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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    TN, United States of America.
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    568

    Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    I've got a good question for the mechanically inclined among ye.

    I have an old truck, and the motor is locked up in it. I put a breaker bar on the harmonic balancer bolt and I got it to turn, but it was a dang hard job to even move it. I couldn't force it to make a complete revolution. (My muscular physique is often compared to that of Paul Ruebens or Woody Allen.)

    What is included in getting it freed up? I've heard several solutions, one being to put transmission fluid in the cylinders through the plug hole and turn it over by hand a few times, then let it set over night. Another being to use liquid wrench in the cylinders. Another is an oil pan to carburetor rebuild.

    If I could get away with it, I'd rather not have to pull the motor. It's a 327 (not the trucks original), and it'll be more work than I can handle to get it out and rebuilt with no more than I have right now. (A log chain, come-along that slips, and a big oak tree with a strong lower limb.)

    If possible, could we talk on the cheaper fixes first? I could probably find a running smallblock 400 out of a junkyard car cheaper than I could rebuild this one.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Southern Cal.
    Posts
    332

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    Not a solution to the entire problem, but did you take the plugs out before you tried turning it? If not your're working agin' a lot of compression.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Tyler, Tx.
    Posts
    485

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    Have u pulled the spark plugs? Its possible u have water in a cylinder and ur trying to compress it when the engine stops turning, if so u can bend a rod if u force it.
    my suggestion is pull the plugs , put trans fluid or motor oil in the cyls via a squirt can , then see if u can turn it , also , u mite have a valve stuck open. This would cause the piston to hit it and stop the engine from turning.
    Boodrow

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA.
    Posts
    505

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    Need more information. Why is it locked up? Was it running when it locked up or has it been sitting for a long time?

    If it was running when it locked up- you are essentially S.O.L. without overhauling the engine. There is almost nothing that can cause a lockup that doesn't destroy either the crank, cam, or block/ heads.

    If it's locked up with rust from sitting, it MIGHT be possible to revive it, but it's still not likely. Just turning a rusty engine over will usually score cylinder walls or bearing surfaces. That, and the rings are usually stuck and lifters are trashed.

    The 327 was one of the best engines that GM ever made (in my opinion). And as usual, they discontinued it too soon. Depending on where you are, if you don't want it, let me know. I make sleeper engines for buddies to drop into their old rides (lightly cammed, quietly exhausted, stoplight to stoplight bullet!). I have a waiting list (though I build them only for cost) of guys wanting a little ground pounder mouse motor for their old Cameo and Nova.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Louisiana, USA.
    Posts
    7,431

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    >The 327 was one of the best engines that GM ever made (in my
    >opinion). And as usual, they discontinued it too soon.

    I agreed, I used to have a Chevy Impala station wagon with that engine. Smooth running engine lemme tell you. I'd love to have that engine switched to electronic ignition and with hardened valve seats for unleaded gas. Other than that, I'll run it as is.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Windsor, CT, USA.
    Posts
    309

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    You might want to check around your area with the Auto Recycling yards.

    They may be able to swap out a running engine from their running stock with your frozen one for a relative reasonable fee. Especially as is already said, your 327 could be valuable to them and they could put in a 305 or 350 for trade with the 327. You pay for the labor and expertise.

    Sure beats trying to do it yourself.

    Walt in CT

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    IF it's just rusty... IF IF IF...

    ...then take all the plugs out & get some thin oil down inside all the cylinders. Make SURE the oil pan's full of good lightweight oil, and it won't hurt to blend it down with kerosene for a little while.

    Crank the crankshaft back & forth with your breaker bar, starting with a small swing & gradually increasing your swing as you break past the rust. At some point you may get lucky & get it to give you a full swing.

    At that point you've still got to get the sticky rings loosened up; that takes running it at an idle for quite a while, dealing with lots of blowby and smoking. Your valves may have stuck open, which means you'll get a lot of backfire & flame in the exhaust... but they'll free up with running, too.

    After it's been fully warmed up once & run that way for, say, five minutes... dump that thinned oil out of the crankcase again & put in real motor oil.

    NOW... IF... it's NOT just rust... then you might have a broken ring or two (rebuild time) or a broken rod (rebuild time) or a spun main or rod bearing (rebuild time)... or any of a number of other issues, all of which want that motor apart.

    -- Tim --

    Member of the
    Robert "Limey" Bolton Memorial
    International
    Volunteer Mentorship and Assistance
    Programme

  8. #8

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    I's HATE'S mechanic type work. Maybe cause I usta be a mechanic.


    Just too many IF's in there to make any real diagnosis.

    If ya didn't blow a head or cylinder or rod or piston or something like - then ONLY MAYBE - ya might be able to get it runnin.


    ************************************************** *******
    DO NOT put any sort of liquid in the cylinders - and try to crank it over with the spart plugs in. Liquids are for the most part - uncompressable - and you will do damage on the compression stroke.

    It the engine was not broken before you do that it sure will be after you do that.

    ************************************************** **

    YES you can put some fluid like trans oil of WD40 or other such stuff and crank - *** with the spark plugs EMPTY - and holes OPEN ***. It might help, but maybe not.

    If you can get it to turn over - and start without tearing the engine down - maybe.

    If there is anything broken inside the engine - it's probably not worth fixin - unless of course you "like" to do that stuff.

    DO not do a valve job without doing the rings also - At that point - I would just scrap the engine - maybe the whole truck.

    Before climbing into a big repair job - evaluate the entire truck. Maybe you could just get another used truck.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    2,997

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    Assuming there is no mechanical failure like spun bearings, stuck valves, clogged-corroded jets, or broken rods, a motor that has sat a while and may have a mild rust accumulation inside can be rendered operable with a little care and patience.

    I remove all the spark plugs and shoot about two ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil into each spark plug hole and let it soak overnight. It's a good idea to screw the spark plugs in a couple turns to keep dirt and small critters out of the cylinders. While that oil soaks into the piston rings, remove the rocker arm covers and verify that all the valve springs are unbroken and that valves can be moved; apply a couple shots of the Mystery Oil to each valve stem above the valve guide bushing. Drain the crankcase oil and refill with an inexpensive low viscosity oil like a generic 5W30. Splurge on a cheap new oil filter too.

    The next day remove the spark plugs and the coil wire at the center of the distributor. While someone turns the engine with the starter, and holds the gas pedal to the floor, shoot a few ounces of Mystery Oil down the carburetor. I spin the motor until the oil pressure comes upo normal and spin it for another minute or so. By now everything should be well lubricated and most of the light garbage softened and cleaned away from the important surfaces

    Reinstall clean spark plugs, hook up the coil and plug wires, dump new gas into the fuel tank, verify that fuel is getting into the engine, and let sit one more night.

    From here normal starting rituals employed after running out of gas should make it go if it's capable. If it runs okay I would change the oil and filter again after an hour or so of driving.
    Measure once... cut twice.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    TN, United States of America.
    Posts
    568

    RE: Locked up Motor (Pickup Truck)

    The truck ran fine when it was parked. I got another vehicle and I meant to use one for everyday and one for the weekend runs, instead I neglected it and let it set up for three years (stupid I know). The engine had absolutely no problems when it was parked, just some idiot (me) let it sit there until it locked up.

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