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Great Way To Free Seized Engines
As a mechanic, I've learned to deal with rusted nuts and bolts and other simple rust problems by using penetrating oil, drills, grinders and torches.
    But one situation often taxes the skills of most of us: a rust-seized piston in an engine. Engine rebuilders/restorers often encounter engines that have sat for years with water collecting in one or more cylinders. The piston rings and piston walls are locked to the cast iron cylinder wall.
    Easy jobs may require only some penetrating oil, then a block of wood driven by a large hammer. But all too often this means the piston is destroyed and the cylinder wall cracks from the wedging action of the rust jammed between the piston and the wall.
    Back when pistons were cheap and easy to locate, I preferred to chisel the piston to pieces and do everything to protect the cylinder wall. But diesel pistons are usually expensive, and some old model engine parts are getting scarce. So, I'm always looking for a better way to loosen-up a rust-seized engine.
    This past spring a supplier suggested I try a product called Engine Release. He sent enough technical information to attract my attention so I ordered enough to do a 6-cylinder engine. It turns out one kit is required for each cylinder, so I ended up with 6 small kits. Each kit consists of an 8-oz. can of Engine Release, a small applicator bottle, and a dispenser hose.
    The proper application is to put 2 oz. into the small bottle and squirt it into the cylinder through the spark plug or nozzle hole. Then repeat this step every two days until the entire chemical is gone. From my experience, after all the chemical has soaked in, the piston rings will break free of the cylinder wall and the piston will move.
    The first engine I tried it on was a well-rusted block from a Ford 6000 tractor. This block was stripped except for the one piston and rod that a mechanic friend had been unable to drive out with a hammer six years ago. It had lain on its side outside since the last attempt.
    After the second 2-oz. application of the chemical, the piston moved after a sharp blow with a hammer and block of wood. We were impressed by the underside view of how the chemical soaked down into the lower skirt area.
    The instructions claim that it is possible to treat a seized engine, and then as soon as it is free to turn, the engine can be started. As the engine runs it will purge out the rust and chemical, leaving you with a usable engine.
    I don't doubt that this may work for some jobs, and it's worth the try in order to save dismantling. I think this is a good time to add some upper-cylinder lubrication into the gas, to help lubricate the ring grooves.
    I got my kits from www.enginerelease.com. The cost is $19.95 a kit plus $4.95 S&H. Delivery is by mail, usually in 10 to 14 days.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Keith Berglind, P. O. Box 268, Sandy Hook, Manitoba, Canada R0C 2W0.

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6