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how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: fritzi ()
Date: May 19, 2006 05:28AM


ok - this is one of my first posts but I have been reading this forum for quite some time

here is my story in short:

bought a greenbrier of ebay unseen (for a good price ...!!) and had it finally shipped to my home. I was quite happy with the purchase as the car seemed to be rustfree and mostly original.
so i got started, cleaned it, bought parts for it, sprayed PB Blaster in the cylinders, and changed oil and filters, etc a few days ago. Today I thought I will at least rotate the engine before i fire her up.

So I took out the distributor and primed the oil pump with a drill for a couple minutes. Then I tried to manually rotate the engine with a wrench - nada, nothing, null, zip. Then I hooked up a battery thinking to let the starter do the work (bad idea - i know) and of course nothing - the starter tried to engage but couldn't move the engine.

so what's the collective wisdom of this board regarding the engine - should I not even bother to unfreeze it since it will need a rebuilt anyway or is there a chance once unfrozen that it will run for some time. And if so - how to unfreeze it?
This is my second corvair after a short romance with a greenbrier few years ago (which I sold cause it had PG - this one has 4 speed) and I would really like to drive the car around town for a while before swapping engines.

sorry for the long post - i will try to take some pics and post.

The car actually looks pretty good and I am still somewhat happy with my purchase.....

thanks for your help

Patrick, San Diego

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Jonathan McCreery ()
Date: May 19, 2006 01:38PM

You need...

a Syringe used for filling RC air planes with a big of tubing this will cost you $5 or so

Some kerosene

2Ltr of Pepsi or Coke..not diet..




Fill the cylinders with it ... let it sit a week or so and it SHOULD break it free.. I have done this many times on Vairs and other vehicles. an old mechanic taught me this trick..

Sounds stupid , but it works.,

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Chris Lampe ()
Date: May 19, 2006 01:45PM

Jonathan,

Do you drink the pepsi or are you mixing it with the kerosene? if you mix it what's the ratio?

Chris
Rowlett, Tx
NTCA - North Texas Corvair Association
CORSA
'64 Monza 'vert

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Jonathan McCreery ()
Date: May 19, 2006 01:50PM

I just did 3 parts pepsi to 1 part kerosene... apperently if you run just pepsi you will rust the cylinders and create a lot of sediment. The kerosene helps soak in and it all burns off. I did this to an S-10 4cyl that was sitting for years... truck is still driving 2 years later with good compression believe it or not...

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Darrin ()
Date: May 19, 2006 02:39PM

You may want to remove the motor and be sure it is actually frozen before putting soft drinks in the cylinders (though that sounds crazy enough to work I suppose). We had a guy whose engine was frozen tight...pulled the motor and the problem was a flywheel bolt that came loose and lodged itself between the flywheel and the bellhousing. Removed the bolt, replaced, resealed and fired her up.

You never know.

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: May 19, 2006 03:03PM

I had VW bus with a stuck motor pored Kroil in the cylinders let it set for a

week or so and then pulled it to start it when it broke free it fired up and I

did not have a mosquito problem for a few days!!!!! Two birds with one stone.

Pulling it will put way more tourqe on the motor than a wrench or your starter

ever will.

Sam Russell
Chapel Hill NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: beguiled ()
Date: May 19, 2006 03:11PM

PB Blaster and a long wait while it soaks always worked for me but I've heard good results with the Pepsi and Kerosene mix too. I'm also told by a mechanic friend that transmission fluid poured into the cylinders and letting it soak, does a good job as well. I've always stuck with what worked for me though.

Shawn S.
Charles City, Iowa
1962 Corvair Monza (Black with Red interior)
1963 Corvair Spyder (Red with Black interior)
Member of ICE (Iowa Corvair Enthusiasts)
63 Spyder_small

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: marv ()
Date: May 19, 2006 03:22PM

I have done the transmission fluid thing and it did well

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: BIGTSV ()
Date: May 19, 2006 04:14PM

I think for freeing up a motor I would rather us RC cola than Pepsi!

I have had good luck with WD-40 and Marvel mystery oil, the longer it soaks the easier it is on the cylinders.

The idea about pullling the motor is smart thinking as well.

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: fritzi ()
Date: May 21, 2006 05:42PM


thanks for all your answers,

I went with the Coke method but substituted Kerosene for Diesel cause I couldn't find anybody selling it. So far -2 days- nothing but I know I have to be patient.

I guess meanwhile I am looking for a replacement engine - cause the car is sitting in my driveway and not even registered and I need to drive it to DMV to get the VIN verified......

unpatient....unpatient......

anybody has a RUNNING van engine for sale ??

Patrick

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: May 21, 2006 05:59PM

Patrick, why not just drop the engine....see if it really is the engine!

Then if it is.....pull the heads....look...and see if it frees up.

I've never rebuilt an engine...but several times I've totally dismantled ones....cleaned and re-assembled....same parts! They always ran strong!

Bottom line....still a great deal if the body, etc., is good otherwise! That's where the time and $$$ go!

NOW...questions....

When you bought this..was it advertised as having a frozen engine? If not...contact the seller.....ASK for a partial refund.....all they can say in "NO" Be NICE!!!! never hurts to try! RARE!

What is your mechanical capabilities? Van engines are RARE!!!
[ case has a hole in the block for oil filler] Corvair engines are very simple!

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: fritzi ()
Date: May 21, 2006 07:00PM


thank you Matt,

nothing was stated in the auction regarding the engine, and when I asked the seller he responded that it ran 2 years ago but had carb sync problems and he gave up fixin' it.
I probably leave him in peace since I got the van under a 1000 bucks and the body what I've seen so far is really original and in very good shape - not even the famous door pillars next to the driver bench seats have rust. If I had paid more I would be quite p!ssed about it.

Although he must have noticed something because the car doesn't roll (I guess because of the frozen engine/transaxle) so the shipper (nice Russian guy) said he had a hell of trouble getting it loaded on the trailer cause his winch almost didn't make it (and the seller was present when they loaded it). We were 4 guys unloading at my house and we could hardly move the big lady off the trailer.

I've done quite some engine work on older Alfas - never on corvairs but I am not afraid of taking the engine out. The problem is the car would just fit in my single garage without any room on the sides - so I am not sure if that's enough room to take the engine out.....

Patrick


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Re: Frozen FC!! Won't even Roll!
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: May 21, 2006 07:26PM

Most likely the brakes are frozen!!

To remove the engine in a FC is easy!! I Think! ggg

Doesn't the rear crossbar of the body unbolt???

This means you can do it on the ground....engine should unbolt and just slide back?

Spyderman?? let us know! [ he just did it..]

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: May 22, 2006 03:41AM

Yea I I pulled mine no prob, FCs are way higher off the ground than cars, so you

do not have to have them as far in the air. It comes out like any EM car other

than you have to pull the oil filler tube out to have it clear every thing. You

will want to drain the oil first otherwise it will poor every where. I would get

the brakes unfrozen and drag it down the street a few times and see if it

breaks loose first! I post almost daily on my progress of my Brier, check the

link in my sig. Sounds like the same type of deal as me supper cheap van and you

just want to go for a ride!!!!

Sam Russell
Chapel Hill NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: fritzi ()
Date: May 22, 2006 06:33AM


thanks for the link spyderman - your progress report comes just at the right time for me although, I was hoping that to get my van running would involve less work than what you are investing in yours (probably wishful thinking from my part) even more since the greenbrier is not my only project right now.......

interestingly, like yours, I suspect my driver rear brake drum frozen but I will check for sure tomorrow night.
But I thought anyways if you have a stuck engine the car will not move due to one of the rear wheels move forward and the other backwards....???

did you use/make a puller to get the rear drum off?

Patrick

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: May 22, 2006 01:08PM

With the van in neutral it should not care about that. I have only spent about

$200.00 on my project, I am on a major budget (two girls another on the way). As

for my drum it was stuck to the axle not to the shoes. Some times you can bang

around on them and they will come apart, if not you can borrow/rent one. Get

that drum off and one or two brakes working so you can pull it to try to free up

the motor. If it ran two years ago it can't be that stuck. I have a few fc brake

parts left over so if you need something let me know and I will check.

Sam Russell
Chapel Hill NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Lee ()
Date: June 02, 2006 07:04AM

A couple of points that may be dead obvious but haven't seen mentioned are:
1) Start with the simplest and easiest but most time consuming method first which would probably be loading up the cylinders with penetrating solution (your choice). Before doing that I would look at all the rocker arms and see which are compressing the valve spring the farthest. Then I would back off the adjusting nut on these whatever # of turns required to get the rocker arm sloppy loose. COUNT THE NUMBER OF TURNS, AND MAKE IT AN EVEN NUMBER (2,3,4 whatever). Then loosen ALL the nuts that same number. This closes ALL the valves and allows you to FILL all the cylinders. If you don't you will be pouring penetrant through open exhaust valves into the manifolds and down the line and you will never fill the cylinders, you will be filling up your muffler. Also you will be filling some intakes until the level in the intake manifold reaches the level in the cylinder. Fill the cylinders until you can see the liquid level in the spark plug hole. Cylinders with the pistons farther away from the heads will take a whole lot more than others. Wait the suggested time. Then try putting a breaker bar and socket (six point, if you please) on the crankshaft pulley nut and try JUST MOVING IT BACK AND FORTH A LITTLE otherwise if it moves significantly you are going to have penetrant fly out of the plug holes. Then get a large syringe from a veterenarian and some tubing from a hobby shop that will fit it and is long enough to reach the deepest pistons and suck out all of the liquid from the cylinders.
This is probably not perfect since the spark plug holes may be below the height of the top of the piston but I don't know of any manner to stick something into the spark plug hole and then spray the top of the cylinder.
If this has worked, refill all the cylinders with straight kerosine, gasoline, mineral spirits, whatever to dilute the soda (if that's what you used) as much as possible. Then suck this all out.
Tightening down the adjusting nuts requires that you several things at once. Move the valve pushrod end down inside the engine from side to side using the pocket in the rocker arm as a pivot point. Some of the rods will have dropped out of the pocket in the lifter and and you want to relocate it as you are turning down the adjusting nut the same number of turns you backed it off.
Spray WD-40 or equivalent into the spark plug holes, place rags over the holes and try turning the motor with the starter, just a few turns.
2) If all that didn't try the pushing method but only about as fast as a few people could hand push it. Do this in 4th gear, forward or backward pushing shoudn't make a difference.
I wouldn't try this more than once or twice since even though you are in 4th the strain on the driveline is subtantial

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: fritzi ()
Date: June 03, 2006 05:52PM

thank you Lee for your post - yes that's the problem I had of course with filling the cylinders - I could only fill the cylinders that had both valves closed.

And so far - I had no luck in unfreezing the engine. I fixed my frozen brake though (never seen anything so rusty).

so I decided to take the engine out as many had suggested - it seems strange that an engine that was supposingly running 2 years ago is so completely frozen up. I didn't overdo it with the breaker bar since I was afraid to cause more damage to the crankshaft nut or the crankshaft with too much force.

so I will report on my progress

Patrick

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: June 03, 2006 06:32PM

fritzi sez: it seems strange that an engine that was supposingly running 2 years ago is so completely frozen up.
---------------------------------------------------


Sure is!! ggg

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Re: how to unfreeze frozen engine
Posted by: jimster1 ()
Date: June 04, 2006 07:47PM

Before you do anything, defrost thoroughly.
Jim

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