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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 13:55 Thread Starter
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Unhappy Siezed Engine

Hello, my 1998 MGF has been standing, in garage for about 18 months. when I have tried to start it the engine has siezed. I am wndering if there is anything I should do before tryin to bump start it hoping that will get the engine moving. Has anyone had any similar experiences of this? Any help or suggestions would be most useful.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 14:20
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Remove plugs
try cranking now (if water comes out you have a leaking inlet gasket)
Check the cambelt isn't broken
Check the alternator isn't seized

If still seized then pour some light oil down each cylinder and leave for a few hours (a couple of teaspoons is enough)
If that doesn't work then try the same but with diesel.


I'd guess at inlet gasket issue or seized alternator.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 15:17
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Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
Hello, my 1998 MGF has been standing, in garage for about 18 months. when I have tried to start it the engine has siezed. I am wndering if there is anything I should do before tryin to bump start it hoping that will get the engine moving. Has anyone had any similar experiences of this? Any help or suggestions would be most useful.
How do you know that it is the engine that has seized?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 15:51 Thread Starter
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when you try to push it in 5th gear the engine will not turn it is just locked up also the engine will not turn on the starter motor.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 17:46
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Maybe it's just the starter motor that's seized.
Can you turn the engine by hand?
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 18:54
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I would struggle to believe a sealed engine has seized itself in such short amount of time to the point it wont move at all.

Something else is going on here.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 21:22
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Something else is going on here.

I believe your right, I heard rumours it was seized by a disgruntled HGV driver who doesn't like MGF's/TF's and is scouring the country trying to get them all off the road by any means possible

Sorry, couldn't resist
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 21:25
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I believe your right, I heard rumours it was seized by a disgruntled HGV driver who doesn't like MGF's/TF's and is scouring the country trying to get them all off the road by any means possible

Sorry, couldn't resist
Sugar in the tanks works well,trouble is you cant get most of them off the drive
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 16-01-2017, 21:37
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Check alternator! I have recently had a cdti refuse to turn over on the starter with a seized alternator. You wouldn't think it possible but it happens.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 07:22
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I would struggle to believe a sealed engine has seized itself in such short amount of time to the point it wont move at all.

Something else is going on here.
I agree - I cannot see the engine seizing like this. It could be the starter motor has jammed or the alternator. Does the starter motor turn over? Is the car out of gear (ie not a seized clutch whilst in gear)?
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 07:49
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A few months ago a member reported his engine had seized after a period of non use and even after all the good advice from here covering all the usual possibilities that could cause the seizure he still could not free it, and eventually had to stip it down and found that residual oil on the engine's bearing surfaces had turned into a sort of glue and effectively locked the engine solid.

Sounds far fetched but apparently that is the case.

Hopefully this will not be the case this time, certainly after only 18 months and there are plenty of checks to go through mentioned above that should resolve your issue.

Keep us informed.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 09:20
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A few months ago a member reported his engine had seized after a period of non use and even after all the good advice from here covering all the usual possibilities that could cause the seizure he still could not free it, and eventually had to stip it down and found that residual oil on the engine's bearing surfaces had turned into a sort of glue and effectively locked the engine solid.

Sounds far fetched but apparently that is the case.

Hopefully this will not be the case this time, certainly after only 18 months and there are plenty of checks to go through mentioned above that should resolve your issue.

Keep us informed.
If it has done as you describe I would drop the oil sounds like it hasn't been done for a while anyway and refill with diesel and leave standing for a couple of days plugs out and some in the bores and finally get say a hot air heater(not gun) and get some warmth into the sump and diesel a good couple of hours should do it and see if will turn by hand
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 09:28
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I personally would never ever recommend filling an engine with anything other than fresh engine oil.

A bit of diesel down the pots can help free off but filling an engine with diesel,def not.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 11:52
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As said by me and others - check the alternator hasn't seized first. I had one seize at 70 (ish) miles an hour in the fast lane. I thought the cambelt had snapped. In the end I noticed the engine trying to turn but the alternator not - cut the belt off and low and behold it ran perfectly

Also had the same on a T series which was parked up. I thought the battery was dead but it wasn't, the alternator had seized in storage. It was only parked up for a few months (but the alternator was on its last legs to be fair).
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 11:59
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I personally would never ever recommend filling an engine with anything other than fresh engine oil.

A bit of diesel down the pots can help free off but filling an engine with diesel,def not.
So I guess you're an experienced mechanic when it comes to freeing off a potential seized engine get a grip of yourself I'm not asking him to run it on it just let it soak and with the heat. What does an engine flush do EEEEEERH clean the gunk that is in the engine diesel is just as good and cheaper chances are you've probably never had more than a couple of K series engines in bits before, Although I do agree that it is more likely to be an auxiliary that is most likely the culprit. Oh and I suppose a dishwasher tablet will dissolve the cooling system too????????
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 13:39
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So I guess you're an experienced mechanic when it comes to freeing off a potential seized engine get a grip of yourself I'm not asking him to run it on it just let it soak and with the heat. What does an engine flush do EEEEEERH clean the gunk that is in the engine diesel is just as good and cheaper chances are you've probably never had more than a couple of K series engines in bits before, Although I do agree that it is more likely to be an auxiliary that is most likely the culprit. Oh and I suppose a dishwasher tablet will dissolve the cooling system too????????
1/ I wouldnt recommend flush whats the point, engine oil is cheap and a great cleaner.
2/ Fresh engine oil in engines thats it!!

3/ If you have gunk in your engine see 2 and more often.

$. theres no 'gunk' in my diesel engines,just lucky i guess!

Again im finding myself defending good advice on this forum.Im starting to think its just attended by bad tempered old men who obviously have to anger to shed.

Again,do NOT fill an engine with diesel!!

If you want to see a taste of my expertise in this field,then just search my prior posts.Plenty of pictures to show i know exactly what im talking about with old engines!
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 15:05
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Guys - Merit on both sides of the diesel Vs new engine oil for me but not worth aggro - Life's too short......
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 17:16
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A quality penetrant freeing agent in a spray can - that uses solvent will seep into a seized ring/piston joint thats amalgamated. the benefit of the solvent is that it evaporates, and the oil it leaves behind is thin and burns when the engine runs.. even wd40 is ok to use in that respect.. though its solvent is more like white spirit... and takes longer to evaporate... neat white spirit.. a cheap alternative will do the same thing and doesnt have any oil in it... one needs to have time and let time take its course since white spirit isnt as good a penetrant than other dedicated solvents.. even petrol, put into the pistons will seep in and free a seized joint.. just dont smoke.. and disconnect the battery before trying to do any of that... evaporating petrol/ solvent is explosive.

if its the crank that has seized from bearing amalgamation the chances are the bearings wont be any good to use even after freeing... it depends on what has seized them.. since a bearing surface must be perfect even if worn to do its task... and if freeing it results in unseen surface damage, - the bearings days are numbered, that's why they are submerged in oil every rotation.. metal bearing surface against metal bearing surface is bad news. it needs oil in between.. nothing else.

back from the crank, is the clutch and gearbox and starter motor, if the car is in neutral gear, and the starter motor is removed the crank should turn if it doesnt, it could be the timing gear siezed... and checking that requires more than disconnecting the belts... since if one moves the pistons with open valves.. the two can meet and destroy either or both.. and one really needs to know the position of the pistons before one takes any belt except the alternator belt, off.

in the safe position the pistons are half way down the bore... and one needs to know exactly what happens if they move with a cam belt off.. else dead engine without the head removed - is possible.. and if the timing is seized, and the belt hasnt been removed, or its tension checked, its possible for the belt to jump notches since it wont turn but the crank might, i.e the crank overcomes the belt... which cant move., but if one forces the crank.. it will jump the belt..

so this isnt an easy thing to diagnose... at all.

one can take off the cambelt cover and using the crank sprocket, see if trying too turn it causes the belt tension to increase.. without moving the cam sprockets... if so.. the timing gear is stuck.. for some reason..

if one cant get the crank sprocket to move, and can see no tensioning of the belt when one tries to move it... the fault lies somewhere at the gearbox,clutch, starter motor and related gearing.. like the crank itself even..

again that diagnosis requires a lot of exploration..

so.. first.. remove the plugs... put in some evaporating solvent.. replace the plugs.. leave it for a day.. remove the plugs and mop out any remaining solvent.. let the air evaporate any left..

while the plugs are out.. take off the cam belt cover, and see if one can move the crank with a socket and long t bar.. with the car in neutral - and the starter motor removed - noting what happens to the cam belt when one does..

if the belt dont tension against the adjuster and the crank wont try to move.. more investigation of things that should be free to turn is required...since it is also possible the water pump has seized... and its vanes are very close to its outer housing and amalgamation of settled contaminants in it.. has welded the vanes to the case.. checking that requires the cam belt off... and one must be able to be sure one knows how to do that safely..


my own advice is dont mess with the cam belt unless one is sure the non movement is due to something in the valve gearing or water pump.

and one needs to understand how parts of the engine work... before doing any of it.

Last edited by Incony; 17-01-2017 at 17:34.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 18:38
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I would struggle to believe a sealed engine has seized itself in such short amount of time to the point it wont move at all.

Something else is going on here.

I agree. My old Ford sat in the garden for the best part of six years before I re commissioned it. With a new battery it fired on the third twist of the key then promptly ran out of petrol. Mind you it needed a lot of floor repairs.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 17-01-2017, 19:23
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I agree. My old Ford sat in the garden for the best part of six years before I re commissioned it. With a new battery it fired on the third twist of the key then promptly ran out of petrol. Mind you it needed a lot of floor repairs.
good old fords lol i remember the days before i got a rover and used to drive fords rofl
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