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Engine wont turn

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  • Engine wont turn

    After finally prepared for first start up my engine wont turn. The starter aint able to get it turning and also im not able to turn it with hand. everything okay with the starter i checked it.

    Last time i did turn it around was a year ago. The engine did get a complete overhaul some years ago and have not been started only turned so it dont get stuck.

    Whats the best advice? should i just take off the intake and tops and try to get the pistons moving again?

  • #2
    Remove the spark plugs so there will not be any compression and squirt some penetrating oil in the cylinders.

    Let is sit a day or two and try again to turn the engine with a wrench on the crankshaft. It will need to be a fairly good sized bar on the wrench for leverage with a new engine (approx 2 ft). Will probably have to make small movements back and forth while adding penetrating oil then finally it will turn all the way around. Don't force it to turn completely the first time - although unlikely - that could break a ring.

    If you can't turn the engine with a wrench it's most likely going to have to be removed to be freed. I'm sure other folks will have more suggestions on freeing it up. Some may suggest acetone and transmission fluid 50/50 mix as a rust breaker - I've never tried it but heard it works better than the penetrating oil.

    I bought a rebuilt engine that had sat a few years. It was sealed but moisture still made it's way into the engine. I could however turn it with a wrench. Later found that all the hydraulic lifters were frozen and had to replace them. Hopefully yours is just a little rust in the cylinders and will move with the penetrating oil.

    Inside the engine - notice the rust around the lifters

    After removing the intake manifold, cleaning everything and replacing the lifters and pushrods.

    If you do get it moving check the battery. Batteries can have enough voltage to light bulbs and engage the starter but basically no current (shorted cells etc).

    Good luck


    • #3
      Hopefully the engine was covered or wrapped in something so no mice or moisture could get inside during storage.

      Before tearing anything apart I would just remove the spark plugs and squirt a lot of a high quality penetrating oil in each plug hole. Let it set for a day and then with a socket on the crankshaft bolt I would try to turn it back and forth a little bit. This may not work, but definitely worth a try. If it moves some, keep rocking and hopefully it will soon break free. Once free, turn it over with the wrench several times before trying the starter.

      In the mean time, charge the battery and ope it loosens up.


      • #4
        If the previous suggestions don't work try taking the valve covers off and remove the rocker arms so you're not trying to move the valves. They may be stuck also. You want as little resistance as possible.

        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695