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Tank to soak a seized engine at home?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by batt69nova, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    batt69nova
    Member
    from OR


    Much appreciated! When I get more into the project, I'll be posting lots of photos, and I'm sure I'll have a lot of questions...
     
  2. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,713

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    I've had good luck with water.

    (but that might not work now that you have put oil on it )

    Do you have a pool? :D :D
     
  3. I would add vinegar to the molasses. It only affects the rust & speeds things up, tremendously! Slow as molasses, applies to everything about it!
     
  4. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167

    blackrat40
    Member

    Hey there buddy...I don't want to discourage you but I think you
    may have an unforeseen problem ahead of you.
    First off,if it's the original engine,it's a 324 rather than a 394.
    If it is the original engine with the '54 Hydramatic transmission,
    you are not going to be able to disconnect the engine from the
    transmission if you can't turn the crank.
    The torque converter has about 32 bolts around it's perimeter
    that must be removed to separate the engine from the trans.
    You only have access to those bolts through the bottom cover,
    so the engine must be turned to bring the bolts to the bottom
    to remove them all.
    The engine probably can be saved. I just did a 324 that was stuck a couple of years ago.
    I had to work on the engine and trans. as a unit to get it apart.
    I had to turn it upside down with the trans. attached, remove the rod caps and drive the pistons out from the bottom using
    a 2' long piece of black pipe with caps on each end and a sledge
    hammer. Your pistons are junk anyway.Protect the crank from
    glancing blows of the sledge hammer.
    With half the pistons out you can remove the Main Bearing caps
    and pull the crank out with trans. attached.
    Now you can take the torque converter bolts off and seperate
    the trans. from the crank. Lot of grunting but you can do it!
    If it IS in fact a 394, (1958 or later) I think the trans is the same basic set up but I'm not sure.
     
  5. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 494

    samurai mike
    Member

    thats what i was going to say. i use a piece of wood the same size as the piston and a big hammer.
     
  6. dlotraf
    Joined: Apr 7, 2010
    Posts: 113

    dlotraf
    Member

    How bad are the bores rusted. Surface rust, or heavy rust and pits. If it is surface rust, you can save it all. I had a boat engine, 305 chevy. Water in cyls, 2 were pretty bad, lite pitting. Did the marvel mystry oil and would not budge. Took a block of wood, placed on top of piston and gave each one a couple of good solid raps. Spun engine over by breaker bar. Honed cyls above pistons, with piston at bottom of stroke and ran that engine for 3 years till I sold the boat. Compression was good even in the lightly pitted cyls. I don't necessarly recomend this, but how many miles do you put on a boat, and except for that, the engine probably had less than 10,000 miles on it, maybe less than 5,000. Worth a try, before you trash what might be usable pistons.............
     
  7. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    batt69nova
    Member
    from OR

    Two cylinders are fairly pitted-meaning light pitting over a large area (they are the 2 with pistons nearly at BDC). Nearly all of them had some surface rust. Previous owner pulled the plugs from the engine, probably to facilitate oiling as it sat...anyhow, the plugs were out of the engine as it sat, and it probably didn't get oiled. No water was in any of the bores, the oil in the block looks like it should (nice and dirty like it was just parked one day, and no coolant in the oil) and the coolant in the water jackets is still green.

    Since buying the car, I've noticed that the carb linkage isn't hooked up, and the shifter also isn't. This makes me think that it was someone's unfinished project-the 394 is in and it's hooked up to the tranny, the dual exhaust is all there, but no radiator, fuel lines, or linkage as I mentioned.

    Anyhow, back to the bores.

    So far, all of them leak down diesel, but they won't move just yet-my thoughts are that it simply needs to soak more. I've given some gentle raps with a rubber mallet, but I'm trying to be very careful to not damage the pistons.

    My hope is that I can get away with honing the block (with pistons in or out) and run it. Ideally, nothing more than a new set of rings, and of course any bearings that go with whatever I've dissasembled.
     
  8. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    batt69nova
    Member
    from OR

    It is indeed a 394. I haven't taken the time to ID the trans yet, but as best as I can tell, it's a '62 394. All of the casting numbers point to the engine being from '62, and I measured the bore after taking the heads off, just to be certain. I'm assuming the trans is either original to the car or came with the engine-either way, I believe that the torus bolts are accessed as you mentioned.

    I've contemplated going back to a 324, but I'm not going for all original here-just wanting to stay all Olds.

    The torus bolts are one reason that I'm trying very hard to get the engine freed up before I proceed. I'd like to be able to put the trans aside-not sure if I'm going to attempt to open it up.

    What makes the pistons junk?
     
  9. Bluetick
    Joined: Jul 16, 2010
    Posts: 17

    Bluetick
    Member
    from USA

  10. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    batt69nova
    Member
    from OR


    I've used that for other parts, but I'm not so sure it's a good idea for an engine.

    I believe that there's a concern about hydrogen embrittlement. Thanks for the good link though.
     
  11. 95ttoplt1
    Joined: Sep 18, 2010
    Posts: 48

    95ttoplt1
    Member
    from Tennessee

    I've had good luck with PB Blaster.

    But I doubt once you get it unstuck your pistons will be any good. Usually there is atleast one broken ringland when they get stuck that hard. But if your gentle you might get lucky.
     
  12. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167

    blackrat40
    Member

    I think 95ttoplt1 is right. You have a remote chance of getting
    those pistons out in usable condition.
    If you can't afford a new set of pistons,I have been there too.
    You can probably buy usable set of used pistons for $25.
    Use a ridge reamer to cut the "wear" ridge out of the top of the
    cylinders and you have a slim chance of knocking the pistons
    out without damaging the ring lands(grooves).
     
  13. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,084

    BigChief
    Member

    Aluminum pistons sitting for decades with iron rings in them will corrode under all but the best conditions. Assuming you get the pistons out of the bores they need to have very little wear on them to be considered remotely usable....or maybe a better way to put it is cost justification. If the pistons are not scored or worn beyond thier serivce life they need to have the rings dug out of the ring lands. The ring lands need to be smooth and sized correctly to allow proper piston ring rotation and float/motion. Knicks, scrapes and distortion (along with the pitting and erosion from corrosion) open up ring land tolerances and the extra clearnace along with a marginal surface in/on the lands interferes with proper ring movement/placement/stability. Unless the pistons are flat out unavailable scraping ring lands with a ring groove scraper and bead blasting the pistons that were stuck hard is almost a guaranteed waste of time and resources. Many companies make custom pistons for anything so resusing pistons that should be ash trays is unnessary these days. New pistons from Egge are only 380 bucks.
     
  14. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,264

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Why not just drop the block off at your local machine shop and have it hot tanked? It'll probably be just the same as buying 20 gallons of diesel @ $3.00 a gallon and all your hassle of finding a ssoak tank and disposing of the used diesel afterward.

    If the pistons then come free, they can evaluate/measure the bores and pistons (ringlands) and let you know if you're simply in for a hone/ring set or will need new pistons and a bore.
     
  15. Don't drop any engine in a tank of molasses until all the aluminum parts have been removed. The molasses with attack the aluminum and the corroding aluminum will deplete all the acids in the molasses..makes a big gooey mess, ruining the aluminum pistons and leaving the cast iron rusty...bad deal. And the molasses will be rendered useless by the aluminum.
     
  16. batt69nova
    Joined: Nov 4, 2009
    Posts: 225

    batt69nova
    Member
    from OR

    The torus bolts can't be undone with a siezed motor. I wouldn't want to tank the engine and the trans as the trans doesn't seem to need anything.
     
  17. Follow Blackrat's advice..the pistons will probably be junk after sitting against cast iron for very long...pitted and coroded ring lands.
    I've used Blackrats method for dismantling flatheads and although sounding crude, it works everytime. You'll need to turn the engine to access all the torus bolts if your tranny is an old 4 speed hydro..prolly means breaking the pistons to get 'em moving.
     
  18. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787

    r8odecay
    Member

    I used a brass air chisel attachment from Lisle I believe, layed it in on the piston pin boss on the underside of the piston w/ about 125 psi, moved the piston that was previously unmoveable right out of the way, no damage to any surrounding steel or iron.
     
  19. Is the Transmission in PARK?...serious question...
     
  20. vinegar works a lot faster, so that makes it better in my opinion. Only eats the rust, too!
     
  21. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924

    Jimv
    Member

    i got a trash can from home depot for about $10 & hung my engine block off a beam into the trash can.But i was degreasing it.I just used the trash can after i was finished !!
    Jimv
     
  22. Hogger
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 74

    Hogger
    Member
    from Carvel AB

    leave the pan on fill pull the plugs and fill each cyl with 50/50 trans oil and kerosene, then fill the entire engine up with the secret potion, let sit for a couple of weeks then every other day put a breaker bar and socket on the front crank pulley bolt and try to move back and forth. Has worked for me in the past.
     
  23. Stukka
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 64

    Stukka
    Member
    from SoCal

    I used biodiesel. Stuff is a great solvent and unsticker. Soaked a mopar 440 from a boat that caught on fire. Old coked oil and stuck parts came out nice. Local producer sells it for $2.89/gal.
     
  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,143

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    For the brute-force, destroy the pistons method, I have used full strength Muriatic acid, with proper safety gear.

    Works in seconds, not hours, days or months.
     
  25. 296moon
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 663

    296moon
    Member
    from england

    Could someone please tell me what "mollasses" is?
     
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,143

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It is the Australian or New Zealand slang for the posterior of a woman with loose sexual morals.
     
  27. 296moon
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 663

    296moon
    Member
    from england

    So does the block go in first?
     
  28. Cymro
    Joined: Jul 1, 2008
    Posts: 725

    Cymro
    Member

    Explain? I've never heard of this one before.
     
  29. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,143

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That is a good question. I'm not sure.
     
  30. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,380

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    Does the engine leak? Maybe you could just keep pouring molasses into it until it's full.
     

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