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‘01 Rubicon won’t move forward after engine swap

688 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  spock
Hi guys, long time lurker, first time poster. I have a ‘01 Rubicon I just finished piecing together out of 2 different ‘01s.

I picked up Rubi #1 from my buddy who bought it for $250 with a known bad transmission. It ran and moved in 2nd-5th when cold, but the trans raised all sorts of **** anytime it was running. After warmup the trans slipped so badly it wouldn’t move under its own power.

Not a problem, as I also have Rubi #2,which I got from a guy locally parting it out. It had a bad ECM and angle sensor, but a good engine and trans, with only 2300 hrs.

So, I got the engine and trans swapped from #2 into #1, reusing the angle sensor from #1.

Here’s where I’m running into issues. The motor starts right up, there are no diagnostic codes, and I believe it’s building oil pressure as it’s supposed to (though I admittedly haven’t tested it). But, in no setting will it move forward or reverse. I hear the shift motor doing it’s thing abd every so often I’ll get a very faint lurch from D2 to D1. But otherwise, no movement at all. I need to reiterate, the motor came out of a running Rubicon that functioned as it was supposed to until the ECM and angle sensor took a dump. What am I missing?
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I'm curious if you've made any headway with this problem - it's kind of an odd one.
I'm curious if you've made any headway with this problem - it's kind of an odd one.
Sadly not. The new motor starts right up but no motion in either direction. I hear a faint grinding sound so I wonder a little if the oil pump chain jumped off. Might be spinning on the drum so it provides oil pressure, but won’t drive anything else.
You should check the oil pump chain alright. The main cause of early Hondamatic failures is the oil pump itself - if it isn't updated then the transmission can burn out. Not likely in your case though...
The only other suggestion is to remove the shift motor and check that the gear it turns is moving freely. If it is stuck it needs to be dealt with.
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