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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1996 Toyota Rav4 AWD 4door Manual Trans.

Motor had bad knock and was ran out of oil.

I had the motor rebuilt at a shop. Been installing it after work and am just about done. Went to put in the distributor and noticed it wasn't quite at TDC (compression stroke) . So I go to give the engine a little turn clockwise and it will not budge. So I thought I would just check and make sure it wasn't in gear. The shiftier is stiff and hard to move but I got it in neutral. I then go to turn the engine once more. Still won't budge. Any one have a clue what I am doing wrong or what may have gone wrong somewhere?

I have a book from the dealer ship which is a great detailed book and have been following the engine installation to the T just can't figure where I went wrong or if it is from me or the shop.
 

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Have you tried turning the crankshaft both directions?
 

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1996 Toyota Rav4 AWD 4door Manual Trans.

Motor had bad knock and was ran out of oil.

I had the motor rebuilt at a shop. Been installing it after work and am just about done. Went to put in the distributor and noticed it wasn't quite at TDC (compression stroke) . So I go to give the engine a little turn clockwise and it will not budge. So I thought I would just check and make sure it wasn't in gear. The shiftier is stiff and hard to move but I got it in neutral. I then go to turn the engine once more. Still won't budge. Any one have a clue what I am doing wrong or what may have gone wrong somewhere?

I have a book from the dealer ship which is a great detailed book and have been following the engine installation to the T just can't figure where I went wrong or if it is from me or the shop.
Maybe if you take out the sparkplugs it wil turn by hand .
 

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How hard are you turning it?, the new seals, rings and bearings will put a little more resistance on the crank than say, a worn engine. if you can put a breaker bar and socket on the harmonic balancer nut, and it will not turn with you leaning on it, I would be worried.

even my somewhat used RAV's engines are very hard to get moving by hand, you need a socket and bar.
 

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*** Don't turn it counter-clockwise!!! *** You could jump the timing belt.

Likely is just due to compression; remove the spark plugs and try again.
Turning it backwards won't jump the belt unless it isn't properly tensioned.
My first thought was a valve-to-piston collision stopping the engine but unless he had non-stock pistons installed it's a non-interference engine.

I agree removing the plugs should make it easier to turn over but if it's stuck solid and won't move either way compression isn't the issue. And we still don't know if he's trying to turn it by hand, with a wrench or with the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone’s quick responses. So the spark plugs have not been put in yet, and I am attempting to turn it with a breaker bar and socket (19mm). Starter is installed. The shop put a couple of qts in the engine and the book doesn’t have me putting oil in the engine tell the last couple steps along with all the rest of the fluids. While attempting to turn I noticed it tightened the bolt even more. (No movement from the pulley.) I don't like over tightened bolts so I backed it off and set it back to its specified torque. Also I don't like turning the pulley the wrong way (counterclockwise) but when I backed it off to reset my torque I took note that the pulley would not budge that direction either. Also does anyone have an idea about the shifter being stiff? It does cycle through the gears besides 5th and reverse.
 

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Since the engine was rebuilt by a shop and you apparently have not been able to turn the engine, the shop which rebuilt it should be able to sort out the problem, unless they did something to cause it to be seized. Since you have not used the engine, if there is a problem it should be the rebuilder's responsibility to make it right.
 

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Since the engine was rebuilt by a shop and you apparently have not been able to turn the engine, the shop which rebuilt it should be able to sort out the problem, unless they did something to cause it to be seized. Since you have not used the engine, if there is a problem it should be the rebuilder's responsibility to make it right.
You would hope that the shop turned it over several times to make sure everything was timed right!, but then anything is possible with some shops :(

If he has turned it hard enough to move the harmonic balancer bolt, something is very wrong.
even in gear the crank should move a certain amount, it will just try and turn the wheels at the same time.
 

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Thanks for everyone’s quick responses. So the spark plugs have not been put in yet, and I am attempting to turn it with a breaker bar and socket (19mm). Starter is installed. The shop put a couple of qts in the engine and the book doesn’t have me putting oil in the engine tell the last couple steps along with all the rest of the fluids. While attempting to turn I noticed it tightened the bolt even more. (No movement from the pulley.) I don't like over tightened bolts so I backed it off and set it back to its specified torque. Also I don't like turning the pulley the wrong way (counterclockwise) but when I backed it off to reset my torque I took note that the pulley would not budge that direction either. Also does anyone have an idea about the shifter being stiff? It does cycle through the gears besides 5th and reverse.
do you have your clutch hooked up yet? if not, then you will find some gears do not engage due to the dog-teeth being mis-alligned, the gear set needs to be able to move for engagement to happen. my RAV's and CR-V won't always allow me to grab reverse unless I double clutch some mornings, just to get the gearsets to move to a different position.
 

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*** Don't turn it counter-clockwise!!! *** You could jump the timing belt.

Likely is just due to compression; remove the spark plugs and try again.


He is right! Many (all?) timing belt tensioners relay on original direction of rotation (usually clockwise). Turning it backwards can loosen the belt tension and skip timing! This will not happen every time, so people not knowing this tendency could get away with it many times. But that is a bad idea!


OP, sounds like you need to take the motor back you builder... Did it ever turn? Did they give it back to you 100% assembled (with timing belt and all covers)?


Rebuilding engines that ran out of oil is not a very good idea. Most of the time, you are better of with another used motor frrom a junkyard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I went to the shop that I had the motor rebuilt at. It turns out the mechanic moved his business out of state. I found another Toyota shop and ask them what they thought of my situation. The mechanic there suggested that I put fluid in and bleed the clutch and see if I can get it to free up the engine. Also he suggested that I back out the bolts on the transmission and see if I can't free up the engine that way. He thinks maybe that when I installed the transmission to the engine it may have gotten bound up somehow. If none of that works it seems I may have to take out the engine and transmission and try again. Any thoughts or suggestions please let me know thank you everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The mechanic at the original shop did set the engine timing. I trust him because I have gotten engines from him in the past and had no problems. So I think it may be on my end in the installing process.
 

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Let us know what happens. If the mechanic set the timing properly the engine would need to have been turned for that to be done.
 

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Isn't the 3SFE a "non-interference" engine? So even if the timing is off, the engine should still turn.

I was going to mention alignment of the trans' input shaft, but since it apparently went together, I don't think that would be the problem unless they were force-fitted together.

So, yes it is time to separate the engine and trans. The engine will likely have to come out if it still won't turn. But disconnect the battery and pull the starter first (must be done anyway), and try turning the engine again by hand -- there's a very slight chance it is causing a bind. I'd also disconnect the shifter and manually put the trans into neutral.
 

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maybe the mechanics did take to much of your valvehead surfaces !

So making it an interference engine and then when you try to turn it by hand it wont budge because your valve's wil hit the pistons .

Ask your mecanic about it to make sure before you start doing anything else.

Been there done that :crying
 

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Isn't the 3SFE a "non-interference" engine? So even if the timing is off, the engine should still turn.

I was going to mention alignment of the trans' input shaft, but since it apparently went together, I don't think that would be the problem unless they were force-fitted together.

So, yes it is time to separate the engine and trans. The engine will likely have to come out if it still won't turn. But disconnect the battery and pull the starter first (must be done anyway), and try turning the engine again by hand -- there's a very slight chance it is causing a bind. I'd also disconnect the shifter and manually put the trans into neutral.
Correct on all points. And we still don't know how the OP is trying to turn the engine. Can't go much further w/o that info.

If the head was milled enough to cause interference (which I don't even know is possible), 1. the buyer should have been told because it would need premium fuel, 2. it would still turn backwards at least a little, and 3. the valves would be bent if any significant force was applied trying to turn the crank. Again how the attempt to turn it was done is very important.
 

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Pilot bearing: In his original post the OP said the engine was rebuilt, so hopefully there was one already in the flywheel.

Many clutch-kits come with a new one -- I guess the machine shop could have pulled the old one out in anticipation that a new one would be put in by the installer?

With the transmission in neutral and/or the clutch depressed, even without the bearing I'd guess the engine would still turn. But that input shaft on the trans wouldn't last long!
 

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Pilot bearing: In his original post the OP said the engine was rebuilt, so hopefully there was one already in the flywheel.

Many clutch-kits come with a new one -- I guess the machine shop could have pulled the old one out in anticipation that a new one would be put in by the installer?

With the transmission in neutral and/or the clutch depressed, even without the bearing I'd guess the engine would still turn. But that input shaft on the trans wouldn't last long!

Maybe the mecanic blocked the flywheel with something and forgot to remove it or tell him . I now its just thinking with you guys to find a solution :wink
 
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