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Been sitting for >30 years. No compression on cylinder 3

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  • Engine: Been sitting for >30 years. No compression on cylinder 3

    What is the most likely cause of a lack of compression on one cylinder?

    I don't have exact compression readings right now, but I will soon. We were doing a finger-test and got no pressure at all on cylinder 3.

    Would it be wise to pull the head and inspect?

    --buddy

  • #2
    More likely than not, you have a valve stuck open in that cylinder. Pull the valve cover and look at the valve clearance. You can tell if a valve is stuck if you have excessive clearance on one of the valves. Bud

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    • #3
      I had this problem with a flathead 6-cylinder International truck that sat for 30-40 years. I removed the head and found a stuck valve which I remedied with some penetrating lubricant and a wood block & hammer (I put the wood block on the valve and gave it a whack but not with too much force). I put the head back on, gravity fed a lawnmower gas tank to the carburetor inlet, and it then started and ran on all cylinders.
      sigpic
      In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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      • #4
        Heck...
        I have an ol' 1937/8 Allis Chalmers Model B tractor that used to get used 1 week a year.
        My childhood SOP for this engine was to pull the hood off, pull the valve cover off, squirt some oil on the valve stems and springs, rap the stuck down valve (there was always a stuck down valve) with a rubber hammer to get it unstuck, and then go through the normal dormant engine start up routine....
        40+ years later, with regular use (as a cherished family member)... I can start this tractor on the first revolution (90% of the time)....
        And it is a crank start with no starter motor....
        C'mon over and try it....
        Jeff
        HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

        Jeff


        Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



        Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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        • #5
          I had an old 259 that had sat for 35 years. I freed up the 2 stuck valves by mixing 1/2 gallon of gas with 1/2 gallon of auto trans fluid, and fed it into the carburetor. Killed all the bugs within a mile radius, and had the engine purring within 30 minutes. I then put 15,000 trouble free miles on the car before letting it go to a new home.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice. We will be working on the car again on Saturday. Anyone in or around Atlanta is welcome to drop by.

            Next up, for now, is getting the carburetor working. It appears to be frozen. After that, we'll see if we can get that valve knocked loose, if that's the problem.

            --buddy

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            • #7
              We decided to pull the head, as the engine was getting harder and harder to turn over while we tinkered with it. It seems the exhaust port on cylinder 3 is stuck open. I'm sure we can get it corrected.

              In other news, is there somewhere that I can find a new set of head bolts? Ours are quite rusted, and I don't trust reinstalling them.

              I also would like to get a carburetor rebuild kit, but I'm having trouble figuring out which one I need. Any advice?

              --buddy

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nullset View Post
                We decided to pull the head, as the engine was getting harder and harder to turn over while we tinkered with it. It seems the exhaust port on cylinder 3 is stuck open. I'm sure we can get it corrected.

                In other news, is there somewhere that I can find a new set of head bolts? Ours are quite rusted, and I don't trust reinstalling them.

                I also would like to get a carburetor rebuild kit, but I'm having trouble figuring out which one I need. Any advice?

                --buddy
                You haven't told us what sort of engine it is, but I'm assuming it's a flathead since you pulled the head to find the stuck valve. spray some penetrating oil down the stem of the stuck valve, let it soak over night and tap the valve head. It'll likely free up.

                How bad do the cylinder bores look? It you can turn the engine over, they may not be too bad. Give them some penetrating oil and soak too. I've seen engines run just fine with obvious pitting in the bores.


                Most Head bolts are available from vendors, bit if not, measure them up and buy some new generic bolts. Any fastener supply house will have some the right size, even Lowe's or Tractor Supply will likely have some. It might be overkill, but get grade 8 bolts - they'll only be a dollar each.

                Check around, somebody will have a carb rebuild kit, maybe as close as your nearest NAPA.

                If all goes well, put it back together, fill it with clean oil and crank it up. Run it for an hour, drain the oil and antifreeze and refill with a new filter, and see how it runs.

                Listen for bearing knock, piston slap and any other unusual noises. If you don't know what those sounds like, get an old shade-tree mechanic to give it a listen.

                Who knows what you've got? It could be a worn-out piece of junk, or it could be good-to-go.
                Last edited by jnormanh; 11-08-2011, 01:55 PM.

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                • #9
                  Have owned a\c tractors for 40yrs, all the hand cranks i,ve had would start on a half crank if up to par,retired from farming have only one left a 180 d. just use it to plow snow & what have you here in the neighbor hood,heck their just like good Studes.Mac

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                  • #10
                    An update for those interested - we've decided to go ahead and pull the engine to make things a little easier to work on.

                    That will be happening on December 17th. If there are any steps to take or avoid, I'd love feedback!

                    --buddy

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