: Brain fart...how to crank an engine, with no starter.



Spyder
12-08-08, 03:59 PM
Working on the Challenger. And its making me feel like a dumbass.

I'm trying to turn the engine over so that I can get the distributor in place and set up right so I can put the valve covers on. I also need to get the torque converter bolts tightened to proper.

I'm no where near ready for the battery to be hooked up, so I'm trying to do it by hand. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I SHOULD be able to stick a socket on the pulley bolt that goes into the end of the crankshaft and turn it over by hand, right? I've done it before many times and I can't figure out why the hell I can't do it now. And I'm sure I'll be po'd at myself for being dumb. I've tried it in gear, out of gear, in park and in neutral. There is no driveshaft and the torque converter bolts is bolted up to the flexplate, but not tightened down...but it should still turn over, right???

'72 Dodge Challenger, 440, 727.

:rant2:

LS1Mike
12-08-08, 04:53 PM
You made need a breaker bar. Make sure it is in nuetral.

Spyder
12-08-08, 04:59 PM
I've used the cheater, it doesn't even want to budge...so I am right in thinking that, in nuetral, it should be able to turn over? damnitt...pain in my butt. The first time I've worked on this thing for a year and its pissing me off already. :)

Spyder
12-08-08, 05:08 PM
No, definitely something funny here. Breaker bar with cheater pipe won't budge it. Tried the shifter in each and every position. Pulled a few plugs to make sure there was no compression issues. What the hell...

LS1Mike
12-08-08, 05:22 PM
It should in neutral, at least my GM stuff does. How long has it been sitting?
I had a 2.2 do it. I had to spray PB Blaster in each cylinder and it finally turned.
Car ran fin after that.

EcSTSatic
12-08-08, 05:27 PM
Is the linkage hooked up? It should turn. If everything is new it might be tight. Right size bearings and all?

Spyder
12-08-08, 05:55 PM
No linkage, shifting by crawling under and moving the lever. Engine is barely broken in. We ran it in a boat for ten or so hours but it HAS been sitting for a few years...but I was hand-cranking it just a few months ago when we lined up the torque converter and flexplate bolts. Since then, all I've done is put the starter in and towed it twice, to two different places I've moved to in the last four months. Dunno what else to do, other than drop the damned starter, yank the flexplate and start over to figure out where I went wrong.

Submariner409
12-08-08, 06:06 PM
Spyder......."ran it in a boat for ten hours......sitting for a few years".

The backflow moisture from the water cooled exhaust manifolds condensed on the cylinder walls and rusted the rings to the cylinder. Sitting for a few years exacerbated the problem. Prime reason why you fog the cylinders of a marine engine prior to storage.

Pull the plugs and spray a generous amount of PB Blaster into each cylinder. After 2 days, put a proper socket on a breaker bar (not ratchet), attack the crank bolt, and give it a few judicious whacks with a 6 lb. hand sledge. Pray. IF it breaks loose, generously lube the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil and roll the engine three revolutions a day for three days. Put it back together, set the timing, and try a start. If you're lucky the rings will reseat. If not, it will smoke like a 300,000 mile stone cold diesel.

(EDIT......Hmmm.....hand cranked a few months ago. Curiouser and curiouser........has the starter locked the flexplate?)

dkozloski
12-08-08, 06:59 PM
When I encounter an engine that's hard to turn I stick a pry bar in the starter hole in the bell housing and get a short pry on a ring gear tooth. Give it a try both directions. A humongous screwdriver is a pretty good prying tool for this task.

Spyder
12-08-08, 07:49 PM
Spyder......."ran it in a boat for ten hours......sitting for a few years".

The backflow moisture from the water cooled exhaust manifolds condensed on the cylinder walls and rusted the rings to the cylinder. Sitting for a few years exacerbated the problem. Prime reason why you fog the cylinders of a marine engine prior to storage.

Pull the plugs and spray a generous amount of PB Blaster into each cylinder. After 2 days, put a proper socket on a breaker bar (not ratchet), attack the crank bolt, and give it a few judicious whacks with a 6 lb. hand sledge. Pray. IF it breaks loose, generously lube the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil and roll the engine three revolutions a day for three days. Put it back together, set the timing, and try a start. If you're lucky the rings will reseat. If not, it will smoke like a 300,000 mile stone cold diesel.

(EDIT......Hmmm.....hand cranked a few months ago. Curiouser and curiouser........has the starter locked the flexplate?)

Ha, don't tell me these things. I'd hate to have a dead engine... :rant2:

I'm going to try pulling the starter, and see if I can't figure out how to undo the flexplate bolts and see if it will spin again. The only things that have changed since I spun it by hand are the transmission actually being bolted to the flexplate and the starter going in.

Dkoz, that's how I spun it when I was underneath the car...didn't want to have to yank everything apart though...but looks like that'll be Wednesdays project. I quit on this one for the day and worked on the toyota some and did some house chores instead. Too cold for rolling around on the concrete.

Spyder
12-08-08, 07:52 PM
Anything to worry about breaking the crank bolt? I'd assume its pretty stout, but I'd be pissed if I heard *snap* while really getting on it...

Night Wolf
12-08-08, 08:15 PM
Anything to worry about breaking the crank bolt? I'd assume its pretty stout, but I'd be pissed if I heard *snap* while really getting on it...

Nah... don't worry about it... breaking bolts off in your engine is cool!

Thats why the Town Car now sits broke in the driveway... replaced the 1.5yr old thermostat and snapped off one of the bolts that holds the water outlet to the intake manifold... of course it dosen't stop there... it then holds the intake manifold to the head... so the bolt snapped in the head.... I put the cover back on the car and will deal with it at a later point in time.

If you have the starter but you said the battery is in no condition to be installed, you could wire the starter right to the battery and bump it a few times to see if it turns.

LS1Mike
12-08-08, 09:55 PM
PB blaster man! PB Blaster!

dkozloski
12-08-08, 10:54 PM
The gold standard in penetrating oil is a product called "Mouse Milk".

http://www.mousemilk.com/

When you're trying to disassemble an aircraft turbine engine that costs a couple of million bucks, this is what you use.

EcSTSatic
12-08-08, 11:42 PM
I think Sub nailed the problem. I wouldn't pry on the flex plate teeth if it's that stuck, you may break one.

Kev
12-09-08, 01:02 AM
I does sound like a mechanical issue as opposed to a corrosion one. As Sub suggested, I would check the starter, I'd bet dollars to donuts it's jammed some how.

At any rate, I wouldn't pry on anything as I've too often exacerbated an already frustrating situation by breaking something else.

Red_October_7000
12-09-08, 01:51 AM
My vote is put +12v across the starter from a battery and see if it goes anywhere. Starter motors are frighteningly strong things (they can actually move the car if the right series of events takes place, or, in some cars, simply in a case of operator error) and if it can't move the motor there is no way in hell you are going to, even though you ARE a huge MoFo.

Spyder
12-09-08, 03:05 AM
I'm thinking more and more that it's an issue with the way the starter is engaged/installed/whatever. I'm going to yank it out on Wednesday when I'm home again and see if things get better.

Huge MoFo, huh? Tell that to my Honda. Or my 4Runner.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
12-09-08, 02:59 PM
Huge MoFo, huh? Tell that to my Honda. Or my 4Runner.

Honda? Sorry but you just insulted yourself on that one. :histeric:

Spyder
12-09-08, 08:45 PM
Eh, 29 mpg is better than a bike. And it was free, after insurance totalled it for a broken headlight.

And it was kinda meant to be a joke, A-Hole! :D

Night Wolf
12-09-08, 10:29 PM
The gold standard in penetrating oil is a product called "Mouse Milk".

http://www.mousemilk.com/

When you're trying to disassemble an aircraft turbine engine that costs a couple of million bucks, this is what you use.

Yeah, that stuff is pretty darn good, I've still got 1 or 2 bottles of it.... perhaps if I had used that for my t-stat bolt it wouldn't be broken off inside the head right now....

Aerokroil is really good too, possibly even better then PB Blaster. There lots of neat chemicals in the aerospace industry.

Spyder
01-06-09, 04:11 PM
Alright...finally got around to getting my rear in the garage and figuring out this problem. Apparently, a year ago when I put the tranny in, my dumbass didn't tighten in the flexplate bolts all the way and it had spun around far enough inside that they were catching inside the bellhousing.

Now, trying to find TDC without a third hand is turning to be a pain in the ass. Gimme yr. tricks, oh those who know more than me!
The pencil trick is no good on a big block mopar, cause the plug goes in pretty sideways. The thumb over the hole trick is tough because I don't have a spare hand. The flashlight trick, I, again, don't have a spare hand or access to the plug hole. The "using the right tools" trick doesn't work because I don't have the right tools.

Help!!! =]

Kev
01-06-09, 04:17 PM
Is your crank pulley not installed? No timing marks on it? If it's on then you have a 50/50 chance of getting there the first time. :rolleyes:

Spyder
01-06-09, 04:34 PM
Yea, no marks on it.

What I ended up doing was turning it by hand until the exhaust valve was fully open (spring completely compressed) and then dropping the distributor in with the rotor at the point on the cap that will be #1. I figure it's either right, or its 180 degrees off, which is an easy fix when I get to the point (459 years from now) where I'll be ready to fire it. Seems to make sense, hope it works and doesn't make me sound dumb. :)

Dadillac
01-06-09, 11:09 PM
You are 180 out. You need to be on compression stroke. Both valves need to be closed. Cycle it again and watch the intake valve open and then close. Bring the piston to the top and then set the cap and rotor.

Don

Spyder
01-07-09, 12:10 AM
So leave the dist. in place, pull the cap, rotate the engine until both valves on number 1 are closed, then line up the rotor with the number one wire post?

Kev
01-07-09, 12:46 AM
You are 180 out. You need to be on compression stroke. Both valves need to be closed. Cycle it again and watch the intake valve open and then close. Bring the piston to the top and then set the cap and rotor.

DonBe sure to mind his instructions carefully. :thumbsup:

EcSTSatic
01-07-09, 12:36 PM
So leave the dist. in place, pull the cap, rotate the engine until both valves on number 1 are closed, then line up the rotor with the number one wire post?

You won't be able to line up the rotor without lifting the distributor to disengage it. IOW, the distributor doesn't need to be in while you are looking for TDC but the rotor needs to line up with the #1 post when you drop it back in. Then you need to rotate the distributor slightly while it's engaged to advance the timing slightly. The final adjustments is done with a timing light.

Spyder
01-07-09, 04:28 PM
Ok..makes sense and rings a bell to how I watched my dad do it years and years and years ago.

Thanks folks!