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Q: Crankshaft not spinning freely 1997 Ford Ranger

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I have a 97 ford ranger 2.3 L engine w/ an automatic transmission. Recently I removed the head block to get it cleaned up, resurfaced and what not. I also removed the transmission to change out the rear main seal. after putting the transmission back on the crank shaft would still spin freely. but, after i put the heads on the crank shaft would stop spinning freely. I can't put the timing belt on because i can't get the proper alinement between all three pulleys. what could be stopping the crankshaft from spinning? i already removed the starter and rediff.

My car has 150000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there - this engine is allegedly NOT an interference engine. Translation - if the timing belt breaks, or isn’t present, it should not be possible for the valves to contact the pistons, and cause a lack of rotation as you describe. However - first rule of engine assembly is that as soon as you do anything that cause rotation or smooth motion to cease - something is wrong, and you back up two steps. Remove the cylinder head if necessary to make sure crankshaft rotation is free, and the timing marks on the harmonic balancer truly represent Top Dead Center (TDC) for starters. Then line up the cams in the TDC position, block them with the timing alignment tools, and re-assemble the cylinder head to the engine. Good luck with this!

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