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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I'm a new member to the forums but definitely not new to the forum itself. I recently bought a 2001 SPI with a rod knock. Anyways long story short... Bought a motor swapped it out and got everything hooked back up. Get my fluids in and go for the turn over and I get a click from the starter (I think that's where its coming from).

This is not my first motor swap on a car but is on a focus. Electrical scares me and I am thinking I have a bad ground or missing a ground. Before someone is like "USE THE SEARCH BAR" I have for like 3 days straight and cant figure out the issue. Battery is not bad it has good voltage. I tried to jump start it for the hell of it and that didn't do it. Starter was fine before I pulled the motor. Not ruling out a bad starter but very unlikely. Ive checked my grounds that I know of and they seem fine. BUT there is one negative cable coming off the battery that seems like it ran to the motor? I hooked it up to the block I got a click then hooked it up to the starter mounting bolt on the starter and I get a click.

I am lost and am really getting upset [?|] cause I don't know where to go from here. I really hope someone on here can give me some feedback on what is wrong.

Thanks

Kyle
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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Don't let it scare you...... it's really not as bad as you would think.

I posted this elsewhere but it's to diagnose the same problem. if you have ANY questions about the process just ask away.

do a voltage drop test on the cable going to the starter..... since I'm sure you have no idea what it is (if so, sorry, but you probably would have figured it out if you did) I'll help you out.

If you have access to a multimeter, set it to voltage (DC) and put the negative lead (black) to the positive battery post. then put the positive lead (red) to where the positive cable hooks to the starter (alligator clips work really well when you're doing this since you'll need a second set of hands otherwise).

Now set your meter to min/max (if it doesn't have it, just watch your meter closely for the highest voltage reading) and try to crank it over. Record your voltage.

Do the same to test the negative cable connection, but have the lead on the negative post of the battery and the other lead somewhere on the engine that has a good ground connection. Crank and record voltage.

Report back here. What you just did is test the connection and resistance of that segment of the circuit (or in other words, test your cable connections). Bottom line is you shouldn't be dropping more than .3V through the cables. If you see around system voltage or something else pretty high then obviously there's a problem.


It works, trust me..... I just did this the other day on someone's Chrysler where they couldn't figure out what was wrong and replaced both battery cables, the battery, and the starter. Turns out they did a piss poor job splicing and taping up (I know. why??) the new positive cable into the old one going to the starter. did a voltage drop test and found 11.8v (system voltage). You can even pinpoint this by moving the positive lead up the cable until you get a low reading. Fixed that and it started up.
 

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Go to YouTube

type in this:
Starter Motor Troubleshooting Tips DIY

Seems quite a good explanation, of course this isn't the only one

[I bet that it is a ground

OR try to move the battery clamps sideways,. the clamp may seem to be tight but any sideways movement and nothing is going to happen]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply.. I'm gonna bust out the multimeter but before I do so do you know exactly where that negative cable is supposed to connect? It comes right off the neg battery terminal. One goes right to the fender but this one seems to run across the battery next to the air box towards the motor.
 

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Follow it down, the BIG negative HAS to connect to the engine block, USUALLY right at the starter....

By the way, did you turn the new motor over by hand?

Have you tried turning it over WITHOUT the spark plugs installed?

(My Job is to ask the 'stupid" questions... just in case something 'obvious" got missed..)

Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Follow it down, the BIG negative HAS to connect to the engine block, USUALLY right at the starter....

By the way, did you turn the new motor over by hand?

Have you tried turning it over WITHOUT the spark plugs installed?

(My Job is to ask the 'stupid" questions... just in case something 'obvious" got missed..)

Luck!
ok... so the motor was turned over by hand when I got it and when installing the TC on the motor. Yes I tried starting it with the plugs out. Never thought to try and turn it by hand once the motor was in. IDN why but now I cant turn it by hand? Whats my next step here? Belt is not too tight. None of the accessories are frozen up... Should I take the belt off then try it? Ahh I hope this isnt worse then I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you think it has something to do with the transmission? It is an AT and the cv axles spin freely. Car is in park. Could it be the range sensor?
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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remove the spark plugs and try to crank it over again. if it spins then theres a problem.

I wrote the guide so you can ask if you dont get it. Its possible you may have a bad connection from the positive cable as well.

The negative goes to the block. The starter is grounded through the starter body to the block. the other ground wire you see going from the battery is a redundant ground and thats all you really need to know about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now it seems to be that my motor is frozen and won't spin. What are my next steps to take? I don't think it has to do with elictrical at this point.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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sorry missed where you tried that already.

at this point make sure the trans isn't stuck... which pretty much means disconnecting it. BUT you may want to see if a bearing didn't get cocked sideways and is holding up the rotating assembly. It is somewhat uncommon for this to happen but I have seen it before and it's a real let down sometimes. New set of bearings worked well for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great.... so this went from thinking the starter wasnt working to having to pull the transmission off again. [?|][?|][?|] How can I tell for sure that this is the issue? Also if I do have to do this will I have to pull the whole motor out again? Or can I separate the tranny just enough to fix the issue? Will the transaxles have to be removed again? Sorry for so many questions.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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I understand you can't rotate it by hand.... so with the starter still making that click, see if you can make an amperage reading (though I doubt you have an amp clamp, and don't hook it up directly or you'll blow the multimeter's fuse so this may not work at all for you) if it's really high (greater than say 500) then it is definitely seized somewhere.

Never tried to remove the oil pan from the focus with the trans attached. Some cars have the pan go up into the trans a bit. I don't think the focus is one of those though. I know some of the exhaust will have to be removed though. nothing more than when you had to replace the engine.

Really before you drop the trans, remove the oil pan. See if you can get to the bearing caps, mark everything of course and remove one at a time until (hopefully) it will move by hand again.

If it's still stuck, yeah you gotta drop the trans. Sucks but there isn't much else after that. I was thinking you should be able to just push the axles backwards after removing them from the transaxle (assuming you can get enough movement to get them out. I have done this before on a mitsubishi with a stuck axle).

As a note though, the trans is operating fine by allowing you to still rotate the axles in park. you'll notice they spin opposite directions. when the wheels are on the ground they both want to go in the same direction and that's where they will lock.
 

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What motor did you have and what did you put in?

Did you swap ECU's?


Your up above Sacramento right? If you can't figure it out I'll be that way in a few weeks and could look at it. I'm not a expert, but I've done 3 enigne swaps on Focus' and know them pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciate the help. So basically my issue sounds like the TC is not seated all the way?

I did some research on this issue and it seems that the TC drain plug has to be aligned with the flex plate? I am getting lost fast. I don't know much when it comes to transmissions. I also read that I could have ruined my transmission pump when I pulled my motor and tranny together. It did not seat all the way and I used the bell housing bolts to pull the motor and tranny together. How do I know if my pump is bad?

I hate how one little mistake can ruin everything and cause hours of work. I am just trying to rule things out and gather my evidence before I dive in and do something not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just want to make sure. I didn't see/read if he did or not.

Also what year is the car and did you reuse the harness in the car or replace it?
It is a 2001 and I just swapped in another used SPI. It came from Canada and had around 73k on it. I just used the same harness that was on my motor.

The car and all the accessories were working fine before I pulled the motor. Just had a bad rod knock.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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since he cant even move it by hand it wont be electrical.

Now it IS possible that you could have bound the shaft in the crank by pulling the engine and trans together by the bolts. If you havent already dropped it you may want to loosen them and slide the trans out a bit to see if the engine will spin freely again.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry to keep bumping this but does anyone have any info on Torque Converters not being seated all the way? Is there any thing I can do before I remove my motor and tranny again to ensure that this is the issue that my motor is locked up? [dunno]

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #20
since he cant even move it by hand it wont be electrical.

Now it IS possible that you could have bound the shaft in the crank by pulling the engine and trans together by the bolts. If you havent already dropped it you may want to loosen them and slide the trans out a bit to see if the engine will spin freely again.
Ok I am going to give this a shot when I get a chance. I really don't want to pull the motor out again but its looking like I might have too.

Thanks
 
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