I can't get my engine to rotate by hand to set the proper timing. Why isn't my engine rotating?

Tiny
GRANOLAVSRAISINS
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 86,000 MILES
I installed a new oil pump and torqued the cover to the correct torque. I also installed a new water pump and torqued it to 82 in/lb top bolt first, middle then bottom. I was in the process of setting the crank to TDC but it refuses to pass the 0 TDC mark. It only rotates up to the 10 degree mark but no matter how much force I'm putting clockwise on the crank, it refuses to rotate past the 10 degree mark. Should I use brute force and spray PB blaster into the cylinder spark plug holes or may there be another problem?
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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 AT 5:13 AM

15 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If you have an interference engine and have the timing belt off, the pistons are going to hit and bend any open valves. That's a real expensive repair, and you can bend them with hand force on the crank. Penetrating oil isn't going to help. The pistons are already moving and the rings are not rusted to the cylinder walls. You're going to have to carefully turn the cam sprocket(s) by hand along with the crankshaft until you can get both of them close enough to put the belt on, then line the marks up and tweak one sprocket at a time to set the timing correctly. Always turn the crankshaft in the normal direction of rotation two complete turns before making the final check that timing is correct and the tensioner has taken up the slack.

I think it is a non interference engine though. Timing belt broke.
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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 AT 5:24 AM
Tiny
GRANOLAVSRAISINS
  • MEMBER
The thing is, it's a 5S-FE and is a non interferance engine. Theoretically, I should be able to turn the crank independantly. No matter how much I turn the cam sprocket while I gently wiggle the crank pulley, the engine will not turn. I know that the cam will rotate once per three turns of the crank, will I then have to rotate the cam three times? If the valves are sticking out, would that be the intake or exhaust? I'm at the 10 BTDC mark which would be right before the first piston compresses. If I'm snagging a valve, wouldn't rotating the sprocket two times close the intake valves? I ran the engine before but the timing was off the first time. Also, since the mark is at 10BTDC, wouln't putting the cam sprocket at about the same angle let the engine crank also? I tried that with the belt on and still no rotation by hand. Also, this car is automatic and it's not in neutral, would that affect the engine not rotating?
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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 AT 12:40 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The gear selected doesn't matter, even park. The engine just drives an oil pump in the transmission. There's no direct mechanical link to the transmission. What you could have is a flex plate bolt that walked out and is catching on the webbing at the back of the block.

"I know that the cam will rotate once per three turns of the crank, will I then have to rotate the cam three times?"

The crank turns twice per camshaft revolution, not three times. Also, 10 degrees BTC is for all practical purposes right at TDC. The piston is barely going to move a fuzz those last ten degrees. If a piston were to hit an open valve, it won't even get close to ten degrees.

The clue that a piston is hitting a valve would be found by turning the crank the other way and finding it would stop the same distance from TDC. That's fine for a single cylinder, but when four are involved the crank will only turn backward until a piston in a different cylinder hits a valve. If you can turn the crank almost a complete revolution backward before it locks up again, I'd look closer at the flex plate bolts. Of course, depending on the orientation of the cam, there is only going to be one intake valve open and one exhaust valve open so maybe you WOULD be able to turn the crank almost all the way.

I will take your word that this isn't an interference engine, (I can't find any reference to the contrary), but to double-check, when the crank locks up, turn it backward just a little, then rotate the cam, ... Oh, ... A good quarter turn, then see if the crank locks up in exactly the same place. If it does, we'll know it's not hitting a valve because the valves will have moved.

The only other thing I can think of is if the crankshaft thrust bearing is worn allowing the crank to move forward or backward a little. On some engines a counterweight on the crank will hit the webbing inside the block below the cylinders. That typically happens with manual transmission from the force of pushing on the clutch which pushes the crank into that thrust bearing and causes wear. I did see it happen once on a Ford pickup from the torque converter "ballooning" when pulling a car hauler up a hill. The added fluid pressure caused the torque converter to grow and push the crankshaft forward until it hit the webbing in the block. Of course the engine had to be running and under load for that to occur.

Some engines use a balance shaft to dampen vibration. They can be driven by the timing belt as on Chryslers but some are driven by gears in a housing next to the middle of the crank. If you have that design, it doesn't sound like you had it apart, but incorrect timing could cause that shaft to hit the crank.

As a last resort, you may have to start unbolting things until you find what the crank is hitting. Think about a crankshaft position sensor that is adjusted in too far, (many are not adjustable), or you could loosen the camshaft bolts to let it up a little. If that works, there has to be a valve hitting a piston for some reason.

My last suggestion involves the key for the vibration damper. Most imports use a rounded woodruff key between the snout of the crank and the damper. Check if that key slid back when you slid the damper on. It could be catching on a reinforcement web on the oil pump housing. That might make it almost all the way around too if you turn the crank backward. If there is only one web for it to hit, you'll get almost a complete revolution out of the crank.
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Thursday, December 8th, 2011 AT 2:22 AM
Tiny
JULIAN 1957
  • MEMBER
Hi Granolavsraisins. I think I have similar problem to what you had. I can not turn my Toyota FS-FE 2.2 liter engine over with a wrench to line up the crankshaft timing marks. It hits something and stops. It will turn the other way about 170 degrees and hits something and stops again. We have done a lot of testing and really ruled out the valves being broke or bent. I do realize this is a non interference motor, but we checked anyway. Here's the thing, I don't know about yours but mine will turn right over with the starter. It sounds OK, nothing hitting or making unusual noises. So I took the starter off and it did the same thing when trying by hand with a wrench. By the way, what started all this was my water pump broke. So What was the out come with your engine? What was wrong? Thank you Julian j. Sasseen@comcast. Net
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 AT 12:53 PM
Tiny
PORTEEGUEE
  • MEMBER
Same issue here. Definitely NOT INTERFERENCE ENGINE.
Very strange though. Pulled the valve cover off. Confirmed #1 cyl at TDC and cam gear correctly aligned with crank gear. Spark plugs removed and can only rotate 300 set in either direction. Finally sprayed Carb Cleaner into each cylinder and waited a minute. With little effort I was able to get a complete 360 rotation in both directions. LOL ! High mileage engine with all that gunk and sat for a few weeks.
Hope this helps.
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Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 AT 4:46 PM
Tiny
MIMID
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 183,300 MILES
Engine Mechanical problem
1994 Toyota Camry 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 183300 miles

I'm interested in purchasing this car. The seller says I'd need to get a repair for a blown head gasket. How much would that run or should I just look for another car? Selling price is $1000.
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

You may just be buying a real problem, unless you are prepared to spend some serious money. Possibly a new engine, go look for something else.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TERRYHUTCH
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 TOYOTA CAMRY
I was told that my engine had locked but it will start for about a min or 2, if a engine is locked can it start?
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Well no so runs for a bit and shuts down. Will it restart? Idle steady? Die quick or kinda stumble?
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EARLPHILLIPS
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 269,000 MILES
Engine Mechanical problem
1996 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 269000 miles

Hello:
I have a 4 cylinder 1996 Toyota Camry with 269,000 miles on it. The car and engine were running in excellent condition before this incident. Recently, when was driving, I noticed loss of power and lots of white smoke coming out of the tailpipe. The car stalled shortly afterwards and would not start. I suspected a blown head gasket. I opened the radiator and there was not water inside, however the car did not overheat. I tried to start the car, it cranked, but would not start. I had the car towed to my mechanic, and tried to start it there again. Once again, it cranked, but not start. The next day, before my mechanic was going to start working it, I tried to start the engine again. This time, it would not even crank. After my mechanic opened up the head, he told me that it was indeed a blown head gasket. He also told me that the engine is √ √ √ locked√ √ √ and needs to be rebuilt. He said that after opening the head, he tried to turn the engine by turning the crankshaft using a tool, but it would not move. He said he could not tell me the exact reason why the engine is locked unless he takes apart the whole engine. Once again, please keep in mind that before this incident, the car and engine was running in excellent condition and there was absolutely no sign of any problem with the engine.

My questions are:

1)What could have caused the engine to lock? The engine was cranking the day before, after the gasket blew.

2)Exactly what part of the engine is damaged which is preventing it from turning?

3)Is there any way to repair the engine without having to take the engine out and rebuilt it?

Thank you.

Earl.
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LEGITIMATE007
  • EXPERT
Running the engine with no coolant is what locked the engine up it overheated and seized, the pistons and damaged rings are what mostlikely are seized in the engine, and sorry but there will be no way to fix that without pulling it out of the vehicle, I am sorry. If that was my car I would be so hurt.
Jody
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DE DOG
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 261,357 MILES
Engine problem
1991 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 261357 miles

it just died on the way home from town and now it won't even turn over. It's like the engine's frozen. Fluids are fine and the batties good. We just replaced the alternator about 2 months ago. Other than it not starting everything seems fine.
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Try this put key in start position have helper bang on the starter-if it cranks the engine you have a bad starter-if not check for power at the starter solenoid black/white wire if there-again replace the starter. Not there-possibilities: starter/inhibitor switch/starter relay/ignition switch.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_starter_6.jpg

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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CARPROS-ARCHIVES
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 19,000 MILES
MY ENGINE IS LOCKED UP IN MY 1998 TOYOTA CAMRY. I HAVE A 1992 TOYOTA CAMRY IN MY YARD THAT NOBODY IS USING. CAN I USE THE 1992 CAMRY ENGINE IN THE 1998 CAMRY?
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
If engine code is the same, yes but most external components such as manifolds and sensors etc would have to be reused from the original.
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Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 AT 4:09 PM (Merged)

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