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Discussion Starter #1
My friend has a 93 T-bird with the infamous 3.8L. A few days ago there was flooding in my area and he drove his car into a puddle and the car stalled. From what he tells me, the water was up to the bottom of the headlights on the car. The car was in the water for about an hour. Now the engine will not crank. I tried hooking up a 225 amp engine start up to it to no avail. The car's elecrical system seems fine but the engine will not crank. Could water have gotten into the engine, and if so, is it possible to get it cranking again?
 

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Stop!! don't try cranking the engine anymore!!!!! The car is hydrolocked, in other words the air that is normally taken into the engine intake has been replaced by water. Air can be compressed by the pistons, but not water, so when the cylinders are full of water the engine stops. Hopefully you haven't blown the headgasket, bent the rods or hosed pistons or other wise ruined the engine by trying to turn it over. Take out ALL the sparkplugs and turn it over to blow out the water. If you are lucky after the water drys out the engine will work. BTW do they still have "Big Barry's" in Centereach?
 

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Dude I tried emailing you to let you know NOT to turn the engine over and possibly screw up the car but [email protected] was returned as not a valid email address.
I figured you might check your email before this board but I guess not
 

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I figured as such, I know the person Peeling Paint is talking about, I will make sure to relay this to him quickly. What your saying to do is remove the spark plugs, THEN try cranking the engine to let the pistons shoot the water out, right?? Then the engine would have to dry out. Anything else we can do, cuz the guys car is parked at my girlfriend's house, I might be able to take a look at it. Is there anything else to look for to determine damage to the engine?? Thanks for the help Kermitec.

Edit: And by the way, I believe Big Barry's was shut down, Nick would probably know better than I would though.
 

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I would recommend the same as them; blow the water out, if there is any. If you remove the plugs and the engine still doesn't crank, then the starter may have been blown out. I would go through and check all the relays/fuses, as well as the battery and everything. I had a friend whose mom drove through a deep puddle and the car stalled out, wouldn't crank. Turns out it had hydrolocked AND the starter had shorted.
 

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Alright thanks for the input. He was thinking a starter, but we gotta see, I'm gonna talk to the guy tomorrow and see if we can attempt to check the engine for water.

Anyone else??
 

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The first thing I would do is to remove all the plugs after disconnecting the coil wire, then try to turn it over, if the electrical system seems fine as you said and it won't turn over then you most likely need to replace the starter.
When you have replaced the starter or gotten it to turn over..STOP and change the oil and filter before you try to start it.
The pan most likely has water in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If there is water in the engine, it froze over. It probably cracked the block. We are going to pull the plugs out and try to crank it. Thanks for the help.

EDIT: Big Barrys is closed. I believe there is a Pomodorino in there now.
 

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Yeah, trying to start a hydrolocked engine is definitely bad business!


It's been above freezing these past few days on LI, so now'd be a good time to pull the plugs and crank the water out of it. Once you do that, go ahead and change the oil, and then fire it up to dry it out the rest of the way. Don't rev it initially, just let it warm up at idle, as to dry out whatever moisture is left in the motor.

If you need any help with this, just PM me. I'm in the area.

~Hamal
 

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Oh man, those headgaskets are already bad on the 3.8s...
 

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First off, Pull the ECM fuse so you don't pump gas or create a spark

Then you pull the plugs out, crank it over and blast the water out.

Then you spray WD-40 in to each cylinder, wait a minute or two and crank it over again. Repeat this 2 more times. Finally let it dry, re-install the plugs, and fire it up.

Then change the oil afterwards, probably flush the cooing system, air filter, PCV.......you get the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What I plan on doing is cranking the car by jumping the leads on the starter relay with a screwdriver. With the key not in the ignition, it will not pump fuel or create spark, just crank the engine with the starter.
 

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I just took a look at the car, and so far all the electricals seem fine. I took apart the distributor, no signs of water marks, just dirty old 11 year old distributor
So anywayz, any last words before me and nick go in? First thing were doing is lifting her up, and bypassing the starter leads to crank the engine, after pulling the plugs. Now after this, probably change the oil, cuz the oil has some s*** in it
First things first though, get the engine going, hopefully no pushrod damage, wish us luck!


Edit: And Nick took a look at the startr, it sees to be OK, however well see in a bit. Anything else we should check for?
 

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Help Needed!! Reassembling the ignition on this thunderbird, I need the firing order for the Essex Motor. We have the car open right now, all plugs are in, but we need to know the firing order to put the wires back on. Thanks for the help!!
 

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So what ever happened? I've seen two cars get hydrolocked, only one made it back alive.
 

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A local member hydrolocked a motor I was working on for him. We did an upper 60k and when I wasn't looking he was literally dumping Berrymans in the heads.

The motor came back, but my blood pressure didn't come down for a few days.

This is why I charge people more when they want to watch and charge them the most when they want to help.
 

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Well.. The Engine cranks, however it will not start. I think it is the Ignition Coil, cuz there is no spark. The Ignition Coil in the Tbird sits very lower, lower than the intake, so I suspect its fried. The Engine is now longer hydrolocked however, with what seems to be no damage to the block or headgaskets
More to come later.
 
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