Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

Hydrolock Prognosis

Something not working right?

by mason10198 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:05 pm

Hey everyone, had a bit of an adventurous night last night. Made an absolutely horrendous rookie mistake. Was doing a little trailing down by a local river, and parked and hung out for a few hours until dark. About 9pm decided to head home, accidentally took the wrong trail and dove headfirst into what I THOUGHT was another water hole I had already driven through on the way in. Water was waist deep, obviously not the same water hole. Engine died pretty much as soon as the truck hit the water. My first instinct was to reach up and turn the key to shut it off, but I forgot to pull into neutral first to unlock the ignition so I was too late. I jumped out and hooked the winch to the nearest tree and pulled it out as quick as I could. Water flooded the entire cabin by a couple of inches, soaked the BCM and everything in the truck started going haywire. Windows rolling up and down, doors locking and unlocking, lights flashing, beeps beeping, the whole shebang. After I winched it out of the water I went ahead and pulled the intake off (full of water) and tried to crank it. Absolute no-go. I can hear the starter and I know for sure it's trying to crank like it's supposed to, but the pistons aren't even attempting to budge. Just the click of the starter engaging. Got my dads Tundra out there with the towbar we use to pull the TB behind our RV to get it back home. Got it in the garage and pulled both batteries off and shop-vacced out the gallons of water in the floor by midnight.

My question is, does anybody have a good recommendation for what to do with the engine? I've heard of pulling spark plugs to release the water pressure and letting it crank the water out the top, but I'd trust members here before I'd trust the first thing I find on google. If worst comes to worst, I still have another (perfectly good but 200k mile) 4.2l in the parts TB at my house.

Here's the only pic I came home with. Was too busy getting it out to take any more. Was already winched halfway out when this pic was taken.
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by Rickalicka18 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:48 pm

Damn man that really sucks... I would assume something had to of broken if it shut off immediately and if it wouldn't crank. Did you hear anything snap or break when it happened? Water doesn't compress so a number of things could of been damaged in the process due to the pressure inside the cylinder (bend connectting rod, bend crankshaft, broken piston, etc.).
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by bartonmd » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:04 pm

Pull the sparkplugs and crank the engine (should have really done that right after you got it out). Then, drain the oil and change it. Check the trans fluid, tcase, and diffs, though obviously the speed was what killed the engine (splashing up into the airbox), not the outright water depth, so I'd expect they'd be fine. Change whatever fluid is over-filled (has water in it). Don't neglect the power steering pump/fluid, either, to make sure it didn't get filled as well.

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by Trail X » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:59 pm

Rough luck Mason. Did the engine sputter out? or did it stop dead? High rpm or idle? Probably difficult to remember exactly, but if it sputtered at all, its possible its not busted too bad, but if it stopped dead at high rpm, you're screwed.

Considering it doesn't look like the water was deep enough to flood the intake completely (although you did say there was lots of water in it), you might be lucky enough to try to pump the water out through the plug holes. Then once its turning over, try to get it running again asap. Let the water sit, and you get rust in the cylinder walls, and then it will definitely never be the same, at best it will burn a lot of oil.
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by mason10198 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:04 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. I just pulled the plugs (pic showed cylinder 2 full of a water) and drained out the oil. Over 3/4 of a gallon of water came out the drain.... Most of that leaked in while I was winching it out though. After I drained it I tried a crank, and got a tiny bit of rotation accompanied by a geyser of water shooting out of one cylinder and hitting the hood above, then followed by a slamming noise and the loss of any engine rotation whatsoever. Motor is gone, I'm sure it's a busted rod. Looks like I'll be gone for a long while rebuilding some thing(s).

Also, tranny fluid is way up the dipstick so there's water in there, and probably every other fluid as well.

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by bartonmd » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:08 pm

Before you totally give up on it, jack it up and drop the oil pan and take a look. Before you do that, with the plugs out, take a breaker bar and turn the crank backwards then forwards to see what the sound is from under it, without the starter running, so you can hear.

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by bljis123 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:29 am

Damn, this sucks balls man!!! Sorry to hear this.
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by mason10198 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:56 am

It does suck, very much. I'm having to choose between having the engine in the parts truck rebuilt, or just swap it myself as-is for virtually free. Seems like a really bad idea to swap as-is as far as I'm concerned, but nonetheless it's a free option. That engine was running perfectly fine before I started taking that truck apart, probably has 150-200k miles though. Not to mention once the engine is pulled, thats a great time to regear the front diff while its all out.... and then that leads to regearing the rear, but I won't do that without an 8.6" swap and a locker to put in it... So many things running through my head now.

Also, the interior.... I can try and clean and salvage the soaked carpet (already pulled out and sitting in my driveway drying), or try and buy new carpet, orrrrrr... bedliner? Not sure what to do from this point. I guess I should probably just focus on engines for now.
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by mason10198 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:59 am

bartonmd wrote:Before you totally give up on it, jack it up and drop the oil pan and take a look. Before you do that, with the plugs out, take a breaker bar and turn the crank backwards then forwards to see what the sound is from under it, without the starter running, so you can hear.

Mike

Thanks Mike, I'll take another look when I get the chance. I doubt there is any use left in this motor though.. already up to the 200k mark.
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by Trail X » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:57 pm

Well, at least you'll learn a lot doing the motor swap. x2 on what Mike said, it gives you a chance to diagnose better, plus you can take pictures of the carnage from below for us. Keep us in the loop!
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by NC_IslandRunner » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:11 pm

LS swap would be nice, but not cheap. My mechanic has a couple 5.7L Hemi engines that would make a real beast out of it, he's selling them fairy cheap. Personally I would swap what you have on hand.
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by mason10198 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:33 am

I think I'm going to swap in the 4.2l sitting in my backyard as is, and use it for whatever life it has left. While I'm putting it in, I'll use money to swap a locked 8.6", regear front and rear, and get some 35s.

As far as interior, I'm looking at getting molded vinyl flooring, and everything else should be good unless the seats haven't dried and start molding.

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by KingBird » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:49 am

If you know any plumbers or electricians, they may have a fiber optic camera that you could use through the drain in the oil pan so you don't have to drop it but yeah it sounds like it's pretty screwed.

When Ernesto hit Va Beach, I spent most of my day jerking spark plugs for folks and getting them back on the road.

One guy hit the water at high rpm. We jerked his plugs and couldn't get it to crank so he wanted to drop the clutch while we pushed it to see if that would help.

When he dropped that clutch in first gear, I heard one of the worst sounds I'd ever heard come from an engine. I imagine you heard the same noise.

I got lucky when I had to replace my engine, and I found an '06 in the yard that was well taken care of.

I chose to jerk the engine and tranny together since those bellhousing bolts can be a PITA to get to.

Good luck man,I'll be sending positive vibes your way!
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by rScherzer » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:21 am

Oh man that sucks. Time to fab a snorkel while your swapping the engine. Keep us updated on your progress.
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by KingBird » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:43 am

Oh God, not another snorkel build thread!!! Hahaha!
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by TBYODA » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:32 pm

Mason buy this dudes TB all built. FS: 2005 Trailblazer LT - Built

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_ ... 3Ft%3D6732
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by mason10198 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:11 pm

TBYODA wrote:Mason buy this dudes TB all built. FS: 2005 Trailblazer LT - Built

https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_ ... 3Ft%3D6732

Hm.... Might be worth considering. 8.6 axle, regear, rad skid, tire carrier, is all stuff I was planning on anyways. Maybe buy it and Frankenstein the best of the two together..

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by mason10198 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:02 pm

Update time!

I've decided I'm going to use the motor in my parts truck as a direct swap in (after some routine inspection/maintenance of course). I pulled it out yesterday and got it set up on a stand, and took off the valve cover and the oilpan to take an initial peek. I'll attach some pics below. I'm currently pulling parts/pumps/wires off of the engine in the blazer and getting it ready to pull as well. I don't know alot about engines, especially servicing them, so as of now I don't really know what to do next with the motor I'm going to use. Gonna start alot of researching soon.

While I'm swapping the motor, I'll be regearing/overhauling the front diff, purchasing an 8.6" rearend and an eaton elocker and gears to put in it, and probably lots of other things. Gears will be 4.56.
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by Trail X » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:42 pm

Mason, document the hell out of this. Would make a good article.
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by mason10198 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:16 pm

Alrighty. I got the blown motor out of the TB. I unbolted it between the transfer case adapter plate and the transmission and pulled the motor and the tranny as one piece. It's actually very easy. Just put a jack up under the tail-end of the transfer case to hold it up from tilting after breaking them loose.
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enginehang1

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Also, here I've included pictures of the same procedure done to the transmission and transfer case out of the parts truck just in case somebody wants to see more of it.
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I took the oilpan off of the blown motor and found a broken rod hanging down on cyl 1, so theres our problem. I started swapping all the little metal clips and retainers from the blown engine over to the soon-to-be-used engine to replace all the rusty parts. I'm also ordering all sorts of sensors to replace whats on it now.
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I cleaned out the oilpan for the old motor and got it ready to be installed on the new motor (I cracked the new motors pan trying to pry the front diff off of it). I took the oil pickup off and washed it out real good in a bowl of diesel before putting it pack on. Bought some ACDelco engine sealant and put a bead on the engine block and reinstalled the pan.
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Then I took the valve cover off of the blown motor (again, I screwed up the other one trying to pull the engine out the wrong way), and removed all of the old gaskets and scrubbed it down with engine degreaser before giving it all-new gaskets. Rim gasket, coil gaskets, and the little gasket pieces that go on all of the forty-billion bolts.

And that concludes yesterdays work. :cheers:
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