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Old 19-09-2009, 20:55   #1
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Seized Engine

I'm new to this game, so please excuse any unintentional violation of forum rules.
I just returned to my boat in the Marshall Islands, and found the Volvo 2002 diesel frozen solid. I pulled the head off and soaked the (two) pistons with penetrating oil overnight. Still no go, even with the torque of a pipe wrench on the shaft coupler (2.5:1 gear ratio).
THe engine is 25 years old and was rebuilt 10 years ago. Is there any hope here, or am I looking down the barrel of a new engine?
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Old 19-09-2009, 22:06   #2
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Use a real penetrating & loosening oil, like PB Blaster, not something like WD40. If that doesn't help, it's probably time for a piece of wood on the pistons and some convincing to turn.

Friends were in the same situation and only with the last desperate blow it came loose... and they got it to run just fine after that. So don't give up too soon!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 19-09-2009, 22:34   #3
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Thanks, Nick.
My next step was to get out the big hammer and a piece of hardwood. Unfortunately, the pistons are at the top and bottom of their strokes, so that will not work (maybe worth a try, 'tho, just to relieve my frustration; maybe it will shake something loose).
I'll try and locate the Blaster penetrating oil you mentioned, but not too optimistic about finding it here in Majuro (small town, y'know, but they do have an Ace Hardware.) John
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Old 19-09-2009, 22:44   #4
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Soak the cylinders with Marvel Mystery Oil (<5W) or just plain diesel oil for a few days. Add some WD 40 and hope it will turn over.
I gather that Volvo's do not have the highest reputation in marine engines.
Sometimes things look bleak but if you try hard enough you can get it back on track.
PB Blaster may eat through some of the rubber fittings and gaskets on your engine.
Good luck.
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Old 19-09-2009, 23:15   #5
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I have brought back 2 seized up engines...I agree don't give up too early..keep at it you have nothing to loose at this point

I find drinking lots off beer calms my frustration greatly in these situations...I call it my anti seize.
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Old 20-09-2009, 04:23   #6
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Wonder does the prop shaft turn free
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Old 20-09-2009, 06:19   #7
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Consider carefully the condition of the rings and cylinder walls once you free up the engine. There's a reason it siezed. I'd want to know why, and what if any damage has occured.
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Old 20-09-2009, 15:53   #8
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Caleb: No PB Blaster available here in Majuro. Will continue trying with diesel oil/WD40/penetrating oil etc. Artful D: prop shaft does turn freely. Tellie: Agreed, condition of rings and cyl is big concern. There was water in the aft cyl when I pulled the head. Head gasket OK, no cracks in the head. May have siphoned back.
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Old 20-09-2009, 15:55   #9
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StillRaining: My home port is Seattle, so I know whereof you speak about the rain.
I will keep trying for a few more days.
Thanks, everyone.
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Old 20-09-2009, 16:00   #10
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StillRaining: My home port is Seattle, so I know whereof you speak about the rain.
I will keep trying for a few more days.
Thanks, everyone.
Yep...but it was one of the best summers on record here...and I was on the hard for all of it... I wish a seized engine was all I had to deal with.
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:00   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeyejsk View Post
Caleb: No PB Blaster available here in Majuro. Will continue trying with diesel oil/WD40/penetrating oil etc. Artful D: prop shaft does turn freely. Tellie: Agreed, condition of rings and cyl is big concern. There was water in the aft cyl when I pulled the head. Head gasket OK, no cracks in the head. May have siphoned back.
Water in the aft cylinder is a concern. Question, when you tried to turn the crank with a torque wrench (not the right tool for that application) was it with the head on or off? Volvos have a propensity to hydro lock. Corrosion due to water in the cylinder can do enough damage that at the least I'd want to hone the cylinders and perhaps even replace the rings. Salt water leaking down past the rings onto the bearings can be another issue. Is there any water in the oil pan? These are not insurmountable issues that would require a new engine but something's that would come across my first impressions as things to check.
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Old 20-09-2009, 17:38   #12
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hawkeye-
Can you get dry ice there?

If so, make a slurry of busted up dry ice and alcohol, pack it into the cylinders, and let it ice up for a while. The intense cold may contract the pistons and rings enough to help you bust 'em free.

Alcohol is the traditional way to make sure the cold gets conducted to the metal thoroughly...whatever gets past the rings should be fairly harmless assuming you change the oil ASAP. I'd say to use kerosene instead--but have no idea if THAT would gell up from the cold.
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Old 21-09-2009, 02:06   #13
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In the auto trade I've always used transmission fluid to free things up and have done so with several engines. There is an out side chance if there was water in the oil pan that the crank is what might be seized, so again drain old oil and fill with transmission fluid. One more trick is to make sure the oil is hot as it will penetrate better. Then if you can get to the front crank pulley just rocking it ever so slightly, will start it to move.
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Old 22-09-2009, 01:51   #14
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Hey, Dodger: It worked! Hot ATF plus periodic kicks from the starter got it moving just a hair. It really broke loose when I paralled the starter battery with the two 8D house batteries. Strange that a pipe wrench on the coupling couldn't shift it but the starter did. Now, if damage to the piston rings is minor, I may be back in business.
Si, I didn't get to try the dry ice idea. I'll sdave that for another day.
Thank you.
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Old 24-09-2009, 00:04   #15
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Volvo is up and running! However, definitely some damage to aft cyl & rings. Loss of some compression on that cyl makes starting difficult, but it seems better each time I fire it up. Will report further progess.
Thanks everyone.
John
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