Motor seized?

ggmurray

Registered Member
Hello everyone,
I was hoping to get some troubleshooting advice on my 05 Rainier. I wasn't behind the wheel when the Rainier's engine quit so I'm not sure what happened. Here is what I've done so far, I tried to start the Rainer only to hear just a the clunk of the starter hitting the flywheel. I thought "Battery" so put a fresh fully charged battery in only to hear the same thing "clunk" and after couple more tries "clunk", I decided it was a starter problem so took it off and tested it and it's fine. So out came the socket and breaker bar, With the key in I shifted the transmission to neutral and with the socket and breaker bar I tried to turn the bolt on the crankshaft "No way" so took the starter off and moved to the flywheel with a long screwdriver and tried to lever the flywheel by the teeth "Not happening" so I quit to think about things. Today I jumped back on it removing the plugs to see if that would help make things easy to move, I also removed the drive belt so I was only turning the crankshaft still won't move a hair. OK so I decided to pull the valve cover to get a look at the timing chain, yes that pretty much ate up the afternoon but I was able to get it off only to find everything was fine as far as I could tell. It was pretty rough looking but with 242,000 miles I expected it. I forgot to mention earlier I pulled the oil dipstick and found the oil level was at least 1 quart over full? I asked who had put oil in the engine but no one will own up to it! I thinking that due to the overfill of oil in the crankcase there must be damage to bottom end. But maybe someone has a suggestion or advice or anything that might help that I haven't done yet! Just want to make certain that the engine is seized! Thanks in advance for any help at all!
 
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Mounce

Guru
1 quart over won't hurt it by itself. Could have just been it's time, 240k is a decent number on these, lots lose engines sooner.
 
doesn't sound good especially since you can't budge it with all the stuff that you took off... the thing should almost be spinning by "free hand".

my guess is there was extreme "low oil situation" and then the "corrective action" was to add some oil there after. :smile:

When you pulled the plugged plugs, what did they look like?
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
budwich/Mounce,
Plugs looked decent, not wet or oily, I also took my pen light and tried to look down thru the sparkplug hole from what I could see everything looked normal, even looked at the valve stems thru the intake openings nothing looked bent or out of the ordinary I wonder with the 242,000 if the screen on the oil pickup stopped up and starved the oil pump killing the engine. Maybe that might account for the extra oil? or not.... Do you guy's think some marvel mystery oil in the cylinders might break things loose? just trying to think of anything that might work. Like Mounce said it just might have been time.
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
Hey guys one other thing "What if the oil filter was stopped up"? Ehhh you'd still have the low oil pressure light on the dash.
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
Well, let me add a little history.....Wife's Rainer "Fantastic ride" we've always loved it! She bought a new one so the 05 sat for a while say a year but I kept it running and moved it around until we gifted it to our Grandson told him be easy on the ole girl due to the miles! He had it a couple of days and then the call telling us it had quit on him. He told us one of his friends looked at it but didn't do anything. He really didn't have much to say other than it just quit. said some lights came on but he couldn't remember what they were. Towed it here so I could check it out, rest is history.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If you have not done so as of yet...

(1) Open the Radiator Cap and examine the condition of the Coolant for any signs of Floating Droplets of Oil. Cracked Cylinder walls adjacent to the Oil Galleries and Water Jackets will allow both fluids to contaminate each other. If Coolant has leaked into the Crankcase...the Motor Oil will FLOAT on it and make it appear on the Dip Stick like there is an excessive amount of Oil in the Engine.

(2) Drain the Oil, Unwind the Oil Filter and perform an Autopsy in a Bucket with some Kerosene after using a "Can Opener" Tool like this Speedway Model # 91081031 version found on eBay. Mind the Razor Sharp Edges left on the Filter Can segments:

OILFILTERCANOPENER.jpgOILFILTERCANOPENER1.jpgOILFILTERCANOPENER2.jpg

Then use a Telescoping Magnet to search the bottom of the Oil Catch Basin for any size pieces of Ferrous Metal or particles of Aluminum left in the container after pouring off the Old Motor Oil. Be fastidious and run a Stiff Brush in between the Fan-Folds of the Filter Paper. If the Draining Motor Oil comes out looking like Chocolate Milk... The Engine has turned its Last RPM.

(3) If your Kin still want to use and enjoy this Buick Ranier... Consider checking on-Line via eBay and LQK for a Compatible, Low Mileage Motor, Local to Non-Flood Zones that was running in a Vehicle that Wrecked... with no signs of any Impact Damage or cracks to the Engine Mountings and Block Integrity from a dramatic Head-On Collision. A Decent Engine can be found for around $1,000-$1,500.

@Mounce has company among those of us who agree that if your Buick Ranier laid down its life after roaming the roads for nearly a Quarter Million Miles... THAT was One Helluva Great Run.
 
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ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
MRRSM,

Thanks for the input! I will do exactly what you recommended today and later this afternoon report in on the results. Pulling the dipstick I didn't notice any milky indication that something had happened but your exactly right the oil will stay on top giving it the appearance that it's over full. I will disassemble the FRAM oil filter and study it closely. The Rainier was my favorite! it took us many places without as much as a hiccup and I'll say when I did have an issue all you guys were here to lend a hand in getting her back on the road again, I decided I'm going to find out what the bottom line is on what happened and then do whatever it takes to bring new life to the Rainier! Well worth the effort! going to keep for myself this time!
 
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MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
There are so many other competent GMT Members who will help you along the way too, Brother. Best of Everything for Year 2020!
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Just a crazy hunch, try turning it backwards. We've seen a few flywheels break and maybe a piece got jammed. You don't need to put it in neutral or anything to turn an automatic tranny. If it does turn, don't attempt to start it until further inspection.
 

BrianF

Hobbyist
usually the rods start knocking first before the whole engine seizes from low oil. its quite a pronounced process.
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
I've seen an old small block seize up all of a sudden while driving on a highway due to lack of oil. The main bearings basically welded themselves to the crank. Pulled the dipstick and all there was was smoke. There was no noises at all before it just suddenly stopped. It didn't have an idiot light, just a pressure gauge that my friend failed to keep an eye on.

If this one was sucking on half air and oil or the pickup was plugged, there might have been just enough pressure to prevent the pressure switch from activating at 12psi.
 

smt 59

Guru
If the oil level is too high, it contacts moving parts in such a manner as air is mixed into it. The result is air pockets in oil galleries, and less liquid oil to cool parts such as piston skirts. The "foam" also sticks in place and doesn't drain back to the pan, and insulates parts from normal heat transfer.
So it sound like the engine is toast.
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
Thanks Everyone for all the tips! It's dark now so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try turning the flywheel backwards. But here the results from the to-do list for today! First things first I took the radiator cap off and it was perfect clean pink dex-cool with no hint of oil droplets or discoloration. I drained the oil next and use a large paint strainer hoping to catch anything that came out, it worked pretty dang good! but no metal shavings only dirt and crud was caught and really not that much! next up the oil filter pretty much same situation filter was doing its job but only oil and dirt/crud I completely disassembles the filter carefully and looked over the folds only to find the dirt particles I didn't see any metal shavings or flakes or small particles and nothing would stick to the magnet I had. All this seems to be normal findings, I just can't help but think I'm missing something stupid! I will check the flywheel tomorrow and see what happens but in the meantime if anyone wants to chime in with more ideas that would be outstanding! Here's some pics of yesterday and today's work.IMG_5944.JPGIMG_5948.JPGIMG_5949.JPGIMG_5950.JPGIMG_5951.JPGIMG_5952.JPGIMG_5953.JPG
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
Oh forgot to mention for those of you who have ever took the intake off! Yes that back bolt by the firewall is a real nail biter! :smile:
 
fwiw: The quart over hasn't affected my 2004 4.2 and probably the first 100k miles it ran with a quart over full. This engine liked to use about 1 quart between oil changes and I didn't like to see the oil level near the add oil line on the dipstick, ever. The engine now has 198k miles on it.
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
I know it’s crazy to ask, but can the torque converter lock the engine down? I can shift to neutral and push the Rainier around so I assumed it was fine. Second guessing myself now so I’d thought I’d ask....
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Never heard of that happening. In park or neutral, all that would be affected is the pump and that will just break the plastic tangs if it seized. The torque converter itself is a fluid drive so even if the tranny was seized internally, the TC would still be able to spin.
 

TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
If you do get the engine to rotate backwards, dont get over zealous, and hit the key to turn the engine over the right way with the starter, keep rotating it back and forwards, listening for metal on metal sounds.
 

ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
Mooseman/Tollkeeper
I tried rotating the flywheel backwards CCW but it's solid as a rock! tried CW too, no luck. So what do you guy's think about pouring Marvel Mystery oil in each cylinder and let it sit overnight and then try the breaker bar and socket on the crank bolt again, I could even add a pc of pipe on the bar for more leverage. I can't think of anything else to do short of pulling the motor now. If the MM oil does feel the cylinders the engines probably toast anyway don't you think.
 
Never heard of that happening. In park or neutral, all that would be affected is the pump and that will just break the plastic tangs if it seized. The torque converter itself is a fluid drive so even if the tranny was seized internally, the TC would still be able to spin.
That's the "fourth check" in the list for engine failing to crank / turn.... seized torque converter.
 

MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
At this point it is very dubious that putting additional external force on the Crankshaft to turn the locked up Rotating Assembly will improve upon its chances of loosening up freely. There is something Mechanically stopping that from happening and as already suggested... the likely culprit will be either be a Broken or Bent Connecting Rod or a Fractured Piston Head that has either fallen into or jammed itself in between the Crankshaft Counter Weights and the sides of the Lower Engine Block where there is probably less than a 1/2" of Free Space for this movement to occur under normal operating conditions.

It would be wrong for anyone to try and give you False Hope that additional force being applied is likely to improve its present condition. Think of it this way... Even if you COULD get the Motor to rotate again... Internal Damage has already transpired and performing an Engine R&R to conduct a possible Re-Build would still follow in due course. Please consider that the only rationale available at this point is to Pull the Errant Engine and either drop in a Crate Engine for around $3,500.00 (plus labor costs for the Install) or to obtain a running Used Salvage Engine... and do likewise after ripping out that damaged, Very High Mileage Motor and replacing it. It is probably time to "Give Up The Ghost"...

EDIT:

A closer examination of your Images showing all of that Brown, Carbon Encrusted Material decorating the Upper Engine Head (and present in quantity in the images of your Oil Filter Autopsy) leads me to conclude that your Oil Screen Intake Tube is probably COMPLETELY Blocked Off after inhaling too many pieces of fallen Chunks of Carbon Debris.

This can happen on High Mileage Engines due to Excessively Worn Rings causing Piston Ring Blow-By. That mix of Partially Combusted Junk and Gasoline Varnish collects in the Lower Crankcase too, mixing in with the Oil Mass below from turbulence while getting suctioned into the sticky screen openings in the Oil Pick Up Tube. If such an event occurred... Engine Death from Oil Starvation can happen suddenly and without warning.
 
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ggmurray

Registered Member
Thread Starter
To All!
I want to thank you all for your input and advice and recommendations! At this point I’m going to do as MRRSM says and give up the ghost! I feel satisfied that with everyone’s help I’ve done as much as possible to make sure the engine has seized and nothing else needs to be done to troubleshoot any further. My plan now is to find a decent salvage semi-low mileage replacement motor and get busy!
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
And because it can't be rotated, you'll have to pull the engine with the torque converter attached, which mean a helluva mess. I feel your pain brother.
 

Mounce

Guru
Yeah I was about to tell you to pull the plug. It's already cooked, the only thing you'd get out of coercing it to rotate would be torque converter bolt access. Good luck with the swap!
 

Beacon

Active Member
If you have a borescope you might be able to look inside your oil pan, through the drain hole, for large chunks. And also go through the spark plug holes. This could help determine if bearings are the problem, as @m.mcillen suggested.

Edit. I've seen borescopes that require an app for under $20. Or if want a traditional handheld, and need to save a buck, pawn shop, ebay

2nd edit. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZG93W53/?tag=elightbars-20
 
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MRRSM

Lifetime VIP Supporter
@ggmurray ... This rare video from Duane and his Crew at "REALFIXESREALFAST" covers the difficult but necessary procedures mentioned by @Mooseman and the clever suggestion offered by @m.mcmillen.

His suggestion is the only other alternative to what is shown on the Video regarding "How to free up the Locked Torque Converter Bolts". Presently, they will remain inaccessible due to an inability to rotate them through their 120 Degree positions on the Flywheel access port below and unbolt them:

 
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TollKeeper

Gold Supporter
If a low mileage replacement motor is in your future, be sure to remember that only certain years will work on your truck. Its all very year dependent.
 

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