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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1990 351W E4OD

As some of you might know, last week I put a new Motorcraft long block in my Bronco. I’m having trouble getting it to run. It has a new starter, battery cables and a good Red top.

It seems like the motor is bound up or something. It cranks really slowly almost like it has a dead battery. The battery is at 12.5 volts. It will start and run for about 20 seconds then you have to give it more gas to keep it going. After another 5 seconds or so it knocks and shuts down. After that is will not even turn over until it sits around for an hour or so. Then it does the same thing.

With the timing advance dongle unplugged the timing is at 0 right now. With the tranny in N you can’t turn the engine by hand. Even with a 3’ cheater bar. It’s like it’s too tight.
For the few seconds it runs it does run well. The it goes kaput. Any ideas?
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In neutral no plugs, still can't turn it by hand. Any ideas what could be binding it up?
 

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Lick my balls
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13,023 Posts
Sounds like the clearances on the crank shaft bearings could be too tight. Call up the store you got the motor from and ask them if they have a record of all the bearing clearances. You are going to have to pull the motor and plastigage all the main bearings and connecting rod bearings anyways to be sure.
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't want to but I'm going to pull the motor back out today. If I still can't crank it I'll have to see about getting it replaced. It's a Motorcraft long block so you think they knew what they were doing.
 

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green ones make me horny
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that is why i didnt buy one from advance or autozone no matter who it was that rebuilt it.

did you line up the tranny right? i ask because that almost happened to me. and yes you should be able to turn the crank with the plugs in it. i could that is how i got the bolts back into the TC. also make sure everything is hooked up right, knock sensors, TPS, the whole nine. you said you got a new starter? that could be it as well
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK. I pulled the motor and I can turn it by hand. :chili: There are some chewed up teeth on the flex plate.

I had drained the torque converter and didn't refill it when I reinstalled it. Shouldn't filling up the tranny do that? If I should manually fill it speak up.

Any ideas now?
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Starter teeth look good. We thought that part of the problem might have been the starter getting soaked while the motor was out so yesterday I got a rebuilt just to eliminate that as an option.

Oh yeah, the motor is back on your stand.
 

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Try it now!!
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90Beater said:
OK. I pulled the motor and I can turn it by hand. :chili: There are some chewed up teeth on the flex plate.

I had drained the torque converter and didn't refill it when I reinstalled it. Shouldn't filling up the tranny do that? If I should manually fill it speak up.

Any ideas now?
Got pics of the chewed up teeth? That sounds like its your problem right there.
 

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Administrator
2012 Jeep JKU
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90Beater said:
Starter teeth look good. We thought that part of the problem might have been the starter getting soaked while the motor was out so yesterday I got a rebuilt just to eliminate that as an option.

Oh yeah, the motor is back on your stand.
ouch...
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
kf4amu said:
Got pics of the chewed up teeth? That sounds like its your problem right there.

I think it's more of a cause than a symptom. I'm just not sure what was binding it up. The motor was flush with the tranny. The gears were fine before I installed the motor.

 

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green ones make me horny
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When you put the flywheel on did you tighten it down in the sequence according to the haynes manual?
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes I did.

I was just under the hood again and noticed the torque converter seems to have a lot of play in it. I never really worked with auto trannys before but I don't know if that's expected or not. It is definately pushed all the way in. back forth - up down play all the way in the spline.

I know manuals usually don't have any give.
 

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Lick my balls
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I can't see the teeth causing the problem. I'm thinking since you can turn the motor over with it out that you may not have had the torque converter all the way in and it was the flywheel jammed up against the TC that was causing the problem. Are you going to plastiguage everything while you have it out? I doubt you have to.
 

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green ones make me horny
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FWIW there was no play in my TC when i put the new one in. Have you tried to start it with the spark plugs in? If not while you got the engine on a stand go ahead and replace the front pump seal in the tranny, and do it all again.

ken
 

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Past Bronco Owner
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
waltman said:
Are you going to plastiguage everything while you have it out? I doubt you have to.
Hell no. I didn't get a long block to have to tear it apart. The motor should be fine. I was just a little tweaked I couldn't turn it over by hand in the Bronco.

I guess it's possible the torque converter slid out some while we were wrestling the engine in place. I guess if it was pressed against the flex plate it was flexing and that chewed up the gears.

I'd change the tranny seal but I have it full of brand new fluid and a quart of Lucas tranny protector in it.

Since I never had any problems with the tranny I'm guessing the Torque conv. is OK (as long as it didn't get dammaged this weekend.

Yes I had it running for a few seconds at a time. I also know I had the timing at 0 but I just had enough time to look at it with a timing light. It wouldn't run long enough to adjust it.

I'll get it back in next weekend and see how it goes. Thanks for the ideas guys. I just hate doing things twice. At least I didn't tear it all the way down. I'm just out a bunch of time and some antifreeze.

Oh yeah, and a flex plate.
 

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Ex Navy Nuke
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5,421 Posts
Sounds and looks like you didn't have the TC seated al the way. It's easy to move it when installing the engine. If you think you pulled the TC out the slightest bit while installing the engine then you need to pull the engine back out and re-seat the TC. You should've waited to drain the trans and TC until after you started the engine up. when you drain the TC you need to refill the trans in steps. You fill the trans up a little past the full mark then crank the engine over with the coil wire disconnected, the pump will pump most of the trans fluid into the TC. Stop, fill the trans again and crank the engine again. Do the is a few times until you get about 16 qts(E4OD) in then go ahead and start the engine up so it can warm up and top off the fluid. If you start it up with no fluid(like you did) the trans is gonna be starved for fluid and might screw it up. When installing the engine get the engine and trans lined up first and bolt up the bellhousing before anything else. If you bolt up the TC to the flex plate and move it the slightest bit you'll probably pull the TC out and screw up the trans when you start it up.
 
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