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Flex plate for '65 V8 Flight-o-matic (Chevybaker)

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  • Clutch / Torque Converter: Flex plate for '65 V8 Flight-o-matic (Chevybaker)

    My '65 Wagonaire is in the shop for a Flight-o-matic transmission rebuild. After 51 years, it just got too tired to move and suddenly started to leak badly. The shop says the flex plate is broken, may have been damaged while removing the transmission and torque converter - stuff happens. All of the internal parts of the transmission are available, but what about the flex plate that goes between the Chevy 283 V8 flywheel and the torque converter? Where can we buy a new one? None of this stuff is shown in the parts catalog or shop manual. I don't think the plate used on the pre-1965 cars fits, but I would love to be wrong, as SI stocks those for $36 or so.
    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  • #2
    I would think that the flex plate would be GM, so that it would work with the starter OK. The bell housing was Jeep/Checker, so that might be another source to check.
    Please don't take this as gospel because I'm not positive. Just putting a little logic to work. GM flex plates should be readily available to compare with the old one.
    sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    • #3
      Gary, according to the shop manual, it's called a 'flywheel'. Look in the '65/'66 parts book in section 0106. Flywheel and gear (with A.D.), p/n 1563839.
      Last edited by r1lark; 04-09-2016, 12:07 PM. Reason: added info for clarity
      Paul
      Winston-Salem, NC
      Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info on the "flywheel", Paul.

        The issue here is that Studebaker kept using the Flight-o-matic even after they switched to Chevy engines. It appears that the "flywheel" is called a "flexplate" in most circles. According to an earlier discussion on the Forum, Studebaker took the Chevy flexplate with starter ring gear and drilled another set of holes to match up with the Borg-Warner torque converter. Studebaker also added a sort of pilot bushing to center the flexplate.
        See Shttp://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...p?t-67953.html

        Since only Studebaker had this engine/transmission combination - and only in 1965-66 - the flexplate is unique. Since flexplates for small block Chevys are easily obtained, it looks like I could take one of those and have a machine shop put in the torque converter mounting holes using my old plate as a model. I'd prefer not to re-use another old one. The car is at a shop 40 miles from home so I can't just pop out and take a picture. I haven't actually seen the thing.

        Anyone just happen to have one of these flexplates sitting around? How about a photo of one?
        Gary Ash
        Dartmouth, Mass.

        '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
        ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
        '48 M5
        '65 Wagonaire Commander
        '63 Wagonaire Standard
        web site at http://www.studegarage.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Sorry, I thought you were having a problem finding the part number in the Parts Manual. My bad.

          So SI doesn't have any of p/n 1563839 ?

          May be worth giving them a call, they may have some but not enough to make it worthwhile to put in the catalog.

          Also, the same p/n fits the '65/'66 V8 and 6 cylinder according to the parts book, so that maybe makes it easier to find a used one.

          Didn't Checker use the Chevy engine and Borg-Warner transmission combination too? The flexplate may be the same as Studebaker then, but a flexplate from a Checker is probably even harder to find than one from a Studebaker.
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Check your engine to transmission alignment (dial-in). This is assuming that the flex plate broke during use and was not just mishandled by the shop. Do you know if your engine/transmission combination is original to the car?
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Here is a picture of the flexplate (installed) and a picture of the convertor on the transmission. The BW transmission used the "closer in" set of holes. The pilot bearing is not on the flexplate, but pressed into the back of the crank. It does not align the flexplate, rather it aligns the convertor to the crank center. I'd assume since the starter is GM that it is a standard GM flexplate with extra holes drilled. Since the convertor centers on the pilot bearing I'd think that the holes need not be extremely accurate if you had to drill a regular plate. Six equally spaced amounts of metal removal probably wouldn't affect balance.

              Also, Checker used the same engine/transmission. From my reading it is actually from whom Studebaker sourced the bellhousing that allowed them to retain the BW transmission and change to the Chevrolet engine.

              Note: The wire on the front of the transmission is to keep the convertor from falling out and the speedometer gear and pilot bearing from getting lost.
              Attached Files
              Last edited by wittsend; 04-09-2016, 04:20 PM.
              '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gary, have any interest in a Engine/Auto Trans unit for $50.00 - if interested send a PM.

                Originally posted by garyash View Post
                My '65 Wagonaire is in the shop for a Flight-o-matic transmission rebuild. After 51 years, it just got too tired to move and suddenly started to leak badly. The shop says the flex plate is broken, may have been damaged while removing the transmission and torque converter - stuff happens. All of the internal parts of the transmission are available, but what about the flex plate that goes between the Chevy 283 V8 flywheel and the torque converter? Where can we buy a new one? None of this stuff is shown in the parts catalog or shop manual. I don't think the plate used on the pre-1965 cars fits, but I would love to be wrong, as SI stocks those for $36 or so.
                Joseph R. Zeiger

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can take the old flex-plate and bolt it to the new one thru the Chev mounting holes then drill thru the Stude mounting holes and thru the new flex-plate. I did that to adapt a turbo 350 converter to a Caddy flex-plate, worked fine and I had no problems for the three years I drove the car. It was then used in a "demo- derby" also with no problems. -Jim

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                  • #10
                    Gee, Jim, your solution for spotting the new holes in a Chevy flexplate is so good that all I can say is , "Duh, I shoulda thought of that!" Tom's photos helped, too. I'll discuss this with the transmission shop on Monday morning.

                    And, Joe Z., I thank you for the offer of the engine and transmission, but I think my shed is already full of extra parts that I am never going to need, including a previous 283 engine block that was originally came in the Wagonaire but now has three cracks. A new Mr. Goodwrench 350 engine is about $1500 and probably well worth the money if I need to ever replace the engine I now have. It's got about 40,000 miles on the rebuild I did about 15 years ago.
                    Gary Ash
                    Dartmouth, Mass.

                    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                    ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                    '48 M5
                    '65 Wagonaire Commander
                    '63 Wagonaire Standard
                    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gary

                      Just in case, remember that Chevy flexplates come in two different starter teeth counts on the ring gear (IIRC 153 vs 168). Bob

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                      • #12
                        Gary if you are going new flex plate order the heavy duty one. Summit should have them. Had to put one on my drag car many years ago as 520 hp and 5300 rpm starts at the line would tear the center out of a stock wheel in a couple weeks.

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