How to unstick a frozen engine

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How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby 57belvedere on March 30th, 2009, 9:22 pm

I have a 57 plymouth 4 door hardtop that has been sitting since 1977 and hasnt ran since, or touched. When i got the car i notice the motor was frozen. I poured marvel mystery oil into the cylinders and let it sit for a good amount of time, but it still wont turn. What are some suggestions about getting this thing turning again. this is a 301 v8.
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby EVA_392 on March 31st, 2009, 5:17 pm

Have you removed the heads? If not, try removing the heads and start using a little diesel fuel. With a piece of 2x4 gently tap each piston. Keep working at it and will loosen. Trying short cuts or hitting too hard will only cause more trouble.
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Dukeboy on March 31st, 2009, 6:09 pm

Try some PB Blaster rust buster stuff...Works real well....
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby BigM on April 1st, 2009, 10:52 am

Use a strategically placed 3-foot long pry bar on the flywheel teeth. By using the edge of the bellhousing or a bolt placed in the bellhousing bolt holes as a fulcrum, you can increase your turning power tenfold.

Do not reef on the front crankshaft bolt, it is easy to pull the threads from the crank, and then you have worse problems. If water has been setting in the cylinders for a long time you will often need to break the pistons in order to get them out. ---John
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Belvedere on April 8th, 2009, 1:48 pm

I've used Conklin Rust Bomb (penetrating oil) mixed 50/50 with either oil or ATF (to give it some viscosity).
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Thundertruck on April 8th, 2009, 8:22 pm

Although I would never do this Myself. I heard and old man say Water seized it up and water can unseize it. He used to rebuild hit and miss engines and would soak them in a drum of water to free the piston in them
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby BigM on April 9th, 2009, 12:11 pm

Steve, that can work with the cast iron pistons in an old Johnnypopper engine, but all it will do with an automotive aluminum piston is corrode it further. ---John

Hey John that does make sense to me now that you enlightened me. I didn't know the hit and miss engines had cast iron pistons but that sounds logical. John do you ever come across the old engines in your travels. Seems to me that these are somewhat a collectors item around here. I remember My Dad pumping some old oil wells around here with them. If I recall They were quite large bad had very little horse power
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby 58plym on April 9th, 2009, 12:38 pm

You know this is not quite on the subject, but My uncle when we were about 16 or 17 would overhaul one of those old cheby 6 engines and he would get it so tight when he put it back in the car, rather I don!t think he pulled the engines, done them in the car. They would be so tight the starter would not even turn them over. We would have to hook a rope on them and pull the4m and he would let out on the clutch and the tires would just slide, after a few times it would start turning over and finally start. Smoke would just fly out of the exaust. They didn!t have a very long life LOL :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Thundertruck on April 9th, 2009, 4:06 pm

BigM wrote:Steve, that can work with the cast iron pistons in an old Johnnypopper engine, but all it will do with an automotive aluminum piston is corrode it further. ---John

Hey John that does make sense to me now that you enlightened me. I didn't know the hit and miss engines had cast iron pistons but that sounds logical. John do you ever come across the old engines in your travels. Seems to me that these are somewhat a collectors item around here. I remember My Dad pumping some old oil wells around here with them. If I recall They were quite large bad had very little horse power



Sorry John. I hit edit instead of quote and ended up on you post. Seems this has been done in the past by accident.. And sometimes a person could get the wrong impression :oops:
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Thundertruck on April 9th, 2009, 8:18 pm

EVIL_FURY wrote:Ha... dang Steve. :)


One of those days I guess :oops:
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby BigM on April 10th, 2009, 11:08 am

Steve, I seldom ever find these engines for sale, most have ended up in collector's hands, and are being restored.

There are a few old-timer ranchers that still use these on a daily basis around here as well, but those are not for sale in most cases. ---John
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Thundertruck on April 10th, 2009, 12:14 pm

Thanks John
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Eddie_Elvis on April 11th, 2009, 5:37 pm

Tell us what method you used and did it work?
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby morris on May 8th, 2009, 10:23 am

hey just wanted you to know, if you pour marvells into the spark plug holes until it starts spilling out, take off the carb and pour a little more in the intake, it also doesnt hurt to remove the valve covers and pour it onto the lifters, let sit overnight and then take a large socket and place on the crank bolt and with a 4ft cheater bar, slowly apply pressure back and forth, it can take awhile but I have never not had one break free, when you get her semi loose disconect coil and bump starter, a few times, providing your starters good. then put everything back together and try starting it, it should crank up, but will smoke like a smoke bomb. these old engines are very tuff, if it will not break loose then disassembly will be required. hope this helps.
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Thundertruck on May 8th, 2009, 4:01 pm

morris wrote:hey just wanted you to know, if you pour marvells into the spark plug holes until it starts spilling out, take off the carb and pour a little more in the intake, it also doesnt hurt to remove the valve covers and pour it onto the lifters, let sit overnight and then take a large socket and place on the crank bolt and with a 4ft cheater bar, slowly apply pressure back and forth, it can take awhile but I have never not had one break free, when you get her semi loose disconect coil and bump starter, a few times, providing your starters good. then put everything back together and try starting it, it should crank up, but will smoke like a smoke bomb. these old engines are very tuff, if it will not break loose then disassembly will be required. hope this helps.


Good Info Morris, I would be very careful on the crank bolt as it can be snaped off or untightened if pryed too hard. I would say it's probably best to try and break it free at the flywheel ring with a prybar if possible. It's great to have another member with Us on the Club... Thanks for posting...Steve
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Re: How to unstick a frozen engine

Postby Eddie_Elvis on May 23rd, 2009, 9:16 am

No pictures and communication to friends at CCC make many sad. (Confuscius)
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