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Just an FYI. So about a month ago i heard a tic tic sound from my engine bay. I thought maybe something was caught in my fan or fan belt. But nothing. Keep in mind my Promaster only had about 4k miles on it at the time. I took it to the dealer and it was covered under warranty and its fixed. No more noise. But the mechanic said they had to drop my tranny to get to get to it. And apprently it looked like the flex plate was hit with a hammer. Wtf? Seems really strange. I will let you guys know if the problem reoccurs. Anyone else have this issue?
 

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Very interesting. The was/is a guy on this board that had 2 cracked flex plates within 40k. I'm not sure if he's still posting. Turns out there was a problem with this on the minivans in the late 2000s, but it's long since been resolved.

As a guy who's always on the lookout for pattern failures, I think it's worth doing some digging. Many of us complain of a so-far harmless ticking sound from the engine.

If possible, see if you can talk to this tech or otherwise get more info. I can't think of anything that would cause a flex plate to look like it was beat with a hammer. Maybe something rolling around in the bell housing, but that would be really obvious and the noise would be horrendous. Let us know what you find out.
 

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last winter in a really cold weather mine did not tick.

Now at 62k miles in cold weather oh boy it ticks.....

It started to squeak for about 30 sec after starting in the cold weather. It sounds like break squealing but its coming from the engine and while not moving.
 

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Boy, another thing to worry about. :(
Not really. It might be suprising to some people, but flex plate failure has always been happening to a small number of vehicles.

Basically, there are tolerances in plate manufacture, and all the parts of the transmission, and if they all happen to stack up the wrong way, you can end up with a flex plate failure. And nobody is immune, nor does anyone have a large number of failures. The most common failure I know of for all makes and models was the Dodge truck w/Cummins, for the early years, they used a plate no different from the gas engines, but that incredibly high torque Cummins was stronger than the plate.

I know that by experience...

Also, they can be damaged during assembly of the engine/trans. There's no design defect, merely chances from a complex, high stress part and the rare failure.
 

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I'm on my second flex plate. Just had the radiator replaced. Spare tire stow away replaced and second one on order. Had a miss fire on number. 5 cyl. Dealer changed the plugs said number 5 had the tip burned off. I insisted on getting the old plugs. They all look indentical. High idle in cold temps. On ice it sucks in city traffic when the van runs at 1200 rpm at idle. On the flat it will move along @38 mph without touching the gas. Ram says its normal. However it didn't do it until they flashed the computer not all PMs do it. Buy a ford.
 

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Maybe the flex plates cannot take the strain in Promaster commercial operation.

Are they using a different flex plate than the normal mini van power train?

The gas engine and transmission are the same for two very different applications,maybe this whole power train is not suitable for a 3500 series loaded van and needs tweaking in other areas as well.

It doesnt make sense to put a mini van power train in a 3500 series van without modifications, as mentioned above they put the wrong flex plate in the Cummins diesels, why would they be any different in designing the Promaster?
 

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Maybe the flex plates cannot take the strain in Promaster commercial operation.

Are they using a different flex plate than the normal mini van power train?

The gas engine and transmission are the same for two very different applications,maybe this whole power train is not suitable for a 3500 series loaded van and needs tweaking in other areas as well.

It doesnt make sense to put a mini van power train in a 3500 series van without modifications, as mentioned above they put the wrong flex plate in the Cummins diesels, why would they be any different in designing the Promaster?
There is no problem at all with the strength of the flex plate.

If you have more than one fail, there's a problem with either the engine block or the transmission bell housing, or the torque converter bolts. Something is out of alignment and is flexing the plate as it spins.

If your dealer did no diagnosis and just replaced it, and it failed again, the next time they needed to do real diagnostics. This is a dealer fault, for not trying to find out why it failed.

The failures of the flex plate for the Cummins had to do with running 400 to 600 ft/lbs of torque from an engine that only fired 3 times per rotation and had massive torsional force - both accelerating and decelerating as the 18:1 CR, massively long-stroke 6 cylinder that produced up anywhere from 30 to 100 horsepower per cylinder sped up and slowed down the torque converter 3 times per revolution. The Pentastar has no such issue.
 

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Best we can tell, the pentastar is dead nuts identical from a pm to a jeep to a minivan to a 300. Its got a different intake manifold in the challenger, so i understand. But theres no reason for it to be any different. Its not like it needs a cam swap from one app to another - its already got an adjustable cam.

Remember too that a 3500 chassis, fully loaded with 4300lbs, could be powered by a 25 horse lawn mower engine and it would still do the job, it just wouldnt do it very fast, nor would it get good mileage while doing it.

My 1996 buick roadmaster has a 5.7l small block LT1, yet it has exactly the same hp as the pentastar.

As to the trans, from what i understand it too is identical to the mi ivan except for the final drive ratio and much better cooling. Again, no reason it needs to be any different from app to app.

As much as im probe to obsess and worry, the engine has been in production for 4 years now with no known pattern failures, and the trans is even older. Chrysler had years of bad transmissions, but those issues have long since been solved.

So all we can really do is keep an eye on our junk, do the maintenance, and hope for the best. Im a firm believer that neglect is what makes machines break down. Minivans will always be prone to failure because the soccer moms thst drive them dont know where the dipstick is or what its for.
 

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Ouch! Both my kids played soccer, what are you saying about the missus?
 

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Dont take this the wrong way, but im sure your missus knows where your dipstick is, and how to use it!

Sorry, couldnt resist.
 
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