How to save a seized 3.8...w/pics - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-02-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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How to save a seized 3.8...w/pics

Attachment 99345
So this isnt the worst my JK has been through- not by a long shot. However, for whatever reason the crankcase breather was disconnected from my snorkel and that whole valve cover was under water. We were too far to run a winch line to anything, and nothing that could get close enough was big enough to remail stationary- I was fucked.

I was high centered and while we were putting weight on the front bumper to try and reach some terra-hydra with the locked 37"s the open exhaust was at an angle that was allpowing gravity to send water up the back side to the submerged right-side manifold. I didnt know about the breater tube, but I recognozed the engine starting to bog as I shifted gears- so I killed it.

In a nutshell, if you are sunk, keep it floored or kill it. All or nothing.

So after TWO tow trucks got stuck, I got pulled out... Now normally I would just pull the plugs and spray some WD, but this time was different- I had a $1,900 tow bill and milkshake on the dipstick. So I called insurance- and waited.

It took 3 weeks and 5 days to get my JK back. The whole time the rig was covered in evil Texas clay, had water in the engine cylinders, valve covers and exhaust. When I pulled the drain plug first thing I got was water- A LOT OF WATER. After clear water shot out, I ended up with AT LEAST 12 quarts of milkshake sludge. Most of us know what that looks like, but I can post a pic if you dont. After the crankcase was empty the dipstick still reagestered 3x more creamer colored goodness than what I usually get in oil.

So I pulled the plugs. Sediment was in 4 of them, rear drivers cyl. and all 3 of the low side cyls. I then used a broken spark plug wire boot and a gallon jug of ATF to fill each cyl with ATF. Some guys say to fill the engine with ATF, but thats for more severe situations, IMO. While the ATF is sitting, I pull the pan- nasty. Sediment is all in there too. I spent two cans of brake cleaner in the engine block, just hosing it out. I also sprayed directly into the oil fill plug, the dipstick, and up into the oil pickup.

Some people say to inch the crank back and forth manualy to break a seized engine free- but on the JK the bolt will turn long before the crank. So I do it like the caveman I am- put the trans in 4th (1:1) and pull that fucker with another jeep.

The 37x14.5" Iroks left 8 feet of rubber before breaking the engine lose with a final pop of the tow strap- then 6 cylinders of ATF exploded under the hood (use a blanket) as we dragged the JK around with no oil and ATF in all 6. I took it for about a half block total, listening to the popping of compression through the spark plug holes. The motor now turned freely by hand.

I refilled the cylinders with ATF, then buttoned it back up with new oil and a plug and dragged it around again in 4th to cycle the timing system and oil pump. Once I parked it, I cleaned all the spark plug boots with brake cleaner, put in new plugs, and cranked that bitch up.

It didnt start until the 4th try, and with 1/8th of a tank I think I took water in. That side was submerged to the headlight and if you know water crossings- you know JKs leak at the fuel pickup. But it started, and is smoking like a fucking haunted house. But it is runing, and the "lightinig bolt of death" will come on now and again while it stumbles, but a can of HEAT, or just filling it up, will resolve that. JKs do that whenever they are starved for fuel. Again, it is smoking like a mofo, but it is running fine.
Attachment 99481

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 05:00 AM
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Good Job Dude! I've never heard of filling the cylinders with ATF, but I've also never water logged my engine.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 05:18 AM
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Compression Check?


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post #4 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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ATF saves the rings...

Quote:
Originally Posted by azjeepN View Post
Good Job Dude! I've never heard of filling the cylinders with ATF, but I've also never water logged my engine.
...I used to street race Buicks back in the day. My secret to 12 second Regals involved pulling the motors out of Electa 225s, degreasing them, and droping them in with nothing more than an old Torker II manifold.

Once you get it in, you literally fill it with ATF to lubricate the bottom and toprings. Then after a day or so you start manually working the crank to and fro... but that was with an auto. With a stick, just find 1:1 and add torque.

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post #5 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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Compression Check?
Not yet- the battery wouldnt start it up again. I think after 5 years, in age, numerous winch pulls, a few years in the desert with it only being started occasionally, and the last three episodes of it sitting for a month at a time pushed it over the line. Before cranking it with the ATF I only had 11.3V.

When I tried to restart it today, after running it for almost 45 minutes with the belt on, I had less than 10V. I will run some HEAT and or SEAFOAM through it today, SEAFOAM the crank and vacuum lines, swap the battery, and bleed the coolant system while I replace the lifetime warranty Advanced autoparts fan that is way out of balance due to clay.

I will run a compression check tommorow if all goes well, but the fact is this is I have a rig that can tow it and a 5.3L on a stand. If this thing can turn 5.13 gears than I will rock it, smoking or knocking or whatever, so I can do my front 14B before the V8.

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post #6 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 06:26 AM
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Nice write up! Well done.


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post #7 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azjeepN View Post
Good Job Dude! I've never heard of filling the cylinders with ATF, but I've also never water logged my engine.
I've used diesel or kerosene myself, though i've heard of ATF being used as well.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 02:42 PM
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can you maybe upload a bigger, more blurry shot? i cant seem to make out what im suppose to be looking at this this pixilated image.
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE

Battery is at 13.06V and 568 or 660 CCAs... it is the starter I am sure. My Grand Cherokee parts are coming in this week so the JK has to sit. I did start seeing the oil light intermittantly, but the oil looks great. I will probably pull the filter and keep the same oil in it a while, and ad a pressure gauge.

I did put 1/3 of SeaFoam in the tank and ad 18 gallons of 91, will probably drop a can of heat in too tonight.

GILBOT: The deisel or Kerosene would just displace the water, right? Same as WD40 which you use on the trail? The ATF is to save the rings AFTER it has seized.

DAMON: Thats my LED tail lights engulfed in a cloud of burned ATF...smart ass. Resized and submitted for your approval...now when we gonna wheel? Wifey got tired of breaking shit so now I tow to the trail!!!

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post #10 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeucesALLin View Post
DAMON: Thats my LED tail lights engulfed in a cloud of burned ATF...smart ass. Resized and submitted for your approval...now when we gonna wheel? Wifey got tired of breaking shit so now I tow to the trail!!!
i tow as well... after a hydrolock that killed my little 3.8 (oddly enough) i dont drive to the trail anymore.

i was hoping i could make a little run sometime this month, but that little baby showed up and its hard for me to break away from the house when im home from work. believe me, as soon as i can pull the rig somewhere ill let you know.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-03-2013, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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OMFG WERE PREGNANT TOO!!!

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Originally Posted by damon.l View Post
i tow as well... after a hydrolock that killed my little 3.8 (oddly enough) i dont drive to the trail anymore.

i was hoping i could make a little run sometime this month, but that little baby showed up and its hard for me to break away from the house when im home from work. believe me, as soon as i can pull the rig somewhere ill let you know.
CONGRATS,BIG DAWG!
We are about 9 weeks into my first!

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