A while back my Jeep Grand Cherokee began making a distinct tapping noise. After describing the problem here and receiving plenty of responses, the conclusion was a damaged lifter. After thinking things over, my dad and I decided that doing an engine swap would be the way to go, seeing as the old engine already had 176K miles on it. We ended up buying an engine from a 96’ Jeep Grand Cherokee, with 130K miles on it. Long story short, we finished swapping the motors today, went to fire it up…and of course it didn’t work. We tried it around 10-15 times, with nothing. Here are the details of the swap:
What parts we put put on from the old engine:
-We put the flywheel from the original engine onto the new engine
-Intake and exhaust manifold
-Accessories (power steering pump, water pump, AC compressor, and fan/fan clutch)
-Distributor (distributor, distributor cap, and wires)
-Wiring harness / ECU
What we observed:
The engine would sound like a normal cranking engine for most of the attempts, but it just wouldn’t want to start. A few times it sounded like it was about to start but quickly died. I noticed some smoke was coming back out from the intake (exiting near the air filter).
We really put a lot of time and effort into swapping this motor so I’m hoping we didn’t make some dumb mistake (we did check all the wiring and other connections). My first guess is that maybe we shouldn’t have removed the distributor from the old engine and put it in the new on, because although they were nearly identical they did have different part numbers. If this is the case, is it as simple as returning the old one or is there something else wrong.