Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car won't crank after an engine swap project

asked by on

Well,

I've decided to swap the old 2.3 NG engine from my AUDI 90 for a 2.8 AAH from the Audi C4. It all went well, and the engine is bolted half way to the tranny.

It won't crank at ALL. Just a loud click, lights go very dim but visible. Jump started it, nope. Same thing. I had a similar starter laying around and I took the brush assembly with the stator and rotor, basically the whole "motor" part and put it onto the Audi C4 starter "head" and it does the same thing, so starter is not a problem.

Only thing I am thinking, the flywheel is VERY close to the tranny, and the bottom tranny bolts are missing because its just a test crank so far. The top two screws are on and two starter screws are on, but the rest, nope.

Could it be the flywheel being at a slight angle and biting onto the tranny locking the engine? Afaik, the engine DID turn by hand but hardly when it was outta the car. It had 190,000kms, and it was sitting in the open for a few months without sparkplugs.

Any advice?
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. It seems that the swapped engine clutch is not connecting properly to the transmission and may be binding up causing the engine to not start. Try unbolting the transmission and sliding it out, and then try turning the engine over by hand. If the engine cranks by hand, then the clutch was binding up. If the engine does not crank by hand, then there is an issue with the engine internally. If you need further assistance with your engine not cranking up, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car won't crank after an engine swap project

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: About Engine Swap

The LD9 "Quad-4" engine offered with the Cavalier Z24 option (same years 1995-2005) is your best bet and will yield about 25% more horsepower. Make sure to get the transmission, wiring, and electronics from the donor vehicle, so that hardware...

Q: Electrical problems?

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Jeep Patriot. The low voltage condition from the alternator not charging will cause the Totally Integrated Control Module (TIPM) to not work correctly. You should have the battery charged up completely and then...

Q: Clutch engaged with pedal up or down issue? 2006 Mazda 3

Hi there - there are several possibilities here - none of them pleasant, and all will require removal of the transmission to get to the failed bit. It is possible the pilot bearing has seized up - which would make...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.