Recently I (sorta) hijacked Rob Model K thread with stories of my new 1916 Hupmobile Model N acquisition. I have another project ahead of the Hupp that I am currently focusing on.....but nobody said I can't tinker around with my new toy right?
Anyway, I have been messing around trying to get the 4.0 liter Model N engine unstuck. The motor won't budge AT ALL and I suspected piston No. 3 to be my culprit. Last night I pulled the rod caps off pistons No. 1, 2 and 4 and all move smooth and easy. Number 3 however....as I suspected, was stuck tight. It is almost all the way down, so I tried thumping on it with a soft drift (wood dowel) and a hammer.....no movement. I know that Cylinder No. 3 spent quite a few years open to the environment and certainly may have mouse nest crap in it as well.
I have the No. 3 cylinder full to the brim with a 50/50 mix of Acetone and Marvel....which works really well and I have had the suggestion pitched to me of filling it with oil and lighting aflame with the head off to get it unstuck too. Sadly, this is a Mono-Block engine.....and has no removable cylinder head.
What is best way of getting this thing unstuck that doesn't require total disassembly?
I would suggest a combination of time and patience.
You could try a small electric demolition hammer on the piston to try to shock it loose. You can get one at a tool rental place. I'd keep the penetrating mixture in place for a few days or even weeks, too.
I agree....and certainly have both I just don't want to be wasting my time trying things that don't work if there is a certain way of doing it.
I also don't want to brake anything...
You say the piston is at or near the bottom and you have the rod cap loose if you have a tile heat gun I would try to heat the piston from underneath at a medium heat setting. If you don't have a tile heat gun a hair dryer on high for about an hour or so may accomplish the same thing since you have the acetone mixture in there already you don't want to get it too hot. in the day my uncle said they would heat the piston then dump about an ounce of wintergreen oil in the cylinder then wait until it cooled and the piston would come free.
Burger is right with his suggestion, time patience and your penetrating mixture.
I had a same problem two years ago, see photos.
I took it apart as far as I could, cleaned out the cylinders the best I could and fill them with WD40 and wait for a week till the oil dripped out on the underside of engine. A few ticks withe a small hammer wood, not an electric demolition hammer, and the pistons came all out.
I didn't bore the cylinders and used the original pistons with new rings. The engine runs smooth with a lot of power.
Hope this helps
Years ago, I read about someone un-sticking a piston in an early Rolls Royce engine by letting Coca-Cola soak in the cylinder. The mild carbonic acid solution dissolved the rust without damaging anything, and the piston was easily removed with gentle tapping after about a week. For whatever it's worth...
I have pushed them out by putting a grease zerk in the plug hole and pumping grease in to force it out.
Kinda messy and obviously the valves need to be closed.
I will let my penetrating work it's magic. Hopefully....it will be pouring into the drip pan under the car soon.
The only problem is, I can't get to the top of the piston to knock it out....no Cylinder head.
...everything has to be done from the crankcase.
I certainly don't have issues putting a little heat to it, might do the trick. I do have a heat gun.
Since you can (apparently) only tap the piston UP, I don't think that's a good solution. However, you could put a line on the spark plug hole, and with the valves closed pump some grease in and hydraulic the piston out--actually it doesn't have to be grease, just a liquid. I would try this after doing the heat gun thing. If you don't have a heat gun, Harbor Freight usually has them 'on sale' pretty cheap, and you will find lots of other uses for it too!
PS One thing you DO NOT want to do is accidentally push the pistons too far up the cylinder, as then the rings will pop out in the combustion chambers and you will lose the pistons to save the block!
I have heard that too.....might have to give that or Molasses a try if the penetrating oil doesn't work.
I thought about using hydraulic pressure to force it out.....but that would take ALLOT of grease.
3.75" Bore...5.5" Stroke.
Bob Gruber's suggestion of the grease gun has worked for me also. It is also very safe. Air pressure is dangerous.
I've been successful in a situation like yours by fitting a grease zert to a spark plug and using a grease gun to pump/force the piston down. This will work if the valves are closed and if not maybe you can close the valve or seal off the opening. Be sure that there is no air in the cylinder when using a grease gun. You don't want to build up a bunch of explosive compressed air. The grease gun will put out several thousand psi.
In your case with the 50/50 mix of Acetone and Marvel in the cylinder the added pressure from the grease gun may push the solvent into where it is really needed.
Other then that, differences in temperature is your friend. Heat and cool the block and piston to get a little movement between the parts.
You don't have to fill the whole cylinder with grease. You can fill it with any liquid, even waste oil. Just need something to fill the space.
I had this exact same problem once on a White engine (no removable head). A single piston was stuck. I completely disassembled the engine except for the offending piston / rod assembly and both valves for that cylinder. I made a crude ignition, blew acetylene and oxygen into the cylinder, screwed in the spark plug, got away, and touched the coil wires to a battery. It made a wonderful "whoomph" sound and launched it about six feet. The only regret was I didn't account for the rod flopping when it landed and it knocked a chunk out of the piston skirt, otherwise it was flawless.
Agreed. That worries me too....thank fully....the cylinders are a mile long (5.5" stroke) so I should have some room to go up.
I see others posted while I was composing! Wouldn't have to be grease, could even be molasses (but I think grease is cheaper!)It would also help force the penetrating solution past the rings.
You might also find something to vibrate the piston while applying the pressure (air chisel on a metal block made to fit somewhere solid on the piston--you just want to vibrate it, not move it).
Clayton, You don't have to fill the cylinder with grease. Any liquid will do. Years ago I had to use this approach on an Autocar jug. After soaking the whole mess with penetrating oil for a week or so, we filled the cylinder with oil (30wt if I recall) but water would have worked as well. We put a zerk into an old spark plug base, installed in the jug
then pumped grease into the cylinder.
When the piston started to move we stood back and out she came, with a big rush of oil. That's why I said water would have worked as well.
The important thing is to get the cylinder as full of liquid as possible, so that you don't wast a lot of grease compressing air.
I think I will have to give that and the Heat a try. Using Hydraulic pressure might just be the safest route.
Getting the valves in that cylinder closed might be a challenge. Exhaust on that cylinder is open...hopefully I can get the crank and cam around far enough to let it close.
.....I really don't want to pull the whole thing apart, I have a '65 Falcon to finish first and really don't want to get TOO distracted
Clayton, I had 4 stuck in model N ford cylinders. A simple setup with 4 pcs of threaded Rod in a teepee, chained to the rod. Along with penetrating oil, a couple turns of the nuts on the threaded rods a couple time a day, they all popped out. Once you get them moving, they come out easily. Thought of the pumping method, but the valves are usually a problem.
I also though about modifying a slide hammer to bolt onto the connecting rod in place of the rod cap....and knock on it a few times to see if it would move.
Bad idea, it will likely deform the rod end, and bust out the wrist pin bosses.
Don't ask me how I know about this one!!! Fortunately it wasn't a rare engine nor parts.
Do a search on smokstak, they are always getting out stuck pistons.
I just kept using acetone and ATF to flood the cylinder and once it started to drip through I set the crank handle on my floor jack and jacked it up until there was a little pressure on the handle. Every day I gave the jack a little pump. Eventually the weight of the car broke the piston free. In my case all 4 pistons were frozen and I actually wound up with the weight of the front end of the car bearing on the crank before it let go. If you have just one piston to free I would not jack it up that much.
I certainly don't want to damage anything.....so we will cross that off the list.
I am hesitant to put jack pressure on the hand crank.....as the hand crank shaft is a retractable piece with an internal ratchet. This, in turn, is mounted into the aluminum nose "snout" on the front timing cover.....
The last thing I need is to crack that....
I had a similar problem on a early Russell car engine. First I soaked it like you are doing. Then I removed the crank and machined a dummy crank pin that fit perfectly into the connecting rod and that extended out each end of the rod allowing the hooks of the cylinders to fit to. I then welded up a frame work that allowed me to use two "porta-power" pull type hydraulic cylinders connected to two "porta-power" pumps. The frame work needs to distribute the load carefully onto the block (probably to the main bearing saddles would be best). I then set up and carefully put some pulling tension on the rod/piston. Yes it is tough to gauge how much is safe, but time is probably on your side. So I set it up and applied some force. Then the next day I would apply a little more force (and walk away again). After about a week it started to move, I just kept jacking it out a pump stroke or two every day. It took the better part of a month, but I didn't break anything.
I assume the plate on top is water jacket cover. If you remove it, can you see each cylinder. ?? if so use a torch to heat the inside of the water jacket. Move around and heat evenly on all cylinders not just one. Not to hot just bring it up till its just too hot to hold your hand on it. Do that several times. Letting it cool completely each time. I have also used a port-a-power to do the same thing as a grease gun. I filled the offending cylinder with auto trans fluid. Then unscrewed the fitting from the port-a-power head. I made a adapter to fit the porta-power fitting and the spark plug hole. Works good, just apply a little pressure each day. If the piston is not on Bottom dead center and it still has room to go down, I would keep the rod attached to the crankshaft as long as you are sure the crankshaft will turn. Like others have said. time, heat, pressure and "TIME" are your friends (yes I was shouting with the caps) Good luck with it, That's going to be a nice car
I would also be afraid to put that stress on an aluminum casing. What about putting the jack under a crankshaft throw that is on the way up. I am not talking about putting too much stress on the crankshaft, just enough to help it break free once the penetrating solution starts to do its work. The last time I did that I raised the car 2" initially which really just took some of the tension off the springs. After a week I raised it another 2" and the next morning it had dropped back down because the stuck piston had broken free.
have you tried rocking it back and forth while in gear?
How much tire pressure are you running ?
Just a question: Can you keep us posted on the way you how get the piston out of the block?
Clayton, if the acetone atf doesn't seem to work go to the kroil. It will actually dissolve rust. I have had better luck with it than any thing and you don't have to fill the whole cylinder. MHO, KGB
Keith Barrier: You may be right. I had a neighbor with a Studebaker. The owner of the local Pontiac garage suggested KROLL! It worked but his pistons were only dragging, they were not stuck like yours.
I recommend a product called PB Blaster. It's made to do exactly what you need here. I had a transmission shop recommend it for a similar serious application.
When I got my 1907 Model R the engine was stuck tight. I attached a come along from a rafter in the garage and lifted the front end of the car off of the floor by the hand crank. The cylinders were liberally dosed with penetrating oil through the spark plug holes. I gently heated the block every day after getting home from work. It took about 2 weeks but one day I went to the garage to heat the block and found that the car was sitting on the ground and the engine was free.
Paul: A method quite similar to that is to use a bumper jack to keep a lifting force to the crank.
Patience is a virtue I do not possess, but what I have heard many times over is "It didn't seize up overnight, so don't expect it to free up overnight." Let it sit and work on your other project. Check it every few days. I get impatient and do things I later regret.
There are ways to rig up an electrolysis bath, and to get it to work on the inside of parts.
My 1916 Indiana has jugs and had one piston stuck like you have. I used ATF and everything I could find but after 2 months it was still stuck. Someone told me to hook a hydraulic hose to the spark plug hole from a tractor and it would push it right out. I didn't like this idea but did hook a hydraulic hose to it and use a small hand pumped porta power and it worked with no damage and not that much of a mess. Maybe if you can get the valve closed this would be the best way to free it up in your case if letting it sit with what ever in the hole and a little heat wont work. Time is always good so don't rush it and it will come out.
If the piston is stuck that badly, and a valve has been open, I doubt you can get the valve to close and even if you can, it probably won't seal very well. If that's the case, it would probably work better to hydraulic it out with thigk grease rather than oil.
Chuck,in that case how would get the valve out because I got 5 of them that are rusted solid in a 21 engine I need to rebuild
can you block the ports for exhaust and intake and use a regulated 10 psi or so of air pressure to help the penetrant get in there?
What is keeping a person from pulling the piston out with a puller similar (probably custom made for this
application) to a post-war type steering wheel puller ?
Chrysler used a tapered axle for decades that most followers bellyache about. The rear drums are known
to "weld" themselves to the axles pretty good, sometimes making the drums unsaveable. I like to put my
puller to the drum and apply pressure after getting penetrating lubricant on all surfaces and then heating
I have wound up that pressure pretty high on some really stuck ones, but most times I just come home
from work one day to apply more "voodoo" and discover it let go while I was away. The kicker in this case,
is to apply a thin coat of anti-seize to the tapered surfaces before re-installing. Next time they come right
off with the puller like they are supposed to. Not much help in this case.
BTW - why did you let this car get so weathered, anyway ???
I bought a TT chassis with this engine in it a few years ago.
It had been sitting out in the weather for years without the cylinder head. The cylinders were full of water (melted snow) when I got it. (Cast iron pistons and block + water + time = STUCK, big-time.)
I filled the cylinders with the magic mixture of acetone and ATF and covered it while I worked on the chassis. It was 6 months later when I got back to the engine to work on it. The cylinders were still full of the penetrant mixture. I disconnected the rods from the crankshaft and was able to knock the pistons out using a foot-long 2x2 and a hammer. If you've got the time, that stuff will work!
You may have to take out the valve access plugs and tap the valve down (after making sure the cam is clear.
I suppose you may have to pull the valve and do some valve grinding! Once you get the valve to move a little, then you should be able to work it out of the block.
I have No. 3 full of Acetone/Marvel and has been soaking for the last 3 days. It hasn't started working down past the rings yet, but time will tell.
I do like the sealed cylinder/port-a-power idea.
I figured I would be stupid to walk away from a complete, big nickel era car like this
Clayton, beautiful car! Can we get some details about the body?Has it been modified into some sort of utility box?
Lord Burger you brought up some dark memories with that post.
The "Utility Box" is simply a support to hold the body together and as a place to stash parts. It was added sometime in the Post-War era.
The center section or "B" pillar consists of the front seat back and super-structure with is all wood and a few pieces of steel. This section also carries the rear door hinges and the doors.
All the wood had become rotten and collapsed....so a P.O. decided to build this wooden support box to keep the back half of the body together.
Here is what the center section is supposed to look like...
I think Mack has a good idea. If you can seal the cylinder by removing the cam gear and turning the cam to get the valves closed or block the ports as he suggested, a little air pressure might hasten the movement of the acetone/mmo past the pistons.
I agree, I think that might be a decent place to start...
In my high school days years ago I removed a stuck piston from a Maytag single cylinder jug with a TNT center fuse firecracker. I lit the firecracker, stuffed it in the spark plug hole, screwed in the spark plug aimed it for the back fence and ran behind the garage. The jug was where I left it and I assembled it on another engine. My next door neighbor found the piston and rod a year later buried in the weeds 50 feet from our yard.
I'd be careful with the compressed air. A liquid under pressure will drop to zero pressure when the volume increases by just a frog hair. Once that piston moves a frog hair under 10 psi of air, the pressure will still be practically 10 psi! 10 psi on a 4" bore will be 126 lbs of force. How far will a force of 126 lbs send that piston?
Clayton, Get that piston out of there. You are driving us nuts. Quit putting it off please.
Ok just kidding. Take your time and be safe, Scott
Wow, you even have the top!! BTW, that steering column spark/throttle/ horn button assembly looks a LOT like the one on the Lott Home's 22 Buick. I may be making some new horn buttons sometime soon, If you're interested, I'll send you the dimensions (once I get mine apart so I can measure it!).
I believe the piston is not the problem. The problem is the rings are rusted and the rust fills the gap between the piston and the cylinder wall.
I would flush out the oil, as much as I could with purple power and hot water, and the next thing I would try is Pepsi Cola instead of oil, or one of the rust removers. ----Len
I got to thinking about my previous post. I was thinking of just a piston stuck in a jug. If the jug is still on the engine and the rod is still on the crank, the air would be safe. Sorry for jumping to conclusions.
I think Hydraulic pressure would be the most direct and safest, but not opposed to putting some air pressure in the cylinder to help out.
I am doing my best, but not gonna rush it. Lord knows....if I went for it, I would undoubtedly break something :D
There is little recourse for me to get the oil out...there is no way to get anything out or into that cylinder besides liquid or air. I will have to let it sit. Hopefully it will work it's way through.
The top isn't exactly right.....but it is darn nice for a 70 year old upholstery job. it is even built in the same way as my top should be.
Yes, I certainly would be interested! Mine is a bit tired and I have been looking for a source for one. Please keep me posted.
We have a 14 Hupmobile Roadster model 32. They are also fun cars.
I have had good luck using a Torch heating up inside the cast iron piston to get it hot enough to ignite penetrating oil. With the torch turned off, keep spraying penetrating oil around the piston skirt while cooling. The oil with initially burn/smoke but will work it's way between the piston/cylinder while the piston cools. The heat expands the piston and will help break the rust loose. With your slide hammer set up, thump the piston/rod assy. a couple times....do not get overly aggressive!
Repeat this procedure until the piston/rod can be removed. You need to be careful....do not want to distort the rod or crack the cylinder.
I once broke out a cast iron piston with a chisel and hammer when all else failed but ended up cracking the cylinder wall. The cylinder was repaired with a sleeve.
Drain out the 50/50 mix of Acetone and air dry before using a torch or open flame. Do not want to burn down the shop or risk being burned. Good luck....keep us posted on your results.
Clayton, using compressed air is, as Hal stated, not such a good idea. Applying hydraulic force to a liquid would be your best and safest choice. I would still recommend the liquid and grease gun approach because this process will act like a jack, meaning that as the piston starts to move the forces will equalize and the pressure will quickly drop back to zero, and the grease gun will allow you to only apply the force necessary for the distance required.
A good analogy is using a hydraulic jack to change a tire. When you remove the wheel, the car does not jump into the air. If you were to use an air cylinder to do the same job the car would move upwards as the gas expands to its new equilibrium!
I agree John.
I think the Hydraulic method will be the best bet. I am going to give it a try. it might not be for a few months, but I am planning on it.
I would prefer to do this with the block off the crankcase on a bench so it is easy to deal with....so this might be on hold until I am at that point.
I wouldn't mind owning a Model 32. Hupps are great cars. I would love to get my hands on the only surviving Model N roadster.....or a Model N center door sedan, if one existed.