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Technical Low compression, stuck rings

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Budget36, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Without going into a long tale, any good formula/mix to soak some cylinders in to loosen up carbon stuck rings?

    Head is off (218 Dodge).
    Helping a fella out 350 miles away, I have his valves here and they look really good, no pitting, rust etc Leads me to think they aren’t stuck
    by moisture, but carbon build up sitting.
    I’ll still reface the valves, sent him down my seat cutters and he’s working on that, but for as good as the valves look, thinking it might be rings.
    Oh, had him do a wet test and compression didn’t come up, what I had him pull the head, sent him stuff to get the valves out and do the seats, etc.
     
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  2. PhilA
    Joined: Sep 6, 2018
    Posts: 1,555

    PhilA
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Berryman Chem-Dip is pretty good but may end up in the oil pan faster than it cleans, it works best when it has whatever sat in it.

    If he's pulled the heads and valves, can't be go whole hog and pull the pistons too?

    Phil
     
  3. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,772

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Most of the time,if they are going to get free,it has to be done by running the engine after spinning it over after letting it sit with something like JB Blaster in the cly.s ,than run it. But more often then not,the rings are broken. Only way to fix then is hone n replace.
     
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  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,491

    squirrel
    Member

    just take the pistons out, and see what's going on. It saves a lot of hassle in the long run.
     

  5. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,779

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    What he said......^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Spend a lot of time fartin around for nothing, then end up tearing it down anyway usually.:)
     
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  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I hadn’t thought about broken rings. He’d said the truck was sitting indoors for 4 or 5 years, put a battery in it and it spun over fine.
    I’d guess some Berrymans won’t hurt. It sure softened up the carbon on my ring lands recently, maybe enough doses will help him some.
    Im not sure of his ability to pull the pistons, may come to that.
     
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  7. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,171

    Doublepumper
    Member
    from WA-OR, USA

    Thoughts....years ago I was involved with a project that involved reviving engines and equipment on moth balled WW2 Navy ships. First thing we did before any startup was to get MMO into all the cylinders for a two day soak, to free up the rings. I've seen several engines with no compression free up and run fine after doing this.
     
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  8. Kevin Ardinger
    Joined: Aug 31, 2019
    Posts: 446

    Kevin Ardinger
    Member

    Are you sure it hasn’t jumped time? Timing chain etc?
     
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  9. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good question, working remotely it’s tough to think of everything.
     
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  10. NoelC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 228

    NoelC
    Member

    Sometimes the long tale is worth the effort but what strikes me as odd is the wet test not coming up.
    Wet Compression Test Results Explained (freeasestudyguides.com)
    But all said and done, sounds like you guys might want to think on it a bit more.
     
  11. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,286

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If I was going to put anything down the Cylinders it would be Marvel Mystery oil that has been a go to thing for freeing up rings since the 30's. I can't see putting carb cleaner down the cylinders and expecting good results and that is the first time in 60 years that I have ever seen that mentioned even by the worse of the spit and whittle club down on the corner.
    Still, cut the ridges, pop the pistions out, hone the cylinders and put in a new set of cast rings and maybe a set of bearings and it is good for another 50/60 K. Probably under 150 for rings and a pan gasket.
     
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  12. I have seen many engines with low compression cold improve tremendously once they are warmed up and ran for a bit. The last one was a 4 cyl chevy boat engine that had sat for two years without being ran, checked compression and was around 60 to 70 lbs on all cylinders. Gave it a squirt of 30w, waited a couple hours then put plugs in and started it up. Checked compression after warm and all with the 125 range. Ran it all summer after that with no issues.
     
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  13. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,905

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Uncle Tony just did a somewhat scientific comparison loosening up stuck rings . White vinegar won, but the rings were stuck due to rust , not carbon. The other competitors were ATF, ATF and Acetone 50/50, MMO and white vinegar. I had very good luck freeing rings with flooding the engine with Ballistol and letting it sit for a while. ... but I´m not sure how availible it is in the US. I like it, because it´s a combination of natural oils, I think it may be a little acidic and it is a great rust converter.(It´s also good for pimples, dry skin, pets, sore thumbs ,guns, rifles, bruises , cuts and anything that doesn´t work. Plus it´s made right here in my little town and I get a discount because the owners are friends. So I may be biased)
     
  14. NoelC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 228

    NoelC
    Member

    I don't know what it would do to stuck rings, but it might do wonders for carbon? I'd almost call it a traditional way of doing things.
    IMG_6717.JPG

    IMG_6718.JPG

    IMG_6708.JPG


    IMG_6710.JPG

    IMG_6712.JPG

    Oh yea...video it and post a link. I'm sure we'll all be amused.
     
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,491

    squirrel
    Member

    where am I gonna find an asbestos swab?
     
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  16. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @NoelC ^. I don’t think he has the access to the equipment. I know what I’d do it the engine was in front of me though. I’m more looking for a “chemical” solution for him.
     
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  17. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,779

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    The thing I would consider is that IF the engine was running fine when parked, but it is now frozen up............then you have rust in the cylinders. Rust is an abrasive. Now if you free up the stuck engine, its going to have rust and carbon working on the moving parts and can scratch and score the cylinders. Then you have to, at the minimum hone it if nothing got scratched or gouged during the start up.
    Best case scenario...........everything works just perfect and you have great compression and all those rust particles immediately came loose and exited the exhaust valve.
    On the other hand..........a broken ring, carbon, and rust joined in and now its time to completely overhaul.....meaning new pistons and boring.

    Safe way is to disassemble, hone, polish crank, and reassemble. Then you probably can use the original pistons and maybe do a helpful valve job as well.

    I have seen engines start and run fine after sitting....but its always a crapshoot at best.
     
  18. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The info I gather is the truck was being used. Then parked indoors for 4 or 5 years. A fresh battery spun the engine over fine. But wouldn’t start. After some checks, I had him do a compression test. Either 3 or 4 cylinders showed in the 50psi range. Two (as I recall) were in the 90-95 range. After I had him squirt some oil in the low cylinders, the compression didn’t come up at all in those cylinders. So I said “pull the valves”. And off we went. None of the valves he sent me are burnt, corroded, etc. I’ll reface them anyways, I sent him what’s needed to hand face his seats, so that’s what led me to thinking the rings were stuck from just sitting.
    Anyways, we’ll find out later, I’ll do the valves tonight and send them back tomorrow, hopefully he’ll get it together by the end of next week.
    In the mean time I have him putting MMO around the pistons, letting it sit for a day, spin the engine over and repeat.
     
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  19. NoelC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 228

    NoelC
    Member

    I'd agree with a "chemical" solution long before I'd try the one in the book. But if you burn down your car trying, you can say the idea was engineer approved.
     
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  20. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 2,779

    ekimneirbo
    Member
    from Brooks Ky

    Generally squirting oil into the cylinders helps seal rings because gravity pulls it down around the rings. Doesn't do anything for the valves. Try the Marvel Mystery Oil that others have reccomended and see what happens. May have to do it several times. Good Luck with it.........I think its great that you try so hard to help others.:)
     
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  21. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    To be honest since I wasn’t there, I don’t know how he put the oil in the cylinders, I’d said to pull the plugs, and squirt it around the best he could.
    Just waiting for it to get into the mid 80’s this evening , then I’ll do the valves. Hate this heat. Lol
     
  22. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,991

    indyjps
    Member

    Oil cylinders with something that will penetrate rust. ATF and acetone. Yes I did see the "uncle tony" not sure I'd go to vinegar in the cylinders on an engine I plan to keep assembled

    Stuck rings can break and take out cylinder wall.

    The engine you described sounds like it's in decent shape.

    So you take a chance on starting it and letting it run to break up the crud and free up the rings. Probably not a big risk from the description of the engine.

    The old carbon buster of revving the engine and trickling water down the carb is also an option.
    Some swear by seafoam for the same treatment. I've used it on late model engines in the oil - quieted lifters, also run it thru the fuel and cleaned up injectors.
     
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  23. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I’ve done the water in an engine quite often. I think when he gets it back together, we can get it fired up. I’m not confident in some tests he did for me, but now over time we are on a “talking” basis instead of text. So I can talk him in to the proper firing order, etc. so much gets lost in a text and my finger gets tired;)
     
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  24. NoelC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 228

    NoelC
    Member

    One old guy to another, what's the biggest complaint you have about doctors? Let me answer that, they don't ask enough questions.

    What year is the engine? How many cylinders? Has it been rebuilt or bone stock original? What's it in or was used for?

    I mentioned the long story and not cutting it short, maybe that engine is just tired and worn out. Not from sitting, from the service it provided before it was parked to sit? Not to say it didn't run before, but what condition was it in when it was parked?

    Now from what I've read so far, it could be a worn cam chain, worn sprocket, or worn sprocket key issue? How are the cam lobes for lift? Was any of this checked?
    I'm just wondering if we should be asking more questions before we schedule further surgery?

    Thinking about it, if it was a ring issue, anything left to soak should just about drain down in short order wouldn't you think?
     
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  25. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,038

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    @NoelC it could be many things, but as I mentioned I’m helping long distance;)

    I did say to him to watch the MMO as it went around the pistons. So far it’s a start, we’ll see.
     
  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,759

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Since the head is off I would spray some Gumout Carb and Choke cleaner in each cylinder and go have a beer. Come back and turn it over a couple revolutions then apply more cleaner. Do this 4-6 times, turning it over each time. Then put some MMO in each cylinder and let it sit overnight. Next day change the oil just in case. You’ll have to put the head back on to see if it worked. That stuff evaporates pretty quickly but I would blow a little compressed air through the crankcase just to make sure that you don’t turn the oil pan into a balloon.
    I just did that to a couple cylinders of the Pontiac engine in my Stude pickup that had 50 lbs. I soaked all eight with fogging oil and MMO as soon as I got it home. The first compression test showed two low ones so I used the carb cleaner a couple times and then MMO. Next test they were all fine.
    I’ve found that carb cleaner and a stiff brush does a good job cleaning old dirty combustion chambers so I figured it should work on pistons and rings.
     
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