I have an engine that ran when parked in 1978;) In this case I think it is true. I couldn't get the crank shaft to turn so I am disassembling the engine (on the car). With the head off I could see some moisture got around the top side of the pistons. I wiped out the carbon/rust and with steel wool was able to get everything cleaned up very nice (i.e. no pitting). The bottom side of the cylinders look fine. It looks like the clearances between piston and cylinder walls are very tight (i.e. little wear after rebuild).
I started to disconnect the rods from the crank and found only one piston free. Any ideas of how to get the other ones free?
All the pistons have soaked for over a week with Marvel Mystery Oil.
Reconnect the rod(s) to crankshaft after oiling the bearings. Then rock the vehicle back-and-forth with transmission in high speed (hand brake fully-forward position). Pistons should start to "quiver" and then move a little after many repetitions....if you get tired, tap gently on them with a short 2x4 and light hammer and then rock the vehicle some more....they will move if you don't give up!
Get some good penetrating oil such as kroil, or mix acetone 50/50 with atf and let set awhile. Valves may also be stuck, usually the exhaust. KB
I never tried this, but I've read you can pour 1/4" of brake fluid on top of the piston and light it on fire. Theory is supposed to be that the flame heats the cylinder but liquid keeps piston cool. As cylinder expands, liquid penetrates deeper down cylinder wall.
Boy! That's one I never heard Hal! Guess that would only work on an "inline" engine, huh? Or, in the case of a V8, one cylinder bank at a time, huh?
Ya' know, come to think of it, farm tractor restoration has become a very big hobby nowadays, and I'll bet some of those tractor guys know some "tricks" for breaking old rusted and "stuck" engines free! Just a thought,.....harold
Combine the good idea of William with the ATF/acetone mix from Hal. Work at it a while, let it rest overnight, work at it a while, rest, repeat. Resist using the really big hammer.
Some type of "Free-All" (brand I prefer) sprayed into the cylinders & valve stems then jack the front of the T up by the hand crank handle engaged until the front tires/wheels are off the ground and let gravity do the work for you.
I recently bought a Roberts model T boat engine. The cylinders had been soaked for some time with some type of lubricant(previous owner removed plugs and filled cylinders with oil). I removed the head and concluded, that while two cylinders were in pretty good shape the others would need more effort. So I removed the crank. To get ALL the flywheel bolts undone required turning the crank which required removing all the main caps, lifting the front of the crank a bit and moving the rods to the side to get enough clearance. I carefully kept track of all the shims and caps as the crank was looking pretty good as well as the babbit. With the crank removed, I was able to knock two of the pistons out the top. My favorite tool for this is a decent WOODEN hammer handle (with no hammer head). If you look you can find one make out of really nice strong wood for a good price. A pine/spruce piece of 2x2 about 2ft long can work too. I slip it down and drive onto the wrist pin boss of the piston. I NEVER drive on the big end of the connecting rod!!! I now flipped the block back over and set it up on some timbers (at least 4x4 and bigger is better). Now I grabbed a 2x4 and a sledge hammer and gave each stuck piston a couple of good whacks and moved the pistons down away from the rusted area of the cylinders about 1/2". You want to be careful not the drive the lower oil ring below the bottom of the cylinder, or you will have to remove it before you can drive the piston back up. Please note the pistons can NOT be removed intact through the bottom of the cylinder. Now I was able to turn the block back over and using my previous tools, drive the pistons out the top. I may have to sleeve one or two cylinders (I have not set up to trial bore them yet to see if they will clean up nice by .060 OS).
I then used my hammer handle tool and gave each lifter a whack from below beside the cam shaft and I was lucky in that all the valves actually moved. On a previous case I had to use a cutting torch to cut the valves away in the valve chamber and then milled the tops off of the valves down to the valve guide and then use a punch to drive them down. The things that you sometimes have to do the save a rare block!!
I poo poo'd brake fluid too until I tried it as a last resort.
I mixed some 50/50 with my favorite penetrating oil and gave it shot.
Penetrating oil because of, well, its penetrating properties and brake fluid because it doesn't evaporate.
I had success in no time flat and it's been the only combination I ever used or will use since.
You are right on as usual. I do the same thing except I have a shaft with a V on one end. I put the V on the wrist pin and drive the piston out. Once in awhile I find I can not drive one out with a hammer so I use my 50 Tom press. I have never failed to get the piston out.
NOW: I am going to say something that all the would be experts will disagree with me, but I will say it anyway in hope that some of the new guys will listen. If you have one piece of metal rusted enough in another piece of metal NOTHING WILL SOAK IN BETWEEN THE TWO PIECES OF METAL. You can try your Knock'er loose penetrant, Liquid wrench, Kroil, WD 40, or others and nothing is going to soak between the two piece of metal.
If the shaft or what ever is stuck that bad you need to heat the outside metal or force it like Les has described.
If anyone that thinks they can loosen stuck metal by some magical penetrant wants to try and remove some stuck valves and push rods, I sure would like to get rid of some 1915 blocks
This made me think about a job I did last year.
The engine was all frozen. I took it apart as far as I could, cleaned up the rust and dirt in the cylinders and put them all full WD40 and wait till the stuff was dripping out under the engine.
Turned the engine over and with two or three knocks with a good hammer the pistons came out.
Hope this helps
I didn't read all the posts..But soak ,soak,soak soak with quality penetrating oil as mentioned..One week are you kidding! You have to have some patience.
What my help is a good medium hard rap every once and a while with a block of wood and hammer on piston tops to shock the metal. I think you said the bottom is O.K.(skirts) a good squirt on the under bore and skirts is good...Some skirts get corrosion on the portion hanging below the bore!
Old time trick..Is to en-gauge the crank with a jack under it to give pressure to turn the crank! Add some extra pressure every few days...Another is a pry bar through the starter hole ..Work the ring gear on the teeth (not crazy) up and down to flex things working oil in as it can .
For the tough rusty hulk.
Get a bag of barbeque charcoal ..Make a heaping hot fire and place block on it and fill in the bores and piston tops . Cook on high heat for a few hours..later Pound out pistons with block of wood and sledge.Works every time.
Take out anything you can before, for what every is left in the block while cocking is ruined but the block...which is what you salvaging!
I actually got that from Smokstak.com. It was originally used for single cylinder hit and miss engines, but no reason it wont work on an inline or even a V, one bank at a time.
Another one I've seen on there is plugging the plug hole with an adapter that will take a grease fitting. Then pump it full of grease. A grease gun is capable of some serious psi.
On my Farmall M tractor I filled the cylinders with old fashioned smelly kerosene and waited until one of the cylinders had soaked thru. Then I used a block of wood and a small sledge and worked it loose. That was 1974. After new rings, inserts and a valve job it ran well and will still run well today. Now, smelly kerosene is no longer available, so I would use diesel fuel.
Dave, I'm gonna disagree with you this time.
When we were rebuilding a 1912 IHC 45 horsepower Mogul tractor some of the parts we had to work with were recovered riprap from a river in Montana.
The approximately 1 1/2" diameter, 12" long, clutch shaft was solidly rusted and silted into its bracket. No amount of heat or pounding would loosen it.
I set it up in a vise and every working day for about 4 months poured on as much brake fluid as it would take into a very small depression at one end, which was VERY little at a time.
We finally decided to take a crack at pressing it out and set it up in the press.
It still took heat but the silt inside that housing was damp with brake fluid clear through to the bottom.
Hal, assuming the valves are in good enough condition to build any pressure at all, you can easily either blow off the head or split a cylinder with the 10,000 pounds of pressure a grease gun can develop.
Just telling you what I've read. It has worked for a lot of people. I suppose anything is possible, but I'd be inclined to believe it would turn loose before doing other damage, but like I said, I suppose anything is possible. We must weigh the risks before doing lots of things. This is no different.
Mineral spirits mixed with Diesel works really well. It wont evaporate to fast and lasts a good while.
If a block has not been out in the open with the head off makes for a fairly easy job using patience.
Old T engines that have out in the open and rained in for forty years with the head off are an entirely different story.
The pistons are usually 'grown' into the cylinder walls that are usually rusted so bad it may not be worth messing with. Unless its an open valve T engine!
I've never tried it, but I have heard a few times over the years of a way that I would think should work pretty well. Make a bar out of some heavy(1inch or so, whatever is handy) steel that can be bolted down to the block using as many bolt holes as possible. Drill and tap(or weld on a nut, whichever is easier) the bar for a good sized(again, 1inch or so) bolt centered over the piston. Screw the bolt down to the top of the piston and apply some pressure. Don't get too carried away, you don't want the piston to come out in pieces. A piece of flat steel on top of the piston would probably be a good idea. Fill the cylinder with your favorite penetrant, not WD40, it's not a penetrant, and let it soak. Every once in a while, tighten the bolt a touch, the idea being to keep constant pressure on the piston. Keep at it for however long it takes, a day, week, month, whatever. Eventually, it should let go. As I said, I've never tried it, but it seems to me it would work. Just a thought. Dave
Years ago, I had an A John Deere that stuck slightly. We tried rocking it in high gear with no luck. Then we figured out which piston was stuck and loosened the rod cap maybe a 1/4 inch or so and rocked it again. Now it would hit pretty hard. It broke loose. We're still using it today.
Dave Huson - I agree. BUT, once you get the piston to move even an few thousands, light oil will make all the difference in the world.
These stories of guys soaking a stuck bolt with their favorite oil stuff over night and then taking it off with their fingers in the morning...........Well, I just don't believe it.
David Stroud said what I was going to add. However we would cut down a piece of wood that was just an inch or so above the deck height and fill the cylinder with some sort of soaking concoction.
We set a head on the block and inserted some head bolts and added pressure every couple days. Worked for us.
I have to disagree with Dave Huson in that penetrating oils don't work. That is the farthest from the truth.
Fred,I wont say it works on all stuff,but I do know from experiance,Kroil will give you that result on some applications.
But for stuck metal parts,Media blasting the area around the outer edge of the pistons is 1 thing I do.This makes a larger gap for any penetrant to go in.
Useing a hammer does not mean beating at max strength until something breaks.You are looking to set up a vibration in the parts,to open small gaps.
Off topic engine but here is what I did for a Delco light plant engine I gave 5 bucks for at a show.I was called a idiot by a friend who said it was not even a good boat anchor.It had been flooded in a basement.
I pulled the jug,put a nylon strap thru the crank end of the rod,wrapped another 1 around the jug, then tied 1 end to my trailer mounted welder,and the rod end to a comealong. With a greas fiting in the spark plug hole,I used the pull of the comealong and the grease gun to help loosen the piston.
I did put penetrant in the spark plug hole first.
And I heated the jug a few times.It came apart after about 3 days.
I honed the cylinder,installed a set of Maytag piston rings and sent the fellow a video of it running 13 days later!
I just love this forum!
Thanks for all the input.
I did not:
Make a BBQ out of the block, but that sounds fun;)
Start brake fluid on fire. Again fun but was concerned about the fire wall.
Rock the car. Tires were bad... Too hard to push...
What I did was:
Mystery oil. For a week. One piston came right out. Another oil had came down around it. So I worked on that with crank with other two rods disconnected.
The last two I tapped down with 2x4. Cleaned and oiled and tapped up with oak 1x1 on area where wrist pins are.
4 pistons out. Thanks so much!
Advice on honing?
It depends on the state of the cylinder walls.
Clean them all up and measure.
I was Lucky with mine just cleaned all put new rings on it and it is running great.
Dave Huson, have you tried electrolysis on them blocks?
No I have not tired electrolysis but I have enough blocks that you can. I have more blocks than are in the picture.
Side bar: Many years ago I used to do a lot of motel ting with Russell Vaughn from Sterling Co. Russell used to work in a Ford Dealership when they were still working on Ts. When ever Russell would get a cut working on his Ts he would put some WD 40 on the cut. That seemed to work as well as any antiseptic. The only other thing that I ever used WD 40 for was when repairing speedometer head it was good for cleaning the numbers on the drums.
I've heard of people using WD40 for arthritis, never tried it myself.