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Well, crap. Did I screw myself?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50dodge4x4, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    So, I'm building this 48 Plymouth business coupe, real slow. Its on a Dodge Dakota frame that I drove to the point where it was disassembled. The car sits outside unless I'm working on it, even then most of the time, I work on it outside. As I'm proceeding, I have the body on the frame, and the drive train is mounted on the frame. The front fenders are bolted on, and the hood is secured to the fenders. Been doing lots of stuff to the project. Time is getting closer for the thing to move under its own power, so its time to replace the shot clutch.

    I have the car in the garage, get it up on jack stands, and get the trans out, bell off and am removing the clutch cover. As I'm loosing up the 3rd bolt, I realize I have not had to hold the engine from turning over! Hmmmmmmmm. I took the rest of the clutch apart, then checked out why the engine didn't turn. It ran a little over a year ago and has been covered since?!? Sure enough the engine is nearly seized! I can only turn it about 10 degrees. As I pull the plugs, I find several cylinders with water in them. As I worked the engine forward and backward, with each change in direction I was able to turn it a bit farther. I oiled the cylinders as I went. After about 4 hours, I was able to rotate it a full revolution with a 1/2" rachet and socket. After a few revolutions, it occured to me there was probably water in the oil pan as well. (wasn't my brightest day) Sure enough, after pulling the oil drain plug, I got about 3 quarts to a gal of nice clear water out of the pan. I actually put the drain plug back in and dumped the water out! Then I pulled the plug again got a little more water before the white goo came out in sort of chunks. I got about a quart of white goo before it started turning to dark oil. the last quart or so looked like "normal" oil. I replaced the oil filter which contained what would be considered "normal" dirty oil. Refilled the crankcase with fresh oil and rotated the engine several times. Then I installed the new clutch and was able to crank the engine over with the starter off a set of jumper cables. I reoiled the cylinders and spun the engine again and installed the plugs. At this point, I can not start the engine, I have no fuel lines to the engine, it is fuel injected, and the wiring in not in place.
    I discovered the source of the water, the hood has a center seam that happens to sit right over top of the throttle body. The air filter assembly acted as a funnel and directed the rain water (which we have had a bunch of lately) right into the engine. I have welded the hood seem closed and have confirmed the engine now remains dry.

    So my question of the day is, do you think the rain water has damaged the engine bearings? I know from back in the racing days whenever we got water in the bearings they soon after spun, but then the water was introduced to a hot engine. This engine has been sitting and the water (pure rain water) has entered through the intake, presumably through the cylinders and into the crankcase. It was probably turned over 20 times (by hand) before the water was removed and fresh oil was put in.

    What do you guys think, Fire it up, and run it, or pull it down and replace the bearings? It is a 3.9 Dodge V6 with about 120K miles on it. Gene
  2. shinysideup
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,627

    from ruskin, fl

    Idle it for 20 minutes,let sit till cool,inspect oil for moisture, maybe new oil. Shouldnt be harmed at all yet.
  3. stickwelder
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 33


    I would run it. Drain the oil. Then run it again. What do you have to lose?
  4. slickhale
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 756

    from Phoenix

    not a whole lot to lose now. get an oil pump primer and run oil through it and change it a couple times. i would put some atf/acetone mix in the cylinders to try to loosen the rings in case they stuck then oil them down too. cross your fingers and fire it up
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  5. I agree, cheap oil, Change it 3 times and go for it gene! I bet it'll b fine!
  6. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755


    Condensation gets inside motors anyway but normally just evaporates when the motors heats up. I say run it for a bit to get it nice and warm and see what happens. If nothing seems too badly off, just run it til something needs attention, might take years. Don't fix what you aren't sure isn't broken yet.
  7. Kenneth S
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,527

    Kenneth S

    The pistons were stuck to the cylinder walls from corrosion from the pistons, if your lucky, and it didn't rust the cylinder bores where the rings were sitting, and caused the piston rings to be seized also it may not be a smoker.
  8. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    I learned that lesson over 30 years ago. I scavenged all manner of engine parts from my Plymouth coupe to get my woodie running right now. It ran but when the engine tanked a few years later my "Spare" was full of water and totally destroyed all for having removed the center trim strip from the hood... be very glad you caught it when you did.
  9. wombat barf
    Joined: May 1, 2011
    Posts: 366

    wombat barf
    from oklahoma

    +1 but also + Marvel Mystery Oil. It does wonders!
  10. 50dodge4x4
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 3,535


    Thanks guys, the engine turns over very smoothly, so I think the rings are OK. It was never completely stuck, I could turn it about 10 degrees once the plugs were out. Really, I think if I would have drained the pan first, it probably would have turned over from the beginning. I'm thinking it was sort of hydro locked from the amount of water in the oil pan.

    At any rate, I'm going to get it running and see what happens. My next thread may be "I spun all the bearings in my motor!" or "It runs so sweet!"

    I am very happy I discovered the hood water issue at this time, it won't leak there anymore, ever. Now I only have to deal with the warped hood. I have a bunch of other stuff that needs to be done with this hood. By the time I'm done, the current warped parts are probably not going to be all there is to fix. :rolleyes: A $200 body needs a lot of patching, I have more time then money, so patching is being carried out. Gene
  11. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,187


    The bearings are fine. The rings, bores and valve seats/faces are rusted.
    Run it. Deal with the problems as they come. If they come.
  12. I had a Chevy 235 that was run a long time with water in the oil and a mouse nest in the valvetrain. It ran when I scrapped it - the block was cracked inside, when it sat cold for a while it would work it's way down into the pan. It didn't even smoke -
  13. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426


    If it was only "nearly" seized, I think you will be fine, I say some marvel mystery oil dumped in on top of the pistons, prime the oil pump and fire it up, warm it to operating temp and shut it off. Change the oil and note what color the oil comes out, if it comes out black or normal color run it, if it comes out milky or really thin, run it and change it again. Same tests until it looks like you have most of the crap out of it.
  14. been driving mine for 3 years on a water filled motor ... changed oil 4 time .
  15. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,536

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    I did this 20 years ago. On mine I drained the water, filled it with diesel almost full, rotated it to clean it, turned the oil pump like you prime it, drained it. Then I filled it with oil, carefully reoiled the cylinders about each inch of stroke, re primed it, changed the oil and cheap filter again and put in my good oil and filter. Ran good for a long time. You just don't want water in your bearings as you heat the engine up if you can avoid it, someone told me it can turn to steam in there and do surface damage.
  16. damagedduck
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 2,342

    from Greeley Co

    we did ice racing when i was a kid,pulled plenty of cars/trucks out of the lakes-just drained em & ran em..some i think even ran better.
    like said above^^^^ drain & change the oil a couple times..whatcha got to loose?
  17. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    12 years ago I found that my air cleaner formed a perfect funnel for introducing rain water into my "new" 402 Chevy. I also found that the stock "low rise" intake would keep the water out of the cylinders for most of my 1/2 mile trip, until I turned up a little rise while making a left, then FILLING my #7 cylinder with water.

    At this point I discovered tha water did get in my engine, and that water in the combustion chamber will crack a piston, and bend the shit out of a rod.... :D

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