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  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 06:11 PM
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Default Engine hydro-locked ?

Hello guys,

seems I have very special moments on my way of turning my Bird back to life. Today I got to the garage after 2 weeks and wasn't able to start the engine. The engine turned but veeery slowly. Seemed it had hard time to spin. The battery is 100% OK.

During the two weeks we were facing heavy rains all over the country and I would say the Bird was exposed to a very high level of humidity during that time. Not sure if that matters but during that time the air filter was taken out leaving the carburetor uncovered and exposed.

Is it possible that the engine sucked the humidity from the air and hydro-locked? And if so, is there any other way of fixing it than taking it out and apart completely?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 08:16 PM
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I very much doubt it - but if you're concerned you can remove the spark-plugs and try turning the motor over - if there IS water inside the motor you will see it spray out of the spark-plug holes in the heads

From my experience motors that are hydro-locked don't turn over. period.

There is just a solid 'thunk' when you twist the key as the starter engages but that all.

I suspect humidity MAY have affected some of you cars 'lectrics, it would need more that just moist ait to hydro-lock a motor.

In my case it WAS rainwater (no hood, parked outside on a rainy day) and once gas ( parked nose-down on a steep slope and stuck float in carb).

Took plugs out, whizzed the motor over to clear its lungs, screwed plugs back in and viola! - all was well - ok, ran rough for first 10 - 15 seconds...!
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:58 PM
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ditto everything Scumdog said.

Taking a plug out is a good habit. You can get some real information quickly.

I would suggest checking electrical connections like the battery terminals, ground to motor, lead to starter. You never know. Take nothing for granted.

A number of years ago I was very close to buying a new starter motor only to find the ground wire to the block was loose.

How do you know your battery is 100% ?
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:54 PM
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batteries have a bad habit of looking good with an open circuit voltage, but due to a bad cell or two, the voltage drops so much under load that it won't crank.
i can't overempahsize the ground wires either. if they are original i`d run new ones and clean up all the connections. I had the same problem with my 61 truck upon reassembly. all those cables should be less than one ohm resistance another problem could be the starter relay, but you can bypass it to check it. also try with a battery from your daily driver if you want to try with another battery.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
ditto everything Scumdog said.

Taking a plug out is a good habit. You can get some real information quickly.

I would suggest checking electrical connections like the battery terminals, ground to motor, lead to starter. You never know. Take nothing for granted.

A number of years ago I was very close to buying a new starter motor only to find the ground wire to the block was loose.

How do you know your battery is 100% ?
While troubleshooting I took a good modern VARTA battery from my daily driver. The engine at least spin a bit as I wrote. Where can I find the ground to motor terminal?

Last edited by Rock&Roll Firebird : 06-10-2013 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:15 AM
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the ground wire from your battery should go to the engine block, so just follow it. On mine, it goes to the right front of the engine but no idea if that is original.

Dave has made a good argument in the past for building a new ground to the motor and putting it as close to the starter motor as you can so as to shorten the distance of the (briefly) huge current draw.

In general on old cars, carefully going thru and cleaning all grounds is a good move. The connections can be poor while looking ok due to either rust or paint. This does not take into account the creative but flawed work of previous owners.

Basic rule of old cars: assume nothing.



Weird, off the wall thought: put it in Neutral and see if the speed of turning over changes any. Just a thought. . .

Keep us posted!!
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2013, 01:17 PM
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VOLTAGE DROP TEST
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:40 PM
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For what it is worth: When I replaced the battery leads on my hot-rod F100 with 'beefier' items it was like I had doubled the battery output and fitted a more 'grunty' starter - if you know what I mean!

I could not believe the amazing change just by fitting larger diameter leads to the battery, well worth it.

Remember:the factory fitted them on a tight budget (cheap!) and it was a looong time ago.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scumdog View Post
...Remember:the factory fitted them on a tight budget (cheap!) and it was a looong time ago.
Man, you are so right Tom, and they're STILL doing it after all those years. Wouldn't you think someone would get wise? Nope, it's all about profits for stock holders.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:29 AM
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Some good info throughout the posts. I agree that you should always check and clean the grounds. These beasts seem to like heavy duty battery cables. You may take the battery to a shop and have them do a "Load Test" on the battery. Voltage can be good but Amps can be low which will cause slow cranking.
Here was the problem I had after purchasing a new battery due to having one that was undersized in capacity. Bought the new battery and it still wouldn't crank when the engine got hot. I pulled the starter and found the rotor bushings completely worn out. I had just replaced them not long ago. These starter drives are somewhat unique and I figure mine was hanging up or staying engaged causing the bushings to wear. I put new bushings in, cleaned the brushes and armature, and installed a NEW starter drive. Things have been great ever since. She cranks like a new car.
Just some info on what happened to me.
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