Need advice on new motor install - TCCoA Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Lightbulb Need advice on new motor install

Alright, history on the car / driver first being as this is my first post. My name's Mike, I'm 18, I'm from Boston area Mass, and I'm only a moderate alcoholic. August of 2002 I bought my first car. A 1994 3.8 cougar. I had no experience with cars, and new nothing of them, other than what was taught in drivers ed. Somewhere around november the brakes went, so I figured that was a good chance to learn. Pads got replaced. Mid January I got into a mild accident with a guardrail (apparently cars don't react the same as skateboards; you *can't* 50/50 grind a guardrail with a several thousand pound car). The only mechanical damage was the radiator, which I managed to replace with little difficulty. Then sometime in april a headgasket blew. With a Haynes manual and the cheapest set of sockets I could find I was able to figure out how to instal the new gaskets and get 'er running again.
Then sometime around July I decided to pull the whole thing apart again, and replace the entire motor. Not wanting it as anything more than a roadtrip car, I decided to stick with the stock v6 for the timebeing. The summer (in between 60 hour work weeks), was spent pulling apart everything in the engine bay, stripping it all out, sanding down the bay, priming and painting everything, and getting the wiring back in. Finnally during the fall I had the bay painted and clear coated, the electrical wiring and hoses replaced and the motor mounts back in. For the motor I ordered a fully assemlbed longblock 94-95 3.8 online. Most of the major components(starter, water pump, power steering pump, distributor, o2 sensors, plugs, wires, cap and rotor, battery, etc were all replaced. The timing chain cover, oil pan, headers, upper and lower intake and TB were all used from the original motor, along with any sensors attached to those parts. Finally getting it all together aprox 2 weeks ago, I attempted to start her up(after priming the motor without plugs in, putting several gallons of new fuel into the tank, and making sure all the connections were right). When priming everything turned over smooth. No awkward vibrations, no grating noises. Everything turned nicely, it sounded smooth, and oil pressure built up just find. Upon installing the plugs and wires, and attempting to start(firing order was checked over repeatedly), there was repeated misfiring and no start. Several attempts failed. Assuming the timing, I rotated the distributor slightly. A little better, but still no start. After about a quarter of a turn of the distributor the motor started, ran at about 2000 rpm(but rapidly increasing / decreasing) and then stalled. I'm assuming the issue is mainly a timing issue, so I've pulled the distrbutor, and am going to attempt to fix the problem. After pulling several of the plugs they are all covered in what looks like raw fuel(from the misfires?). I also bought an EEC code scanner. However, I only pulled a few codes before I accidentally erased the rest. The only relevant code that I got was a bad egr valve.(I don't have the code # offhand). A bad egr valve shouldn't pose as much of a problem as I'm receiving ugh would it?
Weather permitting, I'm going to attempt to set the timing today, clean the plugs off, start it up again, and re-check the codes after start. I'll post back with codes / updates, however, any pre-startup advice would be greatly appreciated as I've never installed a motor before... I merely *assume* that I can teach myself to do anything given the time

Thank you in advance,
Mikey285 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 11:03 AM
Iowa Chapter Director
Uber Luber
TCCoAAC Member
Thomas's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ames, Iowa
Age: 35
Posts: 8,978
Well check your timing and report back. Also, check for any unplugged vacuum hoses that could cause the eratic idle problem. Especially check the vacuum hose behind the upper manifold that plugs into a long tube on the underside of the upper manifold. I always forget that one and the car will not run very long without it.

Do you remember specifically what the code reader said about the EGR valve? There are about 3-4 different codes for the EGR.


1988 Notch Mustang: - 438W, direct port n2o, t56
2003 SVT Focus: - SCT X3 tuner
Thomas is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 12:03 PM
MA Chapter Director

Rodeo Joe's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Franklin, MA
Age: 63
Posts: 7,967
Welcome fellow Bay Stater! Let us know how you make out. Where abouts in Boston do you live?


It's not a 97 Sport, it just looks like one!

Mass. TCCoAers, Send me your info!

I buy all my Ford parts from 93 lx.

Member of the TCCoA Damage Control Team.

R.I.P. Johnny Langton 1975 - 2011
Rodeo Joe is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2003, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2
Sorry to have not responded sooner, but I've been busy with school and such. As to where I am in boston - I'm in hull. Usually better known as nantasket beach...the little peninsula in boston harbour.
I think I found what the problem was. When installing the distributor I acidentally instead of setting it while the balancer 0(for TDC) was at the mark, I instead set it so the little notch(about 20 degrees difference) was at the mark. Heh....should have been no problem to fix....but of course I had to play with it. I decided to see how much of a difference there was in the height of the piston between those two points. So not wanting to pull the head off, I used advice I had heard from several mechanics. I lowered a pencil into the spark plug hole on piston one while rotating the crankshaft. Yeah..the pencil snap apart into the cylinder. Looking back I guess I should have thought to use something stronger, but I was told a pencil, and on the spot common sense has never ran rapid with me ;P So I spent the morning pulling the top half of the motor apart. But, with common sense lacking in a big way again, I hadn't drained enough of the coolant when I pulled the head off...coolant poured into the cylinders. All of the coolant is out now(I spent the rest of the afternoono sopping it out with napkins), and the pencil is out as well. The heads back on but not torqued yet...i need to buy a new torque wrench seeing as I snapped the last one working on the exhaust. Hopefully tommorow it will be back together(before the snow), and I'll post with the progress.
Thanks to those who replied,
Mikey285 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-05-2003, 03:11 PM
AEDM8's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Central MN
Age: 38
Posts: 1,702

After reading that I wish you luck man. Sounds like more fun than you wanted to have but at least you'll have a greater appreciation for the work you've done.

Some supercharged cars blow.......Others just pick up and move.
AEDM8 is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2003, 11:05 AM
6th Gear Poster
SCsmo's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hull, MA
Age: 34
Posts: 507
don't worry mike, both our cars will be running soon! hopefully. just as soon as we get the modivation and the booze necessary to do it

01- mustang cobra- lazer red -bbk o/r x pipe w/ 40 series, JLT, waiting to install 4.10's
04 ram- ya, its a hemi- [email protected] -sold!!
92 tbird sc- sold!!!- almost made it to the 60ft mark

newest sales rep at Herb Chambers Ford in Braintree, MA, pm me for info
SCsmo is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the TCCoA Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome