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Freeing up a 341 Hemi
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miquelonbrad
Posted 2019-05-18 11:08 AM (#582256)
Subject: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: Hay Lakes, Alberta, Canada
So, after sitting in my shop for five years, I'd like to work on my '57 DeSoto ambulance a bit. First job is changing tires. Second...freeing up the engine. It is stuck from sitting. Any tips, tricks, do and don'ts for me to try? I'd like to not damage anything. I'm not sure of the shape of the engine internally.



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NM Desoto
Posted 2019-05-18 1:51 PM (#582258 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: RE: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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I've had some success by filling up the cylinders with diesel fuel and let it sit for a week. You don't know yet whether you are dealing
with stuck rings or valves. If it's only one cylinder, it will probably free up with a breaker bar on the crankshaft bolt. Don't use
a cheater pipe, if light persuasion doesn't move it, let it sit a few more days. If it still doesn't move, I would consider pulling the
heads to see where the problem is.




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wizard
Posted 2019-05-18 3:31 PM (#582259 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: Southern Sweden - Sturkö island
Circulating hot water through the engine could help - the block expands a little….
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plymouth
Posted 2019-05-18 3:44 PM (#582260 - in reply to #582259)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: McComb, Mississippi
Kroil works good to help free up a stuck engine. Also mineral spirits and ATF works well. Fill up the cylinders and let it soak for a week.
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57chizler
Posted 2019-05-18 3:51 PM (#582261 - in reply to #582260)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: NorCal
And then there's those who swear Coca-Cola is the best stuck cylinder unsticker.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2019-05-18 6:02 PM (#582266 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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need to clean the cylinder a bit can scrape the edges around the top of the piston edges if you take the heads off.

can get a camera in there also see which cylinder is bad
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-05-18 10:25 PM (#582272 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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The 392 hemi in my 300C has been soaking with ATF & acetone for 3 months and still won't budge. One cylinder had water in it. I've given up on it. Good luck.
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westaus29
Posted 2019-05-19 7:55 AM (#582276 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: RE: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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If your engine is still boxed up and no water has got into cylinders, start with a good heavy duty non volatile penetrating oil like Kroil injected into cylinders and leave for a week or so. In Oz we have Penetrene which has advantage of not being flammable. A dose of carby cleaner may also help but only use in a well ventilated area as is nasty stuff. Get yourself a socket to fit the crank nut and use a torque wrench to try and free it up. Dont be tempted to use a length of pipe for leverage.

If water has got in and created rust, the penetrating oil may not free it up. I suggest the heads and sump will need to come off, which I guess you would like to avoid.

An old time mechanic helped free up my flathead engine which had been sitting in weather for years with head off. He poured half an inch of gasoline into a rusty bore and lit it (out in the yard, not in the garage). When it went out he took a block of wood and a large hammer and tapped the piston down to free it. Obviously to do that you need to first drop the crank.
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58coupe
Posted 2019-05-19 12:24 PM (#582288 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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I have mentioned this before. When I was young and working in a salvage yard, when we had a stuck engine with the heads off we would put vinegar in the cylinders and let it set for several days. It is a mild acid and would desolve the rust. After this treatment we would use penetrating oils.
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wayfarer
Posted 2019-05-19 12:30 PM (#582290 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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I have had many 'stuck' engines come through my shop and most are ring-to-wall issues.
Keep in mind that even if it breaks free the rings are likely still stuck in the pistons and will
offer zero sealing to the walls. The other potentially serious issue is that of having a broken ring
that will gouge the cylinder wall if you actually start the engine.
I'd suggest that you start buying the needed parts for a proper rebuild.
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mikes2nd
Posted 2019-05-19 12:35 PM (#582292 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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Yeah if there is a seal of rust, nothing will get through it.. you need to get the fluid along the sides of the Piston where it can work. It will just sit on top and never work. You need to take a screwdriver and scrape the edges with the heads off. The vinegar etc sitting trick only works if it's slightly froze up. Scrape the piston top edges until you see the liquid wrench sink in keep scraping... Then let it sit.. if it's that bad your gonna have to have it bored if you get it unfroze.
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57desoto
Posted 2019-05-19 12:40 PM (#582293 - in reply to #582290)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Here's a good link: https://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/Freeing_a_stuck_engine

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miquelonbrad
Posted 2019-05-19 2:10 PM (#582294 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: Hay Lakes, Alberta, Canada
Thanks for all the great suggestions and comments! I'm going to try the ATF/Acetone mix, as I have those here. I've heard of using Coke before; not sure I want to pour sticky, sweet "goop" into my engine...

I have an inspection camera. I will look into the cylinders, to see what shape they are in.
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arizona mopar gold
Posted 2019-05-19 7:58 PM (#582297 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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I bought a 57 Dodge that had been sitting since 1966 in Upstate NY...A D500 Hemi...I pulled the plugs and put a bore camera down each cylinder...they looked good and clean , next I filled them up with marvel mystery oil...let them soak for a few days...then got a cheater bar and socket on the crank bolt and just very slowly worked it back and forth...after about an hour it broke loose and I turned it over (no plugs or you'll hydraulic it!) ..gave it new fluids and started her up...purrs like a kitten now

Edited by arizona mopar gold 2019-05-19 7:59 PM




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58coupe
Posted 2019-05-20 1:12 AM (#582302 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: Alaska
Any combination of penetrating oils will not remove the rust and will only work if the engine is not rusted or only slightly stuck. Vinegar will desolve the rust if it is not too bad. The real problem is the pitting of the cylinder walls from the rust and will most likely have to be bored oversize. What will it hurt to try it but you will probably end up with a complete overhaul.
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normsclassicradio
Posted 2019-05-20 2:32 PM (#582326 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: RE: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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I have used this with success on several engines. Repeated spraying and working the engine slowly with a breaker bar.



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mobileparts
Posted 2019-06-09 9:07 PM (#583177 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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If you are going to tackle putting your baby back on the road -- I have
Mountains of parts for the 341 DeSoto motor -- especially Piston Rings and N.O.S.
U.S.A.made FEL PRO Full Set of Gaskets !!!!!

Always best to simply call me -- Craig -- 516 - 485 - 1935......
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mikes2nd
Posted 2019-06-10 1:06 AM (#583185 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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get a small lighted camera wire(they are cheap)... fill each cylinder with fluid... then check to see which cylinder is "leaking"... if none are leaking your in trouble.

bump it back and forth gently.

The ones that arent leaking you might just pull the head, scrape the top of the piston gently to see if the fluid "leaks" down. Its hard to scrape with the head on.

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Stroller
Posted 2019-06-14 10:27 AM (#583422 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi


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Lots of good info. But with that hope for the best and expect the worse. I got a '67 440 a few years back that had been sitting in a garage for decades. I tried everything I could think of the pop it loose, nothing would even let it budge. I tore the engine down and had to pound the pistons out with a 2x4. Strange thing was the crank and bearings were all good for most part, the rings were still intact and even the cylinder look good after wards with no signs of "rust weld". Turned out to be the cam shaft stuck solid, it was no fun to get it out and 1 bearing came out with it.
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Powerflite
Posted 2019-06-14 10:46 AM (#583424 - in reply to #582256)
Subject: Re: Freeing up a 341 Hemi



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Location: So. California
Also often the problem is due to stuck valves, so removing the valve covers, oiling up the valves & making sure they are free is smart. Pull the distributor & intermediate shaft after you note the position of the rotor and spin up the oil pump to ensure the crank & cam bearings are well oiled before you proceed further. Last ditch effort before you give up and rebuild the motor is to remove the heads. By removing the heads you can clean up any cylinder that might have crap in it that is preventing it from turning and eliminate all possible valve issues. You can also try smacking frozen pistons with a block of wood as long as they are not all the way down or up. After that, if it still won't turn, you pull the motor and rebuild it.

On my recent 392 hemi purchase in the '57 New Yorker parts car, I ended up needing to pull the heads to get it to turn all the way. There was too much crap inside 2 cylinders to get those pistons past it. But the cylinders cleaned up quite well and the motor turns easily now. I didn't see any real pitting in the cylinders either, despite the issues that it had, so I am going to run it as it is. I'm sure it will do fine.

Edited by Powerflite 2019-06-14 10:56 AM
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