aluminum or light stainless frying pans then it might be a flexplate going bad. If it sounds like a deep clunking noise it might be an engine problem. If the initial sound is more of a grinding kind of noise and then goes away after a few seconds of running the starter may be staying engaged after the engine starts. That would be the starter and maybe an additional problem with the flexplate as well. If its a flexplate sound there should be a cover on the bottom of the transmission directly behind the engine that has just a few bolts . Jack up the car, put it on jack stands or drive it up on some ramps. Unbolt the cover and see what the flexplate looks like. See if the teeth are bad and lightly push it with a screwdriver or something and see if it is loose. If could also be a torque converter going bad but the transmission would normally slip if that was the problem.
Hope this helps you narrow it down...

Feb 28, 2009 | 1995 Mazda MPV

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