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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been working on putting in a used v6 3.8 engine into my 98 Mustang for a while now, just on weekends when I get the chance and I've finally finished putting everything together. I went to crank it with a new battery and my starter tries to crank it but can't. The lights dim and I can hear it try to crank but it's stuck.

I took off the belt and removed the spark plugs put it in neutral and tried to turn the engine with a socket on the crank shaft but the bolt will tighten before I get it to turn.

Before I put the engine into the car I cleaned it up replaced a bunch of stuff and made it really nice and was able to crank it by hand no problem. Again I was able to crank it by hand when I was bolting the flywheel to the torque converter and everything went together really nicely.

Any ideas? Only thing I can think of is that once I bolted the engine to the transmission bolting the engine to the chassis and the transmission to the chassis might have tweaked it and caused it to bind, but if that was the case what did I do wrong?

The other thing is the car has been sitting outside covered by a tarp and had a lot of moisture on the engine after a rain causing some rusting and a ton of that white corrosion all over the engine. Could moisture have gotten inside and caused it to rust and bind up?

Any help is greatly appreciated, I want to get this thing done...

Thanks.
 

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Is your car manual or automatic?

Was the old motor from a manual or automatic?

If the old motor was manual and your car is an automatic, did you remove the pilot bearing?

How did you install the dust shield?

Consider removing the starter to see if this frees up the motor.

If that's not it, consider removing the spark plugs to see if this makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's an automatic with a 4R70W transmission.

Both old and new were from automatic 98 mustangs.

The engine I got had the dust shield already on it so I didn't have to remove or replace it.

I tried removing the belt and spark plugs and spraying some WD-40 Specialist Rust Release in the plug holes but still wouldn't budge with a breaker bar on the crankshaft bolt.
 

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Ok. How do you install the torque converter? Are you positive that the torque converter is FULLY seated inside the transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some mechanics I talked to warned me about making sure the torque converter was fully seated. I didn't move the transmission a whole lot and when I went to install the engine I pushed and turned the torque converter and it didn't clunk back at all so I assume it was seated all the way back. Is there any way to be sure or would I just have to remove the transmission and try again?
 

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See previous suggestion to remove the starter.

If it still won't turn, what's left that could cause the problem?
 

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Yes there is removed the 4 nuts holding converter to flywheel off. If you can rattle converter in flywheel then it's ok if not removed trans and hope it didn't hurt pump gears or pump housing
 

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Confirm that the motor would turn by hand when the torque converter bolts were installed the 1st time.

Confirm that the spark plugs and starter has been removed.

Has the motor been turned over by hand "backwards"? If it has, it's possible for timing parts or valves to "jump".

Tell us everything that was done after the last time you "know" that the motor would turn by hand.

It is possible to loosen the motor/trans bolts and separate the motor and trans a little to see if this makes any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know I was able to bolt the engine to the transmission bell housing and turn the engine by hand to bolt the flywheel to the torque converter. I had a couple people describe how that process should go and I was confident that it went smoothly once I had the engine and transmission aligned.

I removed the belt and spark plugs but I haven't removed the starter, I'll do that next.

I don't think I turned the engine backwards, maybe a little before I put it in the car while I was working on it but no more than like 1/8 turn if I did, it was a while ago when I was working on it so my memory is a little fuzzy.

After I last turned the engine I just connected engine accessories, hoses, wires, exhaust, etc. Nothing really touching the timing or engine cranking stuff. I haven't messed with the timing at all. Left the heads on, didn't remove the timing chain or valves or anything.

So it sounds like my next step is to remove the starter, try to turn, then unbolt the engine bolts, transmission mount, and loosen the bell housing to engine bolts and try to crank the engine to remove the torque converter bolts. Hopefully it'll free up and start cranking to isolate where it went wrong.

Thanks guys for all the help. If you have any other ideas or things to try let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I ended up taking it to a shop because I don't have time to work on it anymore and they said the engine is seized up after removing the transmission. They said it would cost $2,000 so rebuild/replace the engine and that's not worth it to me. Any advice on what to do with this thing? I'd like to get the $800 I've put into it back. I posted it on Craigslist as is but no calls yet. Two years ago I put in all poly bushings, Tokiko shocks and struts, Maximum Motorsports CC plates, Ford Racing C springs, and a Flowmaster. It's a Rio Red 1998 automatic special edition with a rear spoiler 5 spoke silver wheels and a Mach460 sound system. The mechanic said a junk yard would give me a couple hundred bucks for it, is that really all I can get?
 
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