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Re: overheating bad, bad, bad worse

Subject: Re: overheating bad, bad, bad worse
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 16:27:48 EDT
In a message dated 5/21/99 3:51:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< The car does not start.
 Starter motor goes, but the engine does not. >>

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Well, Mike, it really doesn't sound very good.  Let's get more specific.  
When you turn the key, does the starter motor turn freely, but not turn the 
engine?  Or does the starter try to turn the engine, but it isn't strong 
enough and it stops?  Can you turn the engine over by putting it in first 
gear and pushing the car a few feet, or by putting a big wrench on the crank 
pulley and turning it by hand?  (You may not have room to do this, I'm not 
sure which car you have.)

If the engine is frozen, you have probably melted a piston, or perhaps only a 
bearing.  If the starter is turning freely, you have a completely different 
problem that may not have anything to do with it overheating.

Letting an engine overheat is probably one of the worst things that can 
happen.  Whether it is from lack of oil or water, the results are usually 
pretty bad.  Someone else asked if the water pump was bad.  This is usually a 
bad impeller bearing, and you can tell by grabbing the pulley on the water 
pump and trying to wobble it.  If it wobbles, pump is bad.  New water pump is 
an easy job.  Waiting until the bad water pump melts the engine complicates 
life considerably.

On the positive side, the parts for an engine rebuild are not too expensive, 
the engine itself is relatively simple to work on, and you may be able to use 
this as a learning experience, if you decide to rebuild it yourself.  Plus, 
you will have a fresh engine when you are done, and you will have earned 
bragging rights.  You may even want to beef up some of the parts for higher 

Calm down a bit, take a step back, and think things over.  Everybody who 
decides to keep a 25 or 30 year old car on the road is going to have some 
problems.  It comes with the territory.  There is nothing that you can break 
that can't be fixed.

Keep us posted.

Allen Hefner
'77 Midget
'92 Mitsubishi Expo LRV Sport

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