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Old 06-13-2015, 08:51 PM   #1
700rpm
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Default Tight engine UPDATE #2: 7/8/15

See post #24 on page 2 for most recent update.

OK, I thought it was a ring gap problem, but now I don't think so, but I am lost for options. Here is the earlier thread for background:
http://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread...=170253&page=2

I set the rings all to mfg's specs, and rechecked the clearances of the pistons and rod bearings. I changed out the starter for one I knew was strong, and the battery is only six months old and has a full charge. I finished reassembly yesterday and went for a ten mile drive today. When I stopped, the engine would not turn over. I waited about four minutes, then it would turn very reluctantly, enough to get started and head home.

When I got home I shut it down, and immediately tried to start it. It would not turn over. I tried by hand, and I could turn it partially, about 1/4 turn, with the crank, then no more, but I’m a weak old guy. Then I removed one spark plug, #2, just to see what that would do. It turned over with the starter!

At no point on the drive did the engine indicate overheating according to the motometer. The radiator doesn’t feel overly heated in comparison to my other A’s. Perhaps removing the plug relieved the compression, allowing it to turn? This might also happen (release of compression) by waiting five or ten minutes.

I am pretty sure at this point it is not something that is too tight, but perhaps something that just needs more breaking in. That may be wishful thinking, but I’m gonna go with it, and drive it, unless someone comes up with a theory about what the hay is going on here.
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Last edited by 700rpm; 07-08-2015 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Well that's an odd one for sure...too much compression seems an unlikely problem for a Model A engine but that is how it appears...

Someone told me once that when shut off an engine will probably stop turning when it comes up against the cylinder with the most compression....maybe #2 in your case....

See if it does the same thing next time if you loosen #2 spark plug....
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

My engine when newly rebuilt was real tight and I would start it and drive around the block and then let it cool down and did this about 5-6 times before I ever took it out for a short drive. It took a while to fully break in. keep changing the speed and don't let it lug or over-rev. Remember that a hot starter needs more battery getting to it to do its job. Do you have double aught (00) cable to the starter? that is the best to get the starter revving!
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

30 minutes after my previous post, the car now turns over normally and starts just fine.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I got this story second hand so I do not have all the details.

As I remember it happened sometime ago with a California builder.

1. Recently rebuilt engine was stopping when it warmed up and would not turn over until it cooled.

2. The engine was returned to the rebuilder.

3. The response was that the pistons were expanding and stopping the engine from turning until it cooled off.

4. The builder said that he had bought a large number of these pistons and that the pistons were made from a defective alloy and that they expanded too fast and too much compared to normal pistons so they got stuck in the bores.

It might be something to consider in this problem.

Maybe there are still some of these pistons being sold at flea markets.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Benson has an interesting point as it could be defective pistons or if cylinder sleeves were made of similar metal, there may be binding. However, would that allow the starter to turn over the engine once he removes the spark plug on cylinder 2?
Could there be anything causing binding of valves with the spark plugs?
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

When disassembled, there was no indication of the pistons coming into contact with the cylinders during operation. No scuffing or scarring on pistons or cylinder walls. If there was expansion during operation, it should show up then (stop running?), not only when the engine is shut down, no?
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I bet you have a loose connection between the battery and the starter, or battery to ground, or the 12 volt cable, as 1930 said.
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

You need to have the starter checked for overheating. It sounds like the motor is fine but the starter is getting hot and failing.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I'm thinking the same thing, bad/weak ground ,corroded or too small cables, or a starter problem. New doesn't always mean it's good(unfortunately)! I'm curious to hear the results from post 8.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

1. When the engine will not turnover with starter, can you turn it with a hand crank?

I am thinking that if you can turn by hand then it might be a hot starter issue.

Last edited by Benson; 06-15-2015 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Removing #2 spark plug may be misleading. By the time you did other checks and got the plug out, the engine may have cooled down enough to turn over anyway.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

First thing I thought was starter. It might have had enough power to turn over the old engine with poor compression, but now it is too weak. Check grounds, contacts, brushes, commutator, bearings or swap a known good starter and see if the problem goes away.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Good suggestions, gentlemen.
30 coupe: it rocks back when cold. I haven't tried that when it is warmed up.
Jackson: all connections have ben cleaned and tightened. Cable may be bad. I'll check that.
James: I have replaced the starter with a known good one.
Benson: I can turn it about 1/2 turn.
40: there was less than minute between shutdown and plug removal.
Pat: see answer to James above.

I won't be able to work on it again till about Friday. I'll update then.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by 700rpm View Post
Good suggestions, gentlemen.
30 coupe: it rocks back when cold. I haven't tried that when it is warmed up.
Jackson: all connections have ben cleaned and tightened. Cable may be bad. I'll check that.
James: I have replaced the starter with a known good one.
Benson: I can turn it about 1/2 turn.
40: there was less than minute between shutdown and plug removal.
Pat: see answer to James above.

I won't be able to work on it again till about Friday. I'll update then.


1/2 a turn ... OK.

1. An out of round bearing journal with tight clearance would do that ... But would not expect to see that on a fresh rebuild!

2. Cylinder bore taper (sleeve problem) as mentioned above with pistons/rings binding up ... but again as in #1 not likely.

Last edited by Benson; 06-16-2015 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by 700rpm View Post
When disassembled, there was no indication of the pistons coming into contact with the cylinders during operation. No scuffing or scarring on pistons or cylinder walls. If there was expansion during operation, it should show up then (stop running?), not only when the engine is shut down, no?
When engine stops the temperature in block goes up for a period of time when the water stops circulating.

Not sure how much the temperature would have to up to cause this problem or how long it would take.

Last edited by Benson; 06-15-2015 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I think you have checked everything that could reasonably be checked, but I could be wrong.
If it were me, I'd change the oil, keep a good eye on the water and the oil and run it, it'll wear in.
Good Luck!
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Old 06-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I agree and woudl do as Mr. Lott suggested. I believeit just need to "wear in" - no mas.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:24 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

Is it normal for a fresh engine to have to 'wear in' before it quits seizing when warmed up?? NO! Something is definitely out of the ordinary here that normal measurements are not picking up. I still think it has to do with the sleeves. Benson's comments about the brief temperature rise upon shutdown (or idling after a good run) may be a clue. If a sleeve is a little too tight and under stress, that little extra expansion from heat might just be enough to pinch the piston until it cools back down. This happens quickly, so the oil film is not wiped off before it stops.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tight engine UPDATE

I don't hear you complaining about heat, so I am with Mr. Lott. I believe you have a good engine, but you should check that rock back trick when the engine is hot (great trick 1930 coupe) I would keep an eye on the oil and the temp and look for other causes for your trouble. I would also add a ground strap between the frame and the engine/tranny. I'm thinking that after a new rebuild you will hear and feel lots of things that spell disaster but are nothing more than new a engine sounding and feeling different than your old engine. please keep us posted.
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