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  • Freeing Up a "Stuck" engine

    All the cars I've ever had, I've never had to break loose a stuck engine...thus my question. The Hawk I bought has been sitting in a Shop building for 40+ years. It would be a miracle if the engine isn't stuck. To free it up, without completely dismantleing it, what is the BEST way to go about it? Is it as simple as pulling the plugs and squirting oil in the cylinders?...

  • #2
    A mixture of ATF and acetone seems to be the juice de jour right now. And let it sit, with frequent additional injections, for as long as you can -- days or weeks if possible.
    Skip Lackie

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    • #3
      PB Blaster

      Kroil < preferred

      Dont force it, take your time. Rotate the motor till it stops soak overnight. Rotate the motor the other direction until it stops soak overnight. Rinse & repeat.

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      • #4
        What Skip Lackie Said.......
        Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
        1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP

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        • #5
          How fast does that acetone evaporate in that hole?
          1963 Champ "Stu Bludebaker"- sometimes driver
          1957 Silver Hawk "Josie"- picking up the pieces after an unreliable body man let it rot for 11 years from an almost driver to a basket case
          1951 Land Cruiser "Bunnie Ketcher" only 47M miles!
          1951 Commander Starlight "Dale"- basket case
          1947 Champion "Sally"- basket case
          1941 Commander Land Cruiser "Ursula"- basket case

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          • #6
            So far, you've gotten good suggestions. However, it depends on where the engine is stuck, what components are seized, as to how you should proceed. If it is merely slight corrosion or rust where the rings, pistons, and cylinders are, the penetrating oil solutions are usually sufficient. However, if the valve train is seized, you will need to remove the valve covers and attend to that area as well. Seized lifters or rocker arms could result in damage to your cam or bent push rods.

            It would be nice if it rotates without having to open it up, and sometimes this is the case. That is why the advice to rock it back and forth is a sound suggestion. Better to begin with a gentle touch than break something that is not broken.
            John Clary
            Greer, SC

            SDC member since 1975

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            • #7
              There are numerous threads on the SDC forum about freeing up stuck engines; use the search function in the upper right hand corner of the page and you should come up with hours of good reading . Another good place to go is the AACA forum (http://forums.aaca.org/).
              Paul
              Winston-Salem, NC
              Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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              • #8
                I'm going through a similar problem, my motor was stuck so I tried letting it soak with various mixtures of this and that...

                what has seemed to work for me is rust-oleum rust dissolver I get it at autozone for $10.00 a quart its pricey but works.

                this stuff has phosphoric acid in it so use caution and follow directions....
                "trying to save them from the crusher one at a time"

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                • #9
                  Part1 1959 Pontiac 389 resurrection for "The Find" 1956 GMC 250 Dually
                  ElderlyIron
                  Youtube.
                  This guy goes through a very neglected motor and shows what to look for when resurrecting a real nasty one.
                  It's in six parts.
                  WARNING !!!
                  If you have a need for a surgically clean, climate controlled work area, be prepared as this will definitely test you.
                  BUT !!! He does find a lot of problems and how to "redneck' fixes to find out if the motor is worth spending more money.
                  South Lompoc Studebaker

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                  • #10
                    I like Ederlyiron and watched the episodes where he got the 389 running again. That engine was a mess and was sitting outside and upside down for years.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DougHolverson View Post
                      How fast does that acetone evaporate in that hole?
                      Pretty quickly, though putting the plugs back in the holes loosely will slow it down. But the point of the acetone is to thin the ATF and let it flow more freely into the rust. That happens PDQ, after which it can be allowed to evaporate.
                      Skip Lackie

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                      • #12
                        Already been said several times. Acetone & trans fld. It don't evaporate fast when mixed.

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                        • #13
                          Does the Acetone evaporate out of the mix, or does it stay I solution?...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 345 DeSoto View Post
                            Does the Acetone evaporate out of the mix, or does it stay I solution?...
                            There really is no "solution". You can mix the two but they begin to separate quickly. Agitate and pour.
                            Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

                            40 Champion 4 door*
                            50 Champion 2 door*
                            53 Commander K Auto*
                            53 Commander K overdrive*
                            55 President Speedster
                            62 GT 4Speed*
                            63 Avanti R1*
                            64 Champ 1/2 ton

                            * Formerly owned

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                            • #15
                              Used diesel engine oil, and diesel fuel. Give it about a month before trying to free it. If you have a inspection camera check the bore for flash rust first. Mine was in a shed for 30 years. Did all the brakes and bearings and cleaning before I tried to free it up.
                              sigpic

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