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Trying to unstick a E-49 engine, video part 4


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Morgan, I feel your pain and frustration. In the early 60's I had a 41 Pontiac coupe with a stuck motor ( 6 cyl). Long story short after trying everything I and a few others could think of I pulled the motor out of the car. Upon disassembly I found 5 of the 6 pistons frozen in place by rust. Even with direct access to the top and bottom ends it was a nightmare to get apart. What did it for me if memory serves was a white oak block,a hammer  and penetrating oil(don't remember the brand). Good Luck in this pursuit !! 

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PART ONE I just have to go out for a little while. I will continue in detail upon returning. I wanted to get the following warning out to avoid potential serious injury. Think Porta Power while you wait. 

 

WARNING..............WARNING...........WARNING.............WARNING............WARNING

 

 

Morgan : PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFULL !! SUCKING EXPLOSIVE VAPORS (ACETONE IN THIS CASE) INTO A SHOP VAC NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR HANDLING SUCH VAPORS CAN BE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS TO ONE'S HEALTH.

 

The hydraulic pressure method is a very effective means to your end. 1800 psi will not hurt anything (even 18,000 psi, which is still less than the maximum combustion pressure at torque peak under load), if done right, with proper preparation. Before doing that,  you MUST remove one of the gears driving the camshaft, even though you have already removed the rockers or push rods. You don't know if the camshaft is frozen, and it is smarter and easier to deal with that separately anyway.  

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While sucking the solvents out through a 9/16 " vinyl hose, I saw a huge amount of carbon come up, even big chunks of it, the solution was black with carbon. I credit the acetone for that, as I found out acetone dissolves carbon extremely well. After sucking everything out, I put a cup of mineral spirits into each cylinder, and sucked that out, to "rinse" it. The mineral spirits came out clean, no carbon. I'm wondering if I should go back and do it again with the acetone/brake fluid to get more carbon out. I can't believe how much carbon was in there. The solution in the vac when I emptied it was jet black.

 

Don't worry about me vacuuming explosive solvents with a shop vac, I had a 30 foot hose and the vacuum motor was way out in the driveway, so if it exploded nobody would get hurt. Acetone is extremely volatile and if it blew up the vac it would be like Oklahoma City.

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Good news though. No acorns or signs of mouse.

 

4 of the cylinders still had solvent in them after sitting this many days. Cylinders 5 and 6 were dry so I assume it leaked into the oil pan. I need to do a leak down test to see how fast it leaked down. Bad rings means a rebuild is required.

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PART TWO : Let's see if we can be a bit more efficient regarding leakdown testing. How about combining that in a different way with lubrication penetration. For now, I think there is a good plan in place. I suggest using a Porta Power, or equivalent. Do you have one? Get (eBay, hockshop, industrial surplus, New, etc.), or borrow one (I wish I was close to you, I could loan it to you, and would love to see this process unfold). As you probably know, these hand pumps can deliver 8000 psi, or some models up to 10,000 psi. Ultimately this can do the trick for you. 

 

Now for the leak down : Fill all jugs with hydraulic cylinder oil. Make an adapter in order to introduce pressure through the spark plug holes from your pump. Now see what happens in each cylinder as you pump up to, say 400-500 psi or so. This will put something like 3000 pounds of force on each piston in turn. At this point, you just hope to pre-lube the bores for minimum damage. See how long the rings and valves hold pressure. Having done all cylinders this way, go do it again in a day or two. Now, pull your main and rod caps. Check your bearings for wear, erosion and clearance. As you are doing this, take an occasional  break, and do another approximately 300-400-500 psi sequence. Bearing condition will give you another indication as to whether the engine will need a total rebuild. You will have to do this examination anyway, might as well "multi-task" while prepping the engine for ultimate "freedom". Ideally, you hope to get away with just a valve job, and new rings if the bores need only a touch of the hone. 

 

Having checked the bearings, lubed the accessible sections of the crankshaft, and replaced the caps, let's go back and heavy up on the hydraulics. Another round of 500 psi. Next 1000. 1500. 2000. If it has not let go, maybe do something else for a week or two. Again 2000 each. 2500. And so on. But if I were doing it, I would hope I could be patient enough to let it rest every 1000 pound increase by 500 pound increments. Eventually this should work. As you finally get full motion, you will have a bit of a mess as the hydraulic oil may come shooting out of the cylinders. Prepare for it. 

 

And now you can dismantle the engine, and decide what to do with it. 

 

I hope I have made some sense of this. It is 4:00 A.M. here on the Pacific Coast, and I am dog bone dead beat tired. WAY too long of a day. See you later this afternoon.  -  Carl 

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It's fun to talk about using hydraulics to unstick the engine, but I'll save that for in case the normal way doesn't work.

 

I'm afraid to put more than around 800 pounds of force on the starter crank, that bolt wasn't designed for that much force. And it only goes in one direction, you need to rock it back and forth in both directions. I'll just use the drive train to unstick it like people normally do. It's not an automatic, after all. Maybe I'll do it today.

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So far the penetrating oil and light pressure is the right approach, but you are past that now. 

Once a rusty part has an inkling of moving, the best way to get it loose without getting it stuck further, is to rock it back and forth and give the rust a path to move out of the way and not just pack into the tight space.  When you undo a rusty nut and bolt, you better work it back and forth or you will break it off.

At this point, I would consider

a) pulling the transmission and working from the flywheel end.  You could pull the flywheel and put a bar on the crankshaft to allow input of a little more force, and the ability to apply pressure in both directions on the pistons.

Surely you have dropped the pan on this motor.   You need to clean the sludge out before even considering a restart.   Years of non detergent oil and infrequent oil changes and you will have a lot of sludge in the bottom of the pan. 

You should be able to spray penetrant behind each cylinder if the pan is out.  You should be able to get to the back side of the oil control rings thru the gap in the oil control ring groove in the piston.  

b) do it the conventional way.  pull the crankshaft out and then address each piston individually.   

I would stay off the bolt on the front of the engine at this point as you suggest.   It is not a grade 8 bolt.  

I am surprised at these very "unconventional" methods suggested to unstick a motor.  Once it does become unstuck do you really believe that the metal rings will not be stuck in their metal ring groves?  As soon as the piston does move, all you are going to do is wear out the cylinder bore and the pistons and possibly throw a rod bearing. 

Photos are of my 1925 motor with over 1/2" of sludge in the pan, and the nearly clogged oil pump screen.  The sludge was the consistency of heavy wheel bearing grease.  Observe on the oil pump screen how some of the thinner oil was getting thru the screen but the sludge was thick enough to preclude free flow across the entire screen surface.

Hugh

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Edited by Hubert_25-25 (see edit history)
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They sure improved the oil pump screen between 1917 and 1925. Mine looks like something from a Mister Coffee machine. Half a cup, Mr. DiMaggio!!

 

 

 

Anyway, I unseized the engine today. Video loading onto youtube (takes 3 hours).

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Well, glad that you have it unstuck.  If you did no damage to the rear wheels and drivetrain putting that kind of strain on it, then you're a very lucky man.

 

 

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1 hour ago, trimacar said:

Well, glad that you have it unstuck.  If you did no damage to the rear wheels and drive train putting that kind of strain on it, then you're a very lucky man.

 

 

 

What strain?

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5 hours ago, JFranklin said:

 He doesn't get it. But yes, would love to see a video of it driving down the road.

 

You guys need to come up with an explanation of how the drive train can be damaged by forces far less than the normal operation of a car. And damage to the rear wheels? Really? From forces far far far less than putting on the brakes? Please don't joke around. Not funny.

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Well, when the engine is running, and all the gears in the transmission and rear end are free and lubricated, and everything is nice and loose, then there's the acceptable wear and tear and strain on all the components, with power transmitted smoothly and evenly.

 

When the engine is locked up, and you apply jerking pressure to the rear wheels, with a chain and a strap and a Jeep digging holes in the gravel, then there are a lot more forces being NOT TRANSMITTED, but rather trying to do damage to all the components, which is what your video shows.  I'd title it "How not to unstick a stuck engine"....

 

Think of it this way.  You bend your knee to take a step.  Now, for some reason your knee locks up, so we take a big hammer and hit your knee from the back side to make it rotate.  That's not really a good plan, is it?

 

Again, if you don't get it, you don't get it.  You abused that car in a way that should not have happened.  The correct method was, with an engine that locked up, do disassembly, and patiently get the engine free.

 

That's why I commented, let's see it running after all that abuse.  If it does, and the car drives fine, as stated, you're one lucky man.  But, a piston ring or three could be broken, you could have damaged a universal joint, you could have broken a transmission gear or a differential gear, you could have torqued the wood spokes in one or both of the rear wheels.

 

No skin off my back, it's your car,  I just don't like seeing old cars abused, and whether you think so or not, you abused that car.

 

Not joking around.  And you're right, it's not funny.  I was trying to be as polite as I could, but you asked....

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50 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Well, when the engine is running, and all the gears in the transmission and rear end are free and lubricated, and everything is nice and loose, then there's the acceptable wear and tear and strain on all the components, with power transmitted smoothly and evenly.

 

When the engine is locked up, and you apply jerking pressure to the rear wheels, with a chain and a strap and a Jeep digging holes in the gravel, then there are a lot more forces being NOT TRANSMITTED, but rather trying to do damage to all the components, which is what your video shows.  I'd title it "How not to unstick a stuck engine"....

 

Think of it this way.  You bend your knee to take a step.  Now, for some reason your knee locks up, so we take a big hammer and hit your knee from the back side to make it rotate.  That's not really a good plan, is it?

 

Again, if you don't get it, you don't get it.  You abused that car in a way that should not have happened.  The correct method was, with an engine that locked up, do disassembly, and patiently get the engine free.

 

That's why I commented, let's see it running after all that abuse.  If it does, and the car drives fine, as stated, you're one lucky man.  But, a piston ring or three could be broken, you could have damaged a universal joint, you could have broken a transmission gear or a differential gear, you could have torqued the wood spokes in one or both of the rear wheels.

 

No skin off my back, it's your car,  I just don't like seeing old cars abused, and whether you think so or not, you abused that car.

 

Not joking around.  And you're right, it's not funny.  I was trying to be as polite as I could, but you asked....

 

 

Nobody in his right mind disassembles an engine to break carbon or gummy resin deposits free from piston rings, which is something solvents can easily do. Steel is 100 times stronger than any resin or gummy carbon deposits sticking the rings to the cylinders, which deposits are less than 1/000 inch thick, and which deposits had already been soaked in solvents for a week, but you imagine the piston rings would break, rather that the gummy deposits, which are 100 times weaker. Not going to happen. Your analogy to knees is off the deep end. Knees don't get carbon deposits and nobody smacked anything with a giant hammer.  Your argument would have the surgeon patiently disassemble the leg and carefully remove all the bones, ligaments, blood vessels, clean them, and patiently reassemble the leg, because it locked up for unexplained reasons. Bad analogy, don't make analogies. We are talking about pistons, not knees. No forces I used were any greater than parking a car in gear on a steep hill, starting a car up a hill from a dead stop, or braking at 5 miles an hour. Far less than what the car was designed for.... driving at 30 MPH on a muddy road with ruts and braking to a stop for a cow, from that speed, with 7 passengers aboard.  But you have me breaking teeth in the transmission or rear end, a universal joint, and breaking spokes on the wheel. Do you write for CNN? Maybe your argument would be true for a car sitting in a junkyard outdoors in the rain and rusting away into a pile of scrap, with rust inside the cylinders, but the inside of this engine has no rust whatsoever because everything is coated with tar and sealed from the atmosphere and the car sat in a dry barn. What I did is what everybody who knows anything about cars always does. I've seen it done this way 100 times. If the engine was rusty inside, I would have scrapped it and put in a big block chevy like most people do. I don't work on rusty engines, they need to be recycled. This engine has no rust at all.

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Best of luck in your resurrection of this automobile.  I hope it all works out for you and the car runs and drives great.  Please post more videos when you get it on the road....

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I have personally witnessed bent connecting rods in a stuck engine,  using towing as a method. The long and thin connecting rods are fairly easy to bend. Good luck to having it running. Shouldn't be more than a few hours work to have it purring.

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4 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

The way I got my '38 Buick for $125 was because the previous owner tried to unstick its engine by pulling and jerking it - he blew the rear end. He gave up.

 

Stuff happens.

 

Not the way I did it.

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Stuff can happen.

Both of my parts cars an '18 and a '19 had broken teeth in the rear ends. They both had been converted to farm trucks, so who knows how they were broken.

 

I have to say that I fall into the "you are lucky" camp.

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19 hours ago, raydurr said:

I have personally witnessed bent connecting rods in a stuck engine,  using towing as a method. The long and thin connecting rods are fairly easy to bend. Good luck to having it running. Shouldn't be more than a few hours work to have it purring.

 

He probably filled the cylinders with marvel mystery lard, so full they got hydrolock from the lard and bent the rods.

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1 hour ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

He probably filled the cylinders with marvel mystery lard, so full they got hydrolock from the lard and bent the rods.

Yep, he was probably clueless....

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I for one, wonder why this vehicle was parked in the first place.  Odds would say that there was some issue which caused it to be parked or it would still be in use.  And forgive me, but you have no idea what that issue or issues is/are. 

 

What if, what you have now, is an engine that seized a bearing or piston or wrist pin decades ago and you just succeeded in damaging that issue further in the name of getting it to turn over or, broke something up stream of that seizure that is still seized?

 

A modern truck has more torque than a 1919 Buick and you are on the reverse side of the axle helix and something near 4:1 multiplication with the axle.

 

You also have no hydrodynamic oil film on any load surface.

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On 7/31/2018 at 3:55 PM, Brian_Heil said:

I for one, wonder why this vehicle was parked in the first place.  Odds would say that there was some issue which caused it to be parked or it would still be in use.  And forgive me, but you have no idea what that issue or issues is/are. 

 

What if, what you have now, is an engine that seized a bearing or piston or wrist pin decades ago and you just succeeded in damaging that issue further in the name of getting it to turn over or, broke something up stream of that seizure that is still seized?

 

A modern truck has more torque than a 1919 Buick and you are on the reverse side of the axle helix and something near 4:1 multiplication with the axle.

 

You also have no hydrodynamic oil film on any load surface.

 

It was parked because of an accident in 1926 in which the front wheel hit something with enough force to destroy the steering gear box including stripping one of the half nuts inside and bending the steering tube and twisting the pitman arm connecting shaft in the gear box. That made the car undriveable, so it was stored in a barn. I fixed all that and had no reason to suspect anything was wrong with the engine or they never would have saved the car in the first place, they would have junked it. That takes care of your first two paragraphs.

 

The torque of a modern truck is irrelevant as I'm pulling it in a straight line, and torque is rotational force. I could have pulled it with a donkey. Donkeys have zero torque. Talking about the reverse side of an axle helix, on a gear that is designed to go both ways???? Reversible gears have no reverse side. The 4:1 gear multiplication doesn't matter either, what is the gear ratio of a donkey?

 

Hydrodynamic film on the pistons was the soaking fluid, and on the rear end and tranny? At that speed? Who needs it? Do you lubricate a wrench when you turn a nut? Do you lubricate a hammer before driving a nail? Do you lubricate a pry bar before moving a rock?

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Just now, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Hang in there, Morgan!

 

  Ben

 

Thanks. They are trying to pick me apart like CNN picking on Trump, but he hangs in there.

 

Ivanka Trump in 2020!... first female president and prettiest.

 

I called it.

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I did a compression test, all cylinders are between 27 and 33 on the first stroke so the rings are good. I made sure the pistons were at bottom dead center when I screwed the compression tester in, since the push rods are out and the valves are always closed you just get one stroke so I wanted to get the whole stroke. I think if the first stroke is 27 to 33,  then if the valves were operating and I got more strokes it would probably get up to 50 or 60 maybe. This is why diesel semi trucks have to use "jake brakes" to get engine deceleration.

 

I'm not going to bother doing that, I could hear pressure coming out the valves so it needs a valve job of course. That's the next thing I do.

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Anyone who would like to understand how the higher torque of the modern truck is further multiplied by a torque converter, 1st gear transmission ratio, final drive axle ratio and then transmitted by the ~1 foot moment arm of the truck wheel radius converting all this torque to a pulling force, send me a PM. 

 

My concern is for anyone reading this thread in the future. 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Brian_Heil said:

Anyone who would like to understand how the higher torque of the modern truck is further multiplied by a torque converter, 1st gear transmission ratio, final drive axle ratio and then transmitted by the ~1 foot moment arm of the truck wheel radius converting all this torque to a pulling force, send me a PM. 

 

My concern is for anyone reading this thread in the future. 

 

 

 

 You engineering types are MADDENING!

   I did similar to what Morgan did with my '50.  Moving it with a chain attached to the rear bumper of a '78 Dodge PU.  No brakes.  So using the clutch and stuck engine for brakes.  On about the third time doing so, the engine broke loose. Did not seem to hurt anything.

 

  Ben

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