Bang! And motor stuck.

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sseebart
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Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:45 pm

I put a new battery in my car today and went to start it for the first time in a few months. After a short 4-5 second crank, there was a loud bang--like something broke--and the motor stopped turning over.

Turning the key now, the starter engages and the motor strains. I can see the fan blade move a few inches, then snap back. My first thought is something wrong with the starter* but wanted to post here first, in case someone has seen something like this before.

Here's a link to a short video of key on/key off. Not for the squeamish:

http://thunderbird.seebart.org/wp-conte ... 160547.mp4

~Steve

*My 64 doesn't use the bendix style starter, due to a decades old transmission swap. What's installed looks like this one:
HPIM4861-1024x768.jpg

Terry64HT
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by Terry64HT » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:52 pm

Steve, check the starter. Make sure it's securely mounted. Almost sounds like a broken mounting ear on the starter.
Hopefully
Terry
64HT

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sseebart
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:24 pm

Hopefully!

Thanks Terry. I'll crawl under tomorrow. (Cocktail hour now, y'know.)

~Steve

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RedBird64
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by RedBird64 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:16 pm

Never heard of that before Steve. I'll have to ask my old mechanic buddy about it. He's worked on a ton of old Ferds.
At east that style of starter can be found anywhere.

FWIW, I installed a newer style flex plate so I could use the "new" style of starter too. A rebuilder told me they use a bit less current to turn the motor over than the long neck style our cars came with.
I like the sound of the old starter though so I got it rebuilt a while back and I have a new flex plate to convert back to original. (Or maybe the parts will just rest in their respective boxes for all eternity).

Looking forward to finding out what went wrong!

Scott
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (not orig owners). VTCI # 12013.

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sseebart
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:49 pm

On inspection, everything with the starter looked nominal. No broken ears and all the bolts were snug.
IMG_20181006_092910.jpg
Pulling it off, there were a couple of chipped teeth, but nothing severe.
IMG_20181006_095150.jpg
I figured it would be a good idea to pull the plugs and turn the motor over by hand instead of just replacing the starter and hoping for the best. When I pulled the spark plug on the #1 cylinder, it came out wet. I thought at first it was oil fouled, but the liquid was coolant. And the cylinder was full of it.
IMG_20181006_102536.jpg
I don't know how that much coolant could leak into the cylinder. The last time I drove the car, back in February, I took my wife out for dinner. It ran normally--started right up, no overheating or other odd behavior. (Though I did note in my blog that I put in a gallon and a half of coolant before I started it.)

Best case scenario, I suppose, is some kind of head gasket failure. Worst case, cracked block and a bent rod from cranking against the hydrostatic pressure.

Not sure where I'm going to go from here.

~Steve

Terry64HT
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by Terry64HT » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:51 pm

Steve, that's not good news. I was really hoping for an easy answer.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
Terry
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RedBird64
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by RedBird64 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:49 pm

That's just plain lousy news. Wish we could help ya tear into it!
Btw Steve, don't worry too much about bent rod or other damage. I've had the same thing happen (gas from stuck float) and all was OK after that.
I know some engines wont put up with that sort of thing but the FE's seem to be resilient.
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (not orig owners). VTCI # 12013.

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paulr
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by paulr » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:51 pm

We confirmed all the good stuff, i.e. you re-surfaced your heads last year, gasket were installed in the proper orientation, etc. I can’t imagine you getting any steps wrong. Rarely, head bolts can stretch, even break, particularly if not put back in the same arrangement, though GMs are more known for this, FEs not so much.
Tear into it and let us know what you have. Worst case, I might have a 352 block available for ya.
Paul
VTCI 12014
Registry 45122
'64 Landau
"Beer, now there's a temporary solution!" ~Homer Simpson

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RedBird64
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by RedBird64 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:12 pm

I suspect it will be a crack in the valve area of the head.
But I hope it's something cheaper!

Scott
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (not orig owners). VTCI # 12013.

voltron
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by voltron » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 am

My son's '88 Gougar did the same thing. It broke a rod and damaged the cylinder. Engine never fired all the damage was done cranking the starter.

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sseebart
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:48 am

voltron wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:18 am
My son's '88 Gougar did the same thing. It broke a rod and damaged the cylinder. Engine never fired all the damage was done cranking the starter.
Yow! What motor did he have?

voltron
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by voltron » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:21 pm

It was a 3.8 liter V-6. It was running perfect, went into local pub drank two beers came out and turned the key and bang. Turned out the head gasket leaked from the water jacket across the fire ring and filled the cylinder.

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sseebart
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:26 pm

I was able to put things back together enough to start the car and move it into the driveway where I can work on it. Today, I did all the light work involved in removing the head: valve covers, distributor, rockers, thermostat housing, carburetor and associated hoses.
IMG_20181013_142127.jpg
When I assembled the engine--about two years ago--I was very careful when sealing the valve covers and oil pan. Maybe too careful, as the covers were extremely difficult to remove and got destroyed in the process. (They didn't leak, though!) At the very least, I'll be getting new valve covers before this is all said and done.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the oil on the dipstick is clean. The passenger side valve cover (where the problematic cylinder is) was also perfectly clean.
IMG_20181013_142059.jpg
The driver's side, though, was full of jellied oil/water fouling, but the valve train was not, somehow.
IMG_20181013_142103.jpg
IMG_20181013_142119.jpg
I know now that this is a new issue, as I didn't see this when I pulled apart the motor a few years back.

It seems to me that the oil is picking up water somewhere near the #1 cylinder and right before it's routed to the top driver's side valve train. I don't know enough about the oiling on FE's to know if this is a clue about what's wrong. Can anyone assist? (As a side note, I've been attempting to join the forum at fordfe.com, but my application has been sitting waiting approval for over a week. Is anyone else here part of that community?)

Lastly, I set my torque wrench at 85 ft/lbs and tested the head bolts on the passenger side. None of them moved, so ruled out the possibility of loose bolts. Tomorrow, my son is going to drop by to help pull the hood, both manifolds and the head itself. Stay tuned.

~Steve

jtschug
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by jtschug » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:40 am

I'm a member at FordFE.com. Also FEpower.net. both are pretty active, but there is member overlap between the two forums.

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sseebart
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Re: Bang! And motor stuck.

Post by sseebart » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:16 pm

I dug into the motor this afternoon. The intake manifold gaskets looked fine (and boy, was that stuck on, too), The oil in the valley was a little cloudy, but not terrible.

The head came off easily and the gasket looked fine.
IMG_20181014_132106.jpg
As luck would have it, the #1 piston was near TDC, so nothing terrible was immediately evident (though it was clearly scrubbed clean from the steam).
IMG_20181014_132453.jpg
Once we got the piston at the bottom of the stroke, we found crack some 2 inches long about an inch down from the deck. It's kind of a moot point now, but if anyone knows why such a thing would happen, I would love to know. I'm guessing, time, fatigue and/or perhaps a latent casting flaw.
IMG_20181014_133452.jpg
In any case, it's good to have an answer. Still not sure where I'm going to go from here.

~Steve

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