Question about 1997 Dodge Neon

3 Answers

I have a 97' dodge neon with a new junk yard

I have a 97' dodge neon, DOHC, with a new junk yard engine in it with about 65,000 miles on it.

Old engine had 145,000 miles on it but water pump froze up and broke timing belt. you know the rest of the story with that engine.

new engine is in and everything. junk yard said it's out of a 98' neon. when i try to start it, it gluggs like it wants to start but just wont. if i give it a little bit of gas while trying to start it it will start up but runs really rough and will idle but still very rough and it sounds like the lifters and knocking or something.

I turned the engine over by hand and it doesn't feel like the valves are hitting the piston. WTF should i do?

Only guesses are that the gas is bad from sitting there for almost a year at least now but it smells fine. i have the fuel rail off of my old engine and i'm going to swap that tomorrow. i'm guessing it's a timing issue but if that were the case it being a 0 tolerance engine it would have blown itself by now, wouldn't it have?

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  • top67301 Jul 22, 2009

    well with the old engine a mechanic charged me 400 bucks to put on a new water pump and timing belt to tell me the engine was shot. So i took those off of the old engine and put them onto the new one which im glad i did cause the existing water pump had what looked like metal shavings in it and timing belt was looking like it needed a new one.

    I timed the engine according to the book but idk any simple guide lines on timing it?
    i checked the spark plugs and they are super clean and gap at about 40 thousandths but only when it actually starts running will i spend any more money on it unless actually required.

    i'm going out to change back to the old fuel rail right now.

  • top67301 Jul 22, 2009

    replaced the fuel rail this morning and it still wont start on its own but when i give it some gas it will start and it runs better but still feels like it's missing out. knocking is gone for the most part, put some rislone in it ran it a few minutes and let it sit over night. when it starts idle is still really low. i'm thinking it's a timing issue.

  • top67301 Jul 22, 2009

    the gas has to be close to a year old. i just got it running yesterday and it has 4 quarts 10w-30 with 1 quart rislone in it. it smokes a lot but i'm thinking the engine was stored on it's side at some point in time.

  • top67301 Jul 23, 2009

    hey man, i just got done running codes on it and it gave me a 12 and 55. i just got done putting new spark plug wires and champion copper core plugs in it, no improvement. i checked the coil pack with a multi meter and it seems fine. cam sensor on it now is from the old engine but my dad was the one that changed it out and he said the magnet on it was set up to where it could be swapped around 180 degrees. i'm going out tomorrow to get a new guage to do the compression check. old one crapped out on me.

  • top67301 Jul 23, 2009

    do you know much about timing these engines? the book i was using wasn't too clear about timing it because in one spot it said when the 2 arrows on the crank shaft were lined up and turned 1/2 a notch it was TDC but a few pages later it said 3 notches past was top dead center and i'm starting to think this is the problem

  • top67301 Jul 27, 2009

    this is what was initialy done and, from what i have found out, is the wrong way to do it. just in case someone needs help in the future you turn it the 3 notches to allow the cam to move freely then you move it 1/2 notch from the arrows lining up and put the belt on. thanks for the help though.

  • top67301 Aug 13, 2009

    the car is up and running now. the problem was an issue with timing. somewhat of a pain to time correctly but all is well.

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How old was the gas in your car? How long have you had it running for? Also have you checked the codes on it? Once I have more information I can give you a better solution. Make sure the oil is at the right level, but I assume you have checked that.
Thanks,
Lee

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

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Take out and clean the IAT sensor.... purchase an iat sensor cleaner at the auto parts store and follow the instructions..good luck

Posted on Aug 13, 2009

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  • Master
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Check it for codes. Probably multiple cylider misfire. That's caused by not using Champion plugs,like from the factory or a bad coil pack. Also, you can try changing the cam sensor from your old engine. Also,make sure the throttle bodies are the same & all vaccuum lines are connected. There's a hidden one under the throttle body. Also make sure the cat converter didn't melt solid from overheating due to the bad water pump on the old engine. You can do that by punching a small hole in the exhaust before the cat & check for anything over 1lb of back pressure. Check the fuel pressure as well. Remember all junkyards say it only has x miles. Don't believe it unless you're related. You can do a compression check to see if it has bent valves. If it's smoking black,make sure the map sensor is connected properly. Lastly,& hopefully not, make sure you're not even off a half tooth on that timing belt!!

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

  • Pete MacSparran
    Pete MacSparran Jul 23, 2009

    Well the cam sensor can go in anyway you want. It simply reads the postion of the cam. It has no effect on the timing. Check the other stuff I wrote about. 1 tooth could waste the engine but there's a chance it didn't. Code 12 is normal,code 55 is usually the pcm. Make sure all the ground wires are where they're supposed to be.

  • Pete MacSparran
    Pete MacSparran Jul 23, 2009

    Ok,I'm a chrysler master tech,but it's been awhile since I did one,so I researched it. You align the camshafts so that the notches are facing each other at tdc. The crank initialy gets alined to the arrow on the oil pump housing. After you remove the hydraulic tensioner & belt you back the crank off 3 notches(counter clockwise), you then install the belt & tensioner but leave the tensioner compressed. Then you go an additional 1/2 notch back on the crank. Release the tensioner & rotate the engine twice & re-check the marks(clock wise this time). I've been on disability for a good 6 years now,so I got the info from the autozone.com website to be sure. They have a very detailed explaination & exploded views to look at. The whole point of backing off the crank is so when the belt is re-tensioned the marks line up. You can stick a long screw driver into the #1 plug hole to make sure you have true tdc.

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