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Old 15-04-2008   #1
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Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

hey, i have a punto cabrio 90 elx, i bought it 4 years ago and it ran fine before being garaged about 3 and a half years ago. i turned it over regularly to keep everything loose, until one day i left an interior light on and ran the battery out. due to the fact the car is garaged about 40 miles away and i rarely have time to go, it wasn't ever re-charged, and the car hasn't run at all for 3 years.

Now i have the time and with summer arriving, i decided to get the punto up and running again, so i went and bought a new battery and put it in, turned the key and was greated by a slow groaning noise as the starter obviously cant spin the engine fast enough to start. the engine does turn..... very, very slowly, but its nowhere near coughing into life. i had a look at the engine and listened as it tried to start. the top pulley on the drivers side seems to be grinding and sticking, so i have wd-40'd all the pulleys on that side. but surely that one pulley can't be whats stopping it bursting into life?

is there any know points for this particular engine that could be causing the problem? or could it be the starter motor thats sticking?

i've tried with a fully charged battery 4 times without any success, but tonight i gave the pulleys another good wd-40ing, and got all the backs of them done, after leaving this to do its thing, do you think this will solve the problem?

it also has fresh oil and fuel

im really stuck for ideas..... help!!
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Old 15-04-2008   #2
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

3 years? if you had been sitting for 3 years would you wanna work?

probably seized tbh
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Old 15-04-2008   #3
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

im afraid thats sounding like a fair bit of engine work to do there.

First thing i would do is probably remove the cam cover and check the general condition of parts, then mark the cam belt and remove it... check the camshaft can actually move properly And check the valves are moving properly aswell - last thing you want to do is crank the engine over if you have sticking valves cos then your talking serious damage and serious engine work.

Then remove sump and start checking out the bottom end... codition of bearings etc. you have to bear in mind all the oil will have settled and so all the bearings and other moving parts in both the block and head will have been left unprotected.
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Last edited by Xen; 15-04-2008 at 02:57.
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Old 15-04-2008   #4
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

yeah, thats pretty much what i was thinking, i was going to be taking the cam cover off to have a look tomorrow if it still sounded like it did a few days ago, when it does spin very slowly, the only bad sound is that rusty pulley, all the others seem free and able to move properly, but that one does feel extremley stiff. one problem i have that isn't to do with the car is the fact its in a tiny garage with no room to move or do any work, and its in nose first!!, it wasn't me that put it in last, i only really have access to the drivers side of the car, still, hopefully there is some sort of film of oil residue that means all the internals aren't too badly stuck!

looks like i have a major problem then!!, lol
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Old 15-04-2008   #5
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

Put a socket & wratchet on bottom pulley & turn the engine over could be bad earth or starter motor, would be supprised if its the engine siezed i have got cars started that have stood outside thonger than that
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Old 15-04-2008   #6
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

Aye! Roll the beast out of the garage, free the brakes up.. bung a lot of oil into the rocker to flood it with oil and then push the car along with it in gear to see if the engine turns over. Don't leave the ignition on or you'll be bump starting it and that's no good for the catalyser. I doubt it anything in the engine has seized.. it's more likely to be the starter motor.


Before you drive the beast anywhere, once you have it started, replace all the fluids.. oil (filter), coolant and brakes/clutch.


Ralf S.
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Old 15-04-2008   #7
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

Quote Originally Posted by Ralf S. View Post
bung a lot of oil into the rocker to flood it with oil and then push the car along with it in gear to see if the engine turns over.

Ralf S.
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Old 15-04-2008   #8
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

Quote Originally Posted by mrcinquecento View Post
the top pulley on the drivers side seems to be grinding and sticking, so i have wd-40'd all the pulleys on that side. but surely that one pulley can't be whats stopping it bursting into life?

is there any know points for this particular engine that could be causing the problem? or could it be the starter motor thats sticking?

The 'top pulley' is presumably the toothed camshaft pulley?

On these engines the camshaft runs in a housing bolted to the cylinder head -the bearings have fine tolerances - I have seen these seize before if the oil is not changed when it should be. You could try spraying your WD40 at the camshaft bearings themselves - there are five of them - take off the camshaft cover (six nuts) and you will see them. Then flood tappets with oil as Ralf said.

Also as Ralf said, be very careful about testing brakes etc. where it is safe to do so, and also check tyres for perishing etc.

Take out the spark plugs and put WD40 in the bores if you haven't already - you might have sticking piston rings.

Wire-brush your earth lead bolted to the transmission, in case a small amount of corrosion there is preventing your starter motor from cranking properly. The same applies to the battery terminals and the starter terminals.

Perhaps take the multigroove V-belt off and check that the water pump turns freely - perhaps that is corroded? WD40 might get it turning again, but it would be best to unbolt the four water pump front plate bolts and check. If the cooling system has leaked or otherwise lost its coolant, there could be a lot of rust in there.

I'm sure you will get this running again. By the way, I'd advise a change of the cambelt when you can. It's not so much the distance covered, it's the age of the belt that is the concern these days - five or six years is about your lot as far as assurance against breakage is concerned. If it breaks on this engine (1580cc), there will be damage.

Therefore, in your testing, don't rotate the cam pulley independently of the engine, or vice versa, if you get my drift... If you do take the belt off as Xen says, only turn the camshaft a tooth or two either way to check it and always by hand... Xen's advice is great but if you haven't changed a cambelt before, I'd suggest caution with removing the belt

E.g. find all the timing marks first, turn the engine back 90 degrees from the TDC mark (so that pistons are halfway down the bores), then remove the belt and safely rotate camshaft etc. as needed to check, check/replace the tensioner, finally re-time the engine with a new belt).

Or you could just try the first five paragraphs first

Cheers,
-Alex
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Last edited by alexGS; 15-04-2008 at 14:44.
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Old 15-04-2008   #9
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Re: Not ran in 3 years, engine siezed?

thanks for all the advice guys!!, i was working on it today, put new oil in it again, wd40'd the pulleys again, with a groan, it coughed into life!!, as i got it running i tried to get it out the garage, and it was very tricky, slowly but surely it moved out, it was very smokey due to all the wd 40 burning off, then as i was moving the engine stalled, the clutch was very brutal!!, as i tried to start it again i believe the starter motor has burnt out, as the engine turned the starter just gave an odd crackle and cut out..... will the problems not end???

2 days till i get my seicento tho!!!!, i think 3 fiats at once is a good number!
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