You are here:

Chrysler Repair/'96 dodge stratus: motor exchanged


QUESTION: I have a 1996 dodge stratus that I did a motor swap on with a 1997 2.4L.
I have the engine running but I have multiple bugs I do not have the answer to
1. Upon start up car idled ok but the longer it runs in continues to climb I shut the car
off once It reached 2500 rpm.
2. I used the transmission from the 1996 car and when I put it in to drive, it does not engage unless the brake pedal is pressed 1/4 of the way but when brakes are fully applied wheels stop turning
so I dont now where to turn on this one does the ECM need to be reflashed? Or is this vacuum related? Im not sure?
any help will be greatly appreciated
Brandon Hoeschen

ANSWER: Hi Brandon,
Was the car originally sold with the 2.4L engine? Did you change electrical controller components, or was it just the engine, and how about any electrical sensing devices on the engine, were those traded between the two engines?
Have you checked for fault codes using the ignition key: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains "on" to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause. Then repeat the process to be sure of an accurate set of flash counts. Then let me know the counts in order of appearance.
Sorry for the delay but I just found your question in the "pool".

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hey Roland
thanks for answering
yes both cars had the 2.4L engine,  it it was just the engine that was swapped i used the ecm from the 1996 u motor for the 1997 motor, the only electrical components I had to switch over was all 4 injectors, the throttle body and an o2 sensor socket thats it

Let me know about the fault code counts. And so the throttle body on it now is the original one, or from the '97?
I don't understand the issue with the transmission/brake pedal position. As far as I can tell from looking at the '96 manual there is no electrical interaction, not is an obvious issue between the braking of the wheels and functioning of the transmission. If you would explain in more detail what happens as compared to what the previous situation was I might have an idea.
The idle sounds like a small vacuum leak into the intake manifold. Possible the gasket on the throttle body? Try spray water around the edge of the manifold while idling, and check all the vacuum hoses using the diagram on the underside of the hood as a road map.

Chrysler Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.


Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

©2017 All rights reserved.