Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online!
Automotive Forums .com - the leading automotive community online! 
-
Latest | 0 Rplys
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Engineering/Technical
Engineering/Technical Ask technical questions about cars. Do you know how a car engine works?
Reply Show Printable Version Show Printable Version | Email this Page Email this Page | Subscription Subscribe to this Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-30-2012, 01:51 PM   #1
JRockinVR4
AF Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Posts: 8
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I wanted to petition AF before attempting to fix this issue (I couldn't find a suitable forum, so I hope I posted this in the right place). Someone gave me some pointers and I guess I just want to ask AF if they are good pointers before I break the damn thing open.



I own a 2002 Mitsu Eclipse GS (4-cyl 2.0). I ran my car through standing water, about 5-7 inches. AEM cold-air intake sits a couple inches higher. My guess is hydrolock, which would be the first time I've ever encountered such a thing.

As soon as I hit standing water, a car passed travelling in the other direction, swelling the water another 3-4 inches or so. My engine, which was below idle-rev at the time (about 700-800 RPM) didn't seize immediately. It kind of bogged down to nothing in the span of 2-3 seconds, no serious clanks/pings/knocks that I could hear. Tried to turn engine twice after stalling and it was locked up. Had the car towed home and it's sitting in the bay now.



Here's what I was going/advised to do:

Remove spark plugs to check for water in the combustion chamber.
Sparkless-crank several times to push water out of combustion chambers.
Let car sit for a while to let remaining water evaporate.
Change oil/filter.
Install new plugs.



I was also advised by someone else not to touch the car and to have it towed to a mechanic for a flush so as not to risk ruining any of the valves/rods/etc. However, I was also told that if I didn't run the car with water in the engine and all it did was stall from idle, then the engine might be salvageable, provided I can push the remaining water out and change the oil before trying to start it again.

If I'm missing any steps or if you can suggest a different approach, then please respond! This is my A-B, but I'm broke and tired, so I'd rather not do a crate swap at the given moment

Last edited by JRockinVR4; 11-02-2012 at 09:40 AM.
JRockinVR4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
gmtech1
AF Enthusiast
 
gmtech1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Beachside
Posts: 2,000
Thanks: 4
Thanked 301 Times in 299 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I would say, as you stated, pull the plugs out and crank it over to blow the water out, replace the plugs and change the oil. Wost case is a bent connecting rod or two. If she starts and runs with no noticable problems, you are probably ok, and very lucky!
gmtech1 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to gmtech1 For This Useful Post:
JRockinVR4 (11-02-2012)
Old 10-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
maxwedge
A990 racer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Chestertown, New York
Posts: 16,592
Thanks: 14
Thanked 327 Times in 321 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Air intake box and filter must have water in it also, plus salt water can affect other exposed electronics.
__________________
maxwedge is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to maxwedge For This Useful Post:
JRockinVR4 (11-02-2012)
Old 10-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
gmtech1
AF Enthusiast
 
gmtech1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Beachside
Posts: 2,000
Thanks: 4
Thanked 301 Times in 299 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwedge View Post
Air intake box and filter must have water in it also, plus salt water can affect other exposed electronics.

Did'nt think about the salt water. Good catch!
gmtech1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
Blt2Lst
AF Enthusiast
 
Blt2Lst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: redondo beach, California
Posts: 646
Thanks: 4
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I'm sure a lot of people are having the same problem after driving through the storm waters of hurricane Sandy. Mechanics on the east coast will be busy for a long time.
__________________
1989 Caprice Classic Wagon, Olds 307 ,SMI Q-Jet, 200R4 w/Shift kit, Flowmaster 50, Hotchkiss sway bars, KYB Shocks. Jet Chip,
1989 Mustang LX 5.0 5sp convertible
1992 Camry LE 2.2
1996 Suzuki RMX250


I'm a victim of circumstance [
Blt2Lst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
vgames33
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: canton, Ohio
Posts: 593
Thanks: 1
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I'd also suggest leaving the hood open, removing any covers for electronics (fuse box, etc) and maybe leave a fan blowing over the engine bay for a day or so to help dry out any electronics that may have gotten soaked.

Don't forget to check the transmission fluid for water. Depending on how the vent is set up, it may have taken on water.
vgames33 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to vgames33 For This Useful Post:
JRockinVR4 (11-02-2012)
Old 10-30-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
MagicRat
Nothing scares me anymore
 
MagicRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: City of Light
Posts: 10,700
Thanks: 12
Thanked 79 Times in 74 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRockinVR4 View Post
Here's what I was going/advised to do:

Remove spark plugs to check for water in the combustion chamber.
Sparkless-crank several times to push water out of combustion chambers.
Let car sit for a while to let remaining water evaporate.
Change oil/filter.
Install new plugs.
I have drowned several vehicles over the years, (Jeep, Mustang, Honda ATC, and a couple of dirt bikes)
I have done exactly what you post here, with excellent results. The engines were not damaged.
I had to change the Jeep's oil and filter twice since it was still milky -looking after one change...... but it had been sitting window-deep in a river for several hours!

I never changed the plugs, though, the old ones were fine. But the air filter element is (soggy) toast, Change it.

The above suggestions on the transmission, drying out the engine compartment etc are excellent.
MagicRat is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to MagicRat For This Useful Post:
JRockinVR4 (11-02-2012)
Old 10-31-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
shorod
SHO Off
 
shorod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Posts: 10,636
Thanks: 67
Thanked 280 Times in 274 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

A lot of good thoughts and suggestions above. Since the water content likely had salt, I'd suggest after you try to crank the engine with no plugs to blow water out of the cylinders, put several drops of oil down the plug holes to try to keep the cylinder walls from rusting immediately. I'd also suggest you reinstall the plugs to close off the plug holes, disconnect the battery, then rinse the engine to dilute and/or wash away the salt water from the surfaces and the electrical connections. Now remove the spark plugs again and use a fan to help dry everything out for a day or two.

Good luck!

-Rod
shorod is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to shorod For This Useful Post:
JRockinVR4 (11-02-2012)
Old 11-01-2012, 01:37 PM   #9
shadows
AF Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Liberal, Kansas
Posts: 88
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shorod View Post
A lot of good thoughts and suggestions above. Since the water content likely had salt, I'd suggest after you try to crank the engine with no plugs to blow water out of the cylinders, put several drops of oil down the plug holes to try to keep the cylinder walls from rusting immediately. I'd also suggest you reinstall the plugs to close off the plug holes, disconnect the battery, then rinse the engine to dilute and/or wash away the salt water from the surfaces and the electrical connections. Now remove the spark plugs again and use a fan to help dry everything out for a day or two.

Good luck!

-Rod
as an engine builder- this guy is smart and has been there- pay attention
shadows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 09:16 AM   #10
JRockinVR4
AF Newbie
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Posts: 8
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Just wanted to post my progress for you guys...



Seriously, call it luck or Jesus, I SURVIVED HYDROLOCK! Of course, it took three days to engineer the tools I needed from spare parts around the house, but it works! It must've been the fact that the car had bogged down and hydrolocked @idle. There is no reason my rods shouldn't be smushed or one of the cylinders smaking a stuck valve.

Anyway, each cylinder had about 1-3 cups of water in it. After cranking the engine a couple times, most of the water was expelled. I then used the tube from a spray bottle that I flanged and melted onto a plastic Jello-shooter syringe from this past New Year's (and people wonder why I save stupid sh*t lol). I used that to clear the blast chambers of the remaining water. I couldn't get it all out, but that's what the ignition cycle is for, right? After clearing the cylinders, I changed the oil and watched the pan as it drained to spot any separating water or milky color. There wasn't a drop at least that I could see. Tossed 5oz of fuel treatment in the gas tank and about an oz of oil stabilizer (Lucas ftw). By this time, all of the intake plumbing and MAF were almost dry in front of the heater.

Once I changed the oil, I ran two dry compression tests, followed by a wet test, but the readings for each cylinder were inconclusive. The stock compression for a 4G64 is 9.0:1 @185 psi (+/- 5), but the measurements were pretty sporatic.

Dry
1 - 20psi/40psi
2 - 30psi/60psi
3 - 60psi/40psi
4 - 50psi/60psi

Wet
1 - 60psi
2 - 60psi
3 - 40psi
4 - 70psi

I recharged the battery after the first dry test just in case that was messing with the readings, but that didn't help during the second one. And, I knew it was possible, but a stuck exhast valve on EVERY cylinder? That's rare. Possible, yes, but rare, especially given the circumstances.

Fed up with Hurricane Sandy on the whole, I installed spark, hooked everything back up and just cranked it (from this point forward, I will personify my car to better express my satisfaction). I closed my eyes and ears for fear of hearing a rod knock or valve smack, but she just kept on cranking. I cranked her until she flooded, recharged her battery for an hour or two, came back and tried my hand at her again. This time, she sputtered, but still no knocks or ticks, just the occasional pop of ignition and the subsequent smell of rich burn. Finally, she started and ran somewhat unsteadily with white smoke bellowing from the tailpipe. Exhaust was incredibly humid, but no burning oil. I let her run idle for about 45 minutes with the ever-decreasing pop and puff of white smoke. Once I revved the engine a few more times, she was purring like the day I bought her. No leaks, no black smoke, no knocks, and no puddles on the ground this morning. No leaks around the head seal (at least what I could see of the exterior). I took her up the road this morning; she hits 80 just fine now, and that's all I need. I'm gonna run another compression test tonight to find out if I got stuck with a broken gauge. Then I might Sea Foam, provided I feel tricky enough.



I wanted to thank you all for your help and suggestions! You guys were a huge help! There were so many things I didn't give thought to until I asked AF.

I also wanted to design and sell a shirt that says "I SURVIVED HYDROLOCK," but unfortunately, I don't think I'd make that much business on it. All in all, I'm just glad my car's running. And to think, I had just paid the b*tch off last month. Talk about Murphy's Law (and his unforseen Order).

Last edited by JRockinVR4; 11-02-2012 at 11:20 AM.
JRockinVR4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #11
vgames33
AF Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: canton, Ohio
Posts: 593
Thanks: 1
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I'd say your gauge is broken or you didn't have the throttle plate open. I doubt it would even fire with 40 psi of compression.
vgames33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 09:06 AM   #12
JRockinVR4
AF Newbie
Thread starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Posts: 8
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vgames33 View Post
I'd say your gauge is broken or you didn't have the throttle plate open. I doubt it would even fire with 40 psi of compression.
Yeah, WOT for both wet and dry. It was a busted gauge after all Good thing I didn't technically need it.
JRockinVR4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2015, 02:00 AM   #13
nmc3722
AF Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sundre
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Re: Possible Hydrolock and Solution?

I would recommend the replacement of a few more parts. I had this happen to my own vehicle after lending it out to a friend (2002 Ford Focus SE 2.0L Zetec). one thing to do off the bat. Pull the plug! Oil plug that is, i had appx. 12L of fluid drain out of the engine opposed to the 4.2L of oil oil I had just put in with an oil change a couple weeks prior. change the air filter even if it doesn't look dirty, water damage does a lot. Especially salt water. New brake pads are a must, from the water as well. Plugs and wires, with the no spark crank i would recommend pulling all the wires, then do cylinder no. 1 only, attach a small flexible hose to a shop-vac, turn it on and crank away, then proceed throughout all the cylinders in numerical order. once you have cranked it and dried it out as best you can do another oil change, inspect the colour (milky=bad), replace it as well as the filter, then crank it, if it starts, let it run for five minutes, kill it drain it, fill it, run it and kill it, check the dipstick for milkiness, and repeat until normal colour. I had to do this about ten times to get the water out of my engine. FYI once i had mine running, with all the oil and parts replaced I could have dropped a new crate engine in it.
nmc3722 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply

POST REPLY TO THIS THREAD


Bookmarks
Go Back   Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Engineering/Technical

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:09 PM.

Community Participation Guidelines | How to use your User Control Panel

Powered by: vBulletin | Copyright Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
 
 
no new posts