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Old 09-25-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
rv93
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Default seized engine

a while ago, i replaced the rod bearings in my 97 SC2 because of a rod knock (caused by a mistake i had made). he crank pin for rod #1 was a little scratched, but i decided it should hold over through the winter (thats all i need this engine to do), so i put new bearings in, checked clearances, all seemed good. i drove it for a few miles, and after 3 or so, when i assume the engine got all the way up to temperature, the engine seized. i assumed the engine was a basket case, and just took the pan off to see if the block could be reused, and found something interesting. the bearing that seized wasn't the one i wasnt sure about. it was #2. the pin was perfectly smooth last time, and bearing clearance was at 0.001", well within specs. when i took the cap off, the bearing stuck on the pin. i pried it off, and it was really tight on there. all the other bearings looked like they hadnt even been touched. if i had cleaned the oil off them, i could have passed them off as brand new. i have no idea why bearing #2 failed. its a sealed power bearing (federal mogul). could it have just been a fauly bearing? or oil starvation? the crank pin still looks undamaged, so im considering checking the clearance with a new bearing, and just replacing all of the bearings. is there a way to be sure there is oil flow to that bearing? any other ideas about why this could have happened? i could park the car for the winter, but my other car is crap in the snow, so id really love to have this running until spring

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Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: seized engine

You can check clearances and blow air into #1 crank oil hole and see if it comes out at #2. Might work, worth a try.

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: seized engine

my air compressor is kindof crap, so i was thinking of spraying brake cleaner into #3, and see if it comes out #2. would that work? #3 and #2 are in the same position, so thatll make it a bit easier. ill also hook up my oil pressure gauge to make sure thats not an issue. the other bearings were fine, so i dont think thats a likely issue, is it?

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: seized engine

I would not blow brake cleaner into the oil system. Any spray oil will work though.#1 and #2 are common feed from the main feed and are not connected to #3 as near as I can tell from the drawing and I do not remember if they all are connected or not.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: seized engine

you obviously know more about this than i do, so ill defer to your judgement, but brake cleaner is supposed to dry without any residue. as long as i give it enough time to dry (which is like 20s tops, so no issue there), would brake cleaner do any damage? i know it could wash oil off the bearings, so i suppose that could be an issue, and if it gets on the main bearings, it could cause problems, but if it just gets to the rod bearings, those wll get assembly lube before ever starting, so idk. i just dont see how id get compressed air into the hole on 1 while being able to detect it coming out of 2. ill take another look at it and see if its possible.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: seized engine

Brake cleaner is now alcohol and light hydrocarbons and has no business even close to soft metal bearings.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: seized engine

fair enough. might buy a long tipped blow gun for my air compressor then

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: seized engine

The short rubber topped gun will work fine. I suspect that for whatever reason that bearing was too tight. That will happen if you get assembly lube on the back side of the shells. look on the back of the ruined bearing and see if it is marked as the correct size.

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Old 09-26-2013, 12:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: seized engine

the thing is i checked the clearance, and it was within spec. the only weird thing was that there is a small, but moderately deep scratch on the back of one of the bearing halves (dont really know which half at this point). im thinking maybe something got in between the bearing and the rod or cap. i was careful to clean them off, but weirder things have happened. i can post a picture if that would help any

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Old 09-26-2013, 07:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: seized engine

Anything that makes a scratch is enough to cause what happened.

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Old 09-26-2013, 10:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: seized engine

then i suppose i should thank my lucky stars i somehow havent damaged the crank, put new bearings on carefully, and hope for the best. if it blows, im back where i started. $50 or so poorer, but worth a shot

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: seized engine

so i checked oil flow with air, and it all seems good. gave it a good blast at 100psi just to be sure i cleared any obstructions that might be there. checked clearance on the bearing (used one of the undamaged ones i took out the first time i swapped them out), and it was fine with that, so i ordered a standard size bearing for that pin. i also re checked #1 (the one that was a little scratched up from the knock), and while the bearing seemed undamaged, the clearances seemed a bit high, so i ordered a 1 thousandth undersized bearing for that. they should get here soon, hopefully, and i can see if this fixes my problem

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Old 09-30-2013, 07:42 AM   #13
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Default Re: seized engine

Properly oil prime the engine before starting, use clean new oil, do not get anything, oil included, on the inside of the rod eye or back of the bearing shells.

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Old 09-30-2013, 03:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: seized engine

thats the plan. the first oil change will be after running the engine 30 seconds or so. im sure theres still some oil floating around in there, and some of it has way too many metal shavings.

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Old 09-30-2013, 06:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: seized engine

You really must be lucky to have started out with a rod knock and then have a seized engine, its very hard to believe that theres no extensive damage to the internals of the engine the metal particles in the oil alone would score vital parts up...

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: seized engine

I gotta ask: what was that original mistake you made, that first caused the #1 rod-knock? That might also be related to why #2 then went...

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Old 10-01-2013, 04:56 PM   #17
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Default Re: seized engine

my original mistake was to put the rod caps on backwards on #1 and #4. both bearings were damaged, but only #1 was knocking at the time. #4 wasnt far behind. #2 most likely went because of something between the back of the bearing and the cap. there is a scratch on the back of that bearing. as for shavings, there are some, but theyre incredibly small. i cant even see the individual particles. yes, i agree it probably did some damage, but it doesnt seem to be major at this point, so im going to hope for the best (that itll last me through the winter)

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Old 10-08-2013, 12:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: seized engine

well, its done. i ended up replacing just the #2 rod bearing with a standard size one (still within specs). i ran the engine probably a minute or two, changed the oil and filter, and have done a 6-7 mile test drive with no issues or funny noises. ill see how it holds up

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Old 10-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: seized engine

Keep he steady RPM below 3100 for a while and the peak RPM below 3500. Give all the parts to wear in properly.

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Old 10-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: seized engine

oh man, this car is gonna be the end of me. i too it for another drive. goal was to keep revs under 3k, and sustained under 2k, so it was pretty much all city streets and such. all goes well, and at 11 miles, boom. seized. could it be that the bearing overheated because i didnt do a few shorter trips before the longer one? the engine had been up to full temp for quite a while before it seized, so thats the only possible explanation i see. if thats reasonable, ill give it one more shot (i only tried to restart it once after it stopped, and if the last time (tried to restart at least 10 times) didnt do any real damage to the crank, im sure this didnt make it any worse). a new bearing would run me $9, so the biggest cost would be the new oil. im getting quite good at this whole oil pan deal, so i could probably do the whole thing in a day no problem

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