Saving a rusty seized engine

Engine, Trans & Driveline

  1. Durandal25

    Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Team,

    So what are your thoughts on saving a rusty engine? The motor in the '67 Coronet is sezed pretty hard. Took the all the pull offs on the front of the motor, intake and carb ect. Valve covers are off and the exhaust manifolds ect. Been using Marvel Mystery oil per cylinder and Seafom Deep Creep on the rods and bearing ect. I see a lot bright metal on all the cam bearings and some surface rust on the rods and lifters...but not too bad. Got the harmonic off and threw a crank socket on these with the 18" breaker bar, but no movement. Also pulled the dizzy and got a lot of lube in there.....trying to save this motor, as she is pretty low mile. 52k original.
     
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    • Mike67

      Mike67 Well-Known Member

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      Keep doing it, I saved one that went under salt water during hurricane Ike.
      I still ended up having to bore it but got it broke loose.
      With that breaker bar on the crank I would take a rubber mallet and give it a couple of good strikes, finally got the piston to barely move. Poured more oil ( I used trans fluid) let it sit for a day or two and repeated. After about a week of small incremental movement I finally got it to rotate by hand. Crank was fine , the moly rings seized to the walls and the aluminum pistons had started oxidizing. Once you get that rust ring broke loose the oil will penatrate the walls and let it move.
       
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      • Howardbishop

        Howardbishop Member

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        I'll add my thoughts....
        I bought a 1970 Dodge Truck which had sat outside for over 20 years. The motor would not turn over with a crank socket and long extension. I took out the plugs out and did what you did...Marvel Oil, Transmission fluid down the plugs, Deep Creep. I parked it directly in the sun with the hood open. I put a "come-a-long" on the crank socket handle and tightened it slightly and left it in the sun to "Cook". I relaxed the come-a-long it in the evening. Repeated the process each day. Pressure and non-pressure. In 10 days.... i could put more pressure on the come-a-long....slightly. In three more days, I could get more....the socket had turned slightly. In 3 more days....it turned a half turn on the socket with my arm strength only....no come a long. I rocked it several times a day as I could. It turned over with the socket extension. In a total of three weeks I could rotate the engine with the socket.
        Maybe I was just fortunate but I put a new battery in it....drained the gas and put fresh gas and cleaned the plugs. It turned over ....I eventually started it and drove it. I sold it as a solid , rust-free California 1970 Dodge truck Adventurer. Patience and daily pressure overcame the years.
        Good luck
        Howard
         
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        • khryslerkid

          khryslerkid FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          You didn't say what engine you're working with. Is this the original engine to the car?

          I saw your other post with pictures. 383 or 440?

          I'd be soaking those exhaust manifold bolts too. If you can remove the exhaust manifolds and get to the head bolts, remove the heads and you can lightly tap on the tops of the pistons with a block of wood and hammer. Watch the long manifold bolts at the back. They can break easily if you don't work them back and forth some.

          Somewhere along the line you'll have to remove the engine. When you get it gutted out, send the block to a machine shop to cook and magnaflux it for cracks. Hopefully you found good antifreeze in the system. I bought a engine once, said it was in good condition but after having the block cooked there was freeze cracks all around each freeze plug. It's hard to tell the history on things if you don't thoroughly check it out. You would hate to put money into a block without knowing the condition of it.

          The thing with getting it broke loose and not checking out anything else is that the rings could be stuck to the pistons also. I would want to disassemble and freshen it up with new rings, bearings and gaskets, rebuild the heads.

          Good luck!
           
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          • Don Frelier

            Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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            I would try a big impact on the damper bolt. Maybe a endoscope for your phone? try and look in there.
            Next I would pull the heads and knock on the pistons, hit them with a torch.
             
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            • Durandal25

              Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Original engine sir. 383. Pure antifreeze ran out...green. The water pump was bright metal when removed. Never saw one that clean.
               
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              • Howardbishop

                Howardbishop Member

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                The motor in the 1970 Dodge Truck (frozen motor) was 318 cu in. It had 2bbl and auto.
                Looks like several good comments.
                HowardBishop
                 
              • Dibbons

                Dibbons Well-Known Member

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                I stored a 318 '72 Satellite Sebring Plus for about 6 months after purchase. The tenants of the home where it was stored thought they were doing me a favor and power washed the engine. When I came over to put the car together, the 318 was seized. Finally got it unstuck after all kinds of oils and waiting around.

                P.S. Installed a new gasoline tank before starting it up (original had a hole in it from a damn tow truck).

                Changed all the gaskets in the motor (except for the rear main seal). It fired right up, has a very stable idle, and I have gone on two road trips of almost 5,000 miles each without a breakdown. Video of how the idle sounds (dual purple horny mufflers):

                 
                Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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                • Durandal25

                  Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Good stuff in here. My thoughts are that if I can do this patiently and manage the engine in its original state...slowly bringing her back to life.....I can preserve that survivor heritage I would like for it. I'm going to pull the heads and clean up and polish the ports by hand along with the rods and lifters. They really don;t look too bad.
                   
                • Durandal25

                  Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  Thanks for encouragement, and related story. I know I can save it from a a total rebuild if I stay focused.
                   
                • 440 4 speed

                  440 4 speed Well-Known Member

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                  I remember my father soaking things in kerosene to loosen rust, at least 60 years ago.
                   
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                  • Dibbons

                    Dibbons Well-Known Member

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                    I tried to purchase some kerosene awhile back, people looked at me like I was crazy. Never could find any. Diesel might come in a close second.
                     
                  • Don Frelier

                    Don Frelier FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    I've also heard of people using the starter with two batteries.
                    I don't like that approach because if you break teeth on the ring gear you have a whole other project.
                    I've had to replace a converter on a LA motor with this problem, and no I didn't try to break it free when seized.
                     
                  • Durandal25

                    Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    ...also, the resistance will burn out your fusible link and or fuse. Breaker bar is a far better tool on the crank.
                     
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                    • 440 4 speed

                      440 4 speed Well-Known Member

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                      Lots of kerosene available here.
                       
                    • Pikser

                      Pikser FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                      Lowe’s and Home Depot both have kerosene
                       
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                      • towtruckAl

                        towtruckAl Well-Known Member

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                        What I do to uncease a long stuck motor is pull heads then lightly clean up cyl walls, then take torch and warm up the block around each piston , when cool then warm piston let cool then put penetrant oil and let soak , the block and piston and rings are all dif metals they will expand and contract differently , hense they will seperate, and be very careful,with the johnson bar so you dont break rings . learned this from the old mechs i worded with as apprentice .
                         
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                        • Durandal25

                          Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Tomorrow morning we are going there....
                           
                        • 5.7 hemi

                          5.7 hemi FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          Take it to your machine shop and stick in the hot tank. If it uses the super caustic shit, it’ll eat pistons and your done! Lol!!
                           
                        • Durandal25

                          Durandal25 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          I could I could fire it out of the #3 main gun via Big Mo too, but how would that help me save the motor? It would be soooo cool to try it though.....
                           
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