Register now to get rid of these ads!

When freeing up a stuck engine.....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gas Giant, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Gas Giant
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 402

    Gas Giant

    I'm attempting to free up a stuck 235. I currently have a 50/50 mix of diesel fuel and ATF sitting a quarter to a half inch deep in 4 of the cylinders. I say 4 because two of the cylinders - the two nicest ones - won't hold the fluid. Is that to be expected?

    The two cylinders that looked the worst looked like they had held water at some point. One was full of a yellowish powdery substance. I cleaned that crud out before I poured in the magic potion.

    Also, this engine is on my garage floor, and it doesn't appear to have a crank bolt in place. I know I need to occasionally try to spin the crank, but is there a better way than the screwdriver/pry bar on the flywheel method?

    Or should I drain the oil, flip the engine over (the head has been removed) and pull the pan and crankshaft, allowing me to reach both sides of the pistons? (I can't get the engine on a stand because I can't seem to find the remaining bellhousing bolts - I heard they were behind the flywheel and I can't remove that because I can't spin it to get to all the bolts!)

    Thanks ahead of time.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,567


    Having them not hold fluid should be a good thing in this case. I'd keep putting the fluid to those two cylinders a bit at a time though.

    I'd use a good stout prybar against the teeth on the flywheel using the edge of the bellhousing for leverage. at least untill you can turn it enough to get the clutch bolts out. Once the clutch is off you should be able to unbolt and remove the flywheel.
  3. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 971

    Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    from Dixie

  4. Tantara
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 14

    from Minnesota

    I think you would have better luck trying to get the pistons loose one at at time. Take off the oil pan and take off the rod caps. If you can take out the crankshaft. I would try to move the pistons using a piece of wood and a hammer. Be gentle. If that doesn't work then I would use some heat with a torch. I would look to get about 400 degrees, in other words no color change in the metal.

    A last ditch trick is to put the head back on and fill the cylinder with grease. convert a spark plug to accept a grease zerk and using a grease gun pressurize the cylinder and push the piston out.

    Remember not to be violent. I hope I was clear.


  5. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,084


    If you have access to a kerosene or propane rocket heater (not sure if you'd need one in FLA) and set the block right in front of hit and turn the thing on for an hour or more if possible. Continue to add lube/pentrating oil (I like Kroil too) to the cylinders and keep trying to rock the rotating assembly back and forth. You'll probably have to spin the motor around (or move the heater around) to evenly heat the motor. Be careful, the block will be quite hot. You may have to heat cycle it a few times and don't be afraid to give the pistons a good whack once in a while with a piece of hardwood and a mallet/sledge hammer. This should work for most stuck motors. You'll may want to do this with most of the pans off the motor and the crank case drained.

    If you spend the better part of the morning on this and it doesn't budge then you'll need to bust the piston tops out so that the crank/rods can rotate so that you can remove them and get them out of the way. You will need to be able to move the crank to get access to all the rod bolts and to gain room to remove the connecting rods. Use a long drift from the crankcase side of the piston, a few good taps is all it usually takes on cast pistons. You can then carefully use drifts (brass preferably) to knock the remnants of pistons out of the bores.

  6. Chuckles Garage
    Joined: Jun 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,366

    Chuckles Garage
    Alliance Vendor

    I use PB Blaster. I let it sit in the cylinders for a week or a squirt or two a day. Air pressure helps too.
  7. Oilcan Harry
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 906

    Oilcan Harry
    from INDY

    I used a 50/50 mix of Marvel Mystery Oil and WD-40 on my flathead. Worked great.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  8. slamdpup
    Joined: Apr 27, 2005
    Posts: 1,094


    yea marvel mystery oil alone works in time..worked on 2 motors for me
  9. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    Another vote for the addition of heat like bigchief suggests, the torpedo heater is a great idea. I've seen it done with hand held propane torches, and it sucked.

    Think there's multiple benefit. First the viscosity reduction of the penetrant (it is oil after all) second is the dis-similar expansion rates of different metals. Cool down also encourages wicking

    good luck
  10. studematt
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 432


    Fill the rusted cylinders with coca cola.
  11. Been there done this. You will get at least a 100 "ways to fix the problem" on here. BUT,,,,,here is a DON'T. Get pissed and use a 15lb sledge hammer on top of the pistons. It won't frre up the piston, but it will remove the top of it and it will also remove part of the cylinder. LOL,,,,like I said,,beenn there, done it, have the fucked up block to prove it.
  12. Gas Giant
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 402

    Gas Giant

    lol but I love to bring on the violence so much.....

    I'll keep being patient and see if I can dig up any kind of heaters anywhere. As you can imagine, not a huge demand for heaters down here.
  13. BigChief
    Joined: Jan 14, 2003
    Posts: 2,084


    That, or just get a long drift and carefully punch/break the piston tops out from the bottom of the motor. Carefully work your way around the connecting rod boss making sure you hit the thin areas of the piston tops. Stress to the cylinder walls is minimal if you break it out from the bottom-up. Once the rods are free to move you can get them and the crank out of the way and work on each cylinder individually.

    ....then again, your not working on anything rare or expensive, so you could go buy yourself one that turns over or even runs for relatively cheap.

  14. Gas Giant
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 402

    Gas Giant

    I was hoping to save this one, since it's the original engine for my Bel Air.
  15. kev58
    Joined: Sep 3, 2007
    Posts: 24


    The coke thing really works. My brother had a 283 years ago that had 3 piston frooze up solid, we had the crank out of it and you could not budge them with a wood block and a 3 pound sledge. My dad suggested coke and we poured it in all the while laughing our asses off. Left it there for a couple of days and one small tap and the pistons broke loose. After seeing what the acid in coke does to rusted cylinders you might think twice about drinking one again.
  16. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    from MN

    Time. It took two weeks to get my flathead to turn. But it did. Just used MPL/WD40 and little MysteryOil, couple times a day.
  17. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    PATIENCE, and Marvel mystery oil. What I did, was sprayed a couple cans of PB blaster in the cylinders, then poured in a couple cans of Marvel (pour it on the valve train too), and waited. I kept adding Marvel each day and trying to turn it, and after about 1 1/2 weeks it finally turned 180 and stuck again. More marvel, and a few days later it went the rest of the way around, I kept turning it by hand till it turned smooth. Then I spun it a little with the battery, while someone watched the oil pressure gauge, then after I was sure I had oil pressure and oil to the top, I started it. Then did a compression test and found a couple weak ones.
    Mine was in the car though, so I used a 1" breaker bar in the balancer hole, with a 4' pipe on it for leverage. I put a lot of pressure on it, but DON'T jar it, you'll break something.
    I ended up removing the heads and pan and checking everything anyway, and lapping in a few valves. I'll probably have one weak cylinder due to some light rust on the wall of #4 (I haven't done another compression test yet), but the rest of it looked good (it had been rebuilt by sears allstate years ago).
    Good luck and be patient.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  18. 1) Put short block in a 55 gallon drum, put your waste oil in there with kerosene
    (low cost with plenty of time option)

    2) Put it in a Large Pizza Oven, then as it warms up all the rust will break loose. Turn it over twice....................
    (Low cost quick time option, requires filling out a job application and sneaking it in on an off day)

    3) Or park it in front of a kerosene shop heater,50,000 BTU's should suffice, turn it to heat both sides of the block, nice warm heat does wonders, you will see the rust penetrant begin to ooze around the pistons.
    Clean out ridges on bores and the pistons will come out.
    ( quickest, requries a running heater - fuel and electric costs)
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  19. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,315


    Years ago I would use straight coke but the new coke doesn't seem to work anymore so I switched to Marvel mystery oil. It's not as fast as the original coke but like others said patience is the key.
  20. flatford39
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 2,800


    After about a year of soaking my 53 Merc Flathead in PB or Kroil I finally gave up & disconnected all the rods I could from the crank and beat them out from the bottom with a piece of 1/2" rod about 3' long. Just got the crank out about 30 minutes ago & have 4 more pistons todrive out.

    This block is in above average condition with just one cylinder that seen moisture. That was the easiest to get out believe it or not.

    Going back out now to get the last four out. My hands are tired.

    Regardless, off the shelf rust eaters like Kroil & PB are good for fasteners but it takes brute strength sometimes to finish the job.
  21. Ole Pork
    Joined: Sep 4, 2006
    Posts: 581

    Ole Pork

    As you can see, everyone has their own way to do it. The big thing to remember is be VERY, VERY careful with any solvents that are flammable and heat. It ain't a pretty combination. Also if you're beating on the pistons, use some common sense. You can bust things up pretty good when held tight. I got a buddy has the finesse of a blacksmith. I try to keep hammers away from him...
  22. beaulieu
    Joined: Mar 24, 2007
    Posts: 364

    from So Cal

    I plan on putting Marvel on the top for a few days or until its gone ,
    then turn the motor upside down and pour enough in the pistons so it covers the holes behind the rings ,

    working from both side hopefully will do it....

  23. irondoctor
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 558

    from Newton, KS

    vinegar works good. cleans the cylinders also. I have used it on the last few that I messed with. One of them cleaned up good enough that after it freed up I put the head back on and ran it.
  24. 3Mike6
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 704


    Well here's my way...

    I cut a slug of steel to fit onto the bore, wrap it (the slug) in electrical tape so it won't scar the bore.

    Drop the slug on top of the piston...

    Then I get on top of it with my cheapo HF rattle/chislel gun, after a few minutes of rattling each hole, I can usually sping the engine well enough to pull the crank.

    Yes, I apply lot of go-juice in the Cyls as well:)
  25. I have pulled the crank, put the head on and built an adapter for the spark plug with a grease Zerk filled the cylinder with used oil and pumped more in with an open ended grease gun, you can easily pump a stuck piston down to the bottom of the cyl. messy but it works.
  26. I did a V8 with the heads off with Mystery Oil. Put it in, put some plastic over it, and forgot about it. A week or so later, I came back, slid a long piece of 2x4 into one bore, whacked the other end with a hammer a couple times, and repeated for all 8 pistons. Some of them were at the top of the cylinder and I didn't soak them but I think I at least sprayed them with Liquid Wrench. Put a socket on the crank bolt and it turned easy.

    If yours has visible rust in the bores it probably won't ever turn very easy, though. Just try to get it loose enough to take apart.
  27. oldtime
    Joined: Oct 18, 2008
    Posts: 27


    When I freed up my 283, an old guy told me to used the drained oil from a diesel engine. It soaked about three days and it was unstuck. The used diesel oil has acid in it and it seems to attack the corrosion.
  28. I know you will get a hundred suggestions but as one who has had to do this many times when rebuilding engines DOT 3 brake fluid and nothing else willl do. It goes where all the other oils cant. I leave it a couple of days sitting in the bad cylinder. An Old dude taught me this 40 years ago and I have used it ever since. WHY? BECAUSE IT WORKS! Last engine so saved? 331 Chrysler hemi
  29. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478


    i use combustion chamber cleaner, the kind you spray into a running engine to free stuck rings, and for heat a maybe a 500 wall light would be easier to find.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.