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Old 01-10-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
robw
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I've got a 29 roadster pickup.

I'm afraid I screwed up and forgot to winterize the thing. Yes, I'm an idiot.

We've had below freezing temps here for the last two weeks.

I realized my mistake on the first day we had temps above freezing.

I put a kerosene heater in the garage and have kept the temps above freezing for the last 24 hours.

I opened the drain and a small dribble of water came out... hardly anything.

No water in the oil yet that I can see. No obvious damage anywhere.

Any advice on how to inspect this engine once I get it all thawed out?

I haven't driven the car since before last April, so it could be that the cooling system was mostly dry.

I figure if I keep it above freezing for another 24 hours then it should be thawed out...

What a stupid thing to do.

rob
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:01 PM   #2
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Well get it 100% thawed out, pull the dipstick and check for water in there or high oil level. Might be a good bet to drain the oil into a clean pan and see how much water if any comes out.

If it seems OK id pull the plugs and do a leak down test - that will show the condition of the cyl and if any cracks/leaks developed into the water jacket.

If that checks good, id fill radiator with warm water and see where or if it comes out. Fill it up to the very top of the radiator neck, give the car a wiggle to burp any possible air bubbles out and top it off, let it sit for a few days and check the level again. Should stay filled (or very close due to slight evaporation)

If it does you may have to just run the car and get it up to temp to see if anything adverse happens. Monitor water levels very closely for awhile and monitor oil level/color.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:03 PM   #3
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The head is usually the first victim in a freeze. The tunnel to the water pump is the first place to look. Other than that if it did freeze it could have cracked the deck, cracked the water jacket, unfortunately any number of places. If the car was dry no coolant then you have a chance that no serious damage was done. Antifreeze is a wonderful thing and I have never understood those that run only water in their A.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:05 PM   #4
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The head is usually the first victim in a freeze. The tunnel to the water pump is the first place to look. Other than that if it did freeze it could have cracked the deck, cracked the water jacket, unfortunately any number of places. If the car was dry no coolant then you have a chance that no serious damage was done. Antifreeze is a wonderful thing and I have never understood those that run only water in their A.
also can crack the no4 piston water jacket thats hard to see against the firewall (fixable with JB weld). it can crack into the valve galley as well.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:06 PM   #5
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We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you and your engine and radiator.

If it was full of “water only”, given the temperatures over the last few weeks, you very well could have a major problem.

Tell us how things work out. Again, I hope everything works out. Enjoy.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:59 PM   #6
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With a warm garage, fill it with water and see if it stays in there. If it does, start it up and run it for a while and watch the water. If all goes well, drain out a gallon of the water and put in a gallon of prestone concentrate to get it to a 50-50 mix. I bet you are ok.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robw View Post
I've got a 29 roadster pickup.

I'm afraid I screwed up and forgot to winterize the thing. Yes, I'm an idiot.

We've had below freezing temps here for the last two weeks.

I realized my mistake on the first day we had temps above freezing.

I put a kerosene heater in the garage and have kept the temps above freezing for the last 24 hours.

I opened the drain and a small dribble of water came out... hardly anything.

No water in the oil yet that I can see. No obvious damage anywhere.

Any advice on how to inspect this engine once I get it all thawed out?

I haven't driven the car since before last April, so it could be that the cooling system was mostly dry.

I figure if I keep it above freezing for another 24 hours then it should be thawed out...

What a stupid thing to do.

rob
Hey Rob,
Silver lining here, may be that you had it parked in a shed when you realized may be a problem and took action.
And, as you indicate, if you've had a leaking problem, this may to the only case ....where a leak is/was GOOD . Let's hope that is the case.
In the current situation, I'd take a bucket of warm water (as your evidence shows 'no water in crankcase') and pour the warm water into the engine/radiator. IF it goes in ok...all may be well. IF it goes in partially and will not accept much, then ice may still be there...but the warm water will help dissipate /melt any ice. I think that you are lucky and have done the correct things now i.e.- heater, etc..
But, as you well know now , drain the system completely for storage. Ask me how I know. I lived in Pa, in former life and as a kid , learned such the hard way.

Last edited by hardtimes; 01-10-2018 at 02:02 PM. Reason: .............
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:09 PM   #8
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It happens...keep us informed of your findings. Jeff
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:53 PM   #9
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Being in a garage, "might" be of some help??? We're ROOTING for you, that everything is OK! The Dog has his TOES Crossed--LOL
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:23 PM   #10
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I believe water continues to expand until it reaches -238 degrees. If I am correct, the colder your motor has gotten, the more of a chance for damage caused by freezing. 30 degrees might not crack anything, where 0 degrees could.

I hope everything works out for you. Enjoy.

Last edited by WHN; 01-10-2018 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:53 PM   #11
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With a warm garage, fill it with water and see if it stays in there. If it does, start it up and run it for a while and watch the water. If all goes well, drain out a gallon of the water and put in a gallon of prestone concentrate to get it to a 50-50 mix. I bet you are ok.
Make that "add 1 1/2 gallons for a 50/50 antifreeze solution' as the Model A holds THREE GALLONS of coolant.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:56 PM   #12
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Open the drain petcock on the lower pipe, stick something into it in case there's sediment there and see if it drains. Drain it and forget about it until spring. If you want to be sure pull the lower hose(s) off. FWIW
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #13
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Open the drain petcock on the lower pipe, stick something into it in case there's sediment there and see if it drains. Drain it and forget about it until spring. If you want to be sure pull the lower hose(s) off. FWIW
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:33 PM   #14
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I bought my 28 Phaeton cheap because the owner only used water, and in September in Minnesota the engine froze and cracked the head, even though the car was inside the garage. Sometimes it's nice that people only use water. LOL

Luckily the numbers matching block was OK, even though the head had a large 5" crack. Several have fixed cracks successfully with JB Weld.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:45 PM   #15
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I bought my 28 Phaeton cheap because the owner only used water, and in September in Minnesota the engine froze and cracked the head, even though the car was inside the garage. Sometimes it's nice that people only use water. LOL

Luckily the numbers matching block was OK, even though the head had a large 5" crack. Several have fixed cracks successfully with JB Weld.
Yeah, last spring I had a leaky radiator and had put water in it while checking out the repair. Then, of course life got in the way and I forgot all about it.

After a day and a half of a nice warm garage all that has come out is about a Dixie cup worth. I'm fairly certain the drain is not plugged, But I'll check and be sure.

Tomorrow I'll put some warm water in it and see how much it holds... and then promptly replace it with antifreeze.

Thanks for all the advice.

Rob
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:07 PM   #16
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I would make sure I had some type of heat on it 24 hr's a day till I got that water out . heat lamps , torpedo heater , anything I could direct the heat to the engine and radiator with to get water running . Maybe even put a tarp over the engine area to help confin the heat till its done what you want to do . If you get the water out , defenitly refill with at least the premix stuff . As said before , keep us posted , and good luck.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:18 AM   #17
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A few beat me to it, but don't panic yet, open the petcock and run a heavy wire like a coat hanger through it. Might just be some rust settled there.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:14 AM   #18
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Fingers Crossed,

Wrap an electric blanket around the motor as they can be had pretty cheap and really doesn't cost much to run. It will make sure that motor thaws out quickly and stays that way until you figure it out.

Regards
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:12 AM   #19
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We used to get Used Cars in on an Auto Transport, with a SCREECHING Fan Belt, from a frozen Water Pump, even!!
We'd remove the radiator cap, SNIP the fan Belt & let them IDLE, until they thawed out.
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:43 PM   #20
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Could maybe use your wife's (friend's) hair dryer and that may warm things up a bit.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:42 AM   #21
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Default Re: advice

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...
I'm afraid I screwed up and forgot to winterize the thing.
Why are there so many people that only put antifreeze in the system during the winter !? Once it is in, leave it in ! It's also a rust prevent for the inside of the engine. Winter and summer.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:14 AM   #22
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Why are there so many people that only put antifreeze in the system during the winter !? Once it is in, leave it in ! It's also a rust prevent for the inside of the engine. Winter and summer.
I've also tried, but it's no use. For some reason some people like just water and rust. Supposed to cool 3 extra degrees I guess.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:50 AM   #23
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I've also tried, but it's no use. For some reason some people like just water and rust. Supposed to cool 3 extra degrees I guess.
I wonder if it correlates to the cars that also have cooling problems so its cheaper and less messy to just keep refilling the clogged radiator every time it overheats

First time i got my frame running around I used water, glad i did - darn leaky hose clamps and then discovered the partially clogged radiator as it couldnt idle without overheating.Currently has 50/50 in it and doing fine. Farm stores usually have a gal jug of concentrate for $7.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:03 AM   #24
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I wonder why antifreeze is so expensive?
I remember when you could buy it on sale for $1 a gallon, and now the ad in Menards has the diluted 50/50 for $8, which is the same as $16 a gallon.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:24 AM   #25
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I know that all of us (rightfully so) have our own ideas on how we service our cars.

There are Model A owners who prefer to run just water for any number of good reasons.

Relating someone who forgets to drain a radiator full of water before winter, “to everyone should be using anti freeze”, is wrong.

In almost 60 years I have never used anything but water with rust inhibitor. Never had a car overheat, no other problems. We drain radiator in early November. Enjoy.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:31 AM   #26
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I know that all of us (rightfully so) have our own ideas on how we service our cars.

There are Model A owners who prefer to run just water for any number of good reasons.

Relating someone who forgets to drain a radiator full of water before winter, “to everyone should be using anti freeze”, is wrong.

In almost 60 years I have never used anything but water with rust inhibitor. Never had a car overheat, no other problems. We drain radiator in early November. Enjoy.
I know MANY, who still use the OLD Method, of Soluable Oil & Water. Most Folks NEVER change their ways, we ARE what we ARE---LOL
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:42 AM   #27
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No new cars have come with plain water, and for good reason. The only reason I can think of to run plain water is when you're on the road and a leak develops, so you keep dumping in water to get home. That happened to me while on a day trip to Wisconsin. My lower pipe had a rust pit that opened up and I lost my antifreeze. Luckily I had 2 gallons of water along, so I made it 50 miles home.

BTW, I stopped at a gas station to refill my 2 jugs with water, and they wouldn't let me have any, but told me I could buy their expensive distilled water.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:44 AM   #28
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Here is a link to a thread I did on cleaning and repainting an engine, and towards the end of the thread I discovered two cracks in the cooling chamber. It didn't leak before all this work began, but I wanted to repair the cracks anyway with JB Weld, so you can see how I did the repair.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...+hauler+engine
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:22 PM   #29
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So, I let it sit for nearly 48 hours at above freezing temps. Only a dribble of water ever came out.

I filled it with some warm water. It took approximately 3 gallons. I cranked it and it ran far a few minutes then suddenly quit. Spent the next few hours trouble shooting to figure out why.

Gave up. Tried again this morning... no spark. Broke out my Les Andrews troubleshooting guide and went to work. Gave up again and went to lunch.

After lunch the magic occurred and suddenly it started and ran. I have no idea what I did.

I drained out half the water and replaced it with antifreeze then drove it around the neighborhood for about an hour.


It is running good no visible leaks, so I guess I got lucky.

God looks after dumb animals.

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Old 01-13-2018, 10:35 AM   #30
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I have been told that folks in this part of Virginia used a water-kerosene mixture in the winter (way back when kerosene was cheap).
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:55 AM   #31
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The first freeze is often ok as the metal may be able to absorb the initial stretch. When the water thaws out and freezes subsequent times it will keep pushing a little further each time, eventually splitting the metal.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 AM   #32
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I would leave the petcock open with an empty bucket underneath and get some heat blowing on the engine for a couple of days. Wait until the water comes out. It takes a long time for ice to melt when it is enclosed and depending on heat coming through a cast iron block that is "just above freezing".
Don't pour water into it until you are sure it is thawed out and emptied out. That water could quickly freeze up around the existing ice and create more problems.

Many lessons are learned in Minnesota winters !
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 AM   #33
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I’ve used a drop light with 60watt bulb to keep an engine warm and ready during a cold snap. (The old Easy Bake oven childs toy used a bulb to cook.)

How drafty is your garage? It may take some time for the metal to thaw.

Placing it on the head and covering the hood and radiator with a blanket to keep the heat should help warm it up.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
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So, I let it sit for nearly 48 hours at above freezing temps. Only a dribble of water ever came out.

I filled it with some warm water. It took approximately 3 gallons. I cranked it and it ran far a few minutes then suddenly quit. Spent the next few hours trouble shooting to figure out why.

Gave up. Tried again this morning... no spark. Broke out my Les Andrews troubleshooting guide and went to work. Gave up again and went to lunch.

After lunch the magic occurred and suddenly it started and ran. I have no idea what I did.

I drained out half the water and replaced it with antifreeze then drove it around the neighborhood for about an hour.


It is running good no visible leaks, so I guess I got lucky.

God looks after dumb animals.

Rob
That's great news. Thanks for the update.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:32 AM   #35
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I have been told that folks in this part of Virginia used a water-kerosene mixture in the winter (way back when kerosene was cheap).
Wouldn't do anything to prevent freezing. Kerosene and water don't mix. It will just separate after the engine is shut off so the lower half of the engine would still freeze. If they did do that, perhaps it was for some sort of rust prevention.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:13 PM   #36
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So, you got little water out, and put three gallons in. Where did it go, and what is your conclusion?
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:23 AM   #37
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Tom W. spoke of buying WATER. In Oatman, Arizona, in the '40s, it cost a Dime for a glass of water & a Quarter to fill your radumator! That was a lot of money, back then.
Google Oatman, Arizona, MOST interesting place!! At the crest of the BLACK MOUNTAINS, with horrible switchbacks, both UP & DOWN! Second gear climbing & back to First, through the switchbacks!! (Be sure to wear DEPENDS) Once made the trip in a LOADED, '35 Chev Ton & a Half & a '29 Chev Fordor !
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:03 AM   #38
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It was good that you had to put in nearly 3 gallons of water. That means that you were pretty much empty and the odds of freeze damage is much lower. Question is to why it was so low.
You said that you drained out half the water and replaced it with antifreeze. I trust that you started it up and ran it for a while to mix it and then tested it to be sure that the ratio is proper.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:58 AM   #39
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That no start issue may have been a little dirt or moisture on the points. Put a business card between them and pull it out.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:23 AM   #40
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how about pull the plugs , crank the motor over to get any water out, if any would get in the cylinders. put the plugs back in. then start her up and worm it up. if its cracked you can't screw it up anymore
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:25 AM   #41
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Tom W. spoke of buying WATER. In Oatman, Arizona, in the '40s, it cost a Dime for a glass of water & a Quarter to fill your radumator! That was a lot of money, back then.
Google Oatman, Arizona, MOST interesting place!! At the crest of the BLACK MOUNTAINS, with horrible switchbacks, both UP & DOWN! Second gear climbing & back to First, through the switchbacks!! (Be sure to wear DEPENDS) Once made the trip in a LOADED, '35 Chev Ton & a Half & a '29 Chev Fordor !
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:49 PM   #42
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So, you got little water out, and put three gallons in. Where did it go, and what is your conclusion?
There was a small leak from one of the hose clamps.
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