Flex plate nut stripped?

Started by BigSky, 29 September 2020, 02:18

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Hi. I've come here many times over the past year or so but have never posted...

I have a 74 Ghia with an Autostick. I bought the car a couple of years ago. My wife has always wanted a Ghia, and we found this one fairly rust-free.  I've owned several air-cooled VWs but never an Autostick. I have to confess I knew nothing about them. The engine was running hot when we bought it (we did get a deal), and I believed it was ready to drop a valve, so I deeded to rebuild the engine... that was over two years ago.

I've finally got the engine back in and was ready to install the flex plate bolts. I've read about getting these tight enough, so I was using my torque wrench set to 18ft/lbs. Well I'm wrenching, wrenching, wrenching... seems to be getting tighter, but my tourque wrench hasn't clicked, so I keep turning... then the bolt gets loose... noooooooooo! First I thought I broke the bolt, but I was able to screw it back out. It seems as though the threads are stripped... grrrrrrrrrr... so my question is... is there any likelihood I could tap the flex plate bolt and clean up the threads enough so the bolt will hold, or am I better off pulling the engine and finding a new flex plate? I'm at a loss.

I'll add that the place that built my longblock put a manual glandnut on the flexplate, which I didn't notice/discover until after spending several hours trying to get then engine in. I've now pulled the engine and remove the flex plate two times, so I'm not looking forward to a third.

I should also say that I realized my bell housing was kind of chewed up with a deep grove, which leads me to think maybe one of the bolts came off in the past. I actually found one when I was cleaning off the transmission.

Thanks in advance!



You may be able to rescue the thread with a helicoil but not by simply cleaning the threads. Engine will have to come out and prob also need to remove the flex plate too to be able to drill and tap for the helicoil. You should be able to confirm the helicoil size from the flex plate bolt.

If the thread is also damaged on the bolt (or the spare you found!), evwparts can sort you out -

1968 VW Automatic 1500


Thanks folkswagen. I just needed someone to confirm what I probably knew already... the engine needs to come back out. I found a used flex plate with good threads on thesamba and also purchased new bolts.

I was really hoping to get the car going again this year, but I may be running out of time with the weather. My garage is too small to pull the engine, and once the weather turns it's impossible to work on it in the driveway.



How tall is your garage? It's more about getting the bug up on blocks and the wheels off. You can remove quite a lot of the intake system and fan cowl/oil cooler so that you can drop and roll the engine out reasonably easily on a jack. I use a wheel gun to remove the gland nut and flex plate, then the rope trick in the cylinder to torque back up...

Good luck! :)
1968 VW Automatic 1500


You can save the old flex plate. The threaded portion of the flex plate are just nuts tacked on to the plate. Grind or chisel the old ones off and tack in new stainless nuts.