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Old 06-07-2019, 06:11   #1
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Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Hii everyone!
I'm new on here so first of all, thank you for having this great community running that I've been reading for years but never had the need to write in.

So my issue as the title states is that I just bought a used sailboat that had been sitting for 5yrs.
It has a Yanmar 4jh2te which I managed to crank but not turn 2 weeks ago while doing a "survey". (Didn't hame any strange noises as if anything was bent inside, etc.)

I went ahead 2 days ago and tried to make it turn over using the battery which is new & the Starter would just "clunk" and not move the crankshaft a single bit so I've de-mounted it and it seems like it's shorting out as it managed to melt the battery poles just by trying to start it once off the engine. (did the same again, clunk but no free spinning).

So I suspect that 2 weeks ago when making the engine turn over it hydrolocked with fresh water(lake) as it never fired up to get rid of the water.
The issue is that I've taken all 4 injectors out & I can't turn the crankshaft so how do I proceed to know if it's really locked before putting a new starter on & risking bending or breaking parts which I might have already.

Thanks to you all!
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:00   #2
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Isaak.

With persistent cranking, the engine can't develop enough pressure in the exhaust system to expel the cooling water. When you eventually stop cranking (usually when the battery runs flat), the water flows back into a cylinder via an open valve.
Sometimes, the fluid is coolant, that’s got in there via a blown cylinder head gasket or cracked cylinder head. These would have to be repaired.

When the engine is hydrolocked, you need some way of venting the cylinder pressure without damaging the pistons or valves.

Remove all of the injectors, and the pressure should be able to vent through those holes. Run the engine through a few revolutions, either by hand or with the starter motor, and that should pump clear the majority of the water from the cylinders.
Reinstall the injectors, bleed the system and run the engine for a few minutes to remove any traces of the sea water.

If the water's been sitting in the cylinder(s) for some time, chances are the cylinder, piston and rings are corroded and even seized. A complete engine rebuild may be in your future.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:09   #3
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Isaak.

With persistent cranking, the engine can't develop enough pressure in the exhaust system to expel the cooling water. When you eventually stop cranking (usually when the battery runs flat), the water flows back into a cylinder via an open valve.
Sometimes, the fluid is coolant, thatís got in there via a blown cylinder head gasket or cracked cylinder head. These would have to be repaired.

When the engine is hydrolocked, you need some way of venting the cylinder pressure without damaging the pistons or valves.

Remove all of the injectors, and the pressure should be able to vent through those holes. Run the engine through a few revolutions, either by hand or with the starter motor, and that should pump clear the majority of the water from the cylinders.
Reinstall the injectors, bleed the system and run the engine for a few minutes to remove any traces of the sea water.

If the water's been sitting in the cylinder(s) for some time, chances are the cylinder, piston and rings are corroded and even seized. A complete engine rebuild may be in your future.
Thanks for the quick response!

Yes, that's what I figured out already despite me being not so knowledgeable about engines.

I would guess that's its either fresh water from the lake or coolant that has gotten in but, I've taken the injectors out and I still can't move the crankshaft at single inch so I'm a bit lost here because what I was expecting is to get to move it by hand after taking the injectors out & then revving it a bit with the starter motor to get any water out before flushing with oil.

The issue is that the injectors are all 4 out & in doesn't allow me to move the crankshaft at all. How much force do I have to apply to be able to move it?

I lifted the cover to get to see the rocker arm but that obviously looks really clean and no issues at all which is to be expected but I would love to find a way to move the crankshaft before having to take it all apart...
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:11   #4
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Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Since you already have the injectors out, leave them out and try to turn the engine over using the big bolt on the crankshaft.
You May get lucky and it may break loose, oil of course, thin lightweight oil like Marvel mystery oil generously run into the injector holes may help as letting it sit there over night may help.
Put lots in there, fill it up, it can hurt. If you get her to roll over it and whatever water will come out of the injector holes.
Donít do the starter thing until you get it turning by hand.
If you do get it turning over by hand, close the seacock, install starter and with the injectors still removed spin it with the starter several times, maybe put a rag on top of the injector holes as oil mist etc will be blown out quite forcefully.
If you get it spinning well, install injectors and try to get her running, do not open the seacock until itís running.
If you get it running, let it run five minutes or so and change the oil.
Then itís time to put it under a load and run it pretty hard, idea being to seat the rings, donít go far and have a towing plan, cause bad things can still happen.
Many get lucky with a hydro locked / seized engine, many donít. As your in fresh water that is a plus, but even fresh water rusts cylinders and rings.

Continue to change oil until it looks like pure oil. Not milky or milky strands in it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:17   #5
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Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Get a big breaker bar and use lots of force, you will have to guess if your about to bust off the big bolt, unlikely, but possible, try going both ways, one way will loosen the bolt of course.
Try the penetrating oil thing, let it sit, try rocking the crank back and forth, keep trying, let it sit, come back tomorrow and try again, put more MMO in the cylinders, let it sit.
After a few days if you still canít get it to move, you may be hosed, but I wouldnít give up for awhile.
You canít put too much oil into the cylinder donít worry about that
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:31   #6
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

OK great!
I'll pour oil through the injector holes then and let's see what happens.

How much oil is the "minimum"?
Or would spraying WD40 in there also help?

I'm just surprised that in 10 days or so it can lock up this bad in fresh water... I know it can go in a mater of a few days in salt water but fresh?
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:49   #7
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

So I just tried moving the bolt at the crankshaft but obviously c-clockwise releases it & clockwise it doesn't move at all so I'll put some oil in the engine and see what happens.

But, by forcing the bolt, am I not just tightening it without forcing the shaft to rotate?
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:51   #8
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Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Of course it tightens it, but also tries to turn the shaft.
Go buy a quart of transmission fluid, or I like Marvel Mystery Oil.
WD40 isnít in my opinion real good but not bad either, but you need a lot of oil, you want to displace the water as much as possible and of course the oil will slowly drain past the rings into the crankcase and you want it to sit there, so fill it up.

Once you get the bolt real tight, try rocking it back and forth, this may get the rings to move in the piston groove and let oil in, there should be a tiny amount of crankshaft movement from bearing clearance if nothing else
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:31   #9
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

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Of course it tightens it, but also tries to turn the shaft.
Go buy a quart of transmission fluid, or I like Marvel Mystery Oil.
WD40 isnít in my opinion real good but not bad either, but you need a lot of oil, you want to displace the water as much as possible and of course the oil will slowly drain past the rings into the crankcase and you want it to sit there, so fill it up.

Once you get the bolt real tight, try rocking it back and forth, this may get the rings to move in the piston groove and let oil in, there should be a tiny amount of crankshaft movement from bearing clearance if nothing else

OK, so I've gone ahead and soaked them in Marvel Mystery so let's see if that breaks them loose after seeping in.

The reason I was asking about the bolt is because I don't know if over tightening can harm something.

Also, wouldn't it be better to lever the flywheel fom the gap the starter motor leaves?
It's bigger so I suppose it will allow me to apply more force.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:13   #10
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

You can try taking a monster screwdriver or crow bar and levering the flywheel wouldnít hurt.
Most do the the bolt on the crankshaft, it can be broken of course, but never heard of it being done.
Do you have about a three foot breaker bar? 1/2Ē drive, if not maybe use a pipe over a shorter one, but Iíd want a 1/2Ē drive and not a thin walled socket.
I think once you get the bolt real tight that rocking it back and forth is likely to work best, it may let the MMO penetrate and work on the rust.

Cylinder walls are very high carbon steel, and even your finger prints can rust them overnight if there is no layer of oil, very fine rust of course.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:37   #11
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Light oil. some swear by auto trans fluid. Diesel might be better as it's thin. Maybe let it sit overnight. I think you can rent a 3/4 drive bar and socket if you need to. You will make a mess I suppose. Breaker bar and see if you can make some progress. You cant crank a starter over maybe 15 seconds even with a good engine without potential damage..
Another option is to remove the head. In the end you may want to do this anyway if you get it free. Some engines it's only like 45 mins work.
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Old 06-07-2019, 13:25   #12
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

Unless I missed it, there is no indication that you have removed any water from the cylinder(s). The water may have drained past the rings but if there is any left in the cylinders, the oil will float on top and not do anything. If you haven't already done so, drain the water lift muffler by removing the drain bolt. Then suck as much as you can from the cylinders - a piece of tubing duct taped to a wet vac works well. Soak in penetrating oil such as PB Blaster and cross your fingers.
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Old 06-07-2019, 13:38   #13
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

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You can try taking a monster screwdriver or crow bar and levering the flywheel wouldnít hurt.
Most do the the bolt on the crankshaft, it can be broken of course, but never heard of it being done.
Do you have about a three foot breaker bar? 1/2Ē drive, if not maybe use a pipe over a shorter one, but Iíd want a 1/2Ē drive and not a thin walled socket.
I think once you get the bolt real tight that rocking it back and forth is likely to work best, it may let the MMO penetrate and work on the rust.

Cylinder walls are very high carbon steel, and even your finger prints can rust them overnight if there is no layer of oil, very fine rust of course.
OK, perfect!
I'll keep trying. Just worried to break something else by going to hard on the crankshaft bolt or the teeth of the flywheel.
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Old 06-07-2019, 13:41   #14
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

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Light oil. some swear by auto trans fluid. Diesel might be better as it's thin. Maybe let it sit overnight. I think you can rent a 3/4 drive bar and socket if you need to. You will make a mess I suppose. Breaker bar and see if you can make some progress. You cant crank a starter over maybe 15 seconds even with a good engine without potential damage..
Another option is to remove the head. In the end you may want to do this anyway if you get it free. Some engines it's only like 45 mins work.
I've got a 1/2" socket wrench and a steel bar for more torque on the crankshaft bolt so I'll keep trying but it doesn't seem to move nor the bolt nor the pulley.

I was thinking of taking the head off but wanted to first give it a try by soaking it as it was turning over just fine 10 days ago or so. Can only be coolant or fresh water so my hopes are that it's not too late yet.

Let's see...
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Old 06-07-2019, 13:46   #15
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Re: Hydrolocked? Yanmar 4JH2-TE

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Unless I missed it, there is no indication that you have removed any water from the cylinder(s). The water may have drained past the rings but if there is any left in the cylinders, the oil will float on top and not do anything. If you haven't already done so, drain the water lift muffler by removing the drain bolt. Then suck as much as you can from the cylinders - a piece of tubing duct taped to a wet vac works well. Soak in penetrating oil such as PB Blaster and cross your fingers.
Thanks for your response Geoff,

I've actually already gone and filled up the injector holes with marvel.
Sorry for my ignorance but what is the " water lift muffler" & where can I find its bolt to drain anything out of the cylinders?

As I said above, it really surprises me how an engine that turns over fine can seize up this fast..
I'll probably have to take the head off and so on but have my concerns about getting the timing back right when mounting back together as I have no clue about this... (if I can save the engine...)
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