How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ridgerunnerras Your Own Question
Ridgerunnerras, Auto Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 602
Experience:  I have been fixing cars for 26 years for myself and at a used Car dealer. I am skill mechnical and autobody and paint repair
Type Your Car Question Here...
Ridgerunnerras is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am having an issue after installing a use motor in a 1999

Customer Question

I am having an issue after installing a use motor in a 1999 Saturn SL series.... it is an automatic transmission... I can move the shifter in each gear inside the car and it will not start.... it is also like its stuck in neutral.... cause no matter what gear i put it in its still able to roll. I know that i did unbolt the cable where it mounts to the transmission and I moved the thing with my hand and could here it click. I had done this first because i thought I was going to pull tranny out with motor. But I ended up just taking motor out with torque converter and flywheel mounted still. I need help!!! lol
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.

on the transmission if you watch the shift lever that the cables is connected too will it physically shift through the gates?

can you shit it into park by hand if you pop off the cable and shift the transmission lever by hand will you get park where it will not roll and crank over ?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

well it will not even try to crank over right now... but i believe that may be because its not in park....

let me go out and take it off again and try to find park and see if car will not roll.... give me about 5 minutes and ill let you know

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.
ok no rush
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok.... i do have it in park now where it will not roll... but still absolutely no sound at all when try to crank car

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.
are all the dash lights lit up even the check engine light with the ignition key on ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes they are all on

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.
ok can you test and see if the big power wire red on the starter shows 12 volts ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i dont have a tester :(

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.

ok we need to see if the big red wire to the starter has 12 volts

and also see if the purple small wire to the starter shows 12 volts when holding the key to crank position

if you do not have a tester can you make sure the small purple wire is connected to the starter and the big red wire is connected to the starter ?

do a very good visual of the wires and make sure they are connected

other than that you need a tester

but keep in mind if it was cranking before the engine swap there has to be something not connected more than likey

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i do have the big red wire connected and the small purple....

but there is another wire i am not sure if it is connected in the right place.... strectched from alternator to started... does this seem right?? or is this wire not supposed to be there...

i have it bolted down with the big red wire..... is the red wire supposed to be alone or not?

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.

yes together

we have to see if that purple wire is getting 12 volts when you hold the key to crank

if not that wire runs through the neutral switch and we would have to see if the purple wire going into the switch shows 12 volts when holding the key to crank and then see if the other purple wire at the neutral switch on the transmission is also showing 12 volts when holding the key to crank

I mean for now if you jump 12 volts to the purple wire where it connects to the starter it should crank over

if it does then something's wrong with the purple wire from the neutral switch or the neutral switch

also try to crank it trying all the shift gates by hand just have the e-brake on just in case it starts in gear ok ?

if none of that helps you will have to get a tester

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok... i can jump the starter... but it sounds like its free spinning and not catching the flywheel.... car doesnt start

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.

ok we need to see if we are getting 12 volts like I said before

and make sure you use the original starter that was on the engine

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is it supposed to start? or should it just spin like that??

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.

it should engage the flexplate teeth and crank the engine over

make sure you have the original starter in it

its not engaging due to not enough power at the big power wire at the starter,bad starter or something wrong with the flexplate teeth

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hmmm with a used engine do you think i have to get a new starter??? i am using the starter that was on the car.... would a different engine for some reason have a different starter......

or does the flywheel and torque converter have to be installed in such a way... that allows them to line up?

Expert:  Gary replied 4 years ago.
let me see if any other experts have any ideas hang on another expert will reply back to you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i was just reading about how to test a starter and see if its just spinning... or if it moves out some.... only way to test that is to take it out of car? or can that be tested installed?

i just dont see how it would go bad just sitting here for 4 months after the engine was blown.

Also.... on the neutral switch.... there are 2 plugs.... but then there is another piece that has 2 metal prongs... i only have one wire for that... is that correct? and should that one wire be attached?

Expert:  Ridgerunnerras replied 4 years ago.

Hello I would like to help you.

First if you jump the large red wire to the purple wire the Starter Should engage the fly wheel and spin the engine.

Are you Sure that the Neutral safety switch on the transmission is connected and working?

Did you reconnect all of the ground wires?

Here is a electrical print of the starting system in you car.

You can try and make sure you have everything Connected correctly



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok... i took the starter out of the car toda and tested it... like i had talked about in previous posts.... could see that it was working. so i installed back in the car and yes now i can jump wires and get it started.

next challenge is the transmission and the shifter in the car i guess are not in sync with each other.... so whats the easiest way to re align them...

or how does that work???

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I need more info.