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Chrysler/02 pt cruiser 2.4L gas non turbo engine question


My daughter overheated her car reciently. Because I owned this same engine in a dodge neon before. I decided to change out the timing belt and water pump. I have done 4 of these same task before on familys cars we owned, so Im comfortable doing this. Car was runing before any work was done.  I descided it was a good time to change sparkplugs also since it was apart. While i had the spark plugs out i checked compression one of the cylinders was low ( possable head gasket blown). So i ended up removing the head and found one of the pistons had melted down on one side past the top ring. So I removed the engine from the car. Ridged reamed the cylinders, honed them out, and i installed new pistons,rings, wrist pins. Reassembled the engine, reinstalled it in the car. At the first start up. The engine would when cold start up and idle. If i left it alone it would run untill about 180-190 degrees and then shut down. Then it would not restart untill cold again usually overnight. When i restarted the engine and would throttle up it would die as soon as i left off the throttle. I went on line and found conflicting timing set information. One said the line up the camshaft mark when setting timing, the other said to set the 1/2notch above the when looking at it. Imhave tried both severial times now. And both act the same to me. Start when cold, idle rough or notmat all and then die, not to restart.

This is what i have tested for cylinder pressure 150-160 lbs across all four. Fuel rail pressure 48psi good. I unpluged a sensor one at a time, turn engine over, then read for dt codes to see if the ecu was reading them. I had 2 that did not register the "map, iac" sensors. I replaced the "crank,cam,iac,map,battery,radiator fan motor so far nothing has helped. This car has 2 computers one is located in the drivers upper right location i beleve thats the "engine control unit"" it has 2 40 pin connectors connected to the left side as you.face it. The other is located in the front driver side bumper wheel well location i beleve its the "powertrain control unit". Through out this past 3 weeks i never got any dt codes unless i created them by disconnecting a sensor. Car does not have a " smart key ignition" keys do not have chip in them.

I have reset the timing over 7 times now, replaced parts, sensors.. I could not find online, or localy a wiring schematic actually for the car were the color code and connector pin outs were correct.

Do you have any suggestions. Im a pretty good mechanic, have my own shop been working on all types of equipment over the years. From 2 stroke to 4 stroke, gas to deisel. I have never had to use the dealer or anyone else to fix anything. I feel like i missing something here.

First let me know: whew you attempt to restart the engine after warm up and died, the starter motor cranks it or you hear only a low noise but the starter is not rotating?
If the starter not rotates , it's a stuck between piston and cylinder lining due to wrong size for rings, they expand mor than allowable tolerance , and extract when cold overnight
Note, the cold compression is so hight meaning the tolerance is very small.
Now, if the starter is rotating but the engine wouldn't start, attempt to start it while you are depressing the accelerator to the half, if it starts you have a blocked idle air motor passage or damage idle motor it self.
Waiting you news,,good luck,,  


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Essam Seddik


Gasoline cars: all types of engines electronic controls, electric diagrams and wiring, engines mechanical problems, accessories (security, audio video systems, lighting control etc...,) I have no knowledge on big trucks.


30 years, I have a car service for American and Korean cars.

Bachelor degree of mechatronic ,

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