Engine issues … because I screwed up

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Offline Tang67

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Engine issues … because I screwed up
« on: January 17, 2021, 12:03:58 pm »
Firstly, thanks in advance for any assistance you guys provide.

The scenario: due to family commitments, Covid-19, and general apathy, my V8 67 Mustang has been sitting in the garage for 12 months without being turned over.

Last week I decided to give it a crank, checked the oil (was okay), the transmission fluid (was okay), the P/S fluid (was empty as usual – it leaks a bit so no big deal there).

So, attempted to start it but it blew a shitload of black smoke – enough to fill the garage and the entire backyard! Kept trying but no go.

I figured the battery hasn’t enough charge to crank it, then realised I didn’t check the water level – FU-K! Had a look and it was EMPTY! So filled it up and haven’t touched the car since. (Been considering giving the NRMA a call to see if they can jump start it, but thought running it past you lot – 'the Brains Trust' – is probably a better first option.)

So, the two questions are:

1.   how long can an engine run without water before it’s damaged? Admittedly, it only got slightly warm from the attempted cranking.
2.   Since the radiator and hoses aren't leaking, where did the water/coolant go?! (It’s kept me awake at night thinking the seals are gone and there’s a water/oil mix happening.)

Also, it’s probably a fair bet the water-pump membrane is shot.

The provenance of the engine is unknown – it’s the original one, but don’t know if it has ever been rebuilt.

Supplementary question:

•   Is an engine rebuild likely needed, and if so, does anyone know a trusted business in Western Sydney?

I hear the sound of my bank balance going down the drain …  :nopity:


Offline Reborn67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2021, 12:57:20 pm »
  Hey Tang, Couple of questions for clarity, Did you actually get the engine to run, or was it just cranking, if it didn't actually run then the temperature should not be an issue, When you say there was no water, does that mean completely dry or just couldn't see any below the core, if it was completely dry your water pump seals wont like that at all. If you have water in your oil it is easy to spot, especially after cranking, it will turn to a yellowish almost soapy kind of mix.
As for what it does to your carby thats a tad out of my field of knowledge, I do know they don't like to sit idle for a while, but I don't know how long that while is, Currently trying to figure that one out myself on a different thread..., Good luck,

Offline Tang67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2021, 12:02:24 am »
  Hey Tang, Couple of questions for clarity, Did you actually get the engine to run, or was it just cranking, if it didn't actually run then the temperature should not be an issue, When you say there was no water, does that mean completely dry or just couldn't see any below the core, if it was completely dry your water pump seals wont like that at all. If you have water in your oil it is easy to spot, especially after cranking, it will turn to a yellowish almost soapy kind of mix.
As for what it does to your carby thats a tad out of my field of knowledge, I do know they don't like to sit idle for a while, but I don't know how long that while is, Currently trying to figure that one out myself on a different thread..., Good luck,

Hello R67,

the engine was just cranking, it didn't start though it did come close a couple of times. Never seen a car blow that much smoke though - gave a worn-out diesel a run for its money!

I couldn't see any water in the radiator, and it did take a bit to refill.

Just checked the oil again = looks good. And, the radiator is still full so it's holding water for the last week, fingers-crossed the water pump is unaffected.


Maybe worth it to call out the NRMA and ask them to give it a spark - the last technician who did that was an old hand with cars running dizzy points, so may be lucky again.

Time to give the 'lady' more attention, and fix some of the issues that come with age.  :smile01:

Lesson Learnt #1: drive the damn car, it wasn't meant to be another persons 'barn find'!


Offline barnett468

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2021, 02:50:33 am »
Did you have coolant or straight water in the rad?

Was there any indication of water/coolant on the floor?

Look on top of the timing cover below the t stat housing to see if there is any water standing there.

Look at all the hose connections to see if there is any crust build up or water weeping.

Black smoke is excessive fuel and/or old fuel, and can only be produced in a gas engine when the plugs are igniting the fuel, although in some cases it will seem as though the engine is not firing when it is turning over because the combustion power of the fuel is weak.

You did not get your engine hot enough to damage it. You can idle an engine with no coolant for maybe 2 minutes before it starts to get hot enough to do damage.

It is possible your float is stuck in your carb or the choke is stuck full on or the power valve is leaking and/or the gas is old. If your gas is typically clear, drain/siphon some out into a clear container and look at it. If it has a very light color to it, it is starting to go bad but will still run the engine. If it has a fairly strong yellow color to it, it will barely burn and needs to be changed.

You can pot photos if you want.

Offline Reborn67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2021, 08:53:37 am »
 Another thought too, if the car has a bit of age, try and look at all your welsh plugs around the block, very hard too see in position but as barney says look for signs of weeping and crusty build up,

Offline Tang67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2021, 10:58:02 am »
Did you have coolant or straight water in the rad?
Was there any indication of water/coolant on the floor?
Look on top of the timing cover below the t stat housing to see if there is any water standing there.
Look at all the hose connections to see if there is any crust build up or water weeping.
Black smoke is excessive fuel and/or old fuel, and can only be produced in a gas engine when the plugs are igniting the fuel, although in some cases it will seem as though the engine is not firing when it is turning over because the combustion power of the fuel is weak.
You did not get your engine hot enough to damage it. You can idle an engine with no coolant for maybe 2 minutes before it starts to get hot enough to do damage.
It is possible your float is stuck in your carb or the choke is stuck full on or the power valve is leaking and/or the gas is old. If your gas is typically clear, drain/siphon some out into a clear container and look at it. If it has a very light color to it, it is starting to go bad but will still run the engine. If it has a fairly strong yellow color to it, it will barely burn and needs to be changed.
You can pot photos if you want.

Hello B468 and R67,

In response to your questions:

I always use coolant and there's no indication of coolant leaks anywhere on or under the vehicle. No crust on any lines or around the thermostat.

The last 12 months were really hot, and the car is sitting in a typical old fashion garage with very good airflow, so perhaps some water loss could be attributed to evaporation?

The car always leaks a bit of oil, though not anywhere near enough to cause over concern at the moment - there's no indication of water being in that either.

I haven't checked the fuel or carby yet, so will let you know.

In regards to photos - they'd be boring, only showing a standard 289 with p/s and aircon, and a few oil marks on the concrete floor - those marks are in the same possie as usual too.

Notwithstanding carby issues; bad fuel, and probably lack of battery grunt and maybe spark plugs could be the likely culprits.

Thanks for your time and input - always appreciated!  :cheers:


Offline GLENN 70

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2021, 12:02:44 pm »
When you say the radiator was empty was it really or just too low to see the water ? .  How many litres did you put in ? . Black smoke ,old fuel , choke stuck on , carb float stuck and needle and seat stuck causing the carb to flood . What carb does it have ? .  No coolant on the ground ,check the oil again and make sure it doesn’t have any water in it .  You may have to put new spark plugs in it or give them a clean .

Offline jiffy

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2021, 01:41:53 pm »
Check the fuel like Barnet describes above, if it's still ok, then go to your local Repco/Supercheap etc and get a can of this, and remove the air cleaner and give it a good spray of this down the mouth of the carb before you pump the gas no more than once or twice (checking for fuel squirting out of the accelerator nozzles in between the two venturi), jump in and try to start it.

It should allow the car to burst into life, then give it a few quick revs (you may need to keep it running by pressing gently on the throttle), run it for no more than 20-30 seconds then turn it off and check the water and oil again.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 02:38:33 pm by jiffy »
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Offline barnett468

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2021, 02:19:41 pm »
what i meant was you can post photos of the fuel in a glass container.

you can not always tell if there is water in the oil by just looking at the dip stick, so it should be drained. i would just drain a little at first into a clear glass because water is heavier than oil so it will be at the bottom of the pan.

the water in your rad can not evaporate unless the rad cap has a leak so it is not sealing properly.

Offline Tang67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2021, 05:56:02 pm »
Life certainly gets in the way when trying to get shit done! And so it has been with getting the car back on the road.

Very much appreciate all your input fella's.

Today: Got the car out and had the NRMA look at it - the bloke was very old school knowledgeable and even tried that Nulon stuff Jiffy suggested!

After a lot of trying to get the old gal idling, and heaps of smoke, he reckons the carby is caked with residue from evaporated fuel and it's blocking the jets, and, the seals were leaking a bit too. The bowl was partially filled with fuel but was going out in spurts. He recommended taking the carby to Hume Performance (Warwick Farm, NSW) to have them rebuild it, etc.

A call to Hume Performance suggested the same - with about a week turnaround given their workload. They also suggested draining the fuel tank and a new filter - said a lot of old cars suffer from this problem of old fuel going to jelly and causing carby issues.

Sounds a reasonable suggestion given the leaking seals, caked interior and my general lack of expertise.

What do ya reckon?

Offline 67FBGT

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2021, 09:01:24 pm »
Exactly the same scenario with my '67. Parked up for more than a year now, family commitments and Covid. I hate to think how old the fuel in it is.

The fuel gauge sender unit has failed so I don't even know how much fuel is left, could be 5 to 10 litres, certainly enough for me to hear it sloshing around via the filler.

I've tried undoing the square shaped tank drain bung but it won't budge.  :ouch:
Guess I'll have to slice the rubber fuel line, with great care, a nasty messy job...

How is one supposed to discard old fuel anyway? Can't just tip it out in the garden  :bolt:

Offline barnett468

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2021, 01:41:42 am »
Exactly the same scenario with my '67. Parked up for more than a year now... I hate to think how old the fuel in it is. I've tried undoing the square shaped tank drain bung but it won't budge.  :ouch:

Guess I'll have to slice the rubber fuel line, with great care, a nasty messy job...

Siphon the fuel out first. You can jack up one side of the rear axle to get the fuel accumulated into one of the front corners of the fuel tank. Then remove the filler tube so you can easily direct a siphon line into that corner. This will also allow you to inspect the inside of the tank to some degree, and if you plan to remove the sender unit, do that before you inspect the tank because it will give you more light inside the tank.

How is one supposed to discard old fuel anyway? Can't just tip it out in the garden  :bolt:

You could tip it out into Fitzy's garden.    :leaving:
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 01:46:00 am by barnett468 »

Offline sms777

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2021, 12:34:38 am »
Old fuel is the best and cheapest weed killer. I use it all the time. I can't wait long enough until some idiot fills up his diesel Landcruiser with unleaded. 100 litres of free weed killer....yeeehaaaar!

Offline barnett468

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2021, 08:23:41 am »
I can't wait long enough until some idiot fills up his diesel Landcruiser with unleaded. 100 litres of free weed killer....yeeehaaaar!

Send Fitzy a message, he may have saved what his wife put in theirs, and might sell it to you cheap.  She did say that after she put gas in it, their diesel land cruiser ran unusually well...for around 15 seconds. :lmao:

Offline Tang67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2021, 01:00:53 am »

Another Brains Trust question:

I disconnected the carby and it's being overhauled at the moment.

In the meantime, I'll need to buy a shaker siphon to empty the fuel tank ... and use your creative suggestions of fuel disposal.  :lol: A bit disappointed nobody mentioned Molotov Cocktails  :shrug:

Anyway:

Is there a NEED to replace the fuel filters at this time? (There appears to be two - the one at the carby and a metal in-line one close to the inside fender.)

P.S. Rego is due on Monday so I don't have time to mess around on things that aren't urgent, just enough to get her running and to the mechanic for a pink slip. [Barnett: in this instance, a 'Pink Slip' isn't a piece of woman's apparel!]  :lmao:

Thanks once again for your assistance.


Online Dwayne

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2021, 07:02:38 am »
[Barnett: in this instance, a 'Pink Slip' isn't a piece of woman's apparel!]  :lmao:

At Barnett's age, the only slips are when granny slips on he beans

Offline Reborn67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2021, 07:25:55 am »
 Back on topic,  :smile01: If you are going to the trouble and expense to get your carby done and clean your fuel tank, you would be best to complete the job and replace any fuel filters, and try and clean out your fuel line too, seeing you are disconnecting everything it is the perfect time, if you have access to compressed air and some form of cleaner/solvent,     did somebody say pink bits?

Offline barnett468

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2021, 09:26:30 am »
Damn ozzies!   :kickass:

Offline Tang67

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Re: Engine issues … because I screwed up
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2021, 11:10:06 pm »
UPDATE:

Had the carby rebuilt at Hume Performance (Liverpool NSW), bolted it in place with new gaskets, and installed two new fuel filters.

(See 'Before' and 'After' photos below)

Tried to siphon the old petrol out of the tank but, thankfully, there was SFA fuel in it - besides, using the siphon was proving to be a real PITA. So, just added 30 litres of new petrol via a Jerry Can.

Had it jump started and it purred to life on the second attempt, in fact, it idled better than when it was purchased 7 years ago! Took her for a long drive and no probs. Also avoided the 'Blue Slip' by getting it registered ... a very busy day!

Hume Performance (no affiliation whatsoever) were excellent and I'd recommend them without hesitation.

Thanks to everyone for your assistance and guidance - always appreciated.

T67
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 11:14:34 pm by Tang67 »