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1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what?


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tag2453
Novice

Jul 8, 2017, 2:43 PM

Post #1 of 14 (758 views)
1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

Hey guys...

Hoping you can help me out. This is about a boat motor but a motor is a motor so you guys should still be able to help.

Bought a 1988 Sunbird for $700. Hull, floor and Interior are in Excellent shape and motor looked clean with no visible cracks or leaks so took the risk even though it wasn't running. Lady said it ran 3 years ago but hadn't used it since. I'm sure she left it outside and never winterized it.

Anyways, Put a new battery in it, motor turned about 1/4 inch than bound up.

So I pulled the outdrive and pulled the plugs and belt and put some Murphy's mystery oil and tranny fluid in the cylinders and let it sit for about a week.

Today I pulled the front motor mount so I could get to the crankshaft. Put 3 bolts in the crankshaft pulley wheel and used a spanner wrench against the bolts to turn it by hand.

Good news is it moved (in both directions).
Bad news is I can't turn it a full revolution. Gets about 95% of the way around in either direction and then binds HARD.

So doesn't seem like the pistons are seized but not sure what's causing the hard stop. Bent crankshaft? Valve? Something else?

I'm only an amateur mechanic. Good with tools and can fix most mechanical things but haven't rebuilt an engine since high school auto class 20 years ago.

So pulling the engine and rebuilding it probably a bit out of my league but may try it if necessary depending on feedback of possible cause. May also just have a new rebuilt engine put in it if necessary.

Appreciate any insight and advice you guys can share...


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 8, 2017, 3:21 PM

Post #2 of 14 (750 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

I wouldn't have high hopes for that motor. Time to look for a replacement. Marine engines are usually different from car engines.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 8, 2017, 3:59 PM

Post #3 of 14 (744 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

Quote: ">Gets about 95% of the way around in either direction and then binds HARD.<" You aren't out of the woods yet but probably "locked it" with oil to free it up - take plug out and try again let oil spit out plug holes.


It can't go below freezing if not at least drained even if so called FWD (fresh water cooled meaning with antifreeze) the heat exchanger is still raw water.


Yes marine will use a block from a car maker usually single engines are left handed! All parts that can be will be brass or stainless and electrical anything spark proofed on the list a and a camshaft for it meant for marine isn't the same either.


Check around for a whole new not rebuilt use your old carb, and belt driven item and cooling system if salvageable. What is it an I/O (stern drive) boat? That won't be happy at all and cost more than the engine so know as much as you can. All will use wet raw water to cool exhaust no problem but clog tight will run but never expel raw water constantly thru so nothing is too hot to touch.


In short - the stuff about the whole thing costs tons more than just an engine,


T



tag2453
Novice

Jul 8, 2017, 4:15 PM

Post #4 of 14 (738 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

Yeah I know I can't replace it with a car engine or car engine parts.

Only posting to try to understand what the possible causes would be for it to bind like that and not complete a full revolution of the crankshaft.

Figured the potential causes of that at least would be the same whether it's a boat motor or car motor.

So any insight on that, even if just for my own knowledge would be helpful.


tag2453
Novice

Jul 8, 2017, 4:22 PM

Post #5 of 14 (736 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In


In Reply To
Quote: ">You aren't out of the woods yet but probably "locked it" with oil to free it up - take plug out and try again let oil spit out plug holes.

Yeah the plugs were out and from the looks of it the oil I put in the cylinders has now moved past the pistons. The outdrive is also off so there's nothing else that could be binding that I know of.

The binding is definitely mechanical. I mean it's a hard stop and no way I can move the crankshaft past that point no matter how much leverage I use.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 8, 2017, 4:56 PM

Post #6 of 14 (732 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

IS THIS A STERN DRIVE - AS IN AN INBOARD/OUBOARD OR WHAT? What maker (Mercury, OMC, Volvo Penta or who?) not just GM they make tons of blocks for many engine companies.
It turns you just have a rust ring stopping a piston might see it with a cheap scope thru plug hole. Stern drives can lock up the engine if messed up enough.


Would really help if even the engine is just to force it to run so you can know if the rest is OK at all or a lost cause. All the boat, seats, fiberglass, fake carpet and stuff with a boat is cheap - the drive set up is the whole cost of the thing far more than all the rest of the boat,


T



Hammer Time
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Jul 8, 2017, 4:59 PM

Post #7 of 14 (727 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

If it's a real hard stop you may even have a broken or bent rod from liquid in the cylinder.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 8, 2017, 5:21 PM

Post #8 of 14 (719 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

HT? Is just starter strong enough to bend a rod alone? I would think it would just give a sharp click. Unsure of how hard crank was turned and wonder if it was parked with this problem when it ran had a problem or just now. Same reasons to fail as most anything - they overheat with clogged cooling by the raw water in or how it gets out.
Run one out of water without providing water for it same thing. I/O if run without water ready it's all over for impeller in seconds. U-joints in those freeze too and lock engine and a list of things we don't yet know what this is in or layout. They run all the way to bottom gearcase* direct to engine all the time engine is running so even hitting a rock use can take out that and engine.
Another. Carbs for '88 most marine. People flood them and hold choke open with something that falls in - game over for that engine too for just that.


Boats sink and they save engines if you get at them right away but not a frozen engine with fresh water in it once never mind 3 years,


T



Hammer Time
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Jul 8, 2017, 5:46 PM

Post #9 of 14 (715 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

We don't know how this problem occurred. He bought it as is. this could have happened with the engine running. We really don't know any history. It's all just guessing at this point. Either way, it's serious enough that it has likely terminal damage, one way or the other.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 8, 2017, 6:04 PM

Post #10 of 14 (711 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

Right - we don't know nor does OP. Bet this was toast before parked.
BTW - Strong background in in boats thru mega yachts. Just a 350 Chev, OMC I/O was $15,000 bucks in '89. Rest of the boat including a trailer less than half that! Bought that new killed by next owner right away dropping a tool down carb after he flooded it trying to keep choke open managed to make it into combustion chamber - entire blow up of engine block and all! Cheap new as said as things go?


Tom



tag2453
Novice

Jul 9, 2017, 11:54 AM

Post #11 of 14 (683 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

It is sterndrive I/O. The outdrive appears fine. I pulled it off and can easily turn it by hand when in forward and reverse. Definitely still possible they hit something and it damaged the motor.

Thinking this might be a good project just for fun to teach my 13 year old son about motors. Even if I never get it fixed.

I'll see if I can get a scope to inspect cylinder. If not I guess I gotta pull the head off to inspect. That seems like the next logical easy step before I pull the whole motor out to open the bottom end. Correct?


(This post was edited by tag2453 on Jul 9, 2017, 11:54 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Jul 9, 2017, 1:35 PM

Post #12 of 14 (675 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

We're getting there. Understand the stern drive gears are at the bottom bullet in front of the propeller. If that jammed up somehow it would lock the engine as well as a double u-joint is how it tilts up and down.
It's just FYI that the "drive" unit can lock the engine and not be the engine at all.
Why is because people hit things or leave outdrive up such that rain gets in and drain is clogged, freeze and jams it there - things you check Winterizing a boat which you say wasn't done.
BTW for a scope and I'd check it if you have one nearby they sell a cheapo one at Harbor Freight like $30 bucks. Unknown if any good so if so test it before you leave with their stuff.


The point is you don't know total exposure and history of why just yet so it's open to a few things that MIGHT prevent it from turning and not be way too difficult on engine alone to get going,


T



tag2453
Novice

Jul 9, 2017, 5:21 PM

Post #13 of 14 (663 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

Cool. I get what your saying. But the outdrive has been completely removed from the boat so it's not connected to the engine at all.

Engine is completely free of belts, plugs, drive, etc. That was the only way I could turn by hand from the crankshaft.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jul 9, 2017, 9:00 PM

Post #14 of 14 (652 views)
Re: 1988 GM 2.3L Semi-seized - Now what? Sign In

OK - So for now this is just the engine free of what it drives so just engine not what it does. On to why it can't be turned now that it's outdrive is not in the picture time to look for why. Bent rod already mentioned, a rust ring in a cylinder stops cold when rings hit that or some unknown obstruction not allowing piston to pass probably top dead center aka=TDC. Hydraulic lock has been ruled out with plugs out.


That leaves a bent part, valve possible a broken one hope you can see thru plug hole or head has to come off and may be time to take it out, oil pan removed and so on if this engine is cracked, bent or what. Perhaps starter motor even all jammed up? Open book exam so far.
If it get that far you'll need a stand for it.


Lack of history isn't helping if a wild overheat or what for this to be put up without "Winterizing" it now going on 3 years.


Notes: Marine can mean fuel was either automotive or specifically "marine" without the ethanol used frequently 89 Octane or higher or who knows if that alone will be it's own project later.


This is going to be a project and knowing when to quit is important so you don't waste a fortune of time and money for nothing at all or endless surprises, fuel, corrosion and if raw water cooled if water jackets are full of rust particles beyond fix now also. Don't forget it's a "wet" manifold with water jackets also with a "riser" I'll call it then exhaust would go down and out thru propeller.


Would help some if you'd say what this is. Mercruiser (Alpha One), OMC (Cobra), Volvo were the likely choices with Volvo is a duo-prop outdrive I'll know nothing about that part in specifics.
Hey - Don't forget it's a wood framed boat covered in fiberglass and wood for transom or stringers can rot out boat is junk engine or not!


Do know the engine block is GM and about ends there the rest is the company that used that block!


PS: My experience is NE USA, North of I-80 use of boats, lakes, rivers and ocean. Day trailered, lake dock to ocean marina stored yachts up to live aboard.


T







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