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Old 05-14-2006, 07:59 PM   #1
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Can you unseize a seized engine?

I bought a 350 thats been sitting outside for a long period of time... the motor ran before it was taken out but the idiot left the lifter valley open and been rained on for 3 months... I have taken the heads off... but I cannot turn the motor in the slightest. I undid the main caps still nothing... anyone have any ideas?
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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pound them out and rebore it...if they don't pound out, you just made a helluva boat anchor
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:08 PM   #3
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you will have to do a total rebuild.
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:32 PM   #4
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The rings are seized to the cylinder walls as you well know.You could soak the cylinders and lifter valley down with some type of penetrate.Or if you have a clean wash tub you could set it in and soak it down.At this point you can't do anymore damage.At the least you'll have to overbore like klumb suggested.
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:12 PM   #5
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Get this... I soaked them with P&B blaster for a long while, used a pipe wrench on the front of the crank where the harm balancer goes... then pulled my floor jack pipe off to put on the wrench for leverage... I broke the engine stand!!! the crank didnt budge!! I tried a hammer nothing!!! maybe its not too late to convert it to a coffee table....
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:14 PM   #6
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bearings would be gone for sure too...
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:20 PM   #7
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If you still got it there, spray it with WD 40. Let it soak in good. (or you could try heating it with a torch!)

Get a nice fat block of wood that fits into the bore,
put it on the first cylinder thats down and smash it with a sledge hammer as hard as you can.

Go around and do it on every cylinder and in the order they fire in. Ive seen this done before and Ive seen it unseized a straight six. U probably still have to do a rebuild tho....
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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A junkyard offered me a 350 from a chevy suburban for 100 bucks... still runs... I am thinking that is the best route.... wonder if I can sale my seized motor.... $20 anyone? lol
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:28 PM   #9
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hell, go for $30. makes a very good boat or dock anchor!
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:31 PM   #10
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its worth at least 100 in scrap iron
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:34 PM   #11
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yea i would sell it as scrap metal and start over...
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:35 PM   #12
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So guess that settles it get the $100 junkyard motor that works and use the engine for a door stop...
----------
On the bright side the heads look decent and could be a good opportunity to practice porting and head rebuilding...

Last edited by nelapse; 05-14-2006 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:40 PM   #13
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I have unseized farm tractor engines. A lot of patience and WD 40.Constant pressure helps.I wedged in a crowbar to the flywheel and tied a weight to the end of the crowbar. Every couple of days I tried working the crowbar.The engine will need a rebuild but it will eventually turn over with very little damage ,if any, to the engine components,so you can decide which parts you want to keep.Patience! By the way, the Suburban 350 might have 4 bolt main caps.
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anvil
By the way, the Suburban 350 might have 4 bolt main caps.
This is true... tomorrow I will pick up this engine crack it open and let you all in on it... I am excited... I hate spending money especially since i bought this seized motor a couple of days ago for 100 bones... all in all I guess 200 total for a decent 350 isnt bad... I hope i can get something from the scrap..
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:51 PM   #15
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Brake fluid works good too. Pour it into the cylinders and let it soak for a few hours, itll break 'em loose.
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:48 PM   #16
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Just keep them both and see which heads are better, roller block or not, might want to try and break the one motor loose just so you do have 2 to swap the best parts from each off of. Worst case you sell it back to a junk yard for scrap iron later.
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #17
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Well here is the verdict.
I bought the $100 350 today.
Its a very bad motor.... it threw a rod. i dropped the pan and there were rod parts everywhere... took me 3 hours to beat out the bad rod and piston... its not even a 4 bolt... after taking the bad rod out I cant turn this motor either... 200 bucks in a couple of days down the tube... it even took a big chunk off the bottom of the cylinder. I really do not know what to do at this point.... two seperate people f$%ked me in two seperate days.
I am very very close to parting out my firebird... i am so fed up with this... I have had this car for 3 years and the whole three years it ran for 2 months!
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Old 05-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #18
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did you take the crank out of that siezed engine?

If not, take all the caps off, take out the crank and then pound the cylinders like said above
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:20 PM   #19
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Well, see which heads you have on each motor. Trash the blocks and hopefully you can sell the heads or keep a good set and sell the other to sort of offset the cost you have in so far. I know it is infuriating, but just step back for a week, sort out what youve got, and try and get a motor from someone reputable or from on here thats a verified member who actually posts and belongs to the community and not a seller with 1 post just here to pawn off junk. Id recommend you try your local machine shops and see what they have in the way of line bored and honed ready to go blocks. Probably get one for about 100 bucks. Take the salvaged heads from the 2 engines you have and rebuild them. One of the cams from one of those 2 motors should still be useable also...I had a guy here actually take my 305 roller cam and spec it out to 350 specs for me for under 125 bucks. All in all, youll probably have to spend mroet han you want to here to get it going reliably, but it will be worth it in the end. Just dont give up hope yet. Scam artists are mroe prevalant than Id like, but hopefully 2 jerkoffs didnt ruin your will to finish your project...
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:30 PM   #20
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I've had good luck with marvel when trying to unzeize a motor. A few days soak helped a lot. Sorry you got f'ed like that, thats not right.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:30 PM   #21
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Okay here is an update. I poured in brake fluid, let it sit and today it let me beat out the pistons... So... basically all i can salvage is the block itself, the heads and the rods... everything else is jacked! I have a cam from my 305 i can use, but now i have to call a machine shop and find out how much its going to cost me to get it cleaned and punched, then buy new pistons and maybe salvage a crank from the other blocks... I am out of money and I guess I will get my second job back at autozone to pay for this... this firebird has been a nightmare.
Things like this, makes it difficult for me to watch things like overhauling... people get brandnew crap and car redone for people who dont deserve it. For people like us who work on their cars religiously and spend more time with our cars than our wives, spend every dime of leftover cash on minor details...
Guess I have been a little bitter lately..
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:10 PM   #22
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Most JY's offer warranties. If this Suburban engine "ran" before it was pulled, it certainly shouldn't have pieces laying in the oil pan. Take it back, get your money back.

As for the money thing, it's been better for me in the past few years, but I certainly know what you mean. FWIW, you never have "enough". There are always things you wish you could have that you just can't afford. Doesn't make it any easier to see people rolling around in a car that was worth more before they started taking it apart than yours is after you get it together, but it's still true for them as well.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Doesn't make it any easier to see people rolling around in a car that was worth more before they started taking it apart than yours is after you get it together
haha... ... *cry*
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:24 PM   #24
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This place offers you nothing, infact the funny thing is this is the guy i bought my parts car from and did the heart transplant on my firebird.
As for the money thing... I really dont make as much as I should, but I make enough to be grateful. A couple of months ago I saw some teenage chick driving a McLaren... I wanted to puke. Some people do not deserve certain things. If you cant even wash your own car then give it to someone who will adopt it into their life or obsession. Since my bad luck streak I have a feeling by the time I get this car where I want I could disassemble and reassemble this car in my sleep. There is a huge line between where the car "should" be and where I "want" the car to be... but I guess if there wasn't a line none of us would be here in the first place.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:59 PM   #25
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

With a seized motor, should I drain the oil? This 90 iroc was sitting for almost a year. It doesn't start up and I just got it for 600.00.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:38 PM   #26
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

with a seized motor should I drain the old oil since it was sitting for a yr or prob more?
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:02 PM   #27
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by afnunez View Post
with a seized motor should I drain the old oil since it was sitting for a yr or prob more?
Would you buy jewelry for your ex wife? How about would you buy paint for your house that just burned down? Would you flush $25 down the toilet just because you can? If an engine is seized, an oil change ain't gonna do nothing but waste oil.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:49 PM   #28
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Quote:
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With a seized motor, should I drain the oil? This 90 iroc was sitting for almost a year. It doesn't start up and I just got it for 600.00.


WTF are you talking about....
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #29
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Yes. If the rings are stuck then spray tons of PB blaster. As for the crank, take each main bearing cap off one at a time, apply assembly lube to each bearing and reinstall the caps finger tight or tighten gently with a wrench. After that try turning the crank with a breaker bar. After it breaks loose, re torque all the main caps. After it's moves freely, I would pull each rod cap and apply lube to them before actually cranking the engine.
I've done this on a CJ2A that had been sitting around for 10+ years. I couldn't even get the engine to break loose by pulling the Jeep and popping the clutch. Engine still runs strong after 3 years.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:06 PM   #30
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

There is a product called "Nutcracker" Poor some in the cylinders and let sit a few days, have never seen the engine this wont break loose, including tractors that have been sitting for years with open exhausts ( although that one required emptying the water out first).
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:24 PM   #31
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

The best penetrating fluid in England is called "Plus-Gas" but agricultural diesel fuel is much cheaper and doesn't evaporate so fast. Just take your time over it and remember that you never get a bargain in a hurry. Be glad about basic engineering and just take a chuckle about the folk who pay fortunes for fancy German cars only to have them blow-up big time. One person that I know of has a posh German diesel sedan but just before the two year guarantee expired it was running rough. After the guarantee expired the dealer discovered bent conrods. Some tough talking did get a replacement engine though - about $12,000 worth if you have to pay. According to the grapevine those engines were known as "rod benders and head busters" but allegedly the rods were secretly upgraded on later versions. The same company makes a bigger car with a fancy six speed gearbox that can be used auto or manual. The hot transmission fluid gets cooled in the engines radiator BUT the special ATF is corrosive to the coolant pipe or something. Anyhow after less than a year from new, the engine coolant finished up in the gearbox which burst apart throwing out cogs all over the road. The replacement radiator and gearbox did the same thing again less than a year after the repairs! Its $90,000 worth of c**p said the owner. Oh almost forgot - another car of the same brand immobilised itself 500 miles from new and no one, not even the dealer could fix it (all drive by-wire and CANBUS etcetera -yuk!) - they had to fly out a Master Technician from Germany. When a car becomes a computer on wheels you get computer problems!
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:13 AM   #32
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Have several engines to give a go unseizing and was going to weld a special tank together to immerse the entire block in (minus heads and intake) that I could point a torpedo heater at and maybe get the oil or solvent hot. Is that what a machine shop calls "hot-tanking a part"? Shoot half a metal 55 gallon drum might work. Minimize the liquid required by stuffing something in the voids. Was thinking Id like to have the tank be easily drainable and be able to fill with solvent to break stuff free ... then drain and soak part in oil or some preservative for "cold storage" after excess drips off. Anybody ever follow that tack?
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:45 AM   #33
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

hot tanking a part is when a shop submerses a part in a tank of heated caustic solvent for the purpose of cleaning the part. im sure putting in the entire short block would effectively "unsieze" it if you use the correct solvent. hoever, it will make the bearings unusable and they will ALL need to be replaced. and removing the freeze plugs before dipping it is standard practice. shops charge less than $100 to hot tank a block, youll spend a lot more than that on building your own hot tank at home.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:52 AM   #34
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

This isa very old thread but I wanted to point out something so people dont get ripped off in the future when they see this thread searching or foating around:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CreepingDeath94 View Post
I had a guy here actually take my 305 roller cam and spec it out to 350 specs for me for under 125 bucks.
350 and 305 used the same cam... LB9 and L98 cams were usually the same on a same-year basis. If you want a better cam get an LT1 cam.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:44 PM   #35
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

I unseized a motorcycle engine once! The bike was a Dnepr which was basically a 1939 BMW Wehrmacht machine made in the Ukraine. I purchased the bike from a widow and it had been stood for a long time. A token effort had been made of covering it up using an old raincoat. When I removed the cylinder head about a cupful of water fell out. Luckily I was able to unbolt the cylinder barrel and unscrew the big end nuts. After several days of soaking it and cooking it, the piston did come out but it was damaged. The cylinder was so badly pitted that it was a basket case, duh! I fixed the machine but it was a horrible bike to ride solo. The other snag was its awful Jikov carbs that are illegal to use in the USA.
Another seized engine was in a non-runner of a van that I bought. Plus-Gas was injected into the spark plug holes and left for a week. Luckily this was in the days when one could leave vehicles on wasteland without the authorities being a pain in the butt. Attempting to crank it with the handle stripped the tread on the alloy jaw nut so it was off to Rootes for a new one (now made of steel) Still couldn't turn it even with extension levers. More Plus-Gas was added and a car battery tried but still no go. As the van would need a new battery I went and bought it one. It was Heavy Duty. The battery was fitted but when the key was turned the earth braid smoked! There was a lot of current going down there. After two or three impacts from cranking the starter the engine freed up and ran! The seller ran out of his house absolutely astonished and said "Are you an electrician or something?" It was great having a one ton payload van as it meant that if I wanted to change bedsits it wouldn't be a problem. I got several years use out of that van even fitting it with an ex BOAC aircraft two person seat. Long time ago that was. In extremely bad cases the seized piston will have to be jacked or pressed out of the block as even a seven pound hammer and a block of wood won't work. A friend had an antique Rover six cylinder engine that had gone like that. It is amazing what rust will do as I had a trailer coupling for over-run brakes that had seized. It took 7.5 tons in a press before it moved but after that it freed-up OK. Keeping the coupling indoors during winter is a good move and padlocks can be put through two of the now vacant bolt holes to prevent a thief fitting his own coupling (England is now really FUBAR) Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #36
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Best way is to soak the cylinders in some type of penetrant ,then install the engine and have someone tow you while you pop the clutch! It will start
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #37
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

wont always work with a siezed engine. might wind up breaking something that way.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #38
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

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hot tanking a part is when a shop submerses a part in a tank of heated caustic solvent for the purpose of cleaning the part. im sure putting in the entire short block would effectively "unsieze" it if you use the correct solvent. hoever, it will make the bearings unusable and they will ALL need to be replaced. and removing the freeze plugs before dipping it is standard practice. shops charge less than $100 to hot tank a block, youll spend a lot more than that on building your own hot tank at home.
Re hot-tanking. Caustic soda is used and anything containing aluminium will be eaten away. Main use of these tanks is for stripping paint and grease. They are also used for stripping paint off furniture. Hot tanking a complete engine will ruin it.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #39
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

well thats one way to unsieze and aluminum pistons....melt it away.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:30 AM   #40
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

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wont always work with a siezed engine. might wind up breaking something that way.
This is the oldest trick in the book. Break what? You have never heard of the old push start? ,starting off in second gear and popping your clutch to start a car? Come on.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:18 AM   #41
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

if the engine is seized, and you apply that much torque to it, its either gonna break the engine loose, or break something else....something has to turn in that scenario, it wont always be the engine if its seized good enough.
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:54 PM   #42
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Looked for "Nutcracker" and couldnt come up with a place to buy ... found something called "Kroil" supposedly used by manufacturing companies like GM for freeing rusted anything. Supposed to be the best and is not super expensive, found some on Ebay and will try aerosol and liquid. Found steel drums today for 12$ will buy 3 and make a little doghouse outside I can heat with a torpedo and access with an engine hoist for them. Maybe a lean-to to my work shed. Wonder if there is anything like a super strong garbage bag liner I could bag a shortblock with,set down in the drum and then fill the bag(and block) with solvent,diesel or cold storage oil and twist tie to get the liquid all the way into the jackets to clean, bust rust or lubricate everywhere. Anything I have to free will not reuse the bearings and most likely not the pistons unless they are forged and I can clean them up and crack check them adequately. I would like to be able to soda-blast,blast and shot-peen parts in my basement then oil them up and store so they will be close to ready for use starting with my seized stuff. I have many engines, heads and parts some have been stored outside ... I cant afford to pay a shop to free them and dolly them all up. I do have a storage trailer now if I can get them cleaned up I can store inside and organize.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #43
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Next question ... bore or hone?

If I am successful getting these parts apart I want to possibly put together some low cost rebuilds acheiving an acceptable bottom line. I haved toyed with the idea of soda-blasting pistons, installing new pins if needed and a new set of rings after ball-honing. Putting all new bearings and a gasket set after checking the crank and polishing as necessary with a new oil pump and timing chain set. Most engines will have a ridge in the cylinder at the low point of the bottom ring travel but what do I care as long as Im not stroking the crank. I have a B+S digital bore gauge I can measure/log the cylinders with. I dont have any experience in knowing what really works as far as piston to cylinder wall clearance and ring to wall clearance. Are certain rings, brands or types more accomodating to a successful result trying to do something like what Im trying to do in anyone's experience. If so what limits has anyone found by experience that id run into. Thanks Keith
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #44
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

so youre wanting to start a sort of engine rebuilding thing in your garage to supply people with cheap engines, with ephasis on keeping your bottom dollar down, but dont really know the finer details like clearances? Im sorry, but that had "bad idea" written all over it, and i cant help with that.

chances are if you have to ask how to get siezed parts of the engine unsiezed, or asking what hot tanking really is, you dont have the experience required for this endevour to pan out. sorry if that sounds harse, but Ive dealt with my fair share of "expert" shade tree mechanics and have learned all they care about is pocketing cash and not providing a quality product.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #45
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Well thats pretty judgemental of you. I didnt start this thread. My basic question was what next after unseizing which most people actually involved and reading this thread would probably be interested in a discussion on. I have been having things done for many years on engines and have accumulated alot of parts. Im not in any kind of business selling any of them. I have 20+ cars mostly Pontiacs. Just cleaning a block is alot of money these days. Any operation I can save on by doing at home is of interest to me. Most people as I dont know exactly what hot-tanking is although they pay to have it done to get the block clean. My first attempt at a low cost home build will be a 69 350 pontiac that supposedly ran with upgraded parts in it several years ago. I cant get it to turn now. Im going to try putting together myself once apart using the machine shop only for whats really necessary. Thanks for your non-sense evaluation of my prospects and motivation but you know what you can do with it. That being said as I alluded to the previous post maybe some other people would like to discuss what next after successfully unseizing.

Last edited by keithnh; 12-06-2011 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:57 AM   #46
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

cleaning a block is only 1 step in the engine rebuilding process. it also needs to be checked for clearances and other specs and brought into spec if needed. that process requires very expensive very precise tools. thats not something youre gonna do in your garage. and skipping that step almost insures premature engine failure.

the next step after unsiezing an engine is usually a full rebuild...in the case where the engine verifiably ran fine before it sat up, its a case of the rinds just sticking to the cylinder walls due to lack of lubrication. that scenario (again you need to be able to verify the engine ran fine before hand, not just take somebodies word on it) unsticking the rings just requires some penetrating lube, and some time, and doest require a full blown engine rebuild (although id suggest one anyway to replace potentialy bad gaskets and just to double check everything)
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:59 AM   #47
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

like i said, sorry if it sounds harsh. but from what youre describing in your post, you want to take the 20+ engines you have laying around, and rebuild them as cheap as possible, cutting out the machine shop, and put them in the hands of other people.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #48
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Im not trying to be argumentative here, simply shopping for information from experienced people. Im not sure you are one of those. Saying you cant clean a block in a home garage, check cylinder wall diameter, bearing gaps, thrust clearances, crank straightness,stroke to spec to the .0005 screening out unusable stuff just isnt true if you have basic measuring equipment and a few setups, (and friends who are tool-makers ) which I do. All of those things cost money at a machine shop as well as taking time for them to get to. Shot-peening correctly and hot-tanking in the traditional sense are probably not realistic for a home shop ... maybe . My best friend is a tool-maker who moon-lights doing small-blocks to a point in his garage for a successful Loudon road-race team. He does what he can and takes whats necessary to the machine shop. I have a neighbor 1/2 mile up the road with a shop in his garage that he and his son do more business out of than several machine shops in the local area. He has the basic equipment he needs to do it right and a very good reputation. I believe I said "low cost rebuilds acheiving an acceptable bottom line", which to me means putting something together that I do as much as possible myself on as frugally as possible that Im proud of how it runs. Im picky, if every cylinder is not within 10 psi or it burns or drips oil back apart it comes. It better smoke the tires too including this little 69 350 Poncho. I have the right 69 #46 68cc heads for an improved 10 to 1 CR I may try to acheive with original pistons and some new rings after ball-honing if I can get the cylinders clean enough. I always wondered about eliminating the boring and oversize piston operation on a used block and this might be my test bed motor if I can gather appropriate information to give it my best shot. Thats what I was hoping for here. Might even go with new std pistons. I might do a sonic or pressure check if it comes apart too hard or I feel is warranted to check for cracks to the jacket in the "stick" area. I will be trying to pull the press-in studs and drill and tap for studs at home as well. I dont know where you come up with all these negative ulterior motives speculations, I didnt say anything that alluded to that. I consider that slander and it makes me angry. Im not a salesman, as I said before. Im not stupid either but dont you well enough to care what your uninformed opinion is so I will just ignore it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:11 PM   #49
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Re: Next question ... bore or hone?

well my opinion is just that, my opinion. if it were me personally, i wouldnt trust a guy working out of his garage with just a digital bore gauge (which is the only peice of equipment you say you have). properly prepping a block only starts at checking those tolernaces, bringing them into spec requires machines you dont have.

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I dont have any experience in knowing what really works as far as piston to cylinder wall clearance and ring to wall clearance.
youre saying right there that you dont have experince either, so how are you going to call my opinion "uninformed".

do you think the people on here with high horse power engines and the knowledge of what works, do the machine work on their blocks in their garages, or trust that work to a professional?

either way, im done arguing with you. good luck trying to get cheaply built "garage special" engines to the masses.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #50
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Re: Can you unseize a seized engine?

Well thanks for your opinion. There is a good possibility engines that have run reliably wont be out of spec in most areas thus not requiring a machine to bring them back. I would take to a machine shop what I need to. I have more than just a digital bore gauge as Im interested in getting a little more involved than just paying someone else to completely build my motors. The clearances I mentioned concerning piston to wall was what actually nets a good end result when trying to do what im doing ball-hone/new rings to seal an unbored cylinder which Ive never tried before. Im sure Im not the first one to try that. Also not the first to do part of the assembly work and tolerance checking as well as any operation they can successfully complete in a home shop. I would challenge you to quote any statement I made that would lead to an assumption of me trying to sell to others what I build. I see you have made many posts and I have very few, I guess I will bow to your ultimate overriding wisdom and wish you the best as well.
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