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'01 Chevy cavalier rebuild won't start

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New User

Aug 25, 2021, 9:53 PM

Post #1 of 4 (238 views)
'01 Chevy cavalier rebuild won't start Sign In

I bought a 2001 Chevy cavalier, 2.2L. From a guy who had an entire overhaul kit. Engine was taken apart before he towed it to my house. I'm not a mechanic, but I know a little bit and was able to read a lot and watch some videos, even bought the repair manual. All new gaskets were put on by myself. New battery, new starter, new ignition switch, new spark plugs, New fuses throughout, fresh oil and filter, power steering fluid. There were a few other things I had to buy 'cause they were missing (idle pulley, air filter box, misc bolts/clamps) All engine pieces have been cleaned and reattached.
Car had been sitting for almost a year with a blown head gasket, thus the new gaskets. Being as I didn't break it down I've had to figure out where every electrical connection goes by trial/error. This has been a really aggravating life sized puzzle.
After about a month I believe I have everything plugged in properly, all bolts are tight. Drive Belt is on correctly. It won't start. There is no cranking noise at all. No clicking like it's trying to start. I have an OBD2 reader, but it isn't showing any codes for me to use. I've tried moving the starter ground cable (I believe that's what it is) to different bolts.
I'm just really lost at this point. What should I check?
It has over half a tank of fresh gas. Full engine coolant. Any advice would be great.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 25, 2021, 10:52 PM

Post #2 of 4 (228 views)
Re: '01 Chevy cavalier rebuild won't start Sign In

Quote you out of all that, this is primal: "> No clicking like it's trying to start. <"
* If this can't do that what was the point in replacing anything? Not much sport.

* It sat with a blown head gasket for a year so who knows what was exposed for engine itself is worrisome outside of this basic it doesn't even make noise or attempt to crank.

* First - side post batteries must show that they get power to eyelet ends from the post is direct to batter MUST be known good and charged up. If it was a dead or seized engine it would do something but doesn't.
* Back to just that, follow both bat+ and bat- test just that they connect one end to the other. Ground to engine and probably a wire at battery also has to ground body metal, then again and again throughout you'll hopefully see some + verify they work if only continuity first.
* Also test that trigger wire at starter so much as lights a test light when key requests starter.

Last for now: Easy on credibility of web junk misleading you it's not YOUR vehicle nor verified that what you see is true or just collecting data that you watched at all! Really - did all of them sit for a year like this one? That's deadly to a good engine alone,


New User

Aug 27, 2021, 1:06 PM

Post #3 of 4 (182 views)
Re: '01 Chevy cavalier rebuild won't start Sign In

Battery is tested good and fully charged.
Starter need replaced, had it tested at auto zone and got a replacement. Got a test light to check grounds and hot cables to ensure power flowing properly. Everything still looks good, but won't crank at all.
Turned on air, ac, headlights, all worked. Tried using a long screw driver to engage the starter, it spun up but didn't crank the engine.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 27, 2021, 1:33 PM

Post #4 of 4 (174 views)
Re: '01 Chevy cavalier rebuild won't start Sign In

Starter: Just that if spinning and humming away but no click or strain on "flywheel" is that the "drive" on top, isn't throwing out the small gear to the flywheel OR it is and just sits there. That gear is like a ratchet spins one way in hand and not the other is so if you engaged it when an engine is running is freewheels hoping to save busting teeth.

Starters can work on the floor with jumper cables to them and a wire with alligator clip to trigger them to work. A bench vice is better watch is work rather than it jump around on your floor :-)

Bad starter is likely. >Zone> place it may have worked or broke again right then?

RE-MAN starters probably only clean up brushes in things and sand blast casings, paint or refinish for looks ARE NOT NEW. Some are, some aren't the reman can be new they ran out of them put a new one in other box.

Right now if flywheel gear (remove starter again) has teeth how do they look?
> Other but not so much this new starters used shims to space for clearance to spec I don't think this does that would make it too far away if so with your description.

So far it really seems it doesn't throw the gear out to engage when you let go of key it is spring loaded to retract. It probably is a reject new solenoid/starter drive combo not replaced or re-used it isn't working,


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