car motor possibly freezing up

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by leaping leon, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    I have a 1988 Caprice Wagon that I would like to keep, but it has been setting up without being run for several months. (I know better, but dh kept saying he was going to get it running next week...) I put a new battery in it because it was acting like the battery was low when we tried to start it two or three months ago. Nothing was done to keep the gasoline from going bad. Now it won't start, but it will turn over a little if we try to jump it. I'm worried that it has started freezing up because of not being run. Also, I asked dh to siphon out the old gas and replace it but he didn't do it, instead he bought more gasoline and put it in the tank, it had about 10 gal of old gas and he put 5 more in.

    If the motor is starting to freeze up, what should we/I do? DH now wants to spray wd40 into the cylinders through the spark plug openings, but I have reservations about this. We don't have money enough to take it to a professional mechanic.

    Any knowledgeable advice would be sincerely appreciated.

    ps. God bless you all, and Merry Christmas!
     
  2. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Clarksville TN.
    As long as the hood was shut and the engine assembled where no water got into the cylinders.I dought it froze up.In that amount of time.How ever it is hard on the seals and gaskets as they will dry out.Watch for oil leaks.

    Humm 1988, I'm assuming that it has a carb.and not fuel injection/throttle body.If so the gas has evaporated out of the carb.Spray some stater fluid (or a few drops of gas)into the carb and try it again.If it fuel injected of any kind skip this!

    If it is turning over slowly.Id suspect theres an electrical problem.Are the Battery cables clean.It makes a big difference! Especially if a jump isn't helping much.Also if its real cold out v8 engines sometimes turn over a bit slower than normal.

    (WD/40 I wouldn't recommend putting any thing into the cylinders since you have already turned the engine over.any damage would have already been done.I dought if the cylinder walls where rusty anyway.Not sure if the WD 40 trick ever really helped anyway.Ive heard stories.But i suspect the damage to the rings would have still been great.


    The gas is probably all rite.Not the best but it will run off it.

    One thing other thing to watch out for is a freeze plug being pushed out.If it didn't have anti freeze in it.And has frozen do to temps outside.It will run fine,but loose all the water and get hot quick.Also the gauge may not register hot,with no fluid against it.Make sure the radiator is full and stays that way after it is running.

    Thats all i can think of.Maybe some one else has a better idea.
     

  3. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    194
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    washington/british columbia
    WD-40 in the cylinders won't hurt it any but as stated previously, unless the car has been sitting for a long time it should still be ok, and isn't required, and the damage has probably already happened if it was going to.
    Don't pour gas directly into the cylinders, if it doesn't fire or worse prematurely fires, it may break a connecting rod by hydraulicly locking up, and it will wash off any lubrication on the cylinder walls anyways and cause scraping possibly breaking a ring, and if it doesn't start it will just wash down into the crankcase and contaminate the oil.
    If its cranking slow its likely because of corrosion on the wiring from just sitting in the damp.
    The gas will probably be ok, but if not all you'll have is a problem with plugged fuel filters for a little while, not a big problem.
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    like was said if the hood is closed, the engine cant freeze up from sitting (unless you are talking years and yrs)
    here is how we rednecks keep our spare engines (I have 2 my cousin has about 14) sittig on pallets (upright) from locking up over their storage life... it doesnt seem to ever effect how it starts later on except it smokes a bit tIll the oil is gone.remove each plug and squirt a few tablespoons of marvel mystery oil, crank the engine over with the coil wire OFF (no spark to the plugs) to coat the cylinders.
    your good for a few yrs put the plugs in.
    thats on a crated engine... A WHOLE CAR, ugh they dont take well to sitting. the wores corrode, mice nibble at the wires make shorts ect.
    the slow starting with a good stron battery might be the starter motor corroded inside from sitting. if it had old gas in it, this is going to gum up the jets and orifaces... if its a fuel injected car, your going to gum up thise injectors and the tiny little valves n stuff too. never let gas sit in a FI system, if you have to dump some stabil in the gas.
    BETTER still... run it once a week for 30 min. thats better still.
    if you can get it started, disconnect the fuel line and put the line in a jug of clean gas with some marvel mystery oil added... it will clean out the old gas deposits.
    drain that tank, and put clean gas and STABIL in it... stabil keeps the gas from going bad in storage.
     
  5. leaping leon

    leaping leon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you for the advice. Yes, the hood was closed...and it's not fuel injected, fortunately. I'll help dh check on the wiring, etc. today.
     
  6. Hurricane Kurt

    Hurricane Kurt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Sounds like it just needs the battery charged to me, maybe a new one. If it ran ok when it was parked several monthes ago it should be fine.

    Kurt
     
  7. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    SE TN/SW NC
    From my experience, the GMs of that era were notorious for electric fuel pump failure from sitting unused. I own 3 of them, and it is a fairly common problem if they are left parked for extended periods of time. The fuel pump is in the fuel tank on those vehicles.

    I have seen others install an aftermarket inline electric fuel pump and just draw the fuel through the old pump in the tank. That seems to solve the recurring problem for seldom run vehicles.

    Bob
     
  8. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    Charge the battery first. A jumpstart to a completely dead battery will not start a vehicle.
     
  9. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Sent you e-mail with our Caprice problems, hope it helps. If you have any questions just let me know.