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Formerly posted under It's Alive.  Unfortunately it's only alive 30 secs at a time.  Oil the cylinders, put the plugs in, starts right up.  20-30 secs later it basically seizes.  Try to start it, cranks super slow (engine is tight).  Wait a couple hours it might start again, but most likely you'll need the oil in the cylinders routine.  This is an engine that did not run for 30+ years.  Idea open for discussion.  I want to fuel it like a chainsaw for awhile, just idling.  Put oil in the gas, hopefully that lubes the cylinders until whatever is blocking the oil rings clears out.  Whatcha think?  Nothing to lose, next step is pull motor anyway.  One but if good news, I put it in drive last time I started it, dropped right into gear.....

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Was this a fresh overhaul just before getting parked? It sounds like someone fit the pistons too tight. Only 30 seconds of runtime is strange even for that.

 

I don't know whether running it on premix in this particular case is a good idea or not. I have run car engines on premix and it works fine. I did it to an FE Ford just a few months ago. Some valves had stuck. I freed the valves up and washed the guides out, but wanted to be sure it wasn't going to happen again.

 

By the way the cam won't get much oil just idling. 1800 or 2000 rpm might be better after a long sit.

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4 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Was this a fresh overhaul just before getting parked? It sounds like someone fit the pistons too tight. Only 30 seconds of runtime is strange even for that.

 

I don't know whether running it on premix in this particular case is a good idea or not. I have run car engines on premix and it works fine. I did it to an FE Ford just a few months ago. Some valves had stuck. I freed the valves up and washed the guides out, but wanted to be sure it wasn't going to happen again.

 

By the way the cam won't get much oil just idling. 1800 or 2000 rpm might be better after a long sit.

No overhaul, original car with 83000 miles parked in about 1985.  I just changed the timing chain, rebuilt the carb, and repainted the top end.  Other than that its all original, never been opened up.

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I guess I'll have to wait and see what everybody else thinks about the premix idea for this car. It sure couldn't hurt an engine under any normal conditions.

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Could the valves be sticking, causing the lifters to collapse and the valves to stay (mostly) closed?  In any case, might want to try some WD-40, then MMO down the valve stems?  Rotate the engine with the plugs removed and verify proper valve action.

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28 minutes ago, EmTee said:

Could the valves be sticking, causing the lifters to collapse and the valves to stay (mostly) closed?  In any case, might want to try some WD-40, then MMO down the valve stems?  Rotate the engine with the plugs removed and verify proper valve action.

They don't seem to be, took the rockers shafts off, all the valves seem free.  When it runs it idles nice, no strange sounds.

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  Just rambling with my reply as it is very, very hard to suggest a structured approach not knowing exactly what your level of expertise is or what has been done so far...

  Check for a complete restriction in the exhaust although obviously the restriction would have to be complete to allow the engine to only run for that short period of time. Did you try to run the engine with the exhaust disconnected?

  You may have a combo of problems going on. Perhaps there is a fuel supply issue, causing only momentary running, in combination with a starter generating enough heat from one crank and on the verge of failure when engaging immediately again? Is the battery relatively new and healthy? Try running the engine from a simple fuel source like a gas can to eliminate the tank and lines.

  Try to crank the engine under the conditions you describe as seizing up with the plugs removed. This will eliminate the possibility bad compression control (like a bad valve leaking compression back into the intake) is pushing back against the starter. You may also want to check base timing as if advanced too far will push back against the starter. Does the engine crank well with the plugs removed? If yes this would serve to eliminate a "tight" reciprocating assembly as a consideration.

  Have you checked compression on all 8 cylinders? If you have had the engine running, even for a short period of time, there should be an oil film on the cylinder walls and no need to oil up cylinders to get compression. As stated there is no particular order in my suggestions as a compression check might be the first place to go after you disconnect the exhaust.

  Just some sugestions, Good luck!

  Tom Mooney

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When a car sits in an place with no climate control for a few decades rust will build up on the cylinder walls, especially the ones with open valves.

The wear prior to being parked will create a taper in the cylinder bore. The pistons there sat at the bottom of the bores, where the wear was less will have compressed rings, those in the upper portion of the bore will be expanded some. Depending on the amount of carbon in the ringlands the rings may stick, Either way, the coat of rust will be pushed along the bore as the engine cranks- somewhere between lightly resisting and being pushed away and binding everything tight to a complete halt.

When you find one of these cars it is best to remove the spark plugs and oil the cylinders thoroughly. Turn it slowly at the flywheel, rotating in both directions until you get a nice easy full rotation. Soak it with more oil until you feel comfortable enough to spin the engine on the starter with no plugs. Watch all the rusty brown oil squirt out while it cranks. Hopefully you can build up a little oil pressure during this process. All those bearings that were parked with dirty oil were probably attacked by acidic dirty oil (people rarely think the are parking a car for 39 years so they don't give them a fresh oil charge) Prelubricating may help, but in the long run they will be due.

 

I have heard the stories about the old car that sat for X number of years. "We put in a battery and some fresh gas. She started rig ht up and ran like new." Its like fingernails on a blackboard when I hear that and think of all that dry stuff grinding against itself. Si I usually ask "How long did you drive the car?" "Oh, I took in apart to restore the next week. Its been in my barn for forty years now, but that engine will purr like a kitten."

 

The heads com off Buick Nailheads pretty easily. Its a day job. Best to pop them off and rotate it through a few revolutions and see what you got inside there.

Bernie

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My guess is timing.  He says the timing chain was replaced.  If it wasn't properly lined up or the distributor was way off, it could give the same symptoms of a too tight engine.

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Most all if what has been suggested has been done.  Exhaust disconnected and frozen heat riser opened.  Engine has new timing chain and fuel pump pulling out of a remote gas can with the return line also pumping back into the can.   Timing and dwell are set.  Idles fine and sounds good when running.  Has good oil pressure.  Seems like after I oil the bores and start it, it then burns off that oil and doesnt replace it.....

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                   My opinion is that the bores are rusty as Bernie says, plus your piston rings are completely frozen

in their grooves with rust and they can't compress at all, thus they are way too tight at the top of the bore. It's time to

tear the engine down. If the engine didn't need going through after sitting all those years it would be a miracle equal to

the parting of the Red Sea. If you are bound and determined to try to solve this with the engine not being torn down, here

is your best shot.............It is known as the Mexican Overhaul........drain out all the oil and fill the crankcase with diesel and keep filling it till it is sitting

at the top of the valve covers and can't hold anymore, then walk away from it for two months, preferably three. After that period of time, drain out

all the diesel and  reinstall five quarts of oil and a new filter, remove the spark plugs , squirt plenty of oil in the cylinders, and with the spark plugs removed, turn the engine over with the starter letting the starter rest five minutes after 20 seconds of cranking

  so as not to burn it up. After you've done that for at least twenty minutes of turning over time, squirt fresh oil

liberally in all the cylinders, change the oil again, install fresh spark plugs and a new oil filter and start it up and see what happens. You want to

do the diesel treatment with the exhaust disconnected so you don't fill the exhaust pipes with diesel. Button up the exhaust when you are ready

to start the engine and run it.

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4 hours ago, Seafoam65 said:

........You want to

do the diesel treatment with the exhaust disconnected so you don't fill the exhaust pipes with diesel. Button up the exhaust when you are ready

to start the engine and run it.

Haha, wow, that sounds messy!  Got a few things to ponder....going out of town for a couple days.  I purposely left the ps pump and ac compressor off knowing I may need to pull the motor. Was hoping the Red Sea would part!  I think before I leave I will try a helping of MMO in the cylinders for a week, then a couple tries of gas and oil.  If same result, out she comes.....

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20 hours ago, Garysriv said:

Most all if what has been suggested has been done.  Exhaust disconnected and frozen heat riser opened.  Engine has new timing chain and fuel pump pulling out of a remote gas can with the return line also pumping back into the can.   Timing and dwell are set.  Idles fine and sounds good when running.  Has good oil pressure.  Seems like after I oil the bores and start it, it then burns off that oil and doesnt replace it.....

Did you crank the engine with plugs removed to determine if the reciprocating assembly is tight?

Did you do a compression test?

Obviously if the assembly is "tight" and/or there is no compression, the basic mechanicals of the engine need to be addressed,

Tom

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I am in the process of rebuilding a 401 for a customer in a 65 Lark GS. Motor has less than 20k on it since being "rebuilt" by a local shop in So Carolina. Everything was shot- cam, bearings, pistons, everything.  Bad machine work will screw up anything.  You should try this, put a torque wrench on the crank when cold, see how torque it takes to turn it.  Do same when hot.  Make sure you pull the spark plugs when doing both, to be accurate.  This will tell you if the actual rotating assembly has too much friction from in-accurate clearaces.  FYI, did you check the timing?  Wrong ign timing will cause it to not start and cause it to stall out and a host of other problems.  Drain the oil?  Have rust in it?  Need to check the basics, but expect a rebuild.  Anything that sits that long, rings are shot, valve springs are shot.

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On 6/15/2018 at 1:27 PM, Seafoam65 said:

........You want to

do the diesel treatment with the exhaust disconnected so you don't fill the exhaust pipes with diesel. Button up the exhaust when you are ready

to start the engine and run it.

Haha, wow, that sounds messy!  Got a few things to ponder....going out of town for a couple days.  I purposely left the ps pump and ac compressor off knowing I may need to pull the motor. Was hoping the Red Sea would part!  I think before I leave I will try a helping of MMO in the cylinders for a week, then a couple tries of gas and oil.  If same result, out she comes.....

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Update.  After some underside cleanup i put the gastank in and ran new Inline Tube gas lines (perfect bends by the way).  So I did get gas and oil thing and it actually ran linger than it ever has and slowly tightened up.  Did it a couple more times and no improvement, so I started the tear down.  When i took out the left side head bolts, they were milky, and it Looks like maybeihad ahead gasket leaking water into the cylinders.  Maybe they were being washed with water.....anyway, I will be pulling the motor this weekend and doing a rebuild over the next couple months.

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My Allis-Chalmers B (with a bucket loader) has a recently rebuilt engine. It came with a new starter Bendix because the old one was "bad". The engine got tighter on that one, too.

 

I hammered out #3 piston a few days ago and she turns quite freely. new sleeves, pistons, and a gasket set will let me do everything MY way. Too many other things, I think it will be on Craigslist or Ebay before the day is over.

 

Other people's work, grrrrrrrrr

Bernie

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Well, pulled the motor today, cam out pretty easy.  Side benefit, will be much easier to replace the brake lines!  Also frees up a lot more space to do some degreasing and cleanup.  Will bring the block and crank to the machine shop this week, then the heads once I get the block back....0701181556.thumb.jpg.110f2bd906cf680226319f7921460d4f.jpg

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0701181519b.jpg

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18 minutes ago, Garysriv said:

Side benefit, will be much easier to replace the brake lines!  Also frees up a lot more space to do some degreasing and cleanup.

 

002.thumb.png.d11259bfcda67171dae09deee89968a3.png

 

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1 hour ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

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Hahaha, I hear you, but no can do.  This was supposed to be quick and dirty...

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16 hours ago, Garysriv said:

Well, pulled the motor today, cam out pretty easy.  Side benefit, will be much easier to replace the brake lines!  Also frees up a lot more space to do some degreasing and cleanup.  Will bring the block and crank to the machine shop this week, then the heads once I get the block back....0701181556.thumb.jpg.110f2bd906cf680226319f7921460d4f.jpg

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0701181519b.jpg

Very interested to know what you find here Gary. I was hoping you would do the teardown yourself and we could be privy via "before" pics but still interested to hear what the machine shop has to say. Good luck!

Tom

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7 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Very interested to know what you find here Gary. I was hoping you would do the teardown yourself and we could be privy via "before" pics but still interested to hear what the machine shop has to say. Good luck!

Tom

Well, I tore the shortblock completely down today.  Good news is all the serious stuff looks good.  Crank will just need a polish, rod bearings look very good.  Once I got all the pistons out the crank itself turned super smoothly.

 

The piston rings were compressed and frozen.  My guess was the oil rings, but they were fine.  The top 2 compression rings are stuck.  I tried taking one out, and it came out in pieces.  The pistons themselves are great, and float nice on the pins.   One piston is cracked though, but I think I did it getting it out

 Anyway, ordered some cam bearings and once I get them will take to the shop for a flux and see if I need a bore.  Hoping to get away with a ridge ream and a fresh hone.

 

I'll get some pics of before parts n attach tomorrow.

Edited by Garysriv (see edit history)

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3 hours ago, Garysriv said:

Well, I tore the shortblock completely down today.  Good news is all the serious stuff looks good.  Crank will just need a polish, rod bearings look very good.  Once I got all the pistons out the crank itself turned super smoothly.

 

The piston rings were compressed and frozen.  My guess was the oil rings, but they were fine.  The top 2 compression rings are stuck.  I tried taking one out, and it came out in pieces.  The pistons themselves are great, and float nice on the pins.   One piston is cracked though, but I think I did it getting it out

 Anyway, ordered some cam bearings and once I get them will take to the shop for a flux and see if I need a bore.  Hoping to get away with a ridge ream and a fresh hone.

 

I'll get some pics of before parts n attach tomorrow.

 Thanks for the update Gary, interesting scenario. One which I have never encountered but having stated that I have in the past completely filled an engine with diesel/trans fluid and waited! How long was the engine inop? The car doesnt appear as though it has been idle for a very long time?

 One method I have employed to free up pistons/rings  when the engine is on a stand is to flip the engine over, level the selected cylinder bank and fill the bottom of the piston/cylinder up to the depth of the lower cylinder skirt with penetrant. I then warm up the top of the piston to encourage the penetrant to flow and wait. Might take a few cycles but it works well and generally I can get the pistons removed without damage.

I hope you can get away with cutting the ridge and a hone but if the engine was running until seizing I`m not hopeful. I would think the cylinders would be deeply scored? If my memory serves me well I recall the factory spec for cylinder wear before boring is 0.007 ? But holding out hope for you. Thanks again,

Tom

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12 minutes ago, 1965rivgs said:

 Thanks for the update Gary, interesting scenario. One which I have never encountered but having stated that I have in the past completely filled an engine with diesel/trans fluid and waited! How long was the engine inop? The car doesnt appear as though it has been idle for a very long time?

 One method I have employed to free up pistons/rings  when the engine is on a stand is to flip the engine over, level the selected cylinder bank and fill the bottom of the piston/cylinder up to the depth of the lower cylinder skirt with penetrant. I then warm up the top of the piston to encourage the penetrant to flow and wait. Might take a few cycles but it works well and generally I can get the pistons removed without damage.

I hope you can get away with cutting the ridge and a hone but if the engine was running until seizing I`m not hopeful. I would think the cylinders would be deeply scored? If my memory serves me well I recall the factory spec for cylinder wear before boring is 0.007 ? But holding out hope for you. Thanks again,

Tom

Cylinders look very.......smooth.  No scores, but maybe too polished.  Good spec to know, the .007, will pass along to the shop.  He does a lot of fords n Chevy.

 

The last registration sticker on the car windshield is 1975!  It may have been started after that, but not driven much.

 

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