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  • New Engine Stuck!

    Well I've been preoccupied with my coupe (Redwheels) and I'd better get back to work on my Town sedan. So I haven't started it in a while and I was getting anxious about that fact. I had tried a while ago and it seemed to turn over hard with a 6 V. This time I would start it with 12V. It cranked over sometimes fast and other times slow. Duly Noted! It started a few times but didn't stay running for more than 10- 15 seconds, Then it slowly went back to sleep! Then I found I had a "No spark" condition. I am working on this and while trying to turn it over, it seems too tight, in fact it can't be turned with the crank. Bare in mind that it is a new engine with maybe an hour and a half on it. The starter will spin it with 12 V. I don't want to damage any parts by continously trying to crank it, so what should I do?
    Terry

  • #2
    I would pull the plugs, squirt some MMO or your favorite oil in each cylinder and find the spark problem and start it up.

    If, like so many do, you give the engine a little rev right before turning the key off, you have washed out all whatever lubricant that was in the cylinder from the engine running, and now trying to start it things have either rusted up a bit, or just more friction from the gas wash upon storing.

    DO NOT ever give a little rev right as you shut off the engine!! This washes out all the lubricant and can be catastrophic if the engine is stored for any length of time as condensation will creep into the cylinders and rust things together. It also cause a dry startup, which is the worst wear time. More wear damage can be done with a dry start than running 100 miles.
    You wana look waaay far up da road and plan yer route because the brakes are far more of a suggestion than a command!

    Comment


    • #3
      How long are the runs when you have started it?
      In 1977 I stuck my 29 Chevy engine and my 63 Lark engine because I only ran them for 10 minutes or less, then waited 6 months to try starting them again.
      After that expensive lesson, I won't start an engine unless it runs for 30 minutes or more, to boil off all condensation. I also like to pickle any engine that won't be started for more than 6 months, by pouring oil into the carb until the exhaust is very smoky, then pour the oil in fast enough to kill the engine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Tom, Expensive in what way? Yeah, I'm afraid I'm guilty on both counts! It ran out of gas and I was going to restart it and, and some damn thing or another came into my life and I didn't get back to it until now. And I do use the "Pickle" method with engines that I do intentionally put to rest for a while. This goes back to the 60s when I worked in a marina and we put the boats into storage for the winter. Later , the value of "Pickling" an engine before storage was made plain to me when I was playing with aircraft and some planes would sit out on the ramp for months, exposed to all kinds of weather. Cams, lifters, Cylinder walls, etc would acquire scale rust that scrapes off and becomes part of the lubricant. What's the answer? Some sort of flush?
        Terry

        Comment


        • Mitch
          Mitch commented
          Editing a comment
          What Wiz said oil the cylinders up.. I would use ATF

      • #5
        Lately, within the past (20+) years or so, with these similar and often heard "too tight" Model A Forum phrases entered above:

        "it seems too tight, in fact it can't be turned with the crank. Bare in mind that it is a new engine with maybe an hour and a half on it."

        You definitely hit the nail on the head in commenting: "it seems too tight"!

        In my humble opinion, this uninformed Model A engine restoration guy needs to go somewhere to study and professionally learn how to re-build Model A engines like that of former, knowledgeable and very professional vintage Model A mechanics.

        Just me, but from many past experiences, if that engine was mine, I would take it apart to fully investigate exactly what is happening inside.

        Comment


        • #6
          MMO or ATF in the cylinders as above, and 4 oz/10 gals of gas in the tank.
          The rings may have been gapped to tight
          who rebuilt it?

          Comment


          • #7
            OK So this engine was built by an internationally known builder and is well known for his excellent babbit work. It was done about five years ago (Cost? North of five $large$) I have had the engine running a few times, one time for about a hour. But why did it tighten up on me? Yesterday, I put MMO and fuel oil into the cylinder and it seemed to have the desired effect of loosening the the engine somewhat. It spun over very well without the plugs . And I could turn it with crank with great difficulty. I even tried starting it and it did start once and ran for about twenty seconds. Then it quit.
            Terry

            Comment


            • #8
              "And I could turn it with crank with great difficulty."
              Ring gaps or bearings are too tight.
              Drop the pan and check your mains for clearance.


              I think you need to get it running again and run it at about 1200 rpm for 30 min. for a break in. Richen it up a bit if needed to keep it running. The engine was never broken in.
              A motor that has been rebuilt should be broken in before it is put to bed. The rule of thumb is to run at half max RPM for 30 min, with no load, this begins the break-in. People are afraid to run the motor up on a rebuild, but NOT doing that is very detrimental

              "Had it running for an hour", not sure what that means, if at idle, more harm than good was done

              Fresh gas??
              What oil are you using? For this particular issue I would run a good quality 20W-50 conventional oil, even though I normally run straight 30. NO synthetic right now

              Remember , the worst thing you can do to a motor is to walk away from it for a long period of time, whether a new rebuild, or an existing build on an older car. They were not made for this. All the oil drains back and oxidation begins
              Last edited by tbirdtbird; 11-12-2018, 08:44 AM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by tbirdtbird View Post
                "And I could turn it with crank with great difficulty."
                Ring gaps or bearings are too tight.
                Drop the pan and check your mains for clearance.


                I think you need to get it running again and run it at about 1200 rpm for 30 min. for a break in. Richen it up a bit if needed to keep it running. The engine was never broken in.
                A motor that has been rebuilt should be broken in before it is put to bed. The rule of thumb is to run at half max RPM for 30 min, with no load, this begins the break-in. People are afraid to run the motor up on a rebuild, but NOT doing that is very detrimental

                "Had it running for an hour", not sure what that means, if at idle, more harm than good was done

                Fresh gas??
                What oil are you using? For this particular issue I would run a good quality 20W-50 conventional oil, even though I normally run straight 30. NO synthetic right now

                Remember , the worst thing you can do to a motor is to walk away from it for a long period of time, whether a new rebuild, or an existing build on an older car. They were not made for this. All the oil drains back and oxidation begins


                What Dave said
                RUN IT or you'll do more harm than good
                3 ~ Tudor's
                Henry Ford said
                "It's all nuts and bolts"


                Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                Comment


                • #10
                  Something will either break free or break...then ya know what to fix. LOL

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    FWIW:

                    Good to remember that after re-boring, Model A cast iron cylinders are similar to an"unseasoned" cast iron cookware; i.e., not oil soaked and thus having with open cast iron pores just eager to attract moisture and generate rust.

                    This is why U.S. Military Depots store and provide long-stored re-built engines in a vacuum, (in sealed fiberglass containers with an attached vacuum gauge), void of outside moist air and especially when shipping for short term trips overseas.

                    In professional Chef's kitchens, a cast iron skillet and Dutch Oven can be "seasoned" like Teflon cookware with the continuous initial use of oil accompanied with heat in which opens pores allow oil to penetrate into said open pores. This seasoning process prevents open cast iron cookware pores, and also prevents heated food to burn and stick.

                    After cast iron cookware is well "seasoned" with oil and heat, the cookware will "never" rust until some totally uninformed, and untrained Chef comes along and washes the cast iron with an emulsifying dishwater detergent.

                    Then this pot is all the way back to square one like a re-bored Model A engine that needs to be re-seasoned with heat and oil.

                    After one's engine is broken in with heated oil penetrating cast iron open pores, it will resist rust like a "seasoned" cast iron pot.

                    The moral of this story is when performing the first Model A engine ring job, just remember not to wash the (4) Model A cylinders with dishwater detergent.

                    Time for everyone to celebrate your admired patience and not giving up to where your new engine is Not Stuck! At least a six pack!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I never liked mixing soapy water with iron. Sorta like liverwurst and eggs or some other misfited combination. It don't seem right! When I work around metal, I don't want anything that's not petroleum based. Today I changed the oil (5/30 from Walmart). My instincts are telling me that at this time and place, it wants cheap, light oil. It's out in the unheated garage and it has a splash system. Later I can go for a little better oil. Around the airport, we broke in new engines with Mineral Oil. Actually, all oil is "Mineral oil" so what made this stuff special? And where can I get some. A few years ago. I bought an engine that needed new mains. When I picked up that engine, the machinist told me it was very tight, but it would loosen. He was correct. It took a lot of force to turn that crank even with no pistons. Now, it's just a good tight crank.
                      Terry

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        "the machinist told me it was very tight, but it would loosen."
                        Some would consider that to be too tight.
                        And all engine builds will loosen, of course

                        I have run into shops that set their babbitt up this tight and it makes no sense. How is oil gonna get in there? How do you even adjust the valves

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Mr. Tbird,

                          Agree 100% with ...................."and it makes no sense" .......... and ....... "How is oil gonna get in there?"

                          In my opinion, no matter who did it, if someone continues to set up and sell a Babbitt Bearing Splash-Oiled Model A engine this "tight", he should at the very least, have his entire behind sandpapered followed by a minimum of (3) brush applications of turpentine until he learns and agrees to sing our National Anthem in Gaelic.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by H. L. Chauvin View Post
                            Mr. Tbird,

                            Agree 100% with ...................."and it makes no sense" .......... and ....... "How is oil gonna get in there?"

                            In my opinion, no matter who did it, if someone continues to set up and sell a Babbitt Bearing Splash-Oiled Model A engine this "tight", he should at the very least, have his entire behind sandpapered followed by a minimum of (3) brush applications of turpentine until he learns and agrees to sing our National Anthem in Gaelic.
                            HA HA HA HEE HEE HEEE, LOL Couldn't thought of that one in a year! How's it go, Pogue Mo Thoin! or somethin! That represents my entire Irish vocabulary.

                            Comment


                            • #16
                              Sad Day! I went out to spin the engine over, which it did. It started and turned about 50 0r 60 revolutions and locked solid. That baby needs work! so I'm going to use another engine that I know is good. actually, I think it's good. Got to check the center main. The block has only been bored once ( .010 oversize pistons). But what a Bring Down! 0ver $5000 into that hunk of cast iron and now it's a solidified P.O.S. I am not the happiest of campers!
                              Terry

                              Comment


                              • JDupuis
                                JDupuis commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Sorry about your luck Terry.
                                Hang in there.

                              • DaWizard
                                DaWizard commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Actually Terry, the only thing that might need to be done to that engine is hone out #3 and #4 holes to get enough expansion clearance. I bet it cranks just fine once it cools off.

                            • #17
                              How experienced with Model A engines is the guy who rebuilt it? I suspect he used tolerances more suited to a modern motor and WE all know that isn't going to work.

                              Comment


                              • #18
                                Needs a total tear down and all clearances checked and brought into line, all the while ignoring any thought of a modern engine, as above.... bearing clearances, ring gaps, piston-to-wall clearance

                                Comment


                                • #19
                                  Per the last sentence of Reply no. 5 above, the lack of vintage professional Model A mechanical knowledge within the past 20+ years is getting worse as time goes by.

                                  No doubt if mechanical mental brain conversion is part of any conversion plan, please be extremely careful to select the correct grit of sand paper ..... and best brand of turpentine ......... to thoroughly convert this particular totally uninformed Model A engine re-builder.

                                  Comment


                                  • #20
                                    I agree. At this point if you try any more forced turning, it will likely add to any damage. First pull the head, then post pictures of the cylinders. Next pull the pan and remove the rear two pistons to look for scuffing.

                                    Comment


                                    • Terry, NJ
                                      Terry, NJ commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Exactly! Actually, I only used "Forced Turning" at that period until I got it freed up and it started again . But one thing remained constant, It wouldn't run for more than about twenty seconds and then it locked up.

                                  • #21
                                    Originally posted by Terry, NJ View Post
                                    OK So this engine was built by an internationally known builder and is well known for his excellent babbit work. It was done about five years ago (Cost? North of five $large$) I have had the engine running a few times, one time for about a hour. But why did it tighten up on me? Yesterday, I put MMO and fuel oil into the cylinder and it seemed to have the desired effect of loosening the the engine somewhat. It spun over very well without the plugs . And I could turn it with crank with great difficulty. I even tried starting it and it did start once and ran for about twenty seconds. Then it quit.
                                    Terry
                                    Terry, in my opinion, running your engine for even 20 minutes, not counting your hour, that you ran it, your bearings should be loose enough not to give drag, ever again.

                                    You only have two drag points in any engine, bearings, and pistons. If it is the rings, what is the rest of the engine like, for parts fitting.

                                    I think it is the piston clearance. Unfortunately, most piston sets, come with a Spec., Piston Clearance sheet, and most say to give the pistons .002 thousandths clearance. This clearance will score your pistons, in a very short time. One clue is not being able to turn an engine over.

                                    I agree with the rest of the Boys, why should any engine have to struggle to set it's self free.

                                    That goes for any part in an engine.

                                    Your Piston skirt, to cylinder clearance should be .004 to .004-50 thousandths clearance.

                                    If it was going in a racer, or a Farm truck, Model A, pulling heavy loads to town elevators, the clearance might be .008 to .010, skirt clearance.

                                    Thanks,

                                    Herm.

                                    Comment


                                    • Terry, NJ
                                      Terry, NJ commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Thank you, Herm! I agree with everything you've said! Now to pull it down. I'm glad you noticed that I said I had run it for about a hour. It ran perfectly and the only reason I stopped it was it ran out of gas. The only blame I give to the rebuilder (And I realize he can't figure on everything) Is in not guarding against this in the engine's future with large clearances. As I said, The engine ran perfectly in that time while I was running it.
                                      Terry

                                  • #22
                                    Terry are you sure that nothing else is holding it from turning like a starter bolt that is to long. I’m just looking for some hope here. Eliminate all other possibilities.
                                    Remove the fan belt too
                                    3 ~ Tudor's
                                    Henry Ford said
                                    "It's all nuts and bolts"


                                    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

                                    Comment


                                    • Mitch
                                      Mitch commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Terry is this the engine that Schwalms built? If so I find it hard to believe that they set it up with the wrong clearances

                                    • JDupuis
                                      JDupuis commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Excellent reminder about the starter bolt.

                                    • George Miller
                                      George Miller commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      I was also thinking starter bolt. Schwaims has been building engines a long time.

                                    • Terry, NJ
                                      Terry, NJ commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      George, That's why I refrained from mentioning the name. I think they did an excellent job of rebuilding this engine. Until a Flaw is found, I'm not going to blame them. It's always easy to jump on the rebuilder for everything. Some things are beyond his control. There's too much evidence that it's not the fault of the rebuilder. My only fault so far with Schwalm's is they charge too freaking much, Not their workmanship.
                                      Terry

                                  • #23
                                    Fraid so! As I wrote in my response to Herm. It's hard to blame anyone. The engine ran perfectly while it ran. Plus, I really don't know yet what is causing this. Are the rings binding? Is it the pistons? The bearings? As far as the long bolt theory goes, would it crank so good sometime? Wouldn't it scream when the engine started and wouldn't it wear away and cease to be a problem?
                                    Terry

                                    Comment


                                    • George Miller
                                      George Miller commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      How about the starter, loose cable, bad ground. A new engine is going to crank harder with the hand crank. I would try a good heavy cable to the starter with a good ground cable to the starter.

                                  • #24
                                    Hi Terry,

                                    A. In reading "only" repetitive leading statements from "your" posted engine clues, I think with this mysterious situation, you always had the same idea as many of us all along as to what possibly might have to be finally done.

                                    B. For example:

                                    1. From your Original Post: "It cranked over sometimes fast and other times slow."

                                    2. From your Reply No. 4: "And I do use the "Pickle" method with engines that I do intentionally put to rest for a while. This goes back to the 60's when I worked in a marina and we put the boats into storage for the winter. Later , the value of "Pickling" an engine before storage was made plain to me when I was playing with aircraft and some planes would sit out on the ramp for months, exposed to all kinds of weather."

                                    3. From your reply No. 7": " It was done about five years ago (Cost? North of five $large$) I have had the engine running a few times, one time for about a hour. But why did it tighten up on me? "

                                    4. From your Reply 21.1: "It ran perfectly and the only reason I stopped it was it ran out of gas."; "As I said, The engine ran perfectly in that time while I was running it."; and.

                                    5. From your Reply No. 23., "The engine ran perfectly while it ran."

                                    C. If one plays "Model A Sherlock Holmes", and/or "Model A Dragnet" your continually mentioned same clue repeated over and over can be summarized in one sentence:

                                    It ran perfectly five (5) years ago, it was "pickled" for five (5) years, and now, sometimes it turn over easily and sometimes not.

                                    D. No doubt by now, you have come to the inevitable conclusion that this "now and then" tight spinning Model A engine mystery will continue until an internal investigation takes place.

                                    [And please don't over look Mr. Miller's battery/battery cable statement ........ good looking tested batteries can be actually bad to where they can sometimes start engines and lose power fast ...... grounds and cables are know for intermittent problems that could make Albert Einstein think he was Elmer fudge at times.]

                                    E. The best part of this entire situation associated with this particular VFF Forum is to try to forget the ($$$$$$) misery part and look at all of the replies above, and concentrate only on is the fact that we all respect you; and we all sincerely wish that we lived next door to you to come over to "investigate" further, and assist to getting your Town Sedan on the road.

                                    Hope this helps ...... in my opinion, it is only an all Compassionate Mental Attitude Model A Restoration.
                                    Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 11-14-2018, 11:36 AM.

                                    Comment


                                    • #25
                                      Without knowing your run cycles, and how the engine is set up to run, I wonder if a mouse could have entered a cylinder, or corrosion set in. Remember, in 1976 I ran my 29 Chevy and 63 Lark for only 10 minutes, then 6 months later found both of them locked tight, and these were well broken in engines that ran perfectly. Especially in humid areas, corrosion can set in and lock up an engine. I bought a 1950 Champion in 1980, and the engine was locked. I tried oiling the cylinders and even used a 12 volt battery, but it wouldn't jar loose. When I finally removed the head, the insides looked perfect other than a very light trace of surface rust on part of the cylinder that had an open exhaust valve. It's amazing how little it takes to lock an engine.

                                      Comment

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