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Engine locked up and can't work out why!!

R Bates

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Hi all and a merry Christmas.

I've got a question about a freelander engine, I'm posting here hoping more people will see it and offer some advice as it's about an engine problem and it's really got me scratching my head!! but if admin feels the need to move it to the freelander section that's fine.

My dad's 2005 1.8 freelander has been parked up for 4 weeks and the engine has locked up like its seized!? The car ran faultless before being parked up!

He thought the starter had packed up on it when it wouldn't start as it was just clicking so a new one was fitted but still the same clicking happened.

I've been to have a look at it and the starter didn't turn the engine at all so I took it off and tried it on the bench and the starter worked fine, I then put the car in gear and tried rocking it and it wouldn't move so I took all the spark plugs out, cylinders 1,2 &3 was fine but 4 was full of coolant (it's never used a drop of coolant and really was running perfect before being parked up)

So the next thing I did was fitted the starter again and tried to turn it over to force the water out and it still wouldn't turn over. I've even tried pulling it with the winch on my defender and the freelander in gear just to see if the engine would turn and it doesn't the wheels just skid!

So can anyone offer any thoughts as to why the crank would lock up solid after standing for only 4weeks?

Its really got me stumped!



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Not impossible that water in the pot for that length of time has caused some corrosion that's stuck the rings to the bores.

Depending on what gear you tried bumping it in whilst towing it would explain why the wheels just locked.

Ideally fourth or fifth with it rolling relatively quickly would give it a better chance.

Either that or try a big bar on the crank pulley.

All sorts of places the water could have come from, most likely a hairline crack in the head that's let the water through as it's been sat so long, but will close up when the car gets warm.

A bit of diesel down the pot that was full of water and leave to soak before trying to free it off, then a K seal in the water system if you can pursue it to go again.

A little less grief than pulling the head and having to unstick the piston from the liner.

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Lucky that it didn't fire. A friend cracked the head on his MG 1100 when it caught first turn with water in one bore. Agree with the corrosion theory. Oil down all bores. Leave for a while. When trying to dislodge treat it like a bump start, but higher gear - rolling then drop the clutch (but wear your seatbelt).

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I though about the crankcase being full with water and not allowing the pistons to go down but it's not the oil level is still the same as it was. It seems the water has just sat on top of the piston in number 4. I didn't actually tow it or try to bump start it just tried to move it a few feet with the winch. I'll try soaking the bore with oil or diesel and see what happens.

Thanks very much for the replies I really didn't think it would be the piston stuck thought it was something in the bottom end.

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I've never seen a belt break through sitting for a few weeks and a cylinder filling with water.

Inlet manifold gasket is a possibility, although the only water passage through the manifold is at the timing belt end (the cylinder I would address as number 1) so it's not one I'd have high on my list.

Have another look at the head...

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