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Flex plate/flywheel damage?? Help


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So I have a 2005 Malibu 23 LSV. Today I took it out on the water for the first time this season. I actually ran it on the hose at home to make sure everything was good. Well went out, perfect day btw, put it in the water warmed it up everything was great. Took it out was running flawlessly, smooth no engine sounds. stopped and took off a few times. Finally went to middle of lake and was in neutral listening to boat,  I heard a slight rattle. Wasnt sure what so I turned it off checked everything. Nothing look weird went to start it again and click click. Got pulled in took boat out. Went to take starter out and noticed a long crack in front of where the starter connects on the bell housing. When I took the starter off two little spring looking pieces of metal fell out. 

My question is has anyone had this issue and if so what happened. The pieces of metal look like the springs on the flex plate. I can turn the flywheel with a screw driver. I think those pieces were getting stuck on starter  gear and flex plate preventing it to spin. Thank god. Anyways hoping this is all i have to fix and engine is ok. If any of you have had this issue please chime in. First im worried damage to engine, second why would the bell housing crack. third is it a crazy job to remove vdrive and transmission to replace these. Im pretty handy with all of this, know alot about taking apart things and putting back together, engine stuff that is Ive just never done a boat. Any advice, comments, suggestions would be great. 

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Damper plate failure. Plus broken bell housing. Normally no engine damage. I think that year was the bad housing from the manufacturer with mis-machined surfaces causing premature failure. But if yours lasted this long probably not the case. Relatively easy job to pull the engine but very tedious to remove the rear seat, engine covers, side panels, framework, etc to pull the motor. I used an engine hoist from the rear of the boat and raised it enough to pull the transmission. (I had to make a vertical tube extension for the hoist to reach over boat).

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  • 2 weeks later...

2005 lsv here - Experienced the damper plate failure and caught it before it damaged the bell housing. Had dealer do the repair and it was about 2k to fix. They pulled the whole engine/transmission/vdrive out to do it. 

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It's a 2005 - more of a when, not if, it will fail it seems.  That year is notorious for this failure, with some '04 and '06 units having the problem as well. 

New bell housing and damper plate will resolve this issue for good.  

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