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Freezing coolant(water) killed my car?!

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Ok so I know I could have avoided this by running coolant. So really i just let the cold kill my car.. But my radiator has had a mean leak so I've been topping it off with water almost daily. It's a ea81 82' GL.

 

Below freezing temps hit and froze all the water. Yesterday it happened aswell I started it up and the belt was squeeling on the water pump pulley so I shut it off then topped off the radiator with warm water and let it sit for a minute. I turned the pulley by hand to make sure it was not frozen and started it up. Warmed up fine and drive me to work and back.

 

Today I start it up and same thing, all frozen. I let it run for about 30 seconds with the belt slipping on the frozen water pump pulley. Shut it off and added some warm water to melt the ice. It took a LOT of water this time. All the ice seemed to be melted. Turned it over again and it ran very rough the while motor was vibrating like it never has. I shut it off for a minute and turned it over again to have it start very rough and make one or two terrible knocking/clanking noises then die. Then it just wouldn't turn over at all like its seized/locked up.

 

I pop the hood to find oil/water mixture oozing out of the intake!?? Into the air cleaner box. The water in the radiator had oil mixed in aswell.

 

I know this is bad but my question to you is what's my damage?? :o I'm fairly new to cars so please bare with me. Thanks in advance !

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I'm guessing your block is warped, cracked or both...does the Subie have freeze plugs? I've never looked. Those are meant to save a block from freeze damamge.

 

you need a new/rebuilt long block in my opinion. Freezing water had incredible force.

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If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say a head or water jacket broke and filled a cylinder with water/oil. As liquids are not compressible, your engine won't turn. Might be rebuildable if only cracked in the heads, but if the block is cracked the motor is likely finished.

 

Not trying to rub salt in the wound, but a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is critical to engine longevity. It provides benefits both summer and winter.

 

Best of luck.

 

John

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I've read that the notion of "freeze plugs" is a misnomer. Actually they are "core plugs" to drain sand out of the block deposited in the casting process.

 

John

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Maybe not so bad.

 

Hopefully,the only damage will be popped freeze plugs in the heads.

Motor is probably hydraulicly locked from coolant being where it should not be.

I would drain the oil to see if that frees up the motor.

If it does, remove the valve covers,replace the frost plugs,change the oil,add some coolant and go back to the races. 

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I was planning on rebuilding the motor soon. but now im not sure if i should (or if its even worth it) Or if i should look for a new motor. Any body in Washington have a motor? Or can point me in the direction of a good place to get one?  Thanks guys

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I've read that the notion of "freeze plugs" is a misnomer. Actually they are "core plugs" to drain sand out of the block deposited in the casting process.

 

John

That's true. If there was some way to cast a block/cylinder head without using a sand mould, freeze plugs won't even exist. 

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Which part of Washington are you in?

 

Pull and Save is a great place to acquire an engine :)

$140+tax out the door for everything except for the AC compressor.

Find a low mile wreck (or 3AT) EA81 and you can easily pull the sucker out in a matter of an hour.

 

Twitch

 

PS: In the case of your engine, it's probably done. I'm guessing the ice blew out a water passage inside the engine.

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About an hour out of seattle. Im going to look for a re-built ea81 but i will keep checking the junk yards to see if they get one in. If anyone comes across one in this area please let me know! thank you

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maybe this would be a method of using water with less risk, not that i'm recommending it but if people are going to do it multiple times:

1.  fill up water jugs and keep them with you (inside/unfrozen)

2.  drain water when you park it - work those block plugs

3.  fill engine when you need to leave

3.  repeat

 

it sounds odd to replace an engine but not a leaking radiator?

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i always kept water with me to top off. I should have drained all the water the last few days with it being so cold. but now i have to replace the engine and the radiator. I learned the hard way this time  :banghead:

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i always kept water with me to top off. I should have drained all the water the last few days with it being so cold. but now i have to replace the engine and the radiator. I learned the hard way this time  :banghead:

Unfortunately this seems to be the most effectively way we (HUMANS) learn.  I've been fairly fortunate in that I have not destroyed an engine over the years,  I had my BIG brother to learn from there ;) ...  He changed the oil in dads pickup, (one that my brother drove at the time)  well....he changed it all right, just neglected to put the drain plug back in :o :o :o ...Dad forced him to assist with that engine rebuild, :lol: he hasn't gone with out putting the drain plug in SINCE :rolleyes: ...OOPS.  

 

About 5 years later I totaled that truck, broke my back and 4 or 5 ribs :banghead: :banghead: , funny I was more :mad: :mad: :mad: about the truck then I was about my back or being in the hospital for some quite awhile.  I still miss that truck too, 76 Chevy Scottsdale still makes me :( :( from time to time.

 

So yeah, kind of a hard learning experience for some from time to time.  I am willing to bet you won't do this same thing again.

Edited by Dinky26

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Proably just popped the freeze plugs in the head.

 

Easy to replace....can be done in the car even.

 

I wouldn't junk the engine.  Rebuild it....I'm sure the block is still fine and since it didn't really start like that the rods are probably still okay.

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