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Unread 01-26-2013, 03:02 AM   #1
Eric_B_1984
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Frozen Engine

I can't wait to see what trouble I have gotten myself into. I have been having overheating issues with my 87 Grand Wagoneer. So I decided to start it yesterday morning to check if the fan clutch crapped out, and there was a horrific belt squeal. I paid it no mind for a few seconds while I held it to keep running, until I noticed the smoke out of the hood and shut it off immediately. Got out popped the hood, didn't notice anything when I went to fire it back up I noticed the fan wasn't spinning, it fired and did the same thing. I forgot that in the end of the summer when I flushed out the system, I never put antifreeze back in, just water. I reached down and the lower hose was rock hard and so where the heater hoses. So I cracked the radiator petcock and hoping today when the sun comes out it will melt some of the ice in the radiator. If not, I may just pop the belts off and let it idle for like twenty minutes off the lower hose off. Unless anyone has any serious suggestions this is just kinda my way of sharing some pain. In all my time, I have never froze an engine before, and this is not the first time I have ran an engine strictly on water.

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Unread 01-26-2013, 03:25 AM   #2
TrboDslWagoneer
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Hopefully you didn't crack the block. Chances are the water pump, radiator, and possibility heater core are shot. But it's not a 100% for sure thing. I have seen engines go through worse and be fine. Much luck to ya. Be mindful of engine temps and the fact that your gauge may not reflect actual temp with no circulation and with the system being frozen.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 03:38 AM   #3
Eric_B_1984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrboDslWagoneer View Post
Hopefully you didn't crack the block. Chances are the water pump, radiator, and possibility heater core are shot. But it's not a 100% for sure thing. I have seen engines go through worse and be fine. Much luck to ya. Be mindful of engine temps and the fact that your gauge may not reflect actual temp with no circulation and with the system being frozen.
Yeah I do have an aftermarket gauge on it, which does help. I also have an IR thermometer. Doing the running thing wasn't going to just start it and walk away. I already know that the radiator is aprox 10% Marine-tex from many of my off road expeditions. If the heater core is shot, oh well I don't use it anyway. Despite it being mainly my snow tank, the heater control cable has been broken since I got it, and I have never used the heat. Also hopefully being a brand new water pump it won't be shot.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 03:53 AM   #4
TrboDslWagoneer
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Seems like your on the right track. When you get it all or mostly thawed and antifreeze back in the system look for the obvious, white smoke from the exhaust, leaks, and antifreeze where it shouldn't be. If you don't use the heater core and it leaks just pull the hoses off it and connect them to each other. Much luck to ya.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 04:24 AM   #5
Eric_B_1984
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Yeah I just ran down there and popped the lower hose off. And OOOHHHHH yeah SHE'S FROZEN. There is a large ice cube in coming out of the lower outlet, and I have one of the back flush kits in the heater hose, and popped the cap off of that and that's a clear ice cube. For a short period of time, I was about 30% sure I had at least some antifreeze in the mix there. The sad part is, I had a gallon of antifreeze on the seat, and planned on draining the system to check it.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 05:37 AM   #6
RockRollin
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You may be fine, bring it up to temp SLOWLY from an external heat source, electric heater under the radiator blowing towards the back. When you do get it to start only run it for about ten secs at a time with about a five minute gap between starts. The trick here is to not cause trapped expansion in the cooling system. If you warm it up too quick, you will cause problems
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Unread 01-26-2013, 05:46 AM   #7
Eric_B_1984
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You may be fine, bring it up to temp SLOWLY from an external heat source, electric heater under the radiator blowing towards the back. When you do get it to start only run it for about ten secs at a time with about a five minute gap between starts. The trick here is to not cause trapped expansion in the cooling system. If you warm it up too quick, you will cause problems
Sadly she's about 350 feet away from any outlet where I can use, and I don't own enough extension cords. But it's supposed to be about 57 Degrees on Tuesday which I work, but it'll give the engine a chance to drain. And 55 on Wednesday and I should be able to work on it.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:01 AM   #8
Little Green
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I would not think to start it again until you have at least 3 days of above freezing temperatures. That radiator and anything else that has water in it will take days to thaw. All of us up north have little piles of snow or ice last days outside when it's well above freezing. Keep in mind the larger the block of ice (your radiator) will take much longer than maybe the hose. I would disconnect your lower hose and let the truck sit until all the water melts itself out of the radiator. A couple of days of waiting may save you lots of money and time if you blow her up. Good luck
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Unread 01-26-2013, 07:14 AM   #9
Eric_B_1984
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Originally Posted by Little Green View Post
I would not think to start it again until you have at least 3 days of above freezing temperatures. That radiator and anything else that has water in it will take days to thaw. All of us up north have little piles of snow or ice last days outside when it's well above freezing. Keep in mind the larger the block of ice (your radiator) will take much longer than maybe the hose. I would disconnect your lower hose and let the truck sit until all the water melts itself out of the radiator. A couple of days of waiting may save you lots of money and time if you blow her up. Good luck
Yeah I am not touching it this weekend. I already have the lower hose off. I'm just going to wait at this point. I may kick the key to see of the water pump will move. Beyond that nahh this thing will just sit.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #10
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Ooooo this is not good but I'm going to watch this one!

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Unread 01-26-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
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If there's any room in the radiator you can pour some antifreeze in and it will help to thaw the ice that's there. Don't expect much, but it will help some.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
TrboDslWagoneer
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Just thought of this, probably not a good idea, what about some salt mixed in with a bit of antifreeze put down into the radiator? May speed up the melt. Someone else needs to say yay or nay on that idea though.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #13
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A friend of mine had a '84 Cherokee w/ a V-6 and ran straight water for a time. The temps hit the single digits, one night, and the water in the engine froze. Once it thawed (couple of days) he discovered 4 freeze plugs had popped. That is what they are there for. Keep this in mind when you get it thawed.
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Unread 01-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #14
Little Green
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Do not put salt in there. Just let it sit. If you can push it into a warm garage then do that but dont force anything. Best to let time do it's thing
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Unread 01-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #15
Eric_B_1984
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Green View Post
Do not put salt in there. Just let it sit. If you can push it into a warm garage then do that but dont force anything. Best to let time do it's thing
Garage is not an option. The best I could do is push it to the building and put a heater under it. But I don't even have it insured so I am not in any hurries with it, just let it come naturally
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