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Corolla 2001 - problems starting after engine replaced with 2002
July 7, 2007
We finished putting in a 2002 Corolla used engine into a 2001 Corolla today. We were assured by the shop selling it to us that the engines are interchangeable. This seemed true all the way as we put everything in its place, but now the car wont start. It will turn over again and again, but wont actually run. We checked the spark plugs (and coils), we know the gas is pumping (when we disconnect it while not running gas comes out of the hose as if pressure has built up), and when we spray ether into the air all it runs is its expected 1 second.

Other than the engine problem that caused us to replace it originally (ie. bad crank shaft in one cylinder) the car was starting/running fine. It actually drove fine too, just made an aweful sound.

Any suggestions? Could it be that the engines are *almost* the same but not quite (ie. car's computer doesnt control it the same, etc.)?


July 9, 2007#1
As I remember - the 2002 Corolla was a carryover model year - mechanically/electrically the same as the 2001, just with a different body trim.

Definitely sounds like the car off timing (you have fuel pressure but no fire, shooting in starting fluid fires it up, but only temporarily.) Could be any number of issues - one would be with the ECM got shorted out somehow, or one of the sensors got left off. A Toyota engine scanner can help pinpoint the trouble area - as it has some built-in test routines to test key aspects of the system. I'd double check the wiring - as it sounds like something is not connected or wire got pulled somehow.

Pretty hard to believe that the crankshaft is damaged on the original engine, unless the bearing failed there. These cranks are actually forged and shotpeened pieces and many have stood up to impressive amount of abuse - but anything can happen. Plus a replacement crank will cost about the same as a used engine.

July 9, 2007#2
Thanks for your reply. We actually were able to fix it within a few hours of posting, and you were 100% correct that it was electrical/sensor related. One of the sensors looked like it had been hooked up but wasnt fully pushed in. We didnt notice until we decided to go through each one to unhook and rehook.

Again, right on... the bearing was completely shot... actually, almost non-existant, and the crankshaft was all black... so we figured it was best to go with a used engine. Found one for $900 with 60k on it... lots of labor hours to put it in though (since we arent professionals), but I guess it worked well. I drove it yesterday from PA to IL (9 hour drive) without a hitch. Again, thanks for the reply.

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