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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Motor Swap Issues

Hey guys, it has been quite a while but it's good to be back!

I am in need of some guidance regarding a recent engine swap in my 97 bird.

The back story:

It has been quite a while since I have posted, mostly due to the fact that my motor exploded roughly 6 years ago. Since then the car has been parked in a garage in Alabama, basically untouched. I had some spare time this past week with the 4th Holiday to begin swapping over the transplant engine which I acquired roughly 2 years ago.

Details on the donor motor:

'02 mustang GT 4.6L, purchased from Craigslist. By all accounts looks clean inside and out. All T-bird specific parts required have been changed out. Mounts, oil pan, pickup tube, flex plate, etc.

Issue I am having:

After swapping the old motor for the new, I have come to the point where the engine is mated to the trans, and all bolts have been snugged. The crank pulley will not rotate at the point where I am applying more torque than I am comfortable with on the crank pulley bolt. If I unbolt the motor from the trans and back it off about a half inch I can rotate the motor easily with a breaker bar, and can also easily manipulate the torque converter. Mate them back, and no movement. Additionally, with everything bolted up there are not enough threads exposed at the TC to get the nut on. I can get a regular nut started that does not have the offset threads of the factory nut. My thoughts are maybe the nuts need to be on the TC enough to pull the TC forward because it's pushed back and binding on the housing.

If anyone has experienced a similar issue, or can provide any insight it would be greatly appreciated.

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 12:09 PM
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NO! There should be no pulling of the TC forward when you tighten the nuts, they should be sticking out of the flex plate with the converter 100% seated in the Trans (and be sure that it is).

You say this engine came from an 02 Mustang GT, was it an auto or a 5 speed? If the latter I'd suspect you left the clutch pilot bearing in the crank, preventing the converter from seating.

-Matt

Last edited by XR7-4.6; 07-10-2017 at 05:33 PM.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 01:48 PM
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What Matt Said. Keep in mind at this point you should inspect the the converter and the front pump bushing for damage.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the swift responses.

You are exactly right, and I can't believe I did not check that. That is 100% what the issue is.

At this point the motor has to come back out, and the TC is likely toast. Any recommendations on an upgraded replacement? I don't want to pile a ton of work on myself, but if there is a direct swap that is an upgrade I would like to spring for it.

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwiggles2004 View Post
Thank you for the swift responses.

You are exactly right, and I can't believe I did not check that. That is 100% what the issue is.

At this point the motor has to come back out, and the TC is likely toast. Any recommendations on an upgraded replacement? I don't want to pile a ton of work on myself, but if there is a direct swap that is an upgrade I would like to spring for it.
Mark VIII/Marauder/Mach1 TC is a direct swap, slightly higher stall speed, and dirt cheap. They're also smaller diameter and won't balloon.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
Mark VIII/Marauder/Mach1 TC is a direct swap, slightly higher stall speed, and dirt cheap. They're also smaller diameter and won't balloon.
But is a different flexplate required with all three of those choices?

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 07:15 PM
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Yep, but flexplates aren't hard to find. Mustang GT auto converters are also an option, they're the same as Mark VIII.

-Matt
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Great info, and ideas.

So, after removing the manual bearing is there a replacement bearing that needs to go in the crank for the auto trans, or does the TC just mate up directly?

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 07:23 PM
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Nope, no need since there's no input shaft running through, the converter spins at engine speed 100% of the time. There's a nub on the end of the converter that seats inside the empty hole.

-Matt
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thanks for your help Matt.

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 03:46 PM
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RA has the mark flexplates for ~$40.

1998 LINCOLN MARK VIII 4.6L V8 Flexplate | RockAuto

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 04:23 PM
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I came across this same issue at work. Turned out the used motor was from a car with a stick and the pilot bearing was still stuck in. I removed pilot bearing and she fit perfect.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcortinas View Post
I came across this same issue at work. Turned out the used motor was from a car with a stick and the pilot bearing was still stuck in. I removed pilot bearing and she fit perfect.
How far did you get before realizing the issue? Did you fully torque the trans to the motor, and if so was there any damage to the torque converter when you separated them?

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 01:44 PM
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No damage to torque converter. We got it bolted up but couldn't turn crank. Separated it and felt the pilot bearing shoved all the way in. I never believe the tags on used motor anymore.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to provide a quick update on the issue I was having and my progress. Once I got the motor back out, I looked and the throw out bearing was indeed there. Knocked the bearing out using the bread and socket method. Put the motor back in, buttoned everything up, and she runs! I drove her 231 miles from South AL to Atlanta yesterday with no major issues.

One thing I am running in to is that the new motor does not seem to have a temp. sending unit for the temp. gauge. or maybe it is just that I can't find it. Has anyone who has done a late model 4.6 PI swap run in to this issue? and if so how did you mount the second sensor? I have seen people run a T fitting off of the ECT temp unit hole and mount both sensors on the same hole, but I would like to avoid going this route if possible.

Thanks in advance.

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwiggles2004 View Post
I wanted to provide a quick update on the issue I was having and my progress. Once I got the motor back out, I looked and the throw out bearing was indeed there. Knocked the bearing out using the bread and socket method. Put the motor back in, buttoned everything up, and she runs! I drove her 231 miles from South AL to Atlanta yesterday with no major issues.

One thing I am running in to is that the new motor does not seem to have a temp. sending unit for the temp. gauge. or maybe it is just that I can't find it. Has anyone who has done a late model 4.6 PI swap run in to this issue? and if so how did you mount the second sensor? I have seen people run a T fitting off of the ECT temp unit hole and mount both sensors on the same hole, but I would like to avoid going this route if possible.

Thanks in advance.
Yes. I believe people drill and tap the intake manifold near where the sending unit sensor for the guage is on the NPI manifolds.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikutoisahobo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwiggles2004 View Post
I wanted to provide a quick update on the issue I was having and my progress. Once I got the motor back out, I looked and the throw out bearing was indeed there. Knocked the bearing out using the bread and socket method. Put the motor back in, buttoned everything up, and she runs! I drove her 231 miles from South AL to Atlanta yesterday with no major issues.

One thing I am running in to is that the new motor does not seem to have a temp. sending unit for the temp. gauge. or maybe it is just that I can't find it. Has anyone who has done a late model 4.6 PI swap run in to this issue? and if so how did you mount the second sensor? I have seen people run a T fitting off of the ECT temp unit hole and mount both sensors on the same hole, but I would like to avoid going this route if possible.

Thanks in advance.
Yes. I believe people drill and tap the intake manifold near where the sending unit sensor for the guage is on the NPI manifolds.
Yup..the pi manifold needs to be tapped for the 2nd coolant sensor..the pi intake had actually had a flat spot where it's saposed to be tapped on the coolant crossover..
DON'T try a T fitting for the sensor, it won't read correctly..
I've even seen people use a piece of pipe in the upper radiator hose and have that tapped and the sensor installed into that.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2018, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the replies, that's what I figured. For those of you that have drilled and tapped the crossover, has anyone done it with the intake in the car? I would think the intake would need to be out to keep metal shavings from getting in the coolant passages.

97 Thunderbird LX 4.6L
Current Mods
PI Intake Manifold, Comp XE268's, 180 degree T-stat, Brother's Performance U/D pulleys, K&N filter w custom CAI, 75mm TB and Trick Flow plenum, Borla mufflers w Magnaflow tips, Magnaflow straight cats, Summit 8mm wires, Eibach Pro Kit Springs, Koni Adjustable Front Shocks, Bilstein Cobra Rear Shocks, Cobra R replica rims(17x9)front (17x10.5)rear
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwiggles2004 View Post
I appreciate the replies, that's what I figured. For those of you that have drilled and tapped the crossover, has anyone done it with the intake in the car? I would think the intake would need to be out to keep metal shavings from getting in the coolant passages.
Intake has to be out or else you will destroy the water pump for sure. It's aluminum so you can't use a magnet to pick up chips either. Some people install a inline temp adapter on the radiator hoses for gauges. Best bet since the ECU is already getting the temp from where it wants. The gauge is bonus.
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