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Fidanza Flywheel - What would you do?

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  • Fidanza Flywheel - What would you do?

    I'll try not to go into all the sordid details, but I recently bought a Fidanza flywheel P/N 186991 for my 2.0L Zetec ZX1-powered Birkin. Upon trying to install it, I found that one of the bolt holes was drilled appr .060" further radially from the crank C/L. I contacted the tech dept at Fidanza with my findings and also supplied a photo showing the mis-drilled hole. I ended up having to return the flywheel for them to check out. Rec'd a call from Aaron Wilcox stating that they had checked it out and it was ok. I was a "little" surprised with his results and asked if he could take a simple dial caliper and measure from the crank center hole to each of the bolt holes and tell me his findings. Well, two days later he finally lets me know that it is indeed drilled incorrectly. He also tells me I have three options:

    "1. We are going to make replacements for these and you can wait until they are finished and be sent one. It will take a couple of weeks for this though. 2. We can refund your money through the distributer you purchased the part from. 3. We can elongate the hole allowing the bolt to fit."

    I really didn't feel that option 3 was viable due to the seating of the flywheel bolt to the flywheel. So I inquired to see how long it would take to get a replacement flywheel that was manufactured correctly. Here was his response:

    "I would say the absolute earliest will be about a month. And that is just a rough estimate."

    Later, he also said:

    "If you need this flywheel asap I would highly recommend having it sent in to elongate the off crank bolt hole. I apologize for the inconvenience."

    Right now it seems there is a batch of these flywheels out there that are manufactured incorrectly. I bought this flywheel exactly a month ago to the day and my patience is wearing thin.

    My question is would anyone accept a critical part like a flywheel with a hole that's been elongated over .060" with a flywheel bolt that wouldn't seat properly?

    Here's a photo of the flywheel that I returned with what I thought was a pretty obvious defect. The hole with the arrow is the mis-drilled hole:
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I also measured the ring gears with a Pi tape and came up with the following:

    Fidanza flywheel: 11.309"

    Ford flywheel: 11.256"

    Ford flexplate: 11.245"

    No wonder we have to elongate the starter mount holes to make it fit a Birkin!


    • #3
      The proposal of elongating the hole is a joke. Why not leave the bolt away, altogether?

      As for the diameter, this is well known not to fit the Birkin bellhousing. Besides the starter bolt, I believe most people had to machine the bellhousing inside. IIRC Randall did that recently.


      • #4
        I, and others, did have to machine the inside of the Birkin bellhousing in order to use a Fidanza flywheel.

        Wouldn't the correct fix for the mis-aligned hole be to weld a plug into the bad hole, re-machine the plate flat, and then re-drill the hole? Anything else is a bodge, and will at the every least destroy balance. Why wouldn't Fidanza do it right? There's a lot of liability for them if the flywheel comes apart in use because of an elongated hole.


        • #5
          I wouldn't weld them up as that might screw up the heat treating and make it weaker than just elongating the hole.

          The only proper fix is to make it correctly the first time. Don't let them off the hook by some patch.

          The Fidanza flywheel is thicker than a steel one. Is that why you have to machine the bell housing?


          11budlite - see the PM I sent you.


          • #6
            "The proposal of elongating the hole is a joke. Why not leave the bolt away, altogether?" - Thanks Gert, that's what I was thinking!

            Thanks for the very kind offer Doug! I'll let you know in the next day or two.

            I observed the following when I mounted the flywheel in the Birkin configuration:

            The Birkin BH fits over the flywheel with no pressure plate installed. Because of the OD of the ring gear, the starter mounting hole(s) in the engine plate has to be elongated so the starter engages properly. When I bolted on the pressure plate and then tried to install the BH, that's when I noticed the interference. It looked to be the pressure plate and PP mounting bolts that were hitting (at least with my BH). It looks like the ID of the BH has to be machined further towards the rear with a nice radius to blend in with the non-machined parts of the BH. If any of that makes any sense! :)

            And there's no way I would accept the flywheel with an elongated hole. Honestly, I was shocked/stunned/speechless when the quality guy from Fidanza even suggested that!!

            Thanks for the responses,


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doug Liedblad View Post
              I wouldn't weld them up as that might screw up the heat treating and make it weaker than just elongating the hole.
              You're right. I was thinking that the central bit with the bolt holes was steel. I would be very cautious trying to repair an aluminum disc.


              • #8
                Get a new flywheel from somewhere else.

                You don't want to risk a shattered flywheel as it will (at least) destroy out the engine bearings when it becomes unbalanced at X000 rpm and may cause bodily harm should the shrapnel get out (unlikely). There is a reason why bell housing is Swedish is called sprأ¤ngkأ¥pa - "explosion cowl".

                The main reason, however, is ease of mind. If you patch up the flywheel you will always have a nagging worry about its state and if it will fail. It's simply not worth it.


                /Magnus F.